Social cause art is what my friend and fellow fiber artist, Do Palma does. Since "Crazy" is my first foray into this world, a meeting with Do to hear about her experiences working with difficult subject matter was needed. The Rail Yard Restaurant was our spot to meet, eat, discuss and of course embroider in public. She offered me insights on what her work has meant to her and how she gets her message across to her audience, all while adding some stitching to the Vietnam segment of project (she didn't like my needles though and suggested a better brand for me)!
It was a delightful meeting with a thoughtful and talented woman. Thank you!
CBS This Morning: Saturday's co-host Michelle Miller had a very interesting interview with author Rob Hart. His latest book, The Warehouse is a sci-fi dystopian cyber thriller about companies that "...treat us like disposable products. We are the food they eat to grow bigger." I'm not usually a sci-fi reader but because I am working on the "Crazy" project I think I will have to give this book a read! What really caught my attention was Michelle Miller reading the book's opening quote. " I pity the man who wants to buy a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produced the cloth will starve in the process" and here is the kicker....its an 1891 quote from our 23rd president Benjamin Harrison ! Unfortunately time has not solved the problem. Workers all over the world are still underpaid plus the environment is now groaning under the weight of textile waste.
The former, "How is it Possible" project is now called, Crazy- A Contemporary Quilt About Pressing Problems in the Fashion Industry. Yes, its longer but I just thought it was way more descriptive and I like the instant connection with my design source, the Crazy Quilts of the late 1800's. Here are some images of the latest embroidery work.
The Teardrop trailer was packed full with Dave's Rawhide jewelry supplies, my How is it Possible project and other essentials like food, clothing and fishing gear. We left Cheyenne for the five hour trip to the Reservation and the 307 Makerspace the first week in August. Dave planned to develop some new designs for his jewelry line that he could cut on the laser. My plan was to work on my project and find folks to collaborate with. A bonus I didn't expect was the long hallway in the building that houses the Makerspace and the University of Wyoming Extension office. It allowed me to photograph all the strips laid out end to end and to get a feeling for what the finished project would look like ( I still need to add the black boarders to create a finished look). Dave took enough pictures of me strolling down the artwork so I could make a GIF image of it ( my first attempt at this ).We both got a lot of good work done in between trips to Lander for ice cream, and a hike out to the beautiful reservoir to watch the sunset while roasting hot dogs over a driftwood fire. Success!
Turkish breakfast, Aya Sofya, The blue Mosque and a family wedding along the Bosphorus River! All this plus a meet up with Turkish artist Damla Yacin to collaborate with me on the, "How is it Possible," project. Damla and I talked about art, the history of quilting, the fashion industry and women in the workforce while we embroidered together at a small table in the cafe of the Istanbul Modern. I picked the Modern to meet because I thought it would be fun to embroider in public there and the current show, The Event of a Thread: Global Narratives in Textiles, wad on exhibition. One of the pieces I really responded to was Sabire Susuz's piece entitled Shopping. Made entirely from clothing labels pinned to a backing, the pieces is compelling from a distance but even more interesting close up." The shark depicted in "Shopping is a representation of the vast and wild appearance of the ocean as well as the consumptive urge of daily life. That urge to buy more, buy fast, and feel superior by possessing... "
Sabire's piece was spot on and totally in the spirit of what I am trying to do! It was fascinating to see what Turkish fiber based artist were up to.
This week I will be working on the project at the 307 Maker Space on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. The space will give me an opportunity to lay out all 8 strips and I am excited to see how they all fit together!
Please join me as I welcome Wanda Sanders-Miller to my studio for the May 9th Artwalk. Wanda is a watercolorist who will be demonstrating her techniques from 5-8pm. The weatherman says it will snow but don't let that keep you home! I'll have a hot drink and some warm treats to sample while you enjoy Wanda's work in action.
Watching artists work and seeing their thought process has always been interesting to me. I also think it is important for us to share with the public who we are as artist and where we get our inspiration from . The PUMP series, at my Blue Door Arts studio, is my way of highlighting this process. PUMP will feature a different artist for each of the monthly Cheyenne Artwalks. April 11th will be Cheyenne artist, Tara Pappas;
"There are stories all around us—both those that have been told time and time again, and those that have yet to gain a voice. The focus of my artwork is on the latter." Tara is currently working on giving voice to her first illustrated children's book. She will be sharing the interesting way she is doing this through the Patreon crowd sourcing site and demonstrating how she creates her unique artwork.
Blue Door Arts is located at 1608 Capitol Ave in the Historic Hynds building in the heart of downtown Cheyenne.. The Cheyenne Artwalk takes place every second Thursday of the month from 5-8pm.
Join me at my studio located at 1608 Capitol Ave in downtown Cheyenne for the next Cheyenne Artwalk on February 14th from 5-8pm.
Enter through Blue Door Arts gallery, enjoy the current landscape show and then head back to the studio to see how my piece for the Platte Valley Medical Center is coming along. If you are feeling crafty, sit down with Win Ratz and Dave Rowswell to learn how to make an origami heart and a Swedish Heart Basket. A special treat will be provided by Alchemy Catering. As always the Artwalk is free and family friendly.
I look forward to seeing you from 5-8pm!
I few months ago I received a commission through PS Art Consultants to make artwork for the Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton CO., If you follow my work you will know that I use old clothing and other textiles to bring my ideas and concepts to life. Textiles are a joy for me to work with. The range of colors, textures, and patterns available are vast and so many stories are woven into every textile we touch. Stories known and unknown. Stories from people around the globe that where apart of bringing us the textiles we use everyday! The next time you get dressed check out where your clothes were made and you will see that we wear the world on our backs, ( stay tuned for future posts on my latest collaborative project that digs into global textile stories as well as our own).
Back to the Medical Center....so I thought, why not invite the staff of the Medical Center to add a piece of their story to the art they will look at everyday. I requested some donations of textiles and to my delight the staff was on board with the idea. Last Friday I got a box of clothes and scarves which I have already begun to add to the piece. I hope they will be pleased with the result!
AVA, Gillette Wyoming's community art center, has a yearly gala and art auction to raise money for the center. Two of my pieces were selected to be apart of this event. They have been carefully boxed up and shipped via FedEx to Gillette. It's always a bit tense when I send artwork through the mail even though I worked hard to make the boxes as sturdy as possible with lots of padding and a whole roll of silver duct tape. Not pretty but functional.
Here's to hoping they get there on time, in good shape and bring in some support for AVA.
Georgia Rowswell is a mixed media artist living and working in Cheyenne WY.