Many thanks to the vibrant and hardworking students of Kutztown University and their beautifully lit gallery on the main street in Kutztown.
These students are smart and resourceful and work hard to bring art to the community. They wrote and asked if I would be interested in having an exhibit at Eckhaus Gallery in the spring of 2016. I agreed and then they handled everything – all I had to do was show up on the appointed date and they were prepared to hang the show with me. After quickly explaining my required selection and placement of objects they set about measuring and hammering.
The conversation was rewarding and it was interesting to hear what they had to say about art and college and their own plans for their art or careers. We had a lot of fun working together – and they were so willing to assist in every way with carrying work, handling it carefully and with respect, arranging for posters, price lists, photographs, publicity and a signboard. Senior students provide structure and have interns working along side to provide support. Their willingness to lead, listen, support and general good nature is one of the reasons I truly enjoy working with student groups. The evening for the exhibit was March 18th and they provided food and drink, a sign board on the street, and interns were there for support to help collectors and guests with questions.
Danielle Notaro – a poetic collaborator dramatized her poetry while giving a tour of my works that were one display. It was a memorable early spring evening!
When I was a kid I drew. And painted. Everywhere. I am born to make things. Kinetic. Creator.
I never thought about where the objects I made would hang. Never cared if they sold. Those concepts never entered my mind. All my life I made art to make it—no choice–more like a compulsion. Last Thursday, I went to the NYC gallery where my painting is on display. Friends and family were with me and that made it more real for me that my work is hanging in NYC. I’ve heard others describe it as a dream they always wanted even from childhood. Odd that it never crossed my mind as being that important although I exhibited a few times in the 80’s because I was invited to do a small show.
Until a few years ago. I turned 49 and was on the upswing to 50 when I made a decision that I would exhibit again. I called it Aurora The Third Act. Aurora is goddess of the dawn and what a dawn this has been these 4 years. I am so pleased to be accepted into NAWA and have work in the annual exhibit. And pleased that I create work that brings pleasure to so many people. Although it can seem like it is about me, the artist, its not. Its about the viewer. You. Its about what you see and how you feel and where it leads you when you view the art I make. Together we make art an experience.
This photo is a picture of my tools and work in front of me. I work at a constant pace on paper and reserve my longer bits of time for larger paintings. The small work gets me through rough patches when time constraints are pushing me to and fro, or space is limited and I am on the go. Much like a knitter takes their work along, I take small paper drawings and pens. This work probably won’t end up in a gallery setting but I make it anyway. I use all my skills to create the best possible work at any given time or using any medium.
Lately, string is pulling me into hours of reverie, inventing images in my mind about what I might make with a crochet hook. I have a painting on an easel at home and one in the studio. Yet I don’t feel inspired to go to work on them. Summer was a series of trips and events that took me from home interspersed with the death of 4 people I know. Their passing has left me feeling very bereft and I think of them several times a day. I can’t see them again and have conversation or ask questions, smile with them, hold their hand. Mortality is rearing its head and I am interested in how that plays out in life and art. Life goes forward. So will the art.
“She’s in There Somewhere” Acrylic Painting is going to be exhibited in NYC at the Syliva Wald and Po Kim Gallery with N.A.W.A. The National Association of Women Artists. First exhibition in New York in many many years. I had a show in NYC in the early 80’s and then moved to North Carolina with my family, got married and let my art career go. It is not an unusual story for a woman to give up a career but I am thrilled to be back in the city and to be a part of a great organization like NAWA.
The piece won an award in Bucks County and sending it to New York is pretty exciting. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to do this – as always you know who you are!
WDIY Kenn Michael interviewed me for Musings about my current exhibit, FLOW at the Nurture Nature Center in Easton, PA. Talking with Kenn about the work and hearing his observations was a wonderful experience.
Host Kenn Michael speaks with Alison Bessesdotter about her exhibit “Flow” at The Nurture Nature Center, 518 Northampton St., Easton, showing through October 1st 2013. “Flow” The flow of water, of life: the constant movement of all things organic. The drip, the run; erosion. These ideas are to be accentuated and enhanced by the artist’s stylistic transition from watercolor to throughout the course of the exhibition.
