Friday, October 04, 2013

Bird house, altered book, Annie Leibovitz in town, and new work!

(Above:  Stained Glass LII, detail.  Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

This past week was a lot of fun and a couple of pieces were finished including Stained Glass LII.  This pieces and others from the series are headed to the Washington Craft Show (Nov. 1 - 3) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show (Nov. 5 - 8).  Although I've been creating the "In Box Series" pieces since before 2007 and these related "Stained Glass Series" pieces since 2008, it is only recently that I feel that they've "taken off".  They are selling ... at a pace that makes getting ready for two major retail shows difficult.

(Above:  Stained Glass LII, detail.)

Trying to keep up with the sales is likened to "having a good problem".  Truth is ... a problem is still a problem, whether perceived of as "good" or not! I'm more than a little nervous and really feeling the looming deadlines.  Several fellow artists have suggested raising the prices.  Even the Grovewood Gallery has suggested that it might be time to do so ... or at least consider it after the two major shows.  Raising prices is hard.  Why?  Because I don't want to discourage sales by accidentally selecting a price a tad bit too high.  Once an artist has raised the price, it is even harder to lower it ... especially if someone purchases at the higher price.  It sets the new, established price but might also stall sales.

(Above:  Stained Glass LII, full view.  Unframed:  56" x 16"; framed 64" x 24".)

I can't really raise the prices until after the two big retail shows.  Why?  Because on the exhibition application I listed the prices!  I have to honor them until at least November 8th.  Perhaps after that, I'll bump it up "a little".  I'll have another chance to reconsider my pricing in February.  Why?  Well, I just received notice that the work has also been accepted into the ACC (American Craft Council) flagship exhibition:  Baltimore!  February 22 - 24, 2014.  I'll definitely be making more of these pieces!

(Above:  Birds and Words, a charity fund raiser project benefiting EdVenture, Children's Museum.  7 3/4" x 6 1/4" x 5 1/4".)

Even with my attention focusing on the work for these shows, I've found time for a couple other projects including a charity fund raiser for EdVenture, a Children's Museum here in Columbia.  The bird house was provided.  I painted the raw wood with white latex house paint and then collaged on vintage and antique images of birds plus clipped letters spelling out aviary related words.  

(Above:  Birds and Words, view of the back.)

It was a fun project and it is a very worth cause.  This week I also learned that one of my entries into the South Carolina State Fair has won an award.  I'll be going to the reception this Sunday after spending a day at Saluda Shoals Park for Unearth: A Celebration of Naturally Inspired Art.  I'm one of the juried artist who will be demonstrating along the trails and waterline all afternoon. 

 (Above:  Skirt! Is a Rebel ... being shipped to Arizona.)

This week was also the time to ship Skirt! Is a Rebel to Vision Gallery in Chandler, Arizona for ARTrageous: Art Quilts Year XVIII.  I went by a local news stand and picked up a stack of Skirt! Magazine to send with the piece.  (For more about this unique art quilt, CLICK HERE.)

(Above:  Volume Nine: Hobbies to Irrigation.  74" x 8 3/4".  Altered book.)

I also finished up my piece for the upcoming invitational show: Volumes 2: Women Bound by Art at the Curtis R. Harley Gallery, in Spartanburg, SC. The show will run from Jan. 17 through Feb. 21, 2014.  There's a reception on Thurs., Jan. 30th at 4:30 PM.  I'm excited that I might finally meet Jane Nodine, an extremely talented artist whose work I have long admired.  Jane is the assistant chair of the art department at USC Upstate and the director of the Curtis R. Harley.  In addition to this new piece, I will also have Cables Thru Ball Bearings, another altered book, in the show.

(Above:  Volume Nine: Hobbies to Irrigation, detail.)

I made this piece by removing all the pages, ripping them in half, rolling the pieces into a tiny scroll, wrapping & tying thread around the scroll, and finally stitching each piece onto a strip of recycled, black acrylic felt.

(Above:  Volume Nine:  Hobbies to Irrigation, detail of the hanging device.)

The strip of recycled, black acrylic felt with screwed to the inside of the book cover ... directly through the cover and into a wooden stretcher bar on the back.  I attached a tiny Z-bar on the stretcher bars.  The other tiny Z-bar, once screwed to the wall, allows the piece to hang ... one piece fits into the other ... perfect. 

(Above:  Volume Nine:  Hobbies to Irrigation.  View looking from above ... straight down the wall to the floor.)

I like the piece sort of rolling out a bit onto the floor.  My brief statement for the work is:

Individually each volume of an old set of encyclopedia looks rather small and unimportant.  Yet, the pages hold a myriad of interesting information, worlds of knowledge.  By altering each page into a tiny bound scroll and stitching them so as to spill out of the cover and unrolling onto the floor, the size and significance of the book are made visual.  The contents are now obviously larger and more assuming than originally seen.

(Above:  Volume Nine:  Hobbies to Irrigation, rolled up and ready to go to the show!)

I also like how the entire thing rolls up!  It was fun to make ... and I did it in the car over the last weekend while traveling to Tennesse's McMinn Country Living Heritage Museum and to ManneqART in Maryland.

(Above:  Page Burgess and Lorrie Gunn ... up from Charleston for "First Thursday" on Main Street."

Despite starting several other projects and finishing up these, I did have time with two friends from Charleston.  Page Burgess and Lorrie Gunn came to Columbia for yesterday's "First Thursday" on Main Street.  It was fun adding our lines to the "Before I Die" public art wall and to show them all the artsy places we actually have here in town.

(Above:  Annie Leibovitz addressing the standing-room crowd at the Columbia Museum of Art)

Columbia really was an artsy place last night.  Main Street includes The Columbia Museum of Art and last night was the opening of Annie Leibovitz's show ... and SHE WAS THERE!  This shot is as close as I could get in the standing room only crowd.

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


Susan Lenz said...

Leave a comment!

Wanda said...

Hobbies to Irrigation is really cool. I like it a lot. Your birdhouse is also pretty. I love the colors. Have you seen Sonya's birdhouses? Congrats on your State Fair win too! Did you talk to Ann Liebovitz? Looks like a very well attended event. I can't even imagine having to think about, much less decide anything, about your pricing. I understand your dilemma though. The answer will come though. Give it time. You have to wait until after the two big retails shows anyway. Examine the issue, be prepared for what is to come. I think this past week sounds like fun for you too. Of course, you tend to always have fun!

Margaret Cooter said...

Did Hobbies to Irrigation need the stretcher because the cover was too week to support the hanging strip? I like how it rolls up for storage, echoing the rolls of pages - in another exhibition context it would be good to show it rolled up and let viewers discover it for themselves by unrolling ... but exhibitions where viewers can interact are all too rare...

Linda Laird said...

Susan, when do you sleep? Your creative energy is like a force of Nature!

Keep up the good work,

Linda Laird