Bellying up to the...
I can't help myself, as far as the cheesy copy goes. Seriously, who could resist? But, anyway, that's my headline to announce In the Belly of the Beast, a national invitational cast-metal sculpture group exhibition curated by Stacey Holloway, benefiting the Sloss Metal Arts program (one the best things about Alabama), opening at Stephen Smith Fine Arts on May 4 and running through the summer in two configurations.
Honestly, this is great company to appear and hang out with, and I'm sure they'll get me fired up to pour some more metal soon.
Doing my Paper/Work
Actually, I have been doing my paperwork, and it doesn't look good. But today I'm riffing on the title of a juried show organized by the Alabama Caucus for Women's Art. The title is, of course, Paper/Work, and it'll be up through March 2 at the Salmon Library Gallery at UA Huntsville. The closing reception will include a juror's talk by Dr. Abigail Yoder of the St.Louis Art Museum.
I haven't seen it yet, myself, but after all these years of making paper sculpture, I'm happy to finally participate in a show that's in a library. You can read more about why that might be at the bottom of the page on my paper sculpture gallery.
I knew I would have more to say about Uncommon Territories, the survey of contemporary Alabama artists curated by Jennifer Jankauskas at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
First off, it is an amazing show, and I am so honored to be a part of it and in such good company with so many strong artists and people. It's also notable that I'll be participating alongside Katie Baldwin, Stacey Holloway and Jürgen Tarrasch in a panel discussion moderated by Jennifer on November 30. Should be interesting, to say the least.
And finally, here's a cool time-lapse video of my installation. Yay!
A Different Vision of Alabama
Doubtless, I will have more to say about this in the future, but I am happy to be selected for inclusion in Uncommon Territory: Contemporary Art in Alabama, curated by Jennifer Jankauskas at the Montgomery Museum of Art. With apologies for being lazy, here is how they describe the exhibit, which runs November 18 through January 21:
To mark the bicentennial of Alabama’s creation as a territory, this exhibition includes both established makers along with younger, emerging artists to examine the current vitality of artistic creativity found throughout the state. Focusing on new and innovative works produced within the last few years, this survey demonstrates not only a commitment to community and place, but also a dedication to highlighting new viewpoints and practices. Showcasing a mixture of art in various media and two- and three-dimensional forms, the exhibition positions current contemporary artistic practices by artists in Alabama within a broader global context of art making.
Exercising The Art of Protest
My attention has been distracted for the past year by the 2016 election and its continuing aftermath. Like so many, I've marched, and called, and written emails and postcards to protest one heartless and absurd Trump policy after another.
I did not mind spending my birthday this year hosting a sign-making party for the Women's March on Washington.
My art-marking has been affected by all this, especially as words and signifiers have emerged as elements of my making. So, too, has the need for engaged hopefulness come to be a central premise of my continued well-being. We must stand up and offer a vision for a better, more sustainable world.
I am not the only person feeling these feels, and was grateful when the Art + Activism branch of the Women's Caucus for Art of Georgia announced the call for The Art of Protest. Clearly a lot of us are struggling with all this, and working through our creative responses to these times.
It was lovely to spend a weekend with strong, smart artists who share my interest in the intersection of art and politics. I'm also grateful that I finally got my studio back in action in time to launch A Wing and a Prayer: Postcards for Change.
There's more great documentation on the group Facebook page.
In Other News
There was a fire upstairs, and lots of water, and my studio is a mess. No power, standing water, summer in the South — this is problem.
I do have CERF's Studio Protector mounted on the wall, and sought insurance for this bizarre art thing that I'm doing when I struck out on my own (thanks to CERF & Fractured Atlas), but I haven't figured out how to afford that kind of professionalism.
I'm typing this as healthcare is undergoing late night votes in D.C., and thinking of the Ghost Ship Fire.
Although several people lost their homes, at least no one was hurt this time. Life is so precarious.
