What We Leave Behind

24 10 2017

(Belatedly, a few installation shots of the show in Denver last month. I was particularly pleased with the large translucent fabric panels, both for the lighting possibilities and for the altered scale where small, intimate objects are enlarged dramatically to demand presence in the space.)

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Statement from the show:

I am a time traveler, listening to the past for messages sent across the waves. Beginning from a set of now-anonymous historic photographs of women, I conjure transtemporal relationships and seek to transfer memories between generations. The women of the photographs – women who have become sisters – are ancestors speaking to me across time. They have left things behind for me, passing on to the future. Handcrafted objects evoke intimacy, memory, and historimaginary narratives. Through a series of photographs and handmade books, I invite viewers to travel through time with me and to channel the shared memories of imaginary ancestors long gone. 

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Who Cares for the 21st Century?

24 10 2017

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For close to a decade, much of my written and creative work has revolved around themes of the maternal body and maternal identity. Within the last two years, and particularly since I began the MFA program, my interests are shifting, toward considerations of relational care – and how a feminist maternal ethics of care might be embodied through creative practice.

I was so pleased to join my international cohort of maternal artist-scholars in Copenhagen last week, to think together about practices of care from many perspectives. I had a chance to share with them some of my in-process thinking about epistolary praxis as relational care, and I can already see that there are some collaborative possibilities ahead.

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Evocative Objects

6 08 2017

One of my recent experiments in photographing the things we leave behind and considering the ways that they channel memories… more to come –

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Exhibits, Essays, Etc.

29 06 2017

The past year has felt busier than usual, with being back in school while still working full-time, so I’m past due to post some updates. A few highlights from recent months:

Exhibitions

The opportunity to have a solo show in San Francisco this spring was pretty exciting. The print director at Mission Grafica generously invited me to show a selection of monotypes at Galeria Zapatista. A Hidden Garden opened on May 12 and we went out for the opening. Testifying to the idea that one never knows what doors will open, it looks like the show will now travel to a gallery in Fresno, thanks to one of the people who attended the opening.

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On the curatorial end of things, I had the chance to put together a group show called Crossing the Line, to be mounted in conjunction with a conference of the same name in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Artists interpreted line-crossing and encounters with borders and boundaries in many ways, whether by mixing media or speaking back to / with histories or offering political or cultural challenges. The curatorial essay is available online here.

Essays

And a few weeks ago, Elizabeth Stevensen at Fisch Haus staged the 8th iteration of her XX Biennial, for which she invited me to write the catalogue essay. Since it’s a tagging structure, where each artist from the last biennial tags one for the next, there aren’t always clear connections between the work, but this year it seemed very cohesive. (Essay is here, for anyone interested.)

Writing from the last couple of international maternal conferences has been on-going. Some pieces are still in process, but the London conference resulted in an entire issue of Studies in the Maternal. Expanding my conference presentation into a longer essay on “Performing the Breastfeeding Body” resulted in this piece, and I participated in another conversation on maternal art activism with several colleagues here.

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It was a rewarding year of teaching. There are always emotional ups and downs in an academic setting, helping young people (and sometimes colleagues) negotiate difficult issues, but by the end of the year it always seems worth it. I had the chance to create a new class this year, on Activism, Art, and Design. Thanks to a generous grant from the National Art Education Foundation, I was able to incorporate several visiting artists throughout the semester, to talk with students first-hand about their work in prison arts activism, immigrant rights, climate change, and community arts / activist workshops. I love teaching Printmaking, so that was a highlight of my year as well. I was honored to earn tenure this spring, and as an end-of-year bonus, received the Distinguished Teaching Award at commencement.





The Intimacy of Books

19 06 2017
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A fragile creature, she fears rodents, the elements, and clumsy hands, 2017, Coptic stitch, rust printing, and cut paper

I’ve been remiss in posting most any of my recent experiments in book arts but it’s been a big part of my MFA work this past year. These wordless books have companion phrases – more than titles, perhaps, but words that stand alongside them. And they are almost all very small, which underscores the need of such objects to be held. The scale (most less than 3″ tall) and the words both speak to an intimacy that I have felt all year as I’ve made the work, a feeling that I hope translates to viewers as they imagine their own narratives. A few examples:

 

 

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Have you planted the marigold seeds that I sent?, 2016, accordion fold with handmade papers and watercolor

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Now the garden is gone to seed, 2017, monoprinted and handmade papers with Coptic and centipede stitching

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Our backyard miracle began on the south side of the house, 2016, Kozo and monoprinted papers with lotus blossom stitch

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We survive storms with laughter, 2016, spiral accordion with handmade paper

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I imagine three nights of full moon, 2016, accordion and flower fold with monoprinting





Tiny Bunny Print Exchange!

19 05 2017

The bunnies are here! I don’t often participate in exchange portfolios, mostly because I’m not a big fan of editioning work, but last fall I saw a call for “Leporidae: A Tiny Bunny Print Exchange” – small prints (3×5″) on a bunny theme. How could I say no?

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I made an edition of relief prints on the three hares motif. And then I mailed them off and waited for the exchange prints to arrive.

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It was like Christmas when they arrived, in a beautiful sewn enclosure. Inside were a title page, a hand-stitched colophon, and two glassine envelopes full of tiny bunny prints.

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And what bunny prints! Relief prints, etchings, letterpress, screenprints, prints with flocking; mechanized bunnies, zombie bunnies, sorcerer bunnies, bunnies pooping (my students’ favorite).

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Many thanks to the Not So Secret Society of Bunny Benevolence (aka printmakers Yuka Petz and Lisa Hasagawa) for organizing this delightful exchange. All submitted prints can be seen on their tumblr site.





New Beginnings

2 09 2016

I feel so lucky: I get to be a student again! I returned to grad school this summer, to pursue an MFA degree. My head is spinning with ideas and information and input from classmates and professors – and it’s wonderful. I know that the program will push my work in all kinds of new directions, and I feel certain that it will inform my pedagogical practice as well. I’m excited to find that the program has such a focus on making writing part of the artistic practice; maybe my parallel paths will find interesting ways to overlap in the work that is to come. I am wholly impressed by my cohort and firmly believe that their diverse energies and perspectives will offer me all kinds of new insights into what it is that I’m doing.

And now we are into a new semester. I haven’t gotten to teach the art history survey in years and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the course – giving students a taste of so many different things, and seeing light bulbs turn on in various ways.