Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vivilore 2011, Altered Book

(Above: Vivilore 2011. Collage. 14" x 60". Click on image to enlarge.)

A couple of weekends ago I participated in the SC Book Festival, sharing an artist's booth with Pat Callahan and wrapping nails while talking to people passing by. I also happened to purchase a book ... an old one called Vivilore: The Pathway to Mental and Physical Perfection; The 20th Century Book for Every Woman (1904).

(Above: Vivilore 2011, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

The volume was in terrible shape. The covers weren't attached to the binding. Pages were literally falling out ... but ... how could I resist it? One chapter is called "Childbirth Made Easy". Instantly I knew pages from this text would make a perfect background for a collage on feminism. Since I was asked to participate in an upcoming exhibit called "Pretty Girls: A Feminist Perspective Through Art, I bought the book. This is the result. I had a blast making this piece.

(Above: Vivilore 2011, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

Important women's portrait are included. From left to right, they are: Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Stanton (whose name actually appears in the Vivilore book), Susan B. Anthony, Frida Kahlo, Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Judy Chicago, Patti Smith, the Guerrilla Girls, and Anita Hill.

(Above: Vivilore 2011, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

The pages from the Vivilore book were mounted to fabric. This allowed me to stitch on them and attach hooks-and-eyes for a laced connection that resembles a corset. I cut images and subtitles from the 1904 volume and even used the end pages to create the cartoon-like bubbles for quotations.

(Above: Vivilore 2011, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

The clipped letters at the top are a definition of feminism. The clipped letters at the bottom define the 19th amendment, THE RIGHT TO VOTE ... which wasn't finally ratified until August 18, 1920 ... sixteen years after Vivilore was originally published. (Of course, I live in South Carolina, a state that rejected the 19th amendment on Jan. 28, 1920 and didn't ratify it until July 1m 1969 ... but still didn't certify it until August 22, 1973.)

The 1904 Vivilore was actually quite progressive in its day. One hundred and seven years later, much has changed ... but there's still a long way to go before there's equality for women.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Preparing for my first performance art piece!

(Above: Antique, claw-footed porcelain bathtub in Tapps Center for the Arts window on Main Street!)

I've had this hair-brained idea for quite some time. It kept coming into my mind every time I'd wash my dissected artificial cemetery flowers in the guest bathroom tub. I'd envision all my favorite Pre-Raphaelite paintings of Ophelia ...

...especially this one by John Everett Millais (1851-52) ... which I've seen in London's Tate ...

... which depicts Elizabeth Siddal as Ophelia. She had flaming red hair ... like the image above, Beata Beatrice, by her husband Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Or, I'd envision Jane Morris, the "muse"/model that embodied the ideal for feminine beauty for so many other Pre-Raphelite influenced artists ....


Finally, I had to explore this crazy idea, and it has become my first performance art piece! The opening of OPHELIA, a tableaux at the Tapps Center for the Arts will be this coming Thursday at 5:30.

Preparations meant renting an antique, claw-footed bathtub and hauling it to the Tapps Building. I could never have done this alone! They weigh a ton and had to be carried sideways to fit through a 27" doorway. Fortunately, I had LOTS OF HELP!

Yesterday I hung theater curtains ... which will be pulled back at 5:30 to reveal me ... as a drowned red head (wig coming from eBay shop in Seattle ... but I also have three cans of auburn temporary hair coloring spraying from a theater supplier in Atlanta) ... posing as Ophelia covered in heaps of artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters ... until approximately 8 PM.

In front of the curtains I've installed signage and a fake skull of Hamlet's. This project is also important to me because I'm collaborating with two other talented artists. Heather Bauer will be photographing a "dress rehearsal" on Tuesday afternoon. She'll have a large print for me to frame before Thursday ... so ... after the "live"/"dead" tableaux, I'll hang the framed image above the tub of flowers. Currently there's a very large mirror suspended above the tub so that viewers will have two views to the "scene of the crime".

Why do I call it a "crime" ... well ... especially during era of the Pre-Raphelites, suicide was considered a very serious crime. (Elizabeth Siddal overdosed on laudandum and might have even left a suicide note. The story goes that her husband knew to destroy it so that she could have a Christian burial.) Ophelia's death/assumed suicide has been praised as one of the most poetically written death scenes in literature. So ... Michael Krajewski, a local graffiti-inspired artist will be creating the suicide note .... "I LOVE YOU, HAMLET", in big red letters with other graphics, on the wall behind the tub.

