Twenty-Sixteen

bi-94

BACK ISSUE! #94 out Jan. 2017

As usual, the holidays are a blur and suddenly we’re at the end of another year! As much as I try to avoid the chaos by staying ahead and organized, I somehow always feel the pressure of a deadline or two. Luckily 2016 wasn’t too bad and most of the strain I felt was self inflicted. Besides, I have so much to be grateful for, it’s hard to focus on the stress that inevitably develops with any project. Professionally there have only been highs, adding to make this a whirlwind year. Continue reading

A Day Without Art

img_1939The holiday rush has begun and I have multiple projects on my plate, but what else is new? Several weeks ago I was asked to contribute to a Day Without Art, a three day exhibit that opens in Boston on World AIDS Day. I’m making up for lost time and painting oil on a 4’x4′ wood panel. This is what I have thus far, but my plan is to work through the night and have the piece drying in front of a fan and heater for forty-eight hours. I’ll post the finished piece on Facebook. There you’ll also find more information about this annual event.

“Melting Wax & Smoke”

A third painting for my Heroines collection was completed just before the end of 2013. I’ll begin a fourth this week, but then stepping away from the super heroine theme, just briefly, to flex my creative muscles in a different direction for something new. I apologize for the low quality photograph. I’m looking forward to having much of my new and old work reshot in the future when I begin updating this site.

Create the Vote Boston 2013

Creat the Vote Boston 2013On Wednesday, July 10th, from 5-7pm, at the Boston Center For the Arts, I’ll be joined by artists and performers to speak about the importance of the arts and culture in Boston.  We’ll be speaking to Boston voters, but in particular to the mayoral candidates. Learn what you can do to make sure these candidates keep arts and culture one of their priorities. Please show your support and RSVP to the event. Food and drink will be provided.  This event is sponsored by MASSCreative.

More on my latest collaboration

The pièce de résistance of “Force for Good” ready to be attached.

For the last several months I’ve been working with ten teen artists (and their friends) to create an installation that speaks out against racism in conjunction with the Culture for Change program of Boston. The group and I are finally ready to present our nearly 24′ piece to the public tomorrow evening. What follows is our artists statement. For more on the process, please check out the YES for Change Tumblr page.

A Force For Good (Against Racism)

papier-mâché (head), clear tape & saran wrap (spine), wooden frames (body), sequined fabric (skin), mirrors, and other medium.

Being given the opportunity to create some sort of artwork that educates the cause and effect of racism is both exciting and a little daunting. The subject of racism is very broad, as were our choices of art to use to translate our message. Following the process of an artist, starting with an idea, continuing with research, practicing with trial and error team building projects, and finally execution, we arrived at what stands before you.

During the course of the year we researched a variety of issues and events related to racism and in particular our community of Chinatown. We also sought out to learn more about the broad medium of installation art, knowing we did not want to necessarily produce standard 2D artwork. We learned about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, one of the most significant restrictions on free immigration in the US. Our investigation of racism and installation art brought us all over Boston and beyond. Our group visited the Chinatown Library where we viewed an Atlas timeline of Chinatown. It was a way for us to learn and find our roots and to see how it was like for our grandparents and great grandparents to deal with the obstacles presented to them in a new country. We visited the ICA to view installation art and hopefully inspire us. We learned about Ai Wei Wei and how he used installation art to oppose the Chinese communist government. Another famous installation artist, Yayoi Kasuma, taught us that much of installation art is conceptual, meaning that the artist’s ideas or concept are more important that the actual beauty of the piece.

Our team combined ideas collected from months worth of projects and field trips and drafted a final form for our installation. What we present to the community is a Chinese inspired dragon, its spine built of interlocking lit hands, surrounding a plastic figure and several mirrors. The mirrors reflect our audiences’ faces and positive phrases allowing viewers to become a part of the piece. The encircled separated plastic figure amid the sea of reflections is used to show the effects of racism, something, at one point, everyone has encountered, making us feel isolated or less than a whole. The dragon represents our main message, coming together we become an unstoppable force against racism. We are equally proud of our final piece and of all the work our team has done. This installation is our reward to show everyone what we’ve learned about art, racism, our culture, and each other.

Jagwar Ma – “Man I Need”

Be sure to hit “Like” on the website’s Facebook tab to check out the various music videos that are playing in my classroom or inspiring my work. I prefer to stay away from today’s Top 40 and a little jazz or classical mixed with play gems from the ’60s-’90s or current independent artists that students don’t regularly hear. I especially like artists from other countries, not played on American radio. I’m constantly posting songs on Facebook that create a week’s playlist, helping me to establish a fun and creative environment in the art room ( or “studio-classroom”, as I call it.)

Jagwar Ma is the latest band I’ve been turned onto. For more of their music, checkout their page on SoundCloud!

Let the debate — BEGIN!

The Fall of the Roman Empire

The Fall of the Roman Empire

One of my favorite times of the year is when I begin to explore Impressionism and Expressionism. Often times students and I (with our imaginations) transform the art room into a time machine to travel back in time to learn of our past and how it influences us now. This week we’ll be stepping into a classical senate and dividing classes into two groups to discuss the importance of each era. Each group will conduct its own research and present evidence of artists’ work to support its cause. Two students take the floor at a time, each member of each group will have a chance to take the floor and prove his/her point, plus argue against the teammate of the opposing group.

The idea came to me late last night watching the 1964 film, The Fall of the Roman Empire. One never knows where inspiration will come from! This should prove a great introduction into Impressionism and Expressionism, with projects following dedicated to both that will likely take us right to summer.