Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

For a themed show at Studio B in Boyertown entitled Art of Film Exhibition, I decided to combine one of my dearest heroes, Harriet Tubman with Wonder Woman.

Harriet was a diminutive enslaved woman who escaped and then made numerous trips South to help more slaves escape.  She said, “I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” It probably wasn’t that many, but she is still very much a superhero in my eyes. She also served as a nurse in the Civil War, and a spy for the Union.

All she needed was some Superhero hair and a headband.

I had some Wonder Woman fabric, but bought some additional superhero fabric, and a spiderman toy to perch on her shoulder.

The piece won an award and will be exhibited, after the Studio B show closes at the Reading Film Fest in November.

Martha with Harriet Tubman as Superhero

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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

 

 

As Going Rural is about to come down at Art Plus Gallery in West Reading, I’m preparing two new shows.

“Eastern Europe in Stitches” pieces that haven’t shown yet will be on display in the main outside case at Reading Hospital, 6th and Spruce Street, West Reading, during the month of July.

Martin Luther

Martha Ressler, Martin Luther, 7 x 9″ framed. Art Quilt with found objects and hand quilting.

And newly framed work will go on display at Weichert Realtors, 65 Commerce Dr, Wyomissing, PA for 3 months, starting July 9.

I’ll be teaching a beginning art quilt class in my studio in July, but otherwise it’s a month off from travel or art fairs.

I always look forward to July at home. It equates to peace and happiness for me!

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″

linus and Lucy (Blue)-small1 lo res

Day 9 features a second small Blue Linus and Lucy piece.  This will also be framed. Part of a Jazz themed series I am doing.

Martha Ressler

Blue Linus and Lucy, Small 1

Art Quilt

8 x 6″ framed

Linus and Lucy (Blue)-small2 lo res

Day 8 of  #30paintingsin30days.  Or Art Quilts, in my case.

This is a small version of Linus and Lucy Blue.  These 6 x 8″ framed art quilts are popular items in the art fairs I do, as well as gift shops around town.  I’m continuing with the series — listening to Linus and Lucy by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

Martha Ressler

Small Linus and Lucy Blue, #2

Art Quilt

8 x 6″ Framed

Franklin Street Games lo res

This tiny art quilt, just 2 x 8″ will actually be a mural.

Artist Michael L Miller of West Reading is organizing a project called West Reading Museum of Temporary Art and Personal Histories. He gathered the stories of 120 residents, from past to present, and matched the stories with 120 artists who will create the tiny works of art to be installed, each on a brick, around town.

The story I was assigned was a man remembering his boyhood on a street of row houses. As he passed by, friendly neighbors relaxed on their front porches. He played tag with his friends and remembered shooting marbles on the grass.

I tried to abstract the row houses, overlaid by the circles and colorful marbles inside and outside them.

Martha Ressler

Franklin Street Games

Art Quilt

2 x 8″