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Philadelphia and the Wayne Art Center

Saturday April 5


Today is the conference.


Once again the Wayne Art Center was full of bright interesting chatter as everyone gathered for the very first combined SAQA/SDA conference. Our name-tags cleverly had our previously chosen concurrent sessions listed on the back. I took another tour of each of the galleries again—and saw some pieces I had missed last night.


My first session was a presentation by Jane Sauer and Christine Roberts about how to present work to galleries. This was particularly excellent as Jane covered methods of shipping, and the suggestion of handling and hanging instructions to be included on the back of the work. Christine of the FabricWorkshop talked about installations, again interesting although my work is more traditional fine art presentation.


The second session was about unlocking Creative Blocks hosted by Michael Olszewski and Jason Pollen. As I’ve felt rather frustrated over the past few months, this was particularly helpful. It seems to be something to expect as an artist.  I took notes but haven’t quite assimilated them yet.


After lunch, we all gathered for the keynote speaker, Susan Brandeis. She spoke about the creative life—and related a favorite exercise she would assign her students at the first of each semester. Draw fifty designs using circles, rectangles, or triangles—after about ten or so, creativity begins to kick in. Creativity is like a muscle which needs to be exercised—and like that muscle requires rest to grow after exercise.


After her keynote address, I stayed on to listen to her lecture on creativity. I took four pages of notes—a sign of my sense of order and compulsiveness. The afternoon concluded with a lecture from Judy and Michael James. Their mantra is ‘change is good’ and emphasized that growth is always necessary—otherwise the work grows stagnant—our art is a living creature and requires feeding and care.


Now to wrap my mind around all of this and put it to action.




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