Friday, February 27, 2015

#tbt: the story of 'dear jeff . . . '

note: photo is above the fold :)

I seems only appropriate to share the story behind my sculpture, 'dear jeff . . . ' as it is featured in yesterday's art section of the Boston Globe! (lick here to go to the Globe's site)
photo by Rrea Brown Photography during a photography workshop led by
David Lee Black, where 'dear jeff . . . ' was one of the models.
The story of 'dear jeff . . . '
 This dress is a commissioned sculpture for a man, Jeff,  who lost his fiancée in the events of 9/11/2001.  She had flown to New York early that morning to attend a business breakfast at the Windows of the World restaurant.  

On the 10 year anniversary of this tragedy Jeff felt that it was time to let go of his box of memories.  He contacted me and asked me if I could create something from his collection of letters and cards and remnants from the tragedy. I was honored to have been asked and accepted the task.

Jeff handed me a large box full of letters; notes between the couple during college, cards of encouragement for new jobs, the announcement about their engagement, articles about 9/11, the missing person flyers, and then an abundance of condolences cards, from friends, family, coworkers, communities and even strangers. These communiques played a huge role is Jeff's recovery; the power of a caring community.

When Jeff approached me, he didn't want a memorial of his fiancée and her death. He wanted a sculpture that would portray the importance of community, and the positive growth that can come through adversity, as well as a celebration of Amy's spirit.  The essence of this dress is similiar to the story of the phoenix, who rises  from the ashes renewed after apparent disaster or destruction.  peace

There is so much I can say about this dress and the experience I have had making it and exhibiting it. This sculpture is a true testimony to the power of art!!!  I have witnessed victims of the attacks meet over the dress and console each other and I have been told that the dress has helped others to heal a bit from this horrific tragedy.  

I am very honored to have been given this task of working with such emotional, heart-wrenching and powerful materials and I am truly grateful to Jeff for sharing his memories and his story with me, allowing me to share the story of love, loss and recovery with a larger audience.

'dear jeff . . .' is part of the breath-taking exhibit, "Forever & After" at 
the South Shore Art Center through April 4th.  

peace, va

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#wip wednesday ( a-k-a what i'm working on)

since I have a looming, pending, do or die deadline this post must be brief!! in fact it will be mostly pictures of what I'm working on this week : my 'tree of life' mural for the Common Street Spiritual Center, Natick.

As I have mentioned before it has a life of its own . . .as much as I want to finish the piece it seems as though the tree has other plans . . . it is all good, as I believe some of the details that have emerged from the days/weeks of working and reworking areas are really successful, but that said there is a due date, dead line, scheduled unveiling, March 14th, 2-4pm, Common Street Spiritual Center!!! 

peace, va

Monday, February 23, 2015

#amazingmayamonday from my dailydress inspirations . . .

My mission in life 
is not merely to survive, 
but to thrive; 
and to do so with 
some passion, 
some compassion, 
some humor, 
and some style.
Maya Angelou

peace, va

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tonight!!! #DigOutArts at the South Shore Art Center

Here in Boston, we have been experience unprecedented snow and cold.  The mounds of snow and ice are incredible, towering over one's car or one's person at times.  I have found myself suddenly laughing at the surrounding landscape.  I am not sure if it is because I am slowly losing my mind?!?!? or (more likely) this massive world of snow returns me to a child-like wonder!!! It is magical!! 

However, magical or not, this weather is inconvenient and is causing serious bouts of cabin fever!

So a local arts organization, ArtsBoston, started a hashtag movement, #DIGOUTARTS, to encourage all to throw down their shovels and go see some art this weekend!!! here is their post:
We are all weary from our ‪#‎BOSnow‬ existence, but it is important that we get out and celebrate what makes ‪#‎Boston‬ such a vibrant place to live, and that's our arts and culture community. If you are going a play, concert, film, museum, or gallery this weekend post about your experience on instagram or twitter using ‪#‎DigOutArts‬ to help encourage others to go out and support the arts across the city. 

