Wednesday, October 29, 2014

More Sandy Stories

After I posted my two year update on Superstorm Sandy, a friend of mine wrote this response.
I feel that this opens up the conversation on many people's lives and should be said:

 I was so heartened by your bringing to light the devastation brought about by Hurricane Sandy. I live in a complex in which most residents are senior citizens. For a week after
the hurricane, everyone, including individuals with disabilities, endured the cold without electricity, heat, or water. I was able to get my family to a safe place, after driving through a maze of fallen trees, with darkened streetlights swinging overhead. I agree—it was like a war zone. Every time I turned, another street was blocked, another line down. I would try to determine where the blackouts ended—where one could purchase food, supplies.  And the stories one heard…water flooded an entire home in which an elderly person was waiting in his attic; somewhere—a building with gas leaks…
   I recall a particular day when I returned home from work to find a sign on the doors:
“Building Closed.” Officially, the building was to close in one hour, so I found myself
taking whatever items I needed from our apartment in the fifteen minutes I was allowed.
I cannot describe that feeling of thinking that I might never return. My parents, refugees in World War II, had left everything behind, and here I was…Yet this was nothing compared to what people in your area (Monmouth County) faced.
   I also remember watching what was a stream on our block become a raging river. A stone square weighing several tons still remains, broken and tossed like a mere brick, behind the yard. In an area where I had hiked, I saw gardens that had moved into
the center of a river, with roses blooming where water should have been.
    In times such as this one, many people helped. We kept teaching, although several of us had been evacuated from our residences, while others had families near the shore. Yet what remains with me, as a vivid memory, is that somehow, even several hours before the winds started, people were still out shopping, having parties…as though this would never happen—not here.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Superstorm Sandy: Two Years Later

This time two years ago,  news reports kept warning us of an impending hurricane. Well, we all know what happened - Hurricane Sandy. Click here to review my blog post that shows some of the devastation. 

Since that time, I have created artworks, inspired by American quilts, using that wood. This fall, I was invited to exhibit these works in major exhibits focusing on Super Storm Sandy. 

The first exhibit, SANDY: Destruction/Constructions,  is at Gallery at 14 Maple. In collaboration with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Arts Council of the Morris Area sponsors two juried art exhibits each year in this LEED-certified “green” space, located in the common areas on the 3rd floor of 14 Maple Ave., Morristown, NJ. The gallery is open to the public Mondays-Thursdays from 10am to 4pm and on Fridays from 10am to 1pm and by appointment, call (973) 285-5115 for additional information. The exhibit runs through February 2015. 
Petrovich-Cheney, Wildeman, Burkitt, Perlmutter

Along with me, Bruce Perlmutter (Red Bank), Kevin Burkitt  (Manasquan), and Roddy Wildeman (Belmar) were selected. As curator Dick Eger, notes: “This exhibit by four artists from the Jersey shore memorializes the destruction from Superstorm Sandy and celebrates artists for their tenacity, perseverance and creativity of the human spirit through their art.” The catalog for this exhibit can be viewed here and here is a review of the exhibit 

The second exhibit, Aftermath, was curated by Doug Ferrari at the Noyes Museum. The Noyes Museum of Art  of Stockton College is located at  733 Lily Lake Road in Oceanville, NJ; museum hours are Monday through Saturday 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM, extended hours Thursdays until 8:00 PM , Sunday noon to 5:00 PM. The exhibit is open until Jan. 11, 2015 and there will be a panel discussion on December 4 from 6-7:30 pm. Click here to read a review.

Photo by Sage Stuart

Here I am pictured with a piece entitled Surge. This piece was inspired by the experience of my friend and professional fisherman, Ken Osche. Ken had stayed on his commercial fishing boat throughout the whole hurricane. He told me that he saw the water rise and just fill the entire Point Pleasant area. I had always imagined that the hurricane brought the seawater into our area like huge waves from some apocalyptic movie, instead the water simply surged into the area like water overflowing from a bathtub spreading in all directions. 

photo by Sage Stuart

For the opening of this event, my husband and I brought our two favorite art fans. Like my solo show at Abington Art Center, I had given the girls a camera to photograph their world. Here are some highlights of that evening.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September Wrap Up

September has been filled with art exhibits and will end with the DUMBO arts festival this weekend. 
One of the best exhibits that I saw was at the  Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery located on the campus of College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ. The exhibit was entitled Compile and Composed: Sculptural Formations. 

