Friday, January 17, 2020

The Grass Is Blue, Anne Wright Wilson Gallery, Georgetown College, Kentucky

The Grass Is Blue highlights multiple Kentucky histories. The work is a response to stories evolving around the enslaved and native peoples, as well as from the specific geography and commerce surrounding them. These topics generate a discourse rooted in diversity and place. My intent is to raise awareness of past events, to reflect upon the span of humanity and culture within the region, and to generate current feelings of empathy and community. Consequently, I utilize various materials and processes to create an inclusive visual language that acknowledges the people, events, and land in which they have emerged. -November 2019

Corner Installation #1
Mirrors, wood, paint, text
Words from bell hooks poem #37
Kentucky History: Slavery

Find Your Purpose
Silk dyed with marigolds, fan, magnets.
Title from Frank X. Walker poem “Murphy’s Secret”.
46” Length x 13” Width x 7” Tall
 Kentucky History: Isaac Murphy wins the silk purse.

Corner Installation #2
Mirrors, wood, paint, text.
Words from bell hooks poem #37
Kentucky History: Slavery

Into Blue Shadow
Indigo ink on felt, silk dyed with indigo.
Title from bell hooks poem #64
Approx. 13 feet tall and 7 inches wide.
Kentucky History: Waterfalls, bluegrass.

Corner Installation #3
Mirrors, wood, paint, text
Words from bell hooks poem #37
Kentucky History: Slavery

Let Earth Testify
Felt, air dry clay, nail polish, magnifying glass.
Title from bell hooks poem #41
12” Length  x 14.5” Width  x 4.5” Tall
 Kentucky History: Ordovician Period

Searching For Sacred Paths
Sequins, yarn.
Title from bell hooks poem #36
50”width  x 98” height x approx. 12 inches deep (floor element)
Kentucky History: Trade between Indigenous Peoples as well as with colonists.

I Don’t Never Have To Ask Them To Honor Something
Wood, flocking, yarn.
Title from Frank X. Walker poem “Murphy’s Secret”.
24” Length x 10” Width x 13” Tall
Kentucky History: Horse racing built with the talents and labors of African Americans. White men take over the racing industry. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Collaborative Kentucky Drawing Project

The project highlights contributions made by three women made to science within the state of Kentucky. I am collaborating with Kentucky artists to produce a drawing collection that represents specimens associated with Wharton, Price and Braun. The drawing collection will be on view November 2019 at the Anne Wright Wilson Gallery, Georgetown College, Kentucky.

Mary E. Wharton

Over 400 specimens for Wharton in the New York Botanical Garden database. 
Two links, each provides a different search format. 

Images of specimens and illustrations from the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Link below to Plant Illustrations by Sarah Sadie Francis Price.

Link below to Herbarium Specimens associated with Sarah Sadie Frances Price.

E. Lucy Braun

200 specimens for Braun can be found at the New York Botanical Gardens. 
Two links, each provides a different search format.

If interested in participating, please contact

Monday, April 8, 2019

Italian Velvet History: Textile Images
The most fanciful images of the weaver's art across the centuries: upon thrones, altars, in royal bed chambers, bourgeois drawing rooms and the ateliers of great couturiers; it is velvet which has marked entire eras. Guiseppe Verdi demanded only the finest velvets for the outfits for the characters in his operas, and the same was true for Rossini and Donzietti. From Caruso to Galeffi to Giuditta Pasta, one and all lavished maniacal attention to the velvety spectacle of the costumes of their operas. And what shall we say then for the long list designers, from Courreges, Cardin, Rabanne, Marucelli, and De Barentzen?

Velvet, however, has been first and foremost an economic phenomenon, which has generated enormous wealth, enough to pay armies, create banks, and radically shift the array of international economies. A powerful lever in the great trade of the Renaissance, velvet made the fortunes of the bankers and merchants of city-states such as Lucca, Florence, and the maritime republics of Genoa and Venice. For centuries, these cities dominated the textile markets of the entire world, with their velvets influencing the prices of raw materials, commercial treaties, fashions, technology, and new discoveries.

