Visioning Conference Highlights

May 19 through 21 Cat Larea, your Alaska Region Rep and Susan Christensen, your blog-mistress, were lucky enough to attend the SAQA Visioning Conference in Denver, Colorado.  The international event kicked off Thursday evening with an artists speed-dating icebreaker.  Artists sat at tables of 10 and had two minutes to share about themselves before a gong was sounded signaling the next artist's turn. 
Everyone had been asked to bring 50 business or post cards to hand out to their speed dates.  Great fun, and we all met at least 30 new artquilt friends.
Of the three excellent panel discussions, my personal favorite was entitled 'Off the Wall, Challenges and Rewards of Working Three-D' which featured artists Carolyn Crump, Jill Rumoshosky Werner, Mary Beth Bellah and Susan Else, who moderated the panel.  Above is Carol Crump with her piece 'Mother and Child' (measures over 7 feet tall).
Carol Crump with one of her large masks.
Jill Rumoshosky Werner with 'Splash'.  Jill is interested in words and creating a visual dictionary.
Jill with a politically charged piece 'Pork Sna-Fu' in mixed media and fiber.
Mary Beth Bellah sees her work as a conversation with her viewers.  Here she is with 'Party Animal', an exterior installation involving a quilted fabric surface over a fiberglass form, coated with UV sealant to protect from the elements.
Mary Beth with 'Fast Lane Teasers', one of her fabric tea pot inspired creations.
Susan Else showing one of her first 3-D pieces, 'Early House Cat'.  Humor is very important in Susan's colorful work.
Forced attendance at bingo games inspired Susan's quilted sculpture above.
Susan's life-size skeleton covered with quilted fabric was one of my favorite images.

Conference participants attended career and personal development workshops, lectures in curating and archiving quilt work, a gallery tour of SAQA exhibits in Golden, and a fabulous banquet on the closing evening among other events over the three days.
Cat and Susan are now be sharing Alaska Regional Rep duties.  We hope you will give some thought to what you would like to get out of your SAQA membership and share your good ideas at our May 31, 2011 quarterly meeting.