Posts Tagged ‘Amelia Earhart’

new drawings

Here are the drawings that were in the show in the order in which they were exhibited, from left to right.  Again, these are snapshots I have only futzed with slightly in Photoshop.  I will post better quality images to my site as soon as I get them scanned and color corrected.

Last Map: Vacancy

Last Map: Dig

Last Map: The Science of Air and Space

Last Map: Islands

Last Map: Align

and also Last Map: Osolith.

fekete leves

I didn’t really want to write any details about my and Nannette’s exhibition until all was said and done in case we didn’t pull it off in the way that we wanted.  But now that a successful opening has come and gone, I am happy to tell our tale.   I went to Budapest with only the goal to finish a video project Nannette and I began last summer, do a couple of drawings, and see a few museums…maybe hit the spring baths.  In short, I was going to take a break over break–treat it like a mini residency.  Instead, pretty much as soon as I arrived, we started hatching major plans.  We planned to both make work for the entire week and put a show together in addition to the video (which quickly transpired into an installation).  We had hints of possible venue spaces at the beginning of the week, but it wasn’t until Monday (or Tuesday?) that we secured the venue (for a Thursday night opening…).  Nothing like cutting it close, right?

Nannette’s background is in photography and video, but she is a closet draw-er and makes these gorgeous ink drawings on crayon resist with faint, meticulous etching which she never shows to anyone.  I was flattered that she showed them to me and excited she was considering exhibiting them.  So she got down to work on a larger-scale series of those drawings and a photography project based on rivers.  Meanwhile we were going to the office every day and working on the video together, and I was furiously drawing in the mornings and evenings- (into the mornings again).  It turns out that the venue, Chinese Characters, has the perfect back space for video projection, and was the perfect width to create a reflecting pool for the video (which contributes enormously to the content of the piece).  We we aided immensely by David, who did a lot of the heavy-lifting during the installation, including making the structure for the pool.  Working collaboratively all week was wonderful, as even our 2D work influenced each other’s to a strong degree.  We brainstormed titles for awhile and came up with fekete leves (where the sky used to be). Fekete leves literally means “black soup” in Hungarian (Magyar).  When used as slang, it implies a sense of foreboding or bad things to come.  Where the sky used to be is the name of the video project, upon which the rest of the show hinged.

Here are some snapshots from the show.  Sorry about the quality of these images.  I only had my aged point-and-shoot, but Nannette got some great install shots with her camera, so as soon as I get those images, I’ll update this post.  Thanks to everyone who came out to the opening!  For those who didn’t make it, the orb-looking images on black are C-prints by Nannette, and she also has the black ink drawings (installation) on resist with scratching.  We each made one of the white “north” drawings and collaborated on the video and installation.  Mine are the small gouache and ink drawings on blue paper.

front right corner

entrance from Vittula into the gallery space with two of Nannette's C-prints flanking two of my drawings

a C-print and my other four drawings- along the left wall

her drawing installation

the near and far left walls of the space

view from the entrance (the video installation is through the black curtains)

North 1 and North 2 (Nannette-left, me-right)

Where the Sky Used to Be- video installation with reflecting pond

Thank you to Nannette and David for putting me up (and putting up with me) all week, to Tim of Chinese Characters/Klub Vittula for providing the space, libations and an open mind, and to Fabian for DJ-ing and acting as impromptu photographer.  Next I’ll post images of the six drawings I made while there and maybe a couple of shots from the opening.


Here’s a new one that will be in the show…

show show

Fekete Leves (where the sky used to be) is a two-person installation that engages aspects of disorientation and loss of control by Budapest-based artist Nannette Vinson and Detroit-area artist Amy Sacksteder.  Sacksteder is exploring mortality by channeling the last moments in Amelia Earhart’s life through mostly drawings, paintings and installations.  Through her ink drawings, Vinson is revisiting the turbulence that accompanies loss of innocence.  Her visual art background is primarily in photography and video art; Sacksteder’s is in 2D media.  Through this collaboration, each artist is working in an as-yet “foreign” medium to her, thus each is experiencing her own lack of control.  This is their first collaborative endeavor.

Chinese Characters Contemporary Art Space

1073 Budapest – Kertész u. 4

Thursday, March 4, 6 – 10 p.m.

it’s show time!

One show just came down at the Gallery Project in Ann Arbor and one show just went up at Paint Creek Center for the Arts in Rochester (MI).  I am honored to have been/be a part of both of them.  Here are some photos of my work from Presence/Absence at PCCA (including some new work hot off the drawing table):

back right wall of gallery; all small pieces are propped up on scrabble tile trays mounted onto the wall

In Lights: oil on canvas with theater light and glass window blocks. Gobo projection reads Amelia Earhart's last words: We are running north and south.

Last Map drawings: gouache, ink, and gold leaf on blue paper

Object Lesson panels: gouache and gold leafing pen on birch panels

back left wall of gallery

Slides From the Trip- slideshow of stills from silent film project, a collaboration with Budapest-based artist Nannette Vinson

white drawings

Captured Island: gouache and ink on paper

Longitude: gouache and ink on paper

Navigation: gouache and ink on paper

Skullscape: gouache and ink on paper

Presence/Absence runs from January 15-February 20 with an opening reception at Paint Creek on Friday the 22nd from 7-9.  I am accompanied in the show by four amazing artists: Faina Lerman, Luzhen Qiu, Alison Wong, and Sun You. Here is a sweet blurb about the show in Real Detroit Weekly. Hope you can make it out to the opening!


It’s a busy, busy week of show preparation in the ol’ studio.  The work for the next Gallery Project exhibition is due Sunday.  Yikes!  Details coming soon to their website.


