Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Women to Watch: Metals

In March I saw a call for entry on a local artist networking page on Facebook.  The entry fee was $0 (not common) and it was for a prestigious venue--The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.  This show was part of a semi-biannual call for art through the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., which I'd been to twice before when my sister lived there.  To top it off, I fit all the parameters--female, works in metal, lives in the KC area.  I'd been looking more at non-festivals to show my work and this was a no-brainer to try for.  So I applied with new art pieces from my Orzo body of work (previously only a clock motif) and didn't hold my breath for a call.

But I got a call.

In progress (left) and finished (right), "Spark"
aluminum, paint, vinyl

The director of the museum, Barbara O'Brien, came to my home studio on a cold spring morning.  I gave her tea and Clover sat in on our meeting (or rather we had our meeting in Queen Clover's daytime hang space).  We talked about my connection to Kansas, working with repeated elements and recycled materials, and my process. 

After a week or so I got the email letting me know I was invited to exhibit in the show.  Not gonna lie, I was kind of shocked and speechless.  The Kemper was one of the first, if not the first, contemporary art museum I'd ever been to, specifically for a show of Liza Lou's work in the '90s.  The cherry on top: I live less than two miles from there.  So convenient!

Studio visit day

So my work was picked up for installation, we had the opening, I met four other talented, local women working with metal, and I'm "getting out there" much more than I ever had before.  After all, I'm now being WATCHED, so I'd better do something productive!  This opportunity has pushed me to apply to bigger exhibits, introduce myself to more people, and make more and think about my work in ways that I hadn't before.  

The show goes through the end of January; after that, one of us locals, along with others chosen from the many NMWA chapters that are also participating, will be called to the Mother Ship in D.C. for the national show.
"Drape" 24x24, aluminum, paint, vinyl
Crowd favorite!

Sept. 28th we will be on a panel discussing living and working as an artist in Kansas City.  It's my first public speaking event since school, but we only have ten minutes each on our own, so I think I'll be alright.
Installation on opening night

That's me.

Jessica Thompson-Lee, Cheryl Eve Acosta, Desiree Warren, 
Angelica Sandoval, Debbie Barrett-Jones

Check out these other awesome women!
Jessica Thompson-Lee - bronze sculpture
Cheryl Eve Acosta - jewelry
Angelica Sandoval - sculptural light installation
Debbie Barrett-Jones - textile prints on aluminum

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