Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Art, New Show locations - in Boston and Brooklyn

 December with all its activities has a way of rushing by,
but this year it seemed to sweep by even faster.  Here
we are in January, and I wonder where the month went.
Where were the moments for quiet reflection? Doing
two back to back shows probably had a lot to do with
the frenetic pace - which hasn't seemed to slow down
much since then.

Before images and memories are flooded with new
ones, I want to share a bit of the two shows .
The first, Craft Boston Holiday was held at the
Hynes Convention center this year.  The size
was increased and  many of us had reservations about
the change of venue. However, thanks to the efforts of
the staff of the Society of Arts and Crafts, attendance
was quite good and sales to match.  Sculptures and
many leather items with eyes left my booth.

Reardon, the Rambunctious, pranced off to a new
 Burrolle and Terref , the Traveling librarian packed up
books and were off as well. This especially pleased me
since the proceeds from the sale were designated for
funds for our daughter and so-in-law's mobile library
and literacy program in Ecuador called  "From Words
to Wings"
(Stay tuned for much more about that in a future

The following weekend  Dec. 14,15, I was off to Brooklyn
for the American Art Marketing's new American Fine
Craft Show Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Museum.  The space
where the show was held was gorgeous. (The photo
at the top of my booth there gives you a sense
of the elegance. )

As a new show and with a snow storm on Saturday to
complicate our lives, attendance was not quite what
we hoped for. That said, however, many of us are
very enthusiastic about this show which we think
shows a lot of promise and will do everything we
can to make sure it flies high in the future.
(Next year's dates are Nov. 21-23. - so perhaps
I can avoid back to back shows in 2014. )

This year the show soared from the viewpoint of
quality and diversity.  I was inspired by the work of
many artists.

John Borrero was set up a few booths away from
me ...a treat since I don't get to see his intriguing work
often enough.

Margery Goldberg of Zenith Gallery brought along
the art of many exciting artists including that of
Chris Malone. I've admired Chris's work in
magazines, but had never seen it in person:

and Fernando Roman:

Many of the  exhibitors at the show were familiar to me from
other major shows. It is always an honor to show with
 friends, but I also hope to meet new artists. One, whose
work pulled me in was Olga Grinberg.  Olga finds inspiration
in nature and primitive art.  I especially liked this guy:

Orders placed afterwards by people who saw me at the
Brooklyn museum added to sales I made at the show.
I'm optimistic that if we put in the effort to publicize the
show in every way possible, we can develop the market nicely.
In addition, thanks to lots of help on hand, the move in and
move out for the show was easy and uncomplicated...a nice
way to end the year.

Now on to 2014 to see what it has to offer.  One adventure
in the plans is a trip to Ecuador and look for
blog posts about that before long.

Happy New Year  - May this year be filled
with wondrous  adventures for us all!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Journeys by Hand - bridging neighborhoods through art

Artists together, showing, working and laughing...what more
could you ask for to stir up creative energies? As mentioned in
my last blog post, I joined two other  Roxbury artists to share a
gallery space on Beacon Hill in Boston for two weeks in November.
Lisa Lee, Kristen Belton Willis and I are all connected with
 Discover Roxbury's ArtRox . The aim of this effort was to
bridge neighborhoods through art.

We showed under the collective name "Journeys by Hand" -
All of us do extensive hand work in our art.Our hands
have taken us on many journeys - together and individually.
The three of us live within a block of each other. The
hours in the gallery gave us an opportunity to share
stories about our individual journeys  and to get to know
each other better.   We all work with the children at the
Hawthorne Youth and Community Center in our
neighborhood - stay tuned for a blog post about Lisa and my
First Night project this year with HYCC.   In December,
Kristen led the kids in an improv performance of the Black
Snowman by Phil Mendez at the neighborhood Christmas
tree lighting as part of her work on literacy with the after
school children.

The space at 98 W. Cedar Street used to be the office of
Barry Reality Group.   Skip Barry had talked to Derek Lumpkins
of Discover Roxbury about renting it to artists in an effort
to bridge neighborhoods through art.  Derek proposed the idea
the all in the ArtROX group. We thought it sounded promising.

Of course, a few folks dropped in asking about apartments, but
then enjoyed the art.  We were the  second artists to occupy the
space, two more set up after us.  By in large our experience was
very positive, although comments by a few individuals made us
realize how important this sort of exchange is.  We're hoping the
effort can continue.

 We were able to set up displays and create workspaces.
 Kristen displayed and worked on  some of  her Abena Family
rag dolls, her  jumping brooms, tuxedos for wine bottles and more
 including scrumptious sweets for our gatherings. (She does
 catering  as well as visual art!)
 Lisa was their with her "ladies" of leather, leather trees and bugs,
and exquisite jewelry. The name of her art business is "Royal
Dainties". Lisa is also an awesome spoken word artist!

I set up my creatures and books on the other side of the room
and stitched up miniature books and worked on inventory for
December shows:

We used social media and posters to let folks know we were there
and held Friday night  parties welcoming all.  (The photo of us
laughing at the beginning of this post was taken by the
photographer, Windy Seven at the first party. Thanks Windy,
it really captures the spirit of the experience!)

A great group of  friends and family came out to support
our efforts.

 Across the street from the space is the Advent School annex
building for art and language. Turns out Saskia Van Vactor, the art
teacher at the Advent was raised in our Fort Hill Roxbury
neighborhood. Journeys have a way of intertwining. Each of us
did a workshop with a  class of the  Advent - Lisa made leather
bugs with first graders studying the rain forest; I made mythic
creature books of paper and wire with the  fourth grade
investigating"cultures" and Kristen made "jumping brooms"
with the third  graders and talked about the creativity shown by
people who figure out ways  to maintain ceremony in spite of
obstacles.  These are some of the creature books which emerged
during  my workshop with the Advent School children:

 Since we were up on Beacon Hill, we took the opportunity
 to  join the Artists Under the Dome event at the state house
and visited our legislators.  Here we are in Tito Jackson's office.

It's important for the voices of artists to be heard!

I feel blessed to be connected with such a dynamic
neighborhood art community.  Here's hoping  everyone's
journeys  are filled with fun and  surprises  in 2014.
I'm hoping we Journeys by Hand ladies can figure
out more joint projects!

 Adventure on!   Wendy