Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Roxbury Open Studios Oct. 2-3

This weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 11-6, local
artists are opening their studios to the public and/or
gathering in central locations to display their work.
We celebrate the exuberant artist filled community in
which we live. Complete info for Roxbury Open
Studios is available at:
I set up in my home studio and invite everyone in,
displaying my art and letting folks see the studio
from which my creatures and other work emerge.

As promised in my last post, here are a few
images of items I just finished for Open Studios.
First some ceramic masks:

These one-of-a-kind masks are 3 1/2 inches across,
a comfortable size to fit in my hand as I create them.
They are sculpted from low fire white clay, fired, then
finished with various paint layers and beading. They hang
on the wall via a leather wrapped wire attached to the clay.
I have a fondness for avians, but sometimes bears,wolves,
monkeys and other creatures emerge from the clay.

I acquire feathers from various sources, but lately have
been using feathers from two parrots named Harley and
Cyrano.Their owner generously shares their feathers.

This slightly larger beaded bear mask is 5" across:

Since networking is so important these days, I will
have a good supply of my double pocket leather card
holders(also useful for those times you don't really want
a purseor wallet - just a card or two and a little cash.)

And of course that 3-headed creature I mentioned in last
week's blog post. It's 16 inches tall. some new species
definitely showing up this Fall! Here he/she/they are/is:

Perhaps the folks who drop by will help me discover
the story behind this figure. I have some ideas, but
it's always fun to hear the thoughts of others. I'm also
working on a new figure with an eye in its belly.It will be
finished for the Paradise City Arts Festival Columbus Day
weekend in Northampton!(Image in next week's post.)

Naturally the above will be accompanied by a good mix
of Star Wandering folk, Caretakers, Stump Critters
and assuming I can get Snarval,the dragon, to come
down from the redwoods, he will be here too along with
some dragon books to keep him company.

Anyone in the area, please stop by. Hot cider,
homemade cookies and good conversation await!

Journey on over! Wendy

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Outdoor sculpture at Maudslay State Park

I love it when artists get together to have fun, push themselves
and share it with the public.Such is the outdoor sculpture exhibit
at Maudslay Sate Park in Newburyport, MA. This is its 12th year
coordinated by Bert Snow. This year 34 artists have joined the
effort, some professional,some just trying something new. My
friend, Martha Bergeron, had thought about joining for years,
but this year "went for it". I had the treat of spending my
birthday afternoon at the State Park enjoying Martha's ,
everyone else's, and the beautiful surroundings. The theme
this year was "Trace". That is Martha's horse sculpture above
title "Peace/Power".It's made from saplings, mostly collected
from those trimmed in the State Park itself.

Martha writes: "How can we trace the influence of a moment that
turns our path? I saw horses for the first time as a toddler,
amazed at how big and strong they are, yet so gentle and graceful.
I trace my life-long obsession with drawing horses back to that
moment of awe...There's more than just a trace left of the child I
in the adult I have become."
The exhibit is up for just two weeks..closing this Saturday,
October 2. But it will live on in the website:
Here are images of some of my other favorite piece.
First "Leave a Trace" by Bettina Turner. That is an apple
tree decorated with chalk spray:

Next John Ashsworth's "Stix" - Really this one needs to
be experienced...walk in and among the sticks..He explains
he is playing on the idea of "Pick up Sticks"..The sticks
are 16 ft. long!

And - have you ever thought about zipping up a field:
Joe Fix calls his work "Intermesh". "inspired by the
complex yet elegant mechanisms that have evolved in the
natural world. The components of nature fit together
more harmoniously than the best engineered machine."

A number of the exhibits were need videos
to appreciate like Bert Snow's Ghostnado which called
to adults and kids alike to pull on to see the birch
branches wiggle and wave...or Joyce Audy Zarins
beautiful "Kalmia" a dead Mountain laurel..which
rotated as the wind swept by. Others were musical...
encouraging playing or listening as Craig Colarusso's
solar powered sound installation.

Definitely a treat all around...Started me thinking
about the possibility of creating sculptures which
could survive least for a while. Dragons
in trees perhaps?

Next weekend is the annual Roxbury Open
Wednesday next week, I'll post a few teasers of what
you can see if you drop by...including a 3-headed

Journey on! Wendy

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Niki de Saint Phalle sculpture project in D.C.

