Friday, August 21, 2009

Yesterday I finished the installation of a project I've been working on all summer. "Prayer" is a series of 15 ten foot hanging banners that I created by distressing sheer fabric with coffee and ink, then photocopying some very personal journal entries onto the fabric. I then screenprinted a vortex shape in the middle of each "page". I was able to get one more element of depth by adding a third layer of sheer fabric that I inserted thin pieces of wire into. The wire can be manipulated to create an interesting dimension.

The inspiration for this piece comes from the journal entries. I met my husband in 2002 at the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, Maryland. We were in the Army doing our advanced training in photography and journalism. At first we didn't have much opportunity to get to know each other except for the occasional long walk around post or maybe a stolen glance during our early morning exercise formations. Our faith in God was a common bond that drew us closer together as the weeks and months passed. We started keeping a prayer journal that we would secretly pass back and forth to each other every day or so. He would write a prayer for me, and I would write a prayer for him, and eventually our relationship grew into love. The journal really is a precious treasure, one that I used to take out and reread during the long deployments that kept us apart for months at a time, year after year. Now the journal is the source of this artwork. For me, the vortex-like screenprinted design that makes up the color pattern of the piece represents a spiritual source, but many people see it as a nest. I guess in some ways, the "nest" appears to be protecting the intimate nature of the text. The color intensifies as it gets closer to the middle of the piece and radiates out, just like a relationship intensifies and grows. Also the banners are much bigger than a human and they take on an ethereal quality as they float heavenward.

The words written are honest and pure, and I hope that same kind of sincerity comes through in the artwork.

An excerpt: "God, keep helping Leslie and I along your path. We know that through You anything is possible, so give us strength and wisdom to turn away from the doors you close, and walk through the ones you open. - Justin"


Thursday, August 20, 2009

This is one of the big projects I've been working on this summer. It's 15 ten foot fabric banners. The piece is called "Prayer". More on this tomorrow when I have the professional images and detail shots.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Since I've been home, I've been working against the clock on my banners project. They're coming along nicely though and I think I just might have them done before this next semester starts. More to come...my sewing machine beckons...

Opening Reception at Caffe' Phoenix - TONIGHT

Just a reminder that the opening reception for "Natural Transformations" is TONIGHT at Caffe' Phoenix. The event is free and open to the public. Looks like it's going to be a good show...I already sold a piece! But there's still plenty of art available so come out for some hors d' oeuvres, wine, and good conversation. Caffe' Phoenix is located at 9 S Front St, Wilmington, NC 28401. The reception is from 6 - 9 pm.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fellow ACME Artist Jan Allen is busy installing this show as I type. Hailing from Maine, her work brings a breath of fresh air to Wilmington. Among her wall size multi-media installations, sculptural pieces, and video projections, she has included many pieces from artists nationwide - all with themes related to the heart. I have two pieces in the show, which opens Friday, August 28 at the ACME Art Studios. My new encaustic painting called "Pulse", and a photo transfer called "Girl Meets Boy". The latter is one from the vault, but certainly pulls at my heart strings every time I see it because it reminds me of falling in love with my hubby while we were in the Army.

Greenville Museum of Art

I nearly forgot to mention that my work is in a show at the Greenville Museum of Art. It opened on July 30 and closes on August 29th, so there's still time to check it out. The Greenville Museum of Art is located at 802 S. Evans Street, Greenville, NC 27834. This is the Annual Artist Association Juried Show. The Juror for this year's exhibition is Kiki Farish. She teaches drawing, design and color at the Art Institute of Raleigh Durham, in Durham, NC.

Zaha Hadid in Chicago

Now that I'm working more and more with fabric, I really enjoyed getting to see Zaha Hadid’s new pavilion, a summer-long fixture of Millennium Park, while in Chicago. Hadid, the first woman to win architecture’s Pritzker Prize, was born in Baghdad in 1950 and set up her London-based practice in 1980.

From an article in the Wall Street Journal by Kelly Crow:

For Chicago, she says she (Hadid) thought about how tension alters the look of fabric as it is pulled taut or twisted. The result: an elliptical building with strategic gashes to let in light and pod-like openings that people can pass through. Her design includes diagonal lines, a nod to Burnham’s 1909 city plan which famously laid out a fanned grid of streets diagonally from Chicago’s city center out into the suburbs.

The physical complexity of the project quickly overwhelmed local contractors. Aaron Helfman, president of TenFab, an Evanston, Ill., company that designs trade-show booths, says it took nearly five months and several structural engineers. The addition of a 400-pound projection screen, for example, upset the math because the whole structure was so lightweight.

Another upside is that it can be dismantled and reassembled in less than a week’s time.

Civilization : Chicago

Once we returned from the wilderness of Isle Royale, we spent another week at my in-laws cabin in the northwoods (still pretty remote if you ask me), before heading on to Chicago. I relished every minute of all the things to do and see in city. Our first stop was Millennium Park, an award-winning center for art, music, architecture and landscape design.

Among Millennium Park's prominent features are the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States; the interactive Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa; the contemporary Lurie Garden designed by the team of Kathryn Gustafson, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel; and Anish Kapoor's hugely popular Cloud Gate sculpture (aka the Bean) on the AT&T Plaza. Cloud Gate, a 110-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect the city's famous skyline and the clouds above. A 12-foot-high arch provides a "gate" to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives. Inspired by liquid mercury, the sculpture is among the largest of its kind in the world, measuring 66-feet long by 33-feet high.

Rounding out the trip

After several days of hiking and camping, I was ready for a hot shower and some civilization. My little piggies had long since gone to market and I didn't know it was possible to stick as much as I did. The ride back on the Isle Royale Queen IV ferry was torture! The 5 foot waves made us all sick (it was a 3 1/2 hour ride!).

Moose/Wolf Research

One of the coolest things we discovered on Isle Royale was a trail that took us on a little scavenger hunt to a cabin where people were doing research on the Moose and Wolf population on the island. As we walked along, there were little yellow clues letting us know we were on the right track. Candy Peterson and Rolf Peterson have been coming to the island for 30 years living among the wild, educating people, and conducting research projects. The moose bones you see in the photos were all collected this year.