Friday, December 14, 2012

Wrap Up

It is a very busy time, so in the spirit of the season, I'll start by making a list...

A lovely visit by the Fruitlands Museum to Re:Constructed. The exhibition was received with rave reviews and we are all very excited to be making plans for next year's residency.

Reception for Spectrum: A selection of Joy Street Artists last Sunday at the Brickbottom Gallery in Somerville. A great turnout, made some new friends and enjoyed listening to Dave Cohen playing on one of his Equilibrium Guitars. Exhibition includes work by myself, Nathan Miner, Sarah Meyers Brent, Wilhem Neusser, Nancy Moskin and Dave Cohen.

Videographer Chris LeGare and his photographer Cory have been working on documenting Re:Constructed. They have a meticulous process and keen eye for design with lots of great ideas. They'll be filming the HIVE meeting at the gallery this Sunday too.

Facilitated another rewarding workshop at MEDITECH in Westwood. Always amazed by the ingenuity and catharsis that takes place in the span of a lunchtime break!

Meeting with the teen docents of the Danforth Museum, Framingham about a collaborative screen art project for a future biomedical client. Excited to engage with the enthusiasm and talent
of these interesting young adults. 

Completed a third 6 foot charcoal in the TRACES Series.

Will finish up the week with two events this Sunday, Dec. 16:

A HIVE meeting at Carney Gallery, Regis College from 2-4 pm. Please join us if you can. Here's a link for directions. Please park out front in circular drive. The back doors by parking lot will not be open.

And Somerville's Nave Gallery Holiday Party with the closing of Threads Bared, a fiber show curated by Tori Costa including art by myself, Rebecca Aranyi, Susan Berstler, Merill Comeau, Ruth Daniels, Melissa Glick, Kathleen Kneeland, Susan Meier, Charlotte Noruzi, Lauren O'Neal, Amy Pett, Stacey Piwinski, Margaret Ryan, V Van Sant and Ellen Solari

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Spectrum Installation

Today we installed our show at Brickbottom Gallery.

A Selection of Artists From Joy Street Studios.
December 6, 2012 - January 12, 2013

Reception: Sunday December 9, 3-5 pm
Gallery Hours: Thursday - Saturday 12-5 pm

Glass: Cristian Gazmuri, Nancy Moskin
Guitars: Dave Cohen

and me representing Sculpture!

Nathan Miner installing two very large impressive paintings... check out the staging!

Wilhelm offering his expert experience with the installation... his paintings will be exhibited on their own in the back room. Make sure to check out his catalog of work when visiting the show.

Sarah Meyers Brent's organic drawings coupled with my sculpture... 
we always work so well together!

Still some work to do but coming together quite nicely as you can see. Will be complete by Thursday so stop by any time!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Attilio Crescenti (U.S. 1925-1988), Untitled, c. 1986, Ink on paper

Yesterday I visited CREATE at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery, College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.

Wow, what a total contrast to the experience of my previous exhibit post about the McMullen Museum and the work of Paul Klee. Unlike the academic approach of Klee, these artists are not exposed to contemporary art or art practice. Each creates from within themselves and free from outside influences. Let's just say that the artwork spoke for itself and with impact. There were no lengthy paragraphs of copy accompanying the pieces in order to provide context. There was no need since the expression was quite palpable on its own.

The narratives behind the artists were simultaneously horrifying, sad and transcendent. They were all persons with disabilities who worked out of the Creative Growth Art Center, San Francisco's Creativity Explored, and the National Institute for Art and Disability Art Center in Richmond.  

"The exhibition brings together multiple threads: the experience of over a hundred exceptional works of art, the lives of twenty remarkable artists, the story of three pioneering art centers, and the history of the disability movement itself."

The most notable, and a person who I admire deeply, is Judith Scott. Judith was born as a twin who was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome. At a young age she was separated from her sister to be institutionalized in an asylum for children with mental retardation. She was found by her sister after 35 years of institutionalization and moved to California. In California she attended the Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland. It is here where she found the tools for her expression by creating fiber sculptures out of found materials and yarn, string, and anything else she could scavenge. Judith's sculptures developed into sophisticated objects of abstraction and expression.

