Monday, June 30, 2008

Cary Brown @ NIH

After a life-threatening experience in 2005 involving cancer of the appendix, I moved inward. I felt a need to take a closer look -- a need to really feel and see life and death. Instead of painting vast landscapes, I pushed into it. I began to read a lot of poetry. My appetite grew for that big question: What is this all about? What is reality all about? What's going on above us, below us, on the surface of an orchid, in the heart of a woodpile, in the mind of a bird? So began my journey with this new work. Having studied photography at U.Va, I was drawn to the medium again when contemplating reality. The Polaroid emulsion process was a perfect match: it enhanced the ephemeral qualities, the elements of surprise and humor in nature. It allowed me to create wind and to be able to bend wallpaper, which seemed then to take on layers of reality infused with the strangeness of poetry that help things meet in that middle area of chaos and order, where truth -- perhaps -- hovers. I yearned to freeze all of that so I could study it. Of course, gradually the work began to take on a life of its own. Through the process I began to consider the spirit in these objects -- the light, the love, the energy, the beauty, the magic-- in essence, the truth. A story evolved: I would see it, hear it, and then go in with color, form, and sometimes words and bring the piece alive. After this I began to comprehend Emerson, Eiseley, and Dillard, all authors whose words were meaningful to me. I followed their assertion to really, really look and be a conscious witness. In this way so much more will be given to you. I kept exploring and came to the woodpile of an old ash tree we had to cut down on our farm. Here I mourn her in two pieces. In the last image, The Moo Piece, I saw through a child's eyes, where the innocence is, real intuition. I began to think of dreams, time travel, and the cosmos, then returned to my pot of boiling elements: wind and clouds bubbling in water, along with wood piles, donkeys, cows, flowers, birds, land, dust, and the laws of nature. I began to laugh, and it was then I knew I had been restored -- my soul had been fed and magically returned to its great capacity for joy.
Cary's web site here
nice quiet sunday, although I have lots to do I didn't do much of it. This morning I headed to Cliffords to get a digital image for our VA hospital project. I was hoping my part of the project was finished but - alas - nothing is that easy. Then I'm off to NIH to finish up the changing exhibits.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Laura Peery

well we changed the exhibits at NIH yesterday and besides one no-show and another artist who decided to invite guests to see his show the day we were deinstalling, things went pretty smoothly. I am thrilled to be exhibiting Laura Peery's work - fresh from her success at artomatic.
Her work is utterly charming, beautifully crafted, and full of such life and personality.
Below her lovely artist statement.

My grandmother had a dress shop in New Orleans. My earliest memories of “College Frocks” are of the times I spent in the attic where alterations were made. The sewing machines, boxes of thread, fabric scraps, buttons and scissors were objects I found mysterious and tempting. Later I studied dressmaking, sewing many of my own clothes, but none lived up to my grand and possibly unrealistic expectations.

When I discovered clay, it was probably no accident that I soon noticed the ways it could be made to resemble fabric. My clay of choice is porcelain, which has a fine texture and a pure white color. I roll out thin sheets of it and imprint these with lace or other textured materials. I also draw on the clay using thin wooden tools and use a dressmaker’s tracing wheel to produce marks similar to stitches. Molds of actual buttons reproduce my own button replicas. I drape, ruffle and pleat the clay as if it were linen.

My studio contains an old green chest filled with most of the sewing accessories from my grandmother’s store. Often I find just the right thing from my hoard to put the finishing touch on a piece, perhaps the perfectly faded color of button, but I am very stingy with my collection, keeping the majority for visual inspiration. The past is with me every day.
Laura's web site here

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

just a beautiful drive, had time to check in to the omni before my studio visit to mcguffey. Luckily I am here in time to catch LOOK 3 - Festival of the Photograph 2008 I loved Mary Ellen Mark's show Prom at McGuffey and of course the photographs on the walking mall. John Grant's exhibit was extrodinary, what a talent he is! He seems to reinvent himself constantly. Today it is off to Ivy to pick up Cary's work and then home again.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

off to cville...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Gabe's graduation & Grandma's 74 b-day

