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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lectures by Ms. V - Promote Your Work

This Lecture series was created to help artists and quilters cope with the expected and unexpected ups and downs of being in business with and for themselves, oh yes, we are generally the business manager, along with the artist, the clean up crew, the shopper, no wait, we like that role, LOL, you get the point.  

And for those who do not plan to go into business but still need to understand the pros and cons of amassing and handling a large stash.

We generally work alone and after a period of time say a few weeks or years we share our work with the general public.  But most of us have the nay sayers, criticizers, and the 'what do you need that for person in our lives.  

As I have grown/sewn in this field I discovered moving from a private life into a public and on-line life was more than a notion.  I realized someone should offer a few How To's...for those of us who get stuck.  So I looked back and at some of the roadblocks I have hit and decided to write down how I met the challenge or overcame the situations. 

Thus this series Promote Your Work, was born.
  • Each lecture was designed to appeal to a wide audience. 
  • Each lecture has a PowerPoint presentation available with artwork.
  • Each lecture has half or full day workshop designed for it.  If it is my strip piecing method for landscapes it can also be a two-4 day workshop, handouts, patterns.  
  • Many of the lectures also have a hands-on art related component, designed to go with it and we create!
  • Additional lectures targeting specific audiences-specific topics, at various levels beginners, intermediate, advance or seasoned artists can be designed upon request.
  • Lectures for small and large audiences (8-1000+) are available.
1.  Promote Your Work Without Apologizing

     Here we actually discuss saying positive things about our work, ourselves, standing up for our
points of view as Quilters, art quilters, artists, small business people, comfort quilt makers.  Power point presentation, 10-20 pieces from my trunk show, member participation. Was presented as one of the Top Workshops at the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) 25th Anniversary Conference.

2.  "Who's That" or "Show and Tell Workshop"

     In this workshop we share our work, learn from the opening skit how not to share our work, laugh together, work together, learn easy ways to say positive things, we clap, we get bashful, we get over it, and we meet each other.  I chat a little about who I am then start showing a few pieces, next we have the guild members bring up a few pieces, a few people at a time, size: approx. a fat quarter size but no larger than 45 x 45.  Then I show few more pieces and so on... Guild members introduce themselves following the guidelines from the skit, and by the end of the evening the group knows something new about at least 15-20 people. I share lessons on speaking, promoting oneself, proper way to hold your quilt for the audience, sewing tips and tricks, funny stories, and we all have a great time.

3. What's Going to Happen to my Stuff
Most of us are putting off what will happen to our stash, tools, quilts, UFO's, sewing machines, and furniture.  This lecture/workshop gets everyone talking about it and I have a pamphlet or guide of how to set up for that time in your life.  It may be that your are downsizing, lost interest, body parts are no longer working the same way and you need to make changes.  This lecture addresses these and other issues the members will bring up. it is informative, fun, makes you rethink a few things you have been doing in a particular way and we have time for a bit of show and tell if we get started asap.

Capitolizing on Fiber SAQA Conference in metropolitan Washington, DC

I will be teaching this workshop "How to Promote your Work without Apologizing!" at SAQA's Alexandria' VA's Conference this May 2013.

This interactive empowerment workshop will look at:
• Our perceptions of ourselves as artists and or quilters.
• How to promote our work without apologizing.
• How we talk about our artwork casually, at gallery openings, and lectures.

This mini workshop will offer tools to help participants strengthen self-talk and business-talk

• How do you answer these questions when introduced?
o Who are you?
o What do you call yourself?
o What medium do you use most?
o Where can I see your work?

I am asking workshop attendees to bring the answer on a sheet of paper the size of a postcard.

They will also be asked to bring their authentic selves to the workshop..." and the one you want to be, the person you want to introduce to the movers and shakers, the person you have been striving towards, the one you want to introduce to the next curator or gallery owner who has asked around about you and your work, the one who is wondering if you would fit… their next promotion, their next event, their next exhibition to a tee!..."

That is the person I want to meet and really need to interact with. Why? So that you come away from the workshop empowered and imbued with the tools you need to achieve your goals.

Best Regards,
Valarie Poitier

Life Coach, Job Readiness Instructor, Lecturer,
New England Quilt Museum Board Member
Curator, New England Quilt Museum's 2013 Images Exhibition's Special Exhibit of MA/RI SAQA Members "Three Cohesive Pieces" Exhibit August 2013
Curator, Chair SAQA-NEQM-2009-2011 Project "No Holds Barred"
SAQA Rep MA/RI, Member PAM Jurying Committee

Thursday, August 22, 2013

And Still We Rise Exhibit opened on October 12, 2013 in Cincinnati's National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

240 Million Slaves Ago...encompasses not only the African experience in the Caribbean and the Americas but all forms of slavery all over the planet Earth from the first bound living creature in my way of thinking.

