The Best of the West SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) Fabric Art Exhibit visited Rimbey recently and served as a stepping-stone to an even larger project for SAQA members.
Patti Morris, Western Canada co-representative, had members of SAQA create a 12-inch by 12-inch fabric piece. “The idea of the piece was to see what they’re capable of doing.”
The Best of the West exhibit will travel for the next two years, finally stopping in July 2014 at the Royal Alberta Museum, but Morris and SAQA have already set their sights on a bigger project.
Next, members will create a two foot square colorful, fabric fossil piece. “They’ll be fabric but they’ll make them look like they have perspective,” said Morris.
Morris is using her latest project to create a catalogue workbook, which, combined with the fossils, will educate students age five to 12 about fossils and the Burgess Shale. “They’ve been kind of secretive. There isn’t a lot of education on the Burgess Shale.”
Morris wants the fossils to be colorful so students will be interested and want to learn.
Morris says a SAQA member’s great-great-grandfather has a history connected to the Burgess Shale. He worked for CPR and when he diverted the rail in British Columbia he discovered fossils.
The fossils were shown to Charles Doolittle Walcott in Washington state. Walcott travelled to British Columbia and the Burgess Shale was discovered in 1909.
In the Kootenay National Park new fossils were recently discovered. Jean-Bernard Caron, curator of invertebrate paleontology with the Royal Ontario Museum believes these finds could be the most important of the last three decades, says the Calgary Herald.
Apart from the historical connection and education, Morris has another reason for the project.
“I thought it’d be a nice legacy gift for the members, long after we’re dead,” said Morris. “Most of these people work in their basements. They do fabulous work but they just don’t show it as much.”
Morris believes the SAQA members will have their fossil project completed by June 2013.