Tuesday, February 02, 2010
(Above and below: Stained Glass XX. 57" x 18". Framed: 64" x 24". Free motion embroidery and melting on polyester stretch velvets and acrylic felt. Click on images to enlarge.)
(Above and below: Stained Glass XIX. 57" x 18". Framed: 64" x 24". Free motion embroidery and melting on polyester stretch velvets and acrylic felt. Click on images to enlarge.)
Everything is coming together for the exhibition! The final two faux-stained glass fiber pieces are complete (and Steve is installing them into their frames even as I'm typing!) Yet, the best news is that the show now has SPONSORS!
Of course, I'm partnered with the Blue Martini, a late night bar located in the same building as Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. They're catering the reception and hosting Eboniramm, a local blues singer, for the evening. Now, however, I've got real sponsors....important businesses that are directly related to the concept of Last Words....in fact, they are totally important to the overall theme of the dual installations.
This show is about REMEMBRANCE and MEMORY. This will be obvious in the "cemetery" portion/Last Words.....but it is also central to Blues Chapel. Many of the 24 early female blues singers that are part of the focal point died poor, alone, forgotten, and under appreciated. Janice Joplin helped pay for Bessie Smith's gravestone....years later. Ma Rainey's obituary listed her occupation as "housekeeper". Blues Chapel pays tribute....remembers and honors the contributions of these amazing ladies. My sponsors know all about this! They specialize in the ways of remembering those who have gone before us!
Shives Funeral Home was the place I toured last summer. The experience touched me deeply that day but continues to direct many of my ideas. It was influential....and helped me make personal choices too. There advertisement sums up the questions my work suggests.....Do Your Loved Ones Know Your Wishes?
Fletcher Monuments is another local business. Though I had no earlier connection to them, I know of their work. Their brochure, which will be available during the exhibition, features a beautiful, ornately carved Gothic stone....which I've seen every time I visit the local cemetery (which is rather often!)
The Christian Counseling Center is another very important group in our community. Their grief counseling session is the most affordable way to handle the emotional impact that death can bring to those left behind. I know my work depicts the subject...and might possibly remind people of their personal anguish. I'm relieved that I'm able to provide a positive outlet to anyone who might be suffering.
I hope is that those seeing the exhibition, on-line or in person, will be touched by the work. As an installation artist, I try very hard to convey a message....to establish a sort of dialogue with the public....to suggest a concept that is personal....to make people THINK! Hopefully, the work will inspire people to consider the ways in which they want to remember others and the ways in which they want to be remembered in the future. The art is meant to ask questions like, "What words would I like on my grave marker?" and "When was the last time I visited my grandparents' plot?" and "What will I be remembered for? What will mark my life on Earth?"
It is one thing to pose the questions....it is another to provide a way to find an answer! The sponsors are just the key. Their literature will be present. If someone wonders about their future plans, there will be a way to put the plan into action! If someone, reading all my free-motioned epitaphs, decides that their parents' grave needs one.....they will be able to learn how this could be done....hassle free....no obligation....just the subtle possibility to put a thought into action!
Posted by Susan Lenz at 12:10 PM