Thursday, October 3, 2013

The making of "Wide Horizons"

SAQA Europe/Middle East is as large region, with different sensibilities, and a mixed bag of cultures, landscapes, and languages - but with an interweaving of history and creative expressions in a large, rich and interesting diversity.
In 2006 Gül Laporte and Linda Colsh had the idea of a special SAQA Europe/Middle East show after seeing what SAQA was doing in Houston, and I applied to be the curator for the 1rst edition.
Finding a name for this show was a pleasant and puzzling task... and “Wide Horizons” is the perfect one.
A lot of details had to be decided on, and I had great fun doing it! My wish was to give every SAQA artist of the Region the possibility to enter a quilt; so there was going to be no size restriction, no prescribed theme: it just had to be new creative work respecting the SAQA rules of an art quilt, and fitting with the title of the show.
Then began the real work with the choice of the jury, the advertisements in Magazines, the reception of the cds, the computer work (at that time it had to be done by the curator) of writing the acceptance and the rejection letters by e-mail, being very careful to avoid any mistake... and finally the arrival of the quilts with opening the packages, and at last the hanging on the walls for Wide Horizons I at the Espace des Tisserands in September 2008.
As a the location, the Carrefour Européen du Patchwork in Sainte-Marie-aux Mines was absolutely perfect; and thanks to Christophe Crupi, Director of EPM at that time, we had a very strong support from the Carrefour’s Committee. SAQA Europe/Middle East is very grateful for this support, which has continued ever since. M. Crupi originally wanted Wide Horizons to be an exclusive exhibition of the Carrefour; but since Wide Horizons III – and thanks to Gül Laporte who found all the locations - the exhibit travels for one year through many important venues in Europe.
Whenn it all began, I wanted to be sure to have enough entries, so I took the time to write a personal e-mail to every SAQA European artist., As a result we had entries from 41 artists from 9 different countries, and 81 quilts to be juried. Not bad for a first try! The jury made a selection of 30 quilts and we added a quilt from each juror and from the curator to the show. This rule is still on.

To prepare Wide Horizons II for 2010 was much easier; and with the introduction of the SAQA online entries system, there was less paperwork to do. 58 artists from 11 countries registered 111 quilts. The jury again made a selection of 30 quilts.

Now we are waiting for Wide Horizons IV. Curator Alicia Merret is currently figuring out last details about the call for entry, and negotiating with the SAQA board whether a  catalogue will be published. This would be an interesting addition to the Wide Horizons spectrum. More details about this will be published in the general SAQA newsletter and on this blog in approximately two weeks. I hope many of you will participate and make the fourth round of Wide Horizons a great success.

Elisabeth Nacenta de la Croix

SAQA co-Rep Europe and Middle East

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this update. I have been waiting to hear the announcement. I want to be clear about the rules and the deadlines.
    I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the news!
    Sandy in the UK