Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year and my work as a social contract

For the past three years, I've struggled with how to make work that moves beyond sharing my own and others' personal stories into the realm of culturally-relevant commentary. It is possible that my own thinking and self-contextualization were the only barriers to this. What if I were to think of my work as a social contract, and myself as having a duty or responsibility to represent multiple voices as a way of speaking about contemporary social issues without being didactic or obnoxious?

A new version of my artist statement is underway. I am thinking of making it the home page of my web site. Good idea or ridiculous?!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

When I was a kid, I overheard the term "glass ceiling" pretty often, meaning an invisible barrier to women and/or people of color seeking advancement into high level corporate positions. While I never dreamed of making it in the corporate world, I kept an image in my head of an actual clear glass ceiling, and how it would feel to accidentally bang into it.

As an artist, some of the gallerists and administrators who favor my work have suggested that I'd sell more and show in more galleries if I were a man. While I recognize that these comments are meant to be supportive, I am not 100% convinced that being female has hampered me. I know a far greater number of disappointed male artists than female artists, for instance.

So, what is a glass ceiling in 2015? I am not sure exactly how I would define it. I think the glass ceiling of my 80s childhood has shifted and changed shape. I unfortunately do think that misogyny still permeates our culture in sometimes obvious and other times subtle ways. For instance, I've noticed Facebook posts describing how women silently tolerate subtle forms of abuse — inappropriate sexual remarks or jokes, unwanted physical contact — in social and/or professional settings where speaking up seems unfavorable. I am disappointed to see women close to me in age feel as though they cannot voice disagreement with behavior that belittles or maligns. While experiencing unwanted remarks or physical contact is not a glass ceiling, the psychology of grinning and passively participating in unwanted behavior encourages women's all-over passivity. Instead of self advocating, we laugh off something offensive, hurtful or inappropriate when we should be demonstrating a lack of approval and advocating for ourselves. If we won't stick up for ourselves in the context of casual banter, how will we ask for a raise or a more flexible schedule? How will we advocate for better parental leave and other benefits? How will we shift antiquated ways of thinking and behaving?

In a series of sculptures and characters now in formation, I am playing with the intersection of fiber and glass. Both of materials can be seen as delicate (and by extension feminine) while also being surprisingly resilient and strong. In the below piece, which says "breaking the glass ceiling," the figure's arms are glass beads. I've since taking this photo somewhat changed the structure of the piece, and am adding a jacket with more text about breaking my own glass ceiling. Stay tuned for more photos.

Friday, October 23, 2015

In Residence, Monday, 10/26 – Sunday, 11/8

Join me at Workshop Gallery Artists Foundation at Brooklyn Workshop Gallery for the 2015 finale to Native/Immigrant City, my exploration of New York natives, immigrants and transplants from other parts of the country through soft sculpture. Since December 2014, I've been collecting stories and memories of moving to and from NYC, surviving rent hikes, questionable roommates and landlords, and falling in love with the City despite all the stress and vowing never to leave.

I translate friends' and strangers' stories into stop motion animations and embroideries on fabric paintings and sculptures. I try to give voice and tactile form to varying cultural points of view. With a Brooklyn Arts Council grant, I've had the opportunity to host some communal storytelling and embroidery events in the past year. Thanks to 61 Local and Brooklyn Workshop Gallery for donating space.

From 10/26–11/8, you can find me at Brooklyn Workshop Gallery. Special hours are:
Monday, 10/26, 12–7pm
Saturday, 10/31, 12–5pm
Sunday, 11/1, 2–5pm
Monday, 11/2, 12–6pm
Tuesday, 11/3, 11am–4pm

Join us on Thursday, 11/5 from 7-9pm for a poetry reading featuring KC Trommer and friends.

For additional hours and dates, contact me to set up a private viewing of the work, or look for updates via Facebook.

Friday, September 25, 2015

3D Stitch-By-Stitch at Pratt — Starts Tuesday!!

Join me!

5 consecutive Tuesdays.

Embroidery basics leading to 3D explorations. Lots of individual attention and group demos. Collegial environment. Fun!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer Lovin

Summer's long days and nights fade before we're ready and catch the perfect selfie on the beach  in front of a sunset.

Summer romances are said to be similar. I've spent my summer teaching elementary school students for whom English is a second language. With no summer romance appearing, I've had to embroider one into being...

Come home and put me on like a sweater is a season-less romance for the whole year round.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Are blogs obsolete?

Has Instagram surpassed blogging? I've come to prefer its ease of use and immediacy. Twitter, too, enables quick sharing of ideas, mostly stream of consciousness commentary, which feeds my embroideries and artist statements, hyperbolic though my comments may be. How to transfer followers from one platform to another?

To check in with me more regularly and give me access to your visual diaries, let's follow each other on Instagram.

For now, here are some more images of figures I'm profiling in Native/Immigrant City, an ongoing conversation with Brooklynites and New Yorkers (natives, transplants, immigrants) about surviving/thriving amidst breakneck speed gentrification and crushing daily demands. Currently receiving support through a Greater NY Arts Development Fund grant from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs administered by BAC (Brooklyn Arts Council).