Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Shipping News

Right now I am on a learning curve about dealing with packing professionals. The crate maker is finally starting to work on the crate for a large wall piece. Mike at PakMail, who won an award for his packaging, has made boxes for me in the past. But I have maintained control of transporting the work to shows in the Twin Cities area. Relinquishing control to a shipper is fraught with anxiety. I need top notch packing. First, I have had to learn when to bring work for packaging. I try to avoid Monday, the busiest day. Mike talks very fast when he is busy. I need to take in verbal descriptions about how the art will be packaged very slowly. Mike can do the mental math with laser speed and rattle on about dimensions and how much cardboard, bubble wrap, and air pockets it will take. Until I have shipped a few pieces, this is all mumble jumble to me. To add to the anxiety, I do not know how fragile this new material I work with really is. And no one can tell me. O.K., it is not glass. I have been taking one piece to be packaged at a time. I do not want to leave my works at PakMail for any longer than necessary. Now I know that if I get a big out of town show, I need to plan for shipping way ahead of time.

I have two strong motivations to get this packing and shipping done. One is to deal professionally with Translations Gallery. The second is to get the pieces and the boxes out of my studio. I need room to make more work and to think.

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Gallery Announcement!!

Translations Gallery in Denver has agreed to represent me. I am excited to work with Judy Hagler, gallery owner, and Kate Merkel, Gallery Manager. Translations Gallery is dedicated to contemporary textile art. It is located in Denver’s ArtDistrict on Santa Fe Drive. There are over 30 galleries in this district. The gallery space looks great on the web site. Judy Hagler has done a fine job promoting fiber art on each page of the web site. The work is varied from wall pieces to ceiling, floor, and pedestal pieces. The techniques include quilting, weaving, basketry, and surface design. The concepts also range from sensuous to political. I feel quite honored to be accepted into their fold.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another Opening

The opening for Mary Bergs collaborative installation with Monica Reede is Thursday night in The Third Floor Gallery on the St. Paul Campus of the Metropolitan State University. Mary is a fellow mentor in the Textile Center Mentorship Program. Mary likes to explore visual language systems by juxtaposing found objects in new relationships. Chris Atkins described her work as sensuous with the absence of cliché and didactics. I like to hear Mary talk about her work. The Poetry of Everyday Life is a great title for a show of her work. I hope I get to the Cities soon to see what she created with Monica Reede who sounds as contemplative and attentive as Mary.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rebecca Crowell’s Opening at Polderland Gallery

I am looking forward to my friend Rebecca Crowell’s opening in Milwaukee this Friday night, April 20. The event inspired a group of friends to venture to Southeastern Wisconsin. Rebecca will be exhibiting abstract paintings at the Polderland Gallery. Rebecca’s work is always deep and mature. Look carefully and you will be rewarded with a depth of texture, color overlays, and subtle markings. When viewing Rebecca’s work, you are not looking through a window to the world, you are immersed in the landscape, you are nature. They evoke an inward experience of natural phenomena and suggest a profound journey along a deep-rooted path. Polderland Gallery is at 133 West Pittsburgh Avenue in Milwaukee. It is the studio and gallery of Dutch artist Marina Broere. Marina’s paintings are also abstract and enigmatic.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

American Craft Show - St. Paul

This weekend, I met Holly, my partner in the Textile Center Mentorship program, at the St. Paul American Craft show. We visited the booth of Kelly Marshall, a fellow Mentor in the program. Kelly has woven some new tote bag designs with a clever closing that uses only one handle. Her woven rugs featured sophisticated colors, as usual. I especially liked runners with blue squares that sang next to background rectangles of neutral colors. Holly checked out booths for display ideas for her recycled mittens and hats. We both enjoyed the felted creations of Lesley Hansard of Hansard Welsh Design. She had unusual scarves with calla lillies or other flowers three dimensionally draped into the background color. Holly purchased a ring for a reasonable price. She is planning a felting workshop in Guatemala this summer. I was very impressed with the baskets of Elizabeth Smathers. She has been turning wood bowl forms for bases of her pine needle basketry. All of the wood is salvadged.


Sunday, April 01, 2007


It is so good to review. The process of photographing my work and applying for opportunities has forced me to look carefully at the work and think of the next direction. In addition to galleries, I applied to a sculpture exhibit and to the residency at the Kohler Art Center. The Kohler application caused the most intense inward review. At times, my thoughts about gallery work and thoughts about the residency seemed to pull in two different directions. I want to do big bold work for the residency. For galleries, I am thinking of discreet objects and vessels. I have a life purpose statement that reminds me to make my deepest work. Focusing will help produce that deepest work. I just realized that I can make almost anything with these clay/fiber techniques. I have the ability to make anything. That thought is very freeing and very frightening.

When substituting for a 5th grade art class on Friday, I discussed Frank Gehry. It reminded me how I love his use of architectural structures with an undulating wall over the top. His fish sculpture at the Walker Sculpture Garden has always been one of my favorites. Then I remembered a drawing I did for my outdoor piece in the Quad Cities. I had a geometric structure to hold the piece up and a flowing branch wall over top. This building idea, along with thoughts on how to get more movement on the surfaces, are somehow clues to a direction. I’ll see what happens in the studio. Too much thinking and I will not engage in the process. I remember students in grad school who were totally frozen as they waited for the mother-lode idea.

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