2019-05-06T13:40:10-04:00

Update from the studio May 6th

It is finished
Hair Nest 15” – I think it is finished. The nest is made from my hair loss of 2015. Oak branch. On floor – Mexican pond stones, branches and fiberglass sphere made with dry pigments. 84h x 45w x 33d inches.
From the “Hair Nest” series of 10 pieces representing 10 years of hair loss. The works inquire into the passage of time and loss. Each contains a drawing, 3-D branch(es), cast or fabricated in glass, wax, actual branch, silk organza or paper. Each nest is constructed from a year of my hair loss.

“Hair Nest 15” – 2019 The nest is made from my hair loss of 2015. Oak branch. On floor – Mexican pond stones, branches and fiberglass sphere made with dry pigments. 84h x 45w x 33d inches.
From the “Hair Nest” series of 10 pieces representing 10 years of hair loss. The works inquire into the passage of time and loss. Each contains a drawing, 3-D branch(es), cast or fabricated in glass, wax, actual branch, silk organza or paper. Each nest is constructed from a year of my hair loss

“Hair Nest 15” 2019 The nest is made from my hair loss of 2015. Oak branch. On floor – Mexican pond stones, branches and fiberglass sphere made with dry pigments. 84h x 45w x 33d inches.
From the “Hair Nest” series of 10 pieces representing 10 years of hair loss. The works inquire into the passage of time and loss. Each contains a drawing, 3-D branch(es), cast or fabricated in glass, wax, actual branch, silk organza or paper. Each nest is constructed from a year of my hair loss

“Hair Nest 15” 2019 (detail)
The nest is made from my hair loss of 2015. Oak branch. On floor – Mexican pond stones, branches and fiberglass sphere made with dry pigments. 84h x 45w x 33d inches.
From the “Hair Nest” series of 10 pieces representing 10 years of hair loss. The works inquire into the passage of time and loss. Each contains a drawing, 3-D branch(es), cast or fabricated in glass, wax, actual branch, silk organza or paper. Each nest is constructed from a year of my hair loss

“Hair Nest 15” 2019 (detail)
The nest is made from my hair loss of 2015. Oak branch. On floor – Mexican pond stones, branches and fiberglass sphere made with dry pigments. 84h x 45w x 33d inches.
From the “Hair Nest” series of 10 pieces representing 10 years of hair loss. The works inquire into the passage of time and loss. Each contains a drawing, 3-D branch(es), cast or fabricated in glass, wax, actual branch, silk organza or paper. Each nest is constructed from a year of my hair loss

2019-04-22T18:31:04-04:00

From the studio – April 22

Report from the studio – April 22nd .

Another couple weeks of work on “Hair Nest 15” and is close to complete. The drawing of the tree is finished! I have spent many hours on it this past week. The pond stones and sphere on the floor are in place and that finalized the pieces at the base of the drawing. I decided not to make boulders for this piece. It’s has become clear the boulders make more sense for one of the next pieces in the series. The hair nest is in progress as well. I hope to post photos of the completed piece in the next couple of weeks.

Also this past week: I continue work on the “Vessel” series. These are the rust and tea stained paintings on paper on panel and framed within a shadow box of rusted steel. The second frame is underway. This work is promised to a gallery dealer in Atlanta. And we have been in communication and I heard back from the dealer and he is excited about the new pieces. Excellent news!

2019-04-06T22:57:02-04:00

Report from the studio: April 1 – 6

Happenings in the Studio: April 1 – 6

It has been another busy week. I have made progress on the new “Hair Nest” piece – “Hair Nest 15”. The drawing of the tree is close though still not finished – I have spent days on it this week. I have been contemplating the objects for the floor in front of the drawing. After a trip to Carroll building stone supplies I acquired 5 different types of stone and have now settled on the stone that works. Next on the agenda is planning the size of the boulders to be displayed on the floor. I’ll be constructing the boulders from various materials such as plastic, chicken wire and paper mache.

Also this week: I continue work on several pieces in the “Vessel” series. These are the rust and tea stained paintings on paper on panel and framed within a shadow box of rusted steel. The first piece was finished on Friday. This work is promised to a gallery dealer in Atlanta. And we have been in communication this past week. I just sent off an email of some new pieces to him. See one shown below.

