Monday, January 23, 2017

Exhibition News - Ro Morrissey

Personal Space

Cotuit Center for the Arts

January 9-February 11

My View by Ro Morrissey

The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod (AFCC) will host its 10th Annual Member Winter Art Exhibit January/February 2017 at the Cotuit Center for the Arts. Forty-six Cape artists offer their interpretations of the theme "personal space." The exhibit will open with a invitation-only reception in January 2017 and will run through February 11, 2017.

SAQA member Ro Morrissey has a piece, My View, included in this all-media exhibit. The Cotuit Center for the Arts is located at 4404 Falmouth Rd, Cotuit, MA 02635 on Cape Cod. For hours and directions call 508-428-0669.

Friday, January 20, 2017

An Overview on Showing Quilt Art
by Nancy Turbitt

SAQA NM Regional exhibit New Mexico:Unfolding premiering at the NM Statehouse in Santa Fe, April 2013

Exhibitions are a major part of my concern as a studio artist. As a result of my involvement in the regional works of SAQA's Massachusetts/Rhode Island Region for the last three years, I have juried, curated, and exhibited in several shows. I personally had never exhibited my work before 2013. I often announce exhibits as they come up on this blog, so I thought it might be useful to discuss a few things here that I have discovered since I have been active in SAQA.

For those who are creating art in their studios on a fairly regular basis it may at one point become a priority to exhibit your work. How will the public know what is being created unless it is shown some way in a public forum? These days we have options. We can look to exhibit alone - a solo exhibit, with colleagues - a private group exhibit, with SAQA - a regional or all-SAQA exhibit (members only), online exhibitions - through SAQA's website or other online forums for exhibit or lastly in a juried group exhibit for a museum or gallery.

Fiber Exhibit at IMAGO in Warren, RI

Let's talk about the options. Solo exhibits are a necessary part of any artist's journey. Sometimes they can be a rather easy endeavor but they always take work. Your local library, community center, school, church, or business can often be a great way to ease into a solo experience. When you have a body of work that is photographed well in a portfolio, a website with your work included, or a brochure that shows a good deal of your work, you may want to start out looking in your own community. Of course, galleries and museums may be a bit trickier. They will want to see your resume as well with a proven track record of exhibitions under your belt. In the smaller venues you can expect that you will be responsible for hanging your own work and taking it down. You will also have to do your own publicity. This leads me to discuss adding colleagues to your exhibit.

Solo Exhibit by Dawn Allen

Two or more artists with work which shows well together may want to approach community exhibition spaces as a group. This splits the workload, splits the expense of publicity, and adds depth and quantity to the exhibit. Expect that the venue will want to see a representation of all artists work and may, in the case of an art center or gallery, expect resumes from all artists involved. This is a great way for a novice to ease into the exhibition scene, with the security of other artists included.

Often you will find calls for entry directly from galleries and museums around the country. Visions and Quilt National are two very well known biennial exhibitions calling on very experienced master quilt artists and in the case of Visions, the museum's membership. There are always smaller, less daunting, exhibitions that you can find to enter. In our region The Whistler House Museum of Art, NEQM, IMAGO in RI, the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, ArtSpace Maynard and The Fuller Craft Museum to name a few are amongst the venues which have hosted textile exhibits in the last few years. Outside our region venues like the Texas Quilt Museum, the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and repeating shows like Quilts=Art=Quilts at the Schweinfurth Art Center in NY, Art Quilt Elements at the Wayne Art Center in PA are all places you can look to for calls for entry. Quilt shows like IQF in Houston and Chicago, and MQX in Manchester, NH are another way to search for ways to exhibit. Some venues or shows may require you to join as a member adding to the cost of entry.

Show catalog for a Texas Quilt Museum exhibit in 2014

SAQA offers some of the best opportunities for a quilt artist to show their work. If you are a member you can enter any all-SAQA call for entry for the simple price of the entry fee. If you are lucky enough to be accepted, your work will travel all over the US and sometimes even abroad. SAQA assumes the cost of travel from venue to venue, the cost of insurance once they have received your quilt and the cost of all publicity including a full color catalog book. You simply have to get it to them and that is your only expense. There were 16 all-SAQA exhibits traveling in the year 2016. It's a great deal and offers a wonderful opportunity, if you jury in.  

SAQA's Seasonal Palette at NEQM

There has been a great deal of discussion about the all-SAQA shows lately. The last two big shows had over 500 entries each (SAQA allows up to 3 entries per artist per show) and accepted only a small amount of artwork (under 40). I won't say it is easy to get in. Look around at all the amazing quilt artists you know and whose work you see publicized by SAQA and other venues. You will be competing with these artists for space in a show. Attention to the theme, professional photography, and following directions from the prospectus, are very important when entering a big show.

