Monday, January 12, 2015

Great Turnout for Opening Reception of NBMAA Juried Exhibition (New Britain, CT)

Yesterday was the opening of the 45th Annual Nor’easter at the New Britain Museum of American Art (NBMAA) and the museum was packed!  Even Governor Malloy was there to support the arts and see the show. All three of SAQA-CT's participating artists (Phyllis Small, Catherine Whall Smith and Kate Themel) attended the reception, which began at 1pm.  Anna Tufankjian, who has been very involved with exhibitions at the New Britain Museum, was also there to support her fellow artists in Connecticut.

(Photos by C.W.Smith)

Visitors at NBMAA included Governor Dannel Malloy

Phyllis Small

Catherine Smith Catherine Whall Smith 

Kate Themel2 Kate Themel 

The exhibition was juried by Sharon Butler (Artist and Author of the Art Blog Two Coats of Paint).  A printed statement about selecting artwork for NOR'EASTER was posted on the wall, offering visitors an interesting look inside Butler's mindset as the juror. 

It reads in part, "It seems to me imperative that an artist demonstrate aesthetic maturity to have work displayed in a museum.  Accordingly, my main criteria for selecting art for Nor'Easter were that the artwork indicate an artist's dedication to his or her practice, and that it manifest coherence and direction."  Butler later went on to describe the work she did NOT select, "I tended to disfavor paintings which, even if well executed, struck me as overly familiar or sentimental. I also avoided the ones with clichéd titles that I considered too sweepingly philosophical and impersonal, preferring a less grandiose approach."

Full statement by juror Sharon Butler

If you were not able to get to the opening reception yesterday, please make the trip to New Britain to see the show.  The New Britain Museum of American Art is open 7 days a week and the Nor'easter exhibition runs until January 25, 2015.

New Britain Museum of American Art
56 Lexington Street
New Britain, CT 06052

p: 860.229.0257
f: 860.229.3445

Monday, December 22, 2014

Our Next Regional Meeting: Jan. 17, 2015 at Hartford Public Library (Hartford, CT)

SAQACT regional meetings are open to SAQA members and their guests. 

Reminder: MEETING RAFFLE - Don’t forget – if possible bring an item for our raffle. All monies collected will be added to out SAQACT account.

Sign-up for LUNCH
Thank you to our
Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective (CTFAC) hosts – we will be able to provide lunch for $10 per person.  DEADLINE to sign up for lunch is Tuesday, January 13th, 2015. Please contact Catherine Smith of your intent

The Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective

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RE: SAQACT- Next Regional Meeting - Saturday, January 17th, 2015 

PLACE:  Hartford Public Library
500 Main Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06103
(860) 695-6300

PARKING is available in the garage in back of the library as well as on-street all around this venue.  Check website for directions at

10:00 a.m. – Meet on the Main Level of the Hartford Public Library’s Center for Contemporary Culture.  Sign in to the meeting and if you have pre-registered for lunch  - pay at this time.

10:15 – 11:00 Presentation by CTFAC members: Christina Blais, Diane Cadrain, Carol Eaton, Mary Lachman, Karen Loprete, Linda Martin, Wanda Seldon, Rosalind Spann, Antonia Torres, and Carol Vinick. 

CTFAC members will talk about the development of their organization and their latest exhibition, "Art, History and Social Activism: CTFAC Honors Romare Bearden”.  The show will be on display at the Library from December 17, 2014 – March 13, 2015.

(image: Diane Cadrain stands with her exhibition piece "Fragile Ties")

Besides participating in the show the CTFAC artists will also have their hand-crafted items (scarves, jewelry, hats, pillows, notecards, placemats) for sale. 

11:15 - SHOW AND TELL – please limit to one or two pieces each


1:00  - The Library's Meet the Artists of CTFAC reception is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on the 3rd Floor, West. This event is free and open to the public.

For Sale: Portfolio 21 Martha Sielman has notified us that we will be able to offer the Portfolio 21 at the discounted price of $20 at this meeting. 

Up-date:  PARLOR MEETINGS  - Co-rep Barb Adams was able to schedule a small Parlor meeting for five members in her region.  They gathered the first week in December and made plans to do it again in January.  They did a “Show and Tell” and peer consultation which made for a lively discussion.  Barb noted “that the fact that none of us knew each other well added to the fun.  Making new friends is an excellent benefit of SAQA.”  

