Tuesday, May 7, 2013

SAQA Conference in Santa Fe, Part II

If you have just popped into my blog, you will find that this post is a continuation of my previous post. This year's SAQA Convention was in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is a recollection of my week-long stay in NM with my daughter Andrea for the convention and some sight-seeing. The previous post took in our first few days, Tuesday through Friday. Here you will read about our last days in NM, Saturday through Monday.

After breakfast on Saturday morning, I found myself with a lot of time for checking out Santa Fe. I had not signed up for the workshops running on Saturday. I ended up waiting for my lovely daughter to get herself ready so I used the time to start to translate a quick drawing I had done earlier in the week from a photo taken from my room window. I travel with goodies to create mini quilts including pre-fused fabric pieces.

Really all you need is an iron and board and you are in business. I always pack a tube of 'iron off' in case I make a little mess but I haven't yet. So Saturday morning before we went cruising, I cut and ironed the first layer of a mini of Santa Fe. I will sew all these pieces when I get home, adding more layers and some details.

This is how the piece ended up by the time Andrea was ready to go for the day. It is now waiting for time on the sewing machine to get finished off. As I am working two pieces I want to enter into a juried show by June 1, this mini will have to wait a bit.

We drove right downtown and parked in a garage for the day. Heading to the square, which was hopping with people and some live music, we went straight to the Palace of the Governors to look through the wares on display. I had to add a bit to my turquoise jewelry collection. According to the sign this was the site of the first chapel in Santa Fe.

There are galleries everywhere in Santa Fe. We passed through a few of them. Andrea loved the antelope guy that we saw in many places.
And then there are the rows and rows of shops. We needed to buy gifts for those back home and found a great leather shop which fit the bill for most of it. It was a lovely, sunny, warm day and we did a lot of walking.

What would Santa Fe be without the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi! I have seen the Cathedral from the outside before but never had gone inside. We decided to go in and it was just beautiful.

There were bands of hand painted designs running up the walls and all over the ceiling. The picture to the right is part of it as it ran down the wall. It was about a foot wide and the lovely golden color is gold leaf.

In the '70's in the northeast, Catholic churches went through a purging of their interiors, getting rid of all the statues and paintings of the saints which had been there for years. Many beautiful pieces of art were re-organized and we never saw them again. I am very glad that they did not do any purging in this Cathedral, as the artwork was just breathtaking. We saw three other churches on Saturday, lighting candles in each for friends and family. We even saw the oldest church in the country, San Miguel.

Not only did we see the oldest church, but the oldest house as well. Unable to go inside, we could see the primitive ways in which it was built just from the doors and windows.

I got exhausted early in the afternoon. Yes, the altitude was wearing on me even though I drank water like a fish all week. On the way back to the garage we walked down the Santa Fe Trail and saw this plaque in a wall along the way.

Saturday evening was the banquet and this year it was a buffet filled with delicious southwestern fare. After eating we were treated to a talk by Geoffrey Gorman, an artist creating unusual sculptures of animals out of found objects. He was a natural speaker filling the room with humor. Some of what I took from his experience was a need to find the right market for unusual art, to believe in your work and to be your own best supporter of it. He has made some videos about his process which are wonderful. It's well worth checking out on youtube, just search his name and you will have many videos to choose from. You can also find his work in the Jane Sauer Gallery jsauergallery.com.

Sunday morning was the ending of the convention. To send us off in style, they planned a panel discussion with five SAQA members hailing from New Mexico, Betty Busby, Ed Larson, Katie Pasquini Masopust, Kay Khan and Terrie Hancock Mangat. Each of the five showed us slides of how their work evolved through time as they spoke about their styles and their journeys. Each brought a piece which was hung behind the panel. The first photo is a piece by Betty Busby and the second, which is being photographed after the discussion was over, is by Terrie Hancock Mangat. 

The room was packed and it was a great way to end the weekends festivities. Great job by all in SAQA and by the girls in New Mexico especially for hosting such a great convention.

Left with a whole afternoon, Andrea and I took off to the Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks. We did two walking trails, one high in which Andie drove our Ford Focus up a dirt winding road to the top of a mountain. And the other was at the base of the rocks which is what the picture shows. They were so impressive!  

We spent the balance of the day walking in and out of galleries on Canyon Rd.

Monday, our last day in Santa Fe was a full one. We got up early to trek up to Taos. We took the scenic route up which went through some very quaint towns like Chimayo, Truchas and Trampas and Carson National Forest. We got a bit lost in Truchas as our GPS system went out. But it was fun. In Taos we first went to the Pueblo, which you can see to the right with Andrea dwarfed by not only the pueblo, but the mountains and big sky. Walking through the square in Taos, we found a quilt shop and got lost in the bolts of fabric for a while. We stopped for burgers in Sonic just outside of town and discovered a huge family of prairie dogs living next to the fast food. Got some fun pics of the little buggers. 

Finishing up our stay in Taos, we drove over the Rio Grande as it passed through the Taos Gorge. Parking on the far side we started walking over the bridge to take pictures. Andie got only about 20 ft. and froze. Let me tell you that this photo does not do justice to the massiveness of this gorge. It's a long way down from that bridge! I went out about halfway to take pictures. I have never been to the Grand Canyon, but this has to be near as impressive.

And so our trip to the Land of Enchantment came to an end. Tuesday we flew all day long to get back to Little Rhodie. Many thanks to SAQA for another wonderful convention and many thanks to all the SAQA volunteers from New Mexico who made our stay in their state a real pleasure. See you all in DC next year!

My next post will be to catch up with what I am now doing in the studio. As I have mentioned, there is a juried show coming due on June 1st which I am trying desperately to finish two pieces for. Not only do I have to finish them, I also have to have them photographed. May not make it, but I am going to try. 


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