Regional SAQA shows are sometimes easier to get in because not as many entries come in for them. Each SAQA member belongs to the region that they live in as well as a another region of their choice. A member can enter any exhibit from both the regions that they are signed up for. Remember, if you choose the UK as a second region and you jury into their regional exhibit, you have to assume shipping & insurance to get it to the UK. Regions do not have as much money for their exhibits, only what comes in from the entry fees. Often you will have to assume shipping and insurance costs for both sending your work out to SAQA and it's return to you. The last two MA/RI exhibits have created a catalog and several pieces (7 total) have sold in 2016 from the venues in which they were hanging.

Sue Polansky & Carol Vinick at the SAQA MA/RI Regional exhibit Art As Quilt, Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA

All this leads me to say that it does take some work finding the best places to exhibit and it takes a considerable amount of dedication to getting your work exhibited. But there is nothing more satisfying to an artist than seeing their work hanging in an exhibit. The best place I have found to find calls for entry is actually the SAQA website. SAQA has a great network of information about not only their own all-SAQA and regional shows but all the other big and smaller shows as well. I have often found links for the prospectus for other than SAQA exhibits on the website at

Coming up for all-Saqa shows are:
Textile Posters: Communication & Commentary, Deadline: January 31, 2017

...and newly announced all-SAQA exhibits for next year:
Dusk to Dawn, Deadline: January 31, 2018
Metamorphosis, Deadline: February 28, 2018

some other exhibits coming up quick:
Interpretations: Conversations, Visions Art Museum, Deadline: January 31, 2017
Pathfinders: New Territories, So Utah Museum of Art, Deadline: February 1, 2017
Fantastic Fibers, Yeiser Art Center, Deadline: February 4, 2017
ARTQUILTSrespite, PAQA South, Deadline: February 10, 2017

...and a bit further down the calendar:
Wild West: 21st-Century Quilts Salute the American Frontier, Texas Quilt Museum,     Deadline: March 1, 2017
Art Olympia 2017, Tokyo, Japan, Deadline: March 15, 2017

Go to Calls for Entry (all) at to check out their list of many more exhibitions. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum
January 23 - April 22, 2017

Horse Shoe Crab Dance by Tricia Deck
Evolutions 2017 was an open challenge to all quilters and fiber artists in celebration of yesterday’s traditions as well as tomorrow’s innovations. Evolution can be defined as growth -- a process of continuous change, from lower to higher or from simpler to more complex.
The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum (RMQM) encouraged quilt artists to interpret evolutions any way they chose -- on a personal level, on a global level, or perhaps related to changes and growth of their favorite means of creative expression, the quilt.

SAQA member, Tricia Deck has had a quilt jury into this exhibition. RMQM is located on 200 Violet St #140 in Golden, Colorado. The opening reception will be held Friday, February 3 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Exhibition News - NEQM

The Crit Group: 30 Years and Still Quilting
New England Quilt Museum
January 11 through April 29, 2017

Fragments #290 by Judy Becker

​This exhibit of works by five artists in fiber is a unique insight into the relationships of a critique group. Judy Becker, Nancy Crasco, Sandy Donabed, Sylvia Einstein, and Carol Anne Grotrian have been meeting each month for thirty years to support and sustain each other as artists. Nancy Crasco states, “the focus of our gatherings is always about the work: assisting with aesthetic and construction concerns, sharing opportunities to exhibit, discussing current trends in fiber, and providing the impetus to continue creating.”  All of the artists have gained national recognition and have exhibited widely in the United States and abroad.

Waters At Their Priestlike Task by Nancy Crasco

Chained Heart by Sylvia Einstein

Each of the artists has a distinct style which is acknowledged and encouraged by the others.  They agree that the scariest outcome of a critique group would be to have their works be similar.  Each artist has a different source of motivation or inspiration and employs a unique manner of working.

Latourel Falls by Carol Anne Grotrian

Golden Apples in the Sun by Sandy Donabed

The exhibit is currently open at the New England Quilt Museum (NEQM) and runs through April 29, 2017. The Curator's Reception and Gallery Talk with the Artists is scheduled for Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 11:00 am. There is a snow date set for the reception in the case of inclement weather which is February 4. The museum is located at 18 Shattuck St in Lowell, MA. Call 978-452-4207 for information and directions.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Exhibition News - NEQM

Along the Spice Route
New England Quilt Museum

Tumeric Caravan, Ann Reardon, Sanibel, FL

The New England Quilt Museum is host to an exhibit featuring 41 artistic interpretations of spices that refine modern cuisine. Open now through February 11, 2017, Along the Spice Route, offers an opportunity to discover the spices´ countries of origin, the importance of ancient trade routes, and the lasting connections between the world´s cultural heritages.

