Monday, September 30, 2013

Little Black Dress Strikes Again!

Keep an eye out for my next Little Black Dress show and mark your calendars for the opening reception on Friday, Oct. 11!  I'll be bringing out a bunch of fun miniatures pieces for this showing.

I'm partnering with Christine Giancola for a collaborative Women's Caucus for Art exhibition entitled Expectations in which we will explore various expectations based on gender roles, location and even some explorations into self-imposed and idealized views.

The show will be at Lillian's By Design in Alton, Illinois in October!

2-person show with Christine Giancola
includes my Little Black Dress traveling project
St. Louis Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art
By Design
136 Front St.
Alton, IL
Oct. 2013
Reception: Friday, Oct. 11, 5 - 8 PM

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Some More Thoughts on Art

I have written about the idea of high vs. lowbrow art and institutionalized elitism before, a long time ago (so long ago I cannot seem to find that post again), but I want to revisit the topic and just share some thoughts on my love of art.

I love art!  I love High Art in the institutionalized setting.  I love lowbrow, outsider, untrained art that follows the heart.  I love art that speaks to the soul's song.  I love Classical and traditional art.  I love avant-garde art.  I love art outside the box.  I love uppercase ART that screams something to say.  I love lowercase art that whispers.  I love art that is self-conscious.  I love art that has an ego.  I love art that is best represtented by the anarchy symbol and questions the status quo.  I love art that exists outside of expectations.  I love art that is indistinguishable from life.  I love art that transcends everyday life to embody greater things.  I love art created at all levels: childhood, therapeutic, professional, amateur, hobbyist.  I love art that collaborates.  I love art that refuses to play nice.  I love art that makes a statement.  I love art that has nothing to say.  I love art that is shocking and controversial.  I love art that is pretty.  I love art that questions what art is.  I love art that celebrates beauty.  I love art that conveys ugliness.  I love art that raises awareness.  I love art that explore human relationships.  I love art that plays it safe.  I love art that takes risks.  I love art for art's sake...

Art is truly everywhere, and if we're willing to open our minds to the breadth and possibility of human creativity, expression & resilience, we will soon come to find it in everything.  Art = life.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Art of the Week: Piasa Paintings

Here are some pictures of my plein air paintings from Saturday in Alton.  I ventured from the festival grounds to Piasa Park and painted these two 5" x 7" purple Piasa birds based on the cliff mural.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

This Week

I must apologize for letting my blog slip but I haven't been online much.  Time completely got away from me this past week between acquiring a new recumbent bicycle and a lot of really productive studio time framing & gearing up for the upcoming Little Black Dress shows, and I totally forgot to post what I had going on.

Yesterday I participated in the 6th Mississippi Earthtones plein air paint out in Alton, IL.  It was a beautiful day and I ventured from the festival grounds to paint the Piasa Bird.  Since I wandered afield I didn't enter the competition this year, but I am happy with my paintings and may post them later this week if I find time to photograph them.

I also have works in the Two show at the Syndicate Building, which opened last night.  Please drop by and check them out - just call up to Paul & Connie LaFlam who organized the show to make an appointment.  They have been curating shows in the wonderful gallery spaces on the 4th & 5th floors for several years, and are currently showing my Spent Wishes diptych which includes real pennies encased in resin.

Tonight is the reception for the Northern Arts Council fall exhibitions in Ferguson, MO at Cork Wine Bar, Ferguson Brewing Company & Pierce Neikirk & Partners.  My Au Naturel dress & paintings are included.

Mississippi Earthtones Plein Air Festival
Alton, IL
Saturday, Sept. 21, noon - 5 PM

organized by Paul & Connie LaFlam
Syndicate Building - 4th & 5th floors
915 Olive St.
St. Louis, MO
Sept. - Nov. 2013
Reception: Saturday, Sept. 21, 7 - 10 PM

Out of Town
Northern Arts Council
427 Gallery at Pierce Neikirk & Partners, Realtors, LLC
427 S. Florissant
Ferguson, MO
Aug. - Nov. 2013
Reception: Sunday, Sept. 22, 5 - 8 PM

Flora & Fauna
Northern Arts Council art rotations
Cork Wine Bar
423 S. Florissant
Ferguson, MO
Aug. - Nov. 2013
Reception: Sunday, Sept. 22, 5 - 8 PM

This coming week marks the reception for the MOFA Speaking of Fibers show on Friday and several of my tiny plein air paintings on display at Capital Arts in Jefferson City for the Mini-Wonders exhibition, opening next Sunday.

