Friday, May 3, 2013
PAT GOULD'S THOUGHTS ON THE SANTA FE SAQA CONFERENCE
SAQA 2013 Conference - Expanding Horizons
This was the 6th SAQA conference I have attended and not surprisingly, it was the first that was sold out. I worked with the Special Events Committee as the local organizer since October 2011 so it was very gratifying to see it all come together nicely after 18 months of planning.
I had urged Martha Sielman to arrive a little before the conference to better acclimate to the elevation since she lives in Connecticut, so she and her husband, David, arrived on Sunday afternoon and stayed in Albuquerque until Tuesday when they drove up the Turquoise Trail to enjoy a lovely and relaxed drive to Santa Fe. They came to visit my studio on Sunday and then we went out for dinner at the Flying Star. On Monday, Jack and I took them touring to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Old Town, Nob Hill, and then up through the Bosque to do a short walk to see some of the petroglyphs at Petroglyph National Monument. To wrap up a great day, they took me to an Isotopes game and they won 8 - 1.
In addition to organizing the Vendor's Marketplace, I researched the hotel facilities and we were so pleased to have the conference at the Lodge at Santa Fe - they were great to work with and a very nice place to be. I also sold the advertising for the program guide (and then arranged to have the attendees carpool to the Santa Fe shops that advertised, helped design the program guide, arranged for all the printing of materials, and researched the bus companies so we chose Star Limo in Albuquerque and they were great working with me to develop a good route and schedule for the museum/gallery tours on Saturday and their drivers were wonderful I heard.
Although I was quite busy during the Vendor's Marketplace with my own booth, I managed to get photos of the event, which was quite well attended and all the vendors told me that their sales were good.
On both Thursday and Friday afternoon, we ran shuttles to see New Mexico: Unfolding at the Capitol and many attendees went to see it several times. Everyone, especially the Board members, were very impressed with the show.
Having the conference in Santa Fe was a big draw not only for out-of-towners, but many local members attended who would not normally attend a SAQA conference and they all told me that they had a great time meeting such fun and talented members and guests. I always enjoy seeing old friends and making new ones. On Sunday, I did a little hike in Tent Rocks on the way back to Albuquerque with Martha Wolfe and Eileen Doughty.