Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

I have to write today about someone else’s art.

My husband and I saw the art of Julio César Cepeda Duque in Cuba over 3 years ago, and it was love at first sight. The humor, the craftsmanship and artistry and use of found objects really grabbed us.

el-aviador

We determined to help this artist by bringing him to the US for an exhibition.

It took thousands of dollars, and work by dozens of people to obtain his visa (an O1 visa for person of “extraordinary ability.”) We put together what has become a hard working committee to organize his housing, the exhibit itself at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading PA, visits to schools and universities, festivals, and many home visits, picnics and dinners.

With Alexis.jpg

Now he is here.

Here we were picking him up at the Philadelphia airport at 3 AM August 11.

3 am at Philly airport.jpg

His first “assignment” was to make a sculptural mural for the city of West Reading.

It turned out to be 6 panels that together form the Island of Cuba. It will be installed Monday.

Final touches

Today will be an advance unveiling of the work at a reception in West Reading.

Then he’ll start work in his studio at GoggleWorks, getting ready for the exhibition opening night Sept 7.

He is such a nice, charming person, and so very hard working, focused, and efficient.

So many people have come foward to help, it has been a pure joy to meet them and work with Julio to make his visit an outstanding success.

8 17 Dale Paul Polly Julio

 

 

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Mother Serves the Turkey II 31 x 26.5

M Ressler Mother Serves the Turkey

Every now and then I get an update from William Reker, the director of traveling art quilts for SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates.)

This one is notable because it is the final venue for Turmoil and Tranquility:

 ” The International Museum of Art and Science in McAllen, Texas will be hosting portions of both exhibitions from August 10, 2019 through December 15, 2019.

“It is our goal to exhibit our members’ work in as many venues as possible.  Both Turmoil and Tranquility have had successful exhibitions on three continents.  Unfortunately, the International Museum of Art and Science cannot host the entirety of both exhibitions and we have agreed for a portion of each to be on display.   Your work has been selected for this venue. Below please find a list of works to be displayed.

Turmoil:

Pallbearer by Margaret Abramshe

The Flames They Left Behind by Holly S Altman

Disheveled Love by Karen M Balos

Fracture by Betty Busby

A Cancerous Turmoil by Carol Capozzoli

The Weather in Her Head by Linda Colsh

Crossings I by Sandy Gregg

Tied in Knots by Betty Hahn

1953 Popcorn by Jim Hay

Childhood Taken: The Doffer Boys by Patricia Kennedy-Zafred

Marklin Nebula by Jeanne Marklin

Mother Serves the Turkey II by Martha E Ressler

Tranquility:

Flowers of the Vine by Frances Holliday Alford

Morning Mist by Linda Anderson

Ponderings IV by Erika Carter

The Sentinel by Linda Colsh

Donald in Light by Jennifer Day

Come Sit with Me, Patrick Caulfield by Heather Dubreuil

Succulents by Aileyn Renli Ecob

Winter Silence by Suzan Engler

Entryway by Sandy Gregg

A Separate Reality by Patricia Kennedy-Zafred

Whooper Reflection by Judith Roderick

Adoration by Gwyned Trefethen

Circle Back by Tina Williams Brewer

“During its three year run, Turmoil will have been on display in 10 venues, on three continents including 2 museums in the United States.  We are constantly striving to locate new venues and promote your art around the world.  Below is a complete listing of the exhibition’s travel.

International Quilt Festival – Houston, Texas: November 2-6, 2016

International Quilt Festival – Chicago, Illinois: April 6-8, 2017

Festival of Quilts – Birmingham, United Kingdom: August 10-13, 2017

Australasian Quilt Convention – Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens, Melbourne, Australia: April 5-8, 2018

Stitches & Craft Show – Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, South Bank, Australia: June 8-10, 2018

Craft & Quilt Fair – Canberra, Australia: August 9-12, 2018

Stitches & Craft Show- Newcastle, Australia: August 16-19, 2018

Craft & Quilt Fair – Adelaide Showground, Wayville, Australia: September 19-22, 2018

Grants Pass Museum of Art- Grants Pass, Oregon, United States: June 1 – July 27, 2019

International Museum of Art and Science, McAllen, Texas, United States: August 10, 2019 – December 15, 2019 (selected works)

“The International Museum of Art and Science will be the final venue for the exhibition.  I will contact you in January 2020 to return your work to you.

“Your participation in SAQA’s Global Exhibition has allowed us to expand the number of exhibitions we offer to a growing number of venues.  Between now and April 2020, SAQA will debut 10 new exhibitions.  Five of these exhibitions will premiere in museums rather than at quilt shows.  Please visit www.saqa.com/calls to view the current opportunities to exhibit your art provided by both the Global Exhibition and Regional Exhibition programs.”

