IDAL events, like the upcoming convention, are a time of education and socialization.
Pictured from a past event are current IDAL President Glenda Mosley and 2014 IDAL
President Theresa Cheek.

Something Old, Something New

By Tammy Adamson-McMullen

If you’re planning to attend this year’s convention of the International Decorative Artisans League (IDAL), you can expect a few changes.

Paint Décor Expo—officially, the 2016 IDAL-Sponsored Education Event for Paint Décor—will be held Sept. 25 through 29 in San Diego. The convention will feature the same high-caliber educational programming, top-name speakers and fun social activities that convention-goers have come to expect. But this year there will be some new twists, which aptly coincide with the convention’s theme, “Unmasking the Vision” and include the convention’s tie-in with the Concrete Décor Show.

Some of the changes are representative of IDAL leadership’s commitment to growing the organization.

IDAL President Glenda Mosley, of Ross Designs in Houston, notes that IDAL leadership in the past year has been thinking outside of the box in trying to form connections within the building industry and to bring new members into the fold. As a result, convention-goers may see some fresh new faces this year, for example, as IDAL has been actively reaching out to fine art students to urge them to attend.

“We want to pass off our knowledge to them. And we want them to see that there is a way to make money in the art world beyond canvas art or gallery work,” Glenda says. “So we’re doing heavy outreach right now to art colleges, art studios, art supply houses and painting houses of any kind. We have a volunteer crew talking to students and putting out (convention) posters.”

But this is only one new aspect of this year’s convention, which has been thoughtfully and painstakingly planned to appeal to a broad section of decorative artists.

Incoming President Rik Lazenby, of Lazenby’s Decorative Art Studio Inc. in Birmingham, Ala., says the convention promises to be the best to date.

“As an IDAL member, I have attended several conventions, and this looks to be one of the finest ever. But this is to be expected. Working this year with President Glenda Mosley and Past President Lyna Farkas has been a wonderful experience. These two ladies are to be commended on their leadership styles and ethical approaches in leading IDAL to a higher level,” Rik says. “I’m honored to be a small part of this team.”

Certainly the biggest change in this year’s IDAL convention is its partnering with the Concrete Décor Show.

The Concrete Décor Show, now in its seventh year, is home to the largest focused gathering of decorative concrete professionals from around the world and features concrete-related exhibitors, workshops and seminars, demonstrations and other events. Attendees typically include concrete manufacturers, distributors, retailers, builders, interior designers, artisans and other industry personnel.

“We were looking to network with the right kind of organization in the industry. We wanted to reach out to builders, architects, designers and other artists. And because they attend the Concrete Décor Show event, it was a chance for us to be in front of them and to help them understand the type of work we do,” Glenda explains. Additionally, “It’s fun to be with like-minded people, to get inspired by one another and to meet new friends.”

Glenda Mosley is excited about all that is being
planned for the convention. Glenda will pass on
the IDAL presidency 
to Rik Lazenby during the

IDAL leadership saw the collaboration with Concrete Décor Show as making good sense not only from a networking perspective but from a financial one as well. According to Glenda, some IDAL members were in favor of IDAL hosting its own convention; however, at this point in time, it wasn’t feasible financially.

“Because IDAL is still rebuilding, we felt the need to be fiscally conscientious. It takes a lot for a nonprofit to do something like this on its own. But we saw that our members wanted to be together. They look forward to the convention all year long, and many members book their businesses and personal lives around the convention,” Glenda says. “So when the opportunity presented itself to partner with the Concrete Décor Show, we felt like it was a good fit this year.”

Enthusiasm has been building for the collaboration as it provides decorative painters a chance “to cross over to the concrete side,” as Glenda says. “More and more of our members are interested in carving out niches in concrete. Concrete countertops and overlays, floors with epoxies and patterns, and the carving of concrete in reliefs of all kinds are becoming very popular among many of our members.”

Decorative painters interested in picking up or honing their concrete-related skills can choose from a variety of seminars and workshops being sponsored by the Concrete Décor Show, from business strategies to specific concrete techniques. (See seminar and workshop list in accompanying article.) They also will have an opportunity to visit the trade show floor to see what’s new in the world of concrete, to talk with concrete suppliers one-on-one and to view demonstrations of techniques involving concrete.

Of course, the opposite also is true. Glenda expects that Concrete Décor Show attendees likely will be attending Paint Décor Expo events as well. “The concrete side is excited to come over to us, too,” Glenda says, “so there will be a crossover.”

The decorative art and concrete sides additionally will be co-mingling on a philanthropic project, which essentially will encompass on-site workshops. The two groups on Sept. 25 and 26 will be refreshing Bannister House, a local nonprofit that provides affordable lodging and supportive services in friendly, homelike surroundings for out-of-town families of patients in the UC San Diego Health System.

