Oceans Apart, Connected by Art (SAQA 2021 Conference)

Oceans Apart

No matter where you live, you’ve got something special to look forward to!

The silver lining in our COVID cloud is finding a virtual world where we can network and share as never before. This includes our annual SAQA conference which will be held online from April 15-25. This format will allow us to intimately showcase a region on the other side of the world from where our conferences have traditionally been, enriching both hosts and attendees. Plus, you will have opportunities to connect and network like never before!


** Registration is now closed. Contact conference@saqa.com for details.


For this year, we’re going to beautiful Oceania—mainly Australia and New Zealand—for a deep dive into unique, exciting art quilts, and textile art. New York Times bestselling author Austin Kleon will discuss how quilting has inspired his work and ideas about creativity during quarantine. The world’s leading wearable art competition, World of WearableArt, will give us a special look behind the scenes. Prepare to be WOW'd!

Other highlights include (view schedule):

  • Presentations from Oceania artists will showcase the people and inspiration that make this region unique.
  • Artist Lisa Call will provide tips on how to get your artwork out of the studio and into the world.
  • Learn how Karol Kusmaul and Martha Wolfe bring artists around the world together through collaborative exhibits.
  • Find out how the only commercial fibre art gallery in Australia, Timeless Textiles, engages their community and promotes fiber art.
  • Artist Jenny Bowker will talk about defining boundaries about cultural appropriation.
  • PLUS: Lightning Talks, Spotlight Auction, studio tours, and online chat sessions with other attendees.

So please get ready to sign up for an experience that might otherwise be out of reach for many of us. Need further encouragement? We have reduced the regular conference rate by 50% even though we have even MORE content to share! And since it's all online, you can take part without reserving a flight - no passport required!

Have questions about the conference?
Please feel free to contact us at conference@saqa.com. We also have a recording of the March 18th Inside SAQA which discussed the conference and the WhoVa platform. (login is required to view).



Check out our full schedule of events - we have something to offer from April 15 through April 25.
Presentations from Oceania artists will showcase the people and inspiration that make this region unique. Plus Austin Kleon will discuss how quilting has inspired his work and the World of WearableArt will give us a special look behind the scenes.
Have questions about the conference? Read our Frequently Asked Questions or email us at conference@saqa.com.
The 2021 Virtual Conference is so much more than 10 days of fabulous content and great speakers. You will have opportunities to connect and network like never before! SAQA will be using the Whova event platform which will allow attendees to maximize their conference experience. Find out all the different ways how!
$30,640 Raised in total!
This year, the Spotlight Auction will be an online event taking place during the Oceans Apart Connected by Art Virtual Conference. Over 270 pieces are available for bidding. EVERYONE can participate - you do not have to be a member to bid!
Conference Details

Below are the main conference times. View Full Schedule

US Eastern Daylight timezone (GMT -4)
Thursday, April 15: 2pm & 7pm (two Icebreaker sessions - choose one)
Friday, April 16: 7pm - 10pm
Saturday, April 17: 7pm - 10pm
Friday, April 23: 7pm - 10pm
Saturday, April 24: 7pm - 10pm
* optional daily activities will be held April 19-22 from 6:30pm-8:00pm

Sydney NSW timezone (GMT +10)
Friday, April 16: 6am & 9am (two Icebreaker sessions - choose one)
Saturday, April 17: 9am - 12pm
Sunday, April 18: 9am - 12pm
Saturday, April 24: 9am - 12pm
Sunday, April 25: 9am - 12pm
* optional daily activities will be held April 20-23 from 8:30am-10am


  • All times reflect consideration for our Oceania presenters and attendees.
  • Some of the content will be presented simultaneously - you do not have to select which session you want to attend at registration.
  • All presentations will be recorded and available for viewing within a day. Attendees will also have access to recordings for 3 months after the event.

Register Now

$200 USD (50% off regular conference price of $400). No refunds will be issued after April 15. A $25 cancellation fee will apply. 


Questions? Please contact us at conference@saqa.com

10 Reasons to Register For Conference

SAQA president Deborah Boschert offered these great reasons why you don't want to miss out on the conference!

  1. Learn more about Oceania!  Vast distances, cultural experiences and climatic diversity provide Oceania artists with a broad range of inspiration. We’ll also hear about traditional and contemporary Maori art in New Zealand.
  1. Programs, presentations, studio tours, break out sessions, lightening talks and more for $200! (A big discount from our regular annual conference fee.) Plus, you’ll save on travel expenses!
  1. World class keynote speakers including “Inside the World of WearableArt” an international design competition based in New Zealand and New York Times best selling author Austin Kleon talking about “Patchwork Creativity.”
  1. Live or recorded viewing! All presentations will be recorded to view whenever works for you. (There will be two live Welcome Parties at 2 and 7 pm ET. Hopefully one will fit your schedule.)
  1. Eat what you want. Wear what you want. No lines at the bathroom. Sleep in your own bed.
  1. Opportunity to connect and chat with other attendees. Our new conference platform has lots of special features to maximize the virtual space.
  1. You’ll have a front row seat! No one is stuck in the back of the conference room or worrying about whether the speakers are loud enough. 
  1. It will feel like a mini-retreat, adventure and community event— all from your own home. The pandemic is keeping us away from each other, but this is a pretty great alternative.
  1. Support your friends and region members who will be presenting or giving Lightening Talks and the volunteers on the Special Events Committee. They’ll be so happy to see your faces on the screen and your comments in the chat.
  1. Something wonderful will inspire you! You’ll make a new friend, discover a new artist or consider a new idea. We can’t predict what it will be, but you gotta be there for the magic to happen.

This is a member exclusive page. To see all member exclusive content, join and become a SAQA member today or log in to your member account.

"Thank you for letting us be together in an exciting new format, to celebrate what we all love - the art quilt. Our friendships have grown, we have been inspired by phenomenal speakers, we can take all we have seen and learned and continue to create thoughtful beauty for our new world. " - 2020 Virtual Conference attendee