Monday, July 15, 2013

Two receptions and more!

(Above:  Window LXXVII.  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

Last Thursday evening was only four days ago but it feels like a much, much longer amount of time has past!  Why?  Well ... SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED!  First, I finished two more "Window Series" pieces included the one above.  The other is at the bottom of this blog post.

(Above:  My piece, Under the Canopy, at the Interior Spaces reception last Thursday night.)

Thursday night was so much fun!  It was the reception for Interior Spaces, an invitational exhibition at 701 Center for the Arts.

(Above:  People looking at art including my installation during the Interior Spaces reception.)

It is always fascinating to watch other people look at artwork.  I especially like watching people I don't know and who don't know me.  What captures their attention?  What resonates with their hearts?  What are they thinking?  How could I improve?  What would I do differently?  These are some of the questions I tend to ask myself while watching others experience the artwork.

Of course, another wonderful thing about a reception is catching up with people I do know ... like Nancy Marine, an elementary school teacher who has competed alongside me at the annual Runaway Runway fashion show of 100% recycled materials.  If you look closely, she's wearing a collar of semi-melted crayons that graced the runway two years ago!

I was especially pleased by the central location of my work.  It seemed to help tie the various areas of the spacious gallery together in a subtle way ... almost like a "hallway" ... which is a good thing for an exhibit called Interior Spaces.  People didn't walk "around" my work; they walked THROUGH my work.  It was fantastic and also meant the piece was viewed from every angle possible!

There were a few children at the reception but unfortunately I didn't snap a photo ... because my piece seemed to delight both older and younger people alike.

Of course, the installation "under the canopy" was interesting ... but it really was THE CANOPY that people admired most.  It truly defined a unique setting.  The show runs through August 18th.

(Above:  Me ... okay, I wore the same outfit as the evening before ... but now I'm at Wolftrap outside Washington, DC!)

The next morning Steve and I headed north to the DC area.  We had tickets to hear the National Symphony Orchestra play Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition followed by Orff's Carmina Burana ... only two of my all time favorite pieces!  IT WAS WONDERFUL!

(Above:  Steve with his new bike carrier.)

We had two other plans for this weekend.  First, Steve wanted to ride from the western-most point on the DC area bike trail back to our hotel in Herndon, Virginia (near Dulles Airport).  

 (Above:  Steve about to hit the bike trail.)

On Saturday morning, I dropped him off at the Purcellville train depot ... right at the start of the bike trail.  It is something like twenty-seven miles back to the hotel.  I'm thrilled he loves doing this ... but I'm not joining him.  I really don't enjoy pedaling or sitting on a bike seat!

 (Above:  Two people looking at There But By the Grace of God Go I, one of two pieces of mine in the Sacred Thread juried exhibition.)

By that afternoon Steve had returned, showered, and we went to the Floris Methodist Church for the artist's reception of Sacred Threads.  I had two pieces successfully juried into this show.  One of the great things about this show was the fact that accepted artists could record a brief statement via a telephone call.  Viewers could dial the provided number and hear this additional explanation.  The blue dot in the photo above listed the audio number.  I saw several people listening to my recording.  In order to do this efficiently, I wrote it down.  So, for this piece I said:

I was given special permission and only a half hour to collect materials from the historic South Carolina State Mental asylum.  The facility hasn’t had a patient since 1989 and I didn’t expect to find anything remotely personal, certainly not anything with a name on it.  Finding hundreds of clothing issue index cards was almost shocking.  It made the opportunity to “salvage” something more.  It put the human element into the experience and changed my perspective from “gathering” into a responsibility to share an awareness of the people who lived there.  Currently, the facility is under sales contract.  City officials are trying to decide which buildings to preserve, which to tear down, and how best to pay respect to the history of the place.  These are concerns I really understand now.

 (Above:  Me with Gerrie Congdon's piece in the show!)

It was lots of fun to attend this reception.  First, I got to see plenty of work by other fiber artists whose names I recognize from various on-line forums or from other project.  The photo above is of me with Gerrie Condgon's piece.  Gerrie posted for one of my Decision Portraits, On Fighting Cancer I ... CLICK HERE to see it!  Gerrie's blog is HERE

Unfortunately, I forgot to post a photo of my other included piece, Endless Life ... but here's the recorded statement and CLICK HERE for a blog post of the work. 

There are more than fifty pieces in my Grave Rubbing Art Quilt series but Endless Life has special place in my heart.  The folk angel rubbings were made in the churchyard in the tiny village of Lyford, England.  I was there with my son, a senior soloist with Birmingham Royal Ballet, his girlfriend, also a dancer, and my husband.  The place was magical, like stepping back into time.  The conversations we had were significant.  It was a day to share my passion for art quilting, my concepts about time and the ethereal nature of memory, and my spiritual believes with family.  It was a time to let them know what I want after my own death and how I’d prefer them to celebrate my life, not wallow in grief.

 (Above:  Leanna Paylor and me.)

Not only did I get to see work by other artists whose names I recognize, I got to meet a few ... including Leanna Paylor who is new to blogging.  Her blog is HERE

 (Above:  Visitor looking at my art quilt.)

I was also thrilled to see that one of my pieces was hanging beside Karen Musgrave's work.  I'm in a group of art quilters organized by Karen.

(Above:  Me with the famous Betty Busby, the equally renown Marianne R. Williamson and her granddaughter.)

I even got to chat with some "big name" art quilters ... like MARIANNE WILLIAMSON and BETTY BUSBY!  Now ... this was exciting!  Finally ... Steve and I are back in Columbia. I'm back to work ... making more "stained glass" fiber pieces like Window LXXVII below!

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site to share fiber artworks.


Margaret said...

What a lovely post, Susan! I felt as though I were right there with you. Someday, perhaps, I will be. (Grin)

Wanda said...

Wow....what a great post! First of all, I'm thrilled that you got to see (hear) things that you love in DC. And I look Forward to Hearing about Steve's ride...what's up with his blog. The reception of Under The Canopy Looks wonderful. I too love seeing People lost in their personal thoughts while traveling through your Installation. I hope one day to see the canopy in real life. The Pictures are good but I just know this is something that Needs to be seen in Person to get the full smack-down affect. Is that a real Phrase? Well, you know what I mean. I didn't quite get that you had two pieces in Sacred Threads. I dropped the ball on this one...sorry. But, oh how wonderful the Show Looks and I'm thrilled for you to have been surrounded with People and artwork that you admire. Susan....I can't ever remember seeing There But By the Grace of God Go I. And I want to be able to read it all. Enlarging the Pictures helps but I Need to be closer. Do you remember when you posted about this Piece so I can go there and get a closer look? I think the block that says 'sister' also says 'sponsor'. I Need to see this. Everything Looks so great too! By the way, I don't think anyone would have noticed that you had the same Dress on. Well, maybe Sonya :)

Linda A. Miller said...

Thanks for the fabulous tour! Your work is wonderful.

Regina B Dunn said...

Such beautiful work and I'm glad you had a wonderful trip. It looked very fun and fulfilling.