Tuesday, July 16, 2013


something beneath, behind, or within which a person, animal, or thing is protected from storms, missiles, adverse conditions, etc.; refuge.

I'm thinking about shelters as an animal behavior. A survival mechanism of scavenging your surrounds and collecting objects to create a haven. Birds make structures by gathering all sorts of items. Bottle caps, shells, nuts, twigs and glass are used to make their place of security. Bower birds take it even further and use their shelter building skills to express their identities during complex mating rituals. The shinier, prettier, more colorful and interesting their abode - the more females they attract. Sound familiar?

I think you can see where this is going. As humans we objectify things for our own needs. In my show at Fruitlands Museum, THE NOBILITY OF THINGS, I talk about the fact that objects are created for two purposes - to be used and to be possessed. They represent memory, science, social history and heritage. As Daniel Miller says "Objects make us as much as we make objects".

So... a can opener, baskets, computers, toys, furnishings, clothing and other homegoods all serve the dual purpose of utility and expression. We use them for what they are, but also to define who we are. Even more, materiality seems to be an impulse found in all types of shelters... even those without an actual roof overhead.

I'm just beginning to process these ideas and starting to see parallels within contemporary society, politics and recent economic disasters. How one can be blinded by both desire and greed in the pursuit of seeking refuge from the elements.

I've been collecting objects for the outdoor sculptures to be installed at Fruitlands this summer. Animal shelters of human objects that one might find in the wild. We'll see how it goes... stay tuned for updates!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Noble Offerings

Very pleased with the activity around the interactive board at THE NOBILITY OF THINGS exhibition at Fruitlands Museum. There are so many offerings we are often cleaning up and making more space! To understand more about this, please read the call for participation that is reprinted below.

If you haven't visited the show yet, or are planning another visit, please read the description so you can plan your own personal offering beforehand!

We are interested in YOUR things too.

Please leave an object on the wall that you’d like us all to take a closer look at.

It can be a twig or pinecone found while
walking the trails here at Fruitlands.

It can be something in your pockets,
in the car or tucked away at home for you to
bring in on your next visit.

Or you can sketch one of your favorite
objects from the exhibit.

Please pin on the wall. Use the tags to label
any pertinent information and feel free to use
the game cards for fun.

Donated items will be incorporated
into future sculptures and possibly even
bronzed for posterity!

Fruitlands Museum
June 29-August 18, 2013

Gallery open: M, W & F 10a-4p
Thursdays during concert season until 7 p
Sat, Sun 10a-5p
closed Tuesdays

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

It takes a HIVE

Came across this quote the other day and it made me realize how those of us that work with our hands and with each other are part of life's best kept secret.

How belonging to something larger provides us with purpose, satisfaction, and more importantly connection. Creating a meditative space to quiet the mind and open up self consciousness. To break down the environmental noise and ease into yourself and your potential.

This is exactly the feedback I hear from participants of HIVE. Additionally, some have mentioned that they achieve a state of calm when working at a HIVE gathering that they don't have the ability to achieve with traditional meditation technique.

It takes a HIVE.... my new mantra.

Imagine if everyone could take the time to quiet down, think, listen and connect. I think I know what this author is getting at.

Our world is in a precarious state, and we desperately need each person alive to feel empowered, to have a real sense of his or her inner creativity. And when we witness what we have been able to make - something that never before existed - we are more inclined to see ourselves as creators, as people who can make a difference in the world.  —Maggie Oman Shannon

Please join our HIVE. We have a gathering scheduled for tomorrow at FRUITLANDS MUSEUM and several more between now and the end of October.

Thursdays, July 11 & 25, 3PM - 5PM
Thursday, August 8 5PM-7PM
Wednesday, September 11 2PM-4PM
Saturday, Sept 21 10AM-12PM
Thursday, October 10 1PM-3PM
Monday, October 14 1PM-3PM
Thursday, October 24, 2PM-4PM

Learn more about HIVE here, here and here.