Sunday, April 15, 2012

NCECA 2012 !

A large space at the Seattle Design Center

Ann Christenson, Background: Aisha Harrison

Pat Siler

Overview, Crista Ames work foreground

This year NCECA (The National Council on the Education of the Ceramic Arts) was held in Seattle, WA. My colleague, Ann Christenson and I put together a group show that consisted of ceramics, mixed media and performance art. East Side Edge showcased people who were somehow affiliated with Washington State University.
The build up to the exhibition and the subsequent display of the work was tremendous, in all sense of the word. What stood out though were the connections and gratitude people had for our organization of this exhibition.

I have a critical eye towards ceramics and NCECA. Often it seems like ceramics needs to push back more, develop in more contemporary spaces. Ceramics, as with other media, falls too often into a trap of its own defined history.

While perusing the exhibitions at this years NCECA, I was so happy to see a range of work, ceramics as function, ceramics as installation, ceramics as sculptural ,social and political commentary.

Go ceramics ! See you in Houston.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Team Efforts

Above images: Setting up and opening night-2/27/ 2012

I recently traveled to Crawfordsville, Indiana for a solo exhibition titled Workspace. This part of the artistic process is one I enjoy. Particularly when there is help in setting up exhibitions.

The idea of team effort inspires my own work- team effort is needed to clean, create, organize and set up.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Place and Non-Place

Above image: Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The french anthropologist Marc Augé, coined the term non-place: a place that is considered a transient point, where people are only passing through, of little significance in route to somewhere else. Airports are a perfect example of this non-place.
As my global journeys expand, I recognize that these non-place spaces are in fact significant points of reference, a necessary catalyst. An obvious example is an airport; a vehicle enabling travel from one point to another. But a less obvious example would be non-places that act as a solice in dealing with the hardships in life. The last six days of my fathers life were spent in a small hospice in Phoenix, Arizona. I stayed with him for these last days and weathered the sadness I experienced. The blandness of Non-place, Arizona offered a needed reprise from the intensity of hospice. The sameness of Target was an emotional salve. The generically regulated familiarity of TGIFridays was reliable, I knew what to expect. These ideas don't apply when dealing with the mysterious form of death.
So I offer this up, what of the non-place? What interests lie in , around and through the non-place? I am curious how these sites impact our lives not only on a physical, literal level but on a more significant human level.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Cobble Stone Paths We Take

Above Image: William Palmer, Wood Sculpture

Perhaps it is due to my fathers recent death, but I have found myself feverishly tracing my steps; my history. The condensed story: my mother and father moved to Greece in 1964 and decided to settle on the small island of Hydra. Once there, they lived for several years in the home owned by playwright Roger Maybank and painter Marios Loizides. It was in this small house, that overlooked the magnificent Mediterranean sea that I was born. While Marios Loizides died in 1988, Roger Maybank relocated back to Canada and, from what I understand, continues to be a prolific writer.
Students, friends, colleagues, what is your history and more importantly how does it connect to the larger global family ? How can we draw from our history to speak both to the personal and the global?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hairballs In The House

Seeing Combs and Hairballs installed in a new arena pushes me to consider how meaning of an artwork is changed and/or influenced by space.

How do we breath " new life into our work." And can this act be linked to challenging our steady and consistent studio practice?

Image: Geoffrey Ashley, Los Angeles, California

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Beautiful Magnificent Hands of a Carver

Above image: William Palmer, artwork done within the last ten years

When my father lived in Greece, he found old wood and marble and began to carve large, abstract forms that fit together like perfectly balanced statues.Up until last summer he continued to carve wood sculptures in his make shift studio in Phoenix, AZ. When he no longer had the strength to carve, he spent most of his time in his room, surrounded by his papers, books, pencils and paints and drew the pieces he could no longer carve. Once he became too weak to work at his drafting table, he taped his drawings onto his bedpost in order to study them and find their meaning. My father now lies in his hospice bed, quiet and small but with the beautiful, magnificent hands of a carver.

My parents raised me to believe, to know, that art is not a frivolous pursuit but rather a life affirming endeavor. How does space dictate the work we create? Do our surroundings encourage or discourage growth or change within our creative pursuits? No matter where my father was, he always made, always created as if he did not have a choice, he had to create. Art was his life affirming endeavor.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Seriousness of Playing

"The seriousness of playing... in the looseness of trying different things images and ideas emerge."
This comment by artist William Kentridge beautifully sums up the delicate and nuanced balance artists often need to navigate the creative life. Creating art is a serious and enjoyable endeavor and one to cultivate and move with.