Also, if you happen to find yourself in the Philly area, you can attend the reception for the 2010 Calendar: MUSEUMS, Krista Peel’s latest venture that features a piece from yours truly.  The calendar would make a great Christmas gift.  Check it out.


My calendar page.  Looks like I’m back to Ms. January!  I can’t believe I have been in these awesome calendars of KP’s since 2004!  What an honor!

I'm Ms. January once again!

remember yourself

my nook

School has been very stressful lately.  S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L.  When all of my time seems dictated by meetings, appointments, grading, committee work, etc. I often forget to take care of myself.  Unless Mark puts a sandwich in front of me, I forget to eat.  I make my tea for the day in the morning and forget in on the shelf at home.  Yoga, studio, reading books, all of the things I love to do that define my happiness, fall to the wayside.  I am trying to remember, amidst all of the stress, to live with more intentionality, to summon the energy to do these things instead of functioning on autopilot.  Yesterday was great for that.  I got my grading done during the day, and thus was able to spend my afternoon and evening cleaning up the house from a week’s worth of neglect, and was able to draw and listen to music for the whole night.  Man, it rocked.  You know it’s a good studio experience you find yourself drawing in silence with headphones still in your ears, long after the music has stopped, and you didn’t even notice.  This morning, I jumped out of bed and ran straight into house studio to check on last night’s work.  I love that feeling!

unicorn girl drawing in progress

unicorn girl drawing in progress for The Beautiful Ones series

"the fates" drawing in progress for Afterlife series

"the fates" drawing in progress for Afterlife series

I’d love to hear the things you do to “remember yourself.”

o.p.a. (other people’s art)

I have been particularly struck by the work of two artists of late.  Mark Dion and Mike McFalls.

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by artist Mark Dion at Cranbrook.  First of all, his talk was riveting.  He speaks in such a narrative, engaging manner, that when he was finished, I just wanted him to keep talking.  Luckily he answered some questions at the end of the lecture.

This piece showcases objects excavated during his project the Tate Thames Dig.  It is a double-sided cabinet that houses the objects such as wine bottle necks, toys, and cell phones in a particular manner according to color, type, and other commonalities.

He spoke about a lot of ideas that have been bouncing around in my head lately.  Among which are curiosity cabinets, alchemy, the surrealists and their influences, and fictionalized truths.  All of this wraps into my AE work and the way that I eventually want to present it.

My brother came across the work of Mike McFalls at the art gallery in the new art complex at Interlochen Center for the Arts in northern Michigan, where I used to teach.  When I recently asked people for suggestions of artists using model train sets in their work, for a post, Joe suggested Mike’s work.  Coincidentally, two of my colleagues at EMU recently curated some of his work into the Contemporary Sculpture exhibition at EMU’s University Gallery.  I especially loved the work when I saw it in person, so much so, that we bought a piece, and I’m trading him a drawing for another one.  Here are some images of his work.

This piece is similar to the one we’re taking home.  I love finding artists who’s work resonates with my current investigations and passions.  I am itching to get back to island paintings, but for now, I am working on a piece from the Beautiful Ones series for an exhibition at the Gallery Project in December that is similar to this one in approach:

Ouroboros I
acrylic on raw canvas with silk-screened imagery sewn to the surface, accompanied by corresponding t-shirts
89″x 59.5″

big things

Some big things are happening right now: a switch from a 2004 crusty cell phone to an iphone (that’s right), and a big island painting.  Here are some photos by the iphone and of the painting (yes, by the phone).  Go!

the iphone has a polaroid app called's Wobbly Bob all hunkered down (aka THE BEAST!)

the iphone has a Polaroid app called's Wobbly Bob all hunkered down (aka THE BEAST!)

I have larger plans for this painting...

in progress...I have larger plans for this painting...

island shake-up

island shake-up

*ta da!*

So, after a long wait, with much suspense, I present to you the islands.  They are supposed to be mini art museums, thus the walkways and little doors.  My friend and fellow artist Krista Peel has challenged me and a two handfuls of other artists to come up with mini art museums for her latest calendar project.  She will harness her mad skills to photograph these little buildings with railroad people milling about them and assign them to a particular month in a glossy, glorious calendar.  My particular take on the challenge was obviously influenced by my recent work drawing and painting the islands.  mini art museumcloser look

even closer

So though I always have fun making work for KP’s calendar projects (wow!  since 2004 now), they always reaffirm for me how much I love painting and drawing as opposed to working with 3D-oriented media, as in this case with pink insulation foam and plaster.  I had much more fun painting the surface of the islands than I did doing all of that sanding.  Still, it’s nice to be able to expand into whatever realm is presented and I am pretty happy with the final result which isn’t too far off than what I has envisioned in my drawing.  Plus, as I mentioned before, this was my first foray into model railroad land.  It’s quite a place!

There are a lot of artists out there doing this model railroad thing, and other work with miniatures.  I must say, in the following cases (and with Krista Peel’s work, which is, of course, a given), I am quite taken with it:

Thomas Doyle makes strange little events happen in snow globes.

Courier, mixed media, 12.5 x 14, inches diameter, 2007

Courier, mixed media, 12.5 x 14, inches diameter, 2007

Acceptable losses, mixed media, 16 x 13.5 inches, diameter 2008

Acceptable losses, mixed media, 16 x 13.5 inches, diameter 2008

Though these following images by Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz are c-prints, they are clearly taken using diorama-like sets.  Is it any coincidence that the title of this series is “Islands”?

Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz A Winter Walk, 2006  C-Print 39 x 65 inches

A Winter Walk, 2006 C-Print 39 x 65 inches

Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz Low Tide, 2008  C-Print 50 x 40 inches

Low Tide, 2008 C-Print 50 x 40 inches

Thanks to my friend Abigail for alerting me to these artists in her blog.  Let me know if you come across others…