Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wine, Women and "Wow!" - Part II

On Friday, May 5, our first SAQA Western Canada Regional Retreat got into full swing.  The topic of the day was that of the overall retreat: "Out of the Studio, Into the Wider World".

First up, yours truly and my colleague, Valerie Wilson of Winnipeg (Regional Co-Rep, MB/SK), spoke about our experiences showing in galleries in and around our respective locales -- Valerie, from the urban perspective, and me, from the rural perspective.  I'd been concerned that we might be travelling over familiar ground for many, but in the end, over all, I think it was well received.

The next part of the morning featured Certified Appraiser, Dawn Hunt of Canmore, a SAQA Associate Member, speaking about how quilts are valued, why valuing one's quilts -- whether traditional, vintage, antique or more contemporary studio art.  She did an analysis of the prices asked by members who'd volunteered this information prior to the Retreat, and shared a detailed spread-sheet thereof with all of us.  It's in tiny print so I've yet to read it in depth, but her synopsis of the data was that "...prices were all over the map" -- which is the conclusion SAQA Board Member (then Co-Rep, Atlantic Canada) Chris Nielsen, drew when looking at the price list for the My Corner of the World exhibit last year -- and which was one impetus for our having this topic at our retreat in the first place.  :-)

After lunch (all this food for thought requires fuel!), artist and teacher Susan Purney Mark of B.C. took to the floor for a discussion about using Social Media more effectively to get our work into the public eye.  Many artists appear to be reticent about diving into various avenues of Social Media -- especially Facebook -- for fear of inability to control how one and one's work is viewed, shared and used.  Susan gave examples of blogging, Facebook use and connections between one form of media and another, with tips and tricks on how to use them most effectively, and to our best advantage -- safely and securely.

Susan gave us a short list of "Points to Ponder" which, it seems to me, are valuable whether specifically related to using Social Media for our artwork -- or for entering the "exhibit fray" altogether.  I list her questions below with what I think of as parallel questions with respect to exhibiting at all (in italics).

  • Why do you want to be involved? (Why do you want to exhibit your work?)
  • How will you be (or are you now) posting/writing? (How are you showing your work now? Are you showing, selling or both?)
  • Where will you interact? (Which platforms for Social Media?) (Where will you exhibit? What type of venue?)
  • When are you interacting? (What's your time commitment?) (Ditto.)
  • What is do you want to say? (Content) (What is your artistic voice? What types of pieces do you produce?)

After all this stimulating and thought-provoking discussion, it was time to unwind!  Despite the heavy rain, about half of us piled into a shuttle van to take a 3-stop winery tour.  First up: Quail's Gate, where the detailed tour took us from overlooking the vineyards to viewing the vats and learning the process, to tasting a variety of finished products -- all under in the hands of the capable, informative and charming Guillaume.  It was a challenge to choose what we wanted to bring home with us!

From there we travelled to both Mt. Boucherie and Mission Hill wineries for more sampling, and purchasing.

Mmmmmm.....and here I'll leave you....Part III to come!

Photo credit: Quail's Gate Winery


Kate said...

All of the speakers and topics sound great. After that full day, I am surprised you had the energy for the winery tour. Though winery tours are such fun.

Judy Warner said...

Happy to read about Part II. Sounds like a fun gathering. Looking forward to part III.