An Open Heart Allows Blessings to Flow
I've been trying to live by that worldview, but sometimes it's hard, I tell you.
As a phrase, it came to me while I was working in the studio earlier this year. I was thinking about the role of art, and how it can create openings for connection that can be difficult, if not impossible, in other modes of life – especially now, in the Trump era. It also reflects my hope that giving really does create space for new experiences to emerge, creating further openings, and actual flow. Thus, it sprang it mind when we needed a title for the biggest installation I've ever had a chance to create at the Gadsden Museum of Art.
An Open Heart Allows Blessings to Flow opened on June 2, and will be up through the beginning of January. It occupies the central foyer and stretches through all three floors of the museum, providing many stirrings views of the work – and I'm not just saying that! I am truly pleased with the way the installation turned out, even though I haven't had a chance to photograph it properly yet.
Alas, I am a little disappointed that it hasn't generated much feedback beyond "likes" on my social media pages. Ego and financial sustainability notwithstanding, I've had to create a story for myself about the contributions I can make to the world at large living in the community where my life-partner is employed. First world problems, I know, but maybe, just maybe, art magic can take the edge of meanness off our living legacy of hatred and violence in the South – right?
Well, here we are, in 2017, and it's hard to tell if any of it matters. Admittedly, Alabama is a tough market, and we are living in lean, mean times, where those of us in arts and humanities (and sciences, and education, and civil service, etc.) are stretched thin. We need to be as kind and understanding with each other as we can.
Still, having just paid through the nose for a plumber's time and expertise, I have to wonder how long I can be generous before my resources are exhausted? Is the work not strong enough to merit broader recognition and reception? Am I not enterprising enough, or am I working in an inhospitable field? There's so much I could say about this as part of a broader social commentary, but a show announcement isn't the place.
Still, the irony isn't lost on me that the issue is moving front and center in my life and practice at the same time that An Open Heart is on view just up the road from a regionally-notorious immigration and customs detention center. On further thought, that might be emblematic of the larger reality in which so many find ourselves. For my part, that brings me back to the teachings from all the great spiritual traditions: even in the face of brutality and indifference, we have to be open to grace and mystery.
Like caregivers in all contexts of life, I need renewal in order to keep it up, but I still place my faith in art magic.
Here We Are at Georgia College
I am pleased to announce the opening of Here We Are, an exhibition of my work curated by Georgia College student Catherine Allen as the culmination of her degree program in museum studies.
It's pretty amazing to be selected as a curatorial project, especially in the place where my paternal grandmother attended college for a single year during the Depression when it was the Georgia State College for Women. My mother's sisters later attended and graduated from the school, too. In short, while Georgia College is now a coed institution, it is the place where women on both sides of my family went to prepare themselves to be adults (public school teachers, to be precise) in the world.
Considering the horrors now being unleashed by the resurgent confederacy and patriarchal mindset, I am fairly amazed to find myself and my work holding space in a place with such significance in the life of so many (white) southern women—including but not limited to Flannery O'Connor—but which also served as an antebellum and Civil War-era capitol. While strolling around the neighborhood, I discovered the oldest Georgian building in Georgia as well as a historical marker commemorating the pig pen where the official seal of Georgia was buried for safe-keeping as Sherman's troops approached—not to reemerge to the light of day or service until the end of Reconstruction when the state capitol moved to Atlanta, where we eventually migrated as well. Here We Are, indeed.
The show is on view at Leland Gallery in Ennis Hall February 20-March 17, with a reception and artist talk Thursday, February 23, 5-7. The work looks amazing in the recently refurbished Ennis Hall, home of Georgia College's Art Department. I look forward to sharing it with the quick and the dead, alike.
I've been making a lot of protest signs and engaging in other forms of #Resistance.
Creative Response in Challenging Times
What is the role of the artist in a time of extreme social turmoil? What is the work of the creative community in a state like Alabama, formed through slavery and a trail of tears?