There's much written about Judith's creativity and her state of consciousness as an artist. Many question her perceptions and relationships with her sculptures. Did she see them as finished objects or were they bodies of emotion that she obsessively created in response to her loneliness. Was she trying to create art or was this her personal search for comfort as a result of her loss, deafness and isolation?

With my own work I'm interested in the stories behind what people make. Objects become windows into the culture, value and histories of the individuals who created them. I often begin with techniques ranging from those used by indigenous peoples to the refined approach of traditional handwork and bring them to new points of expression and complexity. Studying the work of outsider artists adds another dimension to this approach. Their objects certainly can be seen as windows but how do we interpret? And how powerful is it to witness raw, innate expression?

Also, it isn't lost on me the fact that my STASH bundles are strikingly similar in form - though not content - to Judith's originals. STASH embodies the human characteristic of consumption/hoarding/hiding. This is very different and not as exalted as Judith's profoundly human bundles. It's difficult to not feel defeated with the discovery of Judith's work... but I'm choosing to not ignore my impulses in my future work with STASH, but to make them my own with closer examination and analysis of my message - all the while in total servitude to, and consciousness of the astounding work of the genius that is Judith Scott.

This show has refined my thinking, directing me closer to the place where I can concisely define the umbrella statement or general idea of what I am trying to create. Something to do with how we define ourselves...

Judith Scott, (U.S., 1943-2005), Untitled, 2004, Mixed media sculpture

Judith Scott, (U.S., 1943-2005), Untitled, 2004, Mixed media sculpture

View of exhibit

Jeremy Burleson, Lamps, 2007-2010

Click here for a great little snippet of Judith at work.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Day 5 Fisches and birds / Paul Klee 1926
I'm in that in between space of contemplation, and hopefully soon to be, revelation. That place where you need to take an inventory of your musings to find direction. Sometimes this is anxiety provoking and feels aimless, but this time I'm having fun with it. Especially with several exciting commitments already in place for 2013.

Yesterday I visited the Paul Klee exhibit at the McMullen Museum, Boston College.  I was impressed by how much of a theorist Klee was with his Bauhaus teachings and prolific diary entries. Sometimes these shows can seem dated and that's how I felt at first with this one. It was presented academically, which stole some of the thunder in experiencing the artwork, with labels requiring too many paragraphs to provide context. It becomes meaningful, however, when you place him within the historical context of the early 20th century and recognize how his philosophies created a framework for contemporary art.

One thing that repeatedly strikes me is how similar the struggles are with artists across all time periods. With Klee, one of his interests was the abstraction of nature and not the accurate representation of the physical elements. "Not the skin of things... Nature naturing". Believing that humans were part of this nature his artworks also represented themes of fear, dissonance, and towards the end of his life, physical disability and mortality.

Another subject of his that keeps bopping around in my head is one where he talks about individual vs. dividual. First, I learned a new word: di-vid-u-al  1. divisible or divided  2. separate; dinstinct   3. distributed; shared. For instance, scales on a fish are dividual, distinct elements of the whole fish. The fish, however, is in-di-vid-u-al: 1. not divisible  2. a group considered as a unit. The scales can exist on their own. The fish cannot exist without the scales, or it's head or fins for that matter either. 

I definitely can identify with this, especially when you combine it with his feeling that art should be "imbibed by and impregnated with evidence of the process". In my case, the meditative process and incremental building of units into larger wholes to express the intangible.

Well, I'm off to sit with my random, unorganized thoughts. Thoughts about human nature, process, social engagement, design and the transcendence of making - all topics that I look forward to have bopping around in my head for quite some time.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Re:CONSTRUCTED reconstructed

Here are some photos of the show! For even more views click here. Please check back often... I'll be adding to the album frequently as the month progresses.

