Just completed my first portfolio sleeve for The Sweep Project prints. All archival, acid free materials. Now to make about a dozen more...
No, not that Congress, The I&M Canal Congress, which met yesterday in Channahon, Illinois. As mentioned in an earlier post, I was invited to give a talk about The Sweep Project, and specifically to ask for help with my proposed I&M Canal Dashed Line. The talk went well, and I made some great connections with people from the community who could really help get this thing off the ground. Several leaders, planners, and organizers from townships in and around Will County were there. Here's hoping I will have some partnering organizations soon!
Awesome artist and former student Nora Howell was recently the subject of a fine article by Liuan Huska in the April 2014 edition of Sojourners magazine. Nora's commitment to racial and social issues, and the generosity of spirit and humor that saturate her work, are truly inspirational. I was priviledged to be interviewed for the article, and Liuan was kind enough to edit my ramblings into something cohesive. You can catch a glimpse of the article here (you'll have to pay for full access).
You can see more of Nora's work here.
Liuan Huska keeps a blog here.
Whew, What a week it has been! There is so much happening I've barely had a moment to sit in my studio chair, prop my feet up, and write an update. My once relaxing and expansive Spring Break became a whirlwind of activity, but one that was at least as energizing was exhausting. Here are the highlights:
I got an unexpected call regarding the Sweep Project. This is a project I began researching over two years ago, regarding the history of the Underground Railroad in the Chicago suburbs. The project ran out of steam after a failed Kickstarter campaign last Spring and has pretty much been on life support ever since. I have been given the opportunity to pitch a piece of the project at the I&M Canal Alliance Congress. The Dashed Line Trail is a community art piece to create a 4 mile long dashed line with an athletic field marker on a portion of the I&M Canal trail, which is a known Underground Railroad "route" The image above is a quick "sketch" I made of the project. So I have been busily putting together a "pecha kucha" style presentation for next week- and let me tell you it's harder than it sounds! If all goes well I may have an organization or two that would partner with me to make the Dashed Line Trail a reality. Wish me luck!
I also had a great day Friday in the city, attending the Creative Chicago Expo at the cultural center (so many great contacts!) in the morning and checking out the exhibitions at the MCA in the afternoon, including a fantastic exhibition by Chicago based William J. O'Brien. If you are in town you should really check this one out. The work has an irrepressible physicality about it that really demands your attention. I rounded out the day with an invigorating bicycle ride through the city to visit the studio of former student and artist/activist/powerhouse Emma Saperstein.
Last night I had a great time as a guest lecturer in my Dr Jeffrey Barbeau's Theology in Liberal Arts class. I say "lecturer," but really I just showed up and let them ask me questions for an hour and a half (I never even got around to the Flannery O'Conner reading I planned to share). Such a great group of students, and some great conversation. Always nice to come away feeling you learned something yourself.
Tomorrow it's off to the NCECA conference in Milwaukee for the day to see more great work and catch up with old friends before coming back for the first full round of senior shows tomorrow night, which includes two of my students. Should be another great and inspiring day!
Today was the first day of our Spring Break. I celebrated by playing tennis, then spent a blissful 5 1/2 hours uninterrupted in the studio. Plus the sun was out all day, and the studio was so warm I didn't have to wear my fleece pullover (first time in several months). It was glorious! Here's what I worked on today: fawn construction, still in progress.
I just wanted to share the finished self-portrait heads made by my Sculpture I class. You can read a little more about this project in an earlier post here. The heads are currently on display in the back stairwell of Adams Hall. Come by and check them out.
Kiln shelves clean and freshly washed. Two works cleaned, mended, and in the kiln for a bisque. New work just under way. This is a good place to be, a place of anticipation and possibilities. Also a great way to start a new week.
the studio chair
A place for me to ramble on when I need to take a break.