Friday, May 15, 2015

Last Day at the Anderson Center

(Above:  The Teapot, fiber vessel with found, rusted metal object.  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

Sadly, today was the last in my Anderson Center art residency.  Even the weather seemed to be crying tears of rain for tomorrow morning's very early departure.  I took advantage of the fantastically large studio space for as long as possible before cramming everything back into my car.  The last piece I finished is The Teapot.

(Above:  The Teapot, detail.)

I didn't intend to make an abstracted fiber teapot but that's what happened!  All I meant to do was to stitch the curved, rusty metal strip into the side of the vessel and allow the other end to puncture the opposite side.  Once done ... it resembled a teapot!  I started hand stitching the rest of the cording into what I hope will become a "cup".  Unfortunately, I can't force my machine to stitch a vessel quite that small.  So, I'll wait for another day when needle and thread can be plied by hand.

(Above:  Detail of The Teapot, inside the vessel.)

The metal strip came from the blacksmith studio at the Anderson Center.  I was luck enough to receive permission to take a few extra pieces of scrap metal with me ... so more will be coming!

(Above:  Grounded.  Fiber vessel with found scrap metal.)

I didn't have to carry away one special piece of scrap metal.  I used it!  From the side view, it isn't even shown ...

... but looking inside, the scrap metal is still attached to the cording that wraps around it.  I used a variegated rust colored thread on one side of the vessel and a deep eggplant color on the other side.  But, for the rim, I used a very bright orange.  It turned out rather well!

(Above:  Another detail of Grounded.)

When I applied to the Anderson Center, I requested a month.  I was offered (and jumped at the chance) for two weeks.  I've been encourage to reapply ... for the full month ... and I will do it!  Yet, this year I had a decision to make.  I could scale back my proposal, limit the goals I set for myself, or try to accomplish everything I set out to do if award thirty days.  Obviously, I selected the later.  I've been almost entirely successful.

(Above:  Bucket List, in progress ... the vessel it finished but it isn't filled.)

The only think I wasn't able to accomplish was my idea of filling a vessel with ripped and torn pages that were symbolic of the concept I was trying to convey.  Yet, I'm on my way to completing at least one piece done along these line.  Later this summer I will acquire a stack of old National Geographic Magazines.  The pages will be ripped, stitched, rolled, and tied to fill this vessel.  It will represent the way so many people once formed dreams of foreign travel ... what is today called "a bucket list".

(Above:  Detail of Bucket List.)

I wanted the vessel to be a little flatter than normal ... and overflowing with the ripped and stitched pages.  I selected an olive green color to coordinate with the many images of nature found inside the magazine but also to compliment the classic yellow on the covers.  So ... stay tuned ... Bucket List will eventually get done!

(Above:  Purple and blue vessel ... headed to the Anderson Center's 16th Annual Celebration of the Arts on July 11, 2015.)

I selected this purple and blue vessel (with a metallic purple rim) as well as the smaller of the two aqua vessels from my last blog post for the upcoming 16th Annual Celebration of the Arts here at the Anderson Center.  From home I brought three of my "Wet Sand" series pieces too.  (To read more about this epoxy experiment, click HERE.)

(Above:  Detail of the purple and blue vessel.)

I'm very honored that the Anderson Center wants some of my work for this occasion.  I selected the "Wet Sand" pieces because I felt they represented so much that important to the way I work.  I was asked to provide some sort of "statement" to explain the pieces.  This is what I wrote:

Almost every Tuesday night find me at Bill Mishoe's auction for used household furnishings and assorted table lots of “junk”. One evening I spied a very dusty, large painter's drop cloth. Paint splotches and wood stain drops speckled the surface. It reminded me of the texture of a sandy beach. This drop cloth was part of a table-lot that looked as if it had been in someone's garage for years. I didn't buy the lot but offered two-dollars to the flea market dealer who did. I took the drop cloth home and washed it. It still resembled sand. I tore it into various squares, put a piece of recycled white industrial felt behind it, and machine stitched it. I allowed the stains and spots of paint to guide itme. Hand stitching was then added. Finally, I experimented by pouring epoxy over the top. Now it looks very much like the wet sand along the coast of South Carolina.

I selected these pieces for the 16th Annual Summer Celebration of the Arts because they represent my state and because they include so much of what is important to my art. They were made using a found object. They were both hand and machine stitched. They are the result of experimentation. These are the very thing the define my studio practice. I also selected two fiber vessels created during my early May art residency at the Anderson Center. It has been my honor to be part of such a wonderful program at such a magical place. Thank you!