Solo Show of Work
November 2-December 30
Gallery Hours: 10-4, M-F or by appointment

Sunday, November 18, 2012


The reception on Friday night was a very nice time with lots of good conversation and positive feedback. The opportunity to see all of my large works exhibited in the same space is invaluable. The conversations that are happening between them at the Carney Gallery just doesn't happen in the confines of my small studio. It feels cohesive and strong. The lighting and display arrangement around the space of the room refines the flow in a magical way - thanks to gallery director Steven Hall for all of that.

The show is up until December 30 and I'm planning on holding some HIVE meetings and teaching sessions in the space over the next month. There will be a photoshoot after Thanksgiving and I will post images of the works then. In the meantime, please contact me if you're interested in seeing for yourself... I would love to meet up with you.

Carney Gallery Regis College
Weston MA
Gallery Hours: M-F 10-4

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Exhaling and Cupcakes

Catching up on many levels this week and it hasn't been without its drama. Packages of artwork lost on UPS trucks in the middle of the storm, galleries losing power for two days, transportation issues etc. Nevertheless my solo show at Regis College, Re:Constructed, is finally coming together - and beautifully.

It's been a methodical process to figure out the space, the hanging, the lights etc. Steven Hall has been invaluable in making this one of the better experiences I've ever had installing a show. He possesses a keen eye for design and knows how to handle any problem with grace. I'm very much looking forward to the reception on Friday, Nov. 16 from 5:30-8pm.

Tomorrow, I'm on my way to Toronto to attend several receptions for the World of Threads Festival. Four of my pieces are participating in two of the many shows that have been organized. A massive international event and I can't wait to take it all in. Check here and here to view the two shows I will be participating in with One Day, What Looks Like An Elephant, Marrow and Receptor.

The only unfortunate aspect of being in Toronto this weekend is that I'm going to miss the reception for Threads Bared, a fiber exhibition at Nave Gallery in Somerville. But I will most definitely make it to the Cupcake Reception on Nov. 17 which is part of the Wrap Around Project for the Somerville Homeless Coalition. Tori Costa is the generous and energetic organizer of these fundraising events along with the twice monthly knitting groups that work all year long to generate items for the sale each November.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Man's Best Two-Faced Friend

Meet Gideon, a Golden Lab who loves to masquerade on Halloween and belongs to my friend Melissa. Melissa participated in one of my needlefelting workshops last year and has been expanding her talents with the technique ever since.

As you can see in the photo above, she sculpted an exact replica of Gideon's head using high density foam which she carved to the exact dimensions of his head, forehead and snout. Then she needlefelted in a painterly manner with colored wool to add the features. She even designed a device to attach to the ears so that one set of ears serviced both heads - the real one and the felted one.

Below is a collection of images by the artist... a clever trick to pull off and a real treat for us to see.

Thanks Melissa for your inspiration!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Test 1-2-3

Ventured out under a blue sky today to investigate the state of the STASH installation. I was confident that the sculptures were attached securely enough and expected them to weather the storm in tact, but when the winds reached 80-100 mile/hour anything was possible. I was happy to find them safe and nestled in their perches - bundles of expression bursting at the seams yet holding it together in spite of the harsh conditions. If those winds don't break them down... nothing will!


Looking forward to my trip to Toronto next week. The purpose is to attend the opening of THREADSpace: Threading the 3rd Dimension, one exhibition of many as a part of the World of Threads International Festival happening throughout Toronto and Oakville Ontario. This particular show features ONE DAY and is described as follows:

"...all work had to be sculpture, had to be created by fiber/thread processing and/or materials and had to be well designed, executed and speak beyond its fabrication."

Three other works are included in another exhibition De rerum natura in Oakville... look here for details.

We've never been to Toronto and look forward to seeing the whole region turn out for this international event. Any recommendations for any must see attractions while we're there? Thanks!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Two large charcoal drawings inspired by the shadows cast by HIVE. They were worked simultaneously and each measures 51 inches wide x 6 feet tall. I have several other drawing ideas in queue... but these two will be going to Carney Gallery at Regis College for the show Re:Constructed that's opening November 2. The install is happening next week so these babies are ready to go. 