Finally, I knew that I would need some make-up for this depiction. It's going to be hard enough laying perfectly still for two-and-a-half hours ... but trying to look like a dead teenager at age 52 is even more problematic. I haven't owned a single cosmetic product since getting my bifocals about eight years ago. I remember trying to apply mascara with my glasses on ... finally able to SEE the eyelashes. In frustration and with the realization that it took twice as long to look half as good ... I tossed the entire drawer away. Last night, after attending a beautiful wedding dressed in a lovely hot pink Indian dress from my sister and her husband (complete with shoes!), I went to Dilliards Department store. Amber Valentine (perfect name!) at Clinique applied EIGHT products that I now own. The photo above doesn't do her work justice ... but I'm hoping her instructions will make a difference on Thursday!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Charles Otis, A Grave Rubbing Art Quilt

(Above: Charles Otis, Grave Rubbing Art Quilt Series. 46" x 38". Crayon grave rubbing, hand and free motion machine embroidery, vintage crochet, vintage damask and doily for reverse, assorted buttons. Click on image to enlarge.)

Before Valentine's Day, I got permission from the Unitarian Church in Charleston to make a grave rubbing of Otis Charles' tombstone. This was a really big deal because almost all the downtown cemeteries have posted rules prohibiting rubbings. (I blogged about it here.)

(Photo from February in Charleston's Unitarian Churchyard. My fabric and completed rubbing are still draping the tombstone.)

This is the first time I've ever made a rubbing from an entire grave. It is also the first time that I've included a full name with dates too. Thus, it seemed fitting to title the art quilt with the deceased's name ... Charles Otis.

(Above: Charles Otis, Grave Rubbing Art Quilt, detail. Click on image to enlarge for reading all the words ... right down to the last line of the epitaph that was only about an inch from the ground.)

(Charles Otis, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

The crochet pieces were once a bedspread. It seems that the person making it accidentally used a different thread half way through the production which probably discolored/bleached out once it was washed. The result was a strange two-toned off white thing that looked dreadful. It had several holes. I had Olivia, my studio assistant last semester, carefully cut all the pieces apart. (She even made a necklace from a few pieces!) I really liked have two shades of crochet for the embellishments. They are all attached using French knots.

(Above and below: A comparison between the actual tombstone and the quilted grave rubbing. Click on images to enlarge.)

(Charles Otis, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

All the letters have been outlined in free motion embroidery ... including all the strange letters that replace some of the letter "s". They sort of resemble an "f" but the horizontal, crossing line only appears on the right side. There must be a name of this once used alphabet symbol. If anyone knows it, please let me know too!

(Above: Charles Otis, reverse. Click on image to enlarge.)

The back of this art quilt is a piece of a vintage damask tablecloth. I have no idea who owned it, how many times it was washed, or at which auction I bought it. I cannot, however, put into words the FEEL of it. There's a sense of childhood ... of line dried, heavy cotton sheets on a crisp Austrian summer night ... soft but firm, used but so very, very clean! It made my legs tingle when I stitched the French knots that hold it to the front and added the blanket stitch edging.

I will be framing a photo of this piece for the Unitarian Church. I hope the congregation likes the results.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekend in Florida

(Sign on the grounds of the Atlantic Center for the Arts!)

My parents have a time share at Daytona Beach in Florida and we visited them there over the weekend. The beaches were wide. The water was a mix of the prettiest turquoise and blue colors with ripples of white capped waves. The moon was full and glorious. I didn't take that many photos except when visiting the Ponce de Leon lighthouse and a nearby restaurant with the funniest signs ever. I've posted these pictures on Flickr! (Click here to access!)

Of course I stitched in the car while traveling there and back. Yet, I also "worked" by visiting the Atlantic Center for the Arts and have brunch with the famous Mary McBride who curated Volusia: Wrapped in Fibers, a county-wide display of fiber arts juried from all over the world. On our return trip, we also stopped in Savannah to visit Bonaventura Cemetery and the downtown revolutionary war era City Cemetery. I collected several unique epitaphs, took photos, and got three grave rubbings on silk.

I'm back working in my studio ... and will have new work to post later!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Studio is a Maze!

(Above: Held Together by a Thread, art quilt. Antique quilt fragments, recycled felt batting, vintage tablecloth backing, hand stitching. 24" x 24". Click on image to enlarge.)

