Saturday, October 20, 2007

SAQA conference

I had a wonderful time this weekend meeting some talented fiber and quilt artists at the regional SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) conference in Charlotte, NC. Nancy Cook and I co-chaired this event, which was held for SAQA’s Virginia/North Carolina/South Carolina region, but open to other artists in the area. We had about 30 attendees (only some of them are in the group shot above).

We started out at the McColl Center for Visual Art. Ce Scott, director of residencies and exhibitions, (in the black top and khaki skirt) gave us a tour of the facility and answered our questions about artists residencies. The McColl Center's residency program is ranked among the top 3 percent in the country, and among the top 10 percent internationally. The McColl Center is located in what used to be a burned-out church in the middle of Charlotte’s "uptown” and is a spectacular facility.

On Friday evening, South Carolina artist Ellen Kochansky talked about her experience producing work on commission for public and private clients. We also had a slideshow of conference participants' work.

Early Saturday morning, we hung some of our work on the staircase outside our classroom at Central Piedmont Community College's Levine Campus in Matthews. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to see these artists' work up-close and talk with them about it. Here are Dottie Moore and Lucy Lustig hanging one of Dottie's pieces.

Dorothy Moye of Davis-Moye & Associates talked with us about how she represents artists to her clients. Joie Lassiter of Joie Lassiter Gallery talked about working with artists, and what she thinks about when selecting works for exhibitions for corporate clients. And Christie Taylor of Hodges Taylor Galleries gave us her perspective on building public and private collections, and gave us insight into the gallery owner-artist relationship.

After this, artists Ginny Boyd, Nancy Cook and Dottie Moore described their experiences with artists' residency programs.

Then most of us headed for the Mint Museum of Craft + Design for Fiberart International 2007, a fantastic exhibit of cutting-edge fiber art. On Tyron Street, outside the museum, we got to see the quarter-mile long string of fiber constructed as part of the McColl Center's "Threads of the Community event." It stretched between the McColl Center and the museum. A friend, local artist Janet Lasher, helped on this project.

The event was set up to coincide with Fiberart International 2007, on view at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design through Feb. 24. It was very cool to see all the different kinds of fiber in this string.

A docent walked us through the museum. Here are some photos of our tour (unfortunately, photos of the Fiberart International exhibit were not permitted).

All in all, a very educational and inspiring weekend.