Come see Declarations, a mixed-media on scratchboard piece at the opening reception for the exhibit “Make More Love!”
Final Friday, Jan. 31, 2014
5 – 9 pm
The Percolator is between 9th and 10th Streets and half a block east of New Hampshire St. It is in the alley behind the Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, KS.
You are invited to an art opening in Lincoln, Kansas!
Cut, Scratch, Smash, Stack featuring the work of Hanna Eastin of Newton, KS, and Angie Pickman and me of Lawrence, KS, opens on Saturday, May 11, 5:30-7:30 pm at the Lincoln Art Center in Lincoln, KS, and runs through June 28, 2013. (Lincoln, KS is 45-minutes northeast of Salina, KS.)
This exhibit is free and open to the public Tuesday through Friday noon to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Art Center, 126 E. Lincoln Ave, Lincoln, KS, 67455. For more information call 785-524-3241 or visit the Lincoln Art Center website for more information.
In other news, the new Lawrence Magazine is out and I have an illustration in it about catfish! Flatheads to be exact. Check it out — the story is about Thomas Burns, one of the regions greatest fisherman on the Kaw. Lawrence Magazine is available free at many Lawrence businesses, the visitor’s center, and on-line.
UPDATE: We had a lovely crowd and a great opening at the Lincoln Art Center! Here’s a photo of the installation. My work hangs on the wall with Hanna Eastin’s sculpture in the foreground. (Angie Pickman’s cut paper art is on the opposite wall):
For the first time I am participating in The Sketchbook Project, an annual project wherein thousands of people from across the world make a sketchbook to be included in a traveling exhibit of artist books, coordinated by the Brooklyn Art Library, a branch of the Art House Co-op based in Brooklyn, NY.
Participants pay a fee to the library for inclusion and are then mailed a small sketchbook to use during the year prior to the project’s ending date which this year is January 15, 2013. An additional fee allows participants to have their books digitized and included in an on-line display. Sketchbooks are the main attraction for this project, but all kinds of handmade books are welcome as long as they conform to a few basic guidelines.
I am planning to use this book as a way to loosen up a bit with my drawing. I anticipate that it will be a place where I will work more personally and spontaneously than I usually do, and yet in a way that is refined enough for me to feel comfortable with its public display. I plan to doodle, ramble and play, and to explore themes that I am working on in my daily art making process but that are not worked out yet. In my first spread I drew over a newspaper article that I glued down. The article is about the new healthcare law that was recently upheld by the Supreme Court yet still condemned by my state’s governor. I’m interested in making relationships and connections between personal experiences and the bigger world of politics and culture as seen through the media, particularly my daily newspaper, and especially during this year’s presidential campaign.
Lately I’ve been investigating ideas towards a theme for a show at Marty Olson’s “Do’s Deluxe” in Lawrence, in November. The process is like making a collage; images and ideas come from almost everywhere as I respond to experiences, memories, and the world around me.
At the core of this exploration, though, is the feeling that I along with many others are standing on a precipice – or facing an impending storm. The storm is literal (wildfires, massive thunderstorms, and blinding heat) and a metaphor too — how the rage of intolerance, war, corporate power, anti-science extremism and climate change threaten our neighborhoods, environment, civil rights, voting rights, human rights.
But the change that is in the air is also seasonal and sensual and filled with preparation. While we teeter on a precipice in a worrisome sort of waiting game with many people not responding quickly enough, some people are feeling the weight and see the risks and the hard times ahead. Some will roll up their sleeves and do what needs to be done even though it will be hard to turn things around. They’ll try.
People know what to do with a storm. Memories of my mom and dad canning peaches in the heat of summer for the winter ahead come to mind. I think of the transition to fall’s bitter-sweetness and time passing, when wood is stacked in preparation for the looming winter. But more than that, people come together in the storms of winter and through their collective work and actions actually become the spring.
The seasons are like history repeating itself with a comforting regularity. I can hope for a more reasonable day because more reasonable days have come. Public schools, social services, healthcare and the arts have enjoyed broad public support, even in Kansas. And a conservative supreme court (however cynically) can surprise us by upholding the healthcare law. Maybe it is too much to hope. But isn’t that a good role for an artist?
