It’s my pleasure to announce: SAQA Connecticut has a new Co-Representative. Diane Wright has been a member of SAQA for years and has been very active in the Fiber Arts community, especially along the Connecticut Shoreline. She has attended most of our Regional Meetings and helps organize fiber art events through “Sisters in Cloth”, so many of you may have already had the pleasure of meeting her in person.
I believe Diane has a vision for the future of SAQA-Connecticut. Her efforts in organizing last year’s fiber art events in Guilford were part of a plan to make our State known for art quilts. Like me, Diane recognizes the tremendous amount of talent and expertise that our members possess. Our goal is to create an environment where artists are supported and encouraged at every stage in their creative journey. Please join me in welcoming Diane Wright as CT’s new Co-Rep.
Welcome aboard, Diane! ~Kate Themel
Meet Diane Wright: In Her Own Words
I have always been interested in art. As I child I used to tell my parents that when I grew up I was going to be an artist. Somewhere along the way I incorporated the feeling that I needed to be “something much more serious”. Translate that to be: considered more productive and relevant by my parents.
I have always studied art as time and circumstance allowed. It was real therapy for me during some stressful, high demand years. After I paid the last college tuition payment for my last child, I made the first of what would be many steps in following my heart. I followed the man who would become my husband to Australia to live for several years.
While in Australia I studied art. This time Australian Aboriginal Art. I became knowledgeable, was accepted in several desert communities and, along the way, developed a fine collection of Aboriginal Art. At the urging of some of those artist friends, I began to represent them to universities, galleries and museums along the East Coast when we returned to the US. Without actually working in my own right, I had joined the art field and was very happy.
At some point I needed a baby gift for a couple of friends in Japan who unexpectedly, and delightedly found themselves pregnant. I had sewn before. My grandmother was a quilter. My mother did every sort of textile work there was. How hard could it be? My traditional American patchwork baby quilt was the beginning of a two decade long love affair with quilting. While the quilting started out traditional, it wasn’t long until I heard the art quilt siren’s song. Since the mid 1990’s I’ve been passionate about my work. I tried to continue my representation of Aboriginal artists and explore art quilting, but when my husband and I were transferred from our home in Florida to CT in 2000, I decided to devote my energies exclusively to art quilting.
Bereft of quilt buddies, I started a quilting group from members of the local Newcomers’ Club. That group (with a core of the originals) has morphed over the years to become an art quilt group that exhibits locally and is enthusiastic in its support of SAQA.
I have always been inspired by nature and, because my Air Force father was relocated innumerable times, travel. Two marking events were the years that we lived in Japan and then my later life in Australia. I, and, naturally, my work, have been greatly affected by their cultures, terrain, colors and history. My artist style reflects these affections.
As for my goals, they are simple: I want to produce more and more work and have it be of such a quality that it receives recognition. I don’t think I’m alone, as most artists strive for recognition of their work. To that end I think it’s important to promote all of our work and SAQA is the perfect umbrella.
(images: detail of Tidepooling and Sticks & Stones and Diane’s SAQA auction quilt)