Doing an exhibit can really challenge you to think of the space and how to present your work within it.I came up with the idea of doing my policewoman (based on a photo of my daughter) stencil in felt because I couldn't spray paint it on the gallery wall.
Easy to put on the wall too, just a few pins and ta da!
Craft activism is a fairly new term and really took off after Betsy Greer joined the two words and coined the word craftivism in 2003. However the act of joining craft and activism has a long history. An example that quickly comes to mind is the Arts and Crafts Movement in which the focus was promoting economic and social reform.
I like the idea of doing a goals page like this one in my sketchbook, and I do find I need to kickstart myself. I used the word "trying" in the title because I am facing the post exhibit blues, although not really blue, just kind of blah-ish?
We had the weirdest storm and clouds last Tuesday in Ohio
can be a really humbling experience, and a valuable one too. Nancy and I gallery sat the whole day Saturday at our exhibit with a steady flow of visitors. The bad and the ugly Here is the humbling part, not everyone is going to like your exhibit or some of your work and some make it very obvious. Some just walk in and out immediately, some display the "sniff" (That "sniff" of derision is unmistakable), some don't smile or speak when you say hello, some complain about the gallery itself (not the work in it), and some make minor complaints that have no relevance to the work itself. Learning how to deal with that with grace, sifting out the useful information, learning how to talk about your work, and accepting that it's okay for some NOT to like your work is all a valuable part of the artistic journey. Putting yourself out there is tough and developing a thick skin is imperative for your survival as an artist. Here is some great advice on How to Develop a Thick Skin.
The Good It's wonderful seeing people engaged with your work, liking your work (and buying it of course),asking questions, laughing, making observations and connections between your work that you may not have considered. Seeing what people doodle or write on our Cloth Guest Book pages is a real treat: We've been asking guests to sign, draw or stitch in our guestbook pages.
Theresa F, did the most adorable drawing that I'm currently embellishing a wee bit. As the exhibit goes along Nancy and I will be embellishing the pages and some of the text/doodles before it is bound and donated to the community.
It's as jafapal Nancy imagined it, and much thanks to Susan and Talitha for helping put up the drapery. The nose was made in 2008 and hung over a shop in town for nearly three years until a new owner wanted to redecorate the front. In the background Mr.Plato is holding a copy of Craft Activism and keeping an eye on the felt stencil policewoman ;)
which is how I'm feeling as I prepare to hang the Hairy Art Palace exhibit on Monday. You know, this is what happens when one becomes obsessed with yarn and glue, and garage sale mannequins. If they are not covered in felt,like mr. plato, they are yarnbombed.
It was fun to see a quilt I had so lovingly made by hand back in the 80's for my mother still in use, and still in FAB shape.
There is a story behind this quilt, a story of a young mother in Texas, whose heart ached with homesickness and wanted the comfort of knowing that her mother would touch the quilt and feel that thread of love even in a piece of cloth thousands of miles away.
Swoon's drawing and what she has done with it is amazing. Here is some info about her on Bit Rebels.
Dealing with Naysayers (not talking about people offering thoughtful critiques and concerns). I love this quote by Gandhi, "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet". Nobody escapes the naysayers in our lives, and the more attention we get for our work the more naysayers seem to have this major urge to let us know how they feel. I am lucky because my need to create and the joys that come from that are so powerful that I don't care. I don't have time to indulge in letting others leave dirty footprints. If naysayers are bothering you then check out this link,31 ways to Deal with Naysayers at The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.
"excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, expect more than others think is possible" - unknown
Back in Jafabrit's Studio
Here is our Jafagirl Poster available at Zazzle.The bench at the bottom is the one featured in the book Craft Activism .
The Hell of Handicrafts and one of the questions Alex at the Guardian News asks is, "why do women want to embroidery when they could be reading Hegel?" Perhaps instead it's because we are listening to Hegel wink! wink! Fun article! and her 10 rules for happier handicrafters made me laugh. I like rule number one.
My own crafting hell is why on earth did I suggest to jafapal nancy we yarnpaint a whole flipping mannequin. ARG!!!!!!!
I feel like ripping parts of it off, grrrrrr, in fact when I get off here I already see a part I want to change. grrrrrrrr!
I love this story, Not about crafting hell but hell and crafting. I love that this POW managed to sneak subversive messages into his work. It's also a reminder that sending stitched mail, and subversive stitch is not NEW. check out what he wrote in morse code on one of his embroideries LOL!
It took a long time for locals to like this now famous landmark known locally by some as "rusty reg or rusty rita". There's something VERY comforting going back home and seeing it. I suppose not unlike New Yorkers who know they're home when they see the Statue of Liberty.
It's Sting's 60th birthday today, and since he's another Geordie, here's hoping you have a canny one pet.