Thursday, September 29, 2011


I was recently featured in Bizarre Magazine in a piece about bodily fluids and art. It is a genuine honor to be interviewed and included among so many highly esteemed and controversial contemporary artists. Please feel free to check it out here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Claude Makes a New Friend

Claude is enjoying his retirement hanging out with his friends in the Rock Band den. He is happy to welcome his new friend, Pat, from The Rabbit Project by Imogen Toner, in which hundreds of precious tiny clay rabbits have been sent from England via mail all over the world to be photographed in special places in honor of a very special toy rabbit. (Pat can be seen sitting atop Feral Pig's head.) Also included in this picture are Cactus Jake, a crocheted donkey in sombrero found at a garage sale; Feral Pig by Christina Ward; Itchy by Jane Wang; and Sock Monkey, made by my mother.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Regarding Size

A lot of artists are prodded to work larger and I have been questioned in this regard on numerous occasions. I've even written about the bias here on my blog before. But a fellow artist voiced something to me at an art fair this weekend that caught me off guard because I'd never perceived of it that way before: that she felt a need to work larger in order to legitimize her work.

I really didn't know how to respond to this. I still don't. I just can't relate. I've never bought into the "bigger is better" argument that so many artists seem to. All too often it seems that size can become a way of compensating for or hiding from shortcomings, as if some artists think to themselves that they can make up for what they lack in vision or technical ability by working bigger or hide from it by working smaller.

I suppose I understand the uncertainty and desire to legitimize one's work, but I just don't correlate that with size. I see legitimacy more as coming from response and/or pushing boundaries: winning an award, showing in more prestigious or varied settings, selling an artwork, receiving a grant or residency, developing a strong & cohesive body of work, developing a new technique, taking or teaching a workshop or class, experimenting & growing as an artist... In my mind all of those things serve to legitimize and assert oneself as an artist more than working larger simply for its own sake.

I find it personally better not to question legitimacy in the first place. I guess maybe I'm just more confident in my art than some. I try not to question the integrity of what I do; I just seek to create is all. Sometimes the results are better than others but all of it is a learning experience, good or bad.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Taking Responsibility for Your Own "Crazy"

It is highly impeccable that you recognize that not everyone else perceives of things the exact same way that you do. Your individuality and uniqueness will come across in your art, whether you embrace it or not and for better or for worse. What may seem perfectly normal to you may seem totally alien to another and visa versa. So, you have to come to realize that not everyone else will understand your art as you do, and this plays an important role in showing your work.

My husband and were recently discussing how so many artists are quick to assume that those hanging their work will graciously display it perfectly, just as they designed it to be seen. Even despite the following: alternative presentations that don't abide by prospectus guidelines, poor instructions on how it goes together, components missing or flawed... And that said gallery personnel will hang said artwork happily and not feel put upon or bothered by any extra demands on their time and skills to do so at all. However, this is not the case. What may seem like an elaborate but elegant and beautiful installation to you as the artist will likely appear as a chaotic jumble of parts to whomever unpacks or has to hang it. So I call upon you to make every effort to ensure that your artwork is installed properly as you would like it to be shown. We called this "taking responsibility for your own 'crazy'" because of that disconnect and the artist's need to work to ensure their own artwork is shown as they would like.

Ideally you should plan to install anything that deviates from a standard plop-it-on-a-pedestal or well-balanced wired wall-hung piece yourself. If you cannot install your own work make sure you converse with the gallery assistant and exhibitions staff beforehand. Include explicit instructions for installation that incorporate pictures (preferably photos and not sketches). Make absolutely certain that all of the proper parts are there and even include spare parts if possible, but make sure to label them as such to avoid confusion. Above all, as I've said time after time, communication is key so make sure that you keep the lines of communication open and professional.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This Week

With all of the focus on fiber arts during Innovations in Textiles, I have been very busy and am involved in several shows opening this week.

Fiber Arts Members' Exhibition
St. Louis Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art
Spirits Lounge
300 State St.
Alton, IL
Sept. - Oct. 2011
WCA girls' night out: Thursday, Sept. 15, 6:30 - 9 PM

Rogue to Vogue 2: Fashion Reinvented
Chesterfield Arts
444 Chesterfield Center
Chesterfield, MO
Sept. - Oct. 2011
Reception: Friday, Sept. 16, 6 - 8 PM
My Au Naturel ensemble is featured in this show.

Fiber Focus 2011
Art Saint Louis
555 Washington #150
St. Louis, MO
Sept. - Oct. 2011
Reception: Friday, Sept. 16, 6 - 10 PM
I have two pieces in this highly competitive juried exhibition: Going Digital and Summer Camp: Intro to Weaving. The juror Lia Cook will be at the reception from 8:30 - 10 PM after her show opens at Duane Reed Gallery. I also won't arrive until later on as I hope to attend the Chesterfield Arts reception awhile first.

Also, the 4th annual Alton plein air paintout is happening Saturday, Sept. 17. I am looking forward to participating again. The riverfront Mississippi Earthtones Festival is always a joy. Please feel free to drop by and check it out.

Artfully Alton & Alton Marketplace
Mississippi Earthtones Festival Plein Air Event
Alton Riverfront Amphitheater
Alton, IL
Sept. 17, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This Week

It's time for the big Innovations in Textiles biennial focus on fiber arts in St. Louis, throughout the months of September and October. I have work in several shows in conjunction with the event including Fiber Content opening this week at Framations.

Fiber Content
218 North Main St.
St. Charles, MO
Sept. - Oct. 2011
reception: Friday, Sept. 9, 6 - 8 PM