Exhibition Policies and FAQs  

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The following information generally applies to the SAQA Global exhibitions, which are open to ALL SAQA members. The policies for Regional exhibitions may vary. ALWAYS refer to the exhibition prospectus for more details.

General Questions

Entering Exhibitions

Submitting Digital Images

3D or Alternative Format Works

Notification Process

Shipping your Artwork

Additional Resources


General Questions

What is an art quilt?
An art quilt is defined by SAQA as “a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure”.

The word "references" allows for a broader understanding of the art quilt that welcomes growth and development of individual style. This may include:  

To view the diversity of artwork created by SAQA members, check out the Juried Artist gallery or our current exhibitions.

Where can I find information about an upcoming SAQA exhibition?
SAQA maintains a list of upcoming and current SAQA Calls for Entry on our website. This includes both Global and Regional Calls for Entry as well as other SAQA opportunities. Each Call for Entry will include a detailed prospectus that includes more specifics. 

Weekly emails from SAQA will also include information about our different opportunities (and their deadlines). For more details about regional opportunities, contact your Regional Representative.   

NOTE: Prospectuses for the Global Exhibitions are posted online about one year before the final application deadline. Sometimes slight changes are made to the prospectus - please make sure you periodically review the online version so you are aware of these updates.

Who can enter a SAQA exhibition?
You must be a current SAQA member to enter both Global and Regional Calls for Entry. You do NOT have to be a Juried Artist member. Regional Calls require you to be affiliated with a region specified in the prospectus. Each member can select a primary and secondary region in their mySAQA profile.

Do entries need to be original work?
Yes, SAQA exhibitions do require that artists submit work that is original and of their own design. Quilts made from patterns, kits or completed in workshops with the collaboration or design of an instructor, or copies or clearly derivative work based on another artist's work are not eligible. If you have questions, please contact the exhibition coordinator referenced in the prospectus.

When can I enter a SAQA exhibition?
Each SAQA Call for Entry will usually have a one month time period when entries are accepted online. Specifics will be included in the prospectus. The online entry forms will be available for viewing one month before the call opens.

Do you offer translated versions of the Calls for Entry? 
We do offer some translations of select SAQA Calls for Entry. Click on a flag below for details. Non-U.S. members should also be aware of SAQA Shipping Reimbursement Policy.  

French Translations German Translations Flag Icon Flag IconFlagFlagFlag Icon


Why are the exhibitions juried?

SAQA strives to produce professional exhibitions that can be marketed to a variety of venues. Jurors help to meet this goal by pulling together a cohesive body of work that is aesthetically and thematically cohesive from a diverse slate of entries.

How are jurors selected?
Jurors with diverse backgrounds and artistic training are sought and may include museum curators, artists working within the academic community, and well-known artists of all media. Jurors use a blind jurying process to make their final selections for the exhibition.

How can I participate in creating or jurying exhibitions?
If you're interested in assisting in the creation and organization of wonderful new exhibitions, please contact the Chair of the Exhibition Committee to learn how you may serve on the exhibition committee.

Will all accepted artworks be shown in every venue in which the exhibition is booked?
Each exhibition is different and not all works can be shown in every venue. The venues that SAQA contracts with to host an exhibition have different space limitations and many museum and gallery venues also have curators that exercise creative control over the presentation of an exhibition within their venue. SAQA markets each exhibition in its entirety and works with venues to ensure the maximum number of pieces possible will be shown in each venue.

What is the difference between a global and regional exhibition?
SAQA offers a variety of exhibition opportunities
(view SAQA Calls for Entry) for members at all levels of career development.

Global (previously All-SAQA) 

These calls for entry are open to ALL SAQA members, regardless of their location. Announced about one year ahead of time, these calls usually result in hundreds of submitted artworks (which does affect the percentage of accepted pieces). Communication and logistics pertaining to global exhibitions are handled by SAQA staff and members of the Exhibition Committee. Artwork from these exhibitions are posted on the SAQA website in full detail (including links to printed catalogs, audio tours, and other exhibition materials). Available for travel across the globe, these exhibitions are managed by William Reker, SAQA's Director of Global Exhibitions.


SAQA also has a very robust regional exhibition program which expands the variety of exhibition opportunities available for our members. Each region is responsible for handling the details of their regional exhibition, from issuing the call for entry through planning the traveling schedule. Usually regional exhibitions travel within a specific region BUT some regional exhibitions do travel extensively.

Sometimes a regional call for entry will include multiple regions. Applicants must be a member of the participating regions (or have one of the regions selected as their second region). Due to the smaller pool of members, there are fewer applicants to regional calls for entry. Always review the prospectus to find out more about the details and who to contact if you have questions.