With the alarming reascendence of white supremacy and a federal government dedicated to the worst elements of human nature, I have put on my impresario's hat in solidarity and creative resistance to the horrors unfolding daily in the United States. Creative Response is the first of these; while none of us know the exact shape of things to come, I know that it will not be the last.
I'm honored to be in excellent company in the group show Southern Abstraction, running from October 21-December 31 at the Wiregrass Museum of Art in Dothan, Alabama.
Curated by Aaron Head, the show "represents a collection of Southern artists who use abstraction as a vehicle to explore symbology, shared language and the natural world."
Funny word, abstraction, especially in reference to the extremely physical nature of sculpture, but I'll save that monologue for another time.
Back in Print
I am pleased to announce that I am a featured portfolio artist in the Fall 2016 issue of the Still Point Arts Quarterly, published by Shanti Arts. It's a lovely volume, and here's a link to preview the issue, but you have to purchase full access to the print and/or digital edition. And you know what? I'm fine with that. I like the idea of content creators getting paid for their time and labor.
The Fall of Juried Shows
Just a few days after Actualities came down, I made the journey to Dothan, Alabama to install Irruption in B16, the Wiregrass Museum of Art's biennial of contemporary art made by artists living and working in the Southeast. It's good company in a beautiful space managed by the WMA's gracious and ambitious staff. The show opened in July and runs through September 24.
Shortly thereafter, it was off to Meridian, Mississippi to drop off work for the 43rd Annual Bi-State Competition at the Meridian Museum of Art. Their building is a repurposed Carnegie Library, whose basement classrooms gave me flashbacks to childhood—my three-year-old kindergarten classroom in particular. It was oddly comforting to leave Flare and Arc there until the show opens August 17 and runs through October 1.
I had some extra time that day, so finally explored Meridian a little, visiting the Jimmie Rodgers Museum and then, out of dogged curiosity, driving in circles around Highland Park before finding my way to the beautifully restored Dentzel Carousel. Y'all, it was open for business, and the ladies in the carousel house invited me to ride!!! It was the most fun I'd had in a long time.
Less whimsical and more pressing is the third juried show I'll be in this fall, 46/21: 46 Million Slaves-21st Century Slavery, organized by the Art+Activism committee of the Women's Caucus for Art of Georgia. This marks another return to the Mammal Gallery for me. WCAGA has been working hard to develop a comprehensive response to the scourge of modern-day human trafficking, which snakes out from hubs like Atlanta to towns and stops across the country and around the world, using the same maps and roads that the rest of us travel, including me in my quest to spread art and beauty across the South. 46:21 will run September 10 to October 2. A full schedule of events is posted on the event page.
Actualities, at last!
Well, it's up and it looks good. This May and June, running through July 9, my show Actualities is on view at the Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment mecca is Huntsville, Alabama. Wow, what a place; what a space!
I am pleased with the way Actualities came out, and have been posting images on social media using the #clairelewisevans, #actualities, and/or #lowemill hashtags. I'll be adding them here soon.
In the meantime, here's some of the PR the Lowe Mill promotional machine turned out for all six exhibits on view this spring: a promo video, a story on al.com, and an interview with gallery coordinator Aaron Head on a local radio station.
Coming Soon: Actualities
My major effort of late is Actualities, a show I'm developing for the north floor gallery at the Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment complex in Huntsville, Alabama this May. It's a huge, gorgeous space! It's bigger than my entire studio! It's one of those challenges that you just have to accept and hope you will be able rise to. For an idea of what I'm talking about, check out this video of Jamey Grimes talking about Aster, his installation from January, 2016. Currently, Merilee Challiss has an exhibit in the gallery, and her work is also amazing. A tremendous space and two tough acts to follow—I am slightly overwhelmed, but also fortunate.
Sneak peaks available on Instagram.
Art Fields, Again
I can't help it—despite the distance, and at the risk of repeating myself, I enjoy participating in ArtFields. As an event based in small southern town, it certainly isn't urbane, but it attracts so many interesting artists from across the Southeast working in a variety of contexts, all of which are truly contemporary to greater or lesser degree. The potential prize money is an incentive as well, of course, but I mostly go to see what the organizers do with my work and what and who else is there.
