Windows. I am drawn to them. I started to notice this pattern when I was photographing windows two years ago while I was in Stockholm. I was exploring Drottingholm Palace. From inside, the windows glowed. The daylight was warming yet mysterious. When walking around and viewing the past of the inside, the windows felt like portals into the present. The windows asked me to move slowly and be in the moment, reminding myself to be aware of where I was, what I was feeling, and what I was thinking. I could hear the echos of others around me, their steps moving along like mine, their voices quiet, and taking it all in. Each of us examining the uniqueness of the the building and the delicate nature of the past. You can view some of the photos here.
When I was in Fergus Falls last winter, the windows of the Kirkbride were so compelling. I spent many days just staring at them. I wasn't allowed inside the building, so I had to get to know it from its exterior campus. This time I was exploring the past from the outside.
There are so many windows at the Kirkbride. They are everywhere. From solid glass block to crumbling screen windows, I found myself meditating on what I could see, searching the building through its looking glass qualities. I saw not only my own personal reflection, but how time passes. I stood in the cold snow and said to myself, "everything is vulnerable."
The following photos are from last February when I was in Fergus Falls completing my Hinge Arts Residency. I spent some time walking in the cold while I was exploring the Kirkbride, taking photos as I walked along. I naturally gravitated towards watching the trees. Each one was full of many years of growth. Their branches were thick and sharp. Their bark textured and gritty. I also found some bushes that glowed. Snow was present. Ice was an obstacle (not pictured). The sky was blue and cloudy.
With my busy schedule, I am now just getting to look them over. I am enjoying remembering my time in Fergus -- working on my film project, taking breaks to paint, and finding moments to reflect on nature.
Here is a peek into my art display at Salon Ori, a hair salon on Selby in St. Paul. It is not too far from my home. The show is up until January so go schedule a haircut or color! You can even buy some art while you are at it.
I have been preparing art for the display. Color choice is definitely integral to my work and I have always been faithful to blue, whatever the shade. Actually, I think blue has been faithful to me, as I find it a healing color in so many ways. I find it a calming and positive color. My bedroom is blue for these very reasons. I am so excited that all of the pieces that will be on display, big and small, incorporate the color blue.
I am apparently not alone in loving blue either. According to this article, blue is also the world's favorite color. What is your favorite color? Is there a color you tend to work with the most? In your art?
Below is a glimpse into some of the work that will be on display I have a solo show opening in November with Salon Ori, a local business of St. Paul.
In my last post, I spoke about my watercolor class from this summer. Here are some paintings I worked on during my classes. I am not used to painting from real life so this was a challenge from me. I am happy to share these! I hope to continue to get better at landscape painting. Note: during this class I became obsessed with rocks. You can kinda tell this from some of this work.
I have been reflecting over my past summer lately, now that it is fall. I spent the first part of my summer closing out my run as Festival Director with Altered Esthetics. I was so proud to hand over the Ae Film Festival to Chelsea Arden Parker and Ari Newman. It was the right time for me to move on since my term as a Altered Esthetics Board Member was coming to an end and I needed more time for my various projects...such a developing Moonland (my next film), focusing on Spectrum ArtWorks (soon to be Avivo ArtWorks), and concentrating on my mixed media art practice. I completed a third round of Photovoice with participants at ArtWorks. I also made a short film with Anita White during the summer, which was so much fun! I was able to fit in felting class with Alice too! I spent every Tuesday doing a watercolor on location class, where I visited various spots in St. Paul with a group of St. Paulites. We painted together and enjoyed the summer evenings in nature.
A vacation with friends at Madeline Island was just perfect, I had a birthday, and I completed the Intensive Training with Springboard for the Arts. I was a finalist in Fine Arts at the Minnesota State Fair but did not get in. There were 51 watercolor artists who were selected as finalists and only 31 were selected to exhibit. I was so close! To Really See: Exploring the Medication Taking Experience, a collaboration I started with Paul Ranelli, opened at the Cargill Hall in the Hennepin County Library-Minneapolis Central, too. I curated over 50 pieces of art for the show!
