Archive for the ‘NAC15’ Category

Artist’s Voice: Leigh Craven

Friday, September 18th, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

Leigh Craven one of the exhibiting artists, takes us to the inner and outer realms of her work.

Black_Forest

The mixed media bell jar pieces incorporate both flat and three-dimensional imagery. The artwork examines how both physical and emotional factors can consume the body and mind.

Picture 027

For me, the combinations and/or confrontations of the human components accompanied with elements from nature, symbolize the psychological conflicts we might have when circumstances are beyond our control. In my mind, nature, storms, and swarms of insects or animals are physical representations of forces that we can not contain or control, these forces often times have dramatic impact our lives.

The_Forgotten_Garden

Snow_Covered_Memories

The_Inexplicable_complexities_of_an_Illustrious_Mind

See Leigh Craven’s work at the upcoming exhibition, Massachusetts Cultural Council Awardees in Crafts, Sculpture, Installation & New Genres, September 18 – October 17, 2015. Opening Reception: September 18, 7-9 PM. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park Newtonville, MA, 02460

All images courtesy of Leigh Craven.

Artist’s Voice: Amy Podmore

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

Amy Podmore, one of the exhibiting artists, walks us through her art-making process.

amy 1

I’m interested in investigating new media solutions to questions I’ve been exploring about the limitations of the sculptural object. The question that has been of great interest to me recently is- how can I heighten the poignancy of stillness? How do I push past boundaries—spatially, materially, and emotionally?

amy 2
In the past, I have used nuanced gesture combined with objects that tend to surprise the viewer—rabbits-headed figures, udders, pitchers with legs– to imply animation and to reflect ineffable moments. For example, in “Measured Rest” the boot-clad figure grasps a violin; she is awkward and tense, conjuring, I believe, both immobility, as well as an urge to flee. Animation was implied by the gesture; but how to get beyond the implied without being obvious—how to heighten that charge, increase the tension in the work, and in the experience of the work.

amy 3

In recent work, such as “Edge Drift” and “Lana”, I attempt to push beyond relying on gesture alone and employ actual animation as a juxtaposition or counterpoint to help bring forward what is so difficult to capture in material: tension between action and inaction. In all my work, I hope is to heighten the experience of absence and the gap between stillness and animation through physical, sensory and sound components that speak to the idea of loss and gain, and a sense of emotional finality caused by what is vs. what could have been. I hope to facilitate and highlight and extend the simple gesture into the corporal, spatial, and sensate.

amy 4 amy 5 amy 6 amy 7 amy 8

See Amy Podmore’s work at the upcoming exhibition, Massachusetts Cultural Council Awardees in Crafts, Sculpture, Installation & New Genres, September 18 – October 17, 2015. Opening Reception: September 18, 7-9 PM. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park Newtonville, MA, 02460

All images courtesy of Amy Podmore.

Artist’s Voice: Dana Filibert

Monday, September 14th, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

Dana Filibert is one of the exhibiting artists, and here is more about the work, in the artist’s own words.

studio_Filibert

In my studio process I use multiple materials. From my training in metalsmithing I employ welded steel, I also incorporate mass-produced objects and carved high-density foam. While working as an exhibit preparator for natural history museums I learned to repair fossils creating seamless archival specimens. I have transferred this skill that I now apply to my sculpture.

Filibert_Dana_Mustang

Over the last few years I have been preoccupied with creating stylized cloud formations utilizing a collage of materials. In each sculpture I employ iconic animal imagery, references to human biology and decorative arts elements.

Gallop Filibert_Dana

When creating these pieces I am looking at them as idealized precious objects. Each animal I choose to represent is due to the hold it has as a symbol of cultural virtues. I especially look to those animals that are used as emblems to market consumer goods. I am interested in the consumer’s tendency to identify with these symbols.

PaintedPony Filibert

See Dana Filibert’s work at the upcoming exhibition, Massachusetts Cultural Council Awardees in Crafts, Sculpture, Installation & New Genres, September 18 – October 17, 2015. Opening Reception: September 18, 7-9 PM. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, MA, 02460

All images courtesy of Dana Filibert. Studio photographed by Geneve Rege. Sculpture photographed by John Polak

Artist’s Voice: Pat Shannon

Monday, September 14th, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

Pat Shannon, one of the exhibiting artists, walks us through her art making process.

Shannon_Crosswalk_onsite Shannon_Pkg Spc_det

For a few years, a crosswalk and parking space became my plein air workplace. Leading up to this transition, I had read a transcript from the panel discussion for “Earth Art”, Cornell University 1969. The panel included Robert Smithson, Dennis Oppenheim, Neil Jenney and other artists. One idea they talked about was extending their work into the world by literally making it out in the world. I’d been experimenting in small ways with making work outside of the studio, but as soon as I read their views, I felt a challenge to move further in that direction. The thought of leaving behind the seclusion of the studio to produce work in public really struck a chord. I tuned in on a neighborhood public works project. For many months, this project blocked traffic from a usually busy roadway. I saw this as my chance to move onto the street and also as a way to align my art making with common labor…so, I tagged myself alongside the work-site. Using aluminum foil and a few tools, I started to make a series of impressions from the street by literally feeling my way across the ground an inch at a time. The foil was my recording device.

Shannon_Street Works

The ground became a pictorial surface and I was fascinated by using the sense of touch to generate an image. The resulting imprints are precise in details and very fragile by nature. The images they hold are unembellished representations of things “as they are”. They’re a record of both an experience and a place and they could easily be wiped away in a moment.

Shannon_Crosswalk_det2

See Pat Shannon’s work at the upcoming exhibition, Massachusetts Cultural Council Awardees in Crafts, Sculpture, Installation & New Genres, September 18 – October 17, 2015. Opening Reception: September 18, 7-9 PM. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park,  Newtonville, MA, 02460

All images courtesy of Pat Shannon.

Artist’s Voice: Anne Lilly

Friday, September 11th, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

Anne Lilly, one of the exhibiting artists, discusses her expertly crafted stainless steel kinetic sculptures.

Anne_Lilly shop

Recently I was asked whether I consciously intended for my sculptures to be as hypnotic as they are, or if it was an accident, or the result of some other factor. That kind of absorption was not something that I consciously decided upon before starting any particular piece, but after working for twenty years, it is clear that it is a state that I’m searching for, an experience I want to feel myself and share with others. It is neither accidental nor strategically conceived, but something that I find myself grappling toward again and again.

Anne_Lilly disparate de tontos

Movements that are flitty, jangly, wobbly, jerky, monotonous, or otherwise aversive – these are all possible qualities which appear as a piece develops. But they are also qualities that abound in the world. In a way I think I want my work to be a refuge from the world, from chaos, noise and aggression. I actively steer the work away from that, and instead toward movements that are complex, organic, unified, and meditative.

Anne_Lilly Request for an Oracle

One thing about my work that seems to suprise people: I don’t use a computer at any point. The process is entirely hands on and involves long stages of experimentation. I do sketch a bit to figure out a difficult detail, but the larger action of the work usually does not arise from preconception or pre-planning.

Anne_Lilly To Lull

See Anne Lilly’s work at the upcoming exhibitionMassachusetts Cultural Council Awardees in Crafts, Sculpture, Installation & New Genres, September 18 – October 17, 2015. Opening Reception: September 18, 7-9 PM. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, MA, 02460

All images courtesy of Anne Lilly.

Artist’s Voice: Lisa Nilsson

Friday, September 11th, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

Lisa Nilsson, one of the exhibiting artists, shares a slice of her art making.

lisa nillson studio

For the past several years I have been exploring and developing a centuries-old paper craft called “quilling” in which narrow strips of paper are rolled and shaped and assembled.

lisa nilsson head profile

 

My initial inspiration came from the lovely internal landscape of the human body in cross-section, and more recently from textiles, especially Persian rugs, and old book bindings. I work with Japanese mulberry paper and gilt-edged paper.

lisa nilsson 2

See Lisa Nilsson’s work at the upcoming exhibitionMassachusetts Cultural Council Awardees in Crafts, Sculpture, Installation & New Genres, September 18 – October 17, 2015. Opening Reception: September 18, 7-9 PM. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park Newtonville, MA, 02460

All images courtesy of Lisa Nilsson.

Artist’s Voice: Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer, one of the exhibiting artists, shares her bookmaking process.

Johanna Finnegan TopitzerJump and Run White-tailed Deer(3)

My artwork tells stories. They are stories about animals and the relationship between humans and animals. Sometimes the stories are printed in text on the work itself. Sometimes the story is told in a simple poem. And sometimes simple images tell the story without words.

Johanna Finnegan Topitzer FullWoodpecker phc

I look to the ancient tales of our ancestors for inspiration and research how they related to the animal world. Most cultures have stories about how animals helped shape our world and these are the folktales that I want to celebrate. Modern day tales of human-animal relationships also influence my work. From the way we treat or mistreat to the companionship we share, I strive to express this connection.

Johanna FinneganTopitzer Deer open phc

My artistic training was in the traditional craft of hand Bookbinding at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA and my graduate study was in the field of Folklore at University College Cork in Ireland. I use the skills and knowledge from both of these intellectual pursuits in my work. I use a variety of media: wood, metal, paper, bookboard, watercolor, clay, wood, etc. There is much experimentation with how materials work together and the technical aspects of attaching them. When showing my work, I like to encourage viewer interaction. My pieces come from the tradition of the book and therefore, like a book, are intended to be opened and explored. I want the viewer to take the time to go deeper into the meaning of the work and understand the story behind it.

Johanna Finnegan Topitzer Rabbit open

The main theme expressed in my work is respect for the natural world. People living close to nature understand the need for balance and have a certain reverence for their fellow earthly companions. In modern post-industrial societies, people have become out of touch with this connection. I hope my work can bring people back to this link with the greater living world.

Johanna Finnegan Topitzer Rabbit full

See Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer’s work at the upcoming exhibition, Massachusetts Cultural Council Awardees in Crafts, Sculpture, Installation & New Genres, September 18 – October 17, 2015. Opening Reception: September 18, 7-9 PM. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, MA, 02460

All images courtesy of Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer. Photographs by Jeremy Heflin.

Artist’s Voice: Duncan Gowdy

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

Duncan Gowdy carves out time from his studio to talk about his image inspired work.

platter in progress

I grew up in Needham, Massachusetts, in an area of town that is walking distance to the Charles River, farming fields, and woodland. The environment set the stage for the work that I have created for the past ten years. It also instilled in me a sense of place that has influenced where I feel most comfortable, pastoral places where I have lived and worked.

My camera has been the main tool for collecting images that connect these places to my work. Photography has always been part of everyday life in my family. My grandfather was an avid photographer of people, places, and, as a surgeon, many of his operations. My mother was never far from her camera, mainly taking photographs of family and friends. So it was natural for me to continue the tradition. Most of my photographs are of outdoor scenes, like tree silhouettes in winter and water formations that catch my eye. The photographs are from familiar places, mostly in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I need to have a personal connection to the photographs and places. Although the images may be simple, my inspiration for taking the photograph may be complex, including memories of the place or even what was going on in my life at the time of the photograph.

Several techniques and influences converge in my work: woodworking, photography, and illustration come together with influences as varied as Asian pottery and prints, scrimshaw, Early American and mid-century modern furniture. It is the graphic quality of each inspiration that I am drawn to. Japanese prints and decorative surfaces on pottery are rendered in such a way that they are poetic, often by using the least possible amount of brush strokes. The carving-and-staining technique is my interpretation of scrimshaw, where the images were incised in ivory and in-filled with ink.

Platter with Crab Apples

The photograph for Platter with Crab Apples was taken at a field in Harrisville, New Hampshire. I was inspired by the craggly quality of crab apple trees, with nubs on branches, accented with crab apples and leaves. The platter form allows me to focus on image composition and the carving and staining process.

See Duncan Gowdy’s work at the upcoming exhibition, Massachusetts Cultural Council Awardees in Crafts, Sculpture, Installation & New Genres, September 18 – October 17, 2015. Opening Reception: September 18, 7-9 PM. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, MA, 02460

All images courtesy of Duncan Gowdy.

Artist’s Voice: Sachiko Akiyama

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

Here, Sachiko Akiyama, one of the exhibiting artists, discusses the forces that shape her sculptural work.

Akiyama,OnFindingHome,2013, wood, paint, 18 1-2 x 9 1-2 x 40

While my work references the historical use of wood carving in spiritual and religious art, such as medieval European wood carving and Egyptian funerary art, I am interested in exploring similar universal themes from a subjective, secular viewpoint shaped by my experience in the contemporary world. Starting from large laminated blocks of wood, I carve portraits of figures holding deliberate poses and often times interacting with wild animals or the landscape. I am interested in the multiple and oftentimes contradictory interpretations that can result from different combinations of these elements.

Sachiko_Akiyama

In my recent body of work, I am interested in natural forces such as ones that affect animal behavior that shape landscapes, especially mountains and forests. In Carried, Origins, and On Finding Home, I represent the figure situated in or combined with landscape forms. I have been studying geology and am interested in how mountains and waves are created by unseen forces below the surface and then further shaped by wind and rain. I continue to think of this as an apt metaphor for the forces that influence our lives, never fully explicable and often times unpredictable. It is my hope that this odd collision of figurative and landscape forms offer a wide range of interpretations for the viewer. The gradual introduction of materials such as resin and clay place more emphasis on the physicality of the sculptures, countering the “illusion of representation.” The resin mountaintops in Origins, for instance, make the image more dream-like while also drawing more attention to the materials that the sculpture is made of.

See Sachiko Akiyama’s work at the upcoming exhibition, Massachusetts Cultural Council Awardees in Crafts, Sculpture, Installation & New Genres, September 18 – October 17, 2015. Opening Reception: September 18, 7-9 PM. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park Newtonville, MA, 02460

All images courtesy of Sachiko Akiyama.

Artist’s Voice: Stephanie Chubbuck

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the New Art Center (NAC) will present MCC Awardees in Crafts and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres, September 18-October 17, 2015, at the NAC.

Stephanie Chubbuck is one of the exhibiting artists, and here is more about her work, in the artist’s own words.

web version foodies studio shot

My series of figurative fruit combines visual elements drawn from Dutch “Vanitas” still life painting, figure sculpture, fine craft and commercial materials.

The fruit is produced in blown glass, which is then “cold worked” to achieve the cuts and the installation of the various clothing closures and mixed media. The cuts are made by sculpting the surface away with diamond coated dental tools and a hand held jeweler’s drill. This technique is singular to my work and was developed through my own studio process. These complex cuts would not be possible with any other glass technique.

The hyper-realistic colors are created by using glass bar and powdered pigments added in layers during shaping and blowing. The color is displayed in multiple translucent and opaque substrates, so the surface appears to be skin-like and alive similar to the way natural pearls have depth and an orient of light.

web version of foodies pics

I refer to these works as figurative because they embody the form of fruit but imply corporeal and emotional humanity. They are allegories of my fascination with the rough edges of physicality, human nature, and human conditions. I intend for my peculiar combinations of elements to be beautiful although that beauty is often counterintuitive. This odd visual seduction implies a complex identity. My objective is to seduce the viewer and elicit recognition of corporeal and emotional conditions that are unsettling, disturbing, erotic, humorous, or a combination of these.

Stephanie Chubbuck double zipper cherry 300 dpi

web version koko mag page 1 of 6

See Stephanie Chubbuck’s work at the upcoming exhibitionMassachusetts Cultural Council Awardees in Crafts, Sculpture, Installation & New Genres, September 18 – October 17, 2015. Opening Reception: September 18, 7-9 PM. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, MA, 02460

All images courtesy of Stephanie Chubbuck.


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