UCCS GOCA has a brilliant feedback wall with note cards and a lovely old typewriter. Someone shared their thoughts about my Powers of Ten series on this little note. Thank you!
After a wonderful week in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming I am back to work on my drawings. While there I was inspired by the teepee frame in the meadow behind the cabin where we stayed and the roofs on the ranger station in the distance. These two drawings reflect these forms, abstracted and promoted by the patterns and color that emanate from the structures.
A solo show of mine opens in early August in Longmont, Colorado. The body of work is still forming, but there will certainly be a dialogue between repeat pattern design and drawing and between sculpture and furniture. It's really exciting and important for me to span these disciplines and have the work bridge both worlds.
While working on this latest mask drawing I realized that I was inspired once again by a UFO drawing that I stumbled upon years ago and wrote about on this blog. I am so seduced by the tiny intersecting spot that is created when a round form rests on a flat surface.
As I continue to work on the drawings for this series, I get more and more excited to begin the sculptural realm of the project.
From 5 yards of striped upholstery fabric I created 125 yards (375 feet) of handmade webbing which I wove onto the iconic Marcel Breuer "Wassily" Chair frame.
This is my first weaving project and it proved more challenging than I thought. The armature created both opportunities and constraints that lead to hours upon hours of trial and error. It was arduous both mentally and physically and infinitely, infinitley rewarding.
A friend jokingly called this project blasphemous. Perhaps in some ways it is, but now the chair is more comfortable than the original and ar more tactile. It has inspired new ideas for original armatures with alternate weaving strategies.
See more here and please post a comment below. I'd love to know what you think.
About two years ago I purchased an old Wassily Chair frame at a thrift store in California, and since then I've been thinking of ways to return the chair to a usable piece of furniture.
The "Wassily Chair" was designed by Marcel Breuer in 1925-1926. It is also known as the Model B3 chair and was created while he was the head of the cabinet-making workshop at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. Inspired by Breuer's love for his own bicycle, he created the frame of chrome plated tubular steel. The original upholstery panels were made of canvas, but later productions used leather.
Building upon the concepts and materials of the Eames Rocker that I transformed last year as part of BMoCA and Design Within Reach's White Space event, I've created my own lacing once again to weave upholstery panels in place of canvas or leather.
The project is still in progress, but should be done in a few days.
After speaking on the Untitled Art Show about my Powers of Ten series, I've been thinking again about the wonderful individuals who helped me out with all of the coloring that had to be done for this series. As I ran out of time to finish the drawings on my own, so many people came to help. The coloring circles were amazing gatherings, and I was thrilled with how much everyone enjoyed the activity. Adults love coloring and thrive in the meditative process. Here are some photos of these tremendous individuals.
I think I managed to get an image of everyone - my incredibly supportive and infinitely loving Mom and Dad; my patient, encouraging and spectacular husband Mathias Leppitsch; my great great friend Jessica Riquetti who came out from Oakland to help; Tallie Dietz who tirelessly helped many many days and hours upon hours at a time; Liz Green who dedicated so many hours and much enthusiasm; Sabin Aell and Randy Rushton, Rachel Prago, Chase DeForest, Libby Saeger, Jamie Marchbank, Philip May, Gretchen Schaefer, Rebecca Peebles, Cindy Frigard, Jeremiah Hueske, John Grimberg, Jose Medina, Janice Schindler, Andi Todaro, Adam Gildar, Sander Lindeke, Owen Gordon, Whitney Stephens and Lindsay Roome. You are all such generous, creative and joyful people. I am so happy to have you in my community! Thank you!
I'll be on the Untitled Art Show tonight at 8pm MST which is a weekly, internet talk-radio show focused on visual art and the visual art world.
You can listen directly at their website: Untitled Art Show whenever you like. My section of the interview begins at 18:40 minutes.
I'll be talking in general about my art and specifically about my last show at Gildar Gallery where I showed the Powers of Ten this past September.
I recently began collaborating with my husband Mathias Leppitsch on a furniture line for a newly founded company called Vogel Vau, a design collective that is composed of us and our two good friends Sabin Aell and Randy Rushton. Our first project is a set of three nestling ottomans. I created the textile design which was inspired by my recent Powers of Ten series and Mathias and I worked together on the overall furniture design. These ottomans stack one on top of the other and also nestle close together. They are currently being exhibited as part of Design By Colorado's exhibition that is being held at the McNichols Civic Center Building in downtown Denver through April of 2013.
See more here.
In 2011, I was struck by the large quantity of tornadoes that were ripping through the US as far east as Massachusetts. It was unprecedented and being from Kansas, I felt somehow that something of mine was being lost. I knew that I wanted to do a series of sculptures and drawings that investigated tornadoes, and What I Thought Was Once Mine is Now Ours is that exploration. The title responds to my personal sense of perceived loss and also to the emotional and physical collision of the families directly affected by a tornado’s path. What I Thought Was Once Mine is Now Ours is the first drawing in the series.
