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Art Bead Evolutions

Art Bead Evolutions :: Momentum: Art in Motion

I belong to an artists’ cooperative called Gallery Q since 2009. Part of my membership includes the opportunity to show my work as a collection in a solo or group exhibit. To date I have done two exhibits, one in 2010 called “Inspired by…” and the most recent in 2016 entitled “Beauty in the Broken Places.” The experience of thinking of my art in a broader scope with a theme to guide me has provided me with so many opportunities to expand my vision and hone my artistic voice.

The View @ the Q, downtown Stevens Point, WI

In July of 2017 I was standing in the Gallery Q with its soaring ceilings and original creaky wood floors and I wondered aloud that I have always wanted to see my daughter and her dancer friends perform in this space. It was in that moment when I glanced her way and realized that there were precious few opportunities left for this to happen. That night I went home and wrote up the prospectus for my next exhibition entitled “Momentum: Art in Motion.”

Momentum to me is all about movement – actual and implied – whether that is a simple mechanical action of bodies in motion, the aspect of chance as it relates to the spontaneous flow of creation, or the constant push forward toward new goals and horizons. My vision for this exhibit would have three components: jewelry, mobile/sculpture, paintings.

Sheet metal, rod, wire, and paint
38 1/8″ x 126 1/4″
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Klaus G. Perls, 1996

I have long been fascinated by Alexander Calder. His artistic vision was immense. Literally. Calder’s extended body of work was groundbreaking and changed the course of contemporary art with reverberations to this day. He broke the boundaries of what was considered artful and really expanded the horizons of sculpture, in particular. You might know Calder as the “father of the mobile” but did you know that he also made jewelry? I have long wanted to mount an exhibition with a nod to Calder and this is my chance.

Necklace, c. 1943 Silver wire, string, and ribbon Loop: 15 3/4 inches; element length: 5 1/4 inches Inscription: “Calder” Private Collection, New York © 2007 Calder Foundation, New York

In addition to jewelry I also create mixed media collage, polymer clay mosaics and non-objective paintings in acrylics and inks. Doing a show like this allows me to break out of the mold of just being an artisan jewelry designer and indulges my love of other mediums.

“Pulsating, Rippling” 2018 Acrylic flow painting with polymer clay protrusions.

I will be continuing the theme of Momentum by adding in some of my flow paintings, which I create in both inks and paint, that capture movement and pattern and color, plus the addition of polymer clay extrusions. These are a very spontaneous type of art that works well with the concept of movement, particularly the element of chance or surprise. There is flow in the way the paint morphs and reacts, but also in the process of making these paintings by tilting, turning and moving the paint in various ways. In my research, I came across the work of contemporary artist Holton Rower, specifically his live flow art paintings (you have to see them!). I was further inspired when I learned that Rower is the grandson of Alexander Calder, which makes my overall vision even more complete in my mind. Sweet serendipity!

Finally, I hope to work with Tori Rogoski, the director of Dance Education Center where my daughter has danced for 15 years, to collaborate with me and her elite troupe of dancers called The Company to create original choreography inspired by some of my artwork. One potential we discussed is that I would create a mobile that can be given to the dancers for them to be inspired to create a dance through improv techniques. This would become the basis for a video of the dancers that would be displayed in the exhibit, run on a loop. Additionally, I would like to have dancers be part of the opening with some minimal controlled movement in the space, including as part of the windows, acting as a sort of stage for that event. Potentially, we could have a special invitation-only night event during the run of the exhibit where the dancers would perform in our space, and possibly even create art as part of that performance.

So, you might be wondering, why am I telling you all of this? Well, it will explain why I will be noticeably absent in the next two months as I create all the art that is swirling around in my head. I also know that every time I talk about or write about this vision that it becomes more real in my mind, which makes me more likely to follow through on it. And finally, every person I tell about this helps fire me up and will likely hold me accountable to make this exhibit a reality. So you are my witnesses! And I have less than two months to do it!

May the Muse be ever with me!