Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bonfire at Fruitlands Museum

In Native American culture the fire ceremony symbolizes a transformation from the old to the new. With my residency coming to an end, I’m excited to be able to celebrate the completion of my year at Fruitlands Museum with this event. My final installation at the Fruitlands is a large wood and fiber sculpture that we will set ablaze as the sun sets in the Nashua River Valley. Participants will have the opportunity to offer up their own messages, letting go of the old or welcoming the new with inscriptions on paper and twigs tucked into the sculpture. Drummers de Lookie Lookie, a latin percussion group, will usher in the night when we light the sculpture to send our messages towards the heavens. 
Saturday, November 2, 2013
5:30-8 pm
5:30-6p   Write up messages and add to the fire.
6 p          Lighting of fire
Free Event
And while you’re out here… make time to attend the Craft Beer Tasting event at 4 pm. Click here for tickets.

Rick Barry, Ken Winokur and Vicente Lebron collectively bring well over a century of drumming experience in every style, from Afro-Caribbean and rock to ska to film soundtrack music. They have been key members of bands including the Alloy Orchestra, Bim Skala Bim and the Either/Orchestra, and together now power Lookie Lookie, a band reviving Latin Bugalu, a crossover style from the Groovy 1960s.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Order of the Universe

INDEX installed at Beard & Weil Galleries, Wheaton College

Installations evolve each time they exhibit and INDEX is no exception. This iteration includes 25 more objects for a total of 198 with 35 of them being new for this show. They are hung closer together and tower feet over the heads of viewers. This arrangement creates an immersive environment that wraps around the viewer's space when they are standing in front of it. I like it, and will push the size and number even more in the future. 
This version's additions include a Betta fish, microscope, baby doll head, balloon, pez container, embroidery hoop, monarch butterfly, bubblewrap etc etc. The tags aren't always within reading distance but the point is made with those that are. The students seem to be having fun playing with order/disorder and the powers of association.

Just down the hall from INDEX sits YARNS in its celestial glow... video running on tablet to the left to give context: 
Yarns is made from skeins of yarn that were forgotten about for decades and found in an attic. Winding from the core out with color on color, almost as performance art until as large as a celestial body. A tribute to the life work of Colella’s mother, Yarns records a shared visual language and serves as an icon for disclosure, loss and consolidation.

And 3 more additions to the IMPOSTERS, an asian spoon, clothespin and flat head screwdriver (not shown).

I'm honored to be in the company of Marina Zurkow, Andi Sutton and Julie Kumar. Here's a sample of their work in this exhibit:

Crossing multiple disciplines with her practice, Marina Zurkow (NY) builds animations and participatory environments that are centered on humans and their relationship to animals, plants and the weather. Engaging audiences using film and video, sculpture, print graphics and public interventions, Zurkow’s work is by turns humorous and contemplative.

Andi Sutton is a Boston-based artist whose practice explores the ways that performance art methodology can create new models for community development and social engagement.  Sutton’s Gardens of the Future: Conversation in Memorial is a room-size installation that invites visitors to enter and contemplate questions about extinction, human impact on the environment, categorization, and more.

Julie Kumar’s (NY) work explores systems, rule structures, and self-organization. She creates compositions in time with computer programs, builds immersive environments that are activated by projected light, and intervenes on materials that erode, drip, melt, evaporate, break apart, or float away. She continuously structures and re-structures systems to allow unforeseen experiences to reveal complex underpinnings behind phenomena and new perceptions of the material world.

October 16-December 13, 2013
Beard & Weil Galleries
Watson Fine Arts, Wheaton College

Artist Talk by Andi Sutton - Nov. 5, 6:30 pm
Artist Talk by Marina Zurkow - Nov. 18, 6:30 pm

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Status Report


is an outdoor installation at Fruitlands Museum that consists of a large bronze 3D assemblage and 16 bronze fiber balls. It was installed on September 27 and has been exposed to the weather for almost a month. When I visited 10 days ago, the verdigris patina surface color had intensified due to the rainy weather that increased the oxidation of the metal finish. 

