Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh’

I was thrilled to be included in the SAQA show that just opened at the Stratford Perth Museum in Stratford, Ontario, My Corner of the World.

Here is the review of the show in the Stratford Beacon Herald

http://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/2016/05/22/my-corner-of-the-world-attracts-artists-from-across-canada-and-around-the-globe-to-exhibit-at-stratford-perth-museum

The piece that was accepted was the view from my studio in Pittsburgh, PA. I walked those streets, and gazed from my studio window so much, I truly felt that those alleys and old factories were my corner of the world. It is called “Evening in Steel Valley.”

My world has changed since then to one of fields rather than factories.  But the truth is that you can take the girl out of the city, but you can never completely take the city out of the girl.

evening in steel valley21x26.5small

 

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I visited the opening of Fiberart International 2016 and the all-day Fiberart Forum in Pittsburgh. The Forum is an all day, intensive walk through of the show, with artists speaking about their pieces, anchored by a key note speaker.

This is an exhibition of contemporary fiber art, shown both at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Society for Contemporary Craft, from May 6 – August 21, 2016.

Full disclosure: this tri-annual show was the single most important inspiration for me to become a fiber artist. I visited the show in 2004 and 2007 in wordless wonder. I longed to be able to create like these artists did, but this dream seemed far out of reach compared to the reality of my life at the time.

Then, after a moment of profound enlightenment, I changed my life and began a now 10-year quest to become a fiber artist.

By 2009 that road had taken me to membership in the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, the wonderful organization that organizes this show every three years. So returning to “the Burgh” meant reuniting with my dear friends in the FGP as well.

The keynote speaker this year was juror Tali Weinberg, Executive Director of the Textile Society of America, and her topic was “Engaging Injustice Through Textiles.” She caught my attention by making the observation that textiles are interwoven with the history of injustice.  Think: enslaved labor picking cotton. Think: labor exploitation in textile plants.  Consider Ghandi’s movement to create hand woven products in India to counter British dumping of cheap manufactured cotton goods.

Her words echoed in my mind viewing the Best in Show: “THIS Revolution Will Not Be Televised: #13 Protest Series,” by Penny Mateer in collaboration with Martha Wasik. It is a giant (94” x 77”) quilt of the images of 80 unarmed persons of color who have been shot by the police since 1999. The border lists their names, ages, where they were from, and the date of their deaths.

Some other pieces that particularly intrigued me were “Snellandschap Luchtweg (Fast Landscape Airway) by Pauline MM Nijenhuis from the Netherlands. It is a canvas painted then hand stitched, and a statement on time – the fast and slow of it.

Susan Kathleen Doyle’s “Columbia” is a two-piece dress made from an encyclopedia her husband discarded. The muted colors and workmanship mesmerized me, plus I’ve a special interest in the use of old paper.

Margery Amdur’s “Amass #6” transforms cut cosmetic sponges with ink, gouache, pastel pigment into a lush landscape that you want to visually dive into and not leave.

“Mending, Roe v Wade,” is a small but powerful piece by Lori Zimmerman that gives visual, visceral representation to the erosion of the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal.

Patricia Kennedy-Zafred has now made five “Tagged” pieces.  Each one, for me, has had special, personal meaning (my childhood best friend’s father was one of the 120,000 persons of Japanese heritage forced into internment camps under FDR’s Executive Order 9066).  This one, Patty says, is the best. She has learned more about the people pictured, and been able to add more information to the tags.

Finally, Emily Jan of Canada delighted me with her flying wolf adorned with peacock feathers. “Ragnarök” refers to the Norse Twilight of the Gods. A mysterious and beautiful world indeed.

Artists Announced for My Corner of the World Exhibits

Juror Micaela Fitzsimmons, Manager of Collections and Exhibits at the Stratford Perth Museum in Stratford, Ontario, has selected the artists to be included in the My Corner of the World exhibit.

My Corner of the World invited the artist to examine a world, real or imagined, that represented what is important in life. It might be where the artist resides, works, or grew up. It might be a favorite place from any point in life or a special internal place. My Corner of the World looks at the big picture including, but not limited to a homeland, ancestry or culture.

SAQA developed this exhibition in collaboration with the Stratford Perth Museum, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, and with the Canadian Regions of SAQA. The all-SAQA exhibition will debut along with the parallel regional Canadian exhibition at the Museum in May 2016.

Congratulations to all the accepted artists!

All-SAQA My Corner of the World exhibit (artist, location, and title)