Who do I contact if I have questions?
Each Call for Entry will include an email for an Exhibition Coordinator. If you have any questions about the information included in the prospectus, please feel free to contact them directly. You can also reach the Exhibition Committee Chair at 
ExhibitCoord@saqa.com. For questions about shipping, please contact William Reker at exhibitions@saqa.com.

For questions about regional exhibitions, please refer to the prospectus for contact information as it will vary by region.


questions about Entering Exhibitions

Where can I find help filling out the entry?
If you have specific questions that pertain to the exhibition itself (size requirements, eligibility, etc.), contact the exhibition coordinator listed in the prospectus.

For questions about using the online form, read our Form Submission Guidelines. Note that some regional calls may use an alternate submission platform - refer to the prospectus for details. 

Do I have to pay an entry fee when I enter or just if I am accepted?
Each Call for Entry will usually have a fee for entering the exhibition. This fee must be paid by everyone, regardless if your artwork is accepted or not. Fees can be paid online (credit card or paypal) via www.saqa.com/fees during the entry window.

What happens if I don't pay my entry fee?
Once the call closes, we will review the list of completed entries against the payments received (these are two separate databases). You will be contacted if you still need to submit a payment. Failure to pay your fee can result in your pieces not being included in the jurying process.If you have any questions regarding your payment, please contact info@saqa.com

What does "collaboration" mean when entering a SAQA exhibit?
Collaboration on an artwork means one or more persons worked as a team to jointly create the artwork and each person contributed in some significant way to the artwork, sharing credit for its' creation. This does not include the production of material used, paid labor or contract quilting.

Collaboration is permitted provided:

Are members allowed to have multiple pieces selected for a global exhibition?
No, members may submit up to three pieces of art for each global exhibition, however jurors will be instructed to select no more than one artwork per artist per exhibition. Regional exhibitions may have different policies.

Are the size requirements negotiable? What about embellishments?
Each exhibition is designed to hang in specific venues, many of which have specified exactly what size artwork they can accommodate. Works selected for an exhibition are expected to travel together and must be able to fit within one of SAQA’s traveling crates.

Sizes are not negotiable and any entry that does not meet those requirements will be reviewed by the Exhibition Committee Chair to determine whether it will be excluded from the exhibit. However, leeway can usually be made provided if it is within one inch of the requirement. Any embellishment that extends past the edge of the work, in any direction, is included in the size measurements.  

Is there a word limit for my artist statement, materials, and techniques?
Yes, there is a limit to the number of characters that can be used in these sections. The artist statement, which is specific to the entered piece, is limited to 1000 characters (approximately 200 words) and should not contain your name, your website or any other information that would affect the blind jury process.

The materials and techniques sections each have a limit of 200 characters (approximately 40 words) and should not contain any brand names or artist names.

What about copyright concerns?
Each artist will be asked to confirm on the submission form that to the best of the Artist's knowledge, the artwork does not violate any current copyright laws. This clause is also reflected in the contract for accepted artists. Information about copyright permissions should be included in the artist statement.

Permission to use another's work as inspiration does not mean that clearly derivative works will be accepted for global exhibitions - only original creative artwork may be submitted.

What does “Insurance Value” mean?
Only applicable if your piece is Not for Sale. This is the value determined by the artist that represents the US dollar amount the work would be priced, if it were available for sale. This amount may not be changed after the entry is submitted.

Can I publish photos of my work before it has been accepted into an exhibition?
When applying to a SAQA Call for entry, there are no restrictions regarding the publication of images of your artwork. This is true even if your artwork is accepted. 

Does it matter when my work was created?
No, SAQA does not have a requirement that an artwork be made after a certain date for our Global Exhibitions. All SAQA member work that meets the requirements in the prospectus is eligible for entry, with the exception of work previously shown in a SAQA Global Exhibition.

Note that this policy may be different for regional exhibitions - always check the prospectus.

Can I submit my artwork to another exhibition?
Before completing your submission, please double check that any work submitted has not been entered in or accepted to any other exhibition that may overlap with the dates of this show. Remember, SAQA requires that accepted artwork remain available for the entire length of the exhibition and cannot be withdrawn before the end of the exhibition schedule for any reason.

Withdrawal after entry submission but before acceptance will result in a forfeiture of the entry fee; withdrawal once work has been accepted whether prior to or during the exhibition will result in the artist being excluded from future SAQA shows for a period of 18 months.