As I Slept You Carried Me and We Listened as You Moved On are two new pieces in the tornado series, What I Thought Was Once Mine is Now Ours. These works are also depictions of my personal relationship to tornadoes.
When I was a young child there was once a tornado whipping through town in the late evening while I slept. My dad carried me to the basement and with my mom and brother, we all waited there listening to the radio report for the storm to pass. We were most likely in the basement for a half hour or so, and then we returned to our beds. These times were exciting. Rushing to the cellar, listening to the voices on the small radio, hearing the wind outside, heading back upstairs to check the damages and seeing the green black sky recede into the distance. The next morning when I went to breakfast my older brother was talking about the previous night's experience and I didn't know what he was talking about. I had slept through the entire storm. My father had taken me out of bed, carried me downstairs and then back up to bed, and I never awoke. This non memory has always had a profound effect on me. As I Slept You Carried Me is a non memory drawing of that storm.
We Listened as You Moved On represents a less specific memory. There were storms every spring and early summer that made us run back to the house or bike home from the park to be safe in our basement. These moments were fast, colorful, loud and dreamy. This drawing investigates that energy, that pull and motion.
See more from the series here.
In 2007 I collaborated with Asya Palatova of Gleena Ceramics on a set of plates. Her work is truly lovely with all of her porcelain tableware pieces handmade by Asya in her studio in Pawtucket, RI. This collaboration was brainstormed by the wondrous Sara Grady as a wedding gift for a dear friend of ours. Sara now works as Vice President of Programming at Glynwood Farm which is located in the lower Hudson Valley in Cold Spring, NY. She writes for Edible Hudson Valley and created a great film about Glynwood Farm. I miss her! It was such an honor to work with these women on this project. Our friend was married in Joshua Tree National Park, and in celebration of this, the illustrations depict various joshua tree blossoms. I would LOVE to get these plates into production.
Elyse Allen, artist and designer extraordinaire, taught me how to make both rope and peanut people. She is a remarkable woman. I know of very few artists who can make stunningly gorgeous things while actively pursuing the art of play. Once we collaborated on a whole troupe of peanut people circus performers. They were incredible. Elyse is a favorite of mine and I do believe a good peanut people making session is in high order. But be careful if you make them, because once I had a large family of peanut people in a cold non-winterized sun room that I avoided until warmer weather, and upon returning to it in the Spring, I found a slaughter - all of my little friends had been gnawed away by mice!
A colleague of mine at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Katie Caron, invited me to participate in an interview with the online art and literature review Open Letters Monthly. The questions were thought provoking and I enjoyed the opportunity to speak for my work in such a direct way. The cover image they chose is of an older drawing titled "Rebirth to the Stars." I loved returning to this piece, remembering its creation and narrative. There is a lot of discussion about "What I Thought Was Once Mine is Now Ours," the large tornado sculpture that I exhibited at RMCAD in September. Read the interview here.
Back in April of this year, Stephen Prochyra of Vostok Press invited me to collaborate on a woodcut project. It was an honor for me to work with him. His work is purposeful and poignant, beautifully drawn and painted with honesty and integrity. Stephen is a great artist and part of an ever expanding group of individuals that know how to keep time for themselves while generously sharing their passions and time with others. We created a four color reduction print, 30" x 30", titled Balance, Music and Humanity. Prints are available for purchase here.
I just discovered this photo of my nephew that I took the night of my What I Thought Was Once Mine is Now Ours opening at RMCAD in early September. A huge storm was brewing as friends arrived and I was grateful for the dynamic weather that paralleled my tornado sculpture. The sky felt enormous and saturated. Unbelievably, my sweet five year old nephew Sam found a plastic golden lightening bolt in the dirt right in front of the gallery. He held it up to the sky and I shot this image. So much beauty. I love that a plastic piece of otherwise junk takes on so much significance and relevance.
As part of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art's White Space event, sponsored by Design Within Reach, six artists were invited to transform the Eames plastic molded rocker. I chose to upholster the chair with hand made lacing that I made from some black and white plaid fabric. I loved thinking about the relationship between art and design and hope to work more with furniture. There is something so honest about working with form and function. The other participating artists were: Sabin Aell, Allan Andre, Donald Fodness, Alvin Gregorio and Xi Zhang.
The Process: Templates were made and attached, holes were punched to mark the drill hole locations, holes were drilled and the weaving implemented.
See more here.
The finished piece:
Rope Pile Triptych is shown on a massive billboard in downtown Denver as part of the Denver Theater District's (DTD) mission to present the arts more visibly around town. The billboard is located on 16th and Champa. Check it out if you're in the area. There are lots of great artworks presented around town, so keep your eyes open.