Guest Post by Lisa Ellis, President of Studio Art Quilt Associates
Learn more about Lisa below.
I have returned from QuiltCon, held in Pasadena CA, from Feb 22-25. I was representing Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), a non-profit membership organization that is passionate about the art quilt. So why was SAQA (an art quilt-focused organization) at QuiltCon, the Modern Quilt Guild show — which is all about the modern quilt?
SAQA defines the art quilt as a “a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.” From SAQA’s perspective, this includes modern quilts! SAQA is trying to break down the barriers of categorizing art quilts as different than modern quilts. If they are original works, they are ART (and the quilt makers are ARTISTS).
SAQA had a booth in the non-profit area to engage with the quilt show visitors. We had one of our trunk shows which are 50 little 6” x 8” artworks that show samples of our members’ work. The trunk show was eye candy that brought people into the booth. You can see a portion of the SAQA trunk show in the photo above as I pose with QuiltCon attendees Joyce, Jone and Bernice. From there we could talk about our mission and benefits to membership — like our stellar publications, education, and exhibition programs.
In addition, we had a Special Exhibit called “Modern Inspirations: Art Quilts from the 1970s Through Today.” This exhibit showed how quilt artists from the early days of the art quilt movement in the 1970s were working in the abstract and geometric style. The modern quilt movement that started in the mid-2000’s built on the successes and aesthetic of earlier artists. Pictured above, Maria Shell, author of Improv Patchwork, holds the exhibit catalog.
Nancy Bavor, a former SAQA Board Member and currently the Director of the San Jose Quilts and Textiles Museum, gave a quilt history lecture about the art quilt movement which began in the 1960s. Nancy showed the influences of the modern art movement in the early days of the quilt revival, and how the trends continue today of current art influenceinh quilt making styles.
I was on the QuiltCon faculty and conducted three “before hours” gallery walks through all the special exhibits, to include the SAQA Modern Inspirations, and the AIDS Quilt, Carolyn Friedlander’s featured artist work, and MQG Quilts of the Month. It was a great experience to spend an hour with 35 visitors and to educate about curation, design, SAQA and the power of quilts in activism and healing.
QuiltCon is a fantastic show filled with amazing original works of art, exciting vendors, lectures and workshops: view a list of the 2018 winners.
About Lisa Ellis
Lisa Ellis is a quilt artist, teacher and lecturer, passionate about quilting and using quilts to make the world a better place. She frequently lectures on healing quilts and inspire quilters to get involved in using their love of quilting to improve health care centers and hospitals.
Lisa is the director of the non-profit organization Sacred Threads. Sacred Threads is a biennial exhibition dedicated to sharing our most personal quilts with themes of spirituality, joy, inspiration, healing, grief and peace/brotherhood. (Artistic Artifacts is now a proud sponsor of Sacred Threads!) The 2019 exhibit opens July 11, 2019.
Desiring to give back to the non-profit world, Lisa serves on the board of directors for organizations that have missions she strongly believes in. She is the current President of SAQA and Treasurer of the Quilt Alliance, which brings together the creative, scholarly, and business worlds of quiltmaking to celebrate and preserve our shared quilt heritage and inspire today’s quilters.