Mexico City Residency and Symposium

22 01 2018

2018 has begun with adventure – a 10-day residency in Mexico City where I shared my work with various groups of artists for feedback and critique, visited studios to meet with Mexican artists and collectives, saw some of the sights and exhibitions of this enormous city, learned how to prepare nopales for handmade corn tortillas, etc., etc. And one of the real highlights – collaborating with artists from other countries to perform my words at a symposium put on by the ELSE Foundation entitled On Limits, Borders, Edges, and Boundaries. I’m so thankful for artist friends who didn’t hesitate to collaborate and who invited me to try new things with my words. (Photo credits to JoMichelle Piper; photo and video credits and Malvina Sammarone)

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Short excerpt from “Messaging Across Time: Communicating Care through Epistolary Praxis.”

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Letterpress Residency

22 01 2018

Thanks to the invitation of a dear friend, who also happens to be a printmaker extraordinaire, I spent a short residency at a studio in Colorado learning how to hand-set lead type and make letterpress prints. The out-of-date, “inefficient” processes of setting type by hand, the wooden “furniture” that felt like playing with blocks, the puzzle piece process of fitting everything together in the frame, the satisfaction of embossed paper – I loved it. The texts encapsulate the conversations happening between the historimaginary sisters from the first year of the MFA explorations, and the prints will be editioned as a portfolio this spring, once I make the enclosures. (And, I expect that some of the other prints will be combined with drawing and stitching in separate works.)

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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. 





Who Cares for the 21st Century?

24 10 2017

mothernist conference

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.

Etc.

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