NOTE* We are always looking for new venues to hold our state meetings – we have some new possibilities but are always in need of your input – maybe in Southwest CT.

We end 2014 very thankful to all of you - your support, your friendship, and your willingness to be a participating member of Studio Art Quilt Associates.
This past year presented many opportunities for us to grow as a group and there is so much more ahead in 2015.
Our best to you, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year 2015!!    

Barbara and Catherine 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Visitors Enjoy First Friday and a Fiber Art Christmas Tree at the New Britain Museum (New Britain, CT)

SAQA-CT members were treated to food, music and artwork at the New Britain Museum of American Art's "First Friday" event on December 5th. Here are some pictures from the event (photos by Catherine Whall Smith)



This beautiful tree is decorated with various forms of fiber art created by SAQA-CT artists



This and other holiday trees will be on display at the New Britain Museum until January 4, 2015.


NBMAA Hosts Events on the First Friday of each month from 5:30-8 p.m.
$10 for Museum members, $15 Non-members
$3 for beer and wine, soda is free
First Friday features live jazz music performed by local and nationally known musicians. Attendees have the opportunity to view the Museum’s premier permanent collection, which includes 300 years of American art. Experience art activities and have intriguing gallery talks while you mix and mingle with other art and jazz lovers. Hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, and soda will also be served during the event.

New Britain Museum Of American Art
56 Lexington Street
New Britain, CT 06052


Thursday, December 4, 2014

SAQA CT Members Await the NOR'EASTER (in a good way)

Congratulations to SAQA-CT artists Phyllis Small, Catherine Whall Smith and Kate Themel, who will see their fiber art hanging in the New Britain Museum of American Art (New Britain, CT) as part of NOR'EASTER: The 45th Annual Juried Members Exhibition.

(image: In the Hay Field/Night by C.Smith)

The Annual Juried Members Exhibition is the New Britain Museum of American Art's opportunity to expose contemporary visual arts to a wide audience. This prominent showcase in the Northeast region highlights the exceptional work of emerging artists in all media.

Catherine Whall Smith's "In the Hay Field/Night" (image above) will be on display as well as Phyllis Small's "Ghost Town Interior, Bodie, CA" and Kate Themel's "Grandmother".

A list of all participating artists and prize winners can be found on NBMAA's website:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SAQA Artists are "Strutting Their Stuff" at the Simsbury Library (Simsbury, CT)

Several SAQA-CT artists have their work on display at the Simsbury Public Library, in the colorful "Roosters Strutting Their Stuff" exhibition. 


Congratulations to participating artists: Bobbi Morehouse, Diane Francini, Sandi Schrader, Robin Schofield, Betty Warner, Susan Vassallo, Judy Ross, Aurelle Locke, Phyllis Small and Laurie Dhandapani.

Visit the Library and meet the artists on Sunday, November 23 from 2 – 4 PM

Simsbury Public Library
725 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT 06070

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Last Call: NBMAA Juried Members Show "The NOR'EASTER" Entry Deadline Nov. 14th



The New Britain Museum's annual juried members exhibition is a prime opportunity for the Museum to highlight the exceptional work of emerging artists in all media and expose contemporary visual arts to a wide audience.

Once again digital entries (up to three per artist, $10 per entry) will be accepted through Café, the online application and jury management system, at Entry is open to current NBMAA members at least 18 years old. The deadline for submissions is Nov. 14, 2015.

This year’s exhibition will be juried by Sharon Butler, artist and author of the influential art blog Two Coats of Paint.

First prize: $1,000
Second prize: $500
Third prize: $250
Juror’s Award:
Upgraded NBMAA Membership to Friend’s Circle Level (includes North American Reciprocal Museum Membership) and NBMAA Blog interview
Visitors’ Choice: NBMAA Blog interview and write-up on the website

For more information contact Jenna Lucas, Development Associate at (860) 229-0257, ext. 231 or

Need help photographing your entry? Workshops are available. For info on important dates, view the Submission Guidelines

Website for submitting work:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Meeting Notes: Oct. 18, 2014 at New Britain Museum of American Art (New Britain, CT)

Bento_LoveIsInTheAirFROM: SAQA-CT Regional Reps Catherine Whall Smith and Barbara C. Adams

MEMBER UP-DATE: We just added three new members to SAQA in CT.  Please Welcome Clare Aliberti, Paula Fullar, and Robin DeMuth Schofield

RE: Minutes - Saturday, October 18th, 2014
New Britain Museum of American Art (NBMAA)
New Britain, CT

We would like to thank all of our members that were able to attend our regional meeting at the NBMAA.  We had a packed agenda and thanks to everyone we did cover everything with plenty of time for "Show & Tell". 