 

The Other Side of the Wall smallThe Other Side of the Wall depicts the color and vibrancy of Tijuana that abuts the US/ Mexico wall just a few miles from San Diego. It is for the Border Wall Quilt Project. All pieces, mine included, are 8 x 16″

The wall on the Mexican side is brightly painted, and the family in blue is my drawing taken from one of those paintings. There are community gardens, a Nuclear Free zone plaque, and other colorful works of art.

butterfly painting on the wall

Part of the wall lists names of those who have died crossing the border. Although theoretically one could swim around the wall that extends into the Pacific Ocean, the US side is highly militarized.

border wall

Life goes on in lively Tijuana. But a pile of “wishing rocks” reminds us of the yearning for peace and unification of families.

wishing stones 3

I’ve started a new series, similar to Eastern Europe in Stitches.  Recently I asked a good friend fom Tijuana to give me a tour. She was raised there, and holds many happy memories of growing up, especially of her grandmother and her farm.

She is also an artist who could readily understand my interest in viewing the art on the Mexican side of the wall that separates it from the US. There is a memorial to those who died in crossing the border. (top right in the pictures below.) You can see how the border wall extends right into the sea.

So we absorbed the beauty and sadness on the Mexican side of the wall. There was a pile of “wishing stones” including wishes for “unity of my family” and “that everyone finds prosperity and love.”

I’ve made four little quilts (5 x 7″) so far in this series. I bought some used Mexican postage stamp on Etsy, and some small items while I was there so I could add found objects. Each one includes a drawing on cloth (then stitched) of something painted on the wall, or something else I saw.

 

 

 

The Little Red Maple lo res

The smallest of our red maple trees, with the final leaves clinging to its branches caught my eye in late autumn. The background is pieced sections of a hand painted cloth panel from Malaysia, bought at Ladyfingers Sewing Studio in Oley, PA (a treasure trove of fine fabrics.)

I had actually made most of this piece a couple of years ago, but added the extensive hand embroidery during my recent vacation during long hours riding in the car. I  think it changes it completely, echoing the white of the tree section. Now, it’s done!

Martha Ressler

The Little Red Maple

Art Quilt

17.5 x 16.5″

red barn and spring house lo res

Red Barn and Spring House is a spot I know well, as it’s right next door on my sister and brother in law’s property. They don’t use the old spring house anymore, but I like to think about how it used to keep milk and cheese cool in the warm summer months. It’s pretty muddy there, but the cows don’t seem to mind.  They can always find water in the boggy parts.

My hubby likes to tell the tale of painting this barn when he was a teenager, especially the hex signs.  I do believe it must have been a harrowing experience.

I like the way the roof of the barn turned out.  Even though it was snow covered, you could still see some textures and even some color from the underlying roof and I wanted to capture that.

Martha Ressler

Red Barn and Spring House

Art Quilt

16 x 20″

I am excited that my art quilt “Celebrating the Destruction of Apartheid” has been selected for inclusion in a show at Visions Art Museum in San Diego, CA. The opening is April 21, which I plan to attend.

This lighthearted moment on our trip to South Africa belies the tragedy embedded in this place. The two figures are seated in front of the High Court Annex in Cape Town, where South Africans had to report annually to be classified as members of one of seven “races.” Our guide, seated on the right, relayed how his own family had been split up by this cruel, subjective process. He is joined on the left by one of our tour group members, a young doctor from Atlanta.

In the past, as persons of color, they would have been violating the South African laws of Apartheid, a system of rigid segregation and oppression of the non-white population. Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, and the Apartheid laws were abolished in mid-1991, pending the historical first multiracial election in 1994, when Mandela was elected President of South Africa. Today the “whites only” bench remains as a historical reminder that Apartheid has been tossed into the ashcan of history.

I was involved in the international fight to free Nelson Mandela and end apartheid in the late 1980’s, and incorporated my collection of political buttons from that time into the quilt.

Today, though Apartheid has been destroyed, South Africa is one of the most economically unequal country in the world. The fight for equality continues as it does elsewhere, including the United States.

The rest of the piece tells the story of our visit to South Africa. The Bushveld, at the top, is where we enjoyed a safari. Nelson Mandela’s prison cell and the quarry where he and other political prisoners toiled, fabrics I bought there, South African money and Jackass Penguins and other animals we saw are among the other items in the design.

celebrating the destruction of apartheid small

Martha Ressler, Celebrating the Destruction of Apartheid, Art Quilt, 60 x 37.5″