IDAL Heads to High Point, N.C.

By Tammy Adamson-McMullen

High Point, N.C., with its world-renowned home-furnishings market, has long been associated with decorative fashion and cutting-edge design. It seems natural, then, that the International Decorative Artists League (IDAL) should be heading there for its 2017 national convention—and at the same time as the autumn High Point Furniture Market.

To be held Oct. 17 through 22 at the Grandover Resort & Spa in the Greensboro-High Point metro area, the IDAL convention promises to be high-energy, with a full slate of educational programming, speakers, social events and more. Additionally, High Point Furniture Market, which is the largest home furnishings trade event in the world, will be in full gear—thus offering all sorts of potential for decorative artisans

Rik Lazenby, current IDAL president, notes that the date of the convention was carefully selected to take advantage of all that High Point Market has to offer.
As a result, “We will have access to 17,000 designers, 75,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors with over 100 countries represented,” Lazenby reports. “This market is held in 180 buildings with over 11.5 million square feet of space. As you can imagine, the opportunities are almost endless to establish professional relationships with those in the home furnishings arena. Networking! Networking! Networking!”

High Point Market, however, is only the beginning of what the IDAL convention has planned for decorative artists.

“We will move right into a full schedule of business seminars, think tank/roundtable discussions and workshops led by the well-respected Rebecca Slaton,” Lazenby continues. “Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned our vendor expo, live demonstrations, philanthropic activities, Designer Challenge annual general meeting, cocktail party, silent auction and other special fun events for attendees.”

Education and More

Workshops this year include wide range of decorative-art and business topics, including Using Texture in New Ways; Glass Bead Bonanza; Chroma Karma; Reactive Metals & Patinas; Verre Eglomise; V-Mask Foils & Vinyl Stencils; Rustic and Reclaimed; Chinese Fakeout; NovaColor; The Human Form; How to Stencil Fabric Successfully; Niche Marketing; Trade Shows, Home Shows and Presentations; Alternative Revenue Streams for a Mature Market; and more.

These will be taught by such renowned decorative artists as Gary Lord, Helen Morris, Donna Phelps, Kathy Wear, Leslie Nesbitt, Annie Lemarie, John Catalanotto, Greg Frohnapfel and Chris Burke, to name just a few. (See accompanying photo.)

A highlight this year will be a “Faux-Off,” a designer challenge with cash prizes offered at the end. The contest will put artists together in forming a close-knit team that will use their combined skills to create a vision prescribed by their team leader, a designer.

Additionally, the convention will include live demonstrations, a vendor exposition, hands-on philanthropic opportunities, a basket auction, “newbie” meetup and other events. Convention-goers are encouraged to check out the convention daily schedule to see the full lineup.

Convention registration details are available on the IDAL website,, with a complete listing of workshops and instructions as well as a schedule of events. In addition, you can follow IDAL on Facebook for up-to-date information on the convention and the organization.

Lazenby notes that the IDAL Board of Directors has worked hard this year to fine-tune the organization— “And we feel that you will see this come to life when you attend the upcoming convention,” he says. “I am speaking for all of the IDAL directors and the hundreds of IDAL members when I say that we are looking forward to your joining with us as we grow your organization.”