I’m Obsessed with Nick Cave

Those familiar with my work, see the clear inspiration from Nick Cave. YES, I am all about reimagining found materials to create a post racial future. AND it goes deeper than that. I too share the belief that “beauty is optimism.”

From a recent interview with This Is Colossal…

This Is Colossal : How do the materials that you use—relate to the more conceptual aspects of your practice? I know sometimes they help draw people in because they’re so visually striking, but how are you thinking about that as you’re working?

Nick: I have to think about the journey and how I get your willingness to explore and go with me. I’m always thinking about ways into the work. Once you’re in, then I tell you what is the root of the work, where is it grounded. At that moment, you have to make that decision. Do I shy away from that and consume myself with the beauty? Beauty for me is optimism. It is the future. It’s me colliding these two forces together and challenging myself, as well as the viewer, to start to dissect, to start to expand on the narrative, to talk about what they’re emotionally feeling and connecting with. At the end of the day, it’s compassion. We need more compassion in the world.

I need to make my way back to Chicago to see Cave’s career retrospective Forothermore at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Even the show statement speaks directly to my core.

Nick Cave: Forothermore is an ode to those who, whether due to racism, homophobia, or other forms of bigotry, live their lives as the “other”—and a celebration of the way art, music, fashion, and performance can help us envision a more just future.

Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2011. Mixed media including vintage bunny, safety pin craft baskets, hot pads, fabric, metal, and mannequin. 111 x 36 x 36 in.
© Nick Cave. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Photo: James Prinz Photography

Save The Date: New Jersey Arts Annual 

The opening reception for the 2022 New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence will be Thursday, June 23rd, 6 – 8 PM.

The exhibition will open to the public on Saturday, June 25th and run through May 2023.

Location: New Jersey State Museum; 205 West State Street, Trenton NJ

You can take the NJ Transist or road trip with me. Please message me if you want to be my guest at the opening.

Lady Whistledown

Textures: The History and Art of Black Hair

I recently Zoomed Kent State University museum’s excellent research in history, fashion, art, and visual culture to reassess the “hair story” of peoples of African descent with KSU Museum with co-curators, Joseph L. Underwood, assistant professor of art history at KSU and Tameka Ellington, associate professor at the School of Fashion at KSU.

To say, I felt seen during the webinar would be a massive understatement.

The talk explored topics such as the preferential treatment of straight hair, the social hierarchies of skin, and the power and politics of display.  

Black hair has long been an visual signifier that has been leveraged, disdained, celebrated, and scrutinized for centuries.

I have been studying exhibition photos on the website. The shape of the combs, product packaging, and masterworks from artists including Sonya Clark, Lorna Simpson, Mary Sibande and Lina Iris Viktor have left me truly inspired to dig out some unfinished rope hair pieces I stashed away at the beginning of the Pandemic.

Sonya Clark
Black Hair Flag, 2010

Welcome to Governors Island

ArtCrawl Harlem 2022

ArtCrawl Harlem along with other local arts and culture programs returns to Governors Island to offer programs and residencies within the historical homes on Nolan Park and Colonels Row as well as welcome the public in for art exhibits, open studios, art talks and more.

This Summer, I am presenting “Free Your Mind” and “Personal Baggage” two Interactive Art Installations as part of ArtCrawl Harlem’s House at 406B Colonels Row, Governors Island, NYC. On view for the public Friday through Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00PM.

You are invited to work with me on an Emotional Baggage Cart in progress on Governors Island on these dates June 11, June 25, July 2, July 16, August 6 and August 20 from 11:00am – 2:00pm on each day.

Please DM me if you plan to come.

Craft Nouveau

To all my California people, the last chance to see my works “Thunderdome” and ” in Roseville CA is coming up.

The Closing Reception is May 21, 4:00 – 8:00pm

Exhibition Dates: April 1 – May 28, 2022

Location: Blue Lines Arts: 405 Vernon Street Suite 100, Roseville, CA

Craft Nouveau is Blue Line Arts‘ biennial juried fine craft competition, open to artists internationally. The exhibition seeks to spark dialogue on traditional delineations between fine craft and art, and highlight mediums and processes typically associated with craft.

