Prospectus for Regional SAQA Exhibit, “Deeply Rooted”

Look out for updates  which will include the call for entry for our regional, four state collaborative SAQA exhibit beginning October 2015 in Des Moines.

The exhibit is called “Deeply Rooted”. What does it mean to be deeply rooted, to be uprooted and to put down one’s roots again? What nourishes us in good times and bad? How do we find strength after the storms of life have left? How does our connection to nature, community and spirituality support us? The exhibit “Deeply Rooted” explores the meaning of connection. The theme of being deeply rooted may be interpreted by the artist in abstract or realistic ways.

The first venue will be at the AQS QuiltWeek.  The exhibit will give SAQA artists from Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin an excellent opportunity to showcase their art. QuiltWeek is seen by over 15,000 visitors every year. Approximately 30 works of art will be chosen for the exhibit.


Member Spotlight: Cynthia Levis

cynthia levis photo

Meet Cynthia:

Cynthia Levis is a fiber artist from Lincoln, Nebraska. Her work has been shown in exhibitions across the country and she is a member of Noyes Gallery where she sells her work, including commissions. Cynthia is a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, Fiber Works and American Quilter’s Society. She is a non-certified Quilt Judge and co-curator for the SAQA Architexture exhibition. Cynthia likes to use vibrant colors and intense quilting which can be seen in many of her art quilts.

Artist Statement:

Embroidery and cross-stitch was the beginning of my work with fiber. The “famous” Home Economics class in junior high school was the beginning of my sewing. I did make my share of traditional quilts throughout the years. During the last decade or so, I have focused my work on Art Quilts. I am not focused in one area of study. Instead, I make quilts based on an aspect that catches my eye with a strong design. I do enjoy surface design. I enjoy trying many different applications on fabric. I find Art Quilting feeds my creative soul.

Mini Portfolio


SAQA 2014 Auction Beginning Soon

The signature SAQA fundraising event of the year begins September 15th! 

Dates:Group 1, Sept 15 (2 pm ET)

Group 2, Sept 22,

Group 3, Sept 29 

Each piece starts at $750, and goes down each day ($500, $350, $250, $150, $75).

Two of our group’s pieces were selected to go to Houston to the International Quilt Festival to be shown and auctioned there (Jane Haworth, Dorothy Heidemann-Nelson

View all auction pieces

New Regional Co-Rep: Shea Wilkinson

sheaShea Wilkinson, a Nebraska native, has sewn clothes, costumes, quilts, and dolls since childhood. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in International Studies and German Language. Afterward, she taught English in Mexico, during which time she became  passionate about creating art. She returned to the United States and immediately pursued a new career as an artist.

She has exhibited widely, and has won numerous awards for her intricate, thread-based work. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and two cats.

Member Spotlight: Jo Drueke

Jo Drueke, Exhibition Committee
Jo Drueke, Exhibition Committee

Meet Jo

Jo Drueke’s work reflects her interest in the environment which began as a child growing up on a Nebraska farm. Working in an intuitive manner, she allows the work and process to determine how the quilt develops. Inspired by the textural beauty found in nature and the ever changing environment, she utilizes stitch and embellishments to form the dimensional and tactile qualities of the finished piece. She is a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, Surface Design Association,  Midwest Fiber Art Alliance, Fiber Works, Nebraska State Quilt Guild, and the Lincoln Quilt Guild.  Her works have been exhibited in many shows in Nebraska.  Jo won Best of Division in Mixed Media at the 2011 Nebraska State Fair with her work “Forest Floor” (below).

Artist Statement

I’ve loved nature as long as I can remember.  I spend hours examining the color, pattern, texture and structure of the small: seed pods, leaves, berries, and bark. Spiritual and ecological truths can be observed in nature:  all things are impermanent, life is rooted in seasons, and there is beauty in the withered, weathered and tarnished.  I am motivated to create by bringing attention to the often overlooked, unnoticed world.

Fabric and other fibers fascinate me, especially as I combine them to reflect what I observe and photograph in nature.  I often combining fabric with paper, threads, paint or other embellishments.  I use items found in nature and natural dye techniques to create my own printed fabric and fibers.

I love living in Nebraska!  What I enjoy most are the varied environments found within the borders of our state.  My art is a reflection of meditating on my love of our natural world.

Mini Portfolio

"Forest Floor"
“Forest Floor”
"Autumn Leaves"
“Autumn Leaves”
"Blue Solitude"
“Blue Solitude”
"Growing on Prairie"
“Growing on Prairie”

New Regional Co-Rep: Peg Pennell

Hi! I’m Peg Pennell, and as of August 1st, I am your new co-rep for the Nebraska region of SAQA.

I live just outside of Ashland, NE. I have been involved in quilting since I made my first quilt in 1973. I have been a member of the Omaha Quilters Guild, Cottonwood Quilters and the Nebraska State Quilt Guild. I also belong to several National quilt organizations. I belong to Midwest Fiber Art Alliance and Fiber Funatics, two regional art quilt groups.

While I still make the occasional functional quilt, the focus of my work is no longer in main stream quilting. I enjoy creating pieces designed for display rather than function, using textiles, and quilting in particular, in interesting new ways.

I am excited with this new opportunity to not only share my love of fiber art with other like minded people, but also to have the chance to bring a greater awareness of quilting as an art form to the general public.

Rebecca has been working with me to take over the reins for the Time Lines show so it can continue to have a smooth sail through it’s scheduled showings. She is so amazingly organized, that it should be easy!

Dori and I are working towards making the Nebraska region a vital art community with plenty of opportunities for participation on the member’s parts.  We are lucky to have someone as skilled on the computer as Dori to help our region with all of the tech stuff involved in any organization today!   We have lots of ideas for activities for our region but we want your ideas too!

We are working to get a survey together to send to you so we can get your input as to what activities YOU want our group to organize and participate in. It is really important for you to respond to the survey, as we will use it as the basis for the plans we formulate for the whole group. If you want your voice heard, please respond to the survey when it arrives!!

I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you and hope to meet many of you at our next meeting on October 20th in Columbus, NE. More details to come on location and time for the meeting. The Columbus opening of our Time Lines show will be that day at 2:00. Hope to see you there!

Peg Pennell

Nebraska Region Studio Art Quilt Associates Blog


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