Scholarship & Award Information 2024
Alegre Retreat Annual Scholarship
Alegre Retreat Annual Scholarship – This annual scholarship was created in 2010 to help quilters who are facing a hardship and might not otherwise be able to attend the Alegre Retreat. Sponsored by the “Hats off to Alegre” hat auction from the 2010 Alegre Retreat, this special award was made possible when each of the instructors decorated a ball cap in their signature style. All were auctioned off on the final day of the retreat, raising enough money to sponsor one quilter for the following year! This has now changed from hats to purses!
YEA Award –The Alegre Retreat Young Emerging Artist Award is to encourage young artists to enter the art quilt field. This year’s YEA Award is sponsored in part by Maureen Hendricks, Sandy Chapin, Hannah Silks by Brooke Exley, and Michele Isaac.
To Apply For The Alegre Retreat Annual Scholarship or The YEA Award –
Interested applicants must be under 30 years of age on or before April 2, 2024 for the YEA Award, and any age for the Annual Scholarship.
For both scholarships-
There will be one general and one YEA scholarship available. Please send an email with the following to Katiepm ([email protected]):
10 images of your work, and a one-page essay (250-500 words) that explains what it means to you to attend an Alegre Retreat.
All submissions must be received no later than October 27, 2023 for the April 2024 Retreat.
For qualifying submissions a lottery selection process will be used to determine the winners.
Our Recent Scholarship Recipients:
Congratulations to Karen Ponischil recipient of the 2019 General Scholarship sponsored by the auction of Alegre Bags made by the teachers and students at the 2018 retreat.
“The focus of my work for the last 10 years has been realistic, painted botanical images and pet portraits. I have thoroughly enjoyed creating these realistic pieces.
I’ve loved the process and learned from each piece. (…) Fiber art is my true passion. I want to take every opportunity possible to grow as an artist. Our time is limited and I do not want to waste any of it. I want to use my talents to improve my art every chance I get.”- Karen Ponischil
“It was thrilling to take the week long design and composition class with Katie. It was wonderful to focus on my art for an entire week.
All the instructors are world-class textile artists who honestly care about their students’ growth as artists.
The creative vibe was inspiring. There were no egos, we were all there to help each other, experiment and grow creatively.
The Colorado landscape was beyond beautiful. The resort accommodations were the best I’ve experienced. Attending the Alegre Retreat was an incredible life experience. Thank you!” – Karen Ponischil
Congratulations to Stephanie Folsom recipient of the 2019 YEA Award sponsored by Maureen Hendricks in Honor of Bobby Masopust Jr.
“While I’ve never been to the Alegre Retreat attending it would be an inviting call home. (…) I know I would benefit greatly from the instruction and encouragement the teachers that Alegre has to offer. I would love to come back to my quilting roots while doing things I have never tried before.
This scholarship is a huge blessing for young artists because we lead such busy lives that sometimes we forget to stop and breath. I want to breath, I want to come home, and I’m ready to learn.” – Stephanie Folsom
“I had the most wonderful time at Alegre Retreat. I was worried that coming from a traditional quilter background I wouldn’t fit in. That was hardly the case, as everyone immediately made me feel welcome and accepted.
I was exposed to art forms I had never seen before and learned things I didn’t know I was capable of. Trying something new can be intimidating and at times frustrating, however; under the right guidance it can be exciting and inspiring.
Alegre offers that guidance from both the teachers and students alike, sharing their experience and knowledge. YEA scholarship helps the younger generation of artist experience not just an amazing trip, but gives them foundation to create their own journey into the art world for the years to follow.
This scholarship opens doors. It exposed me to new art and changed my perspective on how I look at quilting. I want to share my new perspective with others in my future quilts.
I hope that art quilts will continue to grow and live on for generations to come and I can be a part of that next generation. Thank you Alegre and Gateway Canyons Resort for hosting me and sponsoring me as I embark on my new journey as an artist.” – Stephanie Folsom
Congratulations to Rebecca Denfip recipient of one of the 2019 YEA Awards!