Mixed Media

An Online Exhibition

Juried by Anastacia Bloch

Exhibiting Artists:
Janelle Abbott, Lexi Arrietta, Stacy Bogdonoff, Emily Budd, Rebekah Burgess, Malina Busch, Matt Cohen, Cathy Cooper, Rhonda Donovan, Rosalyn Driscoll, Vincent Frimpong, Kim Garcia, Gina Herrera, Eric Hines, Yasmine Iskander, Bonam Kim, Catherine Mellinger, Clara Nulty, Mari Renwick, Morgane Richer La Fleche, Sarah Rieser, Olga Rudenko, Theda Sandiford, Lauren Dana Smith, Maria Vasconcelos

For A Little Inspiration

Museum of Arts and Design to Present Exhibition Dedicated to the Ephemeral Art of Floral Design
Flower Craft investigates floral artistry as an overlooked chapter in the history of craft and design. It features the creative visions of six botanical artists working at the forefront of contemporary floral design. Inspired by nature’s ephemerality, the artists engage with stages of the plant life cycle, from seed to germination to decay, to interpret nature in sculptural form. On view May 14 through June 26, 2022.

Who wants to join me?

Joyful Resistance: Mixed Media Self Exploration Workshop

Join me on Saturday May 21st for two mixed media workshops at the Center for Contemporary Art; 2020 Burnt Mills Rd, Bedminster, NJ 07921

Register for my class online by clicking here or call 908-234-2345.

Joyful Resistance… Create a self-portrait, an autobiographical composition unifying diverse materials to illustrate Joy. Consider what brings you joy and what may be standing in the way of you being joyful. With this as your guide, collect autobiographical images, sketches and textiles for your story that provide context and bring them to the workshop.

Overview:

The visual fusion of diverse materials describes the mixed media process. The juxtaposition of “found” things (recycled fabric and plastic waste), mixed with art materials create visual tension.

We’ll explore diverse materials, memory and the processes used to create rich juxtapositions and powerful compositions.

Mixed Media processes enlist a variety of mediums to bind different papers, fibers, textured and 3D materials & paints together.

Use a mixture of color relationships, shapes and found images to create a figure with abstract pattern and color.

Consider the contrast of complimentary colors; Red/Green, Blue, Orange, Yellow/Violet…  

And contrasting shapes: geometric against more organic shapes, rectangles, circles, squares, maps, stamps, music score…

Or the use of meaningful words laser printed in various fonts/sizes layered in the background.

Collage materials are important ingredient for your compositions- Bring a variety of images from different sources (magazines, old books, postcards, photos (laser prints work best in mixed media works).

Checklist:

Personal Objects: Please bring items that are unique to you and will help tell your story. Bring photographs, laser printed images or drawings in pen, pastel, charcoal, colored pencil to be incorporated into larger works.

Materials to Share: Please bring 10-15 scraps of paper, a magazines, fabric, plastic, or other materials to share with other members of our group. Bring things that are interesting, and things that are not so interesting for negative space. Recycle items from your everyday life.

Substrate: We will focus on 2D and 3D compositions. Layering and a denser relief will be demonstrated.

Paper: Please bring whatever paper, old books, torn maps, stamps, paper currency, tissue paper, newspaper, magazines or any other kind of paper that you might like to use. I use a lot of tissue paper to layer and obscure images.

Acrylic Paints: If you want special colors bring it with you.

Brushes: Please bring brushes. They do not need to be expensive. Two Home Depot 1”flat and 2” flat (soft, flexible brushes), and one nicer #7 or #8 round (also soft, flexible, white or gold nylon) are great tools for your mixed media kit.

Pencils: You may want to bring drawing materials, pencils, colored pencils, etc.

Pens: Bring a couple of your favorite pens. My favorites are Uni-ball Signo, Faber-Castell PITT, gel pens, acrylic markers, and Sharpies of various sizes.

Glitter & Confetti: Craft glitter, confetti or shredded paper can be interesting.

3-D Objects: Small beads, buttons, metal parts, plastic bottle caps, broken jewelry, small beads. shells, watches, found objects etc.

Glue: Regular matte medium (NOT FLUID) and YES paste.

5 Minute Epoxy: To apply heavier items, E6000 is my favorite. You can find this at Home Depot and Amazon.

Scissors & Knives: A pair of scissors and an X-Acto knife.

Rulers: Rulers, triangles and other drawing/drafting tools may also be useful.

Gloves: You may want to wear gloves. I use non-latex gloves.

Clothing: Old clothes or aprons may be in order. You know your own working style and comfort needs. Dress accordingly.

If there are specific tools or materials you do not have, do not stress. Someone will likely share what you need. I have a large tub of scrap paper, tissue paper, deli paper you can use. I will also prepare some other materials you can play with too.