Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Bye bye June .... it was grand!

June .... a month of inspiration, celebration, observation, illustration and pattern!!! 

First, my eldest turned 18!!! graduated high school and is heading to college?!?!

a show featuring: Maryjean Viano Crowe, Lesia Sochor and yours truly!

 I received samples of an illustration job and loved seeing my work on a product! 

Also sampled more of my wares from society6 !! I have been SO happy 
with the quality of each product that I have received, I have been adding more and more designs, so make sure you check out my society6 shop!!

And I wrapped up June by throwing my hat into the ring to win
a scholarship to Jessica Swift's patterncamp ...

The contestants were given 3 rounds of pattern challenges ~

round1: find patterns in nature 
round 2: find patterns around the house 

round 3: make a pattern out of objects around the house. 

for this round I discovered repeating the pattern in my iPhone app, layout, and I went a bit crazy!!! 

 And I won!!!  
I won a space in @patterncamp!!!! 
 and was reminded how much I love/think/live pattern!!!
note the pattern on the vessel that I create for
 the window display I did for Renew Arts & Industry ... 

And now on to July!!!
Thank u for sharing this wonderful month with me!!!
Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one.  John Lennon

Saturday, June 25, 2016

It is summertime and that means .... ART time!!!!

Last year I had the pleasure of being one of the guest artists for Potato Hill Poetry's Creative Writing Kids program,
 here in Natick, and I had so much fun.  

And I guess the kids had fun too as I have been invited back to do art with the kids this summer!!! 
Andrew Green in a school
The program is run by poet Andrew Green
the talent and inspiration of Potato Hill Poetry! 

"Andrew Green is a poet, writer, and teacher who works with students and teachers in schools throughout New England, offering writing and poetry workshops. He founded Potato Hill Poetry in 1995." 
'such a good thing . . .' Collage from bits & piece found on my kitchen table ©2015
Last year I lead the group in creating collage. I showed them some of my collage work, my 'home, sweet, home' series as well as some of my collages from my #ICAD2015 project. 

I explained the similarities of collage and writing, each taking parts (writing/words, collage images) how, to create a new worlds, emotions, in fact stories. 

'there is no place like home, andy ...' ©2016 

They created some wonderful pictures using my basket of tricks ... catalogs, magazines and other detritus of the day. 
collage from last year's program

This summer I plan to mix it up a bit!!! 
Definitely do the magazine based collage!
Eric Carle inspired dress ©2013
But we will also doing creating a tissue paper based collage ~ a nod to the amazing Eric Carle.  

While I was visiting the The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art  I learned how to do these collages and i am excited to share.

And I also want to explore the amazing world of Zentangle with the group.  New to it myself, I find it a wonderful meditative practice which I find very inspiring!!! 

I believe there are still some spots available, depending on the week.  
I have included the sign-up form below or you can click here: 

And check back here to see what these creative kiddos create, 
I plan to take more pictures this year.  


Friday, June 3, 2016

Tonight, some of my girls are holding court in Rockland, ME

'artist from the blue moon ...'/
'black widow ..'
'provocative ...' holding court 
review of "WHAT YOU SEE ..."
This week I took a mini road trip to deliver some of my work up north, where I had the pleasure to meet Jana Hawick and see her beautiful gallery, Carver Hill Gallery, in the artsy coastal town of Rockland, ME.  

Last month three of my 'lilith contemplating ...' photographs were part of Carver Hill's season opening exhibit, "WHAT YOU SEE".  An engaging collection of 'digital and photographic compositions from 7 artist including Sharon Arnold, Craig Becker, Nadine Boughton, Virginia Fitzgerald, Seth Lester, Elizabeth Opalenik, Agnes Riverin.' 

This show received a wonderful review by Daniel Kany for the Portland Press Herald (click here for more info)

And this month I am so honored to be included in Carver Hill's exhibit FEMMetonymy,  which opens tonight!! and runs through June 28th.  

the catalog for the exhibit

“FEMMetonymy,” a show featuring:
Maryjean Viano Crowe, Virginia Fitzgerald and Lesia Sochor.

I am honored to be part of this provocative exhibition.  I have contributed many pieces from my 'dressproject'; sculptures, large and small, and numerous collages. 

'precious ...' and 'bird by bird ...'

  In gathering the collage pieces I realized that I have three different collage series: 'home, sweet, home?!? ' (2012), 'la petite robe ...' (2012) and the newest collage series, 'alice ...' All of the series start with images of picture perfect environments from catalogs and magazine, to which I add a surreal touch and usually a dress or two.  ' we are all mad here ...' is the first of that series and is debuting tonight.
'we are all mad here ...'

The sculptures in this exhibit are  some of the 'dressproject's stars!!! 

'provocative ...' is holding court at the front of the gallery, strong and straight.  

'black widow ...' is standing tall by the gallery's desk, accompanied by 'artist from the blue moon ...' on her right. 

'this is me, a work in progress ...'

I am so happy to be showing 'this is me, a work in progress ...' in such a lovely space, and there is the room for her to be viewed from all sides, showing off all her spots of embroidery.  

'this is me, a work in progress ...' detail

'red warrior ...' and 'precious ...' also made the trip making this a good representation of my 'dressproject'.  

Lastly Carver Hill is offering for sale my book, 'the dressproject, the beginning ...' allowing anyone to learn how my obsession with the dress began.
'red warrior ...' , 'black widow ...' (in the background)

So if you are in the area, make sure to drop by the gallery.  

And if you are not in the area, then it is time for a road trip!!!  
'provocative ...' 

'lilith contemplates sanctuary ...'/
'lilith contemplates cutting the grass ...'