Is a label required for my work?
Yes, the label must contain the title of the work, your name and address, telephone number and name of the exhibition and should be sewn onto the back of the work. The names of all collaborating artists should also be listed on the label.

What about sleeves or rod pockets?
Please read each prospectus for more information about hanging requirements as the venue may have its own preferences. If you have any questions, contact the Exhibition Coordinator.

For 2D works, a four-inch wide sleeve should be attached one inch from the top of the quilt and should extend to only one inch inside each edge of the work. Prospectuses for exhibits that include 3D work will contains details on labeling as well as hanging devices, pedestals or installation information.

Note: the instructions below reference a 5-in sleeve but this policy was recently updated to allow for 4-in sleeves.

How to Make a Hanging Sleeve / Rod Pocket »


Will the back of my work ever show?
Yes, some venues have exhibited work in a suspended format that may allow the back of the work to be seen.

Can I continue to work on my piece of artwork, add stitching or other elements once it has been submitted?
No. Your quilt must match the image that was submitted for the jury process and any entry that does not meet this requirement will be reviewed by the Exhibition Committee Chair to determine whether it will be excluded from the exhibit.

Questions about Digital Images 

Do I submit images of my work or do I just mail the artwork to SAQA?
Jurors select the work through images submitted online as part of the entry form. The juror does not see the actual artwork. This is why it is vital to send the best possible image. One full and one detail image are requested. For exhibits that encourage 3D work, an optional additional image may be submitted.

Here are some additional resources to review:

Help with Resizing Photos by Gloria Hansen (video)
Photographing Your Own Quilt courtesy of Maria Elkins
Submitting Photos to SAQA Publications by Deidre Adams

What are the digital submission guidelines? 

Images should be in focus, properly exposed, and evenly lit. No part of the quilt should be in shadow. The quilt should be the only item visible in the image other than a white, black, or gray background.

For each wall hung entry, submit one overall image and one detail image.

For each 3D, installation and wearable art entry, submit one overall front image, one overall rear or side view image and one detail image. 


How do I check image sizes or find the number of pixels?

While the form does NOT check the pixel size or file size on uploaded files, you will want to ensure that your images meet the specifications.
When saving your images, be sure to select JPG or JPEG files. The form will NOT accept any other file formats.


To check the pixel size of the image on your computer:

If your file exceeds the maximum pixel size, you will need to resize it smaller. This can be done using Preview (MAC), Paint (Windows), or other software products. There are also some online file resizers such as https://picresize.com.

If your file size is below the minimum pixels, you will need to get another picture. You cannot increase the number of pixels without a loss of image quality.


Even if your image file is within the specific pixel range, it may still be too large for uploading due to image resolution, number of colors, compression/quality, etc.

You can check the file size using the instructions above. Remember that 1000 KiloBytes (KB) = 1 MegaByte (MB). To reduce the file size, you may need to set a pixel size closer to the minimum requirement.


Can I edit my digital images?
You may use any image-editing software as needed to accurately represent, the quilt. Image-editing processing could include cropping, color-correction, adding/modifying a solid-color background of white, black, or gray. 

NOTE: If a quilt arrives that appears significantly different from the digital image submitted for jurying, the Exhibition Committee reserves the right to reject the entry. The decision of the Exhibition Committee Chair is final. 

Can I enter an image of my artwork with my signature or watermark showing?
No, the jury process is a blind process and all marks identifying the artist must be removed.

Here are some instructions with additional information, including how to blur your artist signature.

Image Submission for Blind Jurying

How do I label my images to submit during entry?
Label your images in whatever way is useful to you in retrieving and uploading the images to the entry form. The entry system will overwrite that label with a new file name.


Questions about 3D or alternative format Works

Are 3D works allowed for exhibitions?
Each exhibition has a detailed prospectus online that specifies what can and cannot be entered. Some of SAQA’s calls invite 3D, sculptural or installation type entries and will be specifically addressed in the prospectus under Eligibility and Guidelines (if allowed for consideration). Some of these restrictions may be based upon venue that will be hosting the exhibition.

Do I need to do anything special when entering 3D or alternative format works?
Work accepted for SAQA exhibitions that are installation, three-dimensional, sculptural, freestanding or wearable, may require the artist to provide display equipment necessary to properly install the piece. This could include pedestals, armatures, mannequins, or custom-made display supports. While many venues provide pedestals, the artist may need to provide the weight of the artwork and might be able to suggest height and size of such pedestal. Artists should also be prepared, if necessary, to provide unusual or specific lighting for installation works, if such lighting is not typical for the venue’s light system (e.g. spotlights, or floor lights). 

