Last Minute Opportunity for Exhibit in Anchorage

A last minute cancellation by an artist presents an opportunity for someone to be the January featured artist at the Fiddlehead Gallery, Anchorage, AK beginning January 7 at the First Friday Art Walk.
The schedule and particulars are:
• January 7 opening and reception 6-9:30pm. Work hangs in gallery for the month of January. Work is typically up on the wall on the 6th.
• Fiddlehead space description: 10' high x 15' wide wall. On 4th Avenue, downtown Anchorage.
• Information to submit: Inventory list and price list. NFS ok for some work.
• Contact Katie Sevigny 907.441.2722 cell preferred.
• Fiddlehead Gallery phone 907.258.2787

Katie owns a second larger gallery on 4th Avenue, Anchorage called Sevigny Studio. Please contact Katie if you are interested in being a future featured artist.

What are you driving?

I learned to sew as an eleven year old on my mom’s Singer.  As a twenty-something, my parents gave me a Kenmore which served me well for many years as I made my own clothes and eventually sewed for my children. When I was bit by the quilting bug in the late 90’s, I spent my permanent fund dividend on my first really good machine.  Here in this town, serious sewers are split into two camps – Viking and Bernina.  I bought a Viking because that was the brand my quilting teacher swore by.  Eleven years of non-stop studio art quilting later, I wore out her free-motion ability and purchased another Viking.   
It took several months of tearful frustration to get used to the differences in my new machine, but eventually we bonded and now I wouldn’t trade her for the world – for my free motion work.  
I do all my piecing on the little Singer Featherweight a friend sold me when she found another Featherweight at a garage sale in Juneau and couldn’t justify keeping both.  

My sewing set-up - I invested in Koala furniture several years ago and love the efficient space utilization it provides.  Having both my work-horses available simultaneously is a non-negotiable necessity.
So what are YOU driving?  Send me a photo of your sewing machine(s) – minimum 1mb, jpeg format – and I’ll put together a post of the favorite sewing machines of the SAQA Alaska Region.

Quarterly Meeting Recap and a Word from Your New Blog-Mistress

About half a dozen of us had a good meeting on Tuesday evening.  Two of us attended via the internet magic of 'Go-to-Meeting'; the others were assembled at the Energy Center.

Linda Beach, our Co-Representative, is stepping down at the end of the year.  She and Cat Larrea asked that all members consider assuming the responsibility of Co-Rep.  Living in Anchorage is not a requirement, and it's a great way to get to know SAQA members both regionally and nationally.  Contact Cat if you are interested in the job or would like more information.

After everyone enjoyed sharing recent accomplishments and work in progress, we kicked around ideas for a regional creative project, something that would bring us together across the state.  Our next meeting will probably be held in early February, 2011.
Work in progress at my studio in November

And now a word from your new Blog Mistress:  When Cat and Linda announced that a new blog administrator was being sought, I was immediately interested.  Living in isolated Petersburg on Mitkof Island in Southeast, starting my own blog a little less than a year ago has provided a rich way for me to connect with other artists all over the world.  I want build stronger ties to my fellow AK Region SAQA members, and hope to get to know you and your work through managing our blog.

Do you have a show coming up?  Are you teaching or taking a class?  Have you got a new art book or technique you want to share?  Have you seen a great art exhibit somewhere your travels have taken you?  What’s on your design wall?   Get the word out through our SAQA Alaska Region blog.  Email me with your photos – maximum file size 1mb per image – and stories.  I would love to post something new every week!

Quarterly Meeting Coming Right Up

The SAQA Alaska Region quarterly meeting will be held Tuesday, November 30th, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Energy Center.

The Art Quilt Collection - A New Book

Nelda Warkentin's quilt, "Bird of Paradise", is featured in a new book titled "The Art Quilt Collection, Designs and Inspiration from Around the World".  The book, published by Sixth and Spring Books, includes an introduction by British author and lecturer Linda Seward.

Fiber Art at Gunboat Bay Lodge, Canada

The Surface Design Association Alaskan Members, one of which is Julia March Crocetto, are currently showing their work at Fibre Works Studio and Gallery from September 18 through November 7, 2010. The exhibition pieces can be viewed at .