I love having this opportunity to test out my trompe l'oeil castings. The museum public is convinced that these are bronze statues. A trick of perception by memorializing the actual things with paint, wax and patina; rather than an indirect representation of them as if they were cast from traditional bronze. It gives an imagined weight to the agency of the everyday object.


Tomorrow I'll be back at Fruitlands for the HIVE finale. My residency is drawing to a close. It's been a very prolific and rewarding experience but we're not through yet. On November 2 from 5-8 there will be a big bonfire event with an interactive activity and three amazing percussionists to accompany us. I will post more about this soon.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Germinating the Universe

One of the perks of what I do is that I have opportunities to meet people who are thinking about, and realizing some very innovative projects.
These two shows are no exception. I cannot wait for the receptions and artist talks to learn even more.  I am honored to be a participant in each of these new and exciting exhibitions.



Six Artists at Gaining GroundMonika Andersson, Liz Awalt, Jodi Colella, Ilana Manolson, Sarah Purgus, Kathleen Volp

Gaining Ground is an organic farm in Concord, Massachusetts that grows produce and gives it away, for free, to local hunger relief agencies. Six artists, inspired by the beauty of the farm and its mission, will show paintings, photographs and sculpture. At least 20% of all sales will be donated to Gaining Ground.

Exhibition Dates: October 1–31
Reception: Thursday, October 10, 5:30–7:30 pm

Concord Public Library
129 Main Street, Concord, MA


Artists Employ Scientific Classification  

Order of the Universe is the second in a series of four exhibitions at Beard & Weil Galleries exploring connections between science and art, this one focused on the classification systems and taxonomies both artists and scientists often use in their work.  Order of the Universe will open on October 17 and will feature the work of four artists: Marina Zurkow, Andi Sutton, Julie Kumar, and Jodi Colella. The exhibition will include sculpture, installation, video, printmaking, and more. 

Exhibition Dates: October 17-December 13
Reception: Thursday, October 17, 6–8 pm

Artist's Slide Talk by Andi Sutton
Tues., November 5 at 6:30
Ellison Lecture hall, Watson Fine Arts

Artist's Slide Talk by Marina Zurkow
Mon., November 18 at 6:30
Ellison Lecture hall, Watson Fine Arts 

Beard & Weil Galleries

Friday, October 4, 2013


As part of my residency at Fruitlands Museum, and a continuation on the themes of material culture and identity, I recently installed a new work called RELIQUARY (aka a holder of relics). Included in the installation are a new bronze assemblage inspired by more of my mom's belongings plus 16 bronzed balls of fiber and yarn. These wrapped bronzes not only identify with one of the icons, YARNS, from my show last summer, THE NOBILITY OF THINGS...  they also express ideas around secrecy, oppression, disclosure, possession and consolidation.

The bronze and patina blend quietly with the natural textures of the pine tree - making connections  between the manufactured, the natural and the complex relationships formed with the objects in our lives.

Herringbone pants and a sweater embracing possessions that include a television, yarn, dolls, doll furniture, kitchen utensils, bedroom curtains with pom poms etc. An almost figurative composition that abstracts the feelings around a search for fulfillment.

The bronzing is a what I like to playfully call a 'forgery'. These are not molded, cast and bronzed, but actual objects that are assembled, sealed to appear as if cast from a mold and then painted with paint that contains actual bronze chips. It is a several step process that involves the application of a patina and finally a wax finish.

It appears as if it is a real bronze statue and even though the final surface is very firm, the fabric will give under pressure if you poke at it. I love the trick of perception with the material and concept - portraying itself as a memorial statue of a particular place and time - but very much in the present tense.

Again, I'm indebted to all the assistance and support of everyone at Fruitlands to make this happen. Mike Volmar, the chief curator, was a real sport and climbed huge heights in the tree to attach the large balls. I would also like to thank Gary, Tim and Mary.

Please check it out during your next visit. We're meeting for HIVE on October 10 and 14. Plus there will be a large bonfire and interactive event on November 2... stay tuned for details.