Monday, October 24, 2011

"Famous Last Words" at Vision Gallery

(Above: My show at Vision Gallery, Chandler, Arizona. It's up through November 5th! Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

Steve and I had a wonderful, long weekend in Arizona. We flew out on Thursday afternoon, arriving that night. This allowed us to visit Vision Gallery shortly after it opened Friday morning. I took most of the photos then ... before the crowded reception that night.

The gallery-wide exhibits were collectively called "Dia de los Muertos", (The Day of the Dead). This mostly Mexican and southwestern holiday focuses on prays and remembrances for those who have died. The celebration officially takes place November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day ... although the origin dates to the indigenous people, especially the Aztec. Some towns have elaborate parades. Many families erect household altars with special trinkets, candles, and other offerings for their departed loved ones. There is a cross cultural mix of Catholic symbols, skulls, flowers, cartoonish/demonic skeletons, special foods, and visits to the cemetery.

Hank Tusinski, a local Arizona artist, created a large "Dia de los Muertos" altar in the gallery.
(Above and below ... Hank's altar seen through several of my chiffon banners with free-motion machine embroidered epitaphs.)

His work and mine sort of "headlined" the show. My part is called "Famous Last Words". (I honestly don't know who added the word "famous". It wasn't in my original exhibition proposal. Yet, that's how I felt while there!) Many of the other artists represented at Vision Gallery produced theme appropriate work. Everything was beautifully displayed together in a large space. This was due to the great work by the Vision Gallery staff, including ....

Eric Faulhaber ...

... and Yvonne Torres.
(Thank you both!)

One of the most important elements to tie together all the work was the use of the artificial flowers. They lined all the display areas, the pedestals, the exterior walls ... and added a brilliant, festive color ... plus they were quite appropriate!

The reception included a fantastic Mariachi band. I create a 30 video clip. It is HERE.

Yet, there was another, wonderful part of the day ... getting to meet two local fiber artists!

Lynn Kough (left) bought my piece from the recent SAQA auction. Traci Paxton Johnson (right) found my work through this blog! We are also now Facebook friends! We went to lunch at a nearby microbrewery ... and talked and talked. It was wonderful to learn about art quilts in their area and to be among new friends.

Now ... scroll down for the rest of the photos! I generally don't post so many ... but this is still the best way to share this amazing experience with people, especially my family. Hence, I'm posting a lot of images!


Julie Cooper said...

This is one of the most amazing and beautiful exibits I have ever seen. Congratulations Susan you just keep getting moreand more beautiful.

Traci Johnson said...

Fantastic photos Susan! It was an amazing art show and reception. Your pieces are even more incredible in person, as are you! I had a great time at lunch and the reception. Can't wait for future get-togethers.

Julie said...

What a fantastic exhibition, Susan. Thank you for posting all the photos, it was worth the effort. We don't have any festivals like this in the UK but I like the idea of having a day to remember and celebrate the lives of friends and loved ones.

Philippa said...

Fabulous exhibition Susan. You must be thrilled with it all - you certainly should be. Well done.

Els said...

Aaaah Susan, this is really a fantastis exhibition, one you can be especially proud of ! Immediately I noticed all the flowers on the floor: great idea and it really ties all the artworks together (must smile because I remember them in your bathroom!!!)
Have a good time with all your old ánd new friends!