October SAQA Mini Gallery

Nelda Warkentin, Linda Beach and Susan Christensen will have work in the upcoming October SAQA Mini Gallery. The guest curator for the month, BJ Parady, has chosen the theme of "Twilight" saying "Twilight is a reflective, peaceful time - the wind dies down, the colors gray. These pieces evoke that feeling of calm to me, the time when I find my center again after a hectic day. Some are abstract, some are realistic, but all are tranquil."
Pictured here are Nelda's "Arctic Circle", Susan's "Forest Ladders" and a detail image of Linda's "Map of Shadows". This mini gallery and others of recent months can be seen on the SAQA website under Virtual Galleries on the home page.

Quilt Expo

Maria Shell has had two quilts, "Albert Hofmann's Obit" and "Owsley's Owls", accepted into the sixth annual Quilt Expo at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The expo takes place September 9-11 with more information at .

Fiber Art Part of Sandhill Crane Festival

The Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival will be held on August 20 - 22 with various events, including a raffle for a quilt by Karin Franzen. "Spring Ushers In" was donated by Karin to benefit Friends of Creamers' Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks. For ticket information, see . The drawing will be on Sunday, August 22 at 7:00pm and the winner need not be present.

Tongass Rainforest Festival

Susan Christensen is currently busy with several projects. As she says, "I am working on several small, three-dimensional figures for the Tongass Rainforest Festival coming up September 3-12 here in Petersburg. Most of the work will incorporate fabric that I created in the fabulous lichen dye workshop presented by Karen Casselman ( of Nova Scotia during last years' festival. I also made a muslin figure which I
have buried out in my woods
until the week before the art show, hoping the time underground will stain and mark the muslin in wonderful ways."
For more information on the festival, see The art show opening is Friday, September 3 at the Clausen Memorial Museum in Petersburg. You can follow the progess on this and Susans' other work via the link to her blog under the Members' Blogs section of this site.

Inspiration - Video of Ree Nancarrow at Work

In 2007, Ree Nancarrow accepted a commission to create a fiber art piece for the Eielson Visitor Center in Denali National Park. Video of Ree at work on this commission, titled "Seasons of Denali", has been posted on the parks' website and can be seen at This fascinating video is 7:45 minutes long and offers a glimpse of her various techniques and inspirations.

The Quilted Surface VI

The Quilted Surface VI, a QSDS invitational exhibit, was on display from May 14 - July 1 at the Ross Art Museum in Delaware Ohio. This exhibit included the work of Diane Melms and 39 other fiber artists from the U.S., Canada, Japan and Israel. Pictured here is a detail of Dianes' work "Chroma Stack #6". For more information on the exhibit or QSDS see and .

Fiber Art in Soldotna

An exhibition of fiber art by Ann-Lillian Schell and Jan Wallace is currently on display through the month of July at Kobuk Kaladi coffee shop ( for hours and location) in Soldotna. According to Ann-Lillian and Jan, the artist scheduled for this month canceled, resulting in a last-minute phone call requesting a replacement show at 1:00pm July 5. By 9:00am the next day, their exhibition was hung with the help of friends. Described by the artists as "eclectic", they invite everyone who will be in Soldotna in July to stop by.

Reflections of an Earlier Denali......

"Reflections of an Earlier Denali - the Art of Ree Nancarrow " will open with a reception on Friday, June 4 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm at the Charles Sheldon Center, Denali Education Center, Mile 230 Parks Hwy. This is an exhibition that has never before been seen in one place: the silk screen prints that Ree Nancarrow created in the late 70's and early 80's.

The Crabb family built the McKinley Village and started a legacy across the Nenana River from the National Park. Linda Crabb collected each of Ree's thoughtful prints (all made without the aid of running water!) that reflect slices of life in Denali. Mindi and Karen Crabb, Linda's daughters, have generously offered to share this unique and one-of-a-kind collection throughout the summer.

Presentations will be made at the opening reception by Ree Nancarrow and Mindi Crabb about their connection to the silk screen collection and their history in the area. The exhibition will remain on view for most of the summer.