Show / gallery details:

FEMMetonymy opens on First Friday, June 3, 2016 from 5 – 8 PM and runs through June 28.

Gallery Hours

MAY 27 through the summer
Mon through Sat ~ 10:30 - 5
Sun ~ 11 - 3

 'follow your art!'


Sunday, May 29, 2016

this is my religion .... thank you Donovan Livingston, ED.M. '16

In this current state of our country I tend to fall into a state of despair, but then I find hope, a sign that things are not as bad as they seem.  Today that hope came from the mouth of a recent graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Donovan Livingston.  

I find it heart-breaking that racism is still such a large part of our country, and I feel those who encourage and incite this continual division instead of embracing and celebrating diversity, are committing a heinous injustice.  
Especially those individuals who are in the media's spotlight.  

But then there are these shining stars, and thanks to social media, 
they are being heard as well. 

Below is a link to the video of his commencement address as well as the text of his poem.  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

#tbt: the story of 'black widow ...'

'black widow ...' (vcr tape dress) 
Sculpture: vcr tape, chicken wire, Size: 55 x 64 x 50" (2008)
Lucy Lippard juried this piece into the Women's Caucus for Art: "from the center” 
exhibit at the Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, IL Jan, 2010. 
In honor of 'black widow' being part of David Lee Black's Create your vision photography workshop this Sunday, I wish to share the story of 'black widow ...'
I made 'black widow ...' in 2008 when people were still using VCR tapes. Now when people see 'black widow ...' they ooo and ahhh as if VCR tapes are as old as the rotary phones.

I got the idea when I got a glimpse at the insides of one of those VCR cassette. I saw this shiny, ribbon like material and immediately thought it would make a great dress.  I noted that the VCR tape not only had this shiny black quality but it also moved with any kind of breeze and it was reflective and it also made a beautiful sound when it moved!!! All wonderful qualities to have in a material!!! And to highlight all these I decided to use a chicken wire armature for the bodice and weave the VCR tape into the chicken wire and then create the skirt by hanging endless ribbons of VCR tape.  

Now an interesting happened when I was creating the armature ...first let me share with you that whenever I start any dress I do not have a preconceived idea of the shape of the form but just 'follow' the material and the dress.  As I was working with the chickenwire, molding and twisting it into the bodice, the waist was becoming very small and the breasts were growing?!?! As I continued I realized that this dress was going to speak to the inane expectations that the media, TV, magazines, Hollywood  creates for women!!! That from the youngest age girls/women are told how to look and how to act and a majority of those messages are not healthy (although there has been a movement for more healthy images in the media for girls/women, but honestly it is still pretty nasty out there) 

So as this thought was percolating I felt the need to close off the arm holes of the bodice, as a way of symbolizing how these messages and expectations presented by the media trap and stifle women. 

Once the bodice was finished I covered it with VCR tape in one of my favorite methods, weaving and then created the skirt.  I do not know how many VCR tapes I used (wish I had kept track) and 'no' I didn't use particular movies (another question I am asked).  After creating and showing the dress I did have MANY!! people asking if I wanted there old VCR tapes. It was interesting as I believe I witnessed the ending of the VCR tape era, as the amount of tapes that I was offered was mind-blowing.  I did take many boxes because I do think that this is an awesome material.  

It seems to be weather-proof as well.  In 2012 I did a workshop with the Happy Hollow Elementary School in Wayland, MA where the Students and I created a jellyfish out of VCR tape.  Click here to see a blog post about my visit to the school!! 

A last note about 'black widow ...' is that I feel it also reflects my personal feeling about watching TV can be the death to creativity, imagination and so much more. 

Below is a bit of a blogpost from 2009, when the Starbuck's coffee cups had different quotes on them ...

13 uninterrupted years!!!! lost

This is a quote that came on my Starbuck's cup and I HAD to share.....
The Way I see It #51 ~
"Americans spend an average of 29 hours a week watching television- which means in a typical life span we devote 13 uninterrupted years to our TV sets! the biggest problem with mass media isn't low quality- it's high quantity. Cutting down to just an hour a day would provide extra years of life- for music and family, exercise and reading, conversation and coffee."
--Michael Medved, author of Right Turns & radio talk show host

That is a little over 4 hours a day which equals 13 YEARS!!!!!I am the person who, in college, learned that you spend about a quarter of your life asleep and I tried to stop sleeping - that didn't need sleep, but TV?!?

So that is a bit of the backstory of 'black widow ...' and if you can come to Plymouth today and join a wonderful group of creatives taking pictures in a inspiring space with modeling and musicians!! it is an event NOT TO BE MISSED!!! XXX


Eleventh in a series of a wonderful growing community of supportive and talented photographers of all skill levels.

We will be photographing at the amazing TreeHouse Studios of Kristin Hughes-Craig located at 84 Court Street,Plymouth, Massachusett with professional lighting, backdrops and a projection screen! 

We will be photographing the lovely model Capri Lanning-Cafaro. Capri will be interacting with artist Virginia Fitzgerald's hauntingly beautiful dress sculpture, "black widow . . ."

There will also be plenty of helpful guidance and suggestions to enhance your passion for artful photography.

Feel free to invite your friends or share this invite!

What to bring: 
Camera (All kinds of cameras are welcome)
Your creativity
Optional: Examples of work for peer review

Cost: $50

Parking is street and parking lot on side of building. Also there is a public parking lot behind Plymouth Memorial Hall across the street.

We will meet at 10:30 am for meet and greet (refreshments provided).

This just in . . .
The wildly talented @Steven Lanning-Cafaro will be playing classical and flamingo acoustic guitar for this special event!