I’m excited to get all this work moving!

Vessel No 1
2019
Encaustic, Cott0n organza, rice paper, rust, tea, thread, string, on paper on panel, modeling paste on panel, rusted steel frame
30”w x 30””h x3”d

Vessel No 1 (detail)
2019
Encaustic, Cotton organza, rice paper, rust, tea, thread, string, on paper on panel, modeling paste on panel, rusted steel frame
30”w x 30””h x3”d

2019-03-31T16:37:18-04:00

From the studio March 25 – 30

From the Studio – March 25th to the 30th

It’s been a busy week. It began with a studio visit on Monday with some of the artist of the Creatives Exchange group of Tampa. Jenny Carey is the group’s coordinator and she reached out a while ago and I’m so glad we were finally able to make it happen. Sometimes getting peoples scheduled coordinated is the hardest thing. It was a terrific visit and we had a lively exchange of art thoughts and ideas.

This week I also made significant progress on the next “Hair Nest” piece. The drawing of the tree is close to finish. For the last couple months I assumed the glass cast limb would be the object attached to and protruding from the large drawing of the tree. The glass limb had been attached to the drawing for the past 3 or 4 weeks. But after much deliberation the previous week I decided it was just not working. The drawing was overpowering the cast glass limb. The drawing now contains a real wood limb coated with several layers of polyurethane (see photo). The glass cast tree limb will be used for the next piece in the series.

Also this week: Close to 3 full days spent on an art grant submission and I am happy to report I submitted it yesterday!

The week ended with a Friday trip to the Tampa Airport to see the new public art collection with a guided tour by Art director Kelly Figley. She was full of information. We gained insight to the artists, their processes, and the pieces on display. And she informed us of public art submissions process as well. Jenny Carey, Coordinator of the Creatives and Janet Scherburger, Director of Government and Media relations, made the arrangements for the airport tour. It was very well done and informative – many thanks to all of them!

I started and ended my week with Jenny Carey and the Creatives – what fun!

“Hair Nest 15” in progress

2019-03-21T22:04:55-04:00

Thank you Creative Pinellas and studio happenings

March 21, 2019

My first blog must include a big thank you to Creative Pinellas! I’m delighted and pleased to be awarded a 2019 Professional Artist Grant.

Now on to what is happening in the studio. As usual I am working on multiple bodies of work at once. It seems to be my style. This week I want to talk about the series of work that is front and center. The statement for this body of work with a few photos of the first completed in the series follows.

“Hair Nests”

“Hair Nests” is a series of ten works begun in 2014, but set aside while I concentrated on different projects. I’m happy to announce, it is again the focus of my efforts.

Each work contains a tree branch, either artificial or real. Each branch projects out from a large seven-foot graphite drawing of a tree. In some case, pieces of the branch litter the ground below among stones and boulders. The branches are constructed in a variety of materials. They include glass, actual branch, paper, or silk organza. A nest — fabricated from my hair — rests in a fork of a branch or on the floor. Each nest is constructed with a year of my hair loss. A thyroid condition in 1998 caused an increase in the loss of my hair and I began collecting the hair on a daily basis. In turn, the loss turned my thoughts to aging and the erosion of one of the significant measures of beauty — hair.

Trees entered the equation for numerous reasons. Obviously, they are an essential part of our existence. They are awe-inspiring beautiful and critically environmental. Scientists record twenty-two benefits, encompassing climate change, air quality, erosion, and food as well as less measurable elements as season change, shade, wildlife protection, economic, reducing violence, adding unity and so-forth. In my public housing stay as a teenager, I cannot remember one mature tree on the grounds.

At this stage of the environmental challenge, tree markers are vital — the trunk scars and burns and tree-ring dating provides a climate history for each yearly ring. They speak of life, of an existence not distant from our own, affected by elements beyond their and our control — drought, fire, disease and of course, humans. One does notice a pattern here.

Yet, they endure. They live on. Some giant California sequoias are nearly 400 years old. These redwoods are handily surpassed in age by numerous Southern cypress and Northern white cedar. And finally, three Ginkgo trees in Hiroshima survived the atomic blast that devastated miles and miles of landscape. In days after the explosion, it was reported the trees had budding leaves.

