19 June 2017

Please join the Textile Artists Collective for the opening of Fibre Focus at The Dart Gallery in Dartmouth NS.

A showcase of contemporary works in textile and stitch


Where:      The Dart Gallery
                  127 Portland Street
                  Dartmouth, NS

When:       June 22 - July 5, 2017
                 Tues - Fri 12-7 | Sat 11-5 | Sun 11-2 |

Opening Reception: 7:00 pm, Thursday June 22, 2017


The Textile Artists Collective 

The Textile Artists Collective is a small group of independent Nova Scotia artists working with textiles and other fibres. The art quilt, or quilted wall hanging, is our main focus, but we each push our own individual styles and vocabularies to achieve the goals of all artists: self-expression and the creation of visually stimulating and meaningful works of art.

During our monthly meetings, we share inspiration, techniques and information related to our work. We also discuss art concepts and the business of art, exploring opportunities to exhibit our work individually and as a group.

Our creative explorations include a wide variety of surface design techniques such as painting, dyeing, printing, stitching, quilting, weaving, felting, collage, appliqué, stencil, applying resists and embellishing with beads or small objects.

Please plan to visit our show between June 22nd and July 5th.


SAQA Atlantic Canada Artists participating in the Exhibition:
Cathy Drummond, Heather Loney, Susan Lilley, Kate Madeloso, Regina Marzlin, Fiona Oxford, Deb Plestid.

Also participating: Dawna deAdder, Karen Henry, Debbie Vermuelen.


Gallery contact: info@thedartgallery.com Tel: 902.404.7330

14 June 2017

Get ready to place your bids! The 2017 SAQA Benefit Auction, online from September 15th - October 8th

Fiona Oxford's contribution to the auction, Autumn Breeze, represents clear blue sky and autumn wind and colours. 

Autumn Breeze by Fiona Oxford, 12" x 12"

See all of the quilts on offer here: http://www.saqa.com/auction-quiltviewALL.php

The annual benefit auction supports SAQA's exhibition program and the transportation of major SAQA exhibitions to galleries and museums all around the world. 

The 2017 auction, online from September 15th to October 8th, kicks-off at 3pm Atlantic Time on September 15th with Diamond Day bidding - an early bird opportunity to purchase ANY quilt for $1000.  

BIDDING DETAILS

The 12" x 12" auction quilts have been grouped into three sections for bidding purposes. Each week, a different group of quilts will be available for bidding.  

The online bidding form will be live on September 15th at 3pm Atlantic Time for Diamond Day bidding.

Starting September 18th at 3pm Atlantic, bidding will begin on the first group of quilts, starting at $750 and reduced progressively throughout the week. The first bid on each piece wins. 

Throughout the auction, any piece in any section can be purchased at the Buy It Now price of $1000. 

More information on the bidding process is available here.



08 June 2017

Laurie Swim's Hope and Survival, the Halifax Explosion Memorial Quilt, opens Thursday June 15, 2017

Please plan to join Laurie Swim at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic for the official installation of her four-year project, Hope and Survival. The community-built quilt project marks the path of tragedy and rebuilding after Halifax experienced the largest manmade explosion prior to Hiroshima. The installation is part of the MMA's special exhibits commemorating the 100th anniversary of the explosion.

Where: Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax 
When: Thursday June 15, 2-4pm. Opening remarks at 2:20pm. 



"This community art project involved hundreds of volunteers in beading the Braille for The Scroll of Remembrance that accompanies the centrepiece that I created over the past four years. Hope and Survival is a memorial to those lost in the Halifax Explosion a hundred years ago and a gift to the people of Nova Scotia."
Laurie Swim, June 2017

Read more about the Hope and Survival project on Laurie Swim's website and in a recent SAQA interview.



06 June 2017

SAQA's All-Canadian exhibition, My Corner of the World Canada, on display at the Ailsa Craig Quilt Festival, June 8th-11th, 2017

My Corner of the World (Canada) invited the artist to create a glimpse of the spirit of Canada; to convey through their art something true, meaningful and important about this beautiful country and its people.

