Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SAQA Conference: Spoiled at the Brown Palace

So I was here for the last four days, attending the Studio Art Quilt Association's (SAQA) National Conference.

It was downtown Denver, at the Brown Palace Hotel ...

where a valet took and brought me my car from Thursday to Saturday...
 and then Sunday at the Denver Art Museum, just kaddy corner from the State Capitol...

We got to have a private tour of the Textile Gallery with Dr. Alice Zrediec, its Curator,  and then I stood in front of a Monet...
a  Homer...

 and a Matisse.

Now I am back here. ..

Yesterday, driving back the 9 hours, through sleet, hail and rain to come home to a messy kitchen and a whole stack of pizza boxes on the dining room table. I read or heard one time that one should easy off from paradise slowly, so instead of diving in to straightening up the house right away when the kids headed off to school, I came in for my Pilate's class, thinking it would help resupply my energy and am now sitting at a coffee shop to post some of the highlights of my trip

Don't get me wrong, I love the Four Corners, if I could rewind my life I would pick the man and the place and the children I have spent my life with again in a heartbeat- my art is of sagebrush, far horizons and red dirt, not gilted gold staircases and fine china.

But oh man, the Brown Palace has the best Hot Chocolate and twisted pretzels you ever had for a pick me up in-between sessions- so I am sitting here today, in withdrawal and drinking a Hot Chocolate that is almost as good to easy off the luxury slowly.

So here is a bit of history of the Brown Palace- cause if you know me, you know that is what it is all about!

It was built in 1892, the second oldest hotel in Denver. It was designed by architect Frank Edbrooke and it is literally shaped like the pie wedges from a Trivia Pursuit game.

The center of the hotel is called the Atrium ...
and from there you can look up past the six floors, all open and ornate in perfect Victorian style...

to the massive stained glass ceiling that tops off the atrium.

The Brown Palace is the center of high society celebration in Downtown Denver and while we were there, ladies in their finest, young and old an even a assistence dog -hurried across the street,

 for the afternoon tea the Brown Palace is known for.

I even caught a glimpse of a bride and groom coming over for their wedding in the beautiful stone Trinity Church across the way for their reception.
A breezeway connects the Brown Palace's second floor from the Comfort Inn ballrooms across the street and there is where the SAQA general sessions were.

The first featured a Colorado Artists Panel on compiling a body of work, with Deidra Adams, Carol Watkins and Charlotte Ziebarth.

Another was on 3D art, still defined as a quilt, with three layers of material held together with stitching.

The breakout sessions were wonderful. I attended the one on managing your artist's life, often so sedentary with Monica A Dixon- yes you have to fuel your body and exercise if you want your creativity to flow!

Also got great tips from Gregory Case- Thank you Thank you - on how to photography my artwork better! Lighting for 3D surfaces needs to be at a 90 degree angle instead of 45- ahhhhh- good to know!

The Managing Editor of Quilter's Newsletter, gave great advise on how to start writing for the Quilt magazine- something I am considering. Each one has it's own flavor and it is important to study each one!

And the Self Promotion with Pizzazz was great- where Regina Benson encourged us to make up our own postcards with our name on them, instead of sending out the provided group show postcards.
  And the closing general session was given by Dr. Alice Zrediec...

the acting Curator of the Textile Gallery at the Denver Art Museum. (Another blog to follow on the tour we got to take through the DAM on Sunday.

Of course my head is swimming- and met so many wonderful giving ladies-

many with beautiful silver hair- I was one of the youngest- and I am now inspired to for- go what my grandmother would call being a "painted lady" and show off my salt and pepper hair- which I am pretty sure is under the color ! - wow- that would be a lot of $ to put towards lush fabrics!!

And speaking of fabric- I won both fabric giveaways at the Lunch on Friday- thank you Sykdyes! And then again at the dinner Satuday night and the dear ladies at my table above wouldn't let me excuse myself- so thank you to them and to Lunn Fabrics!


  1. do you have a photo of any part of the trunk show? I was so busy I didn't take out my camera. If you see this comment would you reply to deb@pixeladies.com (then you can delete the comment if you like).

  2. I don't have any pics of the trunk show- does anyone else?

  3. I have some pictures of the trunk show -- I'm working on making them viewable -- should be up soon!

  4. Ahh....I had one of those pretzels too...delicious! I also enjoyed being spoiled! Wonderful photos!

  5. Thanks, Julia. I loved the pictures and your comments. And, thank you for being part of the SAQA conference and driving so long and hard to get to our wonderful town.

    Judith Trager