Foreboding and illumination. Churning and solace. Despair and reverie. Images as they develop in my mind and find their way into my sketchbooks, drawings, mosaics, and collages, are about storms real and political. But more than that they are about the feeling that comes before the storm; the stillness, the headwind, the first clinks of hail. This work is about seeking the “better angels of our nature” and finding the comforting reverberations of possibility.
On With the Show celebrates the creative expression of children, and is part of the exhibit Art Lives!, a statewide collaborative project coordinated by the Feminist Art Project as a response to Governor Brownback’s elimination of the Kansas Arts Commission (KAC) a year ago.
The Kansas Arts Commission worked hard to support the making of art by children in schools and community centers across the state. When the KAC was cut, these programs were cut too. In addition, the state has cut funding to the public schools and this also means cuts to the arts. What happens when our state decides that we no longer need to nurture the imagination and creative spirit of young people?
What should the city do with “This Green Space” — the open lot on 9th and New Hampshire beside the Lawrence Arts Center? A recent exhibit at the Lawrence Percolator put that question to the public. My response: build a playground! On Tuesday, April 27, a procession of Percolator members and volunteers took a model of the hotel proposed for that spot to City Hall, illustrating its large size in relation to other buildings and advocating for alternatives.
Come bid on my piece at the Lawrence Arts Center’s 32nd Annual Benefit Art Auction! The auction is April 14, 2012. Doors open at 5:30 pm, and the live auction begins at 7:30 pm. Click here for more information.
I’ve been having a lot of fun in my studio lately and I thought I would share some of my ideas, unfinished work, and creative process. I’m working on a mosaic commission as well as several pieces for two group shows in March.
“Art Lives!” is a statewide collaborative project pairing women artists to work together to make art about the theme art lives. The project was conceived by Rachel Epp Buller, an artist and professor at Bethel College in N. Newton, Kansas, as a response to the condition of arts funding in Kansas; Governor Sam Brownback vetoed funding for the Kansas Arts Commission making Kansas the only state without an arts agency.
I am working on a couple of pieces for this exhibit. I am most excited to be working collaboratively with artist Erika Nelson of Lucas, Kansas, known for her “Worlds largest collection of the world’s smallest versions of the world’s largest things.” I still haven’t met Erika in person, but I have enjoyed talking with her on the phone and through Facebook and email. We’ve decided to begin two collaborative pieces, one that is “political” about the state of the arts in Kansas, and one focused more loosely on the theme art lives. We are passing the two pieces back and forth in the mail, and by now have each had a chance to add to what the other has done. It’s a fun process and we’re thinking of it as a dialogue.
I am also beginning to work on a piece of my own for this exhibit. I am imagining art lives as a depiction of a theatrical scene with dancers and actors springing forth and even flying through the space. I’m imagining this “play” as including subtle references to the Occupy movement because that movement has highlighted how publicly-funded programs like the Kansas Arts Commission are being taken over by wealthy corporate interests. I am excited to try a more process-oriented approach with this piece, so the final product might be very different from my first thoughts.
The exhibit “Art Lives!” will be on display at City Arts in Wichita, Kansas, from March 28 – April 21, 2012, with a Final Friday reception on March 30.
I am also planning a piece for an exhibit called “This Green Space” at the Percolator in Lawrence, Kansas. For this exhibit artists are invited to share their visions for imagining and re-imagining the green space at the corner of 9th and New Hampshire in Lawrence, a space that may become a large hotel — just across the alley from the Percolator. Alternately, artists are invited to exhibit work that tells the story of how they have re-imagined “green spaces” of their own.
The green space that I am imagining at 9th and New Hampshire is a fantasy playground. What I hope to convey in my finished scratchboard piece is a feeling of joy and play, focused on the needs and interests of children. I have quickly sketched out some ideas, made a more detailed plan, and am now in the process of rendering the piece in scratchboard.
“This Green Space” will be on exhibit March 3 – 25, 2012, at the Lawrence Percolator, and will be open for a reception during the March “Final Friday” event.
And as I move forward with the above new projects, I am also in the process of finishing a mosaic commission that I have been working on since December with a tree-theme.