Friday, April 8, 2016

Studio Art Quilt Associates Annual Conference

I had exactly 40 hours at home between our vacation in St. Lucia and my trip to Philadelphia.  The SAQA conference always seems to be scheduled immediately after our spring break vacation, but it is always worth it.  Despite the jet lag, I manage each year to have a wonderful time.

One of the highlights was a trip to the Barnes Foundation.  It houses an incredible collection of post impressionist and early modern art.  181 paintings by Renoir, 69 by Cezanne, 59 by Matisse, 46 by Picasso, all hung in a rather unique way.  The paintings are displayed as "wall ensembles," which allows comparison of works of different styles, places and times.  And they are interspersed with decorative metalwork, furniture and other collectibles.  There is an underlying theme to each ensemble, and the viewer is asked to solve the puzzle.  You could spend days in there trying to figure it out!
Outside of the Barnes Foundation -- no pictures allowed inside
The courtyard, with an iron sculpture diagraming one of Barnes' wall ensembles 
One of the best things about the conference is meeting up with old friends.
I bought Judith Roderick's piece in the silent auction.  Love her work!

The Texas contingent
Dinner with friends
The conference coincided with the artist's reception for Art Quilt Elements at the Wayne Art Center.  Great show!

Art Quilt Elements
One of the highlights of the conference was the keynote speech by my friend Maria Shell.  Her presentation on How to Walk, Talk and Write Like an Artist was both entertaining and informative.   And I'm not saying that just because Maria is one of my favorite people.

Maria looking fabulous
I also gave a (very short) talk at the conference, along with 23 other artists.  We used a presentation format called "PechaKucha," where you show 20 slides for 20 seconds each. The images advance automatically and you try to keep up with them as you speak. It was fast, furious and a great deal of fun! My topic was "Abstraction of Place," and I discussed my latest series, the Helsinki Harbor quilt and the Marsh quilt.  

Of course, you can't stay in Philadelphia for a week and not eat a cheesesteak.  Jay, Andrea and I went in search of a good cheesesteak on our last day there.  
It was a very very good cheesesteak indeed
We also visited the house where Edgar Allen Poe lived in Philadelphia.  Very interesting, and complete with a very creepy cellar.
Jay and Andrea and the Raven
 My room was on the 23rd floor of the Doubletree Center City, 2 blocks from city hall.  My room looked out towards the Delaware River and had a fabulous view.
Sunrise my last morning in Philly
It's been a great couple of weeks, but I am SO glad to be back in the studio.  Now, if I could only get to the bottom of that pile of laundry......


Kris said...

So great to see you in Philly! Hope to see you in Lincoln - and let's get a photo up!

Jay Dodds said...

What a great time I had with you and everyone else at the Conference! I have so many fantastic ideas roaring around in my head! Great pics on your blog!

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