Thursday, February 28, 2008

Time for a refresher course...

As I was waiting in a doctor's waiting room with the omni-present, always-on TV, our commander-in-chief was seemingly bullying our congress about his desired surveillance bill with the immunity for the telecommunication companies. He stressed that to 'keep America safe' we need to give these companies immunity and continue the domestic surveillance of telecommunications and emails. As I listened, I saw our constitution fade a little farther into oblivion. This spurred a dress idea … a torn and tattered dress out of our constitution, a dress that has been through an attack or rape. Upon returning home I ran to the computer to do a little research of our country's constitution and found this interesting website which shows the constitution as well as laymen’s descriptions of what the articles and amendments mean. As I found this interesting and a nice refresher course in US history, I thought I'd share ~ A Roadmap to the United States Constitution . It might be a good time to refresh ourselves with this document. peace.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Places to go, people to see….

My photograph, New York Diner Dress, was accepted in the Concord Art Association’s Member Juried Exhibition II, which is very exciting. The opening reception will be February 14th from 6-8pm.

And this Friday, February 15th , there will be a ‘meet & greet the artist of the Dress Project’ (me) at the Natick Collection. That reception will run from 6-8pm as well.

Fun should be had by all!!! Peace!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thought provoking mojo from Gloria Steinman

Last Night I saw Gloria Steinman speak at Wellesley College, the lecture was hosted by Students for Reproductive Rights. She was awe-inspiring and thought-provoking; my brain has been buzzing ever since. As I watched her speak, and then field questions from the audience, I physically felt her profound intelligence and was struck by the history in which she participated as well as the great history that she has made!! She spoke of so many compelling issues last night, however right nowI am going to highlight a few points that stirred my interest.

First, she spoke of the election and how great it was to have broadened our pool from which we choose our president. She pointed out that in the past our presidential candidates were coming from only 6% of the population ~ I found this a shocking statistic. “This country can no longer afford to choose our leaders from a talent pool limited by sex, race, money, powerful fathers and paper degrees.” (Women Are Never Front-Runners .Gloria Steinman. Op-ed page. New York Times published January 8, 2008) Here is the link to the entire op-ed piece:

She spoke of how the indigenous people of this country worked with nature to control their reproductive health before the Europeans arrived. That they would space out their children – seeing the importance of having more adults than children so to give the children a loving and safe environment in which to strive. She said how women spoke of having the children 6 years apart so that the older child could help and for the health and freedom of the mother.

Health care was addressed and it was pointed out that in this country there is no financial incentive to keep people healthy – the big drug companies and other corporations are making loads of money off the sick.

She spoke of how we still live in a society that devalues and demeans women. This hit a nerve – as a woman and a mother of 2 daughters. It reminded me of another editorial piece of the New York Times, Bob Herbert’s Oct. 16 column of 2006, “Why Aren’t We Shocked?.
It was written after the tragic shooting in the Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania. He spoke to how crimes against women and girls are basically acceptable in our country… “we have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that violence against females is more or less to be expected. Stories about the rape, murder and mutilation of women and girls are staples of the news, as familiar to us as weather forecasts.” (Why Aren’t We Shocked? .Bob Herbert. editorial page. New York Times published October 16, 2006). I wanted to ask Ms. Steinman how do we address this issue … when I feel that woman are being degraded on so many fronts, especially in entertainment & advertisements. I wonder how women are supposed to feel strong and powerful when they are made to constantly worry about their appearance, their ‘make-up’, their figure, their wardrobe, etc. I wonder how a woman is to stand strong when wearing fashionable high heel?! Ms. Steinman spoke a lot about it is our right to make choices – like high heels- but we need to know if we really are making the choice for what is best for us or are there other influences?!

Needless to say I left this lecture quite agitated yet inspired. I was in a room full of educated women of all of ages listening to this feminist icon…listening, learning and absorbing her lessons and her wisdom. That alone can give one a reason to be more optimistic. Also that Gloria Steinman is out there battling for us women is another reason to feel hopeful. Thank you Ms. Steinman & peace.

Monday, February 4, 2008

the dress project goes to the mall

Well …. Yesterday I installed four dresses at the Natick Collection ~ the new Natick mall ~ and it has been quite the experience. I was given this opportunity a week ago and it ignited my creativity & motivation…which a deadline always does. I am coming off an intense week of trying to finish new pieces, having a reality check :-) , and then focusing on the ones that were to go. An interesting part of this crazy week for me was revisiting the Red Alert Cocktail dress. For the third time I basically rebuilt it. It is frustrating yet gratifying as I see how much I have learned since I first made that dress. Also I was aware of the depth of that piece … how it can be read on so many levels and how it appeals to so many different people. In fact as I was madly prepping for the installation a couple stopped by my studio ~ they were wondering what happened to the ‘coke’ dress. I always like when visitors step into my studio ~ they always bring a different perspective or new idea or some intangible gift. This visit was interesting because it soon became clear that we had different opinions on many subjects. But instead of going head to head over issues we had found a common ground. We were brought to together by the dresses and ended up having an earnest discussion about art. As I have been on this dress journey one thing that I have learned is that I want my work to make people think, to push theirs thoughts out of their comfort zone, possibly alter their perceptive a bit, start a conversation. I am truly grateful to have this opportunity to put some of my dresses in the mall, where my eggshell dress may just make someone stop and think differently about an eggshell. So thank you universe & peace.

p.s. the dresses will be displayed at the Natick Collection for the month of February. They are located in the atrium where the old and the new mall meet. AND there is to be a ‘meet & greet’ the artist, me, Friday, February 15th 6-8pm … more on that to come.