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Thursday, March 31, 2016

April News

Lots to read and absorb this month, especially Suzanne Loker's recap of her recent trip to South Africa...enjoy!

Special request: My goal is to upload posts on the first of each month. Please keep in mind that while I aim to accommodate every news item, sending them to me at the last minute can be challenging. I would greatly appreciate it if you could try to plan ahead and send your news so that I have at least several days at the end of the month to get it uploaded. Many thanks! - Betsy

Calls for Entry

Don't forget that submissions for "Visionary Conspiracy" are due May 1st. The full prospectus can be viewed on the Visionary Conspiracy page to be found in the sidebar to your right. Also, arrangements have been made for Southern Vermont members to drop off work with Jackie Abrams in Brattleboro; details on the prospectus page.

"Area Artists Show" at the Chandler
Once again Chandler Gallery will host its perennially popular "Area Artists Show", to run April 30 - June 11. Area artists and crafts people are invited to submit one example of their recent best work to be included in the exhibit. 
"Area Artists" are defined loosely as those from Central Vermont east of the Green Mountains - the primary region that Chandler serves.

Work will be accepted Sunday, April 24, 4-6pm and Monday, April 25 6-7:30pm
Small participation fee of $10 to cover advertising and reception expenses.
Chandler Gallery takes a 30% commission on any sold work, though work may be submitted that is not for sale. Please do not submit works that have been shown in Chandler Gallery in the past. 
Opening Reception: Friday, May 6, 6-8pm
Exhibit Runs April 30 - June 11
Regular gallery hours: Fridays: 3-6pm, Saturday and Sundays: 12-3pm

Save the Dates!

Exciting news - Karen Henderson has a new Studio! located at The Center for Arts and Learning (CAL) in Montpelier. CAL is home to organizations such as The Monteverdi Music School, The Summit School, The T.W. Wood Gallery and several businesses and artist/writer/musician studios. With spring here, it's been a perfect time to purge, re-organize and start to get settled into this new creative space. White there is much more to be done, a celebration is still in order. Please Save the Dates for an Open Studio and stop by! There will be art (finished and in progress), hopefully a loom dressed with 70/2 linen, and a wicked good spring cleaning sale on some art & art supplies...for anyone who is a fan of Karen's Inside Out Studio market works, there will be some pre-market season deals there too!

Open Studio Celebration
April 29 & 30
The Center for Arts and Learning
46 Barre Street, Montpelier
Basement Studio 1
*Follow signs posted at the doors*

Artwork Selected for Publication

With Thanks to the Mud Season Review Staff, two of Karen's pieces: Willing and Peripheral, have been published in conjunction with this month's Issue #18 Fiction feature piece "How I Found God in the Laundromat" by author Sam Gridley. The Mud Season Review is an international literary journal run by members of the Burlington Writers Workshop, a free writing workshop based in Vermont. They publish monthly: one story, one substantial poem or protfolio of poems, one essay or piece of narrative nonfiction, and visual art. The online journal showcases these individual works and their authors for a full month, by featuring interviews with the authors, inviting them to read their work, and offering them a virtual place within our workshop community. Print journals began in April 2015.

Art in Embassies

That First Peony  by Elizabeth Fram  
photo credit: Paul Rogers Photography

Elizabeth Fram's piece "That First Peony" was selected by curator Imtiaz Hafiz to be included in an exhibition at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Riga, Latvia as part of the Art in Embassies (AIE) program. AIE falls under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. and was created in 1963 to curate exhibitions of original artwork by American artists in the residences of the United States Ambassadors worldwide.  For five decades, Art in Embassies has played a leading role in U.S. public diplomacy through a focused mission of vital cross-cultural dialogue and understanding through the visual arts and dynamic artist exchange.


Please enjoy SDA Vermont Rep Suzanne Loker's recap of her recent trip to South Africa, including an invitation extended to all of you by the South African Quilt Association to submit work to the "Siyadala Quilt Festival - July 2017". Read on!

Inspirations from South Africa

by Suzanne Loker

Cape Town Suburb 

Cape Town Public Art
For SDA VT travelers, I recommend South Africa--I was lucky to travel there the past two years in January/February. I was a member of a research team focused on socially responsible apparel production. The South African apparel industry is in disarray, first from the sanctions of Apartheid and its lifting, and then from the globalization of the industry seeking low-wage labor. Some groups are working to reestablish the national industry with socially responsible practices as their competitive advantage. This was a primary focus in my former life as a college professor. 

Happily, I stayed a few days extra each year to do some touring and to meet some fiber artists! As I was going to spend the extra time on my own, I googled “fiber artists South Africa” for some names and contact information. I found several organizations representing and promoting fiber artists and sent an introductory email. The first year Jenny Hearn showed me around some galleries in Johannesburg and introduced me to her work as an artist (see and as one of the South African curators of a 2014 collaborative traveling exhibit focusing on Mandela. Michigan State University museum curator, Marsha MacDowell, organized the exhibit of US members of the 
Women of Color Quilters Network and South African fiber artists. You can view the US artists’ pieces HERE.

Some of the South African pieces were representational, incorporating Mandela’s image such as Sheila Walwyn’s "The Long Walk is Over".

"The Long Walk is Over"    by Sheila Walwyn

Others were more abstract such as Jenny Hearn’s "It is In Your Hands Now".

"It's is In Your Hands Now"    by Jenny Hearn

Another collaborative exhibit is underway this year to celebrate Desmond Tutu and several of the fiber artists I met will be part of that exhibit too.

Learning about the country through the Apartheid Museum, Soweto tour, and talking with South Africans, I was inspired by the cultural meanings and messages in the fabric artists’ work. This year in Cape Town, I was treated to a tea with seven artists who brought their work to show! I had asked for recommendations of galleries where fiber art was exhibited. Since fiber art is not in galleries yet (one gallery has now agreed to exhibit), they decided to bring the art to me. I was overwhelmed with the energy and enjoyment the group exuded, as well as by their art. Quite a few seemed to layer stitching/embroidery and bead/ribbon embellishments on top of pieced and appliquéd work. Many of the works represented events and natural history of South Africa such as the fires in the mountains near Cape Town in the near past, volcanoes, the Big Five animals viewed in safaris (lion, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, and water buffalo), and their national struggles with Apartheid. Very inspiring to me who is seeking methods to infuse my work with meaning. Below are several of the works by women I met.

"Freedom of Speech"    by Susan Wessels

 "Angry about Aids 4 – A Chink of Light"   by Margie Garrent

"Volcano 2"      by Jenny Hearn 

Siyadala Quilt Festival – July 2017
Every other year the South African Quilt Association sponsors an exhibit and invites international artists to submit. They have a category for contemporary art quilts. My new friends would be delighted if some of you were to submit…the challenge will be the shipping, but my contact, Jenny Hearns, has agreed to oversee and coordinate these details for you. Look at the website for more information, noting that it will be updated regularly.

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