I LOVE this campaign!! Let's all go out and see the ARTS!!! AND it just so happens that I am participating in an artsy event tonight!!! Yes, tonight is the opening for the breath-taking exhibit, "Forever & After" at the South Shore Arts Center, Cohasset, MA.  The reception is 6-8pm.

If you can get out and join us I promise you that you will not be disappointed.  When I was installing 'torqued & tethered . . .'  I was able to see the exhibit in its nearly complete state;
I found it captivating!!

Here are the comments by Bill Houser, the curator of the show:
Thou know’st ‘tis common; all that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity. —William Shakespeare (Hamlet. 1.2.72–73)

Sculpture has been used to commemorate and honor the dead since before the Egyptians built the pyramids, to ensure immortality for the spirits of those buried within.
The essence of Forever & After is the exploration of the ubiquitous and prophetic themes of loss, commemoration, and belief in spirit with its uncertain evolution or transcendence, through the medium of contemporary sculpture.

Forever & After examines this essence through many contexts: life, death, evolution, transformation, transcendence and all that is after and in between. As society attempts to control and co-exist with these uncontrollable aspects of our humanity and nature, we must accept that through these experiences our lives are enriched and are given dimension and purpose. These universal themes and experiences cross the boundaries of cultural, religious, historic and societal norms and beliefs. Forever & After explores these themes through the artistic interpretations and expressions of six uniquely gifted and accomplished sculptors.

The themes expressed by these artists, as well as the manner in which they are processed, offer a visual playground for us to explore. Some define them from an individual and personal perspective, while others may be derived from a collective ideology.
With the use of such diverse materials and mediums, each of these sculptors has masterfully created work that celebrates the essence of loss, memorializes feelings of permanence, and explores the concept of afterlife and spiritual renewal. The colors, textures, and forms used in creating these pieces are a testament to each sculptor’s unique individual artistic expression, yet collectively within the context of this exhibit, this collection embodies the interconnectivity of all of us.

William Houser, Curator                                              
 Click here to view the catalog

So matter how you do it or where you go . . .  
this weekend #digoutarts!!!
(hope to see you tonight!! :)

peace, va

Thursday, February 19, 2015

#tbt: the story of 'torqued & tethered . . . .'

'torqued & tethered . . . ' at "forever & after"
at the SSAC
the story of  'torqued & tethered . . . ' 
in honor of her participation in the exquisite exhibit, "Forever & After"
 at the South Shore Art Center, curated by the amazing Bill Houser. 
Opening reception is tomorrow, Feb 20th, 6-8pm. 
If you are able, you need to go experience this exhibition, it is haunting in its beauty.
 'torqued & tethered . . . ' (2013) ribbons, chicken wire and rocks.

'torqued & 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.

'breaking open . . .' Fountain Street Fine Art (2013)
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.
'torqued & tethered . . .' behind 'metamorphosis . . . '
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 & tethered . . .'

This sculpture speaks to the omnipresent and destructive messages directed at young girls/women,
Lady Forrest 1876, Victorian style dress
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.
(I am suddenly feeling as though I have so much to say that I am going to EXPLODE!! I have many opinions about these traditional roles and expectations that are forced on girls/women even now in this supposedly gender enlightened time!! I have two girls/young ladies and I am aghast at the subtle messages that they have gotten about the importance of getting married! But this rant is for another post.*)

'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!!!

thank you for your interest and peace,

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

dresses on the move and #fromthelandofdragons' blog . . . .

I am not one for letting a few feet of snow stop me! 
I grew up in the windy city and boy do we do weather there!!! 
So between forecasted snow storms got some my my art out into the world!!

 First, I delivered 'torqued and tethered . . . ' and 'dear jeff . . . '
to the South Shore Art Center.  They are part of a group show, curated by 
Bill Houser, called "Forever & After". (more info and link below)

Then after having some motivation issues I framed and delivered some 
#fromthelandofdragons photos to the Wellesley Starbucks, on rt 135.
Reminding us all what a few months will bring . . . 

