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Our History

With the goal of establishing a place for art quilts in the world of contemporary art, California quilt artist Yvonne Porcella sent out 50 letters to artists and friends to rally them to her cause. Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) was launched in 1989 from Porcella’s initiative, rapidly growing to include hundreds of members across the country. 

The vision was to create an organization to:
  • Promote art quilts to major art publications, museums, and galleries
  • Educate the public about art quilts
  • Serve as a forum for the professional development of quilt artists
  • Act as a resource for curators, dealers, consultants, teachers, students, and collectors
SAQA members held their first conference in 1995, and Porcella served as president for 11 years. SAQA’s annual conferences now attract more than 200 members, who gather to network and attend lectures and workshops by internationally known experts.

In 2016 SAQA celebrates 27 years of creating opportunities for the art quilt and the individuals who create these compelling works. SAQA has steadily built its commitment to creating quality exhibitions and offering vital professional development opportunities for the membership.

SAQA's Board of Directors has been guided by presidents, each lending their unique skill set to addressing the needs of the organization and its members.

1989-2000
Yvonne Porcella, California. Ms. Porcella's vision launched SAQA, the largest organization devoted exclusively to promoting the art quilt world-wide.

2000-2007
Katie Pasquini-Masopust, New Mexico. Ms. Pasquini-Masopust was instrumental in establishing the annual SAQA Conference and in growing the organization membership.

2007-2009
Judith Content, California. Ms. Content established what has become a very successful exhibition program. SAQA will have 12 exhibitions traveling around the world in 2014.

2009-2010
Lisa Chipetine, New York. Ms. Chipetine's flair for technology helped SAQA to embrace social media platforms, on-line professional development tools and launched the Visioning Project.

2010-2013
Sandra Sider, New York. Dr. Sider established the SAQA Endowment Fund and worked tirelessly to create a stable financial future for the organization.

2013-2016
Kris Sazaki, Sacramento, California. Dr. Sazaki was installed as SAQA President in September 2013 and was instrumental in focusing the spotlight on educational opportunities for SAQA members.

2016-
Lisa Ellis
, Fairfax, Virginia. Ms. Ellis became SAQA's new President in April 2016. She is looking forward to continuing her focus on Strategic Initiatives which include expanding SAQA's exhibition programs and offering more ways to promote the art quilt. 


View List of Board Members from 1990-2015