Whirlwind weekend

Wowsers! What a week that was, the unveiling of the Chautauqua Prize would have been enough for one week, but hot on the heels of that came the grand reopening of the gallery where I am the curator, 3rd on 3rd, part of the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. It was jam packed as this coincided with Lucyfest and the opening of the new national comedy center. The exhibition is a fun one, images curated from an Instagram contest of images of Jamestown, NY.

Then on Saturday night I finally got to share this Summer’s studio work with my guests at the Crary as I opened my own show. Here’s a picture of me taken during my artist’s talk

That’s the work of Paige Kleinfelder behind me on the wall.

Then on Monday there was a rededication for mural I have been relocating and restoring since last summer. Here I am looking scholarly in discussion with some of the family and friends who helped in the campaign to save it

Then Monday night I taught a workshop at the Springville Center for the Arts where we made these adorable little chunky journals

Then today I taught a blackout meditation group, here’s some student work from that

It’s exhausting just making that list! Tomorrow I am going to clean my house and studio!

Keeping my head above water!

This semester I have a crazy teaching schedule, 5 classes at 3 different schools. It hasn’t left much studio time! I did finally wrap up the Berehinia book, I ended up hand dyeing some paper using tea and rust and making new covers.


She shipped out this week, along with “maple” and “women’s work” for this exhibit. I am so excited to have work included in this exhibit again! Can’t wait for the opening.


I am also working on a guest book commission, and a book for a DNA embroidery related exhibit. The binding was pretty easy to work out. But I had a crazy idea to hand stamp a human genome sequence inside. Where do these crazy ideas come from?  Why do they come to me?!


Thankfully fall break is coming up this week at all 3 colleges, so I might get to play with some new ideas in the next few days.

missing my studio

It has been a whirlwind week with the European artists, many trips to the airport, many more trips to the two galleries where the show now hangs, and ending yesterday with a fun day trip to Niagara Falls. I have only walked in and out of my studio to grab something we needed, I am feeling a little disembodied and anxious, it is time to get back to work. I’ll leave you with some pictures from the last week.

my new work for the show

my new work for the show

beginning the installation at 3rd on 3rd

beginning the installation at 3rd on 3rd

we made the FRONT PAGE of the local newspaper!!

we made the FRONT PAGE of the local newspaper!!

a quick side trip to Niagara Falls

a quick side trip to Niagara Falls

Jean & Wendy at our table at the local SWAN Day market

Jean & Wendy at our table at the local SWAN Day market


This has been a busy week, the Women Create exhibit and month of events is drawing to a close, the last salon was last night, the closing is Saturday, on SWAN Day, when once again there will be an art market full of amazing women artists and a free drop-in mini zine workshop with Wendy Williams and Jean McEwan from the UK. Then a final private reception for the artists and their guests, and its over, the show comes down and a new chapter begins.

The reason I am so busy is I am also the “next chapter”, coordinating an exhibit with over 20 European artists from SCIBase, a group I am also a member of. April will be another whirlwind month of lectures, workshops, performances and a house full of visiting artists. The exhibit is so large it will span two galleries in Jamestown! I’m feeling a little anxious, I hope the artists will enjoy their time here and make some fruitful connections for their work. And I hope I am not too grumpy a hostess for their stay! You can see all about our goings on by going to the colonize page on this blog, here

It has been hard to fit in much time in the studio, I have been trying to get caught up on both my marking and my spring cleaning before April begins, but of course I have managed to squeeze a little time in. A new set of wings is finished and I have been steadily sewing on any leaf that presents itself. So one little peek…

beginning webwings on hoop web


an opening and a few experiments

Women Create opened this past Saturday, to an enormous crowd of well wishers. You can see some great pictures from the opening here. There was such a crush I was rather anxious for my map of hours, the paper if quite sturdy but probably wouldn’t hold up to being trodden on! Here it is at the opening

map of hours

map of hours

close up of the top of the map

close up of the top of the map

As the map is on display again, I have switched gears and started a few experiments. I have been longing to make something with embroidered wings after seeing this beautiful work of Michelle Carrager who did the costumes for the Game of Thrones. I have had this whimsical idea of creating an colony of little insects from old computer keyboards. Old technology come to life. Here’s my first attempt

web bug

And then there is a little text & yarn experiment, I am not sure where this is going but it is fun just to play.