Linda Anderson (California, USA) – Timeless Beauty
Bonnie Askowitz (Florida, USA) – The Sun Sets over Blackwater Sound
Peggy Blei-Hracho (Pennsylvania, USA) – Home: noun, A Place Where Something Flourishes
Peggy Brown (Indiana, USA) – Shades of Italy III-Day Lily
Bonnie Bucknam (Washington, USA) – Willow Wood
Erika Carter (Washington, USA) – Cradle
Maya Chaimovich (Israel) – Hidden Line
Vicki Conley (New Mexico, USA) – Conflagration, Desolation, Rejuvenation, Jubilation #2
Millie Cumming (Ontario, Canada) – Grand Artefacts
Millie Cumming (Ontario, Canada) – Summer Idyll, Waterlily Bay
Jennifer Day (New Mexico, USA) – New Mexico Schoolhouse
Dianne Firth (Australia) – Rolling Hills
Bodil Gardner (Denmark) – My childhood country
Bethany Garner (Ontario, Canada) – Turning Point
Mita Giacomini (Ontario, Canada) – August
Georgia Heller (Arizona, USA) – Life on the Trail:Brown’s Ranch
Bella Kaplan (Israel) – The Eagle Falls
Kathleen Kastles (Hawaii, USA) – Texting at the Food Court
Jill Kerttula (Virginia, USA) – 3rd and Main
Ellie Kreneck (Texas, USA) – West Toward Home – Bright Spirit
Jenny Lyon (California, USA) – Prairie Afternoon
Kate Madeloso (Nova Scotia, Canada) – A Vanishing Culture
Bobbe Shapiro Nolan (Texas, USA) – Oil Patch #1: Clutch Manifold
Claire Passmore (Wiltshire, UK) – Forced Removal
The Pixeladies (California, USA) – Fault Line
Joan Reive (Ontario, Canada) – Lake Vistas #2
Martha Ressler (Pennsylvania, USA) – Evening in Steel Valley
Judith Roderick (New Mexico, USA) – My Tree of Life Quilt
Molly Samuels (South Carolina, USA) – Blue Heron
Barbara Schneider (Illinois, USA) – Line Dance, Tree Ring Patterns, var. 13
Karen Schulz (Maryland, USA) – SPP 12
Alison Schwabe (Uruguay) – Purnululu #7
Sara Sharp (Texas, USA) – Birding on Quiet Hill
Maria Shell (Alaska, USA) – Root Glacier
Gail Sims (California, USA) – The High-Line, New York City
Carolyn Skei (Texas, USA) – Alcove
Virginia Spiegel (Illinois, USA) – Boundary Waters 60 (Rock Time)
Gwyned Trefethen (Wisconsin, USA) – Deconstructed Sunrise #3
Maggie Vanderweit (Ontario, Canada) – Snowfall in Sunlight
K. Velis Turan (New York, USA) – Broadway El
Laura Wasilowski (Illinois, USA) – Blue Chair in the Library with a Candlestick

evening in steel valley21x26.5small

Some months ago I was contacted by a man I didn’t know. Let’s call him Brett. He was inviting many Pittsburgh area artists to make a portrait of his friend, let’s call him John. John had been having a rough go of it, and Brett’s idea was to curate a large exhibition of portraits, all of John.

Brett was well spoken in his email, and the lead time was sufficient, and the venue for the final exhibit was known to me, and attractive.

Even though I’d moved away from Pittsburgh, I said yes, I’m in.  I liked the originality and generosity of the concept.

I made my art quilt, based on a photo Brett provided. Interestingly, I recognized the background, even though it was blurred. I’d walked by that spot many many times.

Last Saturday I delivered the final product to Brett for safekeeping until the exhibit, which is in 2016.

Here is the artwork, entitled “John of Lawrenceville.” And a picture of Brett and his family when they visited my booth at Fair in the Park to pick up the work.

Here are wafting good spirits and kindness back to Brett and John, and all other artists who have chosen to participate in this project.

Martha Ressler, Studio Art Quilt, John of Lawrenceville, 16.5" x 20" Fabrics, papers, and found objects.

Martha Ressler, Studio Art Quilt, John of Lawrenceville, 16.5″ x 20″ Fabrics, papers, and found objects.

John of Lawrenceville Studio Art Quilt, fabric, papers, and found objects. 16.5 x 20.5-detail

Martha Ressler, Studio Art Quilt, John of Lawrenceville, Detail. 2015, Fabrics, papers and found objects.

"John of Lawrenceville," art quilt by Martha Ressler, Brett, and his family.

“John of Lawrenceville,” art quilt by Martha Ressler, Brett, and his family.

Edge of Morning

I just got this piece into an exhibit (Edge-to-Edge) of the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh. It is called Edge of Morning, and is small, just 12 x 12 x 1.5. As I have been doing, it is inspired by walking the aging industrial streets of Pittsburgh, and picking up found objects as I go. The focal point is that line created by the rooflines as they march down the block.
The show opens Friday Feb. 21 at Borelli-Edwards Gallery, 3583 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 from 5-8 PM. See ya there!

Small Pour

I am trying to make some smaller pieces to get ready for Fair in the Park, Pittsburgh’s premier art fair, on Sept 6, 7, 8. This is a smaller version of hot steel pouring with a background of steel mills (made of found papers) and Pittsburgh’s bridges.

Blue Abstract

This started with a photo I took using my phone while walking. What caught my eye was the composition – all of those blue angles and shapes in the old Heppenstall factory building in Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh).
I got it printed on cloth with the intention of cutting it up and collaging it.
But the composition resisted being cut up. So I left it whole, and decided to “thread paint” it. To answer the usual questions: yes, it takes a long time. I can finish an area approximately 3 by 3 inches in 2 and a half hours (an evening’s work for me). Yes, it takes a lot of thread. Thousands of yards of it. Sometimes I have a “thread emergency” when I need a certain color, and have to take the 30 minutes drive to Joann Fabrics. But I do enjoy it. It really feels like painting. A lot of the same principles apply. I analyze an area first, then stitch in the accent colors, letting the threads connect between the areas. After that I stitch the main color or colors in an area. That covers up the connecting threads from the accent areas.
And of course, finally, I add my found objects, little treasures that caught my eye while I walk 10,000 steps a day.
The size is 14 x 20 inches.