This perseverance is consequential to the work, carrying it beyond my concept to a mortality admired and deserved.

It is hardly a reach for me to blend tree drawings and limb sculptures with the signature component of all my work — human hair. Hair contains our complete DNA and lives beyond death. Its appearance varies among cultures. Several religions dictate women cover their hair. Other cultures beautify it. (Consider the thousands of hair products and procedures for women and men alike.) Hair is hoarded as a keepsake, often in a locket or pressed into a Bible. Conversely, consider the yang — the repulsion of a hair tendril on a dinner plate or a wad plugging the shower drain.

Closer to home, I’ve been complimented on my hair all my life, setting a synergy in place between it and beauty. Once hair loss began, self-doubt was close behind. The hoarding of this loss on a daily basis became a chronicle. A personal calligraphy evolved as I fashioned each day’s loss into a doodle,. This granted my loss an entirely different existence. What was once troubling was now a message on the contextual relationship of beauty. My hair was enduring, aesthetic, and flexible.

Thinking of hair in this context led me to consider it in the context of poverty and the environment. The question in my mind boiled down to “What represents security in an environmental milieu?” Over a period of several years, I photographed and drew trees. First, their textural and aesthetic appealed to me. Over time, it became personal as I chose favorite trees, liking this one and that one. I looked forward to seeing these favorites as I walked my dogs, discovering something new about each. One day, I still recall the day I noticed a nest nestled among the limbs and thus, began the genesis of inspiration.

“Hair Nest 16” 2018
Size: 60 w x 90 h x 52 d inches
Medium: Graphite on paper and modeling paste on panel, nest made of my hair Loss from 2016, branches made of rust/tea stained silk organza, hardware wire thread yarns and wire mesh, black glass, black fire glass, Mexican beach stones, and Lava boulder.

“Hair Nest 16” 2018 (detail)
Size: 60 w x 90 h x 52 d inches
Medium: Graphite on paper and modeling paste on panel, nest made of my hair Loss from 2016, branches made of rust/tea stained silk organza, hardware wire thread yarns and wire mesh, black glass, black fire glass, Mexican beach stones, and Lava boulder.

 

“Hair Nest 16” 2018 (detail)
Size: 60 w x 90 h x 52 d inches
Medium: Graphite on paper and modeling paste on panel, nest made of my hair Loss from 2016, branches made of rust/tea stained silk organza, hardware wire thread yarns and wire mesh, black glass, black fire glass, Mexican beach stones, and Lava boulder.

2018-08-02T16:56:33-04:00

Moving the Pine Needle Forward | Central Florida Artists & Exhibitions Spur Conversation on Climate Change

Clearwater-based artist Kate Helms with her mixed-media installation, Colony 1, created with resin, cloth, sandpaper and found chaise, measuring 74 x 28 x 35 inches. The piece is included in Water over the Bridge, showing through Friday at the Morean Arts Center. Photo by Daniel Veintimilla.

Moving the Pine Needle Forward |

Central Florida Artists & Exhibitions Spur Conversation on Climate Change

By Julie Garisto, June 27, 2018

 

Untitled (Bend) by Selina Roman, 2011, Archival Inkjet Print. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Florida faced not only a frightening close call with a hurricane in the past year, but other immediate and far-reaching implications around climate change have us a bit shaken and uncertain.

Considering the scope of the problem, we can’t help but beg the question why climate change isn’t tackled more by Florida artists.

Fortunately, we’re seeing a sea change. Artists from the Sunshine State (and others) are assuming the mantle for bringing attention to a subject that is as dire as it is censored — heck, the words “climate change” are even forbidden from being included in official documents, a mandate from Gov. Rick Scott.

At the Morean Arts Center, the comprehensive exhibition Water over the Bridge: Contemporary Seascapes displays both accessible and challenging works in a staggering variety of media. Curated by D. Dominick Lombardi of Valhalla, N.Y., and Amanda Cooper, the Morean’s Curator of Exhibitions, it’s a must-see for anyone who cares about supporting visual art and gaining perspective on the environment.

“Contemporary artists can very often be like the canary in the coalmine warning of the presence of deadly gases,” Lombardi wrote in the exhibition’s program. “Artists can bring to light the changes in sea levels, and the industries that contribute to the problem by simply exposing, with visual and written references, a very troubling reality that we are in the thick of a political battle for our very future, and the futures of the animals and plants we love.”

Kenny Jensen with Dominion Under (Bound and Loosed), 2018, mixed media, variable dimensions.

Artists helping meet Lombardi’s objective include Kate Helms, Kenny JensenSelina Roman, Anne Bowen, Babs Reingold, Carolina Cleere, Margaret LeJeune, Rieko Fujinami and William Thompson.

While some  may flinch when invited to a climate change-focused exhibition for fear of a heavy-handed downer experience, “Water over the Bridge” does much more. It elevates the discussion, offering as much that’s life affirming as is foreboding. It provides humor and whimsicality as well as punch-you-in-the-gut pathos.

“If you look at works by Don Doe, Bill Gusky, Scott Hatt, Dale Leifeste, China Marks and Selina Roman, you will see that they are raising our awareness of rising sea levels with a bit of humor,” Lombardi elaborates. “I also believe that we have to be thankful for the not-for-profit institutions like the Morean that will mount challenging shows that raise important issues like climate change. Since not-for-profits do not have to rely on selling the work they exhibit, they can show art that goes beyond saccharine seascapes and landscapes. Living in New York I am no stranger to rubberneck delays on highways. It’s a shame there is such great interest in slowing down to look at the carnage of a car accident across a roadway, while issues about the environment have become a nasty political battle.”

Brant Moorefield (Jackson Heights, NY), Parapet, 2013, oil and acrylic on paper, mounted on canvas. 14 x 11 inches, and Graft, 2015, oil and acrylic on panel, 18 x 14 inches.

According to her artist statement, Kate Helms calls attention to the “parroted paradise … born of stout St. Augustine grass, primly planted medians, perfectly spaced palms, and gracefully arcing sprinkler showers.” Her works are “united by a desire to question cultural attitudes about the fabricated environments we inhabit and fetishize to the point of precarious delusion.”

Her installation Colony 1 (pictured top of page) proposes a creepy hypothetical scenario; it foresees the future state of an antique chair in an opulent Florida living room after its been submerged for decades — the chair’s once opulence is reduced to an absurd oddity as realistically crafted barnacles overtake it. It’s both a poignant and humorous look at how nature may conquer us if we don’t stop abusing it.

“I haven’t lost all hope and you shouldn’t either,” Helms said during her recent gallery talk at the Morean, adding that her work is not intended as a death knell but a call to action.  A Stormwater Program Administrator for the City of Largo, the scientist/artist has painstakingly tracked the effects of runoff and expresses no doubt that climate change is human-influenced.

Babs Reingold (St. Petersburg), The Last Sea, 2018, mixed media and variable dimensions.

Babs Reingold’s mixed-media installation The Last Sea mirrors a more current reality, one that harks viral videos of wildlife strangled by plastic bags — a canoe filled with flaccid, nondescript small stuffed animal corpses and strewn with plastic litter. In addition, one of Reingold’s Luna Ladders hangs overboard. From one perspective, it denotes a “jump ship” attitude like those of wealthy people who believe they can just colonize Mars. On the other hand, the ladder could intimate one last hope for survival. Adding a touch of dark humor, the boat’s name, the piece’s title, spelled out in a boat name painted whimsically in a recognizable 1950s-style semi-cursive font. It’s a light touch on a dark piece. Ultimately, The Last Sea offers a chilling scenario, a proposition of the last major body of water on Earth. Its theme, a progression of Babs Reingold’s series “The Last Tree,” takes its inspiration from Jared Diamond‘s 2004 TedEx talk, when he asks, “What was the person who cut down the last tree on Easter Island thinking?”

The ideal exhibition to bring teens and tween students to, Water over the Bridge engages and elicits critical thinking and discourse; a highly prescriptive antidote to reactive social networking and comment-board trolling.

