Beth Markel

SAQA at Michigan State University

Posted on June 13, 2014 by Beth Markel

I love being an artist.  I love looking at art, shape, line, shadow, color, composition and texture.  I love being able to look at things, scenes from everyday life, and thinking about how I want to photograph it, or turn it into a quilt.  It brings great joy to my life, and I hope joy to others.  Another thing that brings me great joy is looking at other amazing works of art, regardless of medium, and allowing whatever I’m feeling to just wash over me.

Recently a SAQA exhibit opened at Michigan State University Lookout Gallery.  While I am fortunate enough to have a work hanging as part of the Mapping Michigan Memories, and yes, those quilts are really beautiful, there were a couple from the SAQA Color Wheel of Emotion that I can’t get out of my head.  They really touched me, for different reasons, but all are really beautiful.  In fact, the entire combined exhibit is extremely well-done.

A number of the quilts are hanging from the ceiling so the backs are clearly visible, which is a nice change of pace.  As someone who almost never does a solid back, this was quite exciting to see.  This method for hanging a show also draws you into the space in a more personal or intimate way, allowing you to walk around the quilts in a way you normally cannot do.  It created a completely different feel.

There are 3 textile/quilt shows currently on the campus of MSU, and I give kudos to those working on these projects.  One young, campus reporter was asking questions for a story, and he said a number of times that these quilts were just not what he was expecting.  He thought visiting a quilt show would be akin to digging through an old chest in his grandmother’s attic.  He was very pleasantly surprised ~ as were a number of the other attendants who were first-timers to a textile exhibit.  It’s always fun to see someone explore quilts as ART for the first time.

Black Saves the Day, Susan Lee

Black Saves the Day, Susan Lee

The Artist Statement from Susan Lee:  “Having an oriental look, this quilt suggests movement within a looser structure. The strong vertical and horizontal shapes seem to contain the more energetic circular forms.  A muted yellow green, accented with bright orange and complementary blues, produces feelings of excitement and frenzied motion.”  Her website is

Jazzy Blues, Benedicte Caneill

Jazzy Blues, Benedicte Caneill


Both Susan & Benedicte are doing remarkable and inspiring work!  If you have never visited SAQA, the website has a really beautiful and varied slide show to view work.  Benedicte’s website is and SAQA’s website is

These quilts are very different, but I love, love, love them.  As I said, the show overall is extremely fine, and it was interesting to talk to people who had not really been to an art quilt exhibit before, but these two pieces reached out to me physically & on a deep, emotional level, so I just had to stand and gaze.  Looking.  Looking more intently.  Looking closer and closer, wanting to be lost in the fabric.  Well done!

I’ve been word-herding since January, so here’s A Word-Herding Update:

Muggy     virtuous    media       squeally   rotunda    cinnamon

Sinfully delicious     rotund     documentary    duplicating

Device      app          solution   quieting   thoughtfully     surprising

Crinoline  devotion   galaxy      dysfunction      erudite     quarrelsome

Be inspired by what you see, but be inspired but what you FEEL as well.

Happy art,





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