Monday, September 23, 2013

New Art Center Planned for Cheshire, CT


Ball & Socket Arts will transform the former Ball & Socket Manufacturing Co. building in Cheshire, CT into a multi-disciplinary arts center and community gathering place.

The Ball & Socket site was a working factory for almost 150 years, from 1850 until 1992. The company produced decorative buttons and metal fasteners.  The site is 3.02 acres, with six buildings housing 72,000 square feet of interior space.

The Ball and Socket Arts group is raising funds to renovate and rehabilitate this beautiful and historic site to include art galleries, performance spaces, studios, classrooms, shops, restaurants and more. Final purchase of the site will take place in March 2014 and work will begin immediately. Opening is planned for the summer of 2016.

The vision for Ball & Socket is to:

  • Transform the historic factory and grounds into an arts and entertainment complex
  • Present curated exhibitions of professional artists with a focus on contemporary art, and provide exhibition spaces for regional artists and community organizations
  • Present professional music and theater performances and provide opportunities for community organizations
  • Present a curated film series and screenings of work created by film and animation students
  • Offer classes, workshops and lectures taught by regional professional artists for children and adults, and engage Artists in Residence for special courses
  • Create vibrant outdoor public space around the buildings including a sculpture park and art walk, with direct access to the Farmington Canal Linear Park
  • Establish a fine-dining restaurant, casual food court and culinary demonstration space which will feature guest chefs and offer classes in culinary arts
  • Host a collection of shops to complement the arts experience

Join Ball and Socket Arts in creating a new arts center in the heart of Connecticut

Contribute October 2 - 3, 2013 and your gift begets a gift of its own!

Ball & Socket Arts is kicking off its drive to transform the factory into an arts center and gathering place by participating in The Great Give 2013, a 36-hour online giving campaign sponsored by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. Matching funds and special prizes will make every gift go farther.

To learn more, visit:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Three CT SAQA Artists in New Exhibition: Totally Texture (Newtown, CT)

SAQA artists Nike Cutsumpas, Barbara Drillick and Norma Schlager will participate in a new exhibition with FiberWorks, a creative group made up of Connecticut fiber artists.

(Image: Readying for Rebirth by N.Cutsumpas)

Totally Texture:
An Exhibit of Contemporary Fiber Art by FiberWorks

October 4th - November 7th, 2013

Cyrenius Booth Library
25 Main Street
Newtown, Connecticut

Library Hours
Monday - Thursday 9:30-am - 8pm
Friday 11am - 5pm
Sataurday 9:30am - 5pm
Sunday 12pm - 5pm

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Light a Candle on Sept 23 for Yvonne Porcella, SAQA's Founder

A message from Sue Bleiweiss:

The quilting world considers YVONNE PORCELLA to be the Godmother of Art Quilting and for good reason. Yvonne's books and teaching have reached worldwide. Her quilts are in major museums and collections. Thousands of quilters name her as an influence and inspiration. She has studied, collected and celebrated fiber arts through history and from around the world while she herself moved from designing and sewing unique wearables to making art quilts.

Her quilts reflect her celebration of ethnic fiber arts, her love of color, her sense of humor and her upbeat view of life. Along the way she saw a need for a forum for professional development and advocacy for recognition of art quilting as contemporary fine art and for a resource hub. That vision led to the founding of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) in 1989.


Yvonne Porcella is also a member of that club no one asks to join—that of cancer survivor. Right now she hopes to stay in the club. You've sent wonderful cards, you've made beautiful quilts which have been so appreciated as they have soothed the soul, buoyed the spirit, warmed the heart and given her support. Yvonne's glowing strength also emanates from her beliefs.

So we, a group of her friends wondered if we could get the word out so that there would be a blaring chorus of voices all asking for the same miracle. A massive worldwide candle-lighting with the same prayer for the miracle Yvonne needs now—remission.

We asked Yvonne to pick the day for this blaze of light. She chose September 23, 2013 and explained that it is the feast day of St. Pius of Pietrelcina, aka Padre Pio who is known for his holiness and miracles.

Will you join us in lighting a candle for Yvonne on that day? Please also spread the word as far and wide as you can—invite your friends to participate and to also spread the word. Let's see if we can get this message to go viral so there will truly be a massive day of light and prayer for remission for Yvonne.

For those of you on Facebook, Yvonne's friends have created a page where you can post a message and photo of your candle. You'll find that here:

Thank you so much!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bidding Has Begun! SAQA Benefit Auction 2013

As of today, 82 pieces have sold and SAQA has raised $17,400.  Don't miss your chance to take home your favorite 12x12 art quilt!