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of artistic activities. I mounted my I Do / I Don't installation, participated in Artista Vista (the annual spring art crawl...featuring my "Wall of Keys"), had four recycled garments in Runaway Runway, presented LOOKING FOR A MATE, a public sock art quilt project to city council, and then "de-installed" most of this work. The studio had to be cleaned up for visitors ... and then jammed packed with the art work that had been on display... all while shifting focus to new work, new ideas, and future plans. After all, there's really no rest for a working fiber artist!

(Above: The view of my studio. Photo taken while standing on top of my work stool. Click on image if you'd like an enlargement of all this mess!)

My studio is a disaster area! It resembles a maze with tiny passages from area to area. It is in transition to several new projects. Let me begin with the keys. I counted all them when removing them from the Artista Vista exhibition .... 987! It took two hours to patch the holes and paint the wall. It took another five hours to re-install the "Wall of Keys" in my studio. The image above was taken after approximately three hours. The rest of the keys are on the card table ... waiting to be nailed to the wall.

Under my sewing machine free-motion foot is my next Grave Rubbing Art Quilt. It is the one with the rubbing I made at the Unitarian Churchyard in Charleston last February. I have since finished the machine work and am now hand stitching crochet pieces around the central rubbing. Beyond the sewing machine are my tiny drawers for clipped letters. I just cut up about fifty pieces of vintage sheet music that were priced in our antique booth for $1 a piece. They'd been available for purchase for over a year but remained unsold. Ripe for cutting! There's still a pile of clipped words waiting to be dissected into the trays of individual letters. After creating a book entirely written in "clipped letters", I have to "restock" this stash! (I'm "in between" studio assistants ... and wish I had help! Oh well!)

On the floor, directly under the new "Wall of Keys" are artificial cemetery flowers in the process of being dissected. Mother's Day evening was an EXCELLENT time to dumpster dive at the local cemetery. My studio is now home to three giant trash bags filled with collected floral arrangements waiting for processing. Why am I doing this since I have approximately five kitchen garage bags filled with these flowers from over a year ago? Well, I have two exhibitions coming up ... including a major show at the Imperial Center in Rocky Mount, NC ... January through May of 2012. The perimeter of that space is approximately twice the size of the atrium at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios where I mounted the show last year. Thus .... I need twice as many artificial flowers as I have now. Dumpster diving will be a fairly regular activity until I've doubled my stash!

(Above: "Last Words" at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, February 2010. Click on image to enlarge. This image shows how I line the perimeter of a space with artificial flowers from cemetery dumpsters. The next show will be in an area twice the size!)

As if I didn't have enough "trash" in my studio, I also brought in two boxes to total junk ... my "raw material" for another art quilt. I generally don't create work for a specific juried show opportunity ... but I couldn't resist this one. I've proudly had work accepted into the last two "Art Quilt Lowell" shows at the Brush Art Gallery when the theme was open. At first I hated the idea of a theme for the coming show: "The Sea". I don't do "picture quilts" or abstractions and have rarely strayed from the concept of memory. I wasn't going to enter this year. Yet, an idea came to me ... something irresistible ... something that incorporated the use of recycled materials ... something that could be done on my recycled/packaging felt from the local kayak and canoe shop ... an art quilt using the flotsam and jetsam found along the beach! I collected all this "trash" in two hours.

I took considerably longer to sit in the middle of the floor and separated the trash into piles ...

... all the container lids ....

... a pile of tan colored foam ... a pile for white styro-foam ... plastic pieces ... fragments of sand bags ... lost flip flops ... even TWO dental floss tools! (Seriously, who flosses at the beach?) Then I washed all these piles.

After all the "junk" was dry, I started laying it out on the recycled black packaging felt from the kayak shop ... composing an "under water" vision from garbage.

(Above: Two Hours at the Beach, in progress. Click on image to enlarge.)

I took the photo above while standing on my studio table ... looking down to the floor. With Steve's help, we managed to get a piece of acid free foam centered board under it ... and raise the entire work onto four work horses. I have a sheer tulle overlay and plan to stitch the pieces in place ... directly through the foam board. The title will be Two Hours at the Beach. I have no idea if this will work out ... but photos will be coming of the attempts.

(Above: Memory, a grave rubbing fiber postcard sold at the Halsey Institute last week. Click on image to enlarge.)

