My art is on display at Wheatfields Bakery (904 Vermont) from Monday, October 10 – Sunday, December 5, 2011. The exhibit includes mixed-media collages, clayboard drawings, and mosaics that I have made in the last few years through the present.
Some of my work is now available as prints, and these are listed on the information sheet at Wheatfields. Wheatfields is open M – F 6:30 am – 8 pm, S 6:30 am – 6:30 pm, and Su 7:30 am – 4 pm.
Once I made a collage time-line of sorts for a client who gave me important photos, memorabilia, and documents from his life to incorporate. It was scary working with such precious things, among them a copy of his birth certificate, weathered and encased in fragments of plastic. He was someone I didn’t know and he didn’t want to influence my design or working process at all — total trust. And that was nerve-wracking. Would he like it? In the end I think he did, or at least he said he did.
Once a friend commissioned a piece of art for her wedding; two nesting doves portrayed in scratchboard. The original black and white image was reproduced in purple for the wedding invitations, programs, and t-shirts. Ten years later my friend’s parents commissioned another piece, now for my friend’s tenth anniversary. I used mixed-media collage for this one, again in purple. And now the doves have kids.
Today I am in the process of making a small commissioned piece in mosaic. The design phase is over, and for me that’s the hardest part of the creative process and also the most satisfying. The finished piece will be a gift commemorating new beginnings in a story that only my client could tell. I’ve enjoyed gathering some of the details of the lives that this piece will honor. I’ve worked alongside my client to find the right symbol and design: blowing prairie grasses. I am using broken shards of recycled dishes to make the mosaic. In addition, I’m incorporating small pieces of colored glass, special to my client who picked them up around her farm. I’ll know whether or not the mosaic will come together as a whole only after I grout it and it dries. Grout is the unifier. Grout is good.
I enjoyed showing my exhibit Linked in Spirit at the Percolator in Lawrence, Kansas in May and June of 2010.
Look for additional images from my exhibit under Pages: Portfolio: Linked in Spirit
I painted mural-figures related to my art on a movable wall. The figures directed people to one of my favorite pieces, and led viewers around to the other side of the wall.
The public is invited to a reception to celebrate the opening of “Linked in Spirit: an Exhibit of Clayboard Drawings, Mixed-media Collages, and Mosaic,” on Saturday, May 15, 6 – 9 pm, at the Percolator (look for the green awnings in the alley between 9th St. and the Lawrence Arts Center at 940 New Hampshire, Lawrence, KS.) Keyboard musician Brad Hoopes will play at the reception, and refreshments will be served.
The exhibit runs May 15 – June 22, 2010. Gallery hours are Saturday and Sunday, noon – 6 pm, or by appointment call 785-840-5507.
Strange birds are visiting my imagination, and although these are caught in a strong headwind, you might also enjoy the bird-oid I made playing in a fountain, on display at the 1109 Gallery (1109 Massachusetts, Lawrence, KS) from November 11 – January 10, 2010. Everyone is invited to the opening reception on November 14, from 7 – 9 pm.
I would also like to invite you to see my work at Bethel College in N. Newton, KS in March, 2010, and at the Percolator Gallery in Lawrence, KS in either May or June of 2010. More information on these exhibits will be coming soon
I wanted to make a piece of art based on the iconic image of blackbirds sitting in a winter tree. I photographed the perfect tree during a visit to Newton, KS, this winter, and used that photo as a point of departure for this piece. The piece, a mixed-media collage using fabric, embroidery thread, and acrylic paint, is 2′ x 2′.
The “Experience of Farmers” was a series of mixed-media and clayboard works, exhibited in various locations (Kansas, Virginia, Canada) between 2000 and 2002.
ARTIST STATEMENT FROM “THE EXPERIENCE OF FARMERS”
The “Experience of Farmers” is an art project that uses pictures and words to explore the experiences of farmers at a difficult time (1999-2000). The project developed out of concerns about the farm crisis and how this crisis is affecting farm families, rural communities, and the broader society. Low commodity prices are squeezing many independent farmers out of farming, and this project explores the joys and struggles of farmers, and what society loses when independent farmers lose their livelihood.
Since July of 1999, I have interviewed and tape-recorded the voices of forty-two farmers, farm family members, and farmer advocates for this project. Quotes transcribed from the interviews are included directly in the artwork, or on text panels beside the artwork. Themes in the project include: experiences of the countryside, the joys of farming, the farm family, the experience of drought, the beauty of rural Kansas, the perseverance of farmers, discrimination against black farmers, the erasure of independent business and agriculture, and the effects of corporate mergers and multinational corporations on rural communities.
In my artwork I enjoy creating rich surface textures, careful compositions, and fanciful images to capture moments in the stories — from mundane to whimsical to socially urgent. To make the black and white drawings I use an art material called clay board. This material includes a thin layer of white clay covered with black ink, affixed to a Masonite surface. I scratch off the ink with a sharp tool to create white lines, cross-hatching, and textures. The collages I make include a combination of materials such as photos, magazine pictures, embroidery thread, cloth, and paint.
Collaboration with farmers and organizations was a fundamental part of “The Experience of Farmers.” I collaborated with eight Lutheran churches from Kansas – from Belleville, Beloit, Concordia, Courtland, Glasco, Mankato, Norway, and Scandia. The churches, through the City of Glasco, provided matching funds for a Grassroots Grant from the Kansas Arts Commission to fund interviews with farmers from each church. I believe the churches were interested in this project as an outreach project offering farmers a chance to talk about their concerns in a way that would reach an audience beyond their local communities. I was also granted a month-long residency at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center in Minnesota to work on the project. Assistance in locating other farmers for interviews was provided through Jerry Jost of the Kansas Rural Center, friends and family. Farmers from the Newton, Kansas, area and Lawrence, Kansas, area were also interviewed for this project, as well as farmers from Nebraska and Minnesota.
“The Experience of Farmers” has been exhibited in libraries, coffee shops, peace centers, galleries, conferences, the state capitol, and other spaces in the Kansas communities of Topeka, Lawrence, Newton, Concordia, Kansas City, and Winnipeg, Manitoba.