Just outside the National Museum of Women in the Arts
is a median strip filled with Niki de Saint Phalle's
amazing mosaic sculptures. That's the three graces
dancing above. Niki's work is the first exhibit
as part of the NMWA New York Ave. sculpture project.
The sculptures will be there through the end of October...
Here's press release on the project from Niki's Charitable Art foundation website:

I had the fun of wandering among them
with two of my granddaughters before we entered the
museum. Since Niki called her monumental female
sculptures "Nanas", it seemed especially appropriate
to bring along my granddaughters who call me Nana.
They know I would love to ride a dolphin too!

It also was fun to view them with my 7 and 9 year
old granddaughters since they are heavily into Greek
mythology (Thanks to the Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson
series.) Of course they thought Niki's "Serpent Tree"
looked more like the Hydra. They could see how Niki's
work was inspired by exuberance for life and and
intrigue with myth.

Niki's life story told in a video in the museum
and how she felt art "saved" her is full of pathos.
But bottom line, this extraordinary and gutsy woman
has left us a heritage of amazing, energy filled public
sculpture. I only wish she knew what we know now about
the dangers of certain paint chemicals so that she would
not have had to suffer lung problems for so many
years before her death 8 years ago.

My favorite part of these sculptures are that they are
fountains!! Look closely at the detail above and you'll
see the water spouts on arms, head etc. The water
isn't turned on too often - just enough to keep the flowers
watered apparently..but fortunately was on when we first
approached New York Ave.

Nana duties taken care of for the moment, I'm back
in the studio working for open studios and shows...
more on that next week!

Journey on! Wendy

Monday, September 6, 2010

JuYeon Kim's "The In-Between" at the NMWA

Sometimes trips offer surprises. I spent the past 10 days
in the VA/D.C area for "Nana camp". Summer camps were over,
and school had not yet begun, so I offered to fill in the gap.
I expected it to be days of just savoring grandchildren and
family, which it was,but there were a few unexpected surprises.
A major one, was seeing the exhibit by JuYeon Kim entitled "The
In-Between" at the National Museum of Women in the Arts created
in collaboration with students from the Savannah College of Art
and Design where she was artist in residence this Spring. That’s
her photo with a student above working on figures for the
exhibit. She was trained in ceramics in Korea, but received
other degrees in the U.S. and has much more than ceramic skills
to call on.

Our older granddaughters(7 and 9)and I had planned a trip
to the NMWA. When I checked on the website, I saw the title
"The In-Between" and my IAF identity perked up. I'm always
looking for those exploring the interstitial worlds.

I went on their website and read these comments by and
about JuYeon Kim:

"When I came to the United States, I felt complete culture
shock. I was struck by the duality of thinking between
cultures, how every belief or custom has an opposite. Most
wedding dresses in the West are white because the color
symbolizes purity, but in many parts of Asia, white symbolizes
death. I wanted to explore the space between those polarities."
Seeking to bridge the gap between divergent cultural traditions,
Kim began studying the bardos the "in-between" space in Tibetan
Buddhist practice." This was an exhibit I had to see!!

Here is the link to the write up on the NMWA website:

The exhibit is primarily made up of two amazing meditation
spaces - one of 108 strips of cloth embroidered with figures
and narrative fragments hanging from plastic rods. These in
turn are suspended from three metal circles creating an 8'
diameter floor to ceiling enclosure. One enters through the
plain white exterior strips, then passes through embellished
gray to white past, present and future layers to the center.
The other is a hexagonal structure made from hardwood panels
with low to high relief gray cast figures attached inside.
Kim explains that she intended the essence of each to differ.
She sees the layered enclosure as more female and
the wood structure more male acknowledging how "men and
women think differently." (Hmm...could have some good
discussions there!) Both are filled with a mixture of
realistic and mythic images. Check out this link where Kim
is being interviewed about the exhibit. It includes in
process photos:

Unfortunately photos weren't allowed in the gallery.
But photos alone can't capture the feel of the spaces she
has created. Kim explains that she likes to create
spaces which bring one back to "the basic question of
who we are." She's done other work in caves in S. France.

The exhibit is only at NMWA until Sept. 13. I highly
recommend anyone in the area to hurry on over to experience
it. After DC, it will move down to Georgia. For those
of you who can’t make either locations, I found a few
additional images on the web. Click on the gallery section
of the following link. It gives the specifics of where and
when the exhibit will be in GA - Savannah and Atlanta.

I could have spent a long time in each of the spaces,
absorbing their energy and seeing what thoughts were
stirred up..but Nana duties called. I’m certainly going
to keep a look out for any new pieces this extraordinary
artist creates!

Speaking of extraordinary next blog will be
about the Niki de Saint Phalle sculptures outside the
NMWA. Photos were allowed there!

Journey on! Wendy