Friday, June 16, 2017

what I'm doing this summer ...

Note the awesome starbucks frappuccino including straw!!!
And the bright & colorful collage that matches her bracelets!!!
Note the top collage skyline with pavement made out of text!! 

The lower left shows the collaged book cover of the journal 

that they use during the week!!! And see how the collaged character 
is wearing the same shirt as the artist!!! 
How I LOVE summer camp!!! I mean what is not to love??? 
long warm days, with friends, arts and crafts?!?!? 
So I am SO happy to say that I have been invited to be a guest artist
 at Potato Hill Poetry's Creative Writing Program for the third year in a row!! (happy dance)
(the 2 above photos are from last summer ...)
click here to register
poet/teacher/writer, Andrew Green.
reception card book- in progress
made of art gallery announcements 

For the past sessions I have lead these wonderfully creative campers in collage, drawing and Zentangle and this year I am planning to make some books, one of my newer obsessions.

spread from reception card book - in progress
So if you are in the area Metrowest/Natick area and you have a little writer on your hands, definitely check out this program.  It is an inspiring way to spend some of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.
a camper's collage from 2 summers ago

Thursday, June 15, 2017

'There is no such thing as bad publicity' ...

I was totally shocked to see that the first lady wore 'black widow ...' 
a sculpture that I created in 2008, made out of vcr tape?!?!

No wait, someone photoshopped Melania into my sculpture?!?
this 'article' is on a satirical site called, Opposite Views.
To read about the real 'black widow ...' (aka the vcr tape dress) and the story behind her creation,
click here:
'cause this gal has quite a story!!

and tell me your thoughts?!?! is there no such thing as bad publicity???
I'd love to hear what YOU think. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

'dailydresses' go to the mall ....

top left: 'beach muse ...' ; top right: 'from the ground up...'
lower left: 'wedding dress...' ; lower right: 'on thin ice ...' 

Last week I did the finishing touches to my window display at Uni-T at the Natick Mall. I dropped off a number of photographs from my #dailydressseries.  Each photo is in a 8x10 mat, and can be shown as is or popped into a frame for yourself or as a gift.

These are smaller version of the #dailydresses that are accompanying 'torqued and tethered ...' in Uni-T's shop window.

Uni-T also has a good selection of notecards from my dailydress series, the ever growing collection of ephemeral dresses made during my everyday journey.  Click here to purchase these notecards from Uni-T's online shop and to see more more of my #dailydresses, as they are created, check out my instagram feed, virginiacreates.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

'torqued and tethered ...' flies again ...

Last week I completed my annual installation in the window of UniT at the Natick Mall.  This year Eujin, the owner of this inspiring shop, and I decided to feature my sculpture, 'torqued and tethered ...' in the wake of the political shifts and recent threats to women's rights, reproduction rights and human rights in general.

'breaking open . . .' Fountain Street Fine Art (2013)
'torqued and tethered ...' was first exhibited at 'breaking open ...' in 2013, at Fountain Street Fine Arts, Framingham, MA.  For that exhibit the entire dress was pinned down to the ground by rocks, the 'dress' was trapped, straining to get free.  It was during that exhibition that I was nearing the end of a long and intense divorce process and I was feeling very burned by the excepted and traditional roles for a woman, so it follows that the sculpture was trapped and in distress.

'torqued and tethered ...' during installation , Uni-T, present
Since that exhibit and the completion of my divorce, when I have installed 'torqued and tethered ...' not all the ribbons are held to the ground, trapped under the rocks.  At first I didn't think much of it, however on reflection this change reflects where I was personally in my life's journey. It could also be said that showing some of the ribbons free while some of the ribbons are still trapped can reflect the  truths of women's rights in general, there have been some advances but there is still a great struggle.

Below is a more elaborate description of the sculpture that I wrote when it was exhibited at the South Shore Arts Center, Cohasset, MA, in their exhibitForever & After, in 2015.

'torqued and tethered ...' SSAC, 2015
For the present, 'torqued and tethered ...'  can be seen in the window of Uni-T surrounded by photographs from my 'dailydress' series, ephemeral dresses made during the course of my day, created, photographed and then left to dissipate back into the landscape...

'torqued and tethered . . .' is the first of my dress sculpture where I played with the scale and shape of the dress. For this piece the bodice is stunted, emaciated, twisted and tortured. The sculpture hangs by only one of the shoulder straps, the other strap sags, defeated, exhausted. The way the bodice hangs the viewer can see in, under and through her; all is exposed. Being white, there is the suggestion of seeing bone.
'torqued and tethered . . .'
behind 'metamorphosis . . .