knitted page

I have a thought about this one, but i am keeping it under my hat for a bit.



a new show goes up

I’ve been looking at a lot of art in the last week, but only a little of it is mine. I am co-director of a women’s art biennial created to coincide with SWAN Day celebrations around the globe. Today I finished helping Colin (our gallery genius) install the show. Deciding where everything should go is SUCH a challenge – and without his help I would still be there doing sums and moving things around, his experience is invaluable in actually getting the show on the walls. When I saw the juror’s selections I knew it would be a great show, but getting it up on the walls is so much work! It is really rewarding to be able to look around once everything is up. It IS a great show – I hope the juror will approve of our curatorial decisions, and I am looking forward to celebrating with the artists on Saturday night! If you are in the neighborhood I hope you’ll come take a look too.

poster web2

Art of the Book at Rochester’s Central Library

thanks to Anita Wahl for the picture

thanks to Anita Wahl for the picture

In all the workshop chaos of the past few weeks I forgot to post this picture of “Bound” in The Art of the Book – Rochester Public Library, Lower Link Gallery. The show runs through January 5, 2014. I am really pleased that my work was selected by the jurors – Timothy Cosgriff, Scott McCarney and Geri McCormick, and included in this great show.

Stay tuned this week as I post the tutorials for last week’s workshops.


trying to capture the texture of the wind driven lake

trying to capture the texture of the wind driven lake

Summer always seems to fly by so quickly. Rather than slowing down life accelerates around here in the summer months – I work more hours outside the home, the kids are back from college so there’s more family things going on, and then suddenly it is August and time to think about getting ready to teach. This summer add hubby’s new job to the mix and I was in serious need of some downtime to refill the well.

Friday I headed up to Buffalo. I spent a couple of hours relaxing at the Burchfield Penny. There were some incredible works on display. I had been anxious to see Ben Perrone’s Illusion/Delusion and I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed. The work has an incredibly powerful presence. It has a stark simplicity that looms over the viewer – absolutely a must see (show runs until September 8th). The other galleries didn’t disappoint either. I don’t recall ever seeing Andrew Topolski’s work before, and I feel I would have remembered it – the drawings were incredible. His iconography reminded me of Tim Ely’s work. It must be quite something to live inside a private universe like that, beautiful and complex. Disclosure is a wonderfully curated selection from their collection, considering societies myths and norms in regard to motherhood, labor and beauty, so right up my alley! I really loved a work called fetch. I wish I could read my handwriting to tell you the name of the artist I guess I’ll have to go back (show runs until December 29th).

Then I met with the great staff there. It is always great to be able to share your work with an appreciative audience. I hope I’ll have some really exciting news to share as a result of that meeting soon. I am happy to say that I also met with Mia the gallery’s gift shop manager, and now you can purchase my recycled journals there if you’d like!! I spent a fun evening at the Artists and Cyclists event in Allentown, and then headed for home. I broke even, so all in all a great day.

Sunday I had a sold out day at the Miller’s Park Festival at beautiful Chautauqua, and then Monday I headed back to the Institution for the opening of the VACI member’s show. I got to take in the afternoon lecture at the Hall of Philosophy which was erudite and restored my faith that expository thinking is still alive and well in America after all, followed by a piano concert, an impromptu dance recital on Bestor plaza, coffee and a contemplative photography class. It is amazing how one day can turn your attitude around. It was a very enjoyable weekend stay-cation. I should do it more often!

who doesn’t love a little rust?


a fence…


and the beautiful evening shadows












































































































love for sale

It was a wonderfully relaxing weekend. All of the children are back at school, and apart from openings my weekend was blissfully wide open. I’d like to say I worked like a demon in the studio, but the truth is I spent most of it lazing around doing almost nothing.

that’s Rapunzel (or just your yellow hair) behind some gallery visitors

Friday night Glenn drove us up to the opening at the Studio Hart in Buffalo, for the opening of love for sale. It was well attended which was wonderful as it was an awful snowy two hour drive up and an even longer drive down. I was very glad Glenn came along as I would have been reduced to a sniveling wreck if I had been driving alone. I may be a little biased but my favorite work was by Liz Switzer. A series of re-purposed handkerchiefs embroidered with messages from a lonely hearts e-message board. Of course I was drawn to the embroidery, the re-appropriation of craft meant to keep a woman’s hands busy, and the hopelessly romantic messages.

