31 July 2011

Shorty Swing My Way . . .

I was commissioned to make an "air dancer" for my dad to put next to his pond because herons keep eating all of his koi. And, he wanted something that would scare away the birds without being so loud and violent (Dede keeps shooting fireworks out the window at 6 in the morning).

So, I made Henry. Originally Henry was about 8 feet tall, but only inflated sideways . . . So, I cut him down to about 5 feet and he still only inflated upwards about half of the time. Without being able to find any help via the interwebs (shocker!!), I decided to go full on Edward Scissorhands. I inflated him and just started cutting until he was upright.

He's now much shorter, but leaving holes in him actually worked better. So, I cut the top and one of the appendages into slits. I felt the extra flappage would really get to the birds . . . Now the only question left: what else will it potentially scare away?

16 July 2011

And then there was a tree . . . Well, almost.

After living in Wisconsin in the middle of a forest and going camping almost monthly while living in Texas, I decided about a month ago that I needed a tree in my new dwelling (here in Tennessee).

I have an empty wall in my bedroom that would be perfect, I thought. Not only would it look spectacular, but the tree could pull double-duty as an accessories rack, holding purses, sweaters, and hats. Yes, yes. This could work. Time to get started right away!

The idea for this project came from Poppytalk, a blog I have been following for about 5 months.

I laid out the boards on my dog hair infused studio rug first, to get an idea of scale and to play with how the branches might need to be angled. My suggestion is to find old boards that have little warping. Some of the boards I used were a bit warped, which made it harder to transfer these boards to the wall. I also thought the boards with the nails still in them, and even the grayer wood, had more integrity (I realize I'm making a tree out of cut boards from once-live trees, but this is a symbol. Just go with it.).

This is what it looked like when I first muscled it up on the wall. Should you embark on your own tree project: it would definitely help to have a second person in the room. I had pieced together some of the boards before placing them on the wall, and they were too heavy and awkward to hold while simultaneously drilling. Everything kept slipping, which could have been frustrating had I not been eating ice cream intermittingly. Phew.

Now all of the branches are in place, and I've added an owl that an artist friend's student made. I also hung a little tin piece that one of my besties created about 6 years ago. Next up: adding hooks and accessories, and possibly a few more small branches . . .

Stay tuned!

10 July 2011

Preliminary Images & Artist Statement for Deliciously Happy.

As a community artist, I develop a dialogue with youth about issues they are facing. These conversations frequently bring up questions I am exploring in my own work, sparking new ideas. This continuing dialogue becomes the content of finished artwork.

I create installations and performance pieces that are spontaneous and site specific. I use abstracted subject matter that references cakes, confections, or clouds. Comfort, escape, and playfulness are depicted through the use of bright color, compositions with lots of movement, and allude to childhood and memorable celebrations.

I try to evoke the same sense of enthusiasm and liveliness that one observes when children discover and interact with new things. Imagination, wonder, and invention are the driving force behind my work. Integral to my process is building relationships and collective collaboration.

Partnering with 3 Nashville schools (a charter, a public, and a private) in tandem with a weeklong workshop with Belmont sculpture students, and participatory venues for artmaking during the gallery show, I will facilitate artmaking as engagement for the community by the community. Social justice-based projects will be explored by means of performance and costuming as a tool for finding creative solutions.

Deliciously Happy will feature the work created within these partnerships and workshops, and feature projected animation and process documentation that interacts with costumes, colorful props, and stage pieces, demonstrations and invitations for the audience to join in.