Kate Madeloso (Nova Scotia) – Fundy Flame Agate
This juried show of 40 art quilts includes eight from Atlantic Canada. It has garnered much media attention during stays in Stratford and Thunder Bay. A Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal review stated:

“Words don’t do justice to the exquisite colour and artistry of the quilts on exhibit... You can’t rush through this exhibit. Each work will pull you in. Some will tug at your emotions, others will inspire memories, but all of them will make you think.”

My Corner of the World Canada will be on display at the annual Ailsa Craig (Ontario) Community Quilt Festival, June 8th-11th.

The exhibit is available for travel. Contact SAQA Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator, William Reker, to learn how to bring this wonderful art quilt exhibition to Atlantic Canada.

View the exhibition online.
Learn more about the exhibition.


20 May 2017

The 2017 Grand National Exhibition features three SAQA Atlantic Canada pieces

Congratulations go out to Deb Plestid (Tatamagouche NS), Kate Madeloso (Wolfville NS) and Kathy Tidswell (Burtts Corner NB) each of whom has a quilt in The Grand National. 

This year, the Committee of The Grand National challenged quilters: to create a work of quilt art that captures the essence of their part of Canada – its history, its geography, its cultural diversity, its traditions... reasons for celebrating 150 years of our glorious nation.

This prestigious juried quilt show will be on display until September at the historic Joseph Schneider Haus in Kitchener-Waterloo. 

Deb Plestid's Winter at Balmoral Mills takes Curator's Choice Award

Winter at Balmoral Mills by Deb Plestid, 58" x 37"

DP: Crisp, clear, cold, woefully underrated wonderful white winter. ‘Mon pays ce n'est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver.’ (My country is not a country, it is winter.), Gilles Vigneault.


Curator Susan Burke wrote:

For me, Winter at Balmoral Mills perfectly captures the spirit of the theme Oh! Canada… much as the singer-songwriter Gilles Vigneault has done in his unofficial Quebec anthem, Mon Pays.

Yes, many people world-wide, when they think of Canada, they conjure up the image of a cold, clean, white, winter snowscape, much as quilter artist Deb Plestid has created here.  As the Inuit have many words in their language for snow, so too has Plestid called upon a full vocabulary of quilted shapes to render a pristine drift of snow otherwise unmarred but for the long shadows of a pair of impatient snow shoes.  The viewer is quickly transported into the scene and the imagination races in anticipation of the wintery adventures that lie ahead…Oh! Canada.


Kate Madeloso - Home is on the Sea Ice

Home is on the Sea Ice by Kate Madeloso, 24" x 21"
KM: To the indigenous people of Canada, the polar bear is known as Nanuk - wise, powerful and almost human. This iconic sea animal is a source for stories, art and identity, as well as food and clothing for northern communities.

Ringed and bearded seals are the polar bear's main diet. Bears can detect seals' breathing holes up to a kilometer away.

This 'rider of icebergs' depends on habitat quality for survival. The loss of sea ice is a red flag to the current climate trend on our planet.

See more of Kate Madeloso's work on her blog.

Kathy Tidswell - My Peaceful Oasis

My Peaceful Oasis by Kathy Tidswell, 27" x 21"

KT: Early each morning I walk on the Trans Canada trail, steps away from my home in rural New Brunswick. Breathing the fresh air, I see wildflowers, majestic pines and an unpolluted river, and may catch a glimpse of fox, deer, an eagle and perhaps a person or two.

While travelling last spring in London and Bruges, I felt overwhelmed by the crowds. Relieved to return to my peaceful oasis, thankfulness for my special part of Canada inspired this work featuring 5 hand painted and thread painted ovals depicting sites from my walk.

See more of Kathy Tidswell's work on her website.

09 May 2017

A great experience: the SAQA “Creation to Curation” conference in Lincoln, Nebraska

(Photo credits and some writing credits: Maggie Vanderweit)

Regina Marzlin, our SAQA-Atlantic Canada Representative has just returned from her first SAQA conference, this year held in Lincoln Nebraska. Here is her enthusiastic report:


RM: The conference was a great success by all accounts. Really great fun, learning and networking. The Canadians there: Bethany Garner, Judy Martin and Maggie Vanderweit (all from Ontario), Jaynie Himsl (from Saskatchewan), Paulette Cornish (British Columbia), our own Christine Nielsen (SAQA board member, Nova Scotia) took many opportunities to connect. Here we are at breakfast, with instructions to be “goofy" for the photo!


