SAQA – Studio Art Quilts Associates- has a conference every two years in Athens, OH. in conjunction with the opening of Quilt National at the Dairy Barn.
The Dairy Barn, Athens, Ohio
I went for the first time in 2007 and have been anticipating going again ever since. When Del had to cancel her trip this year, I very nearly canceled mine as well, but I am so glad that I pushed out of my comfort zone and went alone.
This year’s conference was held at the Baker Center on the beautiful Ohio University Campus. The facility was perfect, containing space for the seminars, exhibits, banquet and the best college food court I have ever seen, all under one roof! Shuttles ran from the hotels for those who did not have their own transportation. The Saturday evening BBQ was held nearby in a lovely park and the weather couldn’t have been better. Kudos to the organizers who must have put in a lot of work to make the whole thing look so easy!
Seminars that I took were “Time Management” with Gwyned Trefethen, “Digital Designing with Layers” by Deb Cashatt and Kris Sazaki, Critiquing Art Quilts” with Sandra Sider and “Marketing Outside The Box” with Lisa Chipentine. They were all very well done and quite informative and I think that they will all be very beneficial to me. Speakers and panel discussions were also most interesting and I especially enjoyed hearing the Jurors for this year’s Quilt National discuss the jurying process.
Juror Katie Pasquini-Masopust summed it up by saying “It’s a crapshoot”. I think they had to choose 85 pieces out of over a thousand entries and some artists have entered it for many years, in fact they offer an award for Persistence for the person who finally gets in after entering for many years – this year two people got the award after having tried for seven times!
There were some very nice entries selected this year, it was hard to choose which one I liked best. As usual there were those that leave me shaking my head and wondering “Why?”. You can see the winners here.
One of the highlights of the conference is the auctioning of “The Box” and this year it went for $10,000.00, the same as last year. The Art Gallery In A Box is handmade by an artisan woodworker from exotic, beautiful woods and has 12 artfully arranged drawers each containing a 12 x 12″ art quilt by a famous art quilter.
That is out of the range of most of us, but in September you can bid on similar works from the rest of us during the annual on-line auction.