Here are a few examples, celebrating the colors of autumn. Enjoy!


How the Online Auction works:

The Auction is run in three sections (Section 1 - Pages 1a and 1b; Section 2 - Pages 2a and 2b; Section 3 - Pages 3a and 3b).

On the first day of each section's auction, the price for each piece in that section is $750. The next day (at 2:00 Eastern), the price drops to $550. The third day, it drops to $350, then $250, then $150, and finally $75.

The first section will begin September 9th at 2:00 PM Eastern.
The second section will begin September 16th at 2:00 PM Eastern.
The third section will begin September 23rd at 2:00 PM Eastern.

Prices by day:
Section 1 - September 9  at 2:00 Eastern - $750
Section 1 - September 10 at 2:00 Eastern - $550
Section 1 - September 11 at 2:00 Eastern - $350
Section 1 - September 12 at 2:00 Eastern - $250
Section 1 - September 13 at 2:00 Eastern - $150
Section 1 - September 14 at 2:00 Eastern - $75
Section 2 - September 16 at 2:00 Eastern - $750
Section 2 - September 17 at 2:00 Eastern - $550
Section 2 - September 18 at 2:00 Eastern - $350
Section 2 - September 19 at 2:00 Eastern - $250
Section 2 - September 20 at 2:00 Eastern - $150
Section 2 - September 21 at 2:00 Eastern - $75
Section 3 - September 23 at 2:00 Eastern - $750
Section 3 - September 24 at 2:00 Eastern - $550
Section 3 - September 25 at 2:00 Eastern - $350
Section 3 - September 26 at 2:00 Eastern - $250
Section 3 - September 27 at 2:00 Eastern - $150
Section 3 - September 28 at 2:00 Eastern - $75

You bid by filling out the online bid form (which will be "live" when the auction begins). You can bid on up to 7 pieces at a time. First bid on each piece wins. We will then ship the artwork to the winning bidder by insured USPS Priority Mail.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Classes: Art Guild of Middletown (Middlefield, CT)


The Art Guild of Middletown holds its next Demonstration on Thursday, September 12th, 2013 at 7 pm. It will feature Wild Life artist Pat Morris.

imagePat, a native of Connecticut, began her art career in the 1970’s with a focus on pet portraiture. By 1980 she was also painting wildlife, in particular the wolves that she had come to know in her association with a wolf ambassador program in Connecticut. Through the years she continued to enjoy the challenge of the depiction of animals, both wild and domestic. She works primarily in pastel which she will be presenting but also enjoys acrylic, oil paints and drawing with pencil or silverpoint.

imageOur next workshop on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 9:30 am will be a Plein Air workshop lead by Jacqueline White. Jackie works in oils but will open the workshop to all mediums.

Jackie’s oils are done primarily on location wherever her travels take her. Her paintings summon ephemeral moments and emotions that are conceived in nature. Her rich color palette and lively brushwork capture the scents and sounds of the land; the rushing streams, rolling surf, nesting birds, rustling grasses and salted winds of New England.
Register at


Are you an artist or interested in Art? Come to monthly art demonstrations and learn how to make Drawings or paintings in Pastel, Watercolor, Oil, or Acrylic! Learn about color, paint, composition, design, artists' tools, framing, etc.!

Meetings and demonstrations are held at 7 pm on the second Thursday of the month (January, February, March, April, May, September, October and November). Meetings and demonstrations are free for members and $5.00 for non-members.. 
Several workshops are held throughout the year. Cost for workshops is $85 for non-members and $75 for members. Membership is $25 for one year. Residency of Middletown or Connecticut is not a requirement. Meetings/demonstrations/workshops are held at the Middlefield Federated Church
402 Main Street
Middlefield, CT

Sunday, September 8, 2013

New Art Quilt Workshop: North Country Studio (N. Hampton, NH)

As of today, there is still room available!  Deadline for application is December 1, 2013
JAN 28 – FEB 2, 2014

Style results from who you are and what you care about. This workshop will encourage you to stretch the possibilities, working with favorite fabrics and designs, but also exploring their opposites. 

Using basic techniques—piecing, construction, sewing tips, and shortcuts—you will develop ideas into well thought-out compositions.  Along the way, you will find meaning that is not obvious or automatic, but that demonstrates who you are as an artist.

Basic sewing skills needed. Download Materials List.

For more information about this and other workshops, visit:

North Country Studio Workshops
PO Box 247
North Hampton, NH 03862
Telephone: 603-380-4520

Quilt National '21 is Coming to Connecticut

Congratulations to Catherine Whall Smith , whose quilt "Transfusion in Two Parts" will be on tour with Quilt National '21.  Th...