Once again, one of my favorite radio shows, On the Media, talks about something vital in my world; the other week, it was mass transit and this time, it’s gorgeous, illuminating, exciting art! On their December 21st program, OTM discusses the fabulous Guggenheim exhibit of the mystical work of Hilma af Klint, “Paintings for the Future.” This OTM segment is fascinating and informative about an artist I’d been hearing/seeing things about here and there for a little while–I regularly listen to On the Media, and, amid the expected stories on politics and media, there was this gem! This segment explores not just the art itself, but how it was positioned in history and how it came to be in the Guggenheim. I urge you to listen and be inspired! (The first several minutes of the segment is solicitation of donations, but at about 4 or 4.5 minutes, the segment about af Klint starts.)
1/18/19Hey, here’s another radio show on af Klint! Studio 360(PRI.org) has an exploration of her work and its place in (art) history. It’s a nice piece about the history of af Klint and her work and it also mentions some of the work artists have done in response to her work.
metal shop-collected wild yeast sour dough starter
bread made with metal shop-collected wild yeast sour dough starter
I just saw this review for Gary Alan Fine’s book Talking Art (University of Chicago Press, 2018) on The Chronicle of Higher Education website–I urge anyone who’s interested in arts education, particularly at the college-level, to read it. I know how I feel about my experience at grad school and was interested to come across some critical literature on the process. According to the review linked above, in April, 51 of the 54 graduating MFA students at Columbia confronted the provost to demand that their tuition be refunded because they had not gotten what they were paying for…*
I haven’t read the book, yet; my local library doesn’t have it, but I’ll put in a request at my community college library when the new semester begins. I am convinced that it’s past time to re-configure our higher education system.
*Seriously; $63,961 for one year’s tuition? $63,961 American? When you cannot use the facilities and have no access to instructors? Really?
Artist/activist Shan Goshorn has died and she will be missed. She was a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and, although her basket work received a lot of attention, she was an accomplished multi-media artist. I admired her work and her way of being an artist on her own terms.
My intention is to present historical and contemporary issues that continue to be relevant to Indian people today, to a world that still relies on Hollywood as a reliable informant about Indian life.
It was a thrilling accident to discover that the vessel shapes of baskets are a non-threatening vehicle to educate audiences. But even more exciting, I am observing viewers literally leaning into my work, eager to learn more about the history of this country’s First People which can lead to the next wonderful step of engaging in honest dialogue about the issues that still plague Indian people today. America has believed a one-sided history for too long. Acknowledging and addressing these past atrocities is movement towards true racial healing… which has always been the goal of my work as an artist.
Here’s my third chair for the semester. A couple of classmates made three-legged chairs this term, with spoked legs (I’ll try those next semester!), and so I wanted to try the three-legged chair form, myself. I got the design from the book Ply Design by Phillip Schmidt, a great resource. By the end of this snowy day, I’ll have drilled a couple of more holes and put this flat-pack chair together!
Imperfect, but beautiful–and it sits nice! I’ve learned a lot during the process of designing and building this and I’m already planning another special chair for next semester using what I’ve learned…
I’m pleased with the finish I devised for the ‘leaves’ of the chair: I made a very dilute yellowy-green solution of milk paint, sparingly applied one layer and then applied one layer of wipe-on poly, which darkened it slightly. The seat and legs are finished with Watco Danish finish, which I use a lot because you can still feel the wood after it’s applied. The seat back is cypress and the seat and legs are hickory.
In a coincidence, this week’s “On the Media” (radio program from WNYC) is all about public transit and how our lives/living environments are designed by/for car use (and presumed car use), just at the moment I’ve decided to present among my artfolios images from my MFA Thesis show, “Points of Interest,” an installation to promote the bus system in the city where I was attending university. Many of the issues discussed in the OTM segments are issues and ideas I thought about, researched and discussed with my Thesis committee. Although I did not address every one of these issues in my project, I did read, listen and watch a lot of materials about these things. This topic is vital to social and environmental justice and I’m gratified to hear this week’s program.
I am still digging up images, etc, for the POI artfolio page, so it’ll be complete in the next week or two.
Hey all right, I’m almost done with my two required chairs for this semester in my craft woodworking course! I’m just a couple of hours away from sitting down!! (and, boy are my feet tired…) A little more sanding, some glue and a quick coat or two of finish and La Piña is good to go; a little more sanding and some screws in the seat and back (which will rest much higher on the frame) and Shop Class is done. I took it a little slower than I should have, but that said, there was (IS) a lot to learn about the process and there are always going to be some unexpected tasks so this was a fairly slow process. Next chair–much faster!
I designed La Piña myself and I took the design of Shop Class from Design Your Own Craftwork by K. Barkley and W.E. Brooke, a 1969 book on making your own furniture. Love it! The fabric is commercially printed (right, below)(Spoonflower is a wonderful resource!) from a monotype (left) I made several years ago. I think it’s a perfect upholstery fabric–curtains for the living room, too–and I am gratified to see my art in a form that will be used daily.
This is fabric designed by me and produced by SpoonFlower fabric printing.
As I prepared to take my clothes off the line this afternoon, it struck me how pretty the colors were and that these were the clothes I’d worn most in my ‘off hours’ this summer (including my pj.s). It’s early October, and it’s still pretty hot (and my neighbors are mowing their lawns, non-stop, STILL!), but autumn is undeniable, so this may be one of the last times these clothes make an appearance on the line this year…
We put a few straw bales up against the house and treated them with fertilizer and watered them the way we read you’re supposed to and here they are as of the end of summer. A few pepper plants really took off and two tomato plants did, too–they’re the plants that fell over the side. Otherwise, the greens and the marigolds just haven’t worked. About a month and a half ago, I found some seeds for 2′ high sunflowers, something I’d never seen before, and thought there was enough summer left to try them; on the right, you can see how well they did! More for the pollinators!
This is the view out our kitchen window, mid-August, 2018. I know I am lucky and I treasure this view every single day…but I can, even now, sense the fleeting nature of summer. Every day is a little shorter and those trees I look out on are already displaying the-more-than-occasional yellow leaf. Everything comes to an end, but I’m taking great delight in the meantime.