“This exhibition does succeed as a kind of protest,” Co-curator Amanda Cooper says in the brochure for the show. “If you ever thought about land conservation and wondered why it was important or whether you should care about it — one only has to look at these paintings to see what we stand to lose. Sometimes a beautifully and lovingly crafted work of art speaks louder than a megaphone.”

In tandem, The Morean Arts Center is also presenting a solo exhibition by an established artist who places an emphasis on the joy and wonder we feel while encountering nature. “Leslie Neumann: Manna from Heaven … and Earth,” shows the trajectory of an established artist and conservationist‘s work over a long period of time, focusing on the beauty of nature vs. our troubling current events.

Florida Trees, part of Xavier Cortada’s curation.

Also, if you Google “artists and climate change,” the first hit you get is the informative website Artists and Climate Change, which currently features as its top story a piece on a partnership with The Arctic Cycle,  Xavier Cortada and our very own Creative Pinellas to support the global reach of 90N: North Pole.

In the feature, “Communicating science through art: Introducing the work of Xavier Cortada, we learn about how Cortada has called attention to the melting of polar ice, which has begun melting at such an accelerated rate that the stake marking the geographical location of the South Pole, where all longitude lines converge, has to be relocated annually. “Cortada used flags,” author Jennifer Ring explains. “He planted 50 flags into the polar ice sheet, with each flag representing the location of the marker in years’ before. They formed a row, half a kilometer long, with each flag about 10 meters away from the next.”

Cortada’s project FLOR500 uses art to aid in reforestation.When the state turned 500 years old in 2013, Ring adds. The artist commemorated the quincentenary by initiating a campaign to plant 500 new Florida wildflower gardens across the state. In addition, he invited artists from regions throughout the state to draw each of the flowers. Local participants include Carrie Jadus and Kristen Gilpin.

90N, a solo exhibition of Xavier Cortada’s work at the North Pole is on display at Creative Pinellas through Sept. 2. An opening reception with the artist kicks off the exhibition on Friday, June 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. Gallery hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 4 p.m. and by appointment through Sept. 2.  Details at cortada.com/event/2018/90N

Arguably the world’s most urgent problem, climate change not only hits close to home on both the figurative and literal level, but offers a number of philosophical quandaries to explore — from the most elemental of human needs to more abstract, complex issues around stewardship of our planet, morality and evolution.

 

2018-02-27T17:40:14-04:00

AUGUST 20 – SEPTEMBER 15: FROM THE STUDIO AND BURCHFILED PENNEY ART CENTER BUFFALO NY

AUGUST 20 – SEPTEMBER 15: FROM THE STUDIO AND BURCHFILED PENNEY ART CENTER BUFFALO NY

by BABS REINGOLD

“The Last Tree” exhibit at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo is a success.  I arrived in Buffalo September 1 after a three-day drive from St Petersburg. During the holiday weekend, I met several times with the Chief Curator to discuss installation and prints layout and video placement. Installation began September 6 with completion September 8. The opening reception was the afternoon and evening of September 9. The Last Tree, coupled with Charles Burchfield and Jozep Bajus exhibits, attracted over 1,000 patrons to this lovely series of galleries across from the Albright-Knox. A pix of The Last Tree exhibit follows along with a first blurb from the Gusto Section of The Buffalo News. More information on show can be seen at https://www.burchfieldpenney.org/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/

Prior to leaving for Buffalo, I was busy refining the gallery layout of the 194 stump pails and single “last tree” within the installation as well as selecting the accompanying prints and drawings. This included reframing several of the works and subsequent packing and shipping of these smaller works.

Additionally during this period, I welcomed Creative Pinellas staff (Barbara St Clair, Elizabeth Brincklow and Carlen Petersen) for a studio visit.  It was an informative and pleasant afternoon (I trust from both sides) with discussions of our mutual directions as well as the thriving art scene in the Greater Pinellas area.

 The Last Tree" installed at the Burchfield Penney Art Center Buffalo NY September 9 - February 2017

The Last Tree” installed at the Burchfield Penney Art Center Buffalo NY September 9 – February 2017

BReingold _BurchfieldEx_9_2016.jpg

Share
Share this article with your network: