Request For Color Plastic Bags

I need plastic bags; produce bags, grocery bags, newspaper bags all sorts of plastic bags wanted.

If you you have a stash of plastic bags and are willing to part with your bounty of bags, I would be most grateful. I can use them for an installation project. I am weaving plastic bags and 500 feet of hollow braid polyethylene rope into Prayer Flags.

Recycle those bags into art. Accepting donations at Sky Garden Gallery 150 Bay Street, PH9, Jersey City NJ 07302

A Big Beaded Bag

I have been working on a big beaded bag, bit by bit over the last couple months. It is still not done I have to finish the shoulder strap and sew on 1000 pony beads.

Strange Fruit

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

Meet My New StudioAssistant

I have a new studio assistant! YAY!

Meet Jeese Durost

Jesse is currently cutting ribbon, making yarn from recycled materials and drilling tens of thousands of bottle caps and corks I’ve been hoarding or received as gifts from hoarder friends these last 9 years. You know who you are and I thank you. XOXO.

Jesse currently lives and works in Queens, New York and rides his bike and takes the PATH to Sky Garden Gallery a couple days a week to help me out.

For his own artwork, Jesse utilizes found and common materials, to build precarious, architectural sculptures, paintings, videos and digital works that attempt to exist in a state of perpetual flux. He is interested in exploring the peripheral aspects of the exterior world, how they inform and are informed by interior, subliminal states of being.

Jesse received his BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design in 1998. His work has been exhibited at The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, 33 Orchard in New York City, and 1430
Contemporary in Portland, Oregon.

To see some of Jesse’s personal works visit www.Jessedurost.com

Quarantine Check In From Sky Garden Gallery

If I’ve learned anything during this time of uncertainty, things happen when they happen. And for a reason… If I just allow, there is less stress and anxiety in the not knowing of things.

… for real.

If you want to social distance watch a sunset with me from Sky Garden’s roof deck in Jersey City, please let me know. Open sky and air… and this view…

Ping me your avails.

Kenya Art Residency Update: Turning Lemons into Lemonade

This month, I was supposed to be in Kenya learning beading and basketry techniques but my artists residency with Now Friends was postponed/canceled. Damn you Corona…  

For a little inspiration visit with my Pinterest scrapbook Kenya Residency 2020 board instead.

I have been experimenting all year with recycled materials in preparation for this residency.  I am ready so, switch up and plan B, turning lemons into lemonade mode…

I enrolled in a ZOOM alternative weaving and basketry intensive program at the Textile Arts Center (NYC) later this month. It isn’t Kenya, but I am moving forward advancing my skills using bottle caps, wine corks, plastic bags, ribbon gifted to me by so many of my favorite people. You know who you are.

Watch my Instagram Stories to see how these works progress.

Women’s Work Revisited

As a child, my grandmother insisted My sister and I learn how to sew. “These are important skills every young lady must know,”she would say. And even though I thought it was “old fashioned,” I learned to sew on a vintage Singer machine.

I vividly remember lying on the floor under the machine with my cheek resting on the cold metal stand while Grandma worked the pedals with her feet, letting out the hem on my pants to accommodate my growth spurt that summer. Whenever I see an old Singer machine this memory pops into my head, I can feel the cold metal on my face and smell a wiff of Grandmas perfume, Charlie.

My sister and I also learned needle point, crochet, beading, jewelry making from my Mom and friendship bracelets, macrame, basket weaving as Girl Scouts. My Mom was our troop leader. At the time, these were deemed important skills for young ladies to have… but somewhere along the way, after my Grandmother passed in 1988, I stopped doing “Women’s Work” and set aside craft in pursuit of “more important” things that would help me get ahead in the world, like scholastic aptitude.

My crafting skills lay buried deep in my subconscious for decades, until I rediscovered how restorative working with my hands can be. The repetition of knotting and wrapping has a meditative quality that silences the mind. My brain literally switches off and my hands just do their thing, fusing rope, yarn, ribbon and thread into something new. When I snap out of the trance, something miraculous rests in my hands. It never ceases to amaze me how insanely productive I can be when I stop thinking and just be. Counterintuitive, I know, but this how creativity manifests for me. 

I want to honor the women who instilled my love of art, by elevating craft to fine art and banishing the perception that “Women’s Work” is not as important as other art practices. All there is to do, is just be and let it happen.

To prepare for this journey, I am taking a couple workshops for fun and brush up on my skills at the Textile Arts Center in NYC this quarter.

  • Bead Embroidery workshop on 02/06/2020
  • Intro to Macrame + Knotting, a full day class on 02/16/2020
  • Advanced Pompom Techniques workshop on 03/03/2020

Check this space and my Instagram @MissTheda to see what I’m learning and how I’m incorporate these techniques into my art practice. I am excited to see what happens…

Another close up

Art Goals for 2020

I love making art but I love finding my art new homes even more. With McCarty’s help, this will be the year we maximize Shopify’s marketing automation tools and revenue on ThedaSandifordArt.com. Yes, this means I’ll recommit to Instagram and post at least once a day.

Use this space to document my preparation and participation in Kenya Friends Art Residency this July 2020… Ive already started studying Kiswahili on Duolingo. And created a Pinterest Inspiration board so you can see where my head is at. More to come, as I to learn to cook ugali and map out my adventure.

Apply for and Win a grant to further develop, I Am My Hair Art Workshop. I want to take my workshop to Atlanta, Nashville and Austin. And create a catalog documenting the stories and people who participate in the workshop.

I live art-ed making a Vision Board at SXSW in 2007 (I think that was the year). I want to up the ante and run I Am My Hair workshop at SXSW in 2021. I need help capturing video of me working in studio and editing a clip I can submit as part of a multimedia application for SXSW Art Program 2021. Any volunteers? I can barter with art, a delicious meal and wine paring.