And this installation prompted me to finally
create and publish a dedicated blog page for my
#fromthelandofdragons series!! (yay)
(link to blog below AND in dashboard) 
now these photos will be 
all in one place, more easily found,
 especially for those of you
who are not on FB or Instagram

show card for "Forever & After"
show catalogue 

Description and information about "Forever & After"
"Forever & After" at the South Shore Art Center

click here to view show catalogue

A dedicated home for my #fromthelandofdragons photos:
#fromthelandofdragons has its own blog!!!!! 

Since Starbucks doesn't want artists to post prices I have created this page with all $$ info:
link to pricing information for the work at starbucks

Monday, February 16, 2015

#amazingmayamonday - how true her words are, always . . .

today's dailydress inspiration is from the amazing maya angelou.  i have been posting one of her many inspirational quotes every monday since her passing. 
'strength . . . ' mixed media, strata series
may this dress remind us of our own worth!!! 
“Never make someone a priority 
when all you are to them is an option.” 

 today's quote rings particularly true with me today and i feel it is very important to share it.  and I ALWAYS love my 'strata' series as it shows the many layers of a woman, what she has inside her, what she is made of.

and this quote is especially poignant in light of this chilly graphic, 
depicting domestic violence in the USA. 
thank you Deep Green Resistance. 

so remember YOU are wonderful, worthy and amazing!!!
just as you are!! 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

a sunday snow day . . .

in case you haven't heard . . . its been snowing A LOT here in the Boston area!!
and today is no different - we are experiencing yet another blizzard!!!! 

Now there is an odd tradition here in the Boston area when a snow storm is predicted, everyone and their uncle, races to their local grocery store. When I moved here it blew my mind!! I mean there is a mass hysteria!! 
Here is Scruffy showing us the scale of the snow piles as of a few days ago.
Recently I decided that it is more dangerous to go to the grocery store before a storm than to run out of milk during the storm. (I mean people are mean!!!)
chocolate and coffee #kitchentableseries
So when today's storm was forecasted and the grocery stores parking lots were full to capacity, I drove past and headed over to Michael's for my storm supplies!!!

 I love snow days,  its mother nature's way of  making everyone stop! the girls and I are safe and warm (thankfully) and I get to make stuff!!
today's experimenting 

As I mentioned earlier, this year, I have made some intentions to expand my art practice.   Another one of these intentions is to experiment a lot!!! 

I want to try more things, different materials, different opportunities, push myself out of my comfort zone. 

One way I have done that this year is by revisiting ink drawings, 
I call these my  #kitchentableseries. 

I love drawing!! but I have not been drawing in a long time. So I started to draw these small still life's on my kitchen table in ink.  

And as a way to keep me out of my comfort zone,  I have been posting them on instagram, sharing work that I don't feel completely 100% competent about, trying to break that ever present striving for perfection and only sharing images that i feel are complete!! (I got this from one of the many online classes that I am taking) 

So when i was strolling the aisles of Michael's in my pre-storm prep mode, I spied a real pen and ink set, with a nib and bottle of ink. For my drawings I was using a ink pen, one that already had the ink in it, I haven't used a pen with a nib since college. So besides purchasing some yellow yarn for my current crocheted project, I treated myself to a true pen and ink set, nib and all!!! 

And today, during this snow storm and between shoveling, I sat at my kitchen table, playing with my new pen, experimenting. I'll do some crocheting later while watching a movie with the girls!!!

I think Scruffy is getting a bit tired of all the snow, it is so deep!!
Hope all are comfortable, where ever you are today!! 
peace from the arctic tundra!!! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

flower friday . . .

