Whether I am weaving tiles or assembling a piece, eyes are busy. I love to have something to listen to while I work. I listen to a lot of podcasts, videos, and audiobooks. I want to recommend a very important and timely one, Conspirituality. The hosts describe the podcast as "A weekly study of converging right-wing conspiracy theories and faux-progressive wellness utopianism." You can also hear the podcast on the Conspirituality Podcast YouTube channel.
I only learned about the link between magical thinking and vaccine denialism relatively recently. (I think it was from another highly recommended podcast, Mindscape.) I am not above having my own streak of magical thinking, but it has become apparent that religious people and the varieties of new age believers have magical thinking in common. Q-anon and other conspiracy beliefs are resonating and growing within both groups.
Conspirituality podcast has been exploring this social phenomena in depth as it has developed from the spring of 2020 as the social fallout surrounding Covid-19 took hold. The podcast's hosts are long time martial artists, yoga instructors, and ex-cult members. I am listening to the podcast consecutively for the most part with some skips. It is a fascinating American/Canadian historical document from three men who can give uniquely insightful commentary on recent events. It was stunning to listen to the early podcasts and then hearing the hosts react to the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol.
The most interesting thing about these gents is that as embedded as they are in communities that are aswim in conspiratorial and magical thinking they have emerged as respectful skeptics. They interrogate diverse woomunities, conspiracy theorists, and influencers' words and actions with intelligent commentary, interviews, and thoughtful essays. They will help you navigate through and make sense of all the Nonsense.
That said, they are deep divers. The podcasts are long; many are over 2 hours. In addition to that, they have a Patreon where they upload even more content every week. Highly recommended.
Celebrating its 101st year, the Oak Park Art League (OPAL) proudly announces a regional call for art work with Art 101: A Regional Juried Exhibition. OPAL is looking for work that best demonstrates the artist's use of materials and mastery of skill in their chosen medium.
Artists are invited to submit up to 3 images that best represent their current artistic practice.
Submissions are open to artists over 18 years of age, living in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.
All mediums will be considered. (drawing, painting, mixed media, digital/new media, printmaking, photography, ceramics, fiber, glass, sculpture).
Size is limited to 48” in its largest dimension. All work should have been created in the past 3 years.
Juror: Sarah Cox, Manager of Collections and Exhibitions, Elmhurst Art Museum
Dates to Remember:
Call opens: March 18th, 2022
Submission deadline: Friday, July 15th, midnight
Email Notifications of Acceptance: August 1, 2022
Delivery of work: August 22-27, 2022
Exhibition dates: September 1-30, 2022
Opening Reception: September, 9th 7-9pm
SUBMISSION VIA SUBMITTABLE ONLY - LINKImportant Information:
Originally from Geneva, Illinois, Sarah Cox is the Manager of Collections and Exhibition at the Elmhurst Art Museum, in Elmhurst, Illinois. She works closely with artists, curators, and creative groups to create innovative exhibitions. She also manages the Mies van der Rohe design home, the McCormick House, located on the museum’s campus. Previously, Sarah was the Manager of Collections and Exhibitions at the Zanesville Museum of Art, in Zanesville, Ohio. She earned her BA in Studio Art and Art History from Illinois College and her MA in Art History and Theory from Northern Illinois University. Sarah has also interned at the Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, National Hellenic Museum, and the Geneva History Museum.
Artist statement on the three submitted pieces:
"Throughout my career, I have created a distinct body of woven bead mosaics on canvas, panels, salvaged glassware, and other objects. My work evolved out of an interest in environmentalism and upcycling. I create my mosaics on second-hand or salvaged objects. These three works have been layered over salvaged security mirrors. I enjoy working with glass on mirror for the added luminosity from the light bouncing back through the glass beads. In addition to glass beads, I also weave reflective beads into the designs. Again, this adds another luminous effect that, in these pieces, also references the reflective phenomenology of water and ice. I weave the bead mosaic tiles out of new beads, but the supplemental beads between tiles are often second hand.
These three pieces are from an exploration of environmental issues surrounding climate change. "Oceanic Panopticon" is a study of the Pacific Ocean that is one of largest engines of Earth's climate. "Permafrost Panopticon" and "Morteratsch Glacier" are from a series of pieces in which I am calling attention to bodies of geologic ice while they still exist."
By the time I got in to the art center last Saturday, all of the shrooms I made to give away for #gameofshrooms2022 were gone. Today I learned that a family posted pictures of their shroom hunt with my shrooms to IG. I did a screenshot and here they are. It made my day.
Fermat's Library posted this fractal pattern today. It could easily be a beading pattern for triangle weave from Etsy. If I make this, I'll make a large 2-D sheet first to see how it develops. I think at a certain point the large triangle in the middle will be so huge it becomes less useful. But who knows? It could be a cool net to layer over something.
I doubt I will design something with it. It's too....kinda...nerdy. Or those are my emotional associations surrounding the image anyway.
