Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting ready for the exhibition and NEW WORK!

(Above: Bread of Idleness, Grave Rubbing Art Quilt Series. 39 1/2" x 20". Crayon on fabric rubbing, heat set; vintage linens; hand and free motion embroidery. Click on image to enlarge.)

(Above: Bread of Idleness, reverse. Rusted vintage damask, vintage doilies, and a piece of material from my mother recycled into a rod sleeve. Click on image to reverse...and especially to see the word "BREAD" crocheted in the doily.)

There is excitement in the air at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. The new year started off with Jeff Donovan's mid-career retrospective and this Friday opens the 10th Winter Exhibition of new work by Stephen Chesley, Mike Williams, Edward Wimberly, and David Yaghjian. Jeff, Stephen, and David all have studios at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. All these artists are among my friends. (I consider Stephen Chesley my artistic mentor.) It is exhilarating to be around while artwork is being installed....especially when the next show is Blues Chapel and Last Words!

(Above: Detail of Bread of Idleness. Words: She looked well to the ways of her household and ate not the bread of idleness. This rubbing is from the Warstone Lane cemetery in Birmingham, UK. Almost all the graves are very, very old and there haven't been available plots for years. The language and word choices are very interesting especially during the Victorian era. This is such an epitaph. Click on image to enlarge.)

The energy has fueled my preparations! This week I've finished the "next to the last" grave rubbing art quilt, devised hanging rods for all 30+ art quilts, made identification labels, distributed the exhibition cards to various locations all over town, taken photos and blogged about my partner Blue Martini, and sent more press releases. I also updated the "church bulletin".

(Above: Church Bulletins for Blues Chapel. Click on image to enlarge.)

Every time I've mounted Blues Chapel, I've had a "church bulletin"....complete with readings, hymns, and a homily. Of course this "sermon" in print consists of several pages, a thumbnail of each Blues singer featured along with a brief biography. The last page includes a's the last page:

Benediction: (Recorded by Nina Simone)

And I wish I knew how
It would feel to be free
I wish that I could break
All the chains holding me
I wish I could say
All the things that I’d like to say
Say ‘em loud Say ‘e clear
For the whole world to hear
I wish I could share
All the love that’s in my heart
Remove every doubt
It keeps us apart
And I wish you could know
What it means to be me
Then you’d see and agree...Every many should be free…

Postlude: Yonder Come The Blues by Ma Rainey, 1926
“I worry all day, I worry all night. Every time my man comes home, he wants to fuss and fight. When I pick up the paper to read about the news, just as I’m satisfied, yonder comes the blues…”


The flowers were given this month with sincere appreciation, thanks and acknowledgements to Mr. John Whitehead, Columbia Music Festival Association; Deb Dyer and The Staff of the Greater Denton Arts Council; Karen Watson, Sumter Gallery of Art; Jessica Coppin; Gita Larson; Chuck Herin, Pegheds, Inc.; Dorothy Warren, Tourism Coordinator at Region 2 Discovery Center in Edgefield; Allen Coleman, Executive Director at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History; Kim Bendillo, Garvin Designs; Mary Langston; members of Susan’s Artist’s Way group; The Blue Martini; Shannon Purvis; Porter Barron; the cyber community of fiber artists reading; Dr. and Mrs. Henry and Linda Lenz; Steve, Mathias, and Alex Dingman; and especially the musical inspiration of these early, female Blues professionals.

I'm excited that Kim Bendillo has agreed to "design" my cemetery. She's very, very talented and a professional interior designer....the kind that earns her living at a full service architecture firm making selections for major building projects like dormitories, churches, office buildings, and the like. Like Steve and me, she's a graduate of The Ohio State University. I know the cemetery is going to be FABULOUS!

Kim is also one of the people who participated in the Artist's Way group I recently facilitated. The group has continued to meet monthly....checking in on one another's artistic adventures. Last time we met was at Kay's house....and it was a blast. Kay is QUITE a cook and a very generous hostess. The group is assisting as volunteers to install Blues Chapel and Last Words. Lucky me....a professional designer and an entire crew of helpers! There is definitely an air of excitement and fun!


kay said...

I had a great time preparing he food for such wonderful women.

Kim Bendillo said...

Susan--thanks for the kind compliments. --I am your humble Assistant. You continue to inspire me with your talents and energy--I am looking forward to collaborating with you on this fabulous and unique show--that you have worked so hard to produce!