Last Wednesday I attended the "Postcard Show: Wish You Were Here" exhibit at the Halsey Institute in Charleston. It was a scholarship fund raiser being presented by Skirt! Magazine. I had a postcard accepted.

(Above: Number 29 is my postcard .... the "red dot" meant someone bought it!)

All the postcards were anonymously presented and available for $75 each. At 6:00, the doors opened and people literally flooded the gallery to buy the work. It was great fun ... lots of "red dots".

It was hard to get a photo like the one above due to the crowd.

The entire place was overflowing with people ... buying art!

There was also a nice crowd this weekend at the South Carolina Book Festival. I shared one of the provided "artist's booths" with my friend Pat Callahan. Pat brought her gorgeous figurative nude drawings and her new line of jewelry. I brought some of my book art related pieces and one of my large faux-stained glass fiber works. Pat braided silk cording for more necklaces and I wrapped old, square nails with fibers as well as finished a small quilt. (Please see the photo at the start of this post.)

(Above: Held Together by a Thread, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

This piece was made of fragments of an antique quilt top sent to me last year by Texan Connie Akers. I used the "best" sections for other work but couldn't part with the more tattered blocks. I layered the bits into this arrangement on a piece of recycled white felt (also from the kayak shop), and cut a section of a vintage tablecloth as its back. Every night I've been hand stitching it all together ... an an illustration of the phrase that is now its title. I love the texture. I love the fact that these once loved fabric have a new life. Thanks Connie!

In a few days, I plan to have my studio back to a more reasonable work area ... but ... Steve and I must go to Salisbury, NC in the morning to de-install my solo show there. That means more artwork is coming back ... needing storage space. A tidy studio might never happen!

(Above: Held Together by a Thread, reverse. Click on image to enlarge.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Face of Faith in the 21st Century

(Above: The Face of Faith in the 21st Century. Unframed: 30" x 38 1/4". Framed 35" x 43 1/4". Click on image to enlarge.)

Barbie Mathis and her daughter Faith invited me to create a portrait or two for an upcoming exhibition they are mount just outside my studio door at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. The show is called "It's All About Faith" and is meant as a celebration for the high school senior as she emerges into adulthood as an artist. (Mother and daughter are both artistically talented.) Around twenty other Columbia area artists are also creating portraits for the show ... in all sorts of media. It will be shown from May 26th through the end of the month.

(Above: The Face of Faith in the 21st Century. Detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

I finished a collage several days ago and now this fiber piece is also complete. It is an image transfer on unbleached muslin stitched with a section of a vintage pink kimono, a piece of golden colored cotton, white felt, and assorted beads on a background of Legion's Thai Stucco paper. Faith's favorite color is pink and she is inspired by all things Japanese.

One of the challenges for me, however, was the frame. Last December one of our Mouse House framing suppliers accidentally shipped the wrong moulding to us. They immediately shipped (freight free) the correct one. Yet, we had all this shiny, lacquer finished brown bamboo moulding that we really didn't want. It would have cost the company more to issue a "call tag" than it was really worth to them. So, they offered us a really, really cheap price on the stuff ... too good of a deal to pass up even if we didn't have any plan in mind for its use at the time. Since then, I became determined to use it on this piece ... but the brown color was terrible. The finish was also such that I knew any paint would just peel off. Fortunately, my friend Jeff Donovan suggested Zinsser B-I-N Primer. He even lent me his open can. IT IS WONDERFUL! This white-tinted shellac based primer/sealer/stain killer was easy to apply, dried quickly, adhered perfectly, and cleaned up with ordinary ammonia. The black acrylic black I applied is a single coat. I scratched through the black paint to highlight the bamboo ridges. I'm totally thrilled with this new product and planning the buy my own can soon!

Monday, May 09, 2011

LOOKING FOR A MATE ... A City Hall !

Link(Above: Looking for a Mate, a public sock art quilt. Click on image to enlarge.)

My blogging friend Dawn Goldsmith just wrote to me saying, "Enjoy ... it's LOST SOCK MEMORIAL DAY!" Supposedly a "real holiday" and there really are several blogs talking about the silliness of it. Dawn knew I'd get a kick out of this ... especially since my public sock art project, a creation made of mateless socks, was just installed in City Hall!

Last Tuesday night Clark Ellefson, as a representative of the Congaree Vista Guild, and I presented the public sock art quilt, Looking for a Mate, to the full chamber of Columbia's City Council. There were photographs with Mayor Benjamin and all the council members. I was even requested to speak briefly about the piece ... and then invited to help hang the piece later in the week ....