This year, I'll be represented by Flare, which Jarrito's Restaurant has selected for its display. As ArtFields veterans know, Jarrito's is very thoughtful about the way they choose and display artwork, so I'm really quite honored. It's also nice that they are a popular restaurant on the main strip, and get a lot of traffic. Getting art out there to be experienced, that's what it's all about.
The Grocery itself may be gone, but PaperWorkers Local in Birmingham have invited us for a group show, opening mid-January. Pretty, Much: New Work by Virginia Eckinger, Claire Lewis Evans, & Anne Herbert opens on January 15 at 5:30 and runs through February 19, with a closing reception that begins at 5:30 that day, too.
While the Grocery had its doors open, we never had a show of exclusively our work. This will be a first. All three of us have been busy, but on somewhat divergent tracks, so it will be interesting to see what happens when we regroup. I have faith it will be good.
Return to Downtown Atlanta
One of the reasons I was so pleased to hold Colemania at the Mammal Gallery last year was that it just felt right. Nonprofit DIY art space ethos aside, Dad's first job in Atlanta was about a block away in the early 60s, and he spent his entire career downtown, mostly up the hill at the state capitol complex. Me, between GSU, nightclubbing, and various jobs over the years, I feel a sense of connection to downtown, too—even though it's mostly been an urban wasteland until recent years. Coleman himself would probably have had some choice words about the neighborhood, but he's dead, so...
This is not the place to wax nostalgic (oh, but I could), but rather to announce another return to the Mammal Gallery With the Best Intentions, together with James Davis and Ian Childers. We are pretty stoked, because our previously scheduled opening on September 25 happens to fall on the same night that Creative Loafing's Best of Atlanta Block Party, curated by the Goat Farm, will sweep South Broad Street this year.
That's right, we are going to ride the hurricane, and we definitely have the best intentions about this.
Grocery a Go Go
After an exciting and exhausting year, The Grocery's landlord put the building up for sale—yes, we'd done a lot to improve it—and Virginia got a residency at The Craft Alliance in St. Louis. So we had one final musical performance (we really were fortunate to have some great touring performers stop to play in West Alabama at the Grocery over the past year), and then had a big final blow-out exhibition that our local newspaper actually covered! And then Anne and I moved to new studio!
Involved in The Art of Nature
I am very pleased to be a part of The Art of Nature, an exhibit of outdoor art organized by Sally Eppstein and the Women's Caucus for Art of Georgia now on view at the Blue Heron Nature Preserve in the Brookhaven neighborhood of Atlanta.
As soon as I heard about the show, I knew I had to be a part of it—there are so many outdoor sculpture competitions going on these days, but they are mostly all geared to durable types of sculpture that won't change over the course of the show. I understand the reasoning for that, but what's different about so many of the artists and works featured in The Art of Nature is a shared interest in the environment and natural processes.
I have a new piece of bamboo sculpture in the show: Rockabye, installed right next to Angela Bortone's Under Construction. The exhibit will only be up through June, but the BHNP is wonderful place to spend a few hours outdoors in the nature and the city. And one never knows how long archived Facebook events will be available, but the event page has lots of great images and input from people involved with the show in one way or another.
In other news, I'm putting the finishing touches on work for my solo show Passages which will be on display at The Grocery in April. The work is just about ready, and I've put a lot of thinking and living into it, but I haven't had a chance to boil it down to a concise little artist statement yet—plus, I like my current statement. Still, I've written a lot of passages here and there that shed light on my current gestalt, and some of them are posted over at Sometimes I'm an Artist, the tumblr where I document and share various of my creative pursuits (because sometimes I'm a writer).
Actually, I do have one very concise statement about this show: fragmentary considerations of art, life, material, & change
I think I'll go add it to tumblr right now. And then I'm going to go buff some more things.