If you get a chance go see the ceramics @ the Lee Art Center

Art Exchange: Arlington >=< Cwmbran
June 6 - July 31, 2008

This exhibition exchange between the Lee Arts Center in Arlington, VA and Llantarnam Grange Arts Center in Cwmbran, Wales, features contemporary ceramics by eight Welsh artists. In conjunction with the exhibit, artist Melanie Brown will be a resident artist at the Lee Arts Center for the month of June, when she will present a two day master workshop on teapot construction. The first part of the Arlington/Wales exchange occurred from May 3 –June 26, 2008 with an exhibition of the work of nine ceramics artists from the Lee Arts Center at the Llantarnam Grange Arts Center in Cwmbran, Wales. One of the artists, Novie Trump, spent a month in residence in Cardiff, Wales at the Fireworks Studios, where she also held a one-person exhibition of her work. web site here

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

this has been what my life has been like lately, ten different projects all at different stages. But some very exciting things happening. The VA hospital project should be moving forward next week and we have a lovely tile project going on with patients at NIH. (that Megan is a dream come true). Lawrence Hospital in NY is in the final stages of art selection and I have a very fun studio visit planned with MJH and Janet Grahame at McGuffey. Had a good talk w/John Grant last night, he is doing some truly amazing photography with flowers & ice - of all things. I'll ask him for a digital image so I can show you. He has an exhibit up right now in Charlottesville which I can't wait to see.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I'm back on my laptop. lots going on w/scheduling upcoming exhibits at the USBG and SF. Planning a trip to Cville on Tuesday.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

washington glass school

Thursday I ended my day at the Washington Glass school, I wanted to see the artwork Michael is planning on exhibiting with us at Smith Farm Center gallery. I can't wait to see how the show all comes together. Great to visit with Tim and Erwin again and look at their new projects. I'm really impressed with how large their school has grown and the unflagging enthusiasm the place has. All of Mt.Rainier really - such a great enclave of artists.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

that may be the longest time I have gone w/out posting since I started the blog in 2005. I've been suffering a bit w/my laptop in the shop, but have learned to jump on what ever computer is available at home and luckily we have a myriad. This touching drawing was done by a child working with an artist volunteer.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

gabe and his beautiful prom date

Friday, June 06, 2008

lots to blog but I have seriously damaged my computer and black marks are creeping in from all sides. So I'm thinking Monday I'll take it in and see if a broken screen is under the warranty. Last night I had a delightful dinner with Mark & Peggy (we did the poetry of random moments show together at Strathmore). Mark has gone on to finish graduate school and Peggy is doing an amazing new series. Her show at Torpedo is lovely. Today lunch with Anita & Paula and tonight the artist talk at Smith Farm's Healing Arts Gallery.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

this from the post

The Arts for Healing
Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts on U Street NW has always had an art gallery; it was just hard to find. And small. And in the administrative office. The nonprofit center, which serves people with cancer and other serious illnesses, reopened the Healing Arts Gallery last month with an exhibition called "Immersed in the Natural World."
"By dedicating this space and holding shows that promote the arts as tools for healing, it makes a statement," Smith Farm Executive Director Shanti Norris says.
The street-level gallery is in a space formerly occupied by a pet store. The nature-themed debut show features work by Elizabeth Burger, Tai Hwa Goh and Novie Trump, whose work includes seed pods, waxed paper and eggshells, respectively.
Elizabeth Burger and Novie Trump will talk about their work tomorrow, 5:30-8 p.m. at the Healing Arts Gallery, 1632 U St. NW. Free. 202-483-8600.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Standing in a queue for a cab this little guy tried to get me to take a ride with him. If you could have seen me on the curb w/a suitcase, messenger bag, laptop and two large portfolios of artwork, you could visualize how crazy this was...

Michael Janis glass sculptor


Michael will be exhibiting with us at Smith Farm next month. He also asked me to post this Call for Entries :

Mid Atlantic Glass Artists VisArts
a nonprofit metropolitan center for visual arts in suburban Washington, DC.
(web site here ) has a call for glass artists to exhibit in an upcoming show.
“Glass: Evolving” Sept. 14-Nov. 16, 2008.

Open to Mid-Atlantic artists, this content-driven exhibit will investigate new ideas, concepts, narratives and directions in regional contemporary glass. Entry fee. For more information, contact: Harriet Lesser, Director of Exhibitions and Programming
301-315-8200 or
Call for entries deadline: July 1, 2008.

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