Monday, June 30, 2014

Here's why I drove to Hartford from Cape Cod--and back--in one afternoon

"You're not going back tonight, are you?"  That's what I heard from everybody at the June 26 reception for Jazz Tones, the exciting art quilt show currently hanging at the  100 Pearl St. Gallery in downtown Hartford.  They had a point:  I'd just driven 188 miles from Cape Cod, where the rest of my family was on vacation, to Hartford for the reception.  Shouldn't I give myself a break and sleep in my own home before driving 188 miles back?

Uh,  no, as it turned out. 

I was between a rock and a hard place.  Jazz Tones is the most high-profile endeavor to date for the CT Fiber Arts Collective, of which I'm a founding member.  So of course, as the creator of three pieces in the show, I wanted  to be there for the reception.  Even if it occurred during my family's Cape Cod vacation.

At the same time, I wanted, even needed, to get right back to that vacation, because my daughter Julia, with whom I spend precious little enough time as it is, and her partner Elana and Elana's baby Maya, had just arrived.

So I had it both ways by making it to the reception but also pushing right back to the Cape afterwards, arriving around 11 pm and unfolding myself like a long-creased accordion from my husband's, uh, cozy, Geo Prizm.

What a reception, though.  The drive was totally worth it.  There must have been 100 people in and out of the Pearl St. Gallery during that time.  Here's a look:

That's Roz Spann of CT FAC talking to the husband of another member, Linda Woods.
That's CTFAC's Christina Blais in the lovely peach-colored dress.  Christina created the stunning image, Jazz Man, which forms the focus of this postcard:

Here are a few members of CT FAC with Jose Feliciano of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, who helped make the show happen.  L-R Antonia Torres, Karen Loprete, me, Rosalind Spann.

Rosalind Spann and Antonia Torres with Antonia's quilt

Roz with her piece, Stella's Violin

Honored Guest Ed Johnetta Miller with "And I Embrace All Cultures"

Wanda Seldon with her piece honoring 

Here I am with A Love Supreme I, one of my three pieces in the show
And here's why I drove back to the Cape right away without stopping overnight:

The majestic North Atlantic, Pamet Trails, Cape Cod National Seashore, Truro, MA

Julia's buddy Elana, Elana's baby Maya, and our daughter Julia, who had just arrived at the Cape as it was time for me to leave for Hartford.  Who could blame me for hopping in the car and driving right back the same night?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cabbage Update

Folks, how many people do you know who can, with straight face and ingenuous intention, caption a blog post "Cabbage Update"?

But enough about me.  How about those cabbages?

There's a lot of cabbage news to report: artistic, horticultural, and philosophical.

I'll start with the artistic news:   I successfully met a deadline of June 1, 2014 for the creation of my latest cabbage image.

Here it is: 

Perfect Green Cabbage, 2014
This image will appear in publicity for an upcoming fiber art show in which I'm participating at the River Street Gallery in Fair Haven Furniture in New Haven.

The second piece of artistic cabbage news is that, today, I just finished another cabbage image, Weeping Cabbage:

Weeping cabbage is so named for the fat raindrops in the original image on which the piece is based:

I made the two images with the intention that one of them would be used for the publicity for the River Street Gallery show.  I couldn't decide which one to use for River Street so I went right ahead working on two at once.  Perfect Green Cabbage got done first, so it will go in the River Street publicity, but meanwhile, here's weeping cabbage, just completed, and potentially to be hung at the same gallery.

The second piece of cabbage news is horticultural:  I recently planted six Red Acre cabbages in various places in my garden.

Here's one of them, little more than a seedling, but already showing the simultaneous green and purple coloration that gives red cabbages their iridescence.  There are five others, and I'm looking forward to the unique ability of their frosty, glaucous looks, to cool me down on the hottest days.

Every cabbage image I've ever created has been inspired by a cabbage in my own yard, so I want to keep those cabbages coming.  They do make magnificent specimens in the garden:

Can you believe I even have philosophical cabbage news?  As follows:

My artistic career has been visited by a version of Cabbage Night.  Cabbage Night is a pre-Halloween evening of mayhem, so-called in some places in the northeastern United States (but known elsewhere as Mischief Night, ).

According to Wikipedia, Cabbage Night got its name from a local custom in rural Niagara Falls, Ontario, during the 50s and 60s, of "raiding local gardens for leftover rotting cabbages and hurling them about to create mischief in the neighborhood."

Today, Wikipedia says, "the night is commonly known as "Cabbage Night" in parts of Vermont; Connecticut; Bergen County, New Jersey; Upstate New York; Northern Kentucky; Newport, Rhode Island; and Boston, Massachusetts.[3]

My own personal Cabbage Night came in the form of three rejections:  most recently from How does your Garden Grow at the Whistler Museum and Gallery in Lowell, MA; before that, from CT + 6, a show sponsored by the West Hartford Art League; and before that, from the CT Academy of Fine Arts 2014 annual show.

For at least two of those shows, I entered Homage to Cabbage III:

My lovely cabbage was hurled into a slough of dishonor and negation.  And I was disappointed.

But on the other hand, how about the following couple of developments:

One, I've just received a commission to create a quilt commemorating a couple's renewal of their marriage vows, a creative project I'm happy to receive;

And two, I've just been asked to have a solo show at Hartford's Clare Gallery, where the themes are spirituality and social justice.

I'm happy to be so honored, and am already thinking about the spiritual theme I'll be expressing at that gallery, which part of St. Patrick and St. Anthony Church in Hartford.

So now--after Cabbage Night, the treats.

And that's the way it is in cabbage news.