Prints and Paper, Fall 2014

23 11 2014
Cyan Arbor 14

Cyan Arbor 14

A summer printmaking intensive with my dear friend Gail helped me to get ready for the fall faculty exhibition with my colleague, David Long. Our exhibition, 10.14 , was on display in the newly renovated and renamed Robert W. Regier Art Gallery at Bethel College from September 26 – October 24.

 

It always  feels like a relief to have the work matted, framed, and hung on the walls, but I also feel a real sense of energy that these are not complete – that they are the first stages in a larger project. Particularly as I think about some of the found imagery from Berlin flea markets, I am excited to consider possible next steps.

Cyan Arbor 4

Cyan Arbor 4

 

The more I work with paper, the more I am reminded of how viscerally powerful I find paper-cutting, -folding, -stitching… Looking back, I see that working with paper has been a lifelong love and I am thrilled to be able to make this part of my creative practice as an adult.

Lost Family 1

Lost Family 1

 

Thanks very much to the many friends, family members, and gallery patrons who have supported my work this fall, and to juror Stephen Gleissner for awarding one of my Cyan Arbor prints a cash prize in the recent Arts Council exhibition.

Sharing about my love of paper, books, and boxes for the recent Art Chatter at the Wichita Art Museum - a pecha kucha format of 20 slides for 20 seconds each

Sharing about my love of paper, books, and boxes for the recent Art Chatter at the Wichita Art Museum – a pecha kucha format of 20 slides for 20 seconds each





Summer printing

19 07 2014

In the midst of a summer printmaking flurry of activity, a hint of what’s going on:

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Have Milk – here, there, and everywhere

9 07 2014

It’s been a joy and a privilege these past few months to travel and participate in readings, book presentations, and conversations related to Have Milk, Will Travel. When I first thought of the project, I envisioned mothers from all walks of life supporting each other by sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly about breastfeeding – and that is exactly what has happened at each and every event. It is powerful to witness mothers teaching each other, even when (especially when!) they didn’t know they had anything to teach. And seeing young moms come to events and admit that they have no support in their life for their breastfeeding struggles, then leave with phone numbers and new friends for playdates and support? Well, it warms a person’s heart, to say the least. Here are a few photos that represent our recent events in Chicago, San Francisco, Ontario, and more.

The Women's Building in San Francisco - what a perfect location for our gathering!

The Women’s Building in San Francisco – what a perfect location for our gathering!

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Mothering Synergy: CAA / WCA / TFAP

5 03 2014

While the maternal body has been largely absent from art historical discussions on the national stage, Chicago 2014 was a welcome change: College Art Association, Women’s Caucus for Art, ARTspace, and The Feminist Art Project all hosted panels, presentations, discussions, exhibitions, and performances related to art and the maternal. The level of excitement around the topic was astounding to me, as were the emotional reactions of attendees who were so deeply touched, never having heard this topic engaged in a scholarly setting. I am thrilled to have participated, to have forged and solidified friendships, and to have met many virtual colleagues for the first time. CAA 2014 and its affiliated societies made for the best conference I’ve attended in years.

Panel discussion at the Korean Cultural Center, for the "Through the Eyes of the Mother" exhibition, curated by Hye-Seong Tak Lee (center).

Panel discussion at the Korean Cultural Center, for the “Through the Eyes of the Mother” exhibition, curated by Hye-Seong Tak Lee (center).

Niku and baby Nova, Christen, and my print in the background, at "Through the Eyes of the Mother"

Niku and baby Nova, Christen, and my print in the background, at “Through the Eyes of the Mother”

CAA gave us a grand (and enormous!) ballroom for the WCA-sponsored panel on "The Maternal Body Exposed." Many thanks to my very well-spoken panelists Melissa Gwyn, Anna Hennessey, Christina Stahr, and Tom Nys.

CAA gave us a grand (and enormous!) ballroom for the WCA-sponsored panel on “The Maternal Body Exposed.” Many thanks to my very well-spoken panelists Melissa Gwyn, Anna Hennessey, Christina Stahr, and Tom Nys.

Apparently I took no photos at the day of Feminist Art Project panels, but this link shows the truly amazing line-up that Jennie Klein and Myrel Chernick were able to pull together.

It will be hard for next year to match this one, but I’m looking forward already. On to New York in February 2015.





