I made a quick trip to around WV, a few weeks ago and saw some stellar shows. Here’s part I of my musings…
I always have to stop at Annex Gallery inside Taylor Books downtown. I had a solo show there a few years ago of my What Will Her Kids Think? series (right, sadly I don’t know why it’s so blurry!) of collaborative drawings with my kids. (See more on Motherhood series page.)
I got to see Hannah Lenhart‘s clay creations last week, not my typical art but so fun, unexpected with a retro feel, these dynamic forms, colors and patterns in ceramics! Love both the functional and decorative – wish I could afford!
Upon reading her artist statement, it seems we have a commonality – our artmaking is a calming and comforting process, as is the curation of art in our home. During COVID, she found herself in her studio more often, “failing over and over again, but through those failures I became a better maker and for that I’m very grateful.” YES! Feel those feels! [image left from her website]
[Random: reminds me of Alanis Morrissette’s old song The Only Way Out is Through]
Check out Annex Gallery, connected to Taylor Books! Such a sweet, well done shop. Wish we had one in Morgantown.
Speaking of wishing we had in Morgantown – en route I stopped at Tamarack Marketplace – a huge craft shop and gallery in Beckeley WV – most of it is crafty but always love checking out their gallery and finding my local faves like Leslie Norris / Sugar Pop Press and Fierce Sonia (right from webside OMG need to buy one of hers). Love the use of collage mixed media with the figure and the bright colors!!
[Some of my favorite work is collage. Feminist artists have used the media as a disruption of the traditional “high art” for awhile. Like Hannah Hoch, one of the Dada artists, or Mary Beth Edelson, fabulous 2nd wave feminist artist. I’ve made some collages recently myself – I love to play with text, my drawing, coupled with clippings from art mags. It’s just so much fun to play with form, shape and meaning.]
This is one from my recent series, “Into the Weeds.” You may recognize some of the clippings from artists Judy Chicago (central figure, walking around in one of her Dry Ice installations), Joan Jonas (two smaller figures, still from one of her performance videos) and Joan Mitchell (left, one of her Orange paintings). The text is just grabbed from a magazine, and I love the play with layers/generations/various media of feminist art, along with my own self portrait drawing and the text which speaks to the complexity of feminism….
Print is also one of my fave media!… my favorite being Wanda Ewing – I wrote a series about her for her blog a few years ago. Here’s the first post.
Also at Tamarack: Leslie Norri (left). I own several prints by her, always love her fun poppy style (left from her website)!
Love how printmaking has a mass way of reaching people – ok so does social media – but print keeps the physical aspect! And seeing masses of a different print (obvious one is Andy Warhol less obvious but more amazing is Nancy Spero) can multiply the impact…Spero is also known to disrupt normal exhibition tactics, using the floor or having the works super tight.
Right: Nancy Spero, Acrobat, color stamp and collaged papers on paper, each sheet measures 110.5 x 20.5 in, 1990, Smith College Museum of Art, 1992:6a-g. Purchased with funds realized from the sale of a work donated by Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Rittmaster (Sylvian Goodkind, class of 1937) in 1958.
I’ll end my first installment there…always good to end with Nancy Spero <3…
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