De rerum natura

Four of my sculptures will be exhibiting at the World of Threads Festival in Toronto and Oakville Ontario this November. De rerum natura (On The Nature of Things) will be opening in Oakville on Nov. 4, 2012.  Receptor, What Looks Like an Elephant and Marrow will be participating in this show. One Day will be featured in THREADSpace: Threading the Third Dimension in Toronto on November 7 at the Canadian Sculpture Centre. More on that later.

Here's the description from the website:
De rerum natura (On The Nature of Things) is a highly eccentric exhibition evoking the collection of a mad 18th century naturalist. All the artwork is dealing with themes of nature, plants and animals. Curator Gareth Bate has observed that environmental work is the most dominant theme in contemporary fibre art. This lush and colourful environment is filled with striking and sometimes bizarre work. The show features the work of 35 artists from Canada, Denmark, United Kingdom and USA. They are working in a huge variety of media. There will be installation, sculpture and 2D work. The title of the exhibition is based on the ancient Roman poem De rerum natura by Lucretius who's rediscovery was a major inspiration for Renaissance artists.

I'm lucky to be able to attend some of the festivites in Toronto... looking forward to meeting Dawne Rudman and Gareth Bate who both have been working feverishly on this event. Also hope to meet many new artist friends... the work looks amazing!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Preparing for 5 shows with packing, photographing and working. 
Not enough space or time to get it all done. 
Feels great to be so busy. 
Add to the mix a couple of studio visits. 
Crazy :).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Another HIVE derivative - large 82" x 60" charcoal rendering. Wish I could find quality drawing paper large enough to avoid the seam. Tomorrow will be at it again with more projections.... Re:Constructing the HIVE experience from sculpture to sketch.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Stitched Stories

A short documentary exploring the power of needlecraft to provoke social change.

I was introduced to this video by a fiber artist friend's blog and was moved by the communities represented - a young craftivism organizer and a prison inmate. Each seeking to find a nonaggressive and thoughtful approach to making their contribution to the world.

Some of my favorite quotes from the movie:

"Anyone can join, it's not a high brow craft. There's a common ground of making and camaraderie between people of different backgrounds."

"When you're making it, you have to reflect on it which in this day in age life is so busy it's really important for people to have time to reflect on the issues, to make a connection."

"You get so involved in what you're doing you block out everything else and you forget your problems and you just focus on that one thing."

"Helps pass the time, helps me to escape what I'm going through."

This movie adds to some recent ideas I've been pondering with my own work - about how makers leave behind artifiacts that provide the windows for history - how we learn about the culture and values of societies by studying what they create.

For more info and photos about the craftivist movement check out this article.

Monday, October 1, 2012

To Kill a Mockingbird

This year, as part of a citywide reading initiative, Attleboro will be reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. In this National Endowment for the Arts program participants are encouraged to read the same book at the same time – and extend their connection to the chosen text through local arts and culture activities.

In response to this novel, Attleboro Arts Museum is coordinating a special exhibition that is inspired by one of the book’s key themes – “loss of innocence” in children. The exhibition will represent the loss of innocence in the form of 15 creatively constructed “nests.”

I have been invited to create one of these nests and to have it included in this commemorative Museum exhibition. Mine will represent the experience of a teen girl who lost her parents to a car accident when she was 13 years old. It was a devastating loss for her. Fortunately she had an uncle who was able to take responsibility for her care. Then her uncle died of cancer. Another traumatizing loss.

Today, in spite of her experiences and continued sadness, my youth demonstrates strength and resilience of character. She has been able to continue at her same school, is on the honor roll and plans to go to college to become a social worker.

With my nest, I hope to represent the transcendence from trauma to strength in the presence of turmoil. And to illustrate the spirit and courage required to transform a bleak situation into a bright future full of possibilities.

Attleboro Arts Museum
One‐day invitational exhibition
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
7-8:30 pm 
Evening reception and Big Read recognition event that honors each artist and their piece in the show. Free and open to all.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What's Up?

....Today in Union Square? The Fluff Festival for one with crowds of marshmallow afficianados sampling the delicacy in all its iterations.

STASH is right in the middle of it all garnering much attention, just like I pictured it.