Reflections on “RePurposed”

May 25th, 2018

     My show at the AVA Gallery is coming to a close, and I have to say, I am very pleased with how it went. From putting the show together, to the opening reception, to the artist’s talk, I feel that the show has been a success.

     The opening reception was well attended, with several dozen people, both friends of mine and members of the local community, present. These particular sculptures are very interactive, and it was a pleasure to watch people enjoying them. People can touch them, walk under them, and a few people were even sitting on them. There was a musician present at the opening who immediately saw the sculptures as instruments and asked me if he could ‘play’ them. It is wonderful to see people interact with the sculptures in ways for which they were not initially intended. And it turned out, when the sculptures were banged on in different ways, that they did, in fact, produce very interesting tones.

I was also pleased with the turnout for my artist’s talk. About 20 people were present, some friends of mine and some who I had never met. I enjoyed getting to share with the audience about the process I have gone through putting this show together as well as a little bit of history in where I am coming from and what has sparked my interest in this kind of sculpture. It was a great opportunity to put my work in a little bit more context, and it was great to hear some questions and to be able to respond.

All four sculptures are for sale. However, any of them that don’t sell will be going to live at Sculpture Fest and King Farm, where they will continue their lives gracing the hills of Woodstock.

In the meantime, I will be continuing my explorations of art from repurposed materials. I have some new ideas that I would like to pursue, and, as the new work develops, I will continue sharing photos in my newsletter and here on my blog.

 

If you missed my artist’s talk, you can watch it here.

“Repurposed:” A Show at the AVA Gallery

April 10th, 2018

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    The AVA gallery in Lebanon, NH, will be home to some of my work from April 27th through May 30th. An opening reception will be held on April 27th from 5-7 pm. The show will be a continuation of my exploration of art using repurposed materials. As part of my work for COVER, a White River Junction-based nonprofit that helps repair homes of vulnerable residents, I find myself making frequent trips to the dump, to dispose of excess materials. Seeing this as a waste, I have begun setting aside materials that could still have some utility as materials for sculpture and art.

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I have been intrigued by these materials, not only because I don’t like watching them go to waste, but also because of the interesting effects that time and the elements have on them. The roofing that I am currently working with, for example, is worn in a way that makes it continually interesting to look at. The galvanized metal develops interesting patterns and marks over years of exposure to the elements, giving it nuance. Each unique piece brings its history with it to the sculpture.

    For the upcoming show, I have been experimenting with large forms, as the show will fill two rooms at the AVA gallery. While these pieces are made from repurposed wood and discarded metal roofing, my primary interest is exploring how these forms can be expressed and how they engage with the spaces they are set in.

“Suspended Earth:” My Contribution to SculptureFest 2016

September 15th, 2016

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This installation – which I installed for the “Grounding” SculptureFest 2016 at King Farm in Woodstock, Vermont – continues a body of work that concerns multiple elements creating a larger form. I was curious about finding a way to float clay in the black box of what I like to call the zen pagoda. I like the idea of taking something earthbound and floating it in the air. In creating this piece I was also inspired by images of asteroid belts. This clay has experienced many uses: other installations, as casting form for sculptures, masks and giant puppets. It is unfired and will be recycled eventually. The balls are hanging on 40 lb test monofilament.

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As I worked on this piece the process of applying these 200 clay balls was additionally a type of meditation. I could listen to the wind blow, people talking, teams practicing down at the high school, the town lunch horn blow, grass cutting, art being created, crickets chirping and the birds singing. For four days this was my grounding to this place, my way of being present to each moment. It is no secret that being aware of these moments is the root of happiness.

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During the 3 September opening, it was a pleasure to have dancers Tracy Penfield and Chelsea Palin choose to move through and with my piece.

For several years now I have enjoyed the space and freedom offered by the magical space that is King Farm. This place is a fantastic art lab, where artists can experiment and float new ideas. It is a place where time has worked its special entropy into these buildings and land. I feel so lucky to be a part of this fabric that is the evolving history of King Farm.

“Grounding” SculptureFest 2016: Co-Curated by Jay Mead

September 1st, 2016

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Welcome to “Grounding,” Co-Curated by Edythe Wright and Jay Mead 

It has been such an honor to pull these 20 artists together for this SculptureFest 2016 show we are calling “Grounding.” As you will see, King Farm, in Woodstock, Vermont – with its forests, pastures, pond, topography and classic barn buildings and sheds – is a wonderful tableau for installations and sculpture.

Thanks to the Vermont Land Trust for allowing us to use this unique place to show fresh creations. In fact, many installations were created in situ and some are still curing! Special appreciations are also very much due to Peter and Charlet Davenport for all the hard work they have put into making this such a special venue for so many years.

So what is “Grounding?” We hoped this title would be open enough to invite a wide variety of work and that is what we have here. In this show, you will find many forms of “Grounding;” it can be interpreted on a personal level as in “What grounds me?” Grounding can also be literally taken as connecting to the ground or even to run aground. Then there is the common theme of grounding as in relating to this place, home, nature, the earth, relationships, or even the greater cosmos. We hope this work engages you in the greater question of “Where do you find your grounding?”

Happy trails!

Images of the installations can be viewed on the SculptureFest website by clicking on the respective artists’ name.

Building Hope and Community in the Upper Valley

August 20th, 2016

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In June, I started working full-time as a Job Crew Leader for a non-profit called COVER. Based in White River Junction, Vermont, COVER specializes in home repair and weatherization for people in need who live in the Upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont. COVER relies on the generosity of individuals, foundations, local businesses, and the proceeds from its “ReCOVER Store” to fund home repairs and weatherization. The mission of COVER is best summed up by “providing hope and community” to the people of the Upper Valley.

I have found this work to be highly rewarding in that I have to apply several skill sets: teaching, construction knowledge, leadership, and the ability to hear people’s concerns. In a time when there is so much negative hyperbole directed toward people in poverty and the safety nets of our government are under attack, it feels good to be part of a positive solution. Learn more about COVER.