We enjoyed viewing the show "Let Me Quilt One More Day" and our meeting drawing brought in about $41 - thank you Carol Eaton for being in charge of the raffle.  This money will be sent on to Martha Sielman to put in our CT account.

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Our morning break out session enabled 6 - 8 members at each table to discuss and list goals and activities for 2105.  The list was long but here are a few highlights of what members want:

- Meetings that offer speakers and demos, suggestions:

  • design and composition, how to improve your work to the next level
  • art critique
  • professional development
  • finding venues to exhibit and sell your work
  • speakers from other CT quilt guilds
  • members speaking about their business or special interests

– More time for Show and Tell!

- Quicker summary of things that are already on the SAQACT blog

- Opportunities to connect with artists outside of CT Regional meetings, suggestions:

  • Classes and Workshops
  • Parlor meetings: small group of artists in a local area who can later provide feedback to the larger group
  • Working in conjunction with other fiber art groups
  • Joint meetings with other SAQA regions

- Opportunities to make artwork and get involved, such as:

  • CT trunk show
  • Group "challenge" just for fun, not necessarily related to an exhibition or show


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Attendees agreed that they would be in favor of posting members names and where they live in on our SAQACT blog. This list will facilitate small local group meetings that members could host in addition to our 4 - 5 sate wide meetings.

However, not all of our members were able to make this meeting. If you DO NOT WANT your town listed next to your name, contact Catherine Smith - or: Barbara Adams  -  

If you change your mind we can always add or delete your town. Feel free to leave a comment on this blog with your ideas and suggestions.

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NBMAA - Tree Decoration up-date: Even though Anna was not able to attend this meeting - her committee logged in all of the pieces that were dropped off. Her last email included this statement: "I must tell you that the work for the tree is very impressive. I feel like I want to write a note to each one who has participated, the quality is excellent and I'm so proud to be arranging them on the tree. It will be just what we were hoping for."  THANK YOU MEMBERS!!!!

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After our morning meeting - members toured the museum and the show  "Let me Quilt One More Day"  Check the museum's website for on-going events at the museum - including;

October 30th – film “Quilts Matter” – Parts 1 through 6 will be on view throughout the day.

November 11th – Family Day with Leslies Giuliani

December 29th – Family Day – GHQG

January 4th, 2015 – Show closes

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1 - SHOW DATES: April 15th - 17th 2016 - Piecemakers Quilt Guild

Place: Southbury CT Invitational exhibit -  committee of volunteers - Carol Eaton and Karen Loprete has been formed.  They will work with Laureen Pekar and Barbara Dieroff to come up with the specifications, deadline, etc. for this invitational show. Place: Southbury CT  (Barb Adams and Catherine Smith will also be a resource for this committee.)

2. - SHOW DATES:  September 26th, 2015 - January 17th, 2016 - Place: Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Mass.  "ART AS QUILT" - juried show open to MA/RI and CT SAQA members - On line entry opens May 1st, 2015 - closes May 31st, 2015. Notification goes out June 30th, 2015. Accepted quilts must be received by July 31st, 2015.

3 - NEW COMMITTEE: SAQACT Trunk Show - We will be developing our own SAQACT Trunk Show.  This will enable our group wo have something available  to share with guilds, libraries, galleries, and art centers to promote SAQACT.  Betty Warner, Nancy Monson, Mary MacIlvan ( and Hope Barton as a back up) will work with Rita Hannafin to get this project off the ground.  Their charge is to come up with the size specifications, and deadline for submission as well as other important "stuff".  (Barb Adams, Catherine Smith and Diane Wright will also be a resource for this committee.)

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CT Rep Catherine Whall Smith

CT Rep Catherine Whall Smith

CT Rep Barbara C. Adams

CT Rep Barbara C. Adams
b.c.adams @

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