Rasmuson Individual Artist Fellowship Awarded

The Rasmuson Foundation honors and supports artists who are dedicated to serious artistic exploration and growth. Diane Melms has been awarded one of the Rasmuson Individual Artist Fellowships. This award offers financial support for artists to focus their energy and attention for a one year period on developing their creative work. Diane will be busy in her studio this year, dying fabric, exploring surface design techniques, and creating a new body of work.

Birds of a Feather.....

The Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council will be presenting "Birds of a Feather & Fish Together", an exhibit of new work by Carmel Anderson and Susan Christensen. The exhibit will be at the Main Street Gallery, 330 Main Street, Ketchikan from May 7 -28 with an opening reception on Friday, May 7 from 5-7pm. Included in the exhibition will be 22 new works by Susan - whole cloth quilted paintings and monoprints done with thickened procion on cotton.


"Glacier Study #1: Crevasse" by Nancy Dobson was juried into the Art Quilt Associations' show "Abstractions". The show is a special exhibit at the Mancuso Denver National Quilt Festival V behing held April 29 through May 2. More information can be found at .

American Quilters' Society

Kathy Harte did the machine quilting on "Confusion" which was accepted into the American Quilters' Society Exhibit in Paducah, Kentucky. The quilt was created by Nancy Parmelee of Sonoma, California and inspired by the work of Escher.

More on the All Alaska Juried Exhibition......

Diane Melms work, "Under the Influence", was one of 46 pieces out of 433 submitted that was juried in to the upcoming All Alaska Juried Exhibition. The exhibition will open on May 22 at the Anchorage Museum before eventually traveling throughout the state. More information can be found at .

Best of Show - All Alaska Juried Exhibition

Juror Michael Darling from the Seattle Art Museum chose a piece by Maria Shell as Best of Show in the upcoming All Alaska Juried Exhibition XXXIII to be held at the Anchorage Museum. The exhibition will be on view from May 22 through October 3 in Anchorage then travel to various venues throughout the state.

Quilt Visions 2010 Artists Announced

Quilt Visions 2010 "No Boundaries" artists were recently announced, including Nelda Warkentin and Linda Beach. The exhibition will be open October 24 through March 13, 2011 at the Oceanside Museum of Art, Oceanside, CA. Pictured are details from Nelda's work "Before Sunset" and Linda's "Tenacity". More information can be found at .

Heartstrings Award

ArtQuilt Elements 2010 opened with a reception April 17 during which it was announced that Linda Beach's work "Dawn" had received the Heartstrings Award for excellence. The exhibition will be on display through May 19 at the Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA. More information can be seen at .

Transformed Treasures

The Salvation Army is sponsering their 3rd Annual Transformed Treasures Auction Luncheon on May 1 at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel. More than 100 one-of-a-kind treasures will be auctioned to the highest bidder including work by Judy Wedemeyer. Pictured are placemats made by Judy from ties purchased from the Salvation Army thrift store and created specifically for the auction. This event and photo were also featured in the Anchorage Daily News Sunday Life & Arts section on April 18. More information on Judys' work for the auction can be found on her blog (see the link featured on the lower right under Member Blogs).

Alaska Contemporary Art Bank

The Alaska State Council on the Arts is purchasing "In the Spotlight" by Linda Beach for the Alaska Contemporary Art Bank collection. For the first time since 2001, a panel of jurors selected 17 works from artists around the state to be added to the collection.
An exhibition of the new pieces purchased for the collection is tentatively scheduled in June at the grand opening of new office space by the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

Quilt National 2011

"Quilt National 2011" has announced that they are accepting entries for this upcoming 17th biennial juried exhibition of contemporary art quilts. Nelda Warkentin is one of three jurors for this prestigious exhibition that will debut at the Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, Ohio on May 28, 2011. Entry forms and information can be found at the Dairy Barn website .

Anchorage Museum Gala

"Salsa", a 52" x 42" quilt by Nelda Warkentin, along with work by six other artists, has been selected for the live auction at the Anchorage Museum Gala. The event will be held on Saturday, April 10, Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center, Anchorage. Tickets can be purchased by calling Arby Williams, 929-9226.