ArtFields 2015, Pt. 1
This is just to let the world know that ArtFields deliveries are due this week, and I've got work on the way (thanks in no small part to my Dad). This year, my piece Evidence will be on display at 104 East Main, which apparently is the place where the ArtFields team (who do an amazing job incorporating contemporary art into a small town community) like to put quieter, more contemplative work.
It is, actually, a fairly quiet piece, but I think my statement might have had something to do with the choice. It's a great gallery, though, and I look forward to seeing it in situ along with the rest of this year's entries when I go up for the closing weekend in May.
Never Too Old to Riot
I just say that because I'm finally hooking up with the Ladyfest movement, which has its roots in the Riot Grrl world. Isn't it lovely that continuing generations of determinedly empowered women and gender nonconforming people are still challenging hegemonic masculinity? I wish I'd known there were cool people working on this back when I was losing heart in Atlanta's subculture due to the misogyny of the grunge world. If only there'd been a Ladyfest Atlanta then!
Oh well—gimme some leather and let's pour some metal. The DIY ethic of sculpture certainly found a place in my heart that coincides with feminism as well as a more aesthetic expression of the crafty strain that runs deeply through my family tree. I was never going to be just a pretty face or a musician's girlfriend; I wanted to find a way to do things on my terms.
I'm still chipping away at it, and feel a sense of connection with the Ladyfest Atlanta crew and everyone else out there trying to diversify and expand the social structure and create a healthier, more sustainable world. And yes, I think art has a place in this process. Even abstract sculpture, despite its associations with the monied elite. If nothing else, I think it presents opportunities to put mediated culture aside for a time (i.e. "kill your television") and have a direct personal experience with impractical things that seldom make sense in the capitalist or secular materialist systems.
I wonder if anyone ever reads this stuff? If so, would you drop me a line and let me know?
Don't worry, I've got more out-of-town shows coming up and a solo exhibit at The Grocery soon, too. For now however, go check out Chasing the Light (Finding the Shadow) over at Still Point Gallery. Yes, it's an online gallery, but I love their desire and purpose in offering venues—the gallery and arts publications—that focus on the intersection of art, spirit, and nature.
When this exhibition was announced I couldn't help but respond as this theme has been at the forefront of my thinking this winter. Acknowledging and honoring the shadow in ourselves is a hard lesson to learn, but it must be done lest we fall victim to our projections. I've been trying to integrate opposites more in my work of late, and it's always fun to come across other people working through similar concepts. The fact that "Satellite" was honored as the Best Three-Dimensional Artwork and that my work will be featured along with the entire exhibition in the Spring 2015 issue of Still Point Arts Quarterly is also lovely.
Publishing platforms versus exhibiting IRL—it's rewarding to engage in both activities. Different formats, different audiences (maybe), but in the end it's all art practice. It's a way to have purpose and meaning in life.
It hasn't been that long since B14 came down (at which I won an award), but it feels like a long time since I've shown out of town. No more: two works, Gloriosa and Spinner have been selected for Given Form, a juried sculpture exhibition in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area. It's nice to have two pieces selected for a juried exhibition, but especially a discipline-specific show like this. As ever, I'm looking forward to seeing more of the show.
gro, gro, gro
Wow, a lot of time has passed and I've been so busy I forgot to update my News. The main order of business has been running The Grocery with Virginia and Anne: three art shows so far, two great performances, more to come before 2014 is done, and even more in store for 2015. We've got a mix of images on our website, and more to add soon. There's just so much to do!
Besides opening The Grocery this summer now ending, my family, friends, and I also have been dealing with the loss of my brother Coleman at the end of May (long story, glimpses of which now litter my blog). Coleman was a musician, and it was inevitable that music would play a role in our farewell to him. What was less obvious at first was how incredibly awesome that musical farewell would prove to be.
