“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The time has come for the United States to unite under the belief that all people are created equal and until that happens, we must fight the war against America’s pervasive racism. We must stop seeing white men in our mind’s eye when we hear or read the preamble to the Declaration of Independence. We must bring these words into the 21st century and create a new mind’s eye image of who speaks that sentence. Stop seeing those old white slave-owning men and see the man, woman or child who sits across from you, stands in line ahead of you, drives the car beside you, crosses the street with you… imagine those people stopping what they are doing, turning to you and saying “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all PEOPLE are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” And listen to them!
Today, let us all declare our independence from inherent racism and pledge to fight the war against it. Do not sit idly by and hope someone else will fight it for you. Use your voice as your weapon and your salve.
Without confidence and conviction, we isolate and search for protection. The child that is repeatedly bullied, overlooked and ignored grows into an isolated adult. It is the waste of a life and when you multiply that by thousands…hundreds of thousands…millions, we are left with wasted lives and repression (under the misread guise of protection.)
So many of us hide away and never see our own potential. We think we have safety measures in place but those measures only keep us down, keep us under the thumb of our oppressor. Let’s not let the new generations isolate, we must change the way we raise and treat our children.
We MUST increase the love we have for each other. We MUST speak up when we see abuse, and when we speak up, we MUST come from a place of love. Share you capacity of love with another.
Do all you can to help a child gain confidence in themselves. Give them the power of conviction. Appreciate your neighbor, your friend, your family and let them know that they are loved.
I am pleased and honored to have received a grant to run a workshop with kids about the ramifications of missing school, staying at home, being separated from friends, and more—all issues around the pandemic. In the workshop, we will make Memory Dolls or sculptures or abstract forms that are meant to hold the thoughts and feelings and reactions to living under the mandatory Stay Safe, Stay Home order. I have added a page to my site showing dolls that I have made over the years.
Here are links to some interesting work with wrapping and hidden elements.
Being creative in the act of hibernation is not easy for me. The dangers that await at every turn are unfamiliar and it has taken me time to get used to this new way of life. Oddly, I have always worked with the idea of isolation but self-imposed, not regulated. And now I am living it.
My process is layered, layering. I build my work from flat bits of cardboard that, with the help of masking tape and glue, become a structure, a rock, a wall medallion, a house, a cave. I use newspaper and wheat paste and recently plaster. I am interested in creating works that feel discovered, like they were always there but behind something, under something, recently brought to light.
I am working in series format, I can’t just make one of something, just one is not a full thought, a full idea, it is just one word and I want to create sentences.
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is on a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”― Martha Graham
—”an oval or circular painting, panel, or design used to decorate a building or textile.”
I began this as an accident. I had made an oversized vessel that ended up looking like a trash can and I had the idea that if I made a top for it, it would look less like a trash can — more like a vessel. No, it did not.
And so naturally, I added a woman’s head to the trashcan lid! Then when a curator visited my studio, she called it a frieze and she liked it, allowing me to like it —for what it was, no longer a trashcan lid, now a frieze.
But frieze seemed wrong. Medallion felt better.
And now there are three with one more in production. All of these medallions will address the female form, actually, bits and pieces of the female body. Breasts, hair, brains, hands, and more.
Vessels are not a new subject for me. I had made a series of folded drawings back a few years and I repeatedly draw vessels in my sketchbook. But in 2017, I saw the show “Things of Beauty Growing”: British Studio Pottery at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven and I was inspired to consider making three-dimensional vessels. I started them last fall and I am continuing to investigate size, proportion, surface.
I see my vessels, both drawings, and sculptures, as protection for the female form. They hold and/or trap emotions, they represent the uterus, the safe space for new life. They nourish, they contain, they serve.
One issue I am having is the pedestal. I have shown these so far on newspaper columns which I like but they are unsteady when they get too high. I have a plan to make them steady but that would require altering in a secret way with rebar running down the middle of the stacks of paper and it irks me, the “honesty of materials” keeps coming back to me. Possibly use the rebar so that it is visible? I need my fellow artist Scott Schuldt to help me figure this one out.
Since last summer, I have been working with Toto Kisaku, a Congolese artist, performer, writer, and activist, to create sculptures that will be part of his one-person performance Requiem for an Electric Chair. The World Premiere is on Friday, June 22 & Saturday, June 23 at the Arts & Ideas Festival in New Haven CT. Tickets are available now atartidea.org/requiem
“With a gun to his head, Toto Kisaku was moments away from being killed by his government when his executioner showed him a moment of mercy. His only crime? Creating art that questioned the practice of child exploitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Toto Kisaku found refuge in the United States, but many people from his country have not been so fortunate. Be a part of the first audience to hear his harrowing story at the world premiere of his newest theatre piece “Requiem for an Electric Chair”. — https://www.requiemelectric.com/
I am so grateful to be a part of this production—working alongside digital artist Sara Zunda, set designer David Sepulveda, and producer Hanifa Washington .
Installing Wall/Paper II went smoothly with the help of Noé Jimenez, George, and Dylan, a student at Westover. It was vacation week but Dylan was helping out and they was incredibly professional. Plus a lot of fun to work with. That’s Dylan adding paper to the wall and George and Noé on the 16′ ladder stapling the snow fence to the wall.
The install was on Thursday, March 15 and on Monday, March 19, I met with two groups of students for Diversity Day. It was an amazing experience. They helped me set up the Detritus on Bank installation and they had incredible ideas. I came away from the experience with some of my own new ideas thanks to their enthusiasm.
I want to thank Caleb Portfolio and Allison Hildebrand, co-directors of the gallery, for inviting me and for making every step an easy and fun experience.
The show will be up until May 20. If anyone wants to visit the gallery, contact me for information about visiting or just go to the main entrance at Westover and tell them you want to see the show.