Early in June I attended the 17th International Surface Design Association Conference in San Antonio, Texas. I heard about the conference months earlier and was interested but not sure if it would be worthwhile for me. Then at an SDA meeting held in Calgary I sat next to fellow member, Wendy (Please note that I am making reference to the Surface Design Association and not Seventh-day Adventists, speed demos archive or small dead animals, as found on a Google search.) Wendy told me that she had attended a couple of SDA conferences and would not even consider missing one. That was enough of an endorsement for me. I went home and registered that evening, and then over the next couple of days convinced my good friend, Pamela, to come along. Best decision we could have made.

We arrived on a Tuesday evening, with plans to meet some Austin friends for dinner. We were expecting to start our SDA experience with a pre-conference tour on Wednesday. I checked the online schedule and discovered a lecture that we could attend, and heaven forbid that we should miss anything! After bumping our dinner reservations back, we headed off in search of the Southwest School of Art, Navarro Campus. It was only a few blocks from our hotel but we found ourselves on the main campus instead. Imagine our delight in finding this art installation, called “Interloper” by Trish Ramsay:

garden art more garden art single "bloom"There were  hundreds of these yellow felt balls on wire stems installed throughout numerous garden beds on the school grounds. They were playful and awe-inspiring at the same time. I decided to make my own tiny version at home. I used real flower head from an arrangement that had otherwise given up the ghost. Note loss of the wow factor – I had 6 flowers to work with.

my verision my single bloom

As and addendum to these photos, I’m adding one from my trip to Vienna, where I spotted this window display:

window display in Vienna

Pamela and I found the correct building for the lecture given by Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, titled “Unconventional Materials / African Heritage”. Naomi is not only a tremendously talented artist, she is a fabulous story-teller. We were completely wired/inspired by the time we heard about Naomi’s background and experiences that have influenced her work. What a fantastic way for us to start the conference! Naomi had a show in the same building. Here are a couple of images of Naomi and her incredible work.

Naomi Wanjiku N.Wanjiku work 2 N.Wanjiku work 2 detail N.Wanjiku work 3 N.Wanjiku work 1 N.Wanjiku work 1 detail N.Wanjiku workSo that was our introduction to the conference. I’m exhausted just recounting our experience and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it. Stay tuned for more installments.

9 thoughts

  1. FYI: The felt ball installation was created by Trish Ramsay. The title of it is “Interloper.”


  2. Terri
    Thank you for this write-up and photography. I really appreciate that you came to my exhibition, and shared your experiences through your blog. I wish you all the best in your creative journey; and I know our paths will cross again and again.
    Naomi Wanjiku


  3. I think that this work is beautiful…it reminds me of the breathtaking exhibit of the work of the African Artist El Anatsui which I saw at the Clark Institute in Mass last year…bravo Naomi.


What do you think?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s