“I am a fiber artist, but not necessarily a quilter (yet!) My forte is in costuming and fashion, but since working at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY, I have found an interest in modern quilting.
I am intrigued by the amazing artists we have in the museum and I would like to try my hand at making an art quilt.” – Rebecca Denfip
This scholarship is sponsored in part by Maureen Hendricks, Sandy Chapin, Hannah Silks by Brooke Exley, and Martelli Notions.
Congratulations to our 2018 Alegre Retreat Scholarship Winner Nicole Dunn!
“Where do I start? I wanted most of all to express my thanks to you and to the Alegre Retreat for the most amazing time ever. It’s hard to find all the words I need to tell you how much it meant to me to be there this past April. Everything, literally everything, was perfect. The setting, the staff working at the resort, the class, the food, the walks, the museum, the visit to the Hendricks home, … I could go on and on. I left there reinvigorated, feeling excited about art in general and my project in particular. To be with a group of people who think as I do about creating beautiful art with fiber (among other things) is immeasurable. It was truly a magical experience, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.” -Nicole Dunn
Our 2017 YEA Award recipient is Bess Boucher from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Congratulations Bess!
Congratulations to Judy Kennedy recipient of the 2016 General Scholarship.
Testimonial from our 2016 YEA Scholarship winner Emily Scown:
“I am humbled by the experience. Gateway Canyons provides such an inspiring backdrop for a creative gathering. The resort staff and accommodations are first class. Words and pictures do not fully capture the atmosphere and how wonderful Alegre is.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to explore my fabric art among such supportive people. Katie with the help from Randi do such a great job in organizing and running a wonderful gathering. The list of people who make this event run smoothly is long.
All of the instructors were wonderful and encouraging. I have already signed up to come back next year. I highly recommend Alegre for anyone at any level of fabric artistry. A huge Thank you to everyone who made it possible for me to attend.” – Emily Scown
From our 2016 YEA recipient Madeline Boldt Darsey: “I am so excited to attend the Alegre Retreat this year, and it is a huge honor to have been selected for the Young Emerging Artist scholarship. This retreat will give me the chance to learn from outstanding artists, and explore and enhance my relationship with fibers! This experience will be invaluable to me, and I can’t wait to attend! I am so grateful for the opportunity, and to all the people involved in organizing this retreat.”
2015 YEA Scholarship Recipient Mary Mattimoe:
“The 2015 Alegre Retreat was fantastic. The retreat was very structured with time and activities, but still maintained an air of breezy calmness. There was ample time to eat, drink, and chill- even for my easily over stimulated self! The walks every morning helped me stay active and talk with different people. I usually forget to eat when I have that much creative output, but thankfully I was well fed and never ‘hangry.’ Also, music with dancing and hula hooping allowed everyone to come together candidly. Most importantly, art quilts are displayed all over Gateway Canyons, echoing the love of quilting while providing inspiration.
Linda Colsh pushed me to new levels of creativity. In her class, Work Simple, Work Small, I created two new series: Going Places and The Quiet Ones. She generously shared many processes she uses as well as ideas for finishing and selling work. During the week, I completed 17 new pieces of art that all delight me.
The community was incredible! During the retreat, I had time to meet many people and I especially got to know the other Young Emerging Artist, Steph Lange. We are still in contact, I plan on seeing her at two more retreats this year, and we are working on a collaborative project together. I now have more quilt friends on Facebook and love seeing what they are doing. There was honestly not a bad apple in the bunch. The other participants, both quilters and non, make this retreat incredibly special with great conversation from interesting people.
Most importantly, the true spirit of retreat occurred. I was able to effectively reflect on my life and goals. Midweek, I decided to devote myself to my art full time. This was a decision I did not make lightly and have not regretted, but with out this retreat might have taken me much longer to reach. Thank you to the Alegre Retreat and to Sandy Chapin for her YEA scholarship in honor of Elspeth Hart!”
