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.
In her own words from her website, http://www.shangoshorn.net, she says this about her work and her ideals:
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!
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.
This is fabric designed by me and produced by SpoonFlower fabric printing.
Actually, neither of these is quite done, but in the next two weeks, they should be ready for some action. The one on the left, “La Piña,” just needs some more sanding (I’ve been giving it some dimension by carving and sanding “leaves” on the back), some staining and some fastening down. The other chair is also nearly done; staining, some final sanding, leg leveling and then the padded seat and back, which I will cover with fabric commercially printed from an old monotype I did.
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…
These are the things I worked on today in my woodworking class: Yet another acorn! I finished it by drilling a 5/16ths hole in it, which really seemed like a beauty mark, or a dimple–it really amped up the appeal! Super cute! On the right is a self-portrait; I gave myself 30 minutes to create a piece with just glue (and a little sanding) and here is the result. Me! On the lower left are the main components of “La Piña,” my pineapple-inspired chair. Actually, aside from some sanding and waving stuff around, I did most of the work on the not-shown (and unlikely to be seen much when finished) supporting structure…that’s still on my bench. I was a little disappointed in my accomplishments today, but looking at this, I have to think, not bad.
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.
This cutting board was an assignment this summer term in my woodworking course at a local crafts school. (Our assignment was to make an ‘edge grain’ cutting board and, thinking about how cherry wood darkens with exposure to light, I devised this homey little design.) I am closing down my other website in the next week and will be widening the focus of Hapless Press to include more of my woodworking and posts about my other interests; in the next several weeks, look for new pages about public art and cultural events. School will start up again in about a month and I will be posting about my ongoing efforts to learn furniture-making. Aloha, and have a good summer!