Below are some of my favorite photos from the summer:
I am happy to share that I have joined the team at Springboard for the Arts an an Artist Career Consultant (with a focus in film/video) and Work of Art Instructor. Read more here. As an adjunct position, the work is part time. I will continue as the Coordinator of Spectrum ArtWorks (soon to be Avivo ArtWorks). If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with me contact Springboard here.
Last week I traveled to Fergus Falls, Minnesota to participate in Springboard for the Arts Kirkbride Arts and History Weekend. I was among ten Springboard Hinge Artists that presented at a special event on the first night, where we all shared about our time at the Kirkbride, and summarized our various residency projects. I spoke about how perfect a two-week residency was for me. I rarely get dedicated time like that to work on projects, particularly because of my work as an arts administrator.
I screened my short film "Loss" and then I read three chapters from my next film, "Moonland," a project I started developing while doing my residency with the Hinge Arts program. After I returned to my hotel that night, feeling appreciative and excited, I realized that it never crossed my mind to ever do public readings of my poetry before. I quickly posted to Facebook: "I have always just incorporated my writing into my films. I know now from the positive experience of reading my work that I need to find more opportunities to do readings. I am very thankful for this realization...which is really a new door that I have opened and may enhance my artistic process."
I also enjoyed learning from and meeting other Hinge Artists and local artists of Fergus Falls. Community is very important to me, so this event will also remain unique to me, as I was able to connect with other artists that lived and worked at the Kirkbride, too.
Now that I am back home, and it has been a week since the event, I find myself looking back...to two and half years ago. When I lost my mother in 2015, the experience introduced me to raw emotions that ranged in levels of grief. To respond to this process and the complexity of death I made Loss where I chronicled my last moments with my mother. I have a few things I want to say about the video and where I am now, as I continue to make art around the experience of losing her:
I said goodbye to her,
I make video poems about her.
I sit with my feelings.
They reveal to me,
through images first
and then words.
Words mean a lot to me, but they alone
cannot express everything for me.
I need images too.
They tend to always come first.
That is why I make video letters, essays, and poems.
What is loss for me?
...Rather, what was loss for me then?
I felt a loss, mom, when I could no longer talk to you.
When I made Loss the word for me at the time was about holding on as well as letting go. I was going through an emotional process, and I still am. Now loss is more like an experience for me.
I stand here now.
Do you see me?
The word loss for me
is more like nodding.
I am saying yes to where I am now.
What was before me is an always.
Now is always changing.
Now is an antecedent.
Loss is the first in a video series I have been working on called "Video Words" where I explore my emotions attached to words.
I am proud to announce that Anita White and I finished our collaborative video Drawing in the Moment. Just shy of ten minutes, it documents Anita's intuitive artistic process. More than a music video, this experimental moving image project is a poetic exploration and journey of looking within and using drawing to appreciate various moments in life. From meeting strangers to processing difficult health challenges, the art and music from Anita express compassion and humor. The video shows how she uses drawings as a way to navigate and sanctify everyday moments. Her pen and open sketchbook allow her to receive and honor what comes her way with joy and wonder.
Music, lyrics, and art by Anita White. Camera and editing by Jes Reyes.
Drawing in the Moment will premiere next week on September 7 with Feminist Video Quarterly as part of Sound Unseen. The screening will take place at the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. More details here. Facebook event page.
It was an honor to work with Anita. We met nearly every Sunday this summer putting the film together. Every moment of making the work was literally in the moment and intuitive - just how I like it! As Anita would say, "Ole!"
I am so excited about a new video project I started working on with Minneapolis artist Anita White. Together we are creating a poetic music video that explores her documentary drawing practice. More details to follow!
This blog is a place for updates, exploring, reflections,