Sunday September 23rd was a gorgeous autumn day in Easton. The River Arts Festival at the Forks of the Delaware hosted the Philadelphia Funk Authority. The Sigal Museum has a quilt exhibit and it was my privilege to give a talk on Art Quilting: Stitches in Time, Then and Now. The Sigal Museum is a great resource with a collection of local artifacts and historical objects located at 344 Northampton Street in Easton, PA. Barb Kowitz is enthusiastic as director and is accompanied by a staff that is friendly and knowledgeable. Currently, they have an exhibit of quilts called Stitches in Time. Barb invited me to talk about my art quilts including my FrankenQuilt series. I work in several different mediums, art quilting represents approximately half of my work. Art quilting allows me the freedom to find a different voice as an artist. Most of my art quilts are whimsical and derived from dreams and fairytales. It was a pleasure to address an enthusiastic and attentive audience and discuss my work in the context of the history of American quilting. The exhibit provided a dynamic space to contrast contemporary art quilting against charming traditional quilts. Art Quilts represent a way for us to push forward with fabric, thread and stitching; yet honor those who worked to create practical objects that had rich tradition of being decorative using precious fabric. Another highlight of the day for me was to introduce my mother Bess and her influence in the sewing process. Among friends in the audience: art curator Lee Allison Vedder, Barbara Vedder, jewelry artist Susan Weaver, mixed media artist E. A. Kafkalas, and a rare appearance by artist, N. “Slope Eye” Carmichael. Another point of interest, is the Martha Salemme exhibit also located on the second floor. The exhibit was made possible by the Salemme Foundation, directed by my friend and fellow artist Joe Skrapits of Allentown, PA. Martha’s work is primarily watercolors; landscape and still life, but there are a few pencil sketches and should not be missed. Some pieces in the collection can be purchased and are well worth collecting. Martha’s work fits nicely into the context of the Easton arts scene as she and her husband and fellow artist Antonio Salemme were residents of Williams Township. Other fabric arts were on display at the River Arts Festival, where quite a few tents were setup by local artists, including painters, ceramic, and glass. My mother, her friend Jeanne and I had a late supper at Sette Luna on 2nd Street in Easton. As always, the food was superb and the espresso and dessert rounded off a lovely day.
This charming and delicate work is layered richly with color and ink at 3 am during rain showers and a dreamy conversation. Girlie Show June 2nd 6-10 pm at Suddenly Samantha in Easton, PA – this is a little preview of the type of work I am selling at the show.
As Earth Day April 22, 2012 approaches, I want to share a poem today. The poem came to me through a Word Wednesday poet from Allentown, PA. I have little to say, because I just prefer to let his words shine through.
Salt by Ismael Street
A mother is the salt of the earth . The salt of society. The light of the world. A natural resource far and above your Comprehension. She preserves, reconciles, and adds Taste to the fruits of life and love we enjoy We inspire to be. Her mirror reflects our soul. Her light lamp brightens our night. Giving rhythm in the dance of the ocean And the sun. Nourishing our minds, our bodies, And the world.
A friend and poet Ishmael Street performed this piece at http://www.thebrewworks.com/allentown-brewworks/ Ishmael, thank you for sharing your words and intellect with us. The night was an ending to a day I don’t want to relive–but hearing your voice speak those words changed how I see the world. Ishmael – I put this piece up for you in return for your generosity. It is a watercolor I painted called Baroque Love.
UNTITLED by Ishmael Street
Do you know your worth? Are you an Earthly Queen or Eternal Goddess? See a Goddess knows she more worthy than The sun and moon She is never subdue She is worth everything She is the universe and the stars Are her children Love is she and she is the supplier of Unlimited love She is never alone She is exist for eternity Do you know your worth? Are you an Earthly Queen or Eternal Goddess? A queen know she is royalty, knows she should be Treated as royalty She holds this title of queen at birth Her worth is determined by how she treats others She knows can’t make everyone happy but She must rely on others for the longevity in her Kingdom She holds power in her own kingdom and she may Reign over her kingdom for only a short while Do you know your worth? Are you an Earthly Queen or Eternal Goddess? Maybe Neither Maybe just a child of God Needing a label a crown to define your Worth told by others who looks into a broken Mirror every morning calling it Self esteem So let your light shine Liberate from your fear Revolt against your insecurities Then your presence will liberate others.