Saturday I went to the opening for the Andy Warhol show at JCC. For me the highlight of the work was the video, which is not usually my thing, but I loved the selections by the curatorial team for this show. But the true highlight of the weekend was the chance to hear Jonathan Katz talk first about Warhol on Saturday night and then about his own work and the exhibit Hide/Seek at a lovely small brunch event on Sunday. I’ve talked a little about considering going back to school for my PhD, and it was like having the windows of my mind blown open hearing him speak. He is a marvelous speaker, able to reach his audience without condescension or diluting the power of his scholarship. A rare gift! And a real treat.

I enjoyed having the cobwebs cleared but I feel I really must focus. I don’t want to dive into more education just because – following my whims has left me barely employable thus far, and I don’t really need the validation of an institution to follow my own research ideas, but I MISS conversation. I am thinking I ought to find more opportunities to have such conversations, and see if that is enough. I need to figure out where I should focus – is this sudden itch for more education just another form of running from my art just as it builds momentum – a sort of self-sabotage? What do I want to be when I grow up?

a weekend away

The hubby and I don’t get away very often – it seems we are always too busy or in demand so it was wonderful to have a little break together this past weekend. We didn’t go far – only to Rochester (about 3hrs away) but it was exciting and refreshing. Saturday was a family day – we primarily went to see our youngest perform in the Rocky Horror Picture Show – so we took her out to eat and attended the performance. We had a blast!

Sunday we slept in and then went to the Memorial Art Gallery. The collection is so varied spanning a vast amount of time and geography, it was like walking through an art history textbook (and so now I really want to be able to take my students back there). It is hard to pick favorites, I liked many things for different reasons but I am going to try. First there was a traveling exhibit. I have to admit to not being a huge fan of these “canned” exhibits but this was an exception for me – as I wrote my master’s dissertation partly about Tiffany’s business partner Candace Wheeler I had to see the Tiffany Glass. If you have never seen the real thing it is amazing – the glass is textured and dimensional and the windows are constructed in layers so that there is so much depth to the colors. It was an absolute treat to see them!

Another favorite was the seer bonnet by Angela Ellsworth. Here’s a link to an article about the work.

Of course I was drawn to it because it is feminine and obsessive, but also luminous and beautiful. A really loaded visual object.

There was also a gem of a painting by Blakelock, whose technique is so modern, paint layered, scraped, glazed and varnished to create astonishing texture and depth, and such a gorgeous play of light. Oh I would buy one if I ever had the money!!

Lastly this work by Devorah Sperber.

There were so many other beautiful things. I will have to go back!!

But time was marching on, and my second reason for heading to Rochester was the Art of the Book, at the library. My friend Diane Bond had several works in the show, and won both honorable mention and second prize in the artist’s book category. If you are in the area it is worth a look. I couldn’t find an online archive of images and of course I was too bust chatting to take any pictures – sorry. I was also able to meet up with a way-back friend – Rachael Hetzel who inspired my interest in books with her letterpress and bindings way back during my undergrad years (she was a grad student). Now she owns a letterpress studio and teaches at U of R. It was wonderful to see her. I am hoping it will happen more frequently in the next few years as I am sure we will be heading that way often to see the youngest perform (she is a lead in another show next month and just got cast again for an upcoming children’s musical)

On an unrelated note – I didn’t make it into the Somerset Studios article, but go buy a copy to see the amazing artists who did. Mine is in en-route in the post somewhere – can’t wait to see the work that was published – and another big THANKS to Seth!

Now I really must to get back to the studio. My well is all filled up and I am raring to go!!