SAQA Seminar 2023 - Material Matters

Member Program

Thanks to everyone who participated in SAQA Seminar 2023 - Material Matters!  We had a blast exploring all the content with you. If you missed anything (or just want a refresher), everything will be available on the website for years to come.

Explore the materials we use, from those we commonly think of to the more futuristic substances being developed. You can enjoy video conversations, galleries, resources, and optional activities.

Questions? Please contact us at

Available Weeks
Welcome! We can’t wait to share all the information that we’ve learned about traditional and innovative fibers and fabrics. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover more about the possibilities open to you.
Sustainability is a “hot” topic nowadays. As the climate crisis affects us all, we must be more aware of the carbon footprint that we leave on our world. “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” are things most of us have been doing for a considerable time, but in this unit, we want to explore sustainability as it relates to the materials we use when we make our art.
Welcome to Week 3 - all about cotton! Textile artists use many different fibers and materials, but most of us use cotton at some point in our journey.
This week, we explore fabrics used in our art that go beyond cotton by looking at other plant-based fibers: linen, ramie, hemp, flax, and paper. These materials are some of the oldest and most utilized fibers since the beginning of human time.
Welcome to SAQA Seminar 2023 - Week 5: Wool. Wool is a natural fiber that is becoming increasingly popular because of its heat-retaining properties, sustainability, and ability to be knitted, woven, felted and so much more.
Welcome to SAQA Seminar 2023 - Week 6: Silk. Consider the possible uses of silk in your art practice as you learn the science, history, and future of silk.
There seems no end to people’s incredible imagination when designing futuristic fabrics. This week we will share some of those that are especially creative.
This week, we explore how textile artists utilize various manmade materials which have the physical characteristics to be cut, dyed, painted, manipulated and deformed. The possibilities are endless, especially when exploring 3D art.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SAQA Seminar?

Launched in 2016, SAQA Seminar is an annual project offered through the Education Committee just for SAQA members. We wanted to provide members with opportunities to learn more about a particular topic, share their expertise, ask questions, have conversations, and meet new people.

SAQA Seminar is a multi-media collection of content that will be released weekly over a 6 to 8 week period. It will include articles, resources, video conversations, and more. The content is not instructional in nature but a guided tour through topics of interest. Weekly Zoom meetings give you a chance to discuss the topics with other participants and share our creative journeys.

SAQA Seminar is NOT a traditional retreat, workshop, class or conference - there are enough spots for everyone to participate as long as you are a SAQA member. All the offerings are available online and can be accessed even after the Seminar is over (check out our archives from past seminars).

When do I have to be at my computer for SAQA Seminar?

SAQA Seminar content is delivered each Monday afternoon via email and will also be available online. So you can review everything on your own schedule, even if you join late.

Each unit may includes video conversations, articles, optional activities, a related gallery, and some resource links. We do encourage you to join us for our weekly Live Chat sessions where you can talk about each unit with other participants and/or participate in the SAQA Members-Only Facebook group.

Most of these Zoom chats will NOT be recorded as they are are casual conversations in breakout rooms. If we do have special guests with presentations, we will record that portion. Details will be included in your weekly SAQA Seminar emails.

Due to my work / travel schedule, I can't participate all the time. Is this a problem?

That's totally fine! SAQA Seminar is not an online course with classes that you are required to attend. You will receive weekly emails each Monday with links to all the resources. You can begin exploring when we kick off in January or you may find your way to all the great resources several weeks later.

The content is not instructional in nature but rather a guided tour through topics of interest. Weekly Zoom meetings (which are optional) give you a chance to discuss the topics with other participants, be inspired, and share creative journeys.