In the event of a video submission, artists should be prepared, if necessary, to provide the appropriate monitor or projection equipment for viewing. Also, any accepted video should be submitted to the venue in the format requested by the venue, such as DVD, thumb drive, or upload.

Artists will need to provide step-by-step instructions for the assembly, installation, and display of any work that is not simply hung directly onto a wall.  These instructions should also include, if necessary, clear guidelines for unpacking and repacking of the work for return shipment, including photos, and diagrams.

Do you have advice about shipping 3D artworks?
Susan Else, a SAQA member whose work is three dimensional and freestanding, has been kind enough to provide some tips on packing and shipping dimensional artwork.

Guidance on Shipping 3D Artwork »


Questions about notification and scheduling

When do I find out if I have been accepted?
Each prospectus will include a date by which notifications will be sent. Sometimes the jurying process will be completed earlier. Both accepted and declined artists are contacted via email about their status. The list of accepted artists will be announced soon afterwards. 

The notification deadline has passed and I haven’t heard anything, what should I do?
Make sure your email address is correct in every place entered, add @SAQA.com to your contacts list, check your spam and junk folders and if you still haven’t found any information by the date for notification, contact the Exhibition Coordinator listed on the prospectus for the exhibition you entered.

My work was accepted - what happens now?
Accepted artists will receive Artist Instructions which will include shipping instructions and an artist contract. In addition to other tasks, artists will be required to submit a brief artist biography.

Writing Artist Statements »
Preparing your Artwork for Travel »


Does SAQA arrange for my work to be sent to the SAQA shipping facility?
No, each artist is responsible for following the shipping instructions included in the Artist Instructions
. SAQA does not pay for shipping of artwork to our central shipping facility. SAQA will cover shipping costs to the venues and back to the artist when the final exhibition closes. 

Non-US artists can request reimbursement for a portion of their shipping costs to our Ohio shipping center.


Can I remove my work before the exhibition ends?
No, work must be available to travel throughout the duration of an exhibition. It is SAQA policy that once a work has been accepted, it cannot be withdrawn for any reason until the end of the exhibition travel schedule. If a work is sold during the exhibition, the purchaser must wait until the end of the exhibition to receive the work.

What happens if my work sells during the exhibition? 
Work that sells from a SAQA Global Exhibition will not be delivered to the buyer until after the exhibition ends. SAQA will hold all sales monies received in a customer deposit account until the end of the return period (14 days after the artwork is received by the buyer). SAQA shall pay all proceeds due to the Artist (less any applicable commissions) within 30 days of end of the return period.

What happens if my work is damaged or lost during an exhibition?  
SAQA will arrange to insure the artworks during the exhibition and while it travels, until it is returned to the artist. We do require our exhibiting venues to carry their own insurance as well.

In the event of loss or damage, artists WILL be asked to provide sales records and/or appraisals as supporting documentation towards determining the insurance value of artwork. Any negotiation regarding final valuation is between the artist and the insurance company.
SAQA’s liability is limited to the amount paid by insurance.


Questions about shipping

What is the SAQA Shipping Policy?

1. Work accepted into a SAQA exhibition will be required to travel to all venues with the exhibition unless otherwise specified. Most exhibits require that work be able to be rolled, folded, collapsed or otherwise able to travel between venues in one of SAQA’s traveling crates along with the other works in the exhibit. SAQA asks that artists engineer their piece(s) to break down or fold so they can fit into the space allotted. Note that this does not apply for SAQA calls which allow for 3D pieces.

When artwork does not fit in a SAQA’s shipping crate SAQA may require that the artist provide a suitable container for shipping the work from venue to venue. The artist may be asked to pay a portion of the additional shipping fees. If a work is selected by the juror, SAQA will work with the artist to determine the amount of the artist’s liability and the artist’s liability will be limited to the agreed amount.

2. SAQA may require a work to be shipped in a separate container if a work is too large, too heavy, too fragile, contains design elements that pose a risk of damage to other works in the exhibit or for other reasons. The determination of whether a work must travel in a separate container shall be made at the discretion of the Exhibition Committee Chair with the advice and counsel of the Director of Global Exhibitions.

For questions regarding the shipping policy, please contact William Reker at exhibitions@saqa.com


Additional Resources

Lifecycle of a SAQA Exhibition Slideshow

Lifecycle of a SAQA Exhibition Webinar (member login required)

Exhibition Committee Presentation at 2016 Conference - slideshow

Regional Exhibition Information

SAQA Current Exhibitions

SAQA Calls for Entry



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