Monday, June 06, 2016

The last of the altered vintage images made here in Fergus Falls

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 (Above:  The last of the altered vintage photos made in my art residency here in Fergus Falls, MN.  Click on either image to enlarge.)

My time at Hinge Arts Residency Program through Springboard for the Arts is coming to an end. I clean the provided apartment and studio space on Wednesday morning and head east later that afternoon. I'll be visiting my family in Slippery Rock, PA on the way to Lorton, Virginia's Workhouse Art Center where I'll be teaching HOT, my two-day fiber workshop. Thus, it is time to wrap up my proposal work ... the hundreds of anonymous vintage photographs that I've been altering with letters clipped from 1940s magazine, sheet music, and other old print sources.  Above is a photo of the last images ... including a lovely, hand-colored picture of a young lady dressed in yellow and wrapped in a fur trimmed collar. 

This beautiful old picture was given to me by a new Facebook friend, Mary Ellen Lundstrom. Mary lives in Underwood, MN, a little town just east of Fergus Falls and through which I drove yesterday to visit all the giant sculptures in nearby Vining.  She visited my studio space last Tuesday.  Mary is a quilter and long time friend of another Facebook friend, Sandy Gilreath.  Sandy took my recent workshop, "Second Life", at the Georgia Agriculture Museum and included me as a source of inspiration in her book, 52 Tuesdays - A Quilt Journal. What a small world? How grand that the Internet provides such connects! 

I been wondering whether better communications might have saved pretty pictures as they shuffled down from one generation to the next.  I've been wondering whether digital images will be kept at all.  I've also been wondering about this young lady.  Who was she? What was the occasion for the fancy corsage and the fur? What words should I use to suggest her life?  Mary Ellen was also curious as to how I would alter her.  Finally I settled on "The Best Day Ever". Surely, it was a good day ... like all my days have been in Minnesota!

(Above:  Proposal work created during my art residency:  Two altered, vintage scrapbooks (no specific titles); one artist-made scrapbook using vintage images (no specific title); one Victorian album with vintage images (Anonymous Ancestors); three Victorian albums with my images from Edinburgh, Scotland's ancient cemeteries (Edinburgh, A Book about Life; Forever in Our Hearts); A Family, a set of eleven altered tintypes; four altered, vintage photo albums (The Best and Dearest; Nameless People and Forgotten Faces, Anonymous Ancestors, and The Book of Memories); and literally hundreds of loose altered, vintage photos (the type already attached to hard, cardboard-like mounts).  Now shown were the nearly twenty images that will fit into antique frames once I've returned to Columbia.)

I got plenty of work accomplished.  In addition to my proposal work, I also constructed and stitched six, small "In Box" series pieces; three large, "In Box" series pieces; six "Peacock Feather" pieces; and one, small Grave Rubbing Series art quilt.  I finished a large piece in my Grave Rubbing Series and am hard at work on another one to which hundreds of buttons are being stitched.  Since I don't have to start packing until late tomorrow afternoon, I'm now working on another "In Box" piece.  I will miss this special time.  Being isolated in a basement studio has been an amazingly an ideal situation.  Most days I lose track of both time and space.  Focus and concentration is easy here. It has been wonderful.

1 comment:

underatopazsky said...

I always feel unnamed/unknown photos are so sad: their stories lost for ever. So I love what you've been doing here!