...with Wes' assistance ...

...right in the middle of a recently renovated lobby ... behind the central reception desk.

Added later in the day: Here's a link to the broadcast/video of the April 29th presentation of Looking for a Mate to Councilman Newman ... which lead to the presentation to the entire city council! Thanks Ashleigh Walters for creating this!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Back to Work!

(Above: Faith Means, mixed media: collage and image transfer print. Framed: 37 1/2" x 29". Paper: 30" x 22 1/2". Click on image to enlarge.)

After all the excitement of Artista Vista, Runaway Runway, and an unexpected visit from my mother and youngest sister to enjoy last weekend ... I'm back to work!

Steve and I went to Charleston on Wednesday and moved out of Terrace Oaks Antique Mall, a location that through which we've sold antiquarian prints and assorted vintage things pretty much since 1990. This required a Penske rental truck and lots of "elbow grease" but the nature of the business (at least in Charleston) has changed. We weren't losing money but we weren't making much either.

On the return trip we stopped by the North Charleston Arts Festival. Going in the middle of a work week day meant we pretty much had the space to ourselves. One of the attractions is the juried statewide "Palmetto Hands" competition.

The show is always displayed nicely ... with enough pedestals to view the 3D work from all angles.

I was fortunate enough to win one of two "merit awards" ... basically "second place" ... which comes with a great red ribbon and $500 check!


I think, however, my favorite piece in the entire show was Matt Wilson's iBirth. It was well made, conceptually brilliant, and looked great from every direction and even at a distance. The iPhone really blended into the piece. The computer-part leaves really appeared to be growing and alive. Clever. Really great work!

Talking about "work" ... I was back in the studio all week and have finished the piece at the start of this blog post, Faith Means. It is one of two pieces I'm creating for an upcoming exhibition being held at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. Most of the collaged letters are vintage. The statements were "fill-in-the-blank" answers to questions I posed to Faith (her real name!) when I took the photos. I'm currently stitching another portrait and plan to finish it later today. The official "blurb" from a Facebook event page about the exhibition is:

The art show features portraits, paintings and sculpture by Barbie and Faith Mathis and 20 other well known Columbia area artists. “The Faith Paintings” are a series by Barbie Mathis that celebrate the individuality and creativity of Faith Mathis, an emerging artist who dares to be herself. The show is at Vista Studios/Gallery 80808, 808 Lady Street, Columbia, SC 29201 – Thurs. 5/26 through Mon. 5/31 - Opening Reception 6 - 9 pm on Thurs. 5/26

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Reviews are in ... and POSITIVE!

(I do / I don't, installation shot featured in the Free Time's review of Artista Vista 2011 by Mary Bentz Gilkerson. )

Below is an article appearing in the Free Times by Mary Bentz Gilkerson. It can also be read HERE. Believe it or not, there's another review of Artista Vista 2011. It is by Tom Starland, co-owner/editor of Carolina Arts, a monthly publication. The review is on his blog "Carolina Arts Unleashed. Click HERE to access. Both are wonderful. Thank you Mary and Tom!

Issue #24.18 :: 05/04/2011 - 05/10/2011
Twentieth Artista Vista Moves to Recapture Past Energy


Thirty years ago, the Vista was a rundown warehouse district, something of a no man’s land between the railroad tracks and the river. Enter the artists who saw the empty warehouses as ideal, inexpensive studio spaces, and the revitalization began. Today, thanks to visionary city leaders like the late Kirkman Finlay and early residents like Clark Ellefson and Carol Saunders, the area is now a thriving urban residential and shopping district.

2010-2011 marks several anniversaries for the area — the 25th of Vista Lights, the 20th of Vista Studios/Gallery 80808, and now the 20th for Artista Vista. To celebrate the milestone and acknowledge the roots of the event, organizers included live music, performance art, temporary exhibitions and installation art (these are two separate things) in addition to exhibitions in the area galleries and studios.

Part of the energy in the ’90s came from the age and career stage of the participants. USC students or recent graduates created most of the temporary exhibits and site-specific installations. The thrust of the installations, inspired by the Spoleto Places with a Past exhibition, was to engage the viewer with social and political issues associated with specific places and spaces.

The social and physical implications of a specific space and sensitivity to those implications are hallmarks of good, effective site-specific installation art. This kind of work is both internally and externally focused, acting as a conduit for dialogue between place and viewer.

