Sunday, November 22, 2009

SAQA Transformations/Reflections 09

Saturday Artist's Talk at Guilford Art Center (

In support of Studio Art Quilt Associates' fabulous exhibit Reflections, we (in the person of Linda Zimmerman: invited exhibiting artists to come to the Art Center to talk about their work. We were very lucky: Debbie Bein ( and Judith Plotner ( came last week, staying over after attending the Opening Reception. This week Andrea Limmer from VA generously accepted our invitation to chat with viewers all afternoon about her work "A Walk in the Woods".

The exhibit is generating a lot of buzz about art quilts. Fingers crossed that the feet in the door is so great that we will be asked to mount more exhibits!

Thanks to all who made this possible...and there are many!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Studio Art Quilt Associates' Reflections 09

Viewing (but not touching, honest) Denise Linet's "Squam Lake-Early Autumn" is Aurelle Locke, Yvette Howard and Judy Ross. Behind Aurelle and Yvette, peeking out, is a partial of Pat Kroth's gossamer "Bits of Gold". Two of the pieces in the fabulous SAQA Transformation 2009 Reflections traveling exhibition now on display at the Guilford Art Center, 411 Church Street, Guilford CT ( Aurelle and Judy drove down from the Hartford area today to join Yvette and me to see the exhibit and...of course...lunch. In fact, we ran into another CT/SAQA member, Mickey Lawler, who also had driven down from the Hartford area today to see the exhibit.

With a ton of help from my trusted team of exhibit installers (Linda Zimmerman, Robin Wolek, Barb and Roger Adams, and David Wright) this exhibit opened last Friday.

Why am I only now posting? Good question. My husband sometimes tells me that I keep trying to fill a five pound bag with ten pounds of stuff....okay, that's a paraphrase. But, he's right.

The good news is that the opening was a huge success! And the steady stream of folk through the exhibit since then, with all their compliments, is very satisfying.

The exhibit will be at this venue until January 3 when we take it down and pack it up. Ours is its first venue in the US (it previewed at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England) and it's only venue on the East Coast! How lucky we are! Next it travels to Alaska, Oregon and San Diego.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Back from Ghana

We have returned from an amazing three week cultural exchange trip to Ghana, the home of the most hospitable folk on the planet!

Everywhere we went curious children asked for their photos to be taken...and we accommodated! Irresistible!

We were hosted the first week by a young family in Akosombo, a town created by the Volta River Authority when the dam forming the Lake Volta (the second biggest man-made dam in the world) was constructed. We were taken into their hearts and home like long lost members of their family.

The last week we were hosted by a vibrant family in Cape Coast, the ancient capital and early slave-trade port operated in turn by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. Their early forts make for grizzly, sobering visits. It's important for tourists to visit and take home the memory of those horrors...along with the memories of the warm welcomes offered by our hosts and the beautiful beaches.

In between there were Durbars (chiefs' celebrations) in Ashanti territory, tasty spicy food with wonderful new aromas and textures, dancing with drumming at the drop of a "hello", and the markets and streets filled with vendors selling everything imaginable.

We were in country when Ghana's Under 20 Soccer Team won the World Cup!!! (Our host town erupted!!) And the MVP, the goalie hailed from the little town of Offinso in the Central Region where we were hosted for the second week.

The women pictured wearing those incredible fabrics were two of the celebrants at the Durbar performed for us at the Cedi Bead Factory near Kumasi in the Central Region.

Each bead is made individually from recycled glass...amazing...even the decorative dots added on each bead are made from a recycled glass slurry and fired again in the kiln.

The two things that peaked my interest the most, with respect to purchasing, were fabric (what a surprise) and beads. There was ample time to fill an extra suitcase with incredible African fabric. I did focus on that which was made in Ghana...with just one beautiful print from Mali. I also tried to focus on fabric made at the textile factory in Akosombo (Akosombo Textile Limited or ATL).
I have to say it was difficult not to buy more fabric...but...that wasn't the focus of the trip.

It was once in a lifetime experience....I hope I get to see our host families again!