Monday, October 10, 2016

Materials for The Outhouse Installation

Now that I'm finished preparing for my upcoming exhibition Objects of Desire that opens October 20th at Core New Art Space in Denver Colorado, I can begin working on my 2017 show titled Gender Neutral.  

The idea of art activism seems to grow stronger with each new body of work I create. My interest in identity and gender as subject matter continues to evolve. The concept for Gender Neutral is inspired by the struggles of my transgender college students and the recent controversy in the news over gender specific restrooms. Through this next body of work, I hope to call attention to the fact that gender specific restrooms were not always the case. Moreover, the idea that transgender people should be denied the right to use public restrooms that are specific to their chosen gender is discrimination. It is through this work that I hope to show my support for my students and people of transgender. They are not nor have they ever been the predators. It is the heterosexual whose sense of entitlement is driven by the 'male gaze' to objectify women and demonizes transgender individuals, they are the true predators not the later. 

And so... work on Gender Neutral begins with construction materials for The Outhouse, a site-specific installation (it will be full scale but not operational!)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Preparing for Exhibition

So I'm now a little over a month away from my October show which will open October 20th next month and I've pretty much spent all my studio hours since being back from Anderson Ranch, prepping for the show. I had new business cards made (see image below)

This is the front - the image is taken from a recent sugar lift print I made at a workshop I attended at Anderson Ranch Art Center located in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The back will have all my contact info, website, blog etc... I'm in the process of scheduling a photo shoot for some of the work in the show so I can create an exhibition card. I've met with my friend Jeff Weihing who has built my stretchers bars in the past to make my hanging pedestals which I will then stain a dark, warm chocolate brown. On these will be the sculpture installation piece(s) Twenty-four Cupcakes and One Banana Split. I just finished adding the sterling silver cherry stems to the cupcakes, I comissioned my friend Kim Harrell to make the stems , (see below)

Tomorrow I will sand these little wooden block pedestals for the stand alone sculptures titled Twins, From the 007 Collection, and Tween. Then I'm hoping I can get the text piece completed (I'm working with a friend of mine who has kindly taken on the illustrator component of the piece) which includes the 100+ slang names for women's breasts(this was part of my research for the series.) What I'd really like to do is also turn that piece into a limited edition tee shirt series but can't do that until the text piece is finished and I'm not sure when that will be... am just hoping we can at least get it done in time for the exhibition. I also need to draft a new artist statement that pretains to the show. Then the last thing I need to do is get the signage made! All the while, I'm still trying to make other new works of art for future shows but as you can imaging that is proving to be challenging! Right now I'm just trying to get my next sketchbook made for the 2017 exhibition concept that I've benn mulling over for the last few months (in my free time of course... whenever that is!)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Vagina Slipper - left foot

So this week the girls start returning to school with Bella being the first to return. This means I am finally getting back into the studio on more regular bases! I'm also starting another teaching gig in a couple of weeks so I've been experimenting with my schedule so I can manage my time between the three teaching jobs and my studio practice and keeping up with my yoga and meditation. 

This week the big creative adventure was reorganizing the studio so I have a space to also work on my three-dimensional work in this case working with porcelain clay. After getting the space together, I also spent some time looking through CAFE for open calls and found a really interesting one that motivated me to start actively working on my Vagina Slipper concept.

The call is for a group show that includes all media with the one caveat being that the viewers need to be able to touch the artwork as it is for viewers who are visually impaired. This adds another element to the vagina slipper in that it now deals with two kinds of taboos; one relating to touching artwork and the other touching a woman's vagina. In the case of the vagina slippers the viewer will be encouraged and in the process focused to take on both taboos.

Vagina Slipper - left foot

Vagina Slipper - left foot is the first of two slippers. It was interesting to figure out how to construct a shoe and then to combine that with the vagina, which I had learned to make a few weeks back. This pair of slippers is low heel slippers. Once I get these done, I'm going to try my hand at slippers with heels and then possibly a half slipper. These later ideas started forming as I was working on this shoe. I think too I will do some more research on different styles of shoes/slippers and see if other inspirations come  about... I will do this until I've exhausted the concept.

The other thing I realized this morning was for this show I need to figure out how to attach the slippers to a base so that as the viewers are feeling the sculpture they are not going to risk dropping or knocking off a slipper while they explore the sculpture through touch. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Concept Drawings for Sheath (condom) Dress Sculpture

So as I've been working on the cupcake sculptures for my upcoming Objects of Desire exhibition that is coming up this October, other sculpture ideas start creeping into my always-working brain!  These concept drawings are one of those ideas... I've always been interested in fashion (hence my venture into scarf designs for, even when I was in graduate school at #MassArt the concept of combining art and fashion was always in the back of my mind. 

The Sheath Dress sculpture is the first experiment into this exploration. Starting this fall I will be collaborating with one of my ceramic classmates who also has a welding studio to build the dress hanger and armature on which I will somehow attach porcelain condoms to create the texture of the dress. Originally I was thinking the whole dress would be made of the porcelain condoms but an alternative to this would be the bodice of the dress is made of porcelain and the lower half would be made of latex. 

The hanger materials that I'm thinking will be steel/steel rope combined with copper and is in the shape of an IUD! I'm not sure what the meaning is behind the dress and hanger but I figure I have time to figure that out. I'm working with my ceramic instructor to figure out how to make the porcelain condoms (which will be a gazillion in the making... and I though making 24 ceramic cupcakes was intense!)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Vagina Slippers (work in progress)

So as I continue to work on my Objects of Desire show, which will be my first venture into three dimensional sculpture and clay, I periodically get new ideas as I'm working with the clay. There have been many... some are still in sketchbook format with the concept and construction still being worked out either in my head or on paper... others have been worked out but the time to create them or it (I'm thinking of one in particular) is not right as I currently don't have a large enough space to build it... 

But last week, I sketched out my Vagina Slipper idea of how I was envisioning it and Wednesday (two days ago) I started working on the Marquette of it. I figure best to first make a Marquette so I can figure out how to construct it. We had a sub for our instructor in my sculpture class and it just so happens she is experienced in making clay vaginas! So after I finished glazing a 1/2 dozen cupcakes, I began making a porcelain vagina! Of course in theory a Marquette is suppose to be small but mine seems to be a little on the big size. But I figure I'm still ok because in addition to figuring out how to construct the slipper out of porcelain and make the vagina beautiful I also need to understand how much this particular type of clay will shrink! 

I've also got an idea for the glaze but I'm going to do some testing first via making some small porcelain wine cups! I'm in no particular hurry to complete my newest sculpture because I've no place to show it (yet) so this gives me the luxury of time so I can really delve into the creative process of working with porcelain, something I hope to do more of as I complete my pieces for the Objects of Desire exhibition that will show at Core in October of 2016.

For now, here are a few images of the work in progress!