Category Archives: Exhibits

Taking A Gamble

Way back at the beginning of 2018 I set myself a few quilting goals. One was to have my work accepted in an art show, not just a quilt show. To that end I mounted “Sunset on Main” on a prestretched canvas in hopes that would appeal more to an art show juror. Such a presentation precluded any usual quilt show entries with their “must show your work” rules about quilt backs.

My gamble paid off when that work was accepted into Against The Sky, a juried landscape exhibition coming up at Summit Artspace from October 19 to November 17.

I’ll know more about the other entries after I attend the opening reception this Friday night from 5-8 p.m. From the few I saw when I took in my piece it will be an interesting mixture of media.

So, if you’re planning to be in downtown Akron on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday afternoons, stop by. Summit Artspace at 140 East Market Street is a block from the Akron Art Museum. Specific hours are 12-7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 12-5 p.m. Saturdays. Special Artwalk hours are from 12-9 p.m. on Thursday, November 3.

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Artistic Endeavors – Art From Paper

Recently I came across a new-to-me twist on paper sculpture – replicating historic costumes in paint and paper. I won’t touch on the issue of whether fashion design is more than a decorative art, but I consider it an artistic endeavor.

The Frick Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, has a new special exhibit “Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper,” which includes life-size trompe l’œil paper costumes, in addition to paper accessories such as shoes, jewelries and handbags, created by Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. French for “deceive the eye,” trompe l’œil is an art technique that uses photographically realistic details to create optical illusions; in de Borchgrave’s case, she uses paper and paint to simulate various fabrics.

The artist’s interest in creating paper costumes was sparked by a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994, where she found herself inspired by the historic costumes on display. Back in her studio, she began to experiment with creating renditions of the pieces in paper.

According to de Borchgrave, “After I make some drawings, after I put the paper on the table, I have to choose the color to give the effect. Sometimes it’s more satin, sometimes it’s like a felt … or silk. I look and I try to find the effect through the color. When I find that, I paint all the paper … and after, there are people who cut the paper and put it together. For sure, I am next to them because I have to decide if it’s large enough or maybe too big or maybe too little. That’s like haute couture for all the dresses you can see in that exhibition.”

Marie de Medici
Closeup of ruff

Painting of the Princess of Conde by Rubens


The dress created from the painting of the Princess of Conde. 

You can see closeups of garments created for the 2009 exhibit called Les Medicis: Le Reve Revient here. The costumes take center stage after about 45 seconds of location footage, and the video shows their sumptuousness through slow pan shots.

De Borchgrave’s website gives a taste of her current projects such as the life and work of Picasso. She is also involved in fabric and paper products design, and rents out her studio for special tours and gatherings. You and 14 others can enjoy a guided tour of her Brussels studio for a minimum of 225 Euros.

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Blue and White (With A Little Red) Quilts

Earlier I wrote about the preview party for Patterns of History: Quilts of the Summit County Historical Society. Now I’d like to share a few of the quilts on display with you.

First, the blue and white quilts.


The tiny feathered edges are well done, and the scallop edge is shallower than many. You can see the fading on the blue where the quilt was exposed to sun, probably when it was on a bed.
An Ohio quilt display has to include an Ohio Star quilt.
This Devils Claw design features subtle variations of blue.
Tiny, even quilting stitches are the highlight of this nine patch variation.
As promised, an applique quilt that features reds.

These and many more quilts and coverlets are displayed throughout the Simon Perkins Mansion and the John Brown House during October. Self-guided tours are available Wednesday-Saturday from 1-4 p.m. for an admission fee to non-Society members.

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Artistic Endeavors – James Stanford’s Mandalas

Player

James Stanford’s Shimmering Zen is now on exhibit at The Studio-Sahara West Library in Las Vegas, Nevada, through December 8, 2018. It has been described as the intersection of Las Vegas and Buddhism. The digital images are intricate, detail-dense, neatly symmetrical, abstract, mandala-like. Most often they’re layers of details cropped from historic photos of Vegas signage and architecture.


Skrolls

Stanford uses the iconic vintage signage of Las Vegas, where he spent his childhood at a time when the town was small and provincial, without access to global culture. His layered images reflect a mirrored geometry that unravels and then recomposes. Printed on metallic paper, the works evoke a sense of infinite reflection.