Thanks to the generosity and positivity of dozens of musicians and Atlanta's Mammal Gallery, Colemania! was a blast, and we are starting to archive the experience and other memories about Coleman and the musical world he inhabited and helped shape at an online archive that we—rather than Mark Zuckerberg—control. Because stuff on Facebook disappears quickly, I've learned.
I'm mentioning this here, in my "news" of artistic accomplishments, because I put on my producer hat and organized the thing, dancing a role that close family friend Winn Mallard correctly understood in context of my greater creative vision:
"The high priestess of the ceremony... my soul sista Claire... with her divine wisdom and bulging bag of magic tricks she sculpted a mighty chalice that hugged us all with ease and freedom and a charge of truth!... such a container is a rare and special gift."
So rare and special are such experiences that we seemingly have to sacrifice a loved one to have them anymore. In such a mediated, commodified world, the creative community is one of the few places where we can meet together outside of our day-to-day selves to do the things we truly love together, in real communion.
Namaste y'all. Play on.
Opening the Grocery
It's been a busy summer for me personally, but a relatively quiet one for my art profile. That's about to change, as I am joining together with Virginia Eckinger and Anne Herbert to open The Grocery, an artist-run studio, exhibit, and performance space intended to foster creative and collaborative contemporary arts practice in West Alabama. We'll be putting on the finishing touches this month, with a grand opening scheduled for Thursday, September 4. That's Art Night on the Northport side of the Black Warrior River, and that's where you can find us, at 900 Main Avenue, right up the street from the main intersection in downtown historic Northport.
B14 — sounds like a bomber, but it's a show
How's that for a catchy headline? Actually, what I'm writing about is the Wiregrass Museum of Art's biennial exhibition, which opens shortly and features Song, the bronze sculpture that everyone likes to show. It actually had a potential buyer last year, but it seems I'm attached to it, at least until I make one better.
Once again, I'll be curious to see what else is on display in the show, which runs from July 17 to September 27. Here's a link to the museum's website for more information.
I haven't had a chance to say much about my mad dash along I-20 to deliver Messenger to Lake City, South Carolina with a major storm system on my heels, but it was kind of exciting in a good way (since I managed to stay ahead of the worst of it). In any event, I did, I delivered, and the big event is here.
ArtFields is a serious yet regionally specific contemporary art competition modeled on Grand Rapids, Michigan's ArtPrize. I've written more about it with links to other sources on my blog, which also has pictures. Check it out.
Now is the time. Lake City is the place. I can't wait to experience this for myself – and will be literally doing so at my artist talk at the R.O.B. at 2:30 Saturday afternoon, should you happen to be in the area.
Having attended a community arts conference last summer at which the organizers of Selma, Alabama's amazing organization Arts Revive shared how they've managed to truly start revitalizing this slowly declining—and historically-significant, in both interesting and awful ways—southern town through arts programming (really!), I was eager to help out by getting involved with their Roots and Wings juried exhibition. And what do you know, I got in.
Of course I will visit the Edmund Pettus Bridge while I'm there.
Exciting news arrived this week that one of my newest pieces, Messenger, has been selected for inclusion in Lake City, South Carolina's ArtFields competition in the spring. The panel that selected pieces for the show has some heavy hitters, and while there are many works selected for the competition, I'm still honored to make the cut.
I haven't transported work this size before, and that fact it's basically a big kite will make for interesting going. But I'm seriously intrigued by the way this community art festival seems to have come together with such vision and energy, and can't wait to check it out for myself.
Walnut Gallery Invitational
New year, new things to do. I'm starting 2014 off with work in the 2014 Walnut Gallery Invitational in Gadsden, Alabama. The Walnut Gallery is temporarily being housed in the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts in downtown Gadsden while its future home undergoes renovation.
Isn't it great that relatively small Southern cities like Gadsden and Macon, Georgia are so supportive of their art communities? This really is a more diverse region than stereotypes lead outsiders to think.
Anyway, big thanks to Mario Gallardo for making the invitational happen. I can't wait to see how it looks.