IDAL students will be enhancing the interior of Bannister House, under the direction of Jennifer Ferguson, of Artistic Painting Studio in Huntington Beach, Calif., while the Concrete Décor Show students will be enhancing the exterior. IDAL students will gain instruction in a variety of techniques, including applying a base color, preparing a room for a textured finish and then applying the texture using decorative rollers. They also will learn tips and tricks on how to line up the rollers and "what to do when they get up to the edges," as Glenda says. And they will have the satisfaction of knowing they helped beautify a space for families in crisis. Concrete Décor Show students, meanwhile, will be mastering such techniques as concrete stamps and overlays and elegant concrete staining.

One of the most valuable aspects of the IDAL/Concrete Décor Show collaboration is that it will provide a platform for members to explain to other industry members the type of work that they are capable of performing. To that end, IDAL plans to have a booth at Concrete Décor Show that will highlight a variety of on-trend decorative art techniques. Because the local chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) will be present, some of this education will be directed their way.

“We will have individuals in the booth that can talk one-on-one with interior designers to discuss the designs and techniques that are current with trends. Many designers think faux is out; they just need a little more education,” Glenda says. “Designers actually are using many on-trend techniques in wallpapers and in very popular Venetian plasters.”

In some cases, interior designers might not know that decorative artists tackle finishes that go far beyond sponging, ragging and other multi-layered looks—“although we do that, too,” Glenda adds. “It’s just a matter of educating them that we do so much more than the old ’70s sponge and rag-roll.” She notes that the booth will be a point of education, where show-goers can learn about the techniques that IDAL members are employing today.

Not to be missed, of course, are the always-enjoyed workshops of the convention. Glenda reports that IDAL workshops this year will tackle traditional techniques, such as wall finishes, cabinet refinishing and creating murals, but these often will be taken in a new direction.

Paint Decor Expo's "Cloud Painting for Murals" workshop,
taught by Andy Eccleshall, will take cloud painting to a
whole new level.

In one of the mural workshops, for example, instructor Andy Eccleshall of The Mural Works Inc. in Edmonds, Wash., will teach participants how to paint cloud murals. “But these aren’t your typical clouds,” Glenda emphasizes. “They have more drama.” The class, which will begin with a discussion of cloud structure, formations and lighting and continue with demonstrations of Andy’s unique techniques, is indicative of the caliber of teaching this year, Glenda adds.

Other workshops range from creating bas reliefs and mastering lime plasters to reactive art techniques and new mica concepts. “So we’ll have traditional stuff but some new stuff, too,” Glenda says. Registration for the show is starting to build, so Glenda encourages decorative artists who are interested in a specific workshop to sign up now. Early-bird registration, which can help save dollars on every class, ends on June 30.

Rik Lazenby may be first in line. “The slate of classes for the 2016 IDAL Convention is truly top-shelf, and when I study the instructor list for the classes, it reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ in the decorative arts industry,” Rik says. “The Board has solicited a mixture of seasoned pros and younger artists, who often bring fresh ideas to the students. You can count on me scheduling a couple of classes for myself ...”

Another not-to-be-missed event is the special address by guest speaker Crista Cloutier, an internationally known artist and writer and founder of The Working Artist, an online business school for artists and photographers. Recently honored as an “Influencer in the Contemporary Art World” by LinkedIn, Crista has sold artwork to galleries, museums and collectors throughout the world.

“Crista really talks to the artist and understands us,” Glenda enthuses. “I’m excited she’s coming and am looking forward to attending her workshop as well. (See IDAL workshop list in accompanying article.) She has an ability to connect with her audience, and I know our members will feel that instant connection as well.”

According to Glenda, Paint Décor Expo attendees also should seek out demo areas throughout the convention and trade show, which will offer valuable information about new products, techniques and technologies. And wherever possible, they should plug into social activities, which will include an auction featuring items from decorative artists, studios and supply houses.

For the auction, decorative painters are encouraged to make a Mardi Gras-type mask—which ties into the “Unmasking the Vision” theme—to wear to the event and to throw into the bidding, if they desire. Social events also will include raffles and finishing contests, including the always popular “Best Finish and Painted Apparel” contests.

Additionally, “We are excited that one of our favorite mentors and a long-time IDAL supporter and member, Melanie Royals, will be hosting an open house at her Royal Designs Studio on Monday evening (Sept. 26),” Glenda says. “All are welcome.”

Glenda is confident that attendees will enjoy what the convention has to offer. “We’re excited about the direction we’re taking the event and think that once everyone sees the vision, they’ll be thrilled,” Glenda adds. “We’re going for the gusto, going for broke and shooting for the stars!”

For full details of Paint Décor Expo, click here; for Concrete Décor Expo, click here.

To see the accompanying article, providing further details, click here.