The first piece that caught my eye in this extremely well light and bright space was Molly Heron's Petri Towers, 2012. This is structure composed of 13 six-foot tall tower of petri dishes coated with latex paint. 

I  appreciated the artist's sensibility to combine science plastics as entry point into reimagining a new use for plastics. These towers had an anthropomorphic quality to them that created a sense of community. 

The artist's second piece in the show, entitled iPodium,  was iPhone and iPod cases on a wooden table with salvaged wood beneath it.  The colors were great and the organizational grid was brilliant. Notice how Heron doesn't complete coat the cases so that you can still hints of the cases former life. This partial painting of the plastic was a subtle reminder of how much waste in generated by consummation

Next was a stretched and woven fabric piece by Katie Truk called Morning Dew. Can you believe that these are panty hoses? I liked the fact that these were panty hoses - so refreshing to see the material stretched over something and torn. The play of positive and negative spaces within a form reminded of Lee Bontecou's work. 

Another work of Truk's, Three Ring Circus, is shown below; the work's position in the gallery was very clever. I was able to see the full side view of the work as I turned the corner. That was a pleasant surprise. 

Texture attracts my attention and there was a lot of high quality works that engaged my sensibilities when it came to surface textures.

Livio Saganic's Flashover, made of enamel on wire cloth:

Jon Tsoi, Blindfold Art Medicine 2210, mixed media. The Director and Curator, Virginia Fabbri Butera, Ph.D., explained the process of this piece. He creates it blindfolded! This piece was rich and thick and very animated. This is a detail of the work. 

Paul Genader, Been so Long, is made of oil paint on canvas, but really has the sense that the material is both concrete and light weight folded paper. 

If you are New Hope this weekend - please check out, The New Hope Arts Center's September exhibit. This is the last weekend for the  exhibit;  Gallery Hours: Friday & Saturday 12 - 5 pm

Sunday noon - 4 pm; on Sunday there is an informal closing reception at 2 pm.

There was a smashing write up of the exhibit "Big Apple Polish" for our 2nd Juried Members' Exhibition  - you can read the review here
Some of my favorite pieces are:
Roy Reinard's Canal Light painting

Tom Martin's Fish sculpture

Stephanie Lisle's Talking Shit in NYC photo

Robert Noonan's Littoral Zone painting

In addition to exhibits, I was able to hear a panel discussion on Sharon Louden's book  Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists with some friends at the Grounds for Sculpture. The  panel was with David Humphrey,  Paul Henry Ramirez, and Austin Thomas and they will discussed sustaining creativity and the question,“How Do Working Artists Live?”. It was a great night and put the idea of artist community into perspective for me. 

left to right: Sharon Louden, Kristen Osgood Lamelas, Paul Henry Ramierz, me and seated is Austin Thomas

Next blog will cover two Super Storm Sandy exhibits, residencies and a few more local events!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Good stuff for September

Yesterday was my first teaching as an adjunct professor. With my dad's old briefcase, a new dress and heels, I was ready, even though I was a bit nervous. Once I started, though, my love and excitement just pouring out! 

Here's my class room. I can't even tell you how magically this new job is! There's no lunch duty, the students are adults and so is the conversation, there is no art cart to push around the hallways, there are no other teachers in the room having conversations when I am teaching! Best of all, my schedule is pretty flexible now so that I can make more art! 

I am also pretty excited to share with you that I am now an AIR Gallery New York Artist! Check it out!

I also wanted to share with you a pretty amazing video describing feminism. Click here.
So what is so great about this link is how Laci Green simply defines feminism - 

"According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is 'the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.' "
Wow. It is that simple. 

And Season 7 of Art 21 is coming out the a Leonardo Drew video - here's a lovely preview on of my favorite artists!
I hope to see you at some of this month's receptions -  it is going to be a wild and crazy ride! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Scaled to Fit @ Sculptors Guild

Honored to be included in this exhibit! 
111 Front St.
Suite #256
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Opening Reception- Sept. 4, 6-9 PM
Exhibit: Sept. 4- Sept 30

Thursday, August 21, 2014

In memory of Ana Mendieta

A few weeks ago, I went to the Dia Beacon with my friend Ellen Martin.

