Monday, March 3, 2014

IN THE WINDOWS: The Quilting Bee/Artist Salon Project

Artist Statement
Mary Bergs 

The Quilting Bee/Artist Salon Project

The idea for the project is modeled on traditional quilting bees in which women brought fabric scraps to each other’s homes and assembled the scraps into quilts. They worked side by side creating functional objects of great beauty.  This is no longer a common practice in our culture; in fact, there are few opportunities for side by side making.  Working with our hands in the presence of others is a condition that creates intimacy and a feeling of comfort, even amongst strangers. The level of engagement and enthusiasm of participants in the salons surprised me and confirmed my idea that there is value in creating opportunities to make in the context of community.  I am very grateful for the artists who donated work, for the many people who came to help stitch and for the organizations that hosted the events and the exhibition. 

Mary Bergs is a Minneapolis artist who works with found materials and objects, combining them into installations, collage, and community based art projects. Bergs works with objects that have been discarded or devalued, through careful selection and arrangement she examines the poetic nature of the material world and the beauty found in everyday experience. She has exhibited her work in solo and group shows in the Midwest.  Her work is included in the artist registry of the Drawing Center in New York.  She is a recipient of a 2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant, Jerome Travel Study Grant and a MSAB Artist Opportunity grant.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sergio Mojica, Music and Art

Sergio Mojica was born in El Salvador and grew up in New York City. A self taught artist and musician he believes that music and art influence each other. Some of the musicians who have shaped his art have been Carlos Santana and Thelonious Monk to name a few. He sees his art as a marriage between the old folklore of Latin America and the European influnces such as Surrealism, Abstraction, as well as Expressionism. It is somewhere between these vast universes that Sergio exists while trying to defy category. He says, "I still refer to some of these art movements as "cool" since their age to me is irrelevant. These styles were cool then and they will forever be "cool" to me. I am influenced by countless artists musically and artistically, even by writers such as Rod Serling or subversive poets like Roque Dalton. My inspiration comes from every day people and life."

Monday, December 2, 2013

Crossed Wires---an apology!

Not only am I sketchily abled dealing with calendars, but I am superb at crossed wires!  Durn!

The superb photography of Ayana Muata was supposed to grace the windows this month.  I encourage you to go to look at her website and drool with expectation!  She is a superb storyteller in visual form.  Her forte is portraits, self and otherwise, that share deep narratives without the need for text. She will be showing in October and November, 2014!

For that matter, check out all  the links on the "exhibition schedule" page of the gallery website.  There are some very interesting shows scheduled.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

IN the Windows, December 2013

I have always had some problems managing calendars.  I get lost in the days of the week, the months and their corresponding number systems.  For the most part I do get to all my appointments on the right day and at the right time.  But there are glitches.  December is such a month, a glitch month.  I created an unintentional hole in the window schedule.  So, at the last minute, I had to fill the windows.  So this month the work in the windows is mine.

These deconstructed suits are part of a series that keeps me thinking and re-working, over and over.
I keep returning to them, adding pins, skeletal structures of thread.  I ponder the deconstruction of a symbol of power.

Deconstructing Power

One of the many things that women share world wide is wage disparity with men.  In the US, the average gender wage gap, is 23%.  When considering the wages of CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, the gap narrows to 17%, but the number of women holding the position also reduces.  Women are roughly 51% of the population in  the US, holding 4.2% of the top positions in Fortune 500 companies.

What is it, then, that represents this overwhelming male power?  Perhaps it is the suit.

Deconstructing Power is a series of stitched assemblages that consider the artificiality of the power suit, designed to enhance male images of power. Developed out of European styles of the aristocracy, the power suit, once established, changed little and now is the near ubiquitous symbol of power for the urban male.  The deconstructed suits are stitched onto floral/feminine upholstery fabrics with their artifice prominent. Once splayed open, they become simply the stuff of which they are made: cleverly woven textiles cleverly assembled for effect, often by the hands of women.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

In the Windows

Julia Babb has been a favorite artist of mine for a while now.  She thinks long and hard about things and usually comes up with a use of language that astounds and amazes me.  In the windows through November a 2 of her large scale calligraphic works: ALEPH  and AS BELOW SO ABOVE.  Though the performer is absent, to me they are performance works.  The whole body movement necessary to make these is evident.  In my mind's eye I can see Julia swaying to the letters. They sing of music, dance and deep time.  Do walk or drive by at various times of day.  The work transforms with the changing light.

Artist Statement

Julia Elizabeth Babb is a multi-disciplinary artist focusing on broad concepts and deeper philosophical meanings. A professional calligrapher's daughter, Julia developed an early love of letters and the letter arts and later, an understanding of the history and mystery behind them. These pieces then, are her contribution to an on-going conversation about letters, words, language and ideas.

~~"Aleph" is a sort of portrait of the first letter of the alphabet, a celebration of and a meditation on the beginnings of things. 

~~"Below As Above So" is a new twist on an old idea. Instead of being written across the page from left to right, the words are arranged so that they must be read up and down, or down and up depending on whether one begins reading from the left side or the right.

Friday, August 23, 2013

IN THE WINDOWS: Fish Townsend

Fish Townsend
I am 37 years old, recently returned to my birthplace and married to my wife.

My paintings are a strong and consistent, ethereal grounding for my soul. I’ve never focused on training or technique; in fact, I’ve run from it. Something in me absolutely refused to be trained in art. Though I’d love to learn established techniques, there’s beauty in allowing space for the unmanifested. What has developed over the years has come from sitting with and contemplating the canvas itself, or the brush strokes after applying a layer of color. The images emerge in front of me and I turn the canvas until I’ve chosen the most intriquing landscape. I do the best I can to fill in the impression I've received with the colors and movement that will bring it to life. Because I never begin with a preconceived notion, whatever might be waiting there simply moves through me. I am ever in awe of what comes. Whether holding a concept, a person, musician, or absolutely nothing in mind, what arises in these moments entangles parallels that bring me back to this process again and again.

It’s another world, what happens. Otherworldly beings in an otherworldly dimension. It’s the spirit and energy, Divine Spirit, inherent and inextractable from the whole, whether or not in part; and it is glorious. My keenness for the lighting of the witching hour comes through, I think, helping to catch the unreal in the very real levels of perception.

I’ve come to see that this is the consciousness that shines through when I put paint on a brush, apply the brush to the canvas, and listen to what is there.

Of the paintings on exhibit at Susan Hensel’s Gallery, Gifts 1, 2, and
3 show the result of this process in 2007. Hope, Faith, and Love shows a later incarnation, 2010. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. 

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