The initial project started out with me thinking I would depict the map of New Amsterdam in 1653 and the lives of the slaves who were there.  Then I began to research New Amsterdam and New York during that century.  Whew! It was hard to do and I was driven to and from the research by the information I was reading and the pictures I saw.  Other forms of slavery and being bound by another living creatures were exposed to me in a way I had not thought of recently.

Upset I began tearing fabric strips and pulling scrap strips from my stash then sewing batches of same color fabrics together.  The end result was that by the time I had built enough fabric to make the quilt I had calmed my spirit and the anger at the historic documentation I found was dissipating.  It took working on the entire quilt from start to finish, small one inch or less strips sewn together, cut, reshaped, cut, sewn, arranged and rearranged to end the anger and to find a sort of peace with my fellow man.

What started out as a wall became the bodies of the slaves, then I needed faces and bodies, the bloody feet, the Dutch slave ship, the town of Amsterdam, the British who were about to invade, the pier Eleven that still stands today that the slaves came to what later became New York. The quilt was made using strips of fabric for all parts, and they were less than one inch wide, even the faces were cut from strips of different black prints.

If you can go to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center before it comes down in March. The artistry displayed in that exhibit is breathtaking.

Below is a shot taken after the seven artist panel as we were leaving the auditorium by one of the other artist's husband.


Evidence of the Diaspora

And Still We Rise...

Link to the Poster for the Exhibit, opening October 11, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio

In every keystroke that sails across the internet
I see My People spread out and connecting before me as never before
I wondered where my village was, I thought myself alone in the ethos
I am found and am being reinforced by each unseen stitch, each seen keystroke

We do exist outside my prayers
We are talented, strong, amazing, and spirit filled
What a blessing to stroke the keys among you
We are empowered and refreshed for the days to come
Dare I say the battle yet fought

We represent a singular achievement of our ancestors
Griots, look we, we stand taller today
We appreciate from whece we all hail once again criss crossing the globe
We remember and sew their stories, their songs, and our DNA into our works
Many of us have walked not only in their footsteps but humbly, along side them
For sure we carry the burden and the glory of teaching and leaving those lessons for future generations

The soldiers in the Diaspora walk many singular pathways towards rejuvenation
We salute you Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi for this stage where in unity we are threading our needles and 
Stitching our stories, our truths so proudly
And Still We Rise…Opening in Cincinnati, Ohio, this October 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm. Go to the website of the museum to see further details, or click on the link at the top of this message.

Congrats to all who helped to make this possible, museum affiliates, artists, family members, mentors, supporters, friends and thank you so much for giving us this opportunity.

Warmest regards,
Ms. V

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

SAQA MA/RI local members exhibit at the Lowell Quilt Festival, a NEQM's fund raiser, article by Ms V Poitier

detail, Beyond the Obvious, in the late stages of the surface design work.
on exhibit in the Three Cohesive Pieces show at the Lowell Quilt Festival
August 8, 9, and 10, 2013

Announcement!! Local members of SAQA's Massachusetts and Rhode Island group is Exhibiting at
the Lowell Quilt Festival in Lowell, Ma. August 8, 9, & 10, 2013.

We are all so excited to see the New England Quilt Museum's umbrella open even
wider to include an exhibit of art quilts from local members of SAQA, at this
years Lowell Quilt Festival (LQF). The call for entry went out to the local
Massachusetts and Rhode Island members to participate in a special exhibit
called "Three Cohesive Pieces". Speaking of opening umbrellas, SAQA members who
have us listed as a second state, and were on our roster at the time of the call
were eligible to participate.

Normally a Call for Entry will ask one to submit up to three images that need
not be related, not so this round. This special exhibit was a first for the LQF
Committee and for local members, a call for three pieces that clearly were made
by the same person, possibly sharing a theme, or the piecing, or quilting, or
the colors or surface design was clearly cohesive in all three pieces. It is a
rare opportunity when as a group New England SAQA members can hang three works
side by side in the same exhibit, sponsored by a fiber related museum, in their
own backyard. And finally the art works would only be accepted as a unit. Note:
Members were able to submit two sets for consideration.

There were lots of challenges for the curators and co-reps Valarie Poitier and
Michele David. Working with the Lowell Quilt Festival Committee and other museum
volunteers, crossing all the tees and dotting the i's. Nurturing along many new
& shy exhibitors, and follow up, follow up, follow up. Trust us it is a beast.
But the hard part of the work is done. Now to the hanging, giving the two tours
a day of the exhibit by local members, and the finale, the dropping of the
quilts. Lots to do but we are all smiling and excited!