So-called installation art that does not engage the space would be better described as art on temporary exhibition. The work might be engaging, well crafted and interesting, but the reality is that it is still a temporarily installed sculpture, painting or photograph unless it deals with the surrounding space either physically or conceptually.

The installations in this year’s Artista Vista, curated by Jeffrey Day (who, full disclosure, is a Free Times contributor), fall into both categories. The building most recently occupied by Mais Oui at 927-929 Gervais St. was the site for six installations, with a seventh located around the corner in front of the Art Bar.

Susan Lenz’s piece, I Do/I Don’t, most directly addressed the space both conceptually and physically. The domestic nature of the building’s most recent use as the retail home for an interior design firm, as well as the almost rococo architectural features of the room, enhance Lenz’s use of bridal veils to make social commentary on relationships. The veils, hanging ghost-like from the ceiling, force the viewer to move at a slow enough pace to read the incorporated text.

Lenz’s Wall of Keys, not one of the official installations but her contribution to the resident artists’ group show at Vista Studios, was one of the best installations of the whole event. She transformed an innocuous wall of the gallery into a symbolic wailing wall filled by keys, each with attached text signifying missed opportunities and potential doorways beyond.

Established commercial galleries, studio spaces and a nonprofit gallery all participated with Carol Saunders featuring work by Anne Bjork and Philip Dusenbury; City Art presenting Stephen Nevitt; group exhibitions at if ART, Vista Studios the Gallery at DuPre and the Gallery at Nonnah’s; and demonstrations at One Eared Cow.

In the past, temporary exhibits by artists who don’t regularly show in the area have been interesting additions to the event. This year, Lewis + Clark played host to two other artists — Marilee Hall at Lincoln Street and Barry Wheeler at Huger Street — in addition to showing work by owner Ellefson. Hall’s whimsical ceramic work fit well with Ellefson’s work, which ranges from functional lamps to wonderfully quirky lunchbox robots.

Tim Gardner, one of the owners of Mad Monkey, used his space to exhibit a body of photographs taken solely with his iPhone. Molly Harrell’s backstage photographs of the South Carolina Contemporary Dance Company, on view at the company’s space on Lady Street, give an intimate look behind the scenes. The temporary exhibits prove that there is plenty of interesting work out there without an official gallery home yet.

This year’s Artista Vista had much more energy and playfulness than in recent years. The fact of the matter is that the Vista has come of age, become commercially established. At times, that has led to some very staid, if not outright bland events. This one was at least moving in the right direction.

Monday, May 02, 2011

I do / I don't, Installation for Artista Vista 2011

(Above: I do / I don't, an installation celebrating both marriage and divorce! Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

This past weekend was a blast! In addition to Runaway Runway, a fashion shop of recycled materials on Friday night, I had an installation on display for Artista Vista, the spring "art crawl" here in Columbia. The reception was on Thursday night.

I had the surprise of a life time when my mother and youngest sister Sonya walked in the door. I had no idea that they'd be flying down for the weekend ... especially since my parents will be again traveling south this coming weekend for my cousin's graduation and their time-share in Florida! We had such a great time!

It is especially nice to know that these special people have seen this installation in person! There where five other artists displaying work in this otherwise "available" retail space. Yet, the show was simply for the weekend. Now I'm in the process of writing a new exhibition proposal so that I can hopefully share this work in the future, in another space, and maybe for a longer period of time!

I collected statements from the public about both marriage and divorce ... via social media, this blog, private email messages, and general pestering of family and friends. These statements were free motion embroidered onto eleven wedding veils and the "tie-the-knot" ribbons which were suspended from the ceiling. They were also included on the photos that decorated the narrow shelves in front of floor-length, built-in mirrors and on the marble fireplace mantel. They were also used to create a unique artist book. The book is in the photo above and below ... sitting on a pedestal. People loved reading these statements ... in all forms.

People also loved adding their own statements about marriage and divorce. I included four, framed pieces of mat board and colored felt-tipped markers. By the end of the weekend, they were covered.

I can't wait to remove the simple spiral binding from the book and create more pages! Some of the new statements are GREAT ... like "Marry for $$$ and you'll earn every penny of it!"

On Saturday in the late afternoon, the installations closed. It took me exactly seven-and-a-half minutes to remove the artwork from the room. It took a lot longer to install!