It’s early February and temperatures have dipped to arctic levels once again. With the bright sunshine I am not letting winter get in the way. Summer plans are already in full swing and progressing nicely.
I decided that today is a good time to blog a little about the Art Quilt Campus experience. As you know, week one (July 20th – 15th, 2014) has been fully subscribed for a couple of months now. Week two (July 27th – Aug. 1st, 2014) still has a few openings and inquiries are arriving daily.
One of the questions most often asked by potential participants is “What will you be teaching?” Art Quilt Campus is not so much one workshop, it is a five day studio session with opportunities to explore ones’ own knowledge, push it further and to new heights.
Participants arrive late Sunday and after getting settled in the room we claim a space in the studio/classroom. This year we will even have a separate indoor dye space – a luxury never before enjoyed. We will not be exposed to the elements and the famous Saskatchewan blood thirsty mosquito. The dye space will be stocked with Procion dyes and an indigo dye vat will be started Sunday night or Monday morning, depending on everyone’s energy levels.
The welcome dinner will be followed by a short tour of the historic abbey. Fr. Demetrius, the guest master at St. Peter’s Abbey has already offered his time and knowledge. If the tour he gave us when I scouted for this year’s venue was any indication, this is something nobody should miss.
With the wonderful addition of our own group kitchen space and living room I am planning to gather everyone for an opportunity to mingle. The grounds around the abbey are beautiful and provide space for walks and solitude. I am packing my camera to practice some start trail and macro photography. Join me if you are interested.
Monday morning immediately after breakfast we gather in the class room. Anyone interested in dyeing fabric will have the dye room at their disposal 24/7 till Wednesday night. I will conduct a short orientation, provide samples and handouts with recipes, and you will have an opportunity to collaborate, experiment and push your experience farther. Once the dyers are comfortable in their space I will return to the classroom and meet with participants on an individual basis to determine goals, provide suggestions and assist in working out a plan of action. In the past participants have brought along sketchbooks, photographs and works in progress to receive individual feedback and create an indivdual plan of action. Last year several participants were preparing for exhibition. Art Quilt Campus provided them with an opportunity to receive feedback and instruction to explore additional techniques to complete the work with an original outcome.
As the week progresses, participants immerse themselves in their work. The classroom is open around the clock and can be accessed easily from the dorm. No need to step outside – if a glorious idea strikes in the middle of the night, the studio is only steps away.
Each group brings great diversity, in both skill level and goals. Groups are kept small to ensure I can provide feedback and suggestions to each person on an ongoing basis. Optional short design lessons and hands on demos of embellishment and finishing techniques are on the agenda for July 2014. Special requests will be considered. It helps me get organized better and plan for specific topics.
The evenings at Art Quilt Campus are as diverse as the work created in the studio. Monday night is reserved for “Show and Share.” Those who attended last year will bring work created then, newcomers will bring two or three pieces of the work representing their individual style. Each evening session lasts no longer than two hours. Many participants head back to the classroom to continue their work, and I make myself available for additional questions. Last year I didn’t see my room till well after midnight…
Tuesday evening participants have an opportunity to set up a mini mall where they may sell and/or purchase small art work. This was a great hit last year and I had special requests to make this happen again. Wednesday night is discussion night. Last year we learned about critiquing, how to prepare an artist’s portfolio , and how to prepare for exhibition. Art Quilt Campus participants will have the opportunity to submit questions for this particular evening session. Thursday night is Open House night. We will have a chance to invite friends and family to tour the studio for two hours and see some of the work in progress. For those students who travel a distance, don’t worry – invitation is optional. Those dropping by for the time we open the doors usually have questions and are eager to talk to all participants about their experiences.
I hope I have answered questions that were on everyone’s mind. Art Quilt Campus is not a set class with one curriculum. Essentially it is a time to work as individuals in a group setting. Each participant brings something unique and original to the studio. I have led these classes for several years now, my first “Studio with Teacher” took place at Quilting by the Lake in 2009. It was then that I realized and embraced this concept of problem solving and idea exchanges.
Art Quilt Campus is not MY workshop – it is YOUR workshop, a safe place to engage in personal work with tutor input modeled after my personal City & Guilds experience.
Here are a few excerpts from the Art Quilt Campus 2013 evaluations:
What I liked most about the week was: “…the personal attention and suggestions for new work.” “…the interaction and support and the ideas from the group.” “…cooperation, collaboration and relationship building with class mates.” “…the knowledgeable and experienced leader/instructor; instructor flexibility in accommodating participants’ interests and questions and collaborative approach during sessions of sharing.” “…the room was always open to create at any time! Not everyone can work during the same hours.” ”…your honesty in providing feedback and critiques – what you see is what you get.” “…inspiration from others, ideas from instructor, friendliness, camaraderie and openness of the group; encouragement to think independently at the dye stations as well as the cooperation among the group.” “…having the whole week to focus on my art with a group of like-minded artists guided by an attentive teacher who inspires and leads in an encouraging manner, giving me the courage and belief to carry on in my own individual way when I get home.” “…being able to communicate and connect with individuals on a personal, one-on-one level.” “…the opportunity to work with so many amazing artists who were so inspirational and willing to share on every level. I felt safe and valued in the atmosphere – it doesn’t get any better than that! I am leaving this week feeling much more self-confident about my work, my self-esteem has increased and for this I am very grateful to Anna and the other participants. What a gift I received this week.”
I can’t wait for summer! Hope you feel the same. I have six spaces left. Email me directly <firstname.lastname@example.org> with additional questions or to hold your spot until your registration arrives.