Friday, August 4, 2017

more great art from Potato Hill Poetry's Creative writing program

Before the summer ends I want to share some of the awesome work created by the terrific kids at Potato Hill Poetry's summer writing program.  I had the pleasure of being the guest artist for two more sessions and it is ALWAYS such a treat!! 

Potato Hill Poetry's Andrew Green sets an inspiring environment in which these kids flourish.  By the time I arrive, these kids' creative juices are flowing, making my job just that much more fun.

One week the group was working on written pieces about an imaginary place so I decided to have them create a mixed media map or a travel poster about their place.  Once the map was finished, we folded it up, just like a map, and put it into a cover, ready for a backpack or glove compartment.

The following week I shared my love for the master of color, Henri Matisse.  The Boston Museum of Fine Art had just hosted a beautiful exhibit of Matisse's work and so I thought I would join in on the matisse buzz that was happening.  
I focused on Matisse's later works, his collages. I gave the kids some basic instructions and lots of colored paper and they created some brilliant pieces.  Also to end the session, each writer shared a short story or poem about their collage!! I was over the moon!!!
I am sad to say that the Potato Hill Poetry Writing program is done for this year.  It is truly one of my highlights of my summer!! It is such a treat to work with these creative kids. And an extra special bonus is that Mr Green is alway an eager participant in my art activities which is fun for me and the kids.
'the sisters from Hamilton

I guess all I can do now is to wait for next summer .... 
peace,  virginia

Monday, July 10, 2017

awesome accordion books from potato hill poetry's creative summer writers

For the past few summers I have had the joy of being the guest artist at Potato Hill Poetry's summer writing program and last week I lead my first activity. This summer I decided to try something new so we made accordion books and the end result was truly inspiring.

After we each made a basic accordion book, I gave very loose instructions about filling their newly created book. I pointed out the unique element that an accordion book offers which is the option to use each separate page or to use all the pages for a long or tall design and many campers did just that.

And as is common with most of my art lessons, I brought my endless supply of materials and supplies for the campers to use in their books!! 

And even though I appreciate that too many choices can be overwhelming, these kids weren't intimidated one bit and each created a lovely and unique book. It was a truly inspiring morning!

Please enjoy these treasures of creativity.  And I will be working with Potato Hill Poetry's Summer Writing Program a few more times this summer, so if you are interested make sure to check out the information at  


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