Last month, I attended the opening for Without Boundaries: Transformations in American Craft , curated by Lynn Friedman Hamilton at Craft Alliance Delmar. The show continues until October 21. The premise of the show- selecting artists who were featured in an American Craft Museum (now the Museum of Arts and Design) exhibition 25 years ago whose working methods have changed- is brilliant. The accompanying catalog is worth grabbing as well. My only wish is that the actual works from the 1986 exhibition could be physically instead of photographically displayed in a larger gallery setting. The works seemed to sing in the catalog, but not as much in the space (but it was also an opening with a good crowd).
When preparing for my artist talk, it was educational to see revisit old works and follow the thread of an idea. My work cycles back to themes of time and flux, regardless of media. It will be interesting to see what the next years bring.
WCC "Seed Drawing" workshop drawing by students nearly complete.
My artist lecture and outdoor seed drawing workshop ran like clockwork. Thanks to Jen and B for the feedback on the practice runs. I had several contingency plans for technology so I was able to show a time-lapse video of the process of drawing and then a basic slide show of previous related works. I returned to a classroom I taught in, and was lucky enough to see a former student in the audience.
On Thursday, the weather was balmy with a soft, cool breeze, and the site for the workshop was in the shade. Students immediately began drawing some interesting designs in seed outside the cafeteria windows. After working on their own contributions to the drawing- the last half hour was spent working to frame them all together into a singular drawing. Their work caught the eye of many passersby and caused some gasps and groans when it had to be swept up after a few hours in existence. I was hoping the students would have the opportunity to see the work disintegrate from birds and squirrels taking an interest as well- but not this time.
Special thanks to Wynette Edwards for emailing photos from the workshop.
I will visit the Sugar Grove Campus ( Route 47 at Waubonsee Drive) of Waubonsee Community College for an artist’s talk at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in room 201 of Von Ohlen Hall.
Here’s a short article on Waubonsee’s website about the Sun and Gravity installation.
I spent the day in Grand Center- Highlight reel: The Sheldon Art Galleries had a whole buildings worth of goodies- I was really pleased with the winners of the Critical Mass Creative Stimulus money—Sarrita Hunn, Elysia Mann and B.J. Vogt were deserving candidates. I really fell for Elysia Mann’s work. The deft incorporation of text made me swoon and think of brilliant writer friends. The recto verso series was a minimalist version of the uncanny Robert Heinecken photograms that I saw at Chicago’s MCA. As a previous grad assistant in Rare Books and Special Collections at NIU, I really loved the texture of Mann’s pages and the richness of the surface. My son loved the Sarrita Hunn projection- my only beef is that the duration of the video was not posted. (Nice jurying there- Good Citizen!) We were lucky enough to happen upon Odell Mitchell, Jr. speaking with his retrospective. I would have stayed much longer had a hungry two-year old not been in tow. Odell, thanks being so generous with your time and talent.
The Pulitzer’s In The Still Epiphany was much more than I was expecting from some reviews of friends. I was delighted by the play of objects and space from the curator Gedi Sibony - and as always, blown away by range and depth of the Pulitzer’s collection.
Sun and Gravity is on view at Waubonsee Community College’s Dickson Window Project Space in Sugar Grove, IL until Oct 12. I’ll be assembling my lecture materials to be able to give an artist talk on Thursday, Sept 6 at noon. We are still in the process of negotiations for the workshop that will be available for enrolled students at the college after the artist talk.
The last day of install went well- but cleaning up and loading took longer than anticipated (I thought I would be back on the road early). Today I was really pleased to see the reflections of the Dickson Window space interacting with the drawing. I wanted to be sure I took advantage of the unique space provided by this opportunity. The three walls of glass, and the glass roof on the space inspired me to take full advantage of the natural lighting. The newsprint under the seed drawing should yellow with time. Once the lace drawing is etched by the sun into the newsprint, I plan on exhibiting the drawing once in a protected site- and then showing it again outdoors- so the drawing will disappear again. Depending on the time of day, the work expands outside the space in reflections. Coming down the staircase from the second floor, the late morning light reflects the floor up like a projection off the slanted glass roof. The installation is dedicated to my mother, Patricia Haverman as a thank you for her faith in my work.
Lots of sunscreen and snacks later, and the drawing is close to being completed. I had to leave a strip along the opposite wall to be able to hang a new poster. I was sure to integrate the water spigot into the drawing, both by making the floral patterns based on the spigot handle and a big floral design centered on its placement.
Day Two- I spent most of the day a bit panicked about getting done since I had only tackled a small portion of the space yesterday. The lace pattern that was forming was coming along nicely, but very slowly. I had to keep in mind that I had two assistants, Ester and Brittany, who could do some simple repetitive drawing of the netting part of the lace while I drew in the “embroidered” floral patterns in nyger seed. I was hoping to go into Chicago that evening and see two good friends from grad school, but I couldn’t afford the time away. I was lucky enough to eat dinner with a friend in DeKalb the night before, but was almost falling asleep over my soup. Eventhough I am in familiar territory, I am wiped out from traveling.
Day One has gotten off to a slow start, but I guess the timing is better now than later. The interior of the windows in Dickson are being cleaned, so the reflections will be pristine. The challenge is waiting for the entire roof window to be cleaned before starting anything in the space. I am glad that I wasn’t able to install on Sunday, and already get several hours of drawing in only to have large drips of dirty water from the ceiling destroy the work.
Several hours later, the space is cleaned up- and we find a track of lights not functioning. Did it short out with the dripping water from the window wash? So I’ll need to plan for a path in the back of the space to allow for an electrician to identify and hopefully fix the problem. I did get to start on placing the newsprint with glue dots in front of the exterior windows and working with student Ester. Spending time chatting with students made me miss the classroom. When my contract for the spring was not renewed due to a full-time professor needing the slot, I decided to focus on mailing out proposals. While I am happy that I’ve got shows lined up for next summer and fall, I hope to be teaching a class in the fall. It was great to reconnect to staff and teachers at Waubonsee during my four day install.
Just heard from friend, Phil Hastings, who is included in the 18th Sydney Biennale. Cal Lane’s work made him think of me— visually and conceptually we are on the same page. I work much more modestly. Phil was the best conference buddy one could hope for- and I am so pleased to see his work get recognized. He gave me a DVD of a film when I met him and I was floored by his work ethic and the exquisite high quality of his films. It’s a shot in the arm to see good work, and to see good people get recognized for it. Check out the website for the Biennale- it’s incredible and I think I have a mind meld with the curators sensibility. I wish that teleportation device was completed so I could check it out in person, but happy the site is so dense.