The skirt of the dress is created by ribbons that hang from the bottom of the bodice. These ribbons strain against the rocks which have hold the ribbons to the floor; grounding her, repressing her, when all she really wants to do is to fly, to be free.
I usually do not like to share my thoughts about a pieces so that the viewer can have their own personal experience with the sculpture, so I will attempt to leave something for the imagination. However I feel very strongly about 'torqued and tethered . . .'

Lady Forrest 1876, Victorian style dress 
This sculpture speaks to the omnipresent and destructive messages directed at young girls/women,
from the media (TV, movie, advertisements, ...), society, many religions and possibly family. The dress is white to implying the many cultural traditions where a girl or woman wears a white dress that represents purity, goodness, respectability and virtue. Usually a white dress is worn for baptisms, first communions, confirmations, debutante cotillions, some graduations and, and of course,  a white dress is worn in a traditional wedding.
'torqued and tethered . . . ', for me, represents an innocent young spirit/girl who has been pinned down by rules, expectations, dogma and traditions and who has twisted and tortured herself trying to free herself and just be who is authentically is; she just wants to soar!!!

'torqued and tethered ...' SSAC, 2015

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Promo code to help you tell your mum that she is #1

click here for promo
Still looking for that perfect way to tell mom that she's #1??? 

what mom wouldn't want a clock to remind everyone to breathe, deeply and repeat ....
click here for promo
Available in natural wood, black or white frames, our 10" diameter unique Wall Clocks feature a high-impact plexiglass crystal face and a backside hook for easy hanging. Choose black or white hands to match your wall clock frame and art design choice. Clock sits 1.75" deep and requires 1 AA battery (not included).
a personal favorite ... this flowery, fleecy throw, full of love.
click here for promo
Our seriously soft throw blankets are available in three sizes and feature vividly colored artwork on one side. Made of 100% polyester and sherpa fleece, these might be the softest blankets on the planet, so get ready to cozy up. They can be machine washed separately with cold water on gentle cycle. Tumble dry on low heat setting. 
Doesn't everyone need this reminder to just "let it go" ?!?!? 
click here for promo
Our quality crafted Tote Bags are hand sewn in America using durable, yet lightweight, poly poplin fabric. All seams and stress points are double stitched for durability. They are washable, feature original artwork on both sides and a sturdy 1" wide cotton webbing strap for comfortably carrying over your shoulder.
For all of us when we need a shot of confidence ...  'you've got this, love frida'
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Organize your life with our Carry-All Pouches. Available in three sizes with wraparound artwork, these pouches are perfect for toiletries, art supplies or makeup. Even an iPad fits into the large size. Features include a faux leather pulltab for easy open and close, a durable canvas-like exterior and a 50/50 poly-cotton black interior lining. Machine washable.

Give mom this luscious beach towel and she can always wrap herself in LOVE ...

click here for promo
Lay out like a pro with this super comfy, oversized and unique artist-designed Beach Towel. The soft polyester-microfiber front and cotton terry back are perfect for, well, drying your front and back. This design is also available as a bath and hand towel. Machine washable. Towel Dimensions: 74"x37"
click here for promo
a percentage of ALL sales of products with this 'rainbow peace' design will be donated to the The Rainbow Peace Flag Project, supplying Rainbow Peace Flags free to anyone who wishes to fly the flag.  

Here is a way to give mom flower's that will stay fresh for a very long time, with my 'spring flurry ...' bath towel.
click here for promo

This artist-designed Hand Towel is the ultimate bathroom accessory! With a soft polyester-microfiber front and cotton terry back, it'll dry you off and act as the perfect creative accent. This design is also available as a bath and beach towel. Machine washable. Towel Dimensions: 

Hand Towel 30"x15", Bath Towel 64"x32", Beach Towel 74"x37"

Or give mom this flowery and bright mug, with the lovely quote from Emerson,
'the earth laughs in flowers.'

click here for promo
Available in 11 and 15 ounce sizes, our premium ceramic coffee mugs feature wrap-around art and large handles for easy gripping. Dishwasher and microwave safe, these cool coffee mugs will be your new favorite way to consume hot or cold beverages.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sheila Hicks

I discovered the work of Sheila Hicks during a visit to the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy Andover, MA to experience their exhibit, Sheila Hicks: 50 Years, and I have not been the same since.

