About 20 years ago I made a doll named Little Roy. Made from old corduroy cut-offs, the appropriate name would of course be – Little Roy! I meant to sew his head onto his body, but for whatever reason I didn’t, instead using safety pin. This little bit of him, his loose head, became a quality of his helplessness. Along with a sense of naivety, a strange longing look in his button face, and the cuteness of his corduroy fingers; an icon was born. I took him to the grocery store, to show-and-tell parties, and eventually to picture day at the school where I used to teach. He received a website, we sold t-shirts, stickers were made, and soon Little Roy had tons of friends. I used to take him around and people would pose with him in photos. The best qualities in his friendship; he is incredibly trustworthy, he listens well, he loves to just hang out and be with you, and he’s really photogenic. He is adorned with the “Cloth of the King” and today in honor of 11.11.11 we celebrate the date that most resembles corduroy! Happy Corduroy Day and Happiness with Little Roy!!!
Can this be considered a relic? I have had it since I was 12 years old. I think my Dad gave it to me for my birthday. I love this old alarm clock. It sits on my night stand, near an old lamp. Both of them do a good job, waking me up in the morning, letting me know the time of day or night (although it’s purposely fast), and the lamp is lovely in the evening to read by. Somehow this clock is precious, it’s my childhood into adulthood. Playing the radio in the morning, snoozing 3X, thank you old digital time keeper. I do wonder though how long you will last…? Nothing lasts forever…
Yes, I am sucker for her installations. Julie Alpert has made another small wonderful space in the Gage Steele Gallery curated by Lauren Klenow. I dropped by today to pick up my piece from the last show. I had submitted a small photograph from my Sears Color Wheel Series. What a delight to catch of Glimpse of AlpertLand! I am a fan of the color, the flatness, and the hands-on making she puts into her work. The show opens this coming Friday April 22 6:00-8:00 with a talk by Leo Saul Berk at 7:00. This will be a show not to miss.
Here’s a blurb from the Gage newsletter
Between Cornice and Cantilever
April 22 – May 15
The Steele Gallery is nestled beneath sloping roofs and between storage closets and studios. Taking advantage of the absurd angles and eccentricities of the gallery, artists Iole Alessandrini, Julie Alpert, Jeremy Mangan and Leo Saul Berk display paintings and site-specific installations alongside drawings by architect Richard Sundberg. Together these works examine the ways we frame, design and configure structures and space.
To learn more, visit their website. GageAcademy.org
It’s hard to know what to do in times when disaster strikes. One artist, Diem Chau has created a fabulous way to contribute, plus you could win a fabulous portrait carved from Crayons! Go to Diem’s blog here, donate $ and sign up for the raffle.
Also come, next weekend March 26-27, to a giant art sale at KOBO at HIGO in the International Distract, all proceeds to benefit the International Red Cross. For more info on participating artists, how to get involved through volunteering and details on where and when click on the logo below.
To what extent must we make? What compels us to explore a space?
Extent- Extension – Ex–Tension
There is something about filling a space. Beili Liu, on the faculty for studio art at University of Texas, Austin, uses spaces to create site-specific installations. Upon entering Liu’s work I am filled up, but not with objects. I am filled by light, air, color, and sound that is not there, but I still hear it; a gentle vibration that occasionally waxes and wanes depending on the moray affect of the golden threads that cross the path of my eye as I descend and ascend the stairwell of Form/Space Atelier in Belltown.
Liu’s installation challenges the viewer on many levels and begs you to just be in the space and do nothing. I can’t help but wonder at the time, commitment, and passion for how she alters the space in the tender way she does. She has created a mesmerizing work that echoes the main feature of the gallery: its stairwell. Entering quietly, I felt as though I could hear the harmony of the thread, a gentle plucking harp like sound, I yearned to touch the thread and held back.
Yet there is an angularity with the sutures that hold the thread on each side of the stairwell. Stapled every ¼” or so apart, it’s as if the wall has been surgically manipulated with the tracing line of the echoed stairwell. It strikes me with a severity that is softened by the resonance in between the two sets of marks on the walls. Hovering 7 feet and 2 inches above as you descend or ascend, it’s like a gilded mirror peering into another world.