The Color of Enlightenment, Ricki Smith Silva, Scott Air Force Base, 

NEQM is located at 18 Shattuck St in Lowell, MA. Call 978-452-4207 for info and directions.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

New Publication

Digital Fiber Art

By Wen Redmond

New England artist and SAQA member, Wen Redmond, is publishing an inspirational book on alternative ways to compose and print on fabric, paper and subversive materials. Wen has been a fiber artist for decades and experiments with mixed media for unique results and presentations!

The book, Digital Fiber Art: Combine Photos & Fabric - Create Your Own Mixed-Media Masterpiece, explores inspirational printing. "Experimenting and trying new ways of doing
things are the cornerstone of my art making. This book will take you there. Digital Fiber Art is a dialogue between my inner imagination and you!"

Her book is available now as a pre-order on Amazon. Wen's work is available at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's galleries in Hanover, Meredith, North Conway, Nashua, and Concord, NH, Exeter Fine Crafts, Village Goldsmith in Dover, NH and the Sharon Art Center in Peterborough, NH.

Wen's Blog
Wen's Other Blog 
Wen's Etsy Shop

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Member Profile: Julie Neu

Julie Neu was recently kind enough to answer a few questions so we can all get to know her better. Some of you might remember her from our last meeting when she shared a wonderful children's book which she had illustrated with her art quilts.

When did you start making art quilts? I’ve been quilting for 20 years and like many, started out as a traditional quilter. My foray into art quilts probably started with a week in a design class at Quilting by the Lake in 2006. After that, I started a “Creative Play” project in which I went into the studio with the sole purpose of playing and I made a small art quilt each week.

What type of work do you do? I do two different types of work right now. I create realistic quilts to use as illustrations for children’s books my sister writes. I also create precise geometric pieced quilts that are inspired by Islamic tile designs.

Do you have a favorite color palette?
I love jewel tones – deep, rich sapphire, emerald, amethyst, ruby. I’d rather have beautiful batiks in those colors than the real gems.

Are you working on a particular theme or series now? My educational background is in Middle Eastern Studies. I have a BA in that and a Masters of Theological Studies in Islam. I studied Arabic for six years. I’m now finally putting all of that to good use with a series called “Arabesques.” I am making intricate pieced quilts inspired by the geometric tile designs of the great mosques and Islamic palaces of the world.

How do you work? My work starts at the drafting table. I bring out the protractor, compass, ruler, and a big eraser and draw a full-sized rendering of my design. If the design isn’t precise, the rest of it will never work. Once I have a design, I create plastic templates of each piece and use those to cut and mark the alignment points on my fabric. Then I sew.

What is your studio like and when do you like to work? I like to work in the morning, but I have a four year old so I work when I can. Because we have a child and needed to move into a larger space that had an actual bedroom for her, my studio space is an additional bedroom where one entire wall is a design wall. When we decided to buy the house, I described it to my mother and she said, “Great! I’ll have a place to sleep when I visit.” I responded, “Sorry, no, that other bedroom is going to be my studio.” She’s an artist too so she understood.

How are you making the most of your SAQA membership? Which aspects of the organization are you enjoying?
I’m absolutely milking my SAQA membership. I joined recently, but I don’t think I let a month pass before I applied for the mentorship program. Having a mentor has been invaluable for both the knowledge that I have gained and the encouragement that I have had. My business practice has certainly improved as a result. I also really enjoy the meetings. Our region consists of a wonderful group of talented, interesting, and kind-hearted artists and I enjoy the companionship, the education, and the inspiration that the meetings provide.

Do you design your art with a purpose in mind? Generally I do not. I made the book illustrations with the express intent of creating a book, but much of my work isn’t created for a specific purpose. The exception to that is a project that I started a few months ago called “Victims.” It’s a departure from my other work and is meant to be a very political piece, an art as statement piece. After the mass shooting in Orlando, I was sewing and reflecting and the idea for the project flowed down into my mind. The design was fully formed within a few minutes. I am creating a quilt that contains a block with the name of each victim of a mass shooting in the United States during the last 20 years in which more than 10 people have died in one day. The events span from Columbine to Orlando and include Sandy Hook, San Bernadino, Aurora, and a few that I was embarrassed to realize that I had forgotten about along the way. 185 people and 185 blocks. My intent at this point is to quilt it, leave it unbound (because I don’t think it’s finished), and mail it to Senator Warren.