Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Emily and I raced south yesterday morning so we could pick up Brad and head to Central Nebraska for Christmas. So far we are waiting out weather in Omaha with my family, so we've reversed our plans of visiting his side first-then mine for the time being. I'm going to enjoy family and will post again when I head back for install. Happy Holidays, stay warm, and safe travels!
Emily and I cranked out the other side of the horseshoe upstairs on Monday, putting in a late night. I'll have a bit to touch up on my return trip, but it was energizing to work while the carpet and panel of the first floor was being removed. So many staples and nails to pull- but the floor beneath looks wonderful. I could hear "This is the old basketball court? It's great to be able to see it." from passersby and the staff helping to return the floor to its previous glory. I am hoping some of the blue remains after the sanding as a remnant- it looks so sharp against the maple floor.
I already have a deep seated adoration of wood. Brad and I are so happy with the investment of refinishing our Red Oak from the Ozarks at home- just sealing it instead of staining it. We had Floor Designs ready to begin as soon as we got home for the first time from closing. I am also a huge fan of restoration and re-purposing unique features of architecture. The new wooden floor will be a beautiful backdrop to the huge doily I have planned for the lower story of the gallery. It will be great for artworks in future shows at C-SC as well.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
It's slow going... but we've got some intricate work in. I am just hoping the first floor will be ready when I come back in January. We are a bit off schedule due to the refinishing getting delayed. I will have to work fast to make my ambitious project happen. We stocked up yesterday on groceries- which is great since its been snowing non-stop since this morning. We will have to head home a bit early as well, as the forecast is ice pellets for our drive.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Highlights: Duchamp's "Hat Rack", Dieter Roth's "Sunset" (Friend Chris Wood made me notice this artist quite a few years ago. I couldn't help thinking about Chris's new show "Recomposition" that opened Dec 4 at Antena Gallery in Chicago. in part inspired by Roth's sausage and paper prints.), a Max Ernst decalcomania painting (from the Kemper's collection), and the video set of Gutai Group performances, Niki de Sainte-Phalle shooting at her canvases with attached everyday objects and paintbags, and Pollock.
But several of the lectures from NIU given by Barbara Jaffee and a few guest lecturers, especially Hannah Hoch on Fluxus rushed back to me. There were only two others at the lecture, and I ended up being familiar with both of them. One gentleman, who came to the Material Studies artist talk at Good Citizen, even brought up my lace doilies, but not my name or recognizing me, as an example of an artist letting the audience destroy a work- and not rushing in to fix it. Brad pointed me out- and the discussion continued. I was really impressed by the educational materials at the Kemper, and plan on bringing my students there next semester if possible. The curator for Metabolic City did not show, so we looked at the exhibition I was already drawn to- I would have appreciated a walk-thru of the exhibition that didn't really capture my interest. A conversation about that exhibit would have vastly changed how much I absorbed from it.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thanks to Travis for bringing his camera, and obsessively shooting images during the three hour opening reception. The doily was well-received, I even had a gallery visitor say "I like the fact you call it a doily and doilies are not meant to be handled, but people can touch this."
This doily was my largest- 12 feet wide, with three different types of seed: nyger, millet, and milo. I was definitely influenced by the East Asian sculpture and architecture lectures I've been giving in my Art Appreciation classes during the week of install. The show continues until December 28th, so stop by if you're downtown.
I earned an "Award of Excellence" from juror Sheryl Conkelton, author and independent curator, along with four other artists from the exhibition. So I am now eligible to submit works for consideration in "Honor Awards 2010" next Spring, curated by artist Carmon Colangelo, a prof at Wash U. I am hoping to get some images of my Canton wall-to-wall install for the CD of images for jurying.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Lighting in studio. Lighting in rest of basement. (It now consists of several 4' fluorescent tubes controlled by 4 switches. So happy to see downstairs now that daylight savings is over and it gets dark so early these days. A big improvement from 4 compact florescent each on a pull string. )
Three shelving units are now downstairs- we still need more.
