."Come visit the grand centerpiece of Cheyenne," is the opening statement on the Garden's website and I couldn't agree more. I always say its the jewel in Cheyenne's crown. Not only do I love to bike to the gardens and hang out in the conservatory, I am proud to say they have now started an Artist-in-Residency program. Laramie WY artist Wendy Bredehoft, was their first artist to fill the upper floor with work based on microscopic images. The next artist will be......well ME! I'll be showing my Hidden Worlds and Life Rings series, both based on things that grow. The show will open June 14th during the Cheyenne Artwalk and will run till the end of July. I will also be teaching a Life Rings workshop at the Gardens in July.
I have been Spring cleaning and tidying up here and there in preparation for my daughter's wedding in July. Today I tackled my studio bulletin board and found some quotes from an article I read in American Craft about artist's Kate Cusack. Like me, Cusack works with unusual, overlooked materials. Here are four quotes that resonate with me as an artist;
" When I transform an everyday material into something elaborate, it reminds the viewer of the power of imagination and the joy of discovering a new view of something that would have otherwise been overlooked."
"Whenever I see things in multiples, its exciting"
"What's interesting to me is the use and transformation of materials."
"There is something deeply liberating about working with expendable stuff."
Old T-shirts and other discarded clothing are the "expendable stuff" I transform into art everyday. A liberation of material and self!
The latest in my Hidden Worlds series is a Yew Tree cross-section. Being the curious person that I am, I had to do a little research on the Yew to see what it was all about. Turns out there is a lot of mythology surrounding this long-lived tree and there is actually a group called the Ancient Yew Group based in England. Its often found in churchyards in England and Wales, it was used to make longbows from the 13th to 16th century and the tree is quite poisonous! Who knew the Yew has such a colorful and interesting history.
As I cut and wrapped the last few inched of this piece, I was watching a DVD called SEED: The Untold Story. Its about the miracle of the seed and how vital they are to mankind's existence. The movie features seed savers from around the world and talks about the dark side of GMOs and big companies like Monsanto. It was so good, I plan to watch it again while I am giving it my full attention ( after all, these days I hear multi-tasking is ineffective)!
Although I am gathering my inspiration from images of plants, there is no plant without a seed.
What's better on a chilly Sunday than getting together with new and old friends to make art in a cool old building! I had three deckle boxes set up yesterday at Art@the Hynds gallery and I expected a few people to trickle in over the next 2 hours. Boom! At 2:00 there were over a dozen people ready to try their hand at paper making! I did a short demo and set them loose. Fortunately my friend and fellow paper maker, Win Ratz, was there and happily pitched in to help people with the process. Everyone got a chance to make several sheets of paper and experiment with a few interesting found fibers like okra and hollyhock.
Sunday Series Success!
Five cross-sections have been finished so far! I plan on doing many more since I just made a proposal for a solo show at the Coconino Art Center in Flagstaff AZ. I would like to do a instillation that flows organically across the gallery walls. I am also eager to try building a cell phone microscope to use during the show. So... after Christmas and New Year's Eve, I will be back in my studio in the Hynds building making my plant inspired, fiber cross-sections!
"We are surrounded by another world that is hidden to the naked eye."
I have been trolling the internet for information and images about plant cells in preparation for a new series. This idea started to percolate back when Shane Smith, the director of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, told me they were planning to get a microscope in their classroom that would show the images on a TV screen. That appealed to me and since the microscope's arrival is not yet determined, I needed to get the ball rolling, I started researching online for cell images and wow! I found there really is a whole world of wonder under the scope! I love natural patterning and the images I found have inspired!
The arts were alive and well in Casper last night! It was first Thursday artwalk and the Visual Arts Biennial Fellowship Show at the Nicolaysen Art Museum, All six winners from 2016 and 2017 were present to greet museum attendees and to talk about their work.
Eric Wimmer did a great job hanging the show and the Nicolaysen is a wonderful venue to show in. I was proud to be one of the six artist included in the 2016/2017 Biennial show.
On exhibit till December 31st, the show is well worth a look!
Thanks to the Nicolaysen and the Wyoming Arts Council for
supporting and promoting visual artists in Wyoming!
I've folded up my 30+ year old bark cloth. The handwoven coverlet I purchased at the Bridge Street Thrift shop is tucked away. Its looking naked in here! Packing up your studio at the end of a residency is never as fun as settling in. Brush Creek Ranch, Studio C, prepared meals by chef Carrie, and the quiet solitude of this place has allowed me to accomplish my goals. Two Hot Yellowstone pieces completed and a start on my Turritella Agate piece.
Thank you to Brush Creek and my husband Dave, who is always so supportive of my artistic wanderings! I'll see you tomorrow.
We are all feeling the pull towards home and our everyday lives but also savoring our final days at Brush Creek. Today I finished Hot Yellowstone #13. That makes two major pieces completed. I also started research and sketches for a piece I want to do about Turitella agate. Created from the fossil remains of a now extinct, fresh-water mollusk, the rock has a complex and beautiful patterning that I love. What's hard to fathom is that much of Wyoming was underwater, creating these types of fossils for us to find and marvel at. Wild!
Part of savoring the last days is making sure I get out for a walk everyday this week to drink in Brush Creek's vistas! The image above was taken just up the hill from my studio as dusk approached. Quiet beauty wrapped in a blanket of snow.
Georgia Rowswell is a mixed media artist living and working in Cheyenne WY.