Monday, April 11, 2011

Finishing things up and preparing for two big weekends

(Above: Eleven vintage and used wedding veils covered in free motion machine embroidered, collected public statements about marriage and divorce ... hanging in my studio ... waiting for my I Do / I Don't installation, April 29 - 30th, 927-929 Gervais Street. Click on image to enlarge.)

Springtime in Columbia is BUSY! I'm busy! I haven't blogged in the last week but the extra time is keeping in on-schedule for two big, artistic weekends.

(Above, left to right: Heidi Darr-Hope; Eileen Blyth, Laura Spong, Candy Waites, Kirkland Smith, former first lady Rachel Hodges and her friend, and Ellen Yaghjian. Click on image to enlarge.)

So first ... let me share an amazing evening I spent among many talented, ambitious, and wonderful women. The Southeastern Institute for Women in Politics hosted the "2011 Leading Women Dinner Reception and Art Sale" on April 1st. I had two pieces in in the sale hanging on the fantastically distressed walls at 701 Whaley Street. All the artists shared a table and were joined by former first lady Rachel Hodges and her friend.

We listened to Valerie Biden Owens (above) engaging keynote address on leadership. It was sprinkled with the perfect amount of family anecdotes, historical facts, and educational ideas for empowering women in the political field. She was followed by our first female (Republican) governor, Nikki Haley (below), in an equally charming speech. This was a great bi-partisan evening supporting women! What could be better?

During the past week I finished tagging every key in my possession! These tagged keys will be hung on one, large wall at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios for the annual spring art crawl, Artista Vista. The opening reception is the same evening as my installation "I Do / I Don't" opens up the street. My husband Steve will be manning my studio and talking about/selling (hopefully!) the keys. (They're $15 each, by the way!)

(Above: Detail of tagged keys waiting to be installed as The Wall of Keys. Below: All the tagged keys ... inside a bag that can no longer hold the weight ... which is now inside a box! Click on images to enlarge.)

I have the following statement that will be placed near the keys:

Individually, each key might be regarded as a simple trinket. Collectively, The Wall of Keys confronts viewers with countless human desires for real and imagined locations in life. One cannot help but to wonder which characteristic, quality, condition or special place is most sought. Which one key is most important in your personal journey?

Since I finished all four recycled bridal garments for Runaway Runway last week, I've been hard at work on the "I Do / I Don't" installation of suspended, embroidered wedding veils. By Sunday evening, this too was complete!

There's no easy way to photograph these wedding veils as they're hanging in my studio waiting for "installation day". So, above is a simple view from my doorway.

Here's a closer look at the eleven veils ... all different ... all used ... all covered in free motion machine embroidered, collected public statements about both marriage and divorce.

Some are fancy; some are plain. Some are white; some are ivory. Some are long; some are short. What I now like most about them ... THEY ARE DONE! (All images can be enlarged.)

(Above: View from the floor to the ceiling through the wedding veils.)

As important as the weekend of April 28 - 30th is, it is not the only "big weekend" for me in April. The weekend of April 16th and 17th is also very, very special. It's the Indie Grits Film Festival and the Crafty Feast Fair (a funky, independent, heavily tied to the DIY movement sort of street fair of vendors). I've never been involved before but am humbly honored to help keep Helen Hill's vision alive and well. Helen Hill was a film maker. She was murdered in her New Orleans home after Hurricane Katrina. She was in the process of making a film about the dresses she found discarded by the roadside ... over 100 handmade garments made by the then recently deceased Florestine Kinchen. Helen's vision kept alive the legacy and memory of this humble, black lady who made all her own clothes. The dresses and Helen's film work were shown at the McKissick Museum in 2008. I blogged about it HERE.

(Above: Film makers, friends, and artists repairing Florestine's dresses ... the ones saved by Helen Hill and the subject of her last film. Click on image to enlarge.)

Helen's husband, Paul Gailiunas, finished the badly hurricane-damaged film as a loving tribute to his wife. The film is part of the Indie Grits Film Festival. This year, the film festival and the Crafty Feast have teamed up. There's going to be a sewing tent. I'm going to be one of the volunteers helping people learn to stitch while advertising Helen's film. I'm donating several dozen vintage aprons for the cause ... as something for people to embroider, add a pocket, alter, or to simply remember that some people really do MAKE THINGS WITH NEEDLE AND THREAD.

Yesterday I went to Helen's mother's house and helped repair some of the dresses in the "Florestine Collection". I'm even allowed to wear one to the film's opening after the Crafty Feast! So ... photos will be coming! The following day, Becky Lewis, Helen's mother, is hosting a tea party in the cemetery. I wouldn't miss this for the world!

Now ... one last but very important bit of news! My piece Ancestors in a Fiber Vessel was selected for the publicity and exhibition invitations for "Re-Tread Thread" at the Joan Mondale Gallery in Minneapolis' Textile Center! I'm elated! They even sent me an extra stash to mail to all my relatives/ancestors!


Lynn said...

Omg what to comment on first...I wish I could see the veils in person. I can't read them from the photos and I am at aloss to imagine how in the heck you sewed on tulle. Did you back it with something where you sewed? Amazing, but then that is what you ARE!

Would love to see the film about the dresses...and the woman!

Many congrats on your latest showing and all the shows! You are wonderfully creative and SUCCESSFUL and I am happy for you.

Tell me how I can buy a key!
Pick one out for me and tell me where to send my $15. I want a piece of your action. LOL ;-))

Carrie said...

Would really love to see those veils close up, they look stunning.


Do you ever have time to breath?!?! So happy for all of this...good luck this month! I know you can and will do it, as you always can and do...I'm so proud of you!

Wanda said...

I think you need a bigger studio!! But it's so wonderful and exciting, everything all over the place, hanging, laying, sort of like a magical forest of art. I like it! So, you're down to the crunch now...I'm so sure you'll get everything done and I really hope you'll be able to enjoy this coming weekend as well!