I had the honor of dining with Beili Liu and her partner Blue Way before their return to Texas. She discussed how she is “interested in working with line and tension that is the memory of line. Sometimes the work starts with the material and other times I respond to the space, in this case I was able to work with both.”
Liu works mostly with one material at a time and lets intuition guide her process. This is her 2nd piece using the golden mercerized thread and she’s created several pieces using red thread over the last three years. She shared, “I want my work to be worthy of people’s time and attention.” Taking two full days to install with Blue, he said, “She responds to process, the dominant element is the stairs in the gallery, she puts the art above the stairs, and that helps us be mindful of going up and down. If people don’t take the time, and just come in and go out, they might miss it.”
She’s excited about the process perhaps more than knowing why she made it. In a time when intention is pushed on the viewer, she is maybe asking us to just try to have an experience and then make-up our mind. Liu has created a world with new gravity, upside-down we glide on her steps, floating, clinging, suspended on our way, transcending the extension, reverberating within stillness.
Less than three. <3. Heart. Love. Iconic. Cliche? Not when it comes to Shawn Zeiger’s show at The Firm in Georgetown in South Seattle. Shawn has taken the heart and shown us a multitude of ways to feel. Drugged, velvety, crushed, broken, wrapped, confined, protective, lost, found, tempted and adored. I saw the work yesterday, a week after the opening. Running into Steve Withycombe at All City Coffee gave me a chance to visit the show. Iconic, solid, fluid, stunning, the hearts told all sorts of stories. All but one are titled with a date from what each experience means for Shawn. I wondered about the experiences, but enjoyed relating to them without knowing. I took a few photographs and soon left for an integrated massage, as I have been having lower back problems for the last six weeks. During my treatment, the subject of the metaphorical heart came up, about letting go, holding on, what’s important, what’s necessary, other grand notions of being human and a variety of losses and gains life has in store. I shared the photographs with my practitioner, she too was in awe. Today, I received a text from my Dad that my Grandfather was in the hospital. Thinking of him, he’s 91, I get nervous, those dreadful thoughts, I haven’t visited enough, I forgot to Skype him this week, what if…? Immediately I called Dad and asked to talk to Grandpa. He said it might be heart failure, but they won’t know until tomorrow. So now I wait. Heart failure seems so out of our control, it is, and when one has lived for over 90 years is there an acquiescing in the end? I don’t think so. I want to believe it’s not the end, my heart isn’t ready for this sort of failure. This type seems different than lost or broken love, different in that I wonder as humans if we make choices in our relationships, for when they start and end. But maybe we don’t, perhaps I could learn something from Shawn’s hearts, the love for my Grandfather, and from his real heart. Such a mystery how it pumps blood to live, such a mystery how it falls, flails, and fearlessly engages in the act of loving and letting go.
Come and see the work by appointment through The Firm or Z-one-05. Steve Withycombe, Trey Jones and Chris McMullen co-own The Firm with Michele McMullen as curator. It runs through March with a second opening during the next Art Attack in Georgetown, March 12th, 2011.
Erin Toale, artist and curator who now resides in Chicago to earn a masters degree, organized a print exchange for almost 20 folks. Artists from the east and west coast will be mailing prints to each other and I am so excited to be a part of it. Here’s a peak at what people will receive from me.
Check out the latest studio visit in the series on the CAB.
Uh, yeah, am I crazy for doing so much? Uh why yes Ms. Shafkind, we believe you are. She talks to herself and writes in the 3rd person.
This Thursday, come check out an interactive installation at the TK Building in Pioneer Square on Gallery 40, Post on Your Wall. More info coming soon.
And then the following week: 2 shows -
SOIL Auction, see below for my contribution. These mugs are from my performance piece at On the Boards, My Life in Pictures, most people don’t know that I was a child actor in the late 70′s and early 80′s.
And opening October 15th, Picture Us, a show of work from the faculty at the Photo Center Northwest.