Playing with Fire
Aside from just making more stuff (which is what this art business sometimes seems to reduce itself down to), I've started hosting community Art Burns.
No, I'm not crazy: destruction and renewal are important aspects of the creative life. Plus, fire is pretty. There's more explanation plus some fantastic photos over on my blog—just click here and here.
Back to the Scene of the Crime
For real. I think I parked just one space away from the one I parked in twenty years ago when I packed up my work from my Senior Exit Show at Georgia State University. This time, I was dropping off work for GSU's 100 @ 100 alumni show at the Welch School Galleries, part of the university's centenary celebration. The show was curated by Jerry Cullum, and I'm curious to see how it looks. More to the point, I'm curious to see what's going on at GSU these days. (I only spent 10 years of my life there.)
Wish I'd Been There
Some people might have problems with mail-art shows, but they're fun, allow artists to mix it up with new people and places, and it's lot easier to send a postcard than ship a 265 pound sculpture. Trust me on that.
Now in Print
Four of my paper sculptures are featured in a new collection, 500 Paper Objects, published by Lark Books and jurored and introduced by Gene McHugh. It's a beautifully made book in-and-of itself, and the range of creative approaches and works within its pages is quite amazing. I wonder when they might return to the theme, as I have new paper pieces ready to show!
Well, this was interesting to stumble across recently: a fairly unexpurgated interview with yours truly produced by Benjamin Estremera and Harris Neal as part of the Alabama Voices project, which (they told me) was modeled in part on the oral histories conducted by the Federal Writer's Project as part of the WPA in the 1930s. As someone who's conducted a fair share of interviews, it was a trip to be on the receiving end for once, and even wilder to discover it posted online! If you really want to know to know about me...
Of greater significance, compare the group of interviews conducted by Ben and Harris and their UA Honors classmates in 2012 to those conducted by the FWP in Alabama, and consider what 75 years can do to a place and a people.
MAG Exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art
I also have work on view at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art this spring, as part of the Montgomery Art Guild’s 40th Museum Exhibition, juried by Janice Kluge. What a nice group of people, and what a truly fantastic space! The show will be up through June 2. If you go, give yourself time to ramble around the entire building, as MMFA has a very nice collection and several interesting galleries off the main path of travel.
Each spring, downtown Knoxville hosts the Dogwood Festival of the Arts, with many, many art shows, contests, events, and activities. This year, my piece Spinner was selected for the NEXUS Indoor Sculpture Exhibition, juried by Durant Thompson. The exhibit is at the University of Tennessee’s Downtown Gallery on South Gay Street. If you like sculpture and you’re in the area, be sure to check it out.
Some of my castings are included in an exhibition of Alabama Sculptors at the University of Mobile, up March 4 through April 12 in the Martin Hall Gallery. Other artists in the exhibit include Jamey Grimes, Pieter Favier, April Hopkins, Meredith Randall, April Livingston, Zach DePolo, Jillian Crochet, and Phillip Counselman. Several of those are artists with whom I'm delighted to share space and count as friends. Art is nice that way.
It's Odd to be an Artist doing P.R.
It really is, but since I've done publicity for other causes, and since it is a way to experiment with making art public, that's what I've been doing:
Starting with talking the bamboo talk with WVUA's Danny Salter—along with video by the fabulous Jerome Davis, I'm happy to say!
Here's a package called 'Bamboo Art' from The Crimson White's multimedia unit. Shot in natural light late in the afternoon on a cloudy day.
The Crimson White also wrote a story about the overall effort, "Artist, Black Belt Bamboost to open new park" with an accompanying slideshow with some nice shots. I like the way the photographer gives the sculpture and the bamboo plants equal treatment, suggesting a measure of success in creating truly site-specific sculpture.
Last but definitely not least, I had a great conversation with Courtney Haden who wrote it up and here is the interview at Weld.