The earliest traces of velvet were lost somewhere on the legendary Silk Road, the great transcontinental caravan route that connected Lo-Yang with the Ch'ang-an through the Taklimakan, the desert without return, all the way to the port cities of the eastern Mediterranean. As to the origins of velvet, scholars from all over the world have discussed and debated for many years. It is now a general belief this fabric, originally made of silk, arrived in Italy for the first time from the Far East, transported by Arab merchants, and was then spread throughout Europe, in turn, by the merchants from Lucca, Venice, Florence, and Genoa.

In Italy, beginning in the twelfth century and continuing through the entire eighteenth century, the largest industry for the production of velvets in the western world was set up. For centuries in Lucca, Siena, Venice, Florence and Genoa supplied the rest of Europe with these valued fabrics, to be used in clothing, wall coverings, upholstery, the trapping of horses, furniture of all sorts, and the interiors of carriages and litters.

Many historians claim that the earliest velvets were woven in Palermo, in imitation of the velvets in the east. The hypothesis that this precious cloth was first woven in Sicily and later spread to the rest of Italy was first put forth by the French Scholar A. Latour. Many other scholars tend to favor the Venetian route, since there is documentation from as early as the ninth to eleventh centuries of intense trade between Venice and the East. However, Arabic is the only language that makes use of the name of a city Kathifet in mentioning velvet. This city may well be the place where this type of cloth was produced for the first time. But on the other hand, in Italy, the fabric takes the name from the characteristic appearance - in Italian, "vello" means fleece, and "velluto", or velvet, means fleecy.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Shawnadithit: Last of the Beothuk

All three women were sick with the consumption that was a plague among the Beothuk. Shawnadithit's sister died and soon it was obvious that her mother was dying too. Shawnadithit took her mother to a sandy point by the waters of Red Indian Lake, held her in her arms and sang her people's last lament. She sewed her body into a blanket of birch bark, buried her and set out alone for the coast, stumbling out at Notre Dame Bay. She knew now that she was the last of her people.
The Beothuk were a semi-nomadic people who wintered around the shores of the beautiful lakes of the interior of Newfoundland, where they hunted caribou and other game. In the spring they would paddle off downriver to the coast to hunt seal and salmon, fashioning most of what they needed along the way. They built unique conical birch houses called mamateeks which featured double layers of birch and moss insulation.
Excerpts from:
Article byJames H. Marsh
Published OnlineJune 17, 2013
Last EditedMarch 4, 2015

Source link:

Embroidered Silk Globe

The turn of the 19th century was a time of tremendous change on the North American continent, as new nations established their laws and societies. Among many other transitions, education was changing for young women. In the nascent United States, secondary schooling for girls proliferated for the first time. Academies taught the old domestic skills, such as sewing, music, and fine etiquette, but they also taught “solid subjects,” such as mathematics, history, and geography. In this moment came an object that blended these shifting educational domains: the embroidered silk globe.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

February 21 - 23, 2019
Flagler College Campus, St. Augustine, Florida

Symposium organized and led by
Elizabeth Kozlowski, Editor Surface Design Journal and Curator, New Orleans
Laura Mongiovi, Associate Professor, Art and Design, Flagler College

The documentary Blue Alchemy: Stories of Indigo 
by Mary Lance was part of the programming for the symposium. 

The title BLUE ALCHEMY refers to the magical process by which indigo-dyed textiles, which look dull green in a vat, emerge into the air and are transformed to a vivid blue. Making the dyestuff itself involves transformation. Green plants are soaked and fermented. The liquid is beaten into a foam and drained, producing the indigo dyestuff. Indigo’s place in the world has also undergone a transformation. From its historical association with slavery it has emerged as the means by which people are improving society or maintaining their cultural traditions in a changing world.

Mary Lou Alexander

Samantha Connors

Paula Damm
Rachel DeCuba
Nick DeFord
Amelia Eldridge
Susan Finer
Amy Freeman
Grace Jinnah
Lyn Linnemeier
Tony Williams
Terri Witek

Color: A Natural History of the Palette

I first posted this book back in 2010.
Re-posting as I have been talking about the book lately during my artist talks.

Link to author's website below: