Reflecting on Hatch

In my last post, I briefly mentioned that I was gearing up to work on entries for the Hatch show and I’ve been MIA since. Hatch was this past weekend and it was fantastic. Now that it is over, I want to get back into the blogosphere. What better way to jump in than to share with you all of my wonderful experiences from this event?

What is Hatch?

Hatch was a creative-reuse art happening in Champaign, Illinois that was put on through the I.D.E.A. Store. There were 2 components to this show: the Art Exhibit and the Art Fair. Please see the official Hatch page for the full list of participants and their contact info! The exhibit is hosted at Indi-go Artist Co-op and will be on display through March 17, 2013. The fair was a one day event that featured over a dozen vendors.

The Art Fair – Highlights

I was only able to attend the art fair for the last hour, as I had to work most of the day. I wasn’t able to take it all in in such a short time. However, from what I saw, it was a good show. These were some of my favorites-

Phyllis Hughes
Phyllis was such an interesting person to talk to. I loved her crazy quilts and the Indian batik work she had brought with her from her time spent in India. She lived there for 2 years. I’m entirely jealous.
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Sheila Daniels
Sheila makes jewelry from various odds and ends. Her work is exquisitely beautiful *and* she’s a fan of Doctor Who! You can’t go wrong!

This Image from Cheeky Magpie

Vintage Karma
Based in Tuscola, Vintage Karma sells handmade items from a variety of local artisans. Sadly, I didn’t take any photos here.

Karen Pritchett
Karen doesn’t have much of a web presence, but she does have a Facebook and is based in Columbia, Missouri. She makes really cute and upcycled outfits.
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The Art Exhibit – Highlights

So much amazing artwork at this exhibit. Michelle Stitzlein came in from Ohio with a couple of pieces from her Moth series as the “Artist-in-Residence”. She held a slideshow Friday night during the opening reception and it was pretty awesome. She even went to one of the local elementary schools to work with kids on making murals with bottle caps.

Some of my favorite works on display:

Melissa Mitchell
Melissa, not only an artist, but one of the volunteers that helped to make the event happen, works with assemblage art. I’ve had the privilege of seeing her studio before. There isn’t much she creates that isn’t interesting. And wacky. And sometimes just very, very wrong (but in a good way)!
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Cindy Blair Sampson
While she claims she disconnects herself from her artwork, she manages to create some very moving pieces. I found this work in particular to be very deep and moving. When you open the book, you find a key pressed into beeswax. As she said during the gallery talk, she feels the uterus to be the center of the universe. Also, the boob turns. Seriously. Interactive art!! +5 points!
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Laura Wennstrom
I will never look at security envelopes the same way again. She created a “quilt” from envelopes. I have to admit, when I first saw this piece, I was unimpressed. However, after hearing her talk about her piece and looking closer at the patterns stamped into these envelopes that we routinely ignore, I have to give her credit. You’ve opened my eyes to something new, Laura. And now I want to make knitting charts that resemble security envelope designs.
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Lawrence Agnello
While I didn’t really get the chance to meet him, I was impressed by his work. As the work holds it’s own, I give it to you with no further commentary.
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Deborah Fell
Another artist I didn’t get the opportunity to talk to, but her artwork was too cool for me to overlook. I have no intelligent words or critiques here. I just simply find them interesting and captivating.
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Fabric of Society and My First Juried Show

This show was also a very big deal for me, personally, as it was my very first juried show. I entered into the fair and 2 pieces for the exhibition. One of those pieces I stayed awake for over 35 hours working on. Only 1 piece was accepted (not the one I lost sleep over, haha). However, I feel thrilled that I even made it in at all… I heard that there were over a hundred applicants. I was able to participate in a gallery talk on Sunday, where artists were spotlighted and able to discuss their artwork and answer questions. I had a lot of fun with that. I even managed to sell my artwork that afternoon, and in talking to the people who purchased my artwork, I am overjoyed that it will be going to someone that truly appreciates and *gets* the concept.
I suppose you’d like to see the piece? I call it “Fabric of Society”. I’d shown it previously at 3T: Third Thursday Art Show, and I have to credit Adam Perschbacher for the initial photos that I used for the application. I honestly think his photos made a difference in getting accepted.
FabricofSociety FabricofSoceity1

This is me trying to sound smart while talking about my artwork.

This is me trying to sound smart while talking about my artwork.

I spun strips of newspaper into yarn and knitted this placard, which, when looked at closely, reads “TRUTH?”
The artist’s statement underneath reads:

The News. We count on reporters to give us facts and report the truth. Based on this information we make a myriad of important decisions… some personal, some public and having important effects upon others. We’d like to believe that we can trust the journalists and reporters to be objective, most of us know better. We are, after all, only human and so we are prone to biases. Whether intentional or not, what we claim to be factual and true ends up twisted and distorted, spun to serve some purpose or other. Like fiber spun into yarn. It is these twisted truths that are knitted up, unrecognizable, to create this fabric of society. And we wrap ourselves up in it, like a blanket, for comfort and warmth. But what is truth? Could we Recognize it if we saw it? Can you?

Eldritch Things

Before I get too far into this post, I want to let all my readers know that you have another opportunity to see this amazing exhibition!  I just found out last night that there will be an encore showing on March 14th from 6-8pm! So, if you’re reading this, make plans to go to Jacksonville, IL that evening!

The show is hosted at the Asa Talcott House (859 Grove Street, Jacksonville, IL) by The Imagine Foundation, who provide access to the arts for communities in Jacksonville and the surrounding area. The house also gives a nice aesthetic to the show, and I think, for the level of intimacy within Mary’s artwork and writings, the location is really suitable. It helps to set the mood and the tone.

When I first walked into the house this past Saturday, I was confronted with the following note hanging from the ceiling (click to enlarge):

While there were numerous paintings around the house, all wonderful, she also put forth effort to make the show fun and interactive. All throughout the house were hidden 41 little 2-inch doodles, one of those doodles was a “king doodle” that won the finder a free pack of stickers. I found about 5 or 6 doodles, but only took 2 of them so as to let others have some fun too. As perhaps a testament to her personality, art wasn’t just found on the walls, but it was tacked to the ceiling, some hung suspended from the ceiling, sometimes upside down.

Skeleton keys hanging from the ceiling. Reminds me of rain, or tears… Could unleashing your pain, your tears, rather than suppressing them help unlock your happiness?

The thing I really love about Mary Tumulty’s work is that she really puts herself into it. Most artists take life events and put them into their art, but with Mary, her life really is in her art and vice verse. There seems to be this blur between life and art and the one feeds off the other. With particularly personal pieces, she will place little pages to the side, like a page from a diary, that puts the observer into her place.

One of my favorites. Colorful yet dark at the same time. Notice how she incorporates photos, receipts, other objects into the painting. What I see: Life. The large circle seems to be like a womb…

…and look! Here are the sperm!

If you recall, I’ve written about Mary’s work before. Back in November, I talked about her use of random embroidery and stitches in her paintings. Thread made an appearance in her artwork here as well:

From a distance…

A close-up. Look at the nails pounded into the painting! The tear in the canvas! The way the string is wrapped around the nails.. kind of like a web or a nest. This is a love it or hate it piece, I think. Myself, I like the way she abuses the canvas.

There was one room upstairs that was kind of sectioned off and hidden away. Much darker than the rest of the exhibit, this room housed the most intrusive and intimate artwork. If the house were a layout of Mary’s mind, this is would be the back of it – that little corner reserved for fears and worries, for all of those secrets and wishes that are too damaging to normalcy and decency to be unrestrained. This is where Mary bared all and let the world judge her naked soul. This is where, for the first time ever, she showed “The Book.”

These pages, snaking through the room and dangling from the ceiling like bodies from trees, whisper out Mary’s story to anyone willing to listen…

And now, it’s time to take you on my journey into Eldritch Things…

For more information on Mary and her work, visit http://www.marytumulty.com Like any of the artwork you see? Support an artist and buy a painting.  (I am the proud owner of a Mary Tumulty “On the Rag” tee)

Like my writing style? You can also become a fan of my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/ACloth-the-World/194022420703365, where I post exclusive content, including more pictures from this show!

Eldritch Things: A Sneak Peek…

Last night, Mary Tumulty had a one night solo exhibition at the Asa Talcott House in Jacksonville, Illinois. I was blown away… and I tried to capture it. While I have dozens of photos and some video footage (yes, video) to go through before I can take you on this journey, I wanted to at least give you a snippet of what’s to come…

The tortured beauty of Tumulty’s work pierces souls…

Her words and images pull her into you as she puts herself out, naked and exposed to the judgment of the world…

If you haven’t yet, subscribe to the blog and make sure you don’t miss the full exposure. On our Facebook page, I will also be posting some photos from the event that won’t be posted here (so become a fan!) and you can use #acloththeworld or #MaryTumulty on Twitter to discuss this blog or this amazing artist.

A Showcase of Local Art

I wanted to share with you some local artwork that has really captured my attention recently. Whenever I can, I love to go art shows. I’d travel all over going to art shows around the country if I had someone to foot the travel expenses. (Attention art and travel magazines/shows! I’m your girl!) I’ve come across a few pieces over the last couple of months that hold a particular fascination for me that I felt I needed to share.