Speaking of Fibers 2013
Missouri Fiber Artists
St. Louis University Museum of Art
3663 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO
Aug. - Sept. 2013
Reception: Friday, Sept. 27, 5 - 8 PM

Mini Wonders
Capital Arts
1203 Missouri Blvd.
Jefferson City, MO
Sept. - Oct. 2013
Reception: Sunday, Sept. 29, 1 - 4 PM

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Considering Legacy & The Vanishing Folk Pottery of China

I have been considering the importance of legacy & the preservation of art for some time, deeply questioning what is preserved versus what is not and why.  This culminated in my 10-year art anniversary Last Chance! One Night Only! sale and performance, and then again in using the proceeds from that show to start a legacy fund within the local chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art.

I have since been helping the St. Louis Women's Caucus for Art sort and organize its archives for later reference, so that information can be better found, especially pertaining to newsletters and show records such as catalogs, flyers & postcards.  (Note: WCA-STL may be looking to fill in gaps in these chronologies, so if you have archived any past newsletters or show records please keep a lookout for such a call in following months after it is discerned what records may be missing.)

Because of this ongoing consideration, I am aware of others' efforts to preserve and document past and present art for future artists, critics and historians.  On a national level, the Women's Caucus for Art has continued to recognize women artists' longstanding contributions through the Lifetime Achievement Awards.  The group has also produced numerous state-of-the-art show catalogs for national exhibitions, featuring artworks and essays exploring specific themes that affect & celebrate women nationally & internationally, and their roles within & outside of the arts now and throughout history.

Other efforts to preserve and document legacy and art are happening everywhere.  I recently attended a show at Webster University's Cecille R. Hunt Gallery organized by professors Jeri Au (Ceramics) & Jeffrey Hughes (Art History & Criticism).  This exhibition, entitled The Vanishing Folk Pottery of China, features various examples of Chinese minyao, or people's pottery, from the collection of Marie Woo and John & Susanne Stephenson.

Although the Imperial porcelain ceramics created at government kilns have long been well-preserved, traditional wares produced by anonymous local potters for peasantry and villagers' use have not been nearly so well-documented.  By highlighting some of the many longstanding minyao traditions from local Chinese artisan kilns, artworks are preserved that otherwise haven't been, alongside of photographic & written records of potters & their processes

Modernization has greatly reduced the demand for minyao, and so the number of potters in rural China has shrunk dramatically.  A single potter may now be the last artisan executing wares once produced by entire families & larger studios.  Therefore, it is crucial to preserve histories & traditions that may otherwise be lost entirely or delegated to serving a tourist trade, limiting functionality and form to what is most salable in that market.

Legacy and the preservation of history is important at all levels, from traditional forms made by anonymous artists & artisans to contemporary works & artists, emerging & established.  With modern technologies, information is more widely available than ever before but, due to rapid technological evolution and constant uploading of new content, even these records are at risk, falling off of search engines and becoming lost as systems & servers are retired or reappropriated for other tasks.  So legacy doesn't end with any particular show or with content being uploaded online; we must remain aware & diligent in our efforts to promote further posterity.

Monday, September 2, 2013

This Weekend & C.A.M.P. Preview

This weekend I have a lot going on with the debut of the Little Black Dress project kickoff at C.A.M.P.  I began hanging the show today, so here's a preview pic!  (Another fun preview pic has been posted to the Little Black Dress blog, so be sure to check it out...)

Little Black Dress
solo exhibit with interactive project kickoff dress exchange & impromptu style event
3026 Cherokee St.
St. Louis, MO
Sat. Sept. 7 & Sun. Sept. 8, 2013, 1 - 4 PM
Show runs through Sept. 13; additional hours by appointment only.

I also have artworks in two other shows opening this weekend: Plein Air Missouri at Chesterfield Arts & The Photographic Self at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, IL, both opening on Friday.

Plein Air Missouri
Chesterfield Arts
444 Chesterfield Center
Chesterfield, MO
Sept. - Oct. 2013
Reception: Fri., Sept. 6, 6 - 8 PM
I have two paintings from the 2013 Augusta plein air event in this show.

The Photographic Self
Woman Made Gallery
685 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL
Sept. - Oct. 2013
My Memories lamp incorporating film negatives from my childhood will be on display during this exhibit.