Launching the Great Fibre Art Adventure
Only a few days before departure on our ‘bucket list’ trip to the west coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island, I realized that this was an opportunity to connect with as many FAN (Fibre Art Network) members as possible. I’ve belonged to this group for several years and have met a number of members but how better to get to know people than to see where they create their work. It is also a way for me to personalize this bucket-list trip and thankfully my husband is fairly easy going and doesn’t object.
Initially I sent out a request to members of FAN but, with some prodding, I soon expanded it to include members of SAQA (Studio Art Quilters Association) and was pleased to hear from some members of SDA (Surface Design Association) as well. There is so much overlap in the membership of these organization that the word had spread!
I have been exhibiting with FAN since I moved from Ontario to Alberta in 2008 and this virtual group was my lifeline to the art world during the four years we traveled and live full-time in a motorhome. The adventures were worth the price of giving up a studio but the occasional deadline kept a spark of creative satisfaction alive!
So this is my plan – my hope at least! I will meet with and blog about as many of my artist friends as possible throughout and after this trip. I am already finding that travel and sporadic internet access control the frequency of my posts on this and on my travel blog.
The day before departure I met briefly with two FAN members while dropping off pieces for delivery to local shows that I may be unable to attend. Helene Blanchet and Alison Dean Cowitz are two FAN members with whom I have met a couple of times a month all winter for ‘Art Day’ where we compared notes on things we had been doing, work on projects for a design course we have taken this winter and generally challenged each other to see things from a variety of perspectives. I find this kind of interaction really recharges my batteries as
artwork can be a very solitary occupation.
Helene will be leaving soon for Cape Breton as her stay in Calgary is ending. I will try and work with Helene remotely so that I can do a post about her wonderful story pictures.
Alison, a new FAN member wants me to start with this group so shared a current project she is working on. A fuller blog about her work will come along later as well.
I was able to briefly meet with the first artist, Diana Bartlings before she left for a hockey banquet. She will be the focus of my first post.