Yellow living room is now gray. Ahhhhh....soothing.
Small bookshelf now in office, instead of living room---cookbooks stored in kitchen and lots of clutter removed.
Designated: "Library book" shelf in office- that I can easily see and access.
Began and finished reading The Language of Ornament. Such perfect timing for a treatise about not hating beauty and how to look at pattern and ornament.
Got my new nearly fully-functional computer. Imagine a very sick computer getting harnessed to a tiny spunky one, without necessary programs and you get the idea. It's been a great reason (both when just dealing with the ailing one, and in getting frustrated over the issues of compatibility to not be blogging or online except for the occasional email.)
Deep cleaned the house. It was in a state of serenity and hidden activity- i need to put in a few hours to return it to that state again.
Drove up to Quincy, IL to see Jen and the gallery space for January. Lots of great surprises: an apartment to stay at, carpet I can easily work with birdseed on, and a home-cooked dinner with Jen's family consisting of bread from scratch; lentil, sausage/ minestrone soup; and pumpkin pie. The only bad part of the day was listening to Q & A (Slumdog Millionaire) on tape set to random... and forgetting to give Brad a call during the 12 hours I was gone. Lesson learned- although we still haven't figured out how to make the Sansa behave without randomly ordering the tracks.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
- Flannery O'Connor
Thanks Google quote of the day. I read Flannery O'Connor's short stories and analyzed them in my undergrad Ethics class...and thanks to a great philosophy professor and class discussion, I can still reflect on the implications of her narratives. Her words and works can be a great moral compass. O'Connor can capture the shock and violence of change(and what proceeds it) in a few pages. Here's a small private toast to a few new beginnings...
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Here's the article, since I'm not sure how the link will fair with updates:
3:12 p.m. Mon. Sept. 21 - "A bit off the beaten path of Fiber Focus -- literally and otherwise -- is the exhibition "Material Studies" at Good Citizen Gallery. But if you're in the fiber way at the moment, this is one not to miss: a selection of works by six emerging artists who work with various conceptual and material strains of fiber, to really interesting effect.
Courtney Henson, who had a phenomenal show a while back at the now-defunct Maps contemporary art space in Belleville, weighs in this time with "And We'll Measure Your Brain." It's one of her signature process outfits: a handmade dress, hooked via knitted umbilical cord to a tiny video monitor which plays a loop of the artist performing in the dress. Henson is interested in twins and tautology, and makes some of the weirdest, most engaging fiber work around.
Christine A. Holtz is back to her subversive tricks too: "I Gotta Get Out Of This Place" is a space helmet, gloves and gravity boots made out of smashed styrofoam peanuts sewn together. Holtz plans to complete the outfit, and - who knows? -- it may actually help transport her to another dimension. (At the very least, the peanuts will outlive us all when the apocalypse comes.)
Erin K. Cork has transformed a vintage kitsch gold couch into a breeding ground for cell-like colonies made of felt and doilies, and Jessica Witte has followed suit with a "Birdseed Doily" on the floor nearby.
The show also includes works by Alicia Pigg and Jessica May."
I spent my first afternoon in Edwardsville, IL since I was close by dropping Brad off for his first real vacation since moving to MO. With all the travel we've been doing through August and September, he has been in dire need of R&R and had to race to get ready for this venture. I hope he enjoys his male bonding weekend.
I have a new soft spot for Edwardsville- the main street is alive and full of character. Courtney directed me to stop by "Beyond Timbuktu." I ended up talking to the owner Andy for a long time over the Kuba cloth collection, teaching, and just raving about the store in general. Fiber dreams are made there- and I had flashbacks to my childhood days in fabric stores just running my hands over the merchandise. Incredible store- I am now seriously contemplating taking a weaving class to actually understand the process thoroughly (especially since seeing Laura Strand's artwork at Jacoby). I plan on going back with Brad to select a cut-pile embroidery for our house and to use as a reference for my classes.