Some of the pieces in the exhibit are “lenticular” images — several layers of the same image, each treated and colored differently, backlit and viewed through a lenticular, or striated, magnifying lens. They are the product of intensive Photoshopping — up to 30 or 40 layers each. The picture shifts as you move in front of it. So when you move, the image shift, while brief, is pronounced, a disruptive flutter before the picture snaps back to clarity, albeit now in a different alignment. Think kaleidoscopes.

Kings 8

Lucky Lady

Stanford’s latest photo montage exhibit is part of his Indra’s Jewels, and is available as a book. You can sample more of Stanford’s work on his Vimeo channel, https://vimeo.com/jamesstanford. These short, often silent, videos can be mesmerizing.

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If You Love Vintage Quilts

and live in northeast Ohio, then be sure to visit the Summit County Historical Society‘s Perkins Mansion and see the Society’s quilts on display during October. The special exhibit, called Patterns of History: Quilts of the Summit County Historical Society, will be displayed in the Perkins Stone Mansion, John Brown House and the Carriage House.

Single Irish Chain

If you want to preview the exhibit and enjoy some appetizers and desserts at the same time, then come to the preview party on Monday, October 1, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available from the Society or at Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/preview-party-for-patterns-of-history-quilts-tickets-50086500070.

1870s embroidered tied quilt

I’ve helped inventory the society’s quilts and coverlets, so I know there are some gems.

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Artistic Endeavors – Yayoi Kusama

Atrium of Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art is now showing the much heralded Yayoi Kusama‘s Infinity Mirrors, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I joined many, many others who shelled out $30 to stand in lines for an opportunity to spend about 30 seconds in each mirrored box.

I have no photos of the box interiors because I spent my brief time taking in the effects. However, this exhibit description contains a photo of “The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away,” as well as other exhibit items. It is indeed all done with mirrors.

Besides those marquee items, the exhibit spans other work by Kusama from the 1960s to the present. Some of her more recent work shows further evolution of her trademark polka dots.

What great ideas for quilt borders!

One of my favorite pieces was “Flower” (1975,) in part because of the reflections off the glass that protects this collage. I think it goes well with the exhibit’s theme.

I also saw dots on other items displayed at the museum, especially these two pottery pieces from the central Andes, made sometime between 600 and 1000 AD.

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Artistic Endeavors – Jean Shin

Sometimes it takes an artist’s eye to see possibilities in discarded objects.  Pieces at a recent exhibit of Jean Shin’s work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art use discarded clothing and fashion related materials Shin often crowd sources and refashions into installations. Worn Soles particularly appealed to me. I gather the artist re-configures it for each display space.

Worn Soles
detail
In Worn Soles, the artist has separated the bodies of used shoes from their soles. These disembodied objects are placed heel-side up along the floor in crowded groups, the resulting topography undulating as the heels vary in height. The arrangement of the soles suggests the movement of crowds of people—at times spreading outward, ready to disperse, and at others flowing together in a single direction. Every worn sole is unique and evokes the presence of the body that wore it. Like wrinkles on the skin, the surface is a drawing in which every step produces a mark that maps the owners’ pasts. (taken from Shin’s website)
 
Following are some of her other installations that caught my eye. Many are for public spaces rather than museums, and so their intent and effects differ. The descriptions are from Shin’s website.

Unraveling

A site-specific installation, Unraveling visualizes the web of interrelationships among members of the Asian American arts community. The artist unravels sweaters that have been donated by individuals in each exhibition city and then reassembles the brightly colored yarns into a dynamic installation that maps this dense social network. The name of each participant is silkscreened onto a label that is sewn onto the edge of the owner’s deconstructed sweater.

Sound Wave
Records were melted and sculpted to form a cascading wave, dotted with bursts of colorful labels. The resulting structure speaks to the inevitable waves of technology that render each successive generation of recordable media obsolete. The piece also aims to physically manifest the ephemerality of music as well as one man’s musical tastes, as represented by his personal record collection.
Penumbra
 
Rescued from the street after windy storms, broken umbrellas have been deconstructed, reassembled and re-introduced to the outdoor elements. Attached to trees, this large canopy of primarily black umbrellas provides a passage of welcome shade in the park as it interacts with the sun and breeze, creating a play of shadows below.

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