I was so moved by her work, the different scale of work, from her miniatures, or  as she calls them, minime literally means "very small".  These 'studies' lined the hallway leading into the main galleries and I found them mesmerizing.

Now she is going to be in the 2017 Venice Biennale and watching the attached video just made me love Hicks and her work even more.  I hope you enjoy the below links and pictures of her work. VF

Sheila Hicks was taught to sew by her mother and to embroider and knit by her grandmother, making her 'thread conscious' from a young age. [2]Hicks attended Yale University School of Art and Architecture in Connecticut (1954-1959), where she gained a BFA in painting (1957) and MFA in painting (1959)[3] and studied with Josef Albers, Rico Lebrun, Bernard Chaet, Jose de Riviera, Herbert Mather, Norman Ives, Gabor Peterdi, George Kubler, George Heard Hamilton, and Vincent Scully. Along with George Kubler, independently, Junius Bird of the American Museum of Natural History and Anni Albers were advisors for her thesis, "Pre-Incaic Textiles."[1] Hicks was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study and paint in Chile (1957–58); she photographed archeological sites in Peru and Bolivia.

November 5, 2010 - February 27, 2011

Sheila Hicks: 50 Years  marks the first museum retrospective devoted to this exceptional American artist. Co-curated by independent scholar Joan Simon and Addison curator Susan Faxon, the exhibition opens at the Addison Gallery and will be touring to various venues.
Born in Hastings, Nebraska in 1934 and a resident of Paris since 1964, Hicks is a pioneering figure noted for objects and public commissions whose structures are built of color and fiber. Independent in spirit and itinerant in practice, she deliberately and provocatively engages what are often considered mutually exclusive domains, rethinking and pushing the limits of generally accepted contexts, conditions, and frameworks.

These include distinct objects and temporal, performative actions, studio works and commissions for public buildings, and textiles made in artisanal workshops or for industrial production in places as different from one another as Chile, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Sweden, and the United States.

The exhibition addresses Hicks's conceptual, procedural, and material concerns via five distinct though intimately related fields of inquiry: miniature weavings and drawings, site commissions for public spaces, industrially produced textiles and workshop hand-productions, bas reliefs and sculptures, and, process works made of recuperated textiles, clothing and other found objects.

Generous support for this exhibition and publication was provided by the J. Mark Rudkin Charitable Foundation, The Coby Foundation, Ltd., Saundra B. Lane, The Poss Family Foundation, Nancy B. Tieken, Able Trust, Target Corporation, Friends of Fiber Art International, Dirck and Lee Born, and several anonymous donors.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow: Director, Screenwriter, Painter, Activist, Producer, founder of The Last Days of Ivory and the only woman to receive an Academy Award, 

Here is another woman of whom I did not know much about however now I am mesmerized by her voice, vision and work.  Besides being the only woman director to receive the coveted academy award for Best Director, I wanted to feature her during my National Women's History Month's postings because of her assertion that she would like to be thought of and celebrated as a film maker, not a female film maker.
This is an important distinction to think about, especially during this tumultuous time of the women's movement and women's rights.  My hope is that women, and men, can follow their passions, make their best contributions to the world, excel, explore and learn, regardless of their gender.
The rub is that women have not always been given that opportunity, so there is a disadvantage ...
At the Directors Guild of America Awards, where she also won the top honour, Bigelow said: "I suppose I like to think of myself as a film-maker", rather than as a female
There is so much to learn and read about this multitalented woman, so enjoy the below excerpts about Bigelow as well as some articles about her work and the animated short that she directed for her foundation, the Last Days of Ivory. VF

A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be critiqued by people like Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg and Susan Sontag. Later she earned a scholarship to study film at Columbia University School of Arts, graduating in 1979. She was also a member of the British avant garde cultural group, Art and Language. Kathryn is the only child of the manager of a paint factory and a librarian.

link to entire TIME article:

While low budget and foreign language films are somewhat more equitable, major Hollywood movies are almost always directed by men. The exceptions can be counted on one hand. And that hand's tallest, most defiant middle finger is the great Kathryn Bigelow.
On Monday, February 8, 2010, SBIFF presents "A Celebration of Kathryn Bigelow." A director not afraid to push the envelope in the cinematic world, Kathryn Bigelow has the eye for the picture she wants to present and then does so, with an expertise that is both gracious and bold. Having studied art, she takes her vision and presents it to her audience all the while telling a tale that evokes various and intense emotions. Bigelow graduated from Columbia's Film School and started a career, gaining experience in numerous genres - such as music videos, television and film, showing us once again the depth of her creativity and talent.Commented SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling, "Kathryn's custom of the first person perspective throughout her films, as seen in Point Break and Strange Days, had always made her films visceral and favorites of mine, but the culmination of this is The Hurt Locker - her crowning achievement. The fact that I'm able to honor a fellow alumnus of the Columbia Grad School is icing on the cake."