Back row: Maggie Vanderweit, Regina Marzlin, Chris Nielsen, Jaynie Himsl, Judy Martin.
Front row: Paulette Cornish and Bethany Garner.

Regional representatives enjoyed two days of pre-conference workshops and tours. Led by the warm and wonderful Desiree Vaughn, Candace Phelan and others, we shared ideas for strengthening regions by building strong “pods” or "local connections” within large regions. This would mean that members in a local area could develop their autonomous self-directed group and benefit from SAQA’s amazing support and resources. 

So, we are always looking out for and appreciative of your ideas and initiatives to further that mandate. SAQA is about building community for art quilters and this means supporting each other in regular local meetings where possible. It can also mean exhibitions, retreats and zoom conference calls to include more distant members. We also learned about inspiring leadership, regional exhibitions, and getting grants for regional endeavours. 



Regional representatives, hard at work during pre-conference meetings.

Then, at the actual conference, we enjoyed 20 quick Lightning Talks on a huge variety of subjects. We had break-out sessions, panel discussions with Midwest artists and students from the local Textile and Fashion Department. I attended two workshops. One, presented by staff of the International Quilt Study Center, looked at the information we can gain from looking closely at both historical and contemporary quilts. In the second workshop, Candace Phelan helped us hone our presentation skills and "elevator talk”.

The executive and board shared great ideas and expressed their gratitude for our growing community. The hotel had a huge open indoor lobby where we all met for some meals and happy hour.


 Here’s a view of the hotel lobby from the 7th floor.

We had the chance to see all the new trunk show pieces in our SAQA Hospitality room during the conference.



2017 SAQA Trunk Show pieces on display in the hospitality room


We visited the Deeply Rooted show and the nearby Sheldon Museum Gallery- both wonderful. We also spent a whole day at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, a must see venue for anyone. We enjoyed their great archives as well as the current shows: Luke Haynes' log cabins (pictured below), Linda Colsh’s “Like Breath on Glass", a Japanese collection and SAQA’s “Layered Voices” exhibition.


Luke Haynes' log cabin quilts at the IQSCM


Michael James' department tour
Visiting the UNL’s textile/fashion building where Michael James is head of department was such a treat too. Having him give tours and talk about his work there was pretty special.

Michael James was also our keynote speaker. He shared his journey as a ground breaking art quilter. His latest exhibition “Ambiguity and Enigma” draws from his experiences as primary caregiver for his wife, as she moved through the stages of early onset Alzheimers. It was incredibly moving. He also included some amazing quotes in his talk.






The silent auction this year raised over $13,000. Thank you so much to all of you who contributed your fabulous work!


Conference delegates bidding on the 2017 Spotlight Auction

SO HERE IS THE HUGE NEWS: the SAQA board, staff and executive director have chosen TORONTO as the 2020 venue for the first conference to be held outside the USA. This is a huge honour and vote of confidence for Canada. SAQA-Central Canada representative Maggie Vanderweit will chair the local organizing committee. I'm confident that she will do a great job, and we hope that all Canadian members will work together to create an event to remember and make us all prouder than ever to be Canadian art quilters!

Next year's SAQA conference will be in San Antonio, Texas, April 3-8 2018 and the 2019 conference will be in San Jose California - both fabulous destinations. I hope many of you will consider attending one of these. SAQA conferences are a unique opportunity to meet your favourite art quilt rock stars, make friends and celebrate being an art quilter.

I would like to acknowledge Arts Nova Scotia's financial support in awarding me a professional development grant to go to the conference.

28 April 2017

Laurie Swim creates Time Goes By

You'll enjoy this timelapse video, by Teresa MacInnes and Kent Nason, of Lunenburg artist Laurie Swim creating "Time Goes By”. A nine-months process condensed into a 4-minute video!


Time Goes By from Teresa MacInnes on Vimeo.

See more of Laurie Swim's work on her website