Katherine Pippin Pauley

  This piece, entitled Yin Yang, was on display at Springfield, IL’s Gallery II back in September of this year (2011). I’ve seen Katherine’s work before at 3T, some steam punk inspired arm bands to be precise, and I loved her attention to detail then. When I saw this piece, I couldn’t help but fawn over the way the bettas were intricately put together. I love when quilting takes on a realism in the imagery. I was also intrigued by the way the edges of the pieces weren’t tucked under. They were raw. Rule breaking. I like that.

Terra Anderson

Last month, I attended a small art show in Urbana, IL called GREEN.art.show. Held at H2O Salon, this was a small local show dedicated to art from recycled materials. My favorite piece here was a dress made from leaves. Yes, leaves. With a cocklebur trim.

I wonder, is that dress wearable? Perhaps not. I love the idea of it though.

Mary Tumulty and Ryan Sponsler

Also last month, The Pharmacy Gallery in Springfield, IL held it’s opening show. To quote their Facebook page, “The Pharmacy is an artist run co-op, gallery and community center…” I already know most of the artists from doing the 3T shows before. Wonderfully talented lot, all of them. Yet, I have to give my personal best of show to this piece which was a Mary Tumulty/ Ryan Sponsler collaboration.
I swear, this photo does not do it justice. I studied this piece over and over. I must have circled through the place a dozen times, but I always came back to this. I love the disturbed chaos, the red and black splattered across the canvas. Like the soul of a human being tormented by life… the hands and face dirty from years of hard work, the mind scarred and changed by tragedy and pain. And the stitches! These stitches were Tumulty’s doing. They make this. Haphazzard and tangled in places, these stitches physically warp and alter the terrain of the canvas. So, not only do you have the years of pain, the tears and sweat and blood that have been sent sprawling across, but here we can see all the effort to heal. This is everyone trying to survive, trying to pull themselves together, mending themselves in whatever way they can so they can continue to function in society. This is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Where Do Your Clothes Come From?

How many of us ever actually pay attention  to where our clothes come from? Do you ever think about who designed them? Or where they were made?

I was sitting in the break room at work today, skimming through the latest issue of Illinois Times – a weekly Springfield-area publication. There was one article in particular that caught my attention, and because I think it relates fairly well with the subject matter of this blog, I want to share it with you:  Our Clothes Reveal the Story.

Trickster Crow at 3rd Thursday Art Show

Three days ago, I was at the Third Thursday Art Show in Springfield, IL. It’s quite possibly my favorite function on the planet. Every month (the 3rd Thursday of each month, thus the name), local artists from in and around Springfield gather together to show their art, mingle with the public, and generally have a good time. There are live bands at every show, which adds to the atmosphere and, I think, brings everything together. It’s inspiring how the local arts community is close knit and supportive of each other. I’ve even been known to sit at a table and sew on some easily portable project at these events…

Elizabeth Ross' wonderful 3T cozies...

Another great thing about these shows, is that the range of art is not just limited any one medium. While paintings are more common (and there are some very talented painters in Springfield, IL), I have also seen some knitting and crochet on display. Elizabeth Ross made some very cool crocheted hats, potholders and drink cozies. :::throws fist in the air playfully:::  Textile/Fiber Represent!

And so it was, while I was sitting at a table, listening to the live music and soaking up the awesomeness of this atmosphere, that I witnessed what was quite possibly the coolest display of live costume/ theatre art I’ve seen with my own eyes to date. There was no warning and no introduction. He just showed up, passed through, and disappeared without a sound. (I’ve heard a couple people mention a flyer or something about it, but I never saw it.) He was, Trickster Crow.

"The Trickster Crow meets Jeff Williams as Felicia Olin looks on under Ryan Sponslers's latest painting." Photo and Caption Quote credited to Ted Keylon

He (or possibly she, as I’m unaware of the identity of the person behind the beak) slowly and silently made his way through the crowd, handing out sunflower seeds. I later found out these were “seeds of knowledge” that he gave unto anyone that would have them. (I’m now happy to say I ate all 3 of the seeds he gave me.)

Not only was this a very cool, mysterious experience. But, I am in complete and total appreciation of the costume. I do not know who made it, but it’s amazing! I love all the symbolism and representation.. crows and ravens carry this kind of sense of dread, but they are intelligent and being creatures of the sky, they can see everything and so even have a slight foresight. Also, he’s wearing a trench coat. Trench coats also have this association with mystery and danger… you find classic detective characters wearing them, I recall David Boreanaz’s character, Angel -a vampire- wearing one, and then there is the trench coat mafia. Fear of the Unknown, Foreshadowing, Intrigue, Mystery, Danger… so many concepts and feelings are tied into this work…  and then the total surprise of it which left art show attendees talking about it afterward. Trickster Crow, you have my awe as well as my utmost respect and recognition.