2015 YEA Scholarship Recipient Stephanie Lange:
“Alegre, in one word, AMAZING! Between the atmosphere of the resort, and the welcoming nature of everyone involved, it was hard to not feel special as a “Young Emerging Artist” scholarship student. At moments I couldn’t tell if it was Gateway Canyons Resort, the Alegre Retreat, or the higher elevation that was taking my breath away.
It was awesome as a young artist to be surrounded by people who have many years of experience and skill in fiber arts. Also, to have the freedom to discuss the frustrations, fears, and joys of art-making with not only the participants but the teachers as well, was a privileged experience, and had moments of rawness that is rare to find in everyday life. Easily one of the best retreats to go to as a young artist, it’s the perfect size of not feeling singled out, but not being lost in a crowd. It is also ideal for any young artist, even if you are still exploring in your art-making. It is important to talk to working artists and learn their stories, I can easily say I was inspired from every teacher there, even without taking their classes. Amazing friendships and relationships were cultivated solely through Alegre, and I will be eternally grateful for that!”
2015 General Scholarship Winner Lynn Koolish:
Lynn won the general scholarship: “Yippee! I am so excited about being able to spend dedicated art time at such a wonderful place with fabulous teachers. There’s nothing like a retreat to spur inspiration.”
2014 YEA Recipient Katie Teesdale:
“Winning one of the YEA emerging scholarships was truly an amazing experience. My own mom, a quilt enthusiast, has been talking about the Alegre retreats for years, so I knew I was in for an awesome adventure! I have just started my forays into the fiber art world, and it was an amazing way to really kick off my experiences there. I was lucky enough to receive a place in Wendy Huhn’s silkscreening on fabric course, something that I have always wanted to try–there’s only so much embroidering on paper silkscreens a girl can do before she thinks there must be a better way. Upon arriving, I was nervous about being the only ‘non-quilter’ in the room; but, in reality everyone was incredibly welcoming. The rooms were inviting, food amazingly delicious, the scenery breathtaking and inspiring, and the classrooms well stocked with everything a girl could ask for!
My week was filled with experiments and learning. Wendy waswilling to share everything we could possibly need to know about silkscreening, and we walked out of the classroom with the knowledge needed to set up our own silkscreening studio — which I’ve already put to good use teaching others! Thank you Wendy! I really enjoyed seeing how Wendy acts upon her ideas as an artist, as well as how she speaks about those ideas. I found myself constantly trying to capture moments of inspirational thought that she would dole out for us. I found the women in my classroom were ready to try new things and happy to talk about making art. And the artist talks! I can honestly say that listening to the other instructors processes have allowed me to start to view the world with a fresh eye. Listening to Elizabeth Barton in particular, speak about how she turns views of the industrial areas into beautiful abstract quilts has had an impact on my way of finding inspiration.I feel so lucky to be able to experience this part of life as an artist and maker with such a wonderful group of people!
I want to thank everyone again for making this possible. It was a fantastic experience, and I highly recommend that anyone who is thinking about applying for a scholarship here to do it. I especially want to thank Sandy Chapin, who sponsored me in Elspeth Harts name. I am truly thankful for your generosity.”
2014 General Scholarship recipient Katie Paluch:
“I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I applied for the general scholarship to the Alegre Quilting Retreat. A week of creativity sounded nice, so I figured why not give it a shot. I had no idea how amazing the experience would be. The resort was spectacular; friendly people, comfy rooms, and gorgeous views. I really enjoyed the automobile museum.
I signed up for Wendy Huhn’s Screen Printing class. I didn’t know much about screen-printing when I arrived, but returned home with a wealth of knowledge. Wendy and Darcy made it a great class, and I really enjoyed getting to know my fellow classmates. Everyone I met at the retreat was very nice. Since the retreat I’ve made a small exposure unit and set up a dark room in my basement. I’m trying to slowly incorporate screen-printing into my quilts. I really enjoyed my week at the Alegre Retreat, and my mom and I hope to return. Thanks so much for the wonderful opportunity.”
