Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Celebrating Others

This weekend, I went to two exhibits. I wasn’t in either of them – instead I relished in the joy of seeing my friends’ success and meeting new artists. There was a refreshing ease to not having work in the show. Usually, when my work is on display, I am meeting new people, discussing their work and mine – and there is a sense of being “on.” I suppose this is because I am not all that comfortable with talking about my work and having my work recognized.  There is awkwardness to having something personal and close to my soul just being out there for the world to see. It is like  being completely exposed.  I know I will settle down and I grow more comfortable in the public eye- but for now, it takes some adjusting.

Let’s start chronologically. Friday was the Monmouth Museum’s More Art From Found Objects show. Kim Defibaugh’s work was selected; mine was not. I have to honestly say that I was okay with not having my work exhibited. True, it would have been nice to shown with Kim again, but it was a real pleasure seeing my friend basking in the limelight of the evening. Kim’s work was a sock basket.

Kim Defibaugh, Sock Basket
 She took these old socks, twisted them and created a basket. The various thicknesses of the socks created a soft, organic shape to the basket. I found it ironic that socks hold your feet and now socks are twisted and reshaped to hold a new object. The colors are playfully and welcoming. It was a great piece. I am eager to see how Kim develops her skills as she begins a new series of paper bowls and fiber weaving from old tee shirts. The use of recycled fibers is really refreshing.
I also enjoyed seeing Elizabeth Sowell-Zak’s work, Journey #1- Open Forum. I can’t resist twisted wood. Her ties around the wood are supremely delicate.
Elizabeth Sowell-Zak, Journey #1- Open Forum

Our beekeeper friend, Ray Pogwist was there with an artist friend.  Her name is Lisa Bagwell. Like me, she collects things she finds on the beach and repurposes them. Her work is figurative and abstract. She calls them “Assemblage Sculptures.” Isn’t that cool? Her titles are clever. This one is Mo' Crapulous Accumulata. I look forward to seeing more of her things, too. There were so many little treats in her stuff – like trying to discover what the items were and how she played the items off of each other.
Lisa Bagwell, Mo' Crapulous Accumulata

There were several other pieces there as well. Overall, this show is worth seeing. There is an overwhelming realization that this planet is filled with things that can be repurposed.

Thomas Francisco, Henge as Muse
Robert Lack, Bottle Colony II

Robert Lach, Suitcase Skeleton
I love the figures in the background. too. It was a packed house - so getting close up images was tough. I plan on visiting the show again. 

Saturday afternoon, I went back to Moore College of Art & Design to celebrate the 5-1 Show. 5-1 is a student exhibit and includes students from Moore, PAFA, The University of the Arts, Tyler School of Art and the University of Pennsylvania. The exhibition took place in the Goldie Paley Gallery and Levy Gallery. According to the Philadelphia Sculptors (who sponsored the event), this show was “the edgiest yet and presented a window into the contemporary art psyche.” The show was curated by Jamie Brenner, BFA graduate of Miami University of Ohio, and Matthew Pembleton, BFA graduate of The College of New Jersey, with assistance from Philadelphia Sculptors Vice President, Paul Hubbard. Representing Moore College of Art and Design was Sarah Gersbach & Ben Panter
. When I was a grad student at Moore just last year, I really wanted to be in Sarah’s and Ben’s shoes. To me, this was a great honor to have two grads whose work I admire in this show. I was really happy to see how their work has matured and couldn’t have been prouder that they represented our MFA program.
Ben Panter, Social Status

Ben Panter, Social Status Joe

Sarah Gersbach, video still of Sinkbath

Sarah Gersbach, Makeup-Me

And from PAFA, Adam Bush's work, PieceMeal.


  1. I loved your posting and wanted to get in closer to see the exhibits. I read with interest that the second exhibition is connected with The Tyler School of Art. A friend of mine who I went to art college in Dublin is an Associate Professor at The Tyler School of Art. He teaches graphic design or the modern equivalent thereof.

  2. Oh so much eye candy! Thanks for sharing your photos. I particularly liked seeing the sock basket. (I am another obsessed basket maker.:)

  3. Great coverage of both shows! Thanks for the shout out! I wish we could have met up!

    1. well, i WON'T miss you at the next big opening in august!

  4. Both shows look quite fascinating. Those suitcases are really cool!