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.
“This Green Space”
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.