Elsewhere, here are some work-in-progress shots and the official press release about Signs of Life, courtesy of the art department's Rachel Dobson. More documentation is still to come, but there's one more piece to finish and install, and a party to throw first!
Signs of Life
• The site is finally ready, see?
• Just in time for the Kentuck Festival right next door—well, there are no doors (it's all outside)—but right on the other side of the culvert on the western boundary of Kentuck Park!
• I'll be out at the park working on weekends throughout the month of October, so come check it out.
• The Grand Finale/Opening Celebration (depending on your perspective) is set for Sunday, November 11, from 2-4 p.m. I'll bring the badminton kit, you bring the lawnchair. Refreshments will materialize somehow.
You Can't Hold Water
Works by the UA studio art grad students will be on view in the Sella-Granata Gallery on the first floor of Woods Hall during the month of October. There's quite a range of work and approaches, proving that we are indeed a slippery bunch. Here's more information about You Can't Hold Water, which includes one of my new bamboo pieces, The Gesture Itself.
My Secret Life as a Collagist
Intrigued by the theme, I pulled out my collage kit and mindset to participate in a mail art show last year: A Book About Death Seattle. It was inspired by the original Book About Death show that took place in New York in 2009. The idea is an open mail call for postcards that have the words "a book about death" on them somehow. People seem to respond strongly to the theme—I certainly had material tucked away that was ready to emerge from the cocoon.
The show was sponsored by Quetzalcoatl Gallery, who've gone above and beyond in turning what seemed like just a mail art show into a going concern. Most recently, they've published a book featuring all the submissions. From the looks of their blog, the launch party was a great night. Too bad I couldn't make it—at least there's a shot of my piece projected on the wall. I feel at once so ephemeral and disco.
The Summer Show
Made another road trip recently to deliver work for the 47th Annual Juried Exhibition at the St. Tammany Art Association in lovely (honestly) downtown Covington, Louisiana, just north of New Orleans. Also known as The Summer Show, the show was jurored by Miranda Lash, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art. How nice is it to be selected for inclusion in a show by a juror of that stature? Very nice, indeed—especially when you win a merit award.
Now on Tumbler
I needed a place to collect all my bamboo research in one place, and since this is likely to be fairly visual,% and %I want to share with people, I've started a Tumblr account – yay!
If things seem a little quiet on the 'news' front of late, it's because I'm working to incorporate a new medium in my palette: bamboo. Forget the nightmare stories about the plant that ate the South (that's kudzu, anyway). Instead, check out Black Belt Bamboost's plan to build an "creative educational interactive bamboo park" near the Black Warrior River in Northport. Someone has to build the sculptures, right?
I've had work on view several places this spring, starting with the Circle Gallery in Annapolis, where the Maryland Federation of Art's 35th Annual Art on Paper was on display in April. I wasn't able to make it up for the show, but it looked good in this online tour.
The Dogwood Arts Festival's Regional Fine Arts Exhibition opened shortly after that at the wonderful Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. The show ran April 6-27, and was just one facet of the much larger festival. 2,000 people went to the opening, so that feels like a big win.
From there, it was down to the Gulf Coast for another regional show, this time the Southern Regional Juried at Northwest Florida State College, May 6 - June 8, organized by the Arts and Design Society of Fort Walton Beach. The galleries at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center are beautiful spaces, definitely worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood.
Pictures of an Exhibition
Thanks to Rachel Dobson from the UA Department of Art and Art History, here are pictures from the opening of Claire Lewis Evans: Recent Sculpture at the Kentuck Museum Gallery on January 5, 2012.
Ms. January at the Kentuck Museum Gallery
I am kicking 2012 off with a bang as the featured artist in the Kentuck Museum Gallery in Northport, Alabama. The show runs January 3-28, with the opening reception 5-9 p.m. Thursday, January 5 during Art Night. Click here for more information about the exhibit and other Art Night activities at Kentuck. I will be the woman in the orange jacket if you want to stop by, say hello, and get a head start on wishing me a happy birthday.