I also had a chance to case out the Edwardsville Art Center. The space is great- and I love the concrete floors that scream to be installed upon as well as the storefront window span. (When I have to install over carpet I always want to work in ways that are physically impossible on an uneven surface that can't be mopped up.) Their "Impressed by Design: Letterpress in the Heartland" show curated by Creativille, Inc., was phenomenal. I wanted to move into the space permanently. Since I was already familiar with Hatch Show Print , I knew I would enjoy several works, but I was caught up by each of the artists involved- Amos Kennedy, Ken Botnick, Jim Sherraden (of Hatch Show Print), Eric Woods of Firecracker Press and Brady Vest of Hammerpress. Since prints are so much easier on the budget, I coveted many of the posters, broadsides, and books. I left proud of my self control (I rarely get excited about objects enough to want to bring something else home to find a place for it, so when my interest is piqued I can get a bit manic with purchasing)- but U-turned and purchased a work by Amos Kennedy to christen my studio space and inspire me. Ahh...good 'ol printmaking. See a great write up on the show at Felt and Wire.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
It's a bit difficult to see the fatalism in the show after seeing Christine A. Holtz walking around during the opening and giving a thumbs up or Andrew a high five (or discussing at the gallery talk about how the mirrored visor is inspired by The Three Stooges)- but garments look much different when they are static instead of worn. Seeing the space helmet on the card- it does look really austere. Several of the works reference entropy so I can understand and appreciate Ms. Baran's comments. Anyone willing to agree or disagree?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
My attraction to a certain strand of Venetian lace is from a past love/hate relationship. This former affair made me purchase rolls of clearance wallpaper that approximated the pattern about 7 years ago. The wallpaper sat in my studio for two years before I found its "proper" usage as my "Holding Pattern" wallpaper. My love-hate relationship with the odd flowers (some built to resemble venetian lace- before I knew its source) sparked the beige cut work by removing all the large, structural flowers. If I didn't post some of the more hilarious studio "in progress shots" it would have taken longer for me to make the connection. --- For comparison- look at the flower directly to the right and above the "www.jessicawitte.com" flower.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
We spent the weekend focused around our new nephew, Winston. Brad and I didn't get more than 2 hours of sleep the night before heading out- so we crashed on the couch after a visit to Tony Luke's for cheesesteaks (love that sharp provolone!). We hit the beach the next day, which was beautiful- but very windy and cold. In every other photo taken at the beach- my hair is an amorphous mass....(it approximated Erin's couch felt clumps.) I took off a dirty much-loved sweatshirt for pictures- I would have not have been able to brave our stay without it. Before returning home, we were lucky enough to meet up with Donna, who Brad is currently riding 200 miles for in the MS Ride for the cure this weekend.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Joe Turner for finally getting a web presence for sharing some artworks (and some mighty fine ones at that- see Baghead above), and Michele Bosak for being a marketing guru & Jane-of-all-trades martha stewart-esque installer taking advantage of Art Prize. Wonderful people who make me want to get down to business and make something with meaning.
The experience did however bring me a fresh reason for dedicating my life to art--- the only thing that seemed to heal was artwork. Two things made me feel better during the numb weeks afterward: spending time in Ayomi Yoshida's Yedoensis installation (click on photo gallery at the top of the blog for some better views than my photo) at the NIU Art Museum and hearing former poet laureate Ted Kooser reading his Valentine poems on public radio. (Not only were the poems simple and precise, I heard him read during my residency at the KHN Center for the Arts). Those artworks made sense during a time when not much else did.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I'm happy I came early to the opening tonight and thank those who came out in support to check out the show. I feel really good about our move to St. Louis--- it's hard to beat interesting conversations, being part of an art show you can be proud of, and roasting a late late dinner over a bonfire. I've made more art in the past few months than the past few years. Teaching has felt rewarding. Off to see the new nephew... sorry no pictures of the new dress, I left my camera in the trunk. Plenty of cameras were around, so I'll link to those images as they arrive.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Here's some install action shots from Tuesday... (Erin fluffing the couch, and the slow growth of the doily).