Thursday, September 24, 2015

WHACK! is up

The Beasts are living large in a Beacon Hill shop window.

I'm too exhausted for words but will share some fun images. It's uncanny how perfect this empty storefront is for us – a former hair salon with intimate spaces, track lighting and architectural details. It's been a whirlwind experience with a significant learning curve. That said, we're pinching ourselves at how smoothly it is coming together. More tomorrow....

Feeling very surreal right now.
Adria sizing up one of our signs.

A Pop-Up Exhibition with new work by Adria Arch and Jodi Colella
September 25-27, 2015
Friday and Saturday 3-9 pm
Sunday 2-7 pm

Reception Friday 6-9 pm
Art Talk Sunday 3 pm

Reserve your place for the art talk here.

Monday, September 14, 2015

NEW!! Fiber Arts Workshop Series

I'm excited to announce a new program beginning this November!

Creating Magic with Experimental Material and Technique

A series of Workshops on various topics including WOOL, SCULPTURAL CROCHET, WEAVING, EMBROIDERY and more. INCLUDING an OPEN STUDIO WORKSHOP which allows for independent experimentation and exploration.

All classes include personal instruction, access to tools, an abundance of materials for in-class projects, examples of contemporary artists in the field, community support and lots of freefloating creativity.

Here's just some of what we'll be covering. There is no knowing where we will go once we all start working together.


Explore needlefelting, create orbs, incorporate found objects, build freeform sculpture, 2D painting and more. Includes a fieldtrip to " The Wonder of Wool" at American Textile Museum in Lowell.Thursdays, Nov. 5, 12, 19 - 2015

10:30 am -1:30 pm   
First Parish Church, Weston MA
$320.00  includes fieldtrip, admission fees and tour 

We'll cover improvisational crochet with wire to create 3D shapes. Plus my own adapted version of Irish crochet using fabric over wire and cord to design with scale, shape and texture.Thursdays, Dec. 3, 10, 17 -  2015
10:30 am -1:30 pm   

Create a unique sampler of improvisational freeform stitching that you will apply to future projects. They will be studies in color, texture, technique, 2D surface design and 3D form using alternative materials and applications.
Thursdays, Jan. 14, 21, 28  -  2016
10:30 am - 1:30 pm
First Parish Church, Weston MA

Independent study groups with individual attention that fosters experimentation. Introduction to alternative materials and techniques that apply to your own personal work. Access to studio tools and materials while in class. Materials for instruction of new techniques and assistance in sourcing more for personal projects. Gentle peer group consults for feedback and information exchange.
Every second Saturday  10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Session I   Nov. 7, 21, Dec. 5, 2015
Session II  Jan. 9, 23, Feb 6, 2016
Session III  Feb. 20, Mar 5, 26 (no class Mar 19), 2016

My studio, 11 Miller Street Studios, Somerville MA (plenty of off-street parking on Saturdays)

All Levels Welcome!
Lots of time for individual instruction. This is an opportunity for those who are new to working with materials as well as the fiber enthusiast who is looking to add to their repertoire of skills. Plus it's a perfect way to expand your community.

If interested, please sign up with Paypal here on the blog sidebar or email me for contact info.  

TERMS: Includes one-to-one consult prior to the start of the class and email support during session. Sessions register in groups of three classes. Makeup opportunity allowed within a session in exchange for a class on the opposite day (Saturdays for Thursday classes and vice versa). Refunds or credits not available for missed classes. Payment in full in advance to reserve a seat. Class size minimum of 5, maximum of 12.  Participants have access to in-studio tools while in studio. Tools stay in the studio.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Pop-Up Exhibition of New Work

I am so invigorated by this new experience. Adria Arch invited me to participate in one of her new projects – Pop-Up exhibits in a vacant storefronts.

Together we are creating a place to bring our new art out of the studio and into the public eye. The show's title refers to the intensity of color and texture on view and the immediacy and urgency of a three day show.

We've been busy planning and working with copywriters and photographers and soon we'll be installing. What an opportunity to organize yourself to spread the word about what we are up to!

After extensive research and several site visits, we settled on a former haircutting salon in Beacon Hill. It's a funky little space with walls large enough for Adria's expansive paintings and the perfect intimacy for my sculptures.

I/Me, reconstructed stuffed leopards, mixed fibers, brass, feathers, 36 x 29.5 x 15.5 in.

Here's a preview. These new sculptures are in response to my travels, to China and most recently Peru, and the common threads of humanity that weave in and out of history. Here is an excerpt from an essay written by art critic Shawn Hall:

"...Recalling fetish or totem items from some unknown past, these odd, decorated creatures have both a weighty, tactile solidity and a sense of wounded fragility... Colella seems to bring a hint of their ancient mysteries back to life, resonating with the cultural and psychological plights of the modern world."

Against Nature, reconstructed stuffed turtle, mixed fibers, 11 x 16 x 23 in.