'dear georgia . . . ' #fromthelandofdragons

'dizzying . . . ' #fromthelandofdragons

'out there . . . ' #fromthelandofdragons
living in the boston area, these past few weeks, i am reminded of the movie Brigadoon where two men stumble into a totally different world.   here, our world has turned into a land of ice and snow!! more snow than i have ever seen and i am from chicago!!!

so as a reminder of what lies in dormancy  under these mountains of snow, and which will be here in just a few months, some images from my series, #fromthelandofdragons.

today is also flower friday because after SO many days of prepping i am finally going to start painting the flowers on my #wip (work in progress), my 'tree of life' mural for the Common Street Spiritual Center.

this mural has been quite the creative journey . .  talk about something having a mind of its own, that expression completely fits this experience.  the mural appears to know what and how it wants to be painted and i am just its faithful servant.

don't get me wrong i am SO enjoying the process but it has been a much longer process than i thought planned for/expected.  but you can't rush the creative process?!?!?
and on that note,  if i want to be successful in my quest to paint the flowers i must get myself to the studio.

so i leave you with these images of the magic of mother nature AND David Byrne and friends singing about flowers!!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

#tbt: stories from my dressproject

one of my new year's intentions is to reclaim my art blog, this blog, which i started back in january 2008 (the first post, if you are interested, click here) 
my dearest cohort in crime, the day
i made 'floating . . . ' #scruffywalk

i began this blog as a response to this amazing 'experience' that i was a part of . . . my 'dressproject'.  as anyone knows, who has heard me talk about my 'dressproject', i feel as though i am a conduit for this body of work.  since the dresses were appearing fast and furiously i needed a way to document the journey, hence this blog.  

so to get this blog back up to speed, with more regular postings and covering more than just my 'dressproject',  i have many ideas for different features (more on that in another post) and wish to make posting more of a daily practice.  

and since in the world of social media, #tbt or 'throw back thurday' is an already established tradition, i am going to honor #tbt here.  on thursday i am going to look back to one of the many, many dresses from the 'dressproject'. i will post a picture or two and share story of that specific dress; because it is amazing how most all dresses have some kind of story.

today's #tbt is part of my #dailydressseries, which i officially labeled last december and continue to share on my instagram feed.  so without further adieu, 'floating . . . .'

'floating . . . ' 1jan 2014, natick, ma
'floating' was made on the natick rail trail in a stream under the Cochituate st bridge. It was New Year's Day morning 2014; cold, bright & so quiet! My dog doesn't distinguish between regular mornings verses holiday morning, so we were out the door around 6:30am. But the morning air was bracing, a perfect way to greet the new year. While exploring the rail trail, I noticed a small beguiling leaf poised in the stream that ran along the trail, being in the water highlighted its beauty. So I accepted the challenge of creating a dress in the icy cold stream. Of course the reality that it was below freezing and I was working with my bare hands didn't occur to me until the dress was done.
peace, and see you tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

so much to discover in this cyber-world in which we play . . .

today i am bring back my series:
dOse oF TaLenT
"dOse oF TaLenT"
which started a few years ago on my artist's page on Facebook.
i shared the works and links of artists that inspired me,
that i thought was doing something new,
artists that caught my attention.

i stopped this 'practice' because other life events needed my time and attention, but i have been itching to start up again.  now even more, thanks to instagram and pinterest, i have discovered amazing artists that more people need to know about!!!

so i have started a "dOse oF TaLenT" blog which can be found in the above dashboard of this blog. this way if you are interested in my "dOse oF TaLenT" then you can click through or just follow that blog, and this blog can stay more information about what is happening in my art world (although, i DO have some fun ideas for this blog) 

as i have written numerous times, i miss this blog. i love doing the dailydress inspiration blog, but i miss the deeper exploration that i was doing here . . . i honestly get a lot of insight when i read past posts and remember what i was doing and thinking at that time.

so introducing the addition of my  "dOse oF TaLenT" blog into my cyber-world.
here is the link to today's post (clickhere) but as I mentioned you can get there by clicking "dOse oF TaLenT" in this blog's dashboard (look up ^).  

happy clicking and please leave a comment if you are having trouble, or if you have a comment about the new format, or if you just have a comment or idea to share.
FB artist page