 Kathryn Bigelow named Outstanding Director of the YearSBIFF presents a retrospective of Bigelow's \

In the end of 2014, Bigelow and others created the organization, the Last Days of Ivory:
Last year we were made aware of the very real connection between elephant poaching and terrorism. For us, it represented the diabolical intersection of two problems that are of great concern - species extinction and global terrorism. Both involve the loss of innocent life and both require urgent action.
If there's specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can't change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies. It's irrelevant who or what directed a movie, the important thing is that you either respond to it or you don't. There should be more women directing; I think there's just not the awareness that it's really possible. It is.   Kathryn Bigelow

interesting article about the backlash of making a raw political filmWhy Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar Snub Is a Symptom of a Larger Problem in Film CriticismHuffintonPost, Scott Mendelson, 01/11/2013 11:20 am ET | Updated Mar 13, 2013

another article from GWToday:
Kathryn Bigelow Joins SMPA for Conversation Series Academy Award-winning director discusses career, filmmaking process and the role of women in the movie industry. Julyssa Lopez, October 30, 2013


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker: member of the French Resistance, spy during WWII, artist's muse, Civil Rights Activist, Entertainer, Dancer, Singer and mother of the 'Rainbow Tribe'. 

All my life, I have maintained that the people of the world
can learn to live together in peace
if they are not brought up in prejudice. 
Josephine Baker

Josephine Bake is an amazing woman, so much more than the dancer who wowed Paris in the 20's and preformed in a banana skirt in Paris, which is the image that many get when they hear her name.

Josephine Baker was famous and adored in Paris during the 20's where she 'charleston'ed her way into the hearts of France, but that is just a part of her life story. Born into a poor neighborhood of St. Louis, she started working at 8 years old to help support her mother and her family.  She was in and out of schooling, learning more on the street.  

When Josephine was 13 years old age married William Wells, which made Josephine his financial responsibility, not her mother's. But that marriage didn't even last a year.  Josephine taught herself to sing and dance as a way to earn money and soon moved to New York to pursue a career in entertainment.  She made herself known not only with her dancing, but she also had a good comical delivery.  From New York she moved her act to Paris where she became a star.

Getty image

When World War II broke out, Josephine signed up to help her adopted country, France. First she worked with the Red Cross.  But where she did significant work was as a member of the French Resistance.  Because of her fame she traveled all around Europe and Northern Africa to entertain and she was even allowed into enemy territories where she would gather information undetected and then report back to the Allies.  She also would delivered secret messages which she would hide within her piles of sheet music.  After the war was over, France awarded Baker both the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honour with the rosette of the Resistance, two of France’s highest military honors.

With the war behind her she turned her attentions to racism, especially in her native land, the USA.  She was appalled that when she was in the US, she was made to enter hotels through the back doors and wasn't even allowed to stay in other hotels because of her skin color. This was especially upsetting since she was welcomed into most any establishment, everywhere else in the world.  

She started to protest by not preforming at segregated venues and continued to fight racism until her death.  She even stood along side Martin Luther King, Jr in 1963 and spoke during the March on Washington.
Not only did Josephine Baker speak out against racism, but she wanted to demonstrate to the world that all races and all types of people could live together, given the chance. So, beginning in 1950, she started to adopt children from around the world.  She ended up adopting 12 and she called her family the 'Rainbow Tribe'.

There are so many facets to this woman's life that I highly recommend you follow the links below so that you can meet the woman beyond the banana skirt. VF

American entertainer Josephine Baker (1906-1936)
often performed onstage in Paris
nightclubs with pet cheetah Chiquita.
Chiquita wore a diamond collar.
Sometimes, during a performance,
Chiquita would decide to jump off the stage
and  into the orchestra pit, causing quite a ruckus.
 ca. 1931. Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum.

