When I took on this job, I had no clue what we needed to do in order to serve our members as well as we could, but I wanted to put my all into it no matter what. I had two other Reps to work with and so I knew we could all do a good job. But fate changed all that. Within that first month, we lost our other two wonderful reps due to medical and other valid reasons. I am sure it was a stressful time for our fantastic Representative Coordinator, Desiree Vaughn, but I assured her that no matter what, I was in it to stay and do my best. And I clung to her wisdom and sense of calm support to help me.
I remember in those first several months, I wanted so much to serve everyone and I realized that our members have many different interests that I thought perhaps we should have a variety of events so that everyone could find something that they liked. We had a webinar scheduled, and that seemed like a great way to keep close to all our members since the membership is so spread out. And we did manage to have a few of our artists give talks online, and the talks were well received. We did have technical problems though, and that frustrated all of us. Now, however, there is a wonderful lady who is a whiz with webinars and making them work right, and if we had more time, we would have gotten those going again.
Some of our members really deserve the kudos because they came forward and offered their homes and times for meetings of all kinds, and the meetings were well attended and everyone enjoyed them. I want to thank all of you who came forward and helped, because you are the backbones of this organization.
We also had two field trips - one to Hoffman Fabrics with a lunch afterward, and then another to a fabric exhibit of fabrics from different areas of Asia at UCLA in their gallery and a potluck at the home of Sandra Lauterbach to go with it. Members also met after shows or exhibits for lunch and to just get to know each other.
The trunk show came and I took it to the first meeting at the home of Linda Evans. We had another potluck (seemed to be a favorite format whether just snacks or lunches). We did critiques of the quilts, which was very entertaining and educational, and an excellent opportunity to articulate about art in general. Rodi Ludlum came in on wings and managed to get the trunk show to lots of other locations and then got it sent back once again, so lots of us got to enjoy it.
A lot of things I tried to create or dreamed up for the members didn't happen, not because I wouldn't have done them, but because our members live very full lives. Some of the things I had thought would be fun were outdoor sketching and creating small size quilts, perhaps for our donations to the SAQA auctions, going to art museums and having critiques afterwards during lunch, having a conference, going to the Fashion Institute of Design to see if perhaps we could get an art exhibit to go along with one of their fashion exhibits. Well, they didn't happen, but it wasn't for a lack of enthusiasm or trying on my part.
We had some great venues during my service. One was a SAQA exhibit in Poway, and sales were made there. Our thanks to Mary Tabar for an excellent exhibit and some sales along the way. Laura Bisagna is now curiating another exhibit there for this year, and I hope all of our members will support this venue as we need a lot of good venues in Southern California. Jamie Fingal curated another SAQA exhibit with the Mancusos, Oasis, and we got some fantastic entries. The exhibit, along with some others got lost in transit, but thankfully all of the entries were recovered and the show will still be exhibited in another exhibit or more.
Along the way too, one of the joys for me was that I got to meet a lot of other Representatives, and it gave me a genuine appreciation for all the good and challenging work that all of our Representatives do around the world. It was a genuine joy to get to know them and to especially appreciate what it takes to run this great organization we are so lucky to have. If you feel you are not getting any value out of your membership, volunteer for a job and you will get a whole new perspective. I know that I will be volunteering with SAQA for a long, long time in whatever capacity they have for me.
Overall, I would say it has been a very excellent two years in which I have learned as much from all of you as you could possibly have learned from me. I have made a lot of friends, and I am hoping that all of you will feel as I do, that we will be lifelong friends going forward. I have let everyone know that if ever a time comes when there is a behind-the-scenes place where I can further help with our region or any other thing, I am more than willing.
Thank you one and all for bringing so much joy and beauty into my life. It has been a true honor and pleasure to serve you and I will never forget this beautiful experience. Peace and many blessings to each and every one of you. Anne Copeland always