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Monday, May 25, 2009
She's Baaaack!
I am SO embarrassed that I have not posted in 2 months. Excuses? I have plenty but, what's the point in having a blog if you don't post? One of my BFF's who now resides in So. California bugged me about it. Don't know why; we are both on Facebook and I do post there semi-regularly.....

Any way, I got home from Athens, Ohio Sunday afternoon. Why Athens? Well, the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) conference was held there in conjunction with the opening of Quilt National. I am now the co-rep for Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland-Labrador, and Prince Edward Island) and, since my partner, Laurie Swim, couldn't make it, I made a semi-last minute decision to go. And am I glad I did!

I went for the pre-conference and took a class with Deidra Adams on Photoshop. Now, I am still no pro with it but wow, did I learn a lot! Deidra is a wonderful teacher and has the patience of a saint. While there were a few of us with Photoshop experience, there were more without it. And, of course, we had many different versions of PS too. All the way from the old PS 7 to Essentials to CS 4 (yes, you KNOW I have to have the latest and greatest). To really muddy the waters we had 2 "loaner" computers. I thought it was great that OU had tell me, WHY would you have Macs and then run them on Windows??? Yes, both were running on Parallels and, despite the fact that I have Parallels, I could NOT get them out of Windows (I have Parallels but, now that I have used the Mac OS for 3+ years I am firmly a Mac person and have difficulty working with Windows except for my Quickbooks). The LOVELY woman I sat with, Cathy Smith, not only got stuck with Windows but had a new MacBook with a wonky touchpad (I suspect because of the Windows OS). Any way, Deidra spent a LOT of time working with us individually to help us learn the layers issues, etc. This class was WELL worth my time and $$.

During the actual conference we had a day of "mini-workshops." I ended up taking a class in "Marketing Outside the Box" with Lisa Chipetine (another wonderful, wonderful woman and the next president of SAQA). Great class. We did a more-or-less round table discussion of what we were currently doing and what was working and not working. Lots of great ideas.

Next, I spent the time writing in my ubiquitous notebook; filling pages with ideas on how to recruit and market us in my region.

Then I snuck into a Critique class led by Sandra Sider. Wow! Great class. Those who were actually registered for this were asked to bring a piece of their own work for critique and several people did bring work. We had a very educational experience AND got to see some wonderful work; both in-progress and completed. If you have never experienced one of Sandra's on-line critiques, google her and attend! And, added bonus if you are a member of SAQA, past critiques are archived on the SAQA U site! You can bet that I am going to be checking out these podcasts. One of my goals in Nova Scotia/Atlantic Canada is to get live critique groups going. I don't think there is anything that can compare to feedback from colleagues for getting help when you are stuck.

The last mini-workshop I attended was with photographer Gregory Case. Those of you who know me know I am a very enthusiastic photographer. Now, to become a GOOD (or, preferably outstanding) photographer, I am attending The Art Institute of Pittsburgh's online school to get my BS in Photography. I really would like to be able to photograph my own work and to provide the service to art quilters all across Atlantic Canada. Gregory's class was also excellent but too short. It would have been wonderful if he had taught one of the pre-conference workshops so we could have work available to photograph for practice.

Friday night was the opening of Quilt national and I can't come up with the adjectives to do it justice. Quilt National is the epitome of shows for art quilters and this year's show did not disappoint. There is a book published of the work but it just doesn't do it justice (no reflection on the photographer but the colour in the book was not true, tho better than years past and some of the works were 3-D so they MUST be seen in person to be appreciated). Among my favourites: Regina Benson's piece, Cathy Kleeman's, and, of course, Carol Taylor's. I would have purchased Carol's but I don't have a wall big enough to display it so I am working on mum and dad to buy it.

And don't think I walked away empty handed. Oh no. I went back Saturday when I left the conference and purchased a work by Nelda Warkentin that just would NOT get out of my brain. I have the perfect spot for it over my staircase in Chester. The show will travel for 2 years but, believe me, there isn't a piece in that show that isn't worth the wait!

That was Friday. Now I am going to back track to Thursday.

On Thursday we had a reps meeting which was very helpful to me as a new rep. I was able to meet reps from all over the US, one of my fellow Canadian reps, and the wonderful, talented and gracious European rep, Linda Colsh (whose work I have long admired). My fellow Canadian, Anna, has a real challenge on her hands as she lives north of Moose Jaw, Sask. which, if you don't know, is darned isolated. Yet, she has more members than we do! She ALSO had a piece in Quilt National! I am humbled....I've never even submitted. One of my goals is to submit a piece by 2013.

Ok, Saturday we had mentor sessions, a "boutique" set up for members to sell their work and we also hung the SAQA trunk show. This is SAQA's 20th anniversary and MANY members submitted small works for this. The trunks are available to members and guilds, etc. to show. There are 3 traveling trunks with 60 or 61 works in each. The works have been mounted and matted and they are great! One of the perks of helping hang the show was being able to flip the pieces over and see who they were by and read the artist's statement. I mentioned to our wonderful Executive Director, Martha Sielman, that there were many works there I would love to take home with me. Now there is a possibility that some may be offered for sale after they are done touring. Woo hoo!

In the afternoon we had a catered lunch and a presentation by none other than Alyson B. Stanfield of I have taken a class with her online before but listening to her in person can't be beat. After lunch there were other presentations but I ran out of gas and went back to the Inn for a snooze.

There were presentations that afternoon that I am sorry I missed but, when my body tells me it's had enough, I listen.

That evening we had a barbeque in "tailgate" park that was delicious. Of course, ignorant me, I brought a bottle of wine to celebrate Desi Vaughn's surviving her first stint organizing a conference. Hey, really, I didn't know you couldn't have alcohol in the park! Oh well. The guy in charge was kind enough to "ignore" the bottle of wine so we finished it.

It was rather hot and humid out, which I don't tolerate well, so I made my exit and headed to BW3 to watch the Penguins game.

Sunday morning I drove Alison Schwabe, Rita Hanifan, and Cathy Smith to the airport and headed home....

All in all, it was a great week.

I will post more, including the few pictures I took, tomorrow or Wednesday.....


posted by Teri Springer @ 7:54 PM  
  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger Regina said…

    Hi Teri,
    thanks for this great recap of your visit to Athens. As a fellow SAQA member who has - so far - never made it to any of their meetings it was nice to at least read about it. I moved here from Calgary where Anna Hergert was my rep, I'm so happy for her that she made it into QN this year. It would be great to have some local critique or other groups here in NS, maybe a trunk show, too? I look forward to see more pictures of your trip!
    Greetings from Antigonish,
    Regina Marzlin

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About Me

Name: Teri Springer
Home: Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
About Me: Studio Art Quilt Associates for the Atlantic Canada Region (New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island). Quote:Apples and Wine: Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they sometimes take the apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who is brave enough & smart enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree. Now Men... Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it's up to women to stomp the hell out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.
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