Monday, March 23, 2015

March 2015 Art Fairs

Spring Break Art Fair
I loved the freshness of this art fair. There were 90 curators and nearly 400 artists exhibiting in the older section of the NY Post Office near Penn Station. The exhibits in the individual rooms and the condition of the space reminded me of Governor's Island. The vibe was good. Of particular note were Lauren Portada, Fanny Allie and Anne Nowak. Their websites are listed under their images.

Fanny Allie

Anne Nowak

Lauren Portada
Un(Scene) Art Fair.
A bit smaller that Spring Break and smartly curated. I want to thank Megan Suttles  for inviting me to this art fair - it was my favorite and not because there was free ice cream.

Megan Suttles

Just a note- my apologizes for these images. Clearly the blurriness is a problem and I promise to upgrade my iPhone before the next art fair. Art Fairs are a necessity for artists to both participate in and view. Make it a habit to visit them every year!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Talk about the luck of the Irish! I have four of my drawings that I made in Ireland on display this month!

photo courtesy of A.I.R. Gallery

The first drawing, on the far back left corner where the couple is looking,  is part of the Unframed exhibit at A.I.R. Gallery. It is titled "Catching Fire."
111 Front Street
Brooklyn, NY
March 5 - 29, 2015
Gallery Hours: Wed - Sun 12-6pm

Burren, 2010

The other three, Burren, Cloudbursting, and Gauze are in the "Savor the Arts: Celebrating Ireland" exhibit at Middletown Art Center. 
36 Church Street,
Middletown, NJ
March 20 - April 18

Opening Reception: March 20, 7-9 PM

 I am very proud of these works.  During my residency at the Burren College of Art in County Clare, Ireland, most of the days were wet, cold and blustery. Instead of lamenting about the bad weather, I decided to include the rain as a partner in my work. First, I rubbed the ancient slate floors of an Irish castle with peat ash from the fireplace. This peat turf comes out of the earth and carries the memory of trees and fields and long-gone times. I imagined that this ancient floor held secrets of loneliness, sadness, anger and despair as kindness, love, laughter and a strange sense of knowing how life should be. Then, I surrendered the paper to the notorious Irish rain. No longer was I using my visual language to express my image of the land, but now I was interacting creatively with the rain as essential part of the work. The rain and I created visceral inscriptions of time and place on the paper.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Local Women Making History

We've all heard it before - you don't have to live in NYC to be an artist. Sharon Louden talks about it in her book, Paddy Johnson wrote about it here and the rocker Patti Smith told everyone to find another city. So, how do you find other creatives when you are not in NYC? How do you connect with the art world of NYC when the drive there is nearly 4 hours? What does an art filled life look like if it is not in NYC? Today, I want to introduce you to two women who decided to live a creative, artistic and fulfilling life outside the big apple. First, is Mickey Mapstone and the second is Wanda Kline.  I have just recently met Mickey and have know Wanda for nearly 20 years now.

Four of a Kind, Wanda Kline

Face painters at Quincy Markets, Boston, Mickey Mapstone

Both women not only have made a wonderful living at being artists, but they have encouraged others to search for their own artistic voices. Both have taught classes and have organized local art groups and leagues, created opportunities to find gallery representation and sell their work, made their presence know in their community and county, and have inspired countless to pursue the visual arts. Both Wanda and Mickey have forged relationships in their community to create an artistic environment where conversations on art, aesthetics, material, and opportunities are real and viable. They are both to commended and admired this month  as women making history!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Women at Moore College of Art & Design MFA program

Founded in 1848 by Sarah Worthington Peter as the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, Moore was the first women's art school in the United States. In 2011, I graduated from Moore with my MFA in Studio Arts. There were many professors who inspired me while I was there - Paul Hubbard, Moe Brooker, James Rosenthal to name a few. 

However, in celebration of Women's History Month, I am writing about the women who were a huge influence on me while I was at  Moore and to this day, still. This is an opportunity to thank those women. 

Jennie Shanker- for providing instruction and inspiration on how to operate a variety of power tools that make sculpture possible. Jennie took me from this:
to this:
All Trees of Wood Shout for Joy, 2014©Laura Petrovich-Cheney

Jennie Shanker taught me a great deal about woodshop tools and how to solve problems. My favorite problem was the ants. I know exactly what kind of holes carpenter ants can make and will never repeat that mistake again.

My other professor at Moore who influenced me a great deal was Alice Oh.  She generously shared her talents and her  daily practice as a professional artist with us.  Many of lessons that she taught I still use today  - photographing work in progress, keeping a studio journal, how to organize and document your exhibits, constructing  your practice as a daily part of your life.  Alice is one of the most generous people that I meet at Moore!

2009, Alice Oh's studio

Virginia Maksymowicz was my final professor at Moore. She was there to help prepare us for our thesis exhibit. She have me the courage to go big when I had many doubts about my work. 

Virginia's uncompromising passion for feminism and women in the arts pushed me to a new professional standard. Virginia made me think about a great deal about gender roles and assignments in the art world. She made realize gender assignments are merely a societal construct, not based on any inherent value. 

Finally, a special thank to Dean Dona Lantz. She is an amazingly patient woman who taught me how to speak my mind. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kirsten Swenson and Eva Hesse

I first learned about Eva Hesse from Professor Swenson at NYU. Prof. Swenson's art history was one of my favorite classes. I enjoyed learning about Eva Hesse and made her one of the primary artists cited in my MFA thesis. Thanks Prof. Swenson for the inspiration! Here's an excerpt from thesis about Hesse:

"Eva Hesse’s work and thinking  inspired me to stretch my own artistic boundaries in sculpture.  As one of the most innovative artists of the 1960s, Hesse created sculpture by using non-traditional materials such as latex and fiberglass. Much of Hesse’s sculptures include repeated units that vary slightly and embody opposite extremes, for example, order/chaos, hardness/softness, directness/irony, horror/humor, and geometry/irregularity.  The strength of Hesse’s work is its expressiveness and innovation. Hesse’s explorations have inspired me in my studio practice to explore materials, process and innovative ways to install work." © Laura Petrovich-Cheney, 2009, MFA Thesis

Sans II, 1968
Fiberglass, polyester resin
96.5 x 1092 x 15.6 cm / 38 x 429 7/8 x 6 1/8 in
Five units, 96.5 x 218.4 x 15.6 cm / 38 x 86 x 6 1/8 in ea
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY
Photo: Abby Robinson

Repetition 19, III. (1968). Nineteen tubular fiberglass units, 19 to 20 1/4" high x 11 to 12 3/4" diameter (48 to 51 cm high x 27.8 to 32.3 cm diameter). Gift of Charles and Anita Blatt. (1004.1969.a-s)Image licenced to Beth Turk THE JEWISH MUSEUM by Beth TurkUsage : - 4600 X 4600 pixels (A3) © Digital Image (c) The Museum of Modern Art

Eva Hesse. Right After, 1969.