The building is filled with work, primarily sculptures, from the 1960's  - mostly minimalism, and of course, there was the Carl Andre retrospective. 

For those of you unfamiliar with my work, the salvaged wood pieces began in graduate school with a grid on the floor. I was influenced by many artists from the 60's - Michael Heizer, Anges Martin, Richard Serra, Richard Long, Sol LeWitt, as well as Eva Hesse. 

Somewhere along the line, I realized that just because I  was only born in the late 60's, didn't mean I could continue the work of the minimalist -  I needed to find my own way. Unhappy with comments made from a professor during a crit of this work, I found inspiration in my fashion and textile background. After graduate school, I started to constructing these pieces into quilt-like sculptures that  hang vertically. But that sense of abstract minimalism still interests me and I thought I might discover something at the Dia Beacon. 

What I discovered at the Dia Beacon was left me disappointed. Yes, the expanse of seeing each artist's work in clean, open, airy and well light rooms was wonderful. (Expect for the Heizer piece because the security rails are too far away from the negative spaces.) Yes, I loved the long expanses of LeWitt's drawings, Sandback yarn pieces, Kawara's day paintings. But.....

First, only three women are represented at the Dia Beacon - Anges Martin, Louise Lawler and Louise Bourgeois. Secondly, the more disappointing and disturbing was  the fact there was NOTHING - no word, mention, footnote - of  Ana Mendieta. It was as if she the curators erased her from history. 

For those unfamiliar with the Andre and Mendieta story - I refer you to this book - Naked by the Window: The Fatal Marriage of Carl Andre and Ana Mendieta. Briefly, Ana Mendieta died on September 8, 1985 in New York from a fall from her 34th floor apartment in Greenwich Village where she lived with Andre; they were married for only eight months.  Just prior to her death, neighbors heard the couple arguing violently. Andre was tried and acquitted of her murder. During the three-year trial, Andre's lawyer described Mendieta's death as a possible accident or suicide. There was no suicide note and her family said that she was not suicidal. Andre has not had an art exhibit in the United States since then - this Dia Beacon retrospective was his first since her death. 

I don’t know if Andre killed his wife. But what I do know was that Dia Beacon disgraced her, her memory, her work, her family and her admirers  but not including any mention of her.  I felt saddened by the obvious absence of her. I was inspired to write about this because of Mira Schor's blog post - "Still 'Naked by the Window.'"  As well as the protests at the Dia Chelsea - click here for the Hyperallergic article. I didn't expect the Dia Beacon to offer Mendieta an equal placement in the exhibit - but just one mention of her, just one note as to why in nearly 30 years Andre has been missing from the American art scene. 

By excluding Mendieta, the absence of her grows larger; his guilt more looming. It was a shameful act to exclude her name and their marriage from mention. Yes, art can be made by bad people - Caravaggio killed a man, Agostino Tassi raped another artist - Artemisia Gentileschi, Hilter considered himself a painter, but that doesn't mean we can ignore the history of the artist, either. The Dia Beacon should have addressed Carl Andre's past. It was a disappointment to say the least that did not. 

BTW, should any protests find their way to the Dia Beacon in the next two weeks for the anniversary of Ana Mendieta's death- call me. I will happily hold a sign. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Bees Knees

Last week, my husband, Peter, and I traveled to Richmond, Kentucky for the annual Eastern Apiculture Society Conference - a beekeepers conference.

Here are the highlights:
Kentucky Honey Bees enjoying a hydrangea plant.

It was great fun meeting other beekeepers - especially the women beekeepers. Two women in particular were Tammy Horn and Erin Forbes. Don't get me wrong - there were inspirational men beekeepers as well. But, I find woman personally inspiring. 

The classes were held in the new science building on the campus of Eastern Kentucky State University. On the 4th floor was the chemistry department. Throughout the hallways, there were stencils of compounds from everyday life - peppermint compound, beer compound, vanilla compound. My favorite was how the bathrooms were marked. This picture "estrogen" marked the ladies room. I loved it. 

There was some time to take in a quilt show, as well. The south seems to have a great tradition for quilting which pleased me greatly.

The day before we left for this trip, I had the opportunity to visit the Dia in Beacon. That review will be in my next blog.