Testimonial of Suzanne Morga – Sumo who received the YEA, Young Emerging Artist Scholarship 2013 given by Maureen Hendricks hostess of Alegre Retreat.
“Going to the Alegre Retreat was one of the best experiences for my artistic career yet. When I had first received the scholarship I didn’t know what to expect, but within my first hour there I knew I was in for a treat. The week was filled with fun activities and classes taught by some of the biggest names in quilting.
I was able to immerse myself in a group of fabulous ladies who had so much knowledge to offer and love to give. Not to mention it was in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Theres an energy in Gateway, CO, that isn’t felt anywhere else. I also had some free time to myself to go hiking, jogging, swimming, and get a massage!
I feel as though my creative side was boosted by this trip. I had so many creative thoughts and conversations with others, something I don’t get too often back home. I also feel like my world for quilting was totally opened.
I learned that there really are no rules to the art form and Valerie showed me how to freely express myself through the combination of sewing and painting.
Anyone who can take the opportunity to go on this trip should absolutely go. I can’t think of a better experience.”
Ellen Rushman YEA Recipient 2013:
I’d heard about the Alegre Retreat a few years ago and considered applying for the Young Emerging Artist Scholarship before. Something about the “artist” category intimidated me, but this year I decided to go for it. All my insecurities about being “just a quilter” were put to rest within moments of arriving.
I spent the week in Jan Myers-Newbury’s class on shibori dyeing. I’d studied Jan’s early work and even written papers on her, so she was somewhat of a celebrity in my mind. As I gathered my supplies before I set out for Gateway, I remember thinking that I had better do all the dyeing I planned to do ever since it didn’t really seem like an apartment project. By the end of the first morning, I was already scheming about how perfect my basement would be for dyeing. Jan is an amazing teacher – she gave us the knowledge and tools to manipulate fabric in lots of ways. She also gave us the time to explore one technique so we could create enough fabric to combine into a cohesive piece.
I am incredibly grateful to John and Maureen Hendricks for their generosity in providing funding for the Young Emerging Artist Scholarship. The Alegre Retreat relit my quilting spark, and I’ve been infinitely more productive upon my return. I would encourage anyone – young or old – to attend the Alegre Retreat.”
Peg Collins, Scholarship Winner 2013:
“Winning the scholarship for Alegre Retreat was a dream come true. I had wanted to go to the retreat for several years, so I applied and was amazed to learn I had won the scholarship for 2013. I chose to take Katie’s Paint To Quilt class. I had 10 days to be ready to go. Anything that was planned got cancelled. I was not going to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Living in Colorado, I could drive to Gateway. My GPS said “your destination is one half mile ahead.” I didn’t believe it until I topped a rise and spread out before me was the most beautiful resort I had ever seen. The staff welcomed me and showed me to my room, my home for the coming week. I stood at the window and looked out at the majestic red sandstone mesas that surround the resort. I spent the afternoon wandering around and getting the “lay of the land”. I entered the welcome reception with trepidation to see so many strangers with whom I would spend the week. I needn’t have worried; I left our final banquet saying goodbye, sharing emails, and hugging my new friends.
Class began in earnest on Monday. The class started designing, learning, experimenting, and honing skills. We were encouraged to try new artistic avenues. Each day, we worked on our piece and saw the other pieces take shape. By the end of the week, each class member had an art piece well underway. It was interesting each evening to have a lecture and presentation from the other instructors; to listen to each artistic journey and see the evolution of her work.The piece I made is fresh and lovely, but it is insignificant compared to what I learned and took away from retreat. The instructors are world renowned and the classes are amazing, but Alegre Retreat isn’t just about taking a class and having fun with other art quilters. It is a rejuvenation of the artist’s soul; it is creating a bond with others who share my passion; and it is a little piece of Heaven on Earth.
Thank you more than words can say for this unique opportunity.”