Adria's dynamic paintings, inspired by a residency in India, are an exuberant powerhouse of spontaneous energy and movement. When situated together, our two collections present an unexpected relationship across a terrain of diverse media and subject matter. Here's a description taken from our press release:

Adria Arch's new paintings start with a splash. Working in an intuitive, gestural tradition, she brings in the element of chance at the beginning. The liquid spill, a pooling pour of paint, is the first mark that determines a causative sequence of subsequent marks. For works that are concerned with feeling and surprise and bursts of energy, Arch lets the abstract contour, and the initial color, of that first exuberant gesture determine the spaces she builds across her large-scale surfaces.

Next Nest, acrylic on panel, 48 x 48 in.

WHACK! A Pop-Up Exhibition of art by Adria Arch and Jodi Colella

Dates: Friday through Sunday, September 25 to 27
Place49 River Street, Beacon Hill, Boston MA
Reception:  Friday, September 25, 6-9 pn
Artist Talk:  Sunday, September 27, 3 pm
                     Sign up now for the Artist Talk. Our storefront is intimate and space is limited.
Hours: 3-9 pm Friday and Saturday, 2-7 pm on Sunday, and by appointment

Mystery WHACK! token gift to our first fifty visitors.

Follow us by checking in here and with Adria as we make our way through this event!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Slice of My Summer

Coconut Cream Pie at Irondale Cafe in Birmingham Alabama.
Irondale Cafe is the location of the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.
A quintessential southern whistlestop diner and the fried green tomatoes
are dangerously delicious.

It has been so long since I've written that it's become awkward for me to transition back into it.

To counteract my paralysis I'm going to jump in with two feet and write this abbreviated version, however long of a post, about my summer. Enough to break the ice and get back into the swing of things!

June 3, I accompanied my father on a trip to his childhood home in Birmingham Alabama. He manages to visit every couple of years but it's been about 25 since I've been there. I reconnected with aunts, uncles, cousins and met new family. Attended the 60th reunion of my fathers junior high school. Made significant progress adding information to a family tree. Visited graveyards, old houses, swimming holes and hangouts. Listened to many stories. And consumed lots of southern delicacies like catfish, hush puppies, biscuits, barbecue and more. A very rich experience that has given me new perspective on my family history.

My Uncle Donnie's installation.... I mean garage.  We definitely share a family resemblance!

Late June into July I had the honor to teach at Governors Institute on the Arts in Castleton VT. Faculty from diverse backgrounds including visual arts, poetry, music, puppetmaking, dancing, singing, acting, videography, and so much more, convened for 2 weeks of total immersion in daily artmaking. I taught two classes, Power Figures and Installation. The privilege to work with these passionate high schoolers who are finding themselves through art is bigger than I can put into words. Watch this video and see for yourself.

One of the many beasts created by the talented students at GIA.
HOUSE -  Conceptualized and installed by the Installation class in response to the haunted
second floor of the house where we held classes plus their interest in material culture.
Just a few of my fantastic, fun, intelligent rock-star students!!!

Three days after arriving home from GIA in mid July, we left for a 17-day jaunt through Peru. This trip proved to be very challenging for my husband and me. We were plagued with altitude sickness and other things which slowed us down and affected our energy level. In spite of those distractions we travelled to Lima, Ayacucho, Cuzco, Ollantaytambo, Chinchurro, Pisac, Puno and more. I met nationally renown artisans in their studios where they shared their artmaking processes with me. We visited Machu Picchu. We visited an authentic Reed Village on Lake Titicaca. We experienced the ingenuity of Inca culture at the Salt Terraces of Maras and the horticultural experiments in Moray. We witnessed the spirit and life of an indigenous proud people with spontaneous, unrehearsed happenings of dance and music that popped up everywhere when least expected. The colors are stunning. The vistas are raw and majestic. Individuals are incredibly independent, free-spirited and have a strong sense of who they are and where they come from.

Extremely photogenic and friendly smiles everywhere we went.
This photo was taken in the weaving village of Chinchurro.
Notice the hat. Each region of Peru has their own style of hat worn by the women.
Farther south in Puno, the hats are made and embroidered by the husband
upon the promise of marriage.
One of the artisans I had the honor of visiting during our stay in Ayacucho.
Here, Julio Galvez Ramos is teaching me how to carve alabaster into a heart pendant.
Not as easy as he makes it look!

So now it's September and the beginning of a new year (can't shake that school year cycle).

Here's a highlight of the coming months: 
- I'll be in a pop-up show with Adria Arch in Beacon Hill. We'll be showcasing our new work and providing a great reason to have a party... more on that soon!
- New workshops that I am offering beginning in November. Check out my website for current info.
- A tutorial video with Creative Living Works on needlefelting technique that we'll be recording in September.
- Thrilled to be mentoring an extremely talented MFA student from Lesley University for the semester.
- Invigorated by a new Artist Reading Group.
- And the whole month of October as the Artist in Residence at Weir Farm in CT where I'll be preparing for my solo show at Maud Morgan Arts Center happening in January.

If you made it this far into the post, I thank you for your attention! Please write me about your summer too.

One of my many rewards.
I received so many hugs and thank-yous and gifts and notes.
A real treasure.