Sunday, February 8, 2015

Passing Strange at Mary Baldwin College

Thank you to all the folks at Mary Baldwin College who welcomed me and my show, Passing Strange, to the Hunt Gallery this January. Paul Ryan, head of the art dept. at MBC and also gallery director, couldn't have been more gracious. The students were smart, receptive, and hard working.

My preconceptions about this southern, all women's college were wrong. That is, my old fashioned idea of "white girls in pearls" was, thankfully, very out of date. The student body is diverse, anything but privileged in attitude, and I found the ones I met in the art department engaging and engaged in their work. And they were quite curious about my artists' life, and how and why I make my work. I feel very honored to have had this opportunity.  Here are few installation shots.

Passing Strange, Hunt Gallery, Mary Baldwin College

Passing Strange, Hunt Gallery, Mary Baldwin College

Passing Strange, Hunt Gallery, Mary Baldwin College

Passing Strange, Hunt Gallery, Mary Baldwin College

Passing Strange, Hunt Gallery, Mary Baldwin College

Passing Strange, Hunt Gallery, Mary Baldwin College

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grimshaw-Gudewicz Gallery exhibition is on view

I am pleased to be part of the three person exhibition including myself, Nancy Hayes and Allison Paschke, curated by Kathleen Hancock at the Grimshaw-Gudewicz Gallery at Briston Community College in Fall River, MA. On view from Jan. 22 through February 20.

From the curator:
"The ability to create, and to assign meaning to, marks and shapes is a uniquely human trait. Image making, symbol writing, written language development are part of the impulse to assign meaning to and communicate information about things. Of necessity it requires a communal set of marks and shapes whose meaning is relatively constant. However, language and the marks cultures use to record objects and things are the same marks used to describe ideas, notions of things that live inside the mind.

Some shapes and marks seem to be universal, shared across cultures and time. They are a reflection of a common visual language or archetypal elements of expression. The artists in this exhibition use shape, color (or its absence), and complex spatial relationships to draw us into some of these ideas. What gives rise to meaning? What experiences are common to all of us? Are there associations that we can all delight in a shared sense of connection with?

Adria Arch uses an almost serendipitous approach to building images. She often works with doodles — the kinds of spontaneous marks and shapes found along the margins of notebooks.

Of her work Arch has written, "Doodles made in an unselfconscious state of reverie strike me as a way into our common humanity. For me, these symbols are a mysterious language that is both deeply personal and universal." Arch expands these shapes onto canvas and into sculpture, sometimes layering these shapes to create bold, richly textured works that invite us to think of them as both shape and narrative."

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New year, new studio!

For most of my art life, my studio has been in my basement in Arlington, MA. No commute, and I can work any time of night or day, but there are distractions. Inspired by a visit to NYC two weeks ago where I saw the MOMA painting exhibition, The Forever Now and also the New Museum where I saw an exhibit by UK artist Chris Ofili, I decided that a change was in order.

Chris Ofili's huge works on a crazy purple wall!

A larger studio space outside of the house, where I could really stand back from the work and expand, literally and figuratively, was in my future.

Studio space in Boston, anywhere in the city or close 'burbs is at a premium. Either there is a long wait list, or the price is exorbitant. A posting on Facebook led me to the Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, MA. About a half an hour's drive from my home, it will be a real change for me in many ways. I am looking forward to seeing what happens to my work in my new space. New year, new space.

I was told that it used to be a  photo studio, hence the colorful walls! First order of business is to paint everything white. I could definitely see a wild and colorful background like at the Ofili exhibit, but not as a permanent studio background.

The studio has an extra little room in the front, behind the doorway here.

The windows look out onto the canal running through Lowell! I find that very romantic.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Upcoming exhibit: Grimshaw Gudewicz Gallery

I am pleased to announce that I will be featured in a three person exhibit at the Grimshaw Gudewicz Gallery at Bristol Community College. Nancy Hayes and Allison Paschke are the other two super interesting artists who will be sharing the space with me. The exhibition is curated by the gallery director, Kathleen Hancock. I am very excited to be showing and it looks to be a very interesting grouping of work! Please join me at the opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 22 from 6 - 8  pm.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Passing Strange - Upcoming exhibit in Virginia this January

I am pleased to announce a solo exhibit entitled Passing Strange, at the Hunt Gallery, Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, January 12 through 30, 2015.

The exhibition, featuring new work on paper and board, began with a simple action of spilling paint.

In my recent series, I begin each piece by pouring and pooling paint onto thin plastic, allowing the colors to disperse and blend naturally. When the puddles dry, I cut out the most interesting shapes. These forms become central to my work and I respond to them with additional painting and collage. A narrative is suggested but not pinned down. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

What I did in Greece between classes...

 This year I had a little time for some fun... I was inspired by some dried artichokes that the goat farmer shared with our group. Quickly done gestural and contour studies of the 'choke, each one done in less than 20 minutes. Acrylic on paper, 12" x 14".

And an image-collection trip in an old village on Skopelos...

Art, Intuitively, in Greece, September 2014

For the second time in as many years, I led an art workshop on the magical island of Skopelos, Greece, in the Aegean Sea. My good friends Tom and Isabel Dempsey, directors of Island Center for the Arts, sponsor teachers each year to lead classes.
The Minoan Snake Goddess became our muse this session.
Again, I had a stupendous group of women as my students. I am awed by their bravery and honored to have been part of their creative journey. Each came with her own reasons for being in Skopelos. I watched as the group bonded, laughed, cried, and created together. And what amazing work was made!

We're all turned out for a night of Greek folk dancing on Tom and Isabel's beautiful patio. I am fourth from the left in the yellow blouse.

The view!

The food!

Yes, that is a bunch of grapes hanging overhead.

Gelli plate printing works so well to stimulate ideas.

Plastic tarp on the floor of our outdoor studio allowed us to let the paint rip and drip.

Accordion books are a perfect format for containing many of the drawings, prints and paintings

Travel journals were turned into an art form, bold, colorful, and full of personal resonance.

Rubbings of textures we found on our image collection trips made their way into travel journals.

The Greek alphabet mystified and attracted us.

Two color Gelli prints of our Minoan Snake Goddess muse.

Sculpture made from ocean detritus.

Sculpture inspired by roadside iconostasis.
We painted to music, worked on travel journals, went on image collection trips, studied positive/negative and contour line drawing, did Gelli plate printing and action painting, participated in an Exquisite Corpse game that generated a wonderful poem, intended to visually inspire:

For once, something crazy happened on New Year's eve.
Never play make believe in the sea because the dog is like a sharp Japanese saw.
And when you remember to wake up then you can rise.
But it is always a complete surprise to discover that you can skydive.

A racoon shot the armadillo hiding in the outhouse.
It was smokey and the queen was drunk.
The French snake spoke of crazy ladies alongside an immense belly.
But then the caterpillar crawled unhappily, slowly above the clouds.

..and finally, we created books to hold our numerous efforts.

We ended with a fantastic trip to Delphi where the oracle made her predictions.