Cutting, Folding, Printing Paper

18 01 2016

Saying “yes” to exhibitions tends to be a great motivator for me to carve out time for making. This fall and winter I’ve happily agreed to a variety of shows: a small solo exhibition at Hesston College, titled “Paper Cuts”; a 3-person exhibition at the Carriage Factory Art Gallery titled “Conversations and Story Lines”; and most recently, a solo show of my handmade books at Fisch Haus Studios. This last body of work I created in collaboration with poets Elizabeth Schultz and Catherine Anderson. Selecting evocative phrases from their poetry, I created a series of a dozen small books inspired by their use of language. This coming Saturday, January 23 at 7pm, the poets will do a reading of their work at Fisch Haus, after which we’ll have some conversation about their process, my process, and how the two might overlap and inform each other. Join us!

a rustling falling leaf

a rustling, falling leaf, 2015


cfg poster

Root for the Home Team

27 10 2015

Who would have guessed that I would curate an exhibition about sports? And yet, when it relates so closely to something I’m teaching, how could I have resisted? Last winter, the Kansas Humanities Council circulated a call for grant proposals related to the Smithsonian Institution’s Hometown Teams exhibit, looking for partner sites around the state to produce projects on stories of sports and community. Because I teach a section of the First-Year Seminar, and because one of our common reads is Warren St. John’s Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference, and because so many of our first-year students now come to college in part to play sports, this seemed like a perfect potential fit. So I applied, and Bethel College was named one of 26 partner sites – and the only college or university to be included (most are small museums or community foundations).

Our project has been two-fold: bringing in an extensive series of speakers for our convocation line-up – on topics including Mexican-American fastpitch softball in Kansas, the Cherokee ball game Anetso, cultural appropriation and sports mascots, and racial discrimination in sports – and an exhibition at Kauffman Museum. Working with museum staff, area researchers and archivists, and a wide variety of community members, I had the opportunity to curate Root for the Home Team: Building Community through Sports, an exhibition that tells some of the stories from our communities. We’ve been able to use the speaker series and the exhibition as ways to extend learning beyond the classroom, looking at how themes from our book tie into other real-world examples. And my design students were able to meet with the exhibit designers and think about some of the questions that go into three-dimensional design, for a very specific set of audiences.

I am grateful for the collaboration of so many colleagues on this project!

RFTHT Card Graphic

A Hidden Garden of Monotypes

27 10 2015

Once again this past summer, my dear friend Gail and I traveled north to Vermillion, South Dakota, to take part in the Frogman’s print workshop. (And, as it happens, we were there for the very last one, as Frogman’s will be moving to Omaha, Nebraska beginning in 2016.) This year’s class with Anita Jung on monotypes and monoprints may well have been the best one I’ve taken. Her teaching style and her approach to printmaking gels well with my own and I so appreciated, as always, the dedicated time to focus and explore a medium. I took my interest in paper-cutting and experimented with thin layers of color and color blending in a, for me, very new way. One of my classmates, upon seeing my drawer full of prints, exclaimed that I had an entire “hidden garden” – a phrase that has stuck with me as I have continued the work at home.

frogmans 2015 hidden garden IMG_4680

Motherhood and Creative Practice

18 07 2015

The highlight of early summer was the opportunity to participate in not one, but two, conferences on motherhood and creative practice. The first, organized by Elena Marchevska and Valerie Walkerdine at London South Bank University, brought together practitioners from many parts of the world for two full days of non-stop, concurrent sessions of presentations and discussions. The days were full, and I didn’t get to hear nearly all of the presentations that I wanted to hear, but the energy and excitement were palpable; Cultural ReProducers published a good recap here. And the best conversations often happened after hours – at cafes, or restaurants, or on a hotel rooftop:

Meeting of the maternal minds

Meeting of the maternal minds

A few days following the London conference, a smaller group of us convened in Rotterdam for an amazing weekend organized by the remarkable Deirdre Donoghue and m/other voices. The Mothernists coalesced around the idea of Mothernism (a riff on Modernism) articulated by Lise Haller Baggesen in her recent Master’s thesis, book project, and exhibition. The opportunity to share work in a more intimate, workshop type of setting led to stronger connections and more brainstorming about possible next steps. In both venues, it was thrilling to see such a critical mass developing around art and the maternal, which only a few years ago felt so on the margins. Or maybe my eyes are only now opening. Or both. Deirdre has very kindly uploaded the videotaped presentations from the weekend, accessible here.

The Mothernists in Rotterdam

The Mothernists in Rotterdam

For me, one of the most rewarding parts of the experience was that my 11-year old daughter joined me for the weekend in Rotterdam. She is at a formative age and I wanted her to be surrounded by these strong feminists, scholars, artists, and mothers, and to get a sense of what it is that I do. She was patient and interested and engaging with these strangers-turned-friends and I was proud to have her along.

(thanks to Courtney Kessel for the photo)

(thanks to Courtney Kessel for the photo)

As for what will come from all of this, who knows? Lots to consider.

A Woman In Her Place exhibition

12 04 2015

A Woman In Her Place, an invitational exhibition curated by Amanda Pfister and Manda Remmen, was on display at the E.B. White Gallery at Butler Community College, El Dorado campus, March 3 – April 10, 2015. Created around the theme of women’s identity and place, the curators invited female artists from the United States and Europe to create new works of art using a traditional slip (undergarment) as a unifying symbol for woman. The curators’ photographs showcase the wide range of work that resulted, from prints and paintings to installations, videos, and sculptures. Mine are the three handmade books in the case, each of which includes bits of a slip in different ways. The curators plan to travel the exhibition in the coming year.

installation shot 1 installation shot 2 installation shot 3 panorama installation shot

installation view of Slipping Away, 2015, handmade book

installation view of Slipping Away, 2015, handmade book

Recent reviews of Reconciling Art and Mothering

26 11 2014

Two years and still going strong! The past few months have seen a couple of stellar reviews of Reconciling Art and Mothering.

Many thanks to Niku Kashef for her lovely review in the new issue of Woman’s Art Journal. Their content is not online but one of the editors very kindly sent me a PDF of the review, which I’ll link to here:

Kashef Mothering review for WAJ

Art Journal published a complimentary piece by Joanne Heath, jointly reviewing our book and The M Word. Also not online, so here it is:

Art journal review

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