Saturday, May 9, 2015

SAQA Fiberlandia Convention, Portland OR

The SAQA Conference, Fiberlandia, took place in Portland, OR from April 30 - May 3. Both MA/RI Reps, Sue Bleiweiss and myself, Nancy Turbitt flew out to take in the whole event. Filled with interesting lectures, provocative break out sessions & workshops, panel discussions and meetings, it was punctuated with so many fun activities like the SAQA Maker Space, touring around Portland to shop/gallery hop and the Spotlight Auction. Nights were filled with time for camaraderie, dinners, and meeting/connecting with friends from all over the U.S. and abroad. We're sharing a few of our fun moments below.

Our first function as Reps was to attend the Rep meeting, pre-registration on Thursday. There were many Reps attending the conference including Maggi Birchenough from Birmingham UK who is a Rep for Europe and the Middle East and Margaret Blank from Alberta, one of three Canadian Reps. We did a little business, had lunch and then attended the vendor marketplace as attendees began to flood in and register. 

Lyric Kinard led us in an exercise in making quick art pieces to help us let go of the notion that all of our art must be perfect. Filled with hilarity and a bit of musical chairs we all had fun getting to know each other.

One of the weekend's panels consisted of SAQA's international community. Speaking at the podium above was Hsin-Chen Lin with her daughter as interpreter from Taiwan. 

SAQA's Maker Space took place on Friday night. There were seven tables giving demos to members who wanted to learn new techniques. Members then got to use machines, markers, glue and a whole lot of donated fabric to make something and take it home. I did one of the demos on how to use fabric markers to enhance your work. I was swamped with Makers all night.

Saturday night was the Spotlight Auction and Banquet. This event raised $14,000 for SAQA and was so much fun.

And we also had lots of spontaneous fun... 

Multnomah Falls just north of Portland

The Alberta shopping district, one of many neighborhoods in the city full of shops and restaurants

Rebecca Kemble of Iowa and Sue in the Button Emporium

One Who Looks Back by Christina Brown was one of many wonderful pieces in the Oregon Region exhibition "Exploring Layers"

Sue taking in the show

11 friends around a table eating tapas, Deidre Adams, Sue, Rosalie Dace, myself, Maryanne Williamson, Maggie Vanderweit, and Gul Laporte on one side of the table

The ultimate good time was a trip to Powell's Book Store where Sue found her new book on the shelf. She even signed copies for them. 

One final look back at the beautiful city of Portland, Mt St Helens, Mt Hood and the Columbia River on the way to New England at dawn. 

Next year the Convention will be close to home in Philadelphia, PA.

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