Current Exhibitions

I am/will be exhibiting at:

Ode to Our Planet, Grosse Pointe Art Center, Grosse Pointe, 1/29/20 - 3/8/20

Michigan Annual XLVII, Anton Art Center, Mt. Clemens, 1/25/20 - 2/20/20

Mind.HeART.Health, Grosse Pointe Art Center, Grosse Pointe, 12/11/19 - 1/26/20

02 January 2020

Mind. HeART. Health. at the Grosse Pointe Art Center

My art submitted for the Grosse Pointe Artist Association's  Mind. HeART. Health. exhibition at the Grosse Pointe Art Center utilized a process of deconstruction inspired by the artist Orly Avineri which encouraged ripping, tearing, leaving ragged edges and only the book cloth spine to tenuously connect the front and back covers of vintage books used as the base of each piece. The threads used to sew the page signatures together became expressive dangling lines. Every little bit from the deconstructed book was laid out in an orderly fashion to reveal all the rich texture that was hidden when the book was whole.

The process of assembling the final art pieces was dependent on taking the time and attention to look at each piece individually and to consider how the placement of each added piece was informed by the previously placed element.

The two pieces I have submitted represent an awakening of creativity that until the point of creation had been dormant and uninspired. Making art has a profound effect on the psyche and even the smallest bit of torn paper can inspire an artist to push through whatever roadblocks are clouding their vision to create a meaningful piece of art.

Swallowed Words
This mixed media collage explores the moment when faced with staying within oneself or being vulnerable by allowing barriers to come down and being open to new experiences. Utilizing image transfer, found poetry and collage, each element is placed in relationship to the other in a linear building up of the final image. This piece was created using a vintage book cover, gel medium image transfer, found poetry, ink drawing and rusted silk. I would also like to thank the juror of this exhibit, Justin Newman, who graciously awarded this piece an Honorable Mention. Justin liked the way I used cut out the words and phrases pieced  together to create a clear message. He liked the details of the rusted motif on the inside of the book cover and the silk in the background. He also appreciated the careful way the I combined all these details to make my point.


Winged Love
This mixed media collage is homage to my grandmother and her attraction to the beauty of living things. The book cover is a vintage math book that my grandmother used as a child. Natural materials, ephemera, gel medium image transfer combine to create a connection between the past and present.

24 August 2019

Four days with Orly Avineri on Whidbey Island




Up to this point I had only taken an introductory 3-hour workshop with the amazing Orly Avineri. So having the opportunity to spend FOUR whole days with her was too good to pass up. My definition of a workshop with Orly can be summed up as a guided experience in connecting with others who are seeking a deeper exchange. 

Basically, in all of us, it comes down to the small holes in our hearts that need tending in order to heal. Holes created by loss, by self-doubt, by neglect, by feeling invisible. The holes eventually heal and scar over. These scars are okay, let them be. They represent what we've been through, what we've survived and they add a lovely texture to our lives. They remind you that there's a soft fragility to life underneath the rough exterior.


Under Orly's gentle guidance, total strangers spent four days together laughing, crying, supporting, advising, holding hands, and sharing feelings long suppressed and happy to be released into the world. It was a nice break to be real, to not worry about what others might think and there was nothing to worry about because the seven feminine souls gathered there were not judgmental or easy to take offense. We were there in a common purpose...to have Orly help us through the nervousness of the new, to gently coax out the unspoken and to open our eyes to new ways of seeing the world and what was right in front of us.



Our tribal natures were given permission to speak, to tell the stories that others wouldn't listen to or had grown tired of repeatedly hearing. Orly helped us practice the art of connecting by:

Listening.
Really listening and not thinking about what your response would be while others were speaking.

Speaking.
Telling stories, telling truths, telling hurts, telling fears.

Sharing.
Little gifts of food, pieces of nature, bits of handmade art and most of all, an openness of spirit.


Touching.
Holding hands and connecting through intertwined fingers that would express what was hidden inside. Fingers covered in glue, color stained with dyes and embellished with dots. Fingers pulling thread through a layered package of heart renderings. Fingers peeling open the layers of bundled juiciness.



Moving.
A walk to the woods with an envelope filled with fabric, rusty bits and paper with inky foreign words soaked in vinegar, buried in the earth and left overnight to gather energy. The next day evidence of that energy was revealed through the rusty printing embedded in the cloth fibers.


The highlight of the weekend was the most destructive. It was okay to be aggressive, to rip, to tear, to leave edges ragged, to leave only the book cloth spine tenuously connecting the front and back covers. The threads used to sew the page signatures together became expressive dangling lines. Every little bit from the deconstructed book was laid out in an orderly fashion for review of all the rich texture that was hidden when the book was whole.



The process of assembling the final art pieces was dependent on taking the time and attention to look at each piece individually and to consider how the placement of each added piece was informed by the previously placed element. It's kind of a wonderful analogy to how each of us are somehow influenced by those who went before us. Traits, habits, DNA, idiosyncrasies, all related to those bits of our predecessors, passed down through generations. But it's also good to discover that we have a choice as to how much control the influence has in our lives.

These are the final pieces I assembled.


Under the Pine

Love and Friendship

Fishing for Answers

Spinal Branching

Swallowed Words

Winged Love

This workshop was so different from others I have attended due to the nurturing communion that was encouraged. This is how I would sum up my experience with Orly and the five other lovely souls who shared a piece of themselves so willingly...

Bits & pieces
Of life
Scattered around

Hold one
In your hand
Turn it over

Look
Really see
All its sides

Every angle
Opens another door
To explore

Keep moving
Don't stop
To analyze

Assigning meaning
Confines freedom
To discover the unknown.
Thank you Jane, Susan, Cat, Denise, Wendy, and most of all, Orly for making my first visit to Whidbey Island and my first full workshop so special.

17 January 2019

Michigan Annual XLVI at the Anton


My piece titled, "The City Never Sleeps," was accepted into the Michigan Annual at the Anton Art Center by juror George N'Namdi.

A quote by Lewis Mumford was an inspiration for this exploration:

[The city] is also a conscious work of art, and it holds within its communal framework many simpler and more personal forms of art. Mind takes form in the city, and in turn, urban forms condition mind.

I've been collecting rusty detritus for years and find each piece individually interesting and putting together random pieces of these found objects inspired the idea of urban life. Each piece reveals a part of the story, from the corrugated cardboard used for shelter by some less fortunate citizens to the remnant of a calculator keypad for those who need help counting their wealth.

A way to include the human element beyond a face or photograph of people is to visually represent how humans interact with the city environment. This interaction is depicted through graffiti-style wall markings and the built-up layers of torn event posters. A stray bottle cap from someone's thirst being quenched and a key that opened a door to refuge from the noise of traffic are all indications of the human presence within the city landscape.

I decided not to permanently bind the book and instead used ball chain to keep the pages together. I see this piece as fluid, the pages can be taken apart and reassembled into a new flow of imagery. Pages can be added or subtracted to incorporate new items and to discover new meanings.





City life is millions of people being lonesome together _ Henry David Thoreau







07 December 2018