The Next Generation of Fiber Artists......

Diane Melms recently completed a Fiber Art/Surface Design class with students in her after school Studio Art classes. Her students range from the 3rd grade through the 12th grade. In this seven week session they started with ten pieces of white fabric and were guided through the processes of low emersion dying, fabric painting, glue resist design, printing with stamps, monoprinting, fabric piecing, fused applique, machine stitching, hand stitching, soft sculpture and embellishment. Their completed artworks will be on display at Great Harvest Bread Co. in Anchorage through April 4. Additional images are also posted on Diane's art class website at .


"Confluence/Influence" is an invitational exhibit with new work and collaborations by Talkeetna artists including Julia March Crocetto at the MTS Gallery, 3142 Mountain View Drive, Anchorage. There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 19 from 5:30-7:30pm and a second First Friday reception on April 2 from 8:00-10:00pm. The exhibit will continue until April 10.

Fiber Art at Artique

In conjunction with the Fiber Festival, several quilts by Nelda Warkentin are on display until March 31 at Artique, Ltd., 314 G St., Anchorage. Pictured here is "Afternoon Breeze".

The Tame and the Wild

Karin Franzen will have several pieces on display at the Pacini Lubel Gallery in downtown Seattle during the month of March in an exhibition titled "The Tame and the Wild". Pictured here is "Quietus", 42"h x 33"w. The techniques used are described by Karin as follows - "It actually has four layers of sheers - the top two are hand-dyed and printed. The lower two are synthetics that add some glimmer and deepen the hues of the piece. The images are built up from recycled clothing. And I did use some oil paintsticks on it and also hand stitching with heavy cotton thread." More information on the exhibition can be found at .

ArtQuilt Elements 2010

Linda Beach will have work in the upcoming "ArtQuilt Elements 2010" juried exhibition which will be on display from April 17 - May 19 at the Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA. More information on the exhibition can be found at .

Mark This

"Mark This" is an exhibition by the members of the Alaska Surface Design Association which opens with a reception on Friday, Feb. 19 from 6-8pm at the MTS Art Center, 3211 Mountain View Drive, Anchorage. Described as "a fresh perspective on line, symbol, signs, tokens, dent, landmark, score and scribe", the exhibition continues through March 12. The show will move to the Conoco Phillips Atrium for the weekend of March 13 and 14 as part of the Alaska Fiber Festival.

SAQA member Denise Gallup is co-curating the show as well as having work included that continues to explore the use of fabric/paper collage with stitching. Pictured here is "Her Topographies", a mixed media work by Denise. Julia March Crocetto also has work in the exhibition, a quilt titled "Summer".

More on 500 Art Quilts.....

A second SAQA member, Nelda Warkentin, also has work included in the recently published book "500 Art Quilts". Her piece, shown here, is titled "Palmaceae".


"Confluence/Influence", a Talkeetna Artists Invitational exhibition, will be at the MTS Gallery, 3147 Mountain View Drive in Anchorage on March 19-April 10. Julia March Crocetto is curating the show which will feature the work and collaborations of approximately seven artists working in a variety of media. Julia will have several small quilted silk pieces as well as an installation on display.

Patterns of Influence: Elements of Change

The Fairbanks Arts Association welcomes Ree Nancarrow as the Juror for this years' "Patterns of Influence: Elements of Change" Juried Exhibition. Ree will be presenting a lecture on her Denali quilt on Monday, Feb. 1 at 7:00pm in the Blue Room, Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts, Pioneer Park, 2300 Airport Way, Fairbanks. Photo: "East Fork", 12" x 12"

500 Art Quilts

Ree Nancarrow has work included in the recently published "500 Art Quilts". More information on this book can be obtained at . Ree also has work included in a book due out this May, "1000 Artisan Textiles".

Alaska Fiber Festival Comes to Anchorage

The Alaska Fiber Festival will be held in Anchorage March 5-14. Among the teachers scheduled is Carol Taylor, our newest SAQA Board Member. To find out more about the events during the festival, see their website at .