Congrats goes out to the following MA/RI members who stepped up to the "Three
Cohesive Pieces" challenge!

Aiken, Barbara
Altshuler, Julie
Bills, Teresa
David, Michelle
Faulkner, Patricia G.
Gallaher, Maryann
Halpern, Atara
Janey, Celeste B.
Jones, Brenda
Jones, Janice M.
Latino, Mary-Ellen
Leavitt, Michele
Monahan, Sharon
Nelson, Alanna
Poitier, Valarie
Raiche, Sharyn
Schwam, Steffanie
Doucette, Janis
Sproull, Lee
Turbitt, Nancy
Wormak-Keels, Renee
Wright, Diane

If you are in town, or plan to visit the festival we will be on the 2nd floor of
the auditorium in Lowell, MA stop by and see the show! The festival will run
August 8, 9, & 10 just a few blocks from the New England Quilt Museum for more
details click on the link below.


Lowell Memorial Auditorium
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell MA 01852

If you would like to help hang the SAQA members exhibit, or the IMAGES Exhibit
that Valarie has created the layout and display for, and will be hanging and
dropping both the exhibits send her an email at saqamari@gmail.

Warmest Regards,
Valarie Poitier & Michele David

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Next SAQA Regional Meeting 5/25 at Button Box Quilt Shop

Michele David my co-rep and I are pleased to announce a special exhibit of works by SAQA MA/RI members called "Three cohesive pieces" at IMAGES, Lowell quilt festival. 

This is a great opportunity for a large number of our SAQA members to participate in a unique exhibit.  There will be a tight turn-around of deadlines. The work cannot have been displayed at Images before as a group. This exhibit will be curated by Michele David and Valarie Poitier.

Updates in Red, as of 5/23/2013

The object of this special exhibit is to have each quilter display three cohesive pieces of work.  Those quilts on display will clearly have been created by one person, and be united by some combination of subject, color, style, voice, or technique.  The work can have been made during the past 5 years. [updated] 

Our deadlines are as follows:
June15 images and entry due at the Museum.
June 26 acceptance sent out via email.
August 2, 12:00 pm quilts due at the NEQM

Active SAQA MA/RI Members and members listing MA/RI as of May 2013 Active member report for our region can submit up to 2 sets of 3 cohesive quilts .  Note only 1 set can be hung. Entry fee is $ 30 to be payable to Lowell Quilt Festival.

email saqamari@gmail.com

We are still working on the juried, combined New England Regionals Exhibit, called "Color make as a bold statement" more information to follow.

SAQA Meeting Reminder: 
Saturday, May 25, 2013
10:00 am
Button Box Quilt Shop
5 Overbrook Dr. 
Wellesley, MA 02482
(781) 489-6515

Fondest Regards,
Ms. V

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Sisters in Fiber Quilt Exhibit

Monday, February 04, 2013

10:15 AM
Location: Sarly Interfaith Gallery in Wilson Chapel

February 4 - March 5, 2013 

Worship and The Arts at Andover Newton is pleased to announce the Sisters in Fiber Quilt exhibit, featured in the Sarly Interfaith Gallery in Wilson Chapel from February 4 – March 5, 2013.  There will be an opening reception in the Wilson Chapel lobby on Wednesday, February 6, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Sisters in Fiber is a small professional group of women of Color, from the Boston MA area, who share a passion for all things fiber. They share similar philosophies, but have very different quilting styles. They come together to support each other in their artwork and in furthering their artistic personal and professional goals.
All of the Sisters have spent part of their professional lives in the teaching field, and they approach fiber art with the same goals: to teach by sharing their thoughts, dreams and life experiences with the people who view their work.
The members of the group are:
  • Valarie Poitier, BA Fine Arts. Originally from Philadelphia PA, she focuses on paints and dyes, and fiber arts.
  • Michele David, MD. Originally from Haiti, she focuses on all types of art that are reminiscent of her homeland, Haiti.
  • Celeste Janey, MS Ed. Originally from Boston MA, she focuses on fiber arts with a concentration on the written word.
  • Brenda Jones, MS Ed. From Boston. She has many passions: water color, jewelry, home décor, and quilting, with a concentration on things that are organic.
  • Renee Keels, MDiv, DMin. Originally from Columbus OH, her concentration has been on women in religion and spirituality. Renee is also an Andover Newton alumna.
• Tell a friend about this event
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