(Above:  Comfortable With the Pain I Know.)

I am truly honored to have been given two month here ... and especially for the opportunity to "raid" the rusty metal on location.  I really wanted to use this chain ... but I was worried.  Why?  Well it is a rather heavy chain.  The links are rather thick.  They was no way to slide them through two of the rings in my coil.  I was going to have to leave space ... like I did with one of my small pieces.

(Above:  Comfortable With the Pain I Know, detail.)

I could envision the chain moving in and out of the vessel.  It was going to be difficult ...

... until I realized that I didn't have to flip the vessel inside out and place it under the machine!  I could flip it on its end and simply "go the other way" ... making the holes I needed!

This process is far easier than the way I made the first vessel with a larger hole!  I'm really thrilled!

Plus, it looks good!

(Abpve:  The third table filled with newly tagged keys.)

I am also thrilled to announce that I made my "impossible goal".  I wanted to create five hundred newly tagged keys during the month.  Yet, I only had two weeks.  Well ... with the help of Facebook and blog readers ... I MADE IT!  Heres the third ...

... and the fourth table covered with keys!

I've been really, really good about blogging.  It is important to me to share this and all my other creative experiences.  It is how I show my family what I'm doing.  It is how I participate in the world of art relationships.  Yet, I never got around to blogging about the incredible Anderson Center Sculpture Garden.  I have all the photos.  I just haven't blogged them.  I promise ... this post is coming but not tonight.

But, I also promised a blog post on the amazing tunnels that connect the original buildings here at the Anderson Center.  I've got that covered!  In the two photos above, I've shown the greenhouse.  It is just this short walkway from the main house.  But ... the walkway is more than just a sidewalk.  It is the "roof" of an underground tunnel.  On cold Minnesota winter days, one never had to brave the subzero temperatures ...

.... instead ... one just had to walk down this short tunnel under the exterior sidewalk ...

...climb the stairs near the end of the tunnel ...

... to arrive inside the door that was shown in the photo above ...

... and enter the charming greenhouse!

The tunnel is accessed from the basement of the main house.  That basement is now the laundry area ... with machines of artists-in-residence to use ... including the detergent!  If you look closely, there's a door at the back of this photo.  It leads into a room off of which is another tunnel ...

... the tunnel to the water tower!  Yes, this sidewalk is also the "roof" of a subterranean tunnel!

It come up via these stairs (which are actually "off limits" ... but this is the only tunnel no longer used by the artists!)  There's a tunnel to the laboratory (now the Anderson Center's office, permanent and temporary art collection spaces, and the alternative high school classrooms) and further on to the barn!

Speaking of "school".  I had a wonderful time on Tuesday in front of the Red Wing High School 11th grade drawing and painting class. I gave a presentation on "being an artist", making sacrifices in order to make time for personal art, and how rewarding a creative life can be.  Plus, one of the alternative high school classes came to visit my studio on Wednesday.  It felt great to talk to young people ... to encourage their pursuits and interests.

(Above:  Marianne Boruch reading from her memoirs, The Glimpse Traveler, 2011 at Fair Trade Books in downtown Red Wing, MN during Open Mic Night.)

It also was an honor to listen while three of the four other artists-in-residence participated in the local Open Mic night at Fair Trade Books in downtown Red Wing.

(Above:  Paul Brantley playing two selections from Bach's Cello Suites.)

I can't think of a better way to end an art residency experience than being part of a standing-room-only crowd of people committed to their art and community!

(Above:  Stephan Clark reading from his book Sweetness # Nine.)

I'll miss the Anderson Center.  It's been emotionally, creatively, spiritually, and fabulously wonderful ... a second spring!  Now ... on to St. Louis and to a two-day workshop at the Craft Alliance!  Can't wait!

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


Merrie Star said...

So many thanks Susan for your "inclusion" of us readers/followers on your fruitful and successful art residency. I looked forward to each installment and to be able to view your work in progress and accomplished artistry was such a pleasure as well as a privilege. If you were able to achieve all that you managed to do in two weeks time, it's kind of amazing to contemplate what will result with two additional weeks!

Sandy said...

Wow! I can't believe it is already over! I hope you have some sort of rest before the next leg of your adventures.
Sandy in the UK

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

I have been following you for a while and do so admire your work. I love all the different ways you go and the ideas you have. I kinda do that too. But less prolifically.

I was with you, until that bat thing. But I love everything else!!!!