Jurying The SAA 59th Annual Exhibition

Attending the SAA Spring Meeting!

By Rachelle Siegrist

Chicago airial photo
The “Sears Tower” seen in the back right corner

Wes and I left for Chicago last Tuesday morning, to attend the Society of Animal Artists’ spring meeting.  Our plane took off on time and landed in Atlanta, where our connecting flight was delayed a couple of hours due to very bad storms in the Chicago area.  They finally boarded us and before landing, we flew through a complete whiteout for quite some time,  I was delighted that the clouds parted enough to reveal the city below, allowing us to see the “Sears Tower” rising above the clouds!  Our friends whom we were riding from the airport with, had been delayed as well, so we all ended up at O’Hare Airport at about the same time.  Arriving at SAA President Reneé and husband Brian’s beautiful home, their handsome English Setter, Max was as happy to see us, as we were him!

cute dog photo
My precious buddy Max

One of his favorite spots is sitting on the sofa while resting his head on the back, patiently waiting for someone to come and pet him.  As you can imagine I spent a lot of time petting Max and scratching his back with my nails, which he absolutely loved, for each time I did this his eyes would almost roll back and he became somewhat mesmerized.  So it was a past time which we both enjoyed!  Reneé and Brian graciously invited Wes and I and three other Board members to stay at their home and Reneé always has a vase of gorgeous fresh flowers in our room.  Upon entering it, Wes said he smelled jasmine, and I too thought it smelled divine, and a short time later we realized it was the flowers whose amazing scent filled the room!

flowers for rachelle siegriist
Beautiful and scrumptiously fragrant!

The next morning fellow Board members and guest jurors serving on the SAA jury joined us at  Reneé’s, and it was time to get busy.  We spent eight hours that day looking through around 400 images, from which pieces were selected for the annual show.  The jurying takes place in their home theater and I was delighted to get to sit in the massage chair, where I enjoyed numerous back and foot massages throughout the day!  After lunch Board member Sherrie and I took Max for a nice walk since the rain had finally stopped for a brief period, and I’m not sure who enjoyed it more Max or Sherrie and me.

SAA dinner part rachelle

That evening, Board members who’d arrived during the day joined us for a dinner party, and the kitchen became abuzz with activity, with many of us helping out and cooking, filling the air with delicious aromas!

SAA dinner party
Hanging out in the kitchen

Afterward came the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor, whilst feasting and enjoying lots of wonderful conversation and much laughter!  A highlight of the dinner conversation at our table was the stories Reneé and Brian shared about their experiences with spinner dolphins, rays and the likes while staying in Costa Rica!  Later that evening we excitedly viewed for the first time, the accepted artwork that would comprise the annual show.

SAA dinner
Allen, me, Roger, Brian, Reneé, Chris, Jim, and Sherrie, having a great time!

The next day started early once again as we headed to the hotel where the remaining Board members were staying and our Board meeting was to be held.  Although the agenda was a long one, things went fairly smooth and by 5 o’clock that evening, we had accomplished everything we needed to do.  Another 8-hour meeting!

SAA board meeting
The SAA Board meeting

That evening, it was time to relax for a while at a restaurant nearby, where we once again enjoyed delicious food and lots of great laughs and conversation.  Afterward, we said our goodbyes and our crew headed back to Reneé’s.  The next morning we thanked Reneé and Brian for their wonderful hospitality and I petted my sweet Max one last time, before heading back to the airport.  Once home, Wes got busy with a mountain of SAA work.

SAA Board Dinner 5.2019
The happy gang enjoying dinner!

Wes and I, are both thrilled and honored to each have a painting accepted into the upcoming SAA 59th Annual Exhibition at the gorgeous Briscoe Western Art Museum  September 19 – December 31, 2019!

alligator painting Stealthy Approach by Rachelle Siegrist
My “Stealthy Approach”


red-shouldered hawk painting Southern Sentinel by Wes Siegrist
Wes’ “Southern Sentinel”


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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle

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