After that, there are many 3-D versions of this pattern on line for those who want to make a little beaded sculpture. I'm looking for an image to post here and the 3D version is called a Sierpinski tetrahedron. Here is an image:
One made with beads will be a pliable and will start to slump. The image above is a 3D print.
Here's another one made with bugle beads and two sizes of seed beads. I don't like to mixup my bead sizes too much. I'd just use uniform round beads with triangle weave for this exercise.
This was made by Gwen Fisher of Gwen Beads. She makes and teaches a lot of geometrically inspired beading patterns. Check out her amazing website and blog. I'm a big fan. I'd love to meet her.
A design note on the above: I see a jump ring on it. It would be way cooler to make a beaded chain that goes through the larger triangle voids of the piece. I'd wear that. Maybe I'll make a very nerdy necklace someday. Or, if as a choker a series of them can lie flat against the neck pointing outward it would be like an updated version of my daughter's 1.5" spike collar. Could be edgy and fun space jewelry.
Today is Game of Shrooms 2022. You can read about it at yumfactory.com . This is the 3rd annual GoS. I think it's cute. There are a few in the Chicago area, but we are very spread out. I don't recommend anyone get into their car this year to drive to pick art shrooms in 2022. I *do* hope it takes off many more people do it next year and it becomes a walkable or bikeable event in some areas.
I think it could be a cute event that also doubles as promotional activity for museums, indy stores, libraries, park districts etc. like how everybody wanted to be a Pokemon Go stop when that was a thing.
You can see where mushrooms are popping up on Instagram by following #gameofshrooms2022 or #shroomdrop .
I needed some opaque white beads for Arctic Ice Sheet. I'm going to cannibalise The Rose. The Rose has been sitting on a shelf for a few years, because there is at least one broken knot in the midst of it. I don't want to keep adding to a broken piece.
The project served its purpose. I learned I can create a kind of solid structure with nothing but thread and beads. Thread, beads, and, as I came to learn too late, a dab of glue on every knot.
I used a similar structure inside "Drops of Jupiter."
This is a post for all of the comfortable artists out there and even some of the less well off artists who are reluctant to donate work to charitable causes. I know so many people who are sitting on decades of artwork that is rotting away in their studios or basements.
The most common argument against donating art is "My collectors will be outraged if I sell work below what they paid for it."
Unless you have signed contracts with mainstream galleries or other representatives that bar you from donating your art without their permission, you are deluding yourself. Your collectors probably won't give a rat's *ss if you donate works to a charity. Especially, if you take the following into consideration:
Donate older work. Everyone gets this. The understanding is that you have moved on and your work has matured. Donate it.
Donate work you don't like that much. Same. People get it. Not everything is a masterpiece and even Picasso had bad days. Just make sure it is a respectable offering. Donating junk is insulting to everybody.
Donate smaller work. I used to be an art consultant and we hardly ever sold anything smaller than a 20x24". I KNOW that many of you have a surplus of small work. Small work is likely to wind up in a powder room, possibly a hallway, on a cluttered shelf, or stored in a closet somewhere (if you are lucky). Small pieces are glorified knick knacks. Donate them.
If you don't find good homes for your art, your heirs will. (or won't) I'm a middle-aged artist who is struggling to survive pandemics, civil unrest, and late-stage capitalism. I don't want my kids to have to liquidate or throw out a giant hoard of art and art supplies after my death. Manage your inventory by giving away what you don't want your heirs to throw away. Do some good. I suggest donating to charitable fundraisers.
If you are a successful artist who sells almost everything you make, you can still be philanthropic without upsetting your market. Have a dedicated line of quick and easy minor art work for charitable giving and gifts.
I consider myself semi-pro and unfortunately, market value is not an issue for me. My signature pieces take a very long time to make. That means, I am very reluctant to give those away, so I make smaller, quick pieces for that. I also tend to use a lot of leftover or second-hand materials in donation works.
That said, you still want to donate respectable work. Art donations are usually displayed in person or on-line before and during fundraisers. You don't want to donate something terrible, damaged, or unfinished with your name attached to it. Many charity auctions have donors who swoop in and buy unbid lots at the last moment, but that isn't always the case. If you donate something awful, and it's goes unsold or the charity can't use it, then you aren't doing anybody any good.
I'd love to hear your comments on artists and charitable giving especially if you have more tips!
"Supraglacial Lake", 2022, woven bead mosaic on a thrifted blue bowl.
I heard yesterday that a supraglacial lake in India broke through its ice dam and thundered down the mountain taking out a bridge and two power stations. I discovered that this event happened a couple of days prior to me making this video. I would have gotten chills but I'm scientifically literate and the more scientifically literate you are the better you get as a Prophet of Doom. The Earth is warming. Ice melts. Basic cause and effect. Sadly, it's easy to predict. I'm making art documenting it and trying to cope emotionally.
Julie Mars' current events, projects, & inspirations.