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

Monday, September 18, 2017

EDIT show at Wichita City Arts

I got the opportunity to create a new body of work I've been thinking about for years since finding a big stack of Wichita Eagle newspapers from can find art supplies anywhere if you just keep your eyes open on neighborhood walks.  A year ago I participated in an art fair in Wichita and, as these things do, one thing lead to another and I have a show in the arts district there through the end of September at City Arts.

The scribble thing started when I was working on this piece and just couldn't get her hands right...
"Everything's Fine"-- found wood, vinyl, newspaper, paint

After sitting on this layered scribble motif for a long time, playing around with colors, thicknesses, and cutting techniques (mostly done on the computer and cut on a vector system like my other line work), I mentally paired them with some newspapers I'd been painting and using as blotter paper.

Here are some pieces and installation shots!

"Jonathans/Thighs"-- 18 x 15 inches; newspaper, vinyl, paint

"Front Page"-- 15 x 23 inches; newspaper, vinyl, paint

"Petroleum News/10¢ Off"-- 23 x 15 inches; newspaper, vinyl, paint

Installation, Balcony Gallery

Beautifully framed by friend and neighbor Lori at Hoop Dog Studio!

The show is up through next week at City Arts in Wichita, Kansas.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Art Westport report

For my only show of the year, it was just like getting back on a bike...the only thing I forgot Friday night was chapstick.

I noticed this year I got far fewer obvious questions, like, "You make ALL THIS STUFF?"  More likely, I had conversations with visitors about the meaning behind my work, my process, my inspirations, how certain pieces connected to the viewer and new perspectives on my collection.  Many friends and long-time festival-goers stopped in and I was happy to share my good news about my spot in the Kemper right now, as well as the new direction I'm taking my work.

The anatomical hearts are always my best seller, not only because they are the least expensive pieces, but because of our general connection to this organ as both our literal center and poetic touchstone.  I heard stories of dads who are pace maker distributors, new med school grads, cardiac nurses, and open heart surgery survivors.  People feel comfortable showing me their scars and telling me tales of their near-death experiences and what steps brought them to my booth today, often because a friend happened to stop by when they were having a heart attack or someone they didn't know came to their rescue.

(Check out my post about the making of these hearts here.)
front view

night view from my desk...I don't like that blank spot in the bottom left, but
I didn't want to cram in anything else

outside wall

I was cross-promoting my Orzo series but had them tucked away
because, although they are clearly cousins to my other work,
they don't exactly mesh visually for this small space.
This was my third year at ArtWestport, and being able to know home is a mile and a half away is a great comfort, along with seeing many great local artist friends and making new ones from the area.  Check out these cool people:
Bailey Marable--Dulces Jewelry
Charley Forsythe--SeeForce
Louise Carroll--Delicate Hammer Studios

So now I'm going to spend some time organizing--OMG it's necessary--looking at opportunities to show my work, dabble in some ceramics, and write!  

As always, follow me on Instagram to get up to date info on my art makings and the occasional cat or flower pics.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Art Westport THIS WEEKEND!

My ONE AND ONLY art festival this year starts TODAY!  Art Westport is Friday, 1-9, Saturday 10-9, and Sunday, 11-6.  I'll be in Booth 47, pretty close to where I've been the last two years.  See below for a few new things to expect...

Process shot of 12 heart grid.

Weird double heart, 20 x 20"

Another double heart, this one with a kind of Rorschach design.
Clover thinks you should definitely see it in person!
Frames and nails used in frames are from my house walls--100+ year old lath and nails.
32 x 16" 

Shot of last year's booth--I will have some of the same/similar stuff again.

From the body of work currently showing at the Kemper Museum, I'll have some
smaller versions from my Orzo series.  These are 8 x 8" & 5 x 5".

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Showings here and there

I had some showings at wonderful places around town over the summer, as well as pieces in shows across the country...

First, local:
May--Holy Cow Pop Up
Starting May and still running: Spencer Fage, a law firm downtown
June--First Friday in the Crossroads

July--Essential Goods for the Lawrence Annual Sidewalk Sale

June through January 2018--Women to Watch//Metals show at the
Kemper Museum...this one gets its own post in a few...

July: Paper works at One More Cup

 And around the country...
"Bird of Columbia" at CORE New Art Space, Denver, Colorado;
Contemporary Abstraction, 24 x 24 aluminum/vinyl/paint
"Air Mail" and "Peeping Tom" at Fabulon, Charleston, South Carolina;
Souvenirs of Summer, 11 x 14 paper collages

"Prairie Porthole" (although I've decided to rename it if it doesn't sell to "Cottonwoods" or something)
at Verum Ultimum, Portland, Oregon; Abstract Catalyst, 30" diameter aluminum/vinyl/paint

I'm applying to many shows here and there, and will be having some sales locally soon...VERY SOON, as in, this weekend at Art Westport.  More on that later...

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Ceramics, Odds and Ends Edition

I made some footed bowls for the first time that weren't too bad...I got some Mid-Century melamine bowls from my mom and used them as a form to push balls of clay onto the sides and played with different glazes.  And of course I used bits and pieces of clay to make some jewelry.
Fresh from the kiln!
Four bowls made the same way with different stonewares,
cone 6 and cone 10, and different glaze techniques.
I call them Cloud Bowls because they especially look cloudy from the top.

I made a boatload of pendants with my left over clay and tried out new stamps
and glazes.  Then I strung them on leather cord and learned a little about tying
decorative knots.

Slip experiments...
I wound a strip of vinyl around their little bodies (slip was applied before bisque) and
then dipped them in white glaze.  After the glaze dried I pulled off the vinyl to reveal the
raw clay beneath.

The stencil experience looked silly during the process.
See previous post for BEFORE photos on those last images.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Spring Ceramics, Vase Edition

I have been thinking about using manhole and utility covers in my ceramics for a very long time, and I finally got around to taking impressions to use as stamps.  Then I used paper clay (clay that has paper mixed in for stability) to make the forms.  So many many possibilities!

Throw on some olive oil, press in some clay, pull off, wait a while,
bake at 1000 degrees or something, wah lah.

I used a lot of mason stains to rub into the designs so they'd really pop.

Hand for scale!


Monday, September 4, 2017

Spring Ceramics, Drinking Vessel Edition

I continued working at the KC Clay Guild on handbuilt tumblers and mugs, even venturing into "pulled handle" territory, which is a fast way to knock you off any sort of "I'm getting the hang of this" high horse you might be riding on.  

When I was offered a copious amount of mason stain to use in my ceramic work from another artist, I took it, because I am a garbage disposal and waste is bad.  I mixed the stain in with slips and glazes to see what would happen, and I wasn't altogether disappointed! 

Yellow Ochre slip with white glaze on stoneware.
Available on Etsy.

These kitty stamped mugs are currently for sale at Purrfect Pets.

Pulled some handles on these and experimented with stains and stamping; white stoneware

Stained slip with a vinyl resist and white glaze, stoneware.

Sprayed glaze through a stencil I found in a Dumpster, stoneware.

Return of the Tab Tumblers!  I love how the cobalt runs with this clear glaze.

Beautiful nubs!  Made from a stamp made from a grate in my basement with
runny cobalt reactive clear and red glazes.

Available on Etsy.