Legend of XX century Josephine Baker – the black pearl of “Roaring Twenties” – era, so vividly represented in the novel by Scott Fitzgerald “The Great Gatsby”. French-American dancer, singer and actress, Josephine Baker made a brilliant career, and was the star of the Parisian cabaret. Noteworthy, the audience for the first time saw Charleston in her performance. Josephine, called Black Venus, visited poet Baudelaire in his dreams. And according to Ernest Hemingway, she was the most amazing woman he ever knew. Indeed, Josephine inspired sculptors, painters, poets and architects. Interestingly, Adolf Loos dedicated to her “House of Josephine Baker”, Alexander Calder – his wire sculptures, Gertrude Stein wrote a poem in prose, and Paul Colin was the author of many of her portraits, lithographs and posters. Meanwhile, Josephine claimed that Picasso drew her portraits many times (work not preserved). But in the famous series of Matisse “The Creole Dancer” and “Jazz” influence and spirit of Josephine is easily recognizable.

Matisse, The Creole Dancer, 1950

When World War II rocked her adopted France, Baker didn't simply move to a more peaceful country. Instead, she stuck around and did her part for the war effort. Since she had initially publicly supported Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia, the Axis powers mistakenly thought she was "one of them," and Baker took full advantage of this misconception.

In fact, her fame made her the perfect spy. When Baker would travel Europe while touring, she obviously had to carry large quantities of sheet music with her. What customs officials never realized, though, was that a lot of this music actually had secret messages written on it in invisible ink. Fawning immigration officials never thought to take too close a look at the diva's luggage, so she could sneak all sorts of things in and out of countries. On some occasions, Baker would smuggle secret photos of German military installations out of enemy territory by pinning them to her underwear.

This invaluable intelligence work eventually helped Baker rise to the rank of lieutenant in the Free French Air Force, and when the war was over she received both the Croix de Guerre (a first for an American woman) and the Medal of the Resistance in 1946.

Links for Josephine Baker:

Friday, March 24, 2017

The three women who created the MOMA (I had no idea?!?!?)

Abby Rockefeller, Lillie Bliss, Mary Quinn Sullivan: the major force behind the creation of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

The Museum of Modern Art owes a large share of its success to women. The Museum was the idea and creation of three women, and from those founders of 1929 to the associate director and president of the Museum today, women have been instrumental in the development of the institution's mission, program, and collection. This essay highlights a few of the innumerable contributions they have made to the Museum over its more than eighty-year history—as curators, administrators, scholars, artists, patrons, and activists. While meant to be informative, it is partial and by no means comprehensive. Organized alphabetically, it presents a selection of brief biographical and historical notes, with an emphasis on the Museum's early years. The goal is to highlight significant achievements and innovations by women, often linked with the establishment of programs that MoMA and many other museums now take for granted. —Michelle Elligott, Archivist


With her contacts, her knowledge of art, and her family's vast wealth, Rockefeller was able to offer the critical financial backing necessary to create a new museum, and in 1929 she, Bliss, and Mary Quinn Sullivan founded The Museum of Modern Art.

When a purchase fund she had established was used to acquire Picasso's etching Minotauromachy (1935), she suggested, "Let's label this: purchased with a fund for prints which Mrs. Rockefeller doesn't like."2 After her death, in 1948, Barr wrote to Nelson, "Few realize what positive acts of courage her interest in modern art required. . . . She was the heart of the Museum and its center of gravity."3

the Lillie Bliss collection, MOMA

Bliss herself died on March 12, 1931, when the Museum was not yet two years old. At that time she owned twenty-six works by Paul Cézanne, including The Bather (c. 1885), in what was considered one of the most discerning privately held groups of Cézannes in the United States, as well as works by Honoré Daumier, Davies, Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, André Derain, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Odilon Redon, Pierre-August Renoir, Henri Rousseau, Georges Seurat, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Her collection was valued at nearly $1.14 million and, in a complete surprise to staff and trustees at the Museum, including Rockefeller and director Alfred H. Barr, Jr., it was revealed after her death that she had bequeathed the largest and most important part of it to MoMA.2

If the male members of Paul Sachs' art network can be called "old boys," then Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1874-1948) and her friends Lillie P. Bliss (1864-1931) and Mary Sullivan were the "old girls" with extremely progressive views - members of New York's moneyed aristocracy, ambitious, socially committed women who recognized that a gap had crept into in the American museum landscape due to the absence of European Modernism in the institutions.      

In 1917 she married Cornelius Sullivan, an attorney and collector of rare books and paintings. Mary Quinn Sullivan herself began collecting art. Works by Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rouault, and Picasso formed the beginnings of her collection.                                

Doing the research for these posts in honor of National Women's History month blog has introduced me to more amazing and noteworthy women as well as other sites and blogs that celebrate the feminine. Today I discovered this blog and wish to share: