The SAQA convention was exhilarating and exhausting, inspiring and intimidating. Seriously. As exhilarated as I was by meeting so many other quilters and looking at some exquisite fiber art, I was also exhausted by almost nonstop socializing. As inspired as I was by looking at the work of some of the best fiber artists in the country and world, work unique in its vision and stunning in its use of color, I was also intimidated by the high standard of artistry and workmanship...and by conference speakers' advice that we art quilters start thinking like the CEOs of our own businesses.
On the inspiration scorecard: here are a couple of socks-knocking pieces, which I offer as examples of the dozens of art quilts at the convention, in galleries and on slides.
Take a look at Mary Pal's work. She works in--can you believe this? stiffened and hand-sculpted cheesecloth. http://marypaldesigns.com/new-index/
|Avo by Mary Pal|
So you can get the gist of the double-edged inspiration and intimidation emanating from this work. Some of the conference message was intimidating, too, in its focus on the business side of art. True, that kind of talk was appropriate to the theme of the conference, Capitolizing on Fiber. It's a pun: the conference program offerings focused on the business side of fiber arts--or capitalizing one's art--and the meeting took place in the nation's capitol. Right?
One of the speakers told us to put on our CEO hats as soon as we got up in the morning.
I'm not there yet.
Still, there was fun in socializing with established friends and meeting new ones.
I went to the conference for the networking and the schmoozing and the learning, but also for the opportunity to meet with some folks with, and for whom, I've worked, remotely, for years, in my capacity as a free-lance writer for the Society for Human Resource Management, (SHRM) http://www.shrm.org/Pages/default.aspx. SHRM is headquartered there in Alexandria, and so, once I sent in my conference registration, I made arrangements to meet face to face with Margaret Clark, a SHRM employee who, like me, is a lawyer, a product of a Catholic upbringing, married to a Jew, and a resident or former resident of West Hartford, Connecticut. Margaret and bonded around these things, and around parental late-life care issues, over dinmer at Alexandria's Taverna Cretekou http://www.tavernacretekou.com/
After my dinner with Margaret and exhilarating but exhausting experience at the SAQA conference, my travel buddy Carol and I flew back to Hartford on Sunday May 4, arriving around noon. After a two-hour pitstop, we drove northwest into the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains to Norfolk. CT, where, as part of our membership in the CT Fiber Arts Collective, http://www.ctfac.blogspot.com/ Carol and I were participating in a fiber art show, Northwest Corner, at the Norfolk Public Library. http://norfolklibrary.org/
It's a real privilege for our art to hang in this lovely old building.
One of my favorite features of the library: the Latin inscription on the mantel,
Sometimes I'm glad I studied Latin.
Here are six of the ten members of the CT Fiber Arts Collective, those of us who were able to get ourselves to Norfolk for the reception. Front row, left to right, Karen Loprete and Antonia Torres. Back row: Rosalind Spann, Christina Blais, Diane Cadrain, Carol Vinick.
Here are the library volunteers who made the reception a reality. Thanks, ladies!
L to R, Leslie Battis, Mary Ford-Bey, Angie Engle, and Sally Briggs.
|The reception was gratifyingly well-attended|
A woman whose daughter is about to be married at Norfolk's Infinity Hall bought Christina Blais' finely-tuned rendering of its funky old building. Congratulations, Christina!
In addition, Mary Lachman sold her small quilt Sea Grass & Waves, Karen Loprete sold a table runner, and I sold a string of felted beads.
I also had two art quilts in the show:
And what a lot of skilled artistry from my sister CFAC members.
Here's Rosalind Spann with Stella's Violin:
Here's Antonia Torres with Winter Red:
Here's Carol Vinick, wearing one of her own hand-dyed scarves, posing with her image of the Norfolk Library under a load of snow:
And here's Karen Loprete with My Secret Garden:
And we're getting ready for our upcoming shows, of which there are many, starting with Jazz Tones at Hartford's 100 Pearl Street Gallery from June 15 to August 23 https://letsgoarts.org/Gallery.
At the moment, though, I better unpack that suitcase.