New class for the winter: Book Arts

2 03 2014

As part of our revitalized, redesigned, re-energized visual arts and design program, I was so excited to have the opportunity this January to teach a 15-day intensive course on Book Arts. I was blessed with a group of engaged and creative students, several of whom were not even art or design majors. We began each day with a critique, and in addition to preparing the demos, I did the homework right along with them. We folded and stitched paper like crazy – accordion fold, flower fold, triangle fold, Venetian blind, pamphlet stitch, dos-a-dos, stab stitch, flag books, pop-ups, and more. Our culminating project was an altered book form: the director of the Mennonite Library and Archives on campus kindly donated a dozen copies of the 1954 edition of The Story of Bethel College, for us to alter. Highly creative results ensued, and on the last day of class, we hosted an exhibition in the library (of course!) of our projects from the month.

Altered books by the students, on display at our end-of-term library exhibition

Altered books by the students, on display at our end-of-term library exhibition

The inside of my altered book, a box with half a dozen miniature books demonstrating different techniques taught during the term and all made with original pages from the Story of Bethel College.

The inside of my altered book, a box with half a dozen miniature books demonstrating different techniques taught during the term and all made with original pages from the Story of Bethel College.

A real highlight of the month was the opportunity to host a visiting artist on campus. Teresa Pankratz worked with the students for 2 days, in addition to installing her book / sculpture / installation, The Dream House Collection, in the Fine Arts Center Gallery. She helped them push past their first iterations and onto more complex, more fully developed results. (News article here)

A few of my books from the month, many of which incorporated repurposed materials, from old art history slides to stamps from my late father’s collection: book2 book4 book5 book6 book7 book8





End-of-semester dash

13 12 2013

Wow, this semester has been a whirlwind and now here we are in the midst of final exams – piles of grading behind me, but more still looming before me. Some of my students have already gone home for the holidays, while others are still madly trying to finish their work. It’s been a rewarding semester in many ways, and I’m already looking forward to making plans for the next one.

One of the highlights from this fall was co-organizing the Mothering Mennonite Symposium on the Bethel College campus. Inspired by the book of essays on Mothering Mennonite that I edited with Kerry Fast, the symposium brought together writers, artists, professors, historians, social workers, church workers, stay-at-home mothers, and social activists, to dialogue about what it can mean to “mother” in a Mennonite context. The day was full of fantastic presentations and panel discussions, but perhaps the most rewarding part for me was witnessing the excited conversations that happened in the hallways, during breaks, and over lunch. The repeated questions was, “What’s next?” I had not anticipated that people would be so hungry for this kind of conversation. I do not know what is next on this front, but I am looking forward.

Symposium presenters and attendees deep in conversation during the breaks. Photo credits: Yolanda Kauffman

Symposium presenters and attendees deep in conversation during the breaks. Photo credit: Yolanda Kauffman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One other highlight from fall semester was having the opportunity to jury the Arts Council Exhibition for CityArts in Wichita. It always feels like a privilege when artists entrust someone with their work, offering it up for evaluation. I was reminded again what a strong arts community has developed around Wichita and I was thrilled to be able to award some cash prizes to deserving artists.

Title wall, with the Best in Show sculpture

Title wall, with the Best in Show sculpture





Humor Carnival Recap

27 11 2013

Throughout much of last week, contributors to Have Milk, Will Travel and other invited writers lit up the blogosphere with their funny, in-the-trenches tales of parenting and breastfeeding. Here’s a recap of their stories:

In “I Will Sleep When I Am Dead,” Zoie at Touchstonez needs some sleep but her kids have other ideas.

In “Laughter or the Looney Bin,” Virginia of ReadyornotMom shares how laughter (and tears) got her, and her husband, through two NICU stays and a whole lot more. “Just call me Bessie… on the go!” shows some love for  a nursing mom without a lot of spare time on her hands.

In “Boobs are in the House,” Jenny of Half Crunchy Mom shares how her love affair with her nursing breasts was hindered only by the act of pumping, but she found a way to party with the pump.

In “Send in the Nipple Clowns,” Kerry of PickleMeThis shares a story in which a mother who hasn’t slept more than three hours in a row for six months reflects back on the comedy of her breastfeeding life.

And from Have Milk contributors:

In “The Importance of Laughter,” Jessica Claire Haney of Crunchy-Chewy Mama gets serious about looking for humor with her kids where her own parents didn’t.

In “Underwater” and “Excuse Me,” Adriann Cocker of Cockerchat muses on the absurdity of parenting while leading a hip loft lifestyle in downtown Los Angeles.

Enjoy!

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