The SAQA conference in Santa Fe was jam packed with information, inspiration, networking and good times. This year there were 3 break out sessions, with enough time between the sessions to network, and catch up with friends. We had a banquet with a key note speaker, a cocktail party with a silent auction, and lots of meals and laughs.
The conference is a high light of every year for me. I don't live near many SAQA members, so I don't get an intense experience on a monthly basis. Attending the conference helps me feel I'm with people who love what I love - and they also happen to be very friendly and kind to each other.
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to post about some of the things I learned and/or experienced at the conference in Santa Fe. For now, I'd like to say thank you to the organizers! Here's a photo that shows some of them:
Deb Cashatt (a huge volunteer and organizer of the auction at the conference), Kris Sazaki (vice president of SAQA and a Pixelady with Deb Cashatt), Martha Sielman (executive director and writer), Sandra Sider (behind Martha and present President of SAQA), Mary Pal (special exhibitions coordinator), Leni Wiener (exhibition committee chair) and Linda Beach (board member). Desiree Vaughn isn't it the photo, but she was the main conference organizer and had everything running smoothly.
The keynote speaker for the banquet on Saturday night was Geoffrey Gorman. He was smart, knowledgable and funny. Just the right mix of quirk and sincerity. He makes wonderful animals out of found objects and has a lot of experience in the art world. Geoffrey has been an artist, artist representative and had many other roles in and out of the art world. One of the things he said that stayed with me was "Our lives are transforming all the time, and so is our work". A good reminder that we don't have to keep producing the same thing - our art can grow and change as we do.
He described himself as an aggressive marketer of his own work, and always expresses to potential collectors that he's doing the best work he's ever done. He recommended that we know our work, its premise, and our market.
Geoffrey has some video's on YouTube that give you a quick look at his work, and give a sense of his humor and perspective on life. Take a look when you get a chance - his animals are full of life.
His work is in 6 galleries around the country, including the Jane Sauer Gallery in Santa Fe. Judith Content, one of my favorite fiber artists also has an exhibit there, and spoke to us on Saturday afternoon. I'll save that for another post!