Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Killed Instantly....Grave news indeed...CYBER FYBER 2 postponed indefinitely
(Grave Rubbing Quilt Series, Killed Instantly. 24 1/2" x 24". Running stitch in wool. Vintage doily with embroidered poppies and vintage lace and linens on severely light damaged material salvaged from an old office window. Grave rubbings made with crayon on silk with words: Born 1817. Killed instantly in front of Petersburg, Va. June 22, 1864. Brave Christian Solider Fare Thee Well. Click on image to enlarge.)
(Above: Detail of Grave Rubbing Quilt Series, Killed Instantly. Click on image to enlarge.)
(Above and below: Details of Grave Rubbing Quilt Series, Killed Instantly. Click on images to enlarge.)
Several pieces have mysteriously come to an end within days of one another. This Grave Rubbing Series piece was finished yesterday. I'm totally in love with the repetitive and soothing motion of the kantha stitch....running stitches that meld layers into one. This piece has triggered many thoughts about the words selected for graves. Obviously, these words speak of the raw emotions of a distraught family. I can't, however, think the man would have really wanted to be remembered quite for this one event! There must have been more to him than his death! As a result, I've been collecting epitaphs...scribbled in my notebook...stewing in my brain for future work. I've also started a very, very large grave rubbing quilt. I'll have to post images while it progresses as I can't possibly finish it anytime soon! The poppies are a perfect touch. As a Girl Scout, I remember selling artificial poppies on Veteran's Day to benefit the VA hospital. To learn more about the Poppy Story, click here.
It seems apt that this quilt is pictured along with the following, grave announcement. I've been composing this entry for weeks. Like the families burying their war dead, I am distraught. Yet, this must be done. Here's the announcement:
During the past two months I have been investigating the needs to mount CYBER FYBER 2. I've learned so much, collected valuable information, and made many new contacts. I've also had to face facts. It pains me to announce that CYBER FYBER 2 has been postponed indefinitely....maybe until 2011...maybe longer. Current economic realities are harsh. A bright future might be on the horizon but there's no way to determine when it will blossom. South Carolina ranks second in US unemployment statistics and daily the numbers increase. I know teachers whose contracts will not be renewed after decades of loyal service. I know too many people in the arts and elsewhere being forced to take numerous, unpaid vacation days in order to avoid layoffs. I've had former Mouse House employees call asking if I have any openings. (I don't.) One of the people on my "Selected Reference List" is now looking for a job....needing references of her own. Our newspaper has cut staff because company advertising is so low. This cutback eliminated the entire arts section...writers and editors. The owner/editor of the region's monthly art magazine just took out a second mortgage on his house. The gallery in which my 2007 show with Janet Kozachek was held has closed its doors. I know of at least one other art gallery doing the same.
How can I, in good faith, approach businesses for financial support? I can't! How can I apply for grants from arts agencies that are experiencing as much as 25% reductions from their sources? I can't! How can I proceed knowing that Steve and I can't personally cover the expenses or expect help? It's impossible.
I don't, however, have to remove the show's listing from the Gallery 80808/Vista Studio's website. These two weeks in the incredible gallery space are mine! I WILL USE THEM to mount my own solo exhibition. The "working title" is "Life Everlasting". This installation will focus on personal and universal identities through art inspired by grave markers and epitaths.
There will be more developments, of course. For one thing, I've recently submitted exhibition proposals for "Personal Grounds" (including the entire Decision Portrait Series) and Blues Chapel. Also, I've applied for several artists residency programs and also for a summer scholarship to Penland. Depending on the outcome of one of these programs, I will hopefully be traveling to Austria with Pian and Annica (my Swedish stitching buddies) to take a workshop with Sara Lechner! I've started submitting my work for gallery representation too. In a nutshell, I'm redirecting my focus...away from CYBER FYBER 2 but toward an exciting, artistic year in art.
Posted by Susan Lenz at 5:00 PM