Wednesday, June 30, 2010
celebrating the best of friendships after over twenty years....
Yesterday we celebrated with two dear friends who have blessed our lives for over 20 years...Jimmy Acord and Susi Shie's 20th wedding anniversary! Jimmy had just arrived home from Michigan for a fishing expedition with some of his fly fishing clients and a week of camping in the best of Nature. He may have been tired but we tried to ease him into relaxation and pure celebration. Susie had worked all week on her healing quilt for our beloved and besieged Gulf of Mexico for her political call to arms for the next Quilt National in 2011. They arrived around six pm and we headed out for a steak and lobster feast at our Ruby Tuesday restaurant. This is a very rare extravagance for our budget but the night was young and we had not had intimate time to just sit, laugh, chat and share our lives together ...well for a very long time. Why is it that we often put our friendships on the back burner and forget to include them in nourishing our lives with time to just be together? I realize health, careers, families, economies and well Life just gets in the way and we all ended in the promise to make time for each other...because time is all we really have to give. We came home and had a dining room table counsel about our dreams and new journeys...teaching abroad in England...further travel with the incredible fly fishing committee...Ken's return to teaching the gifted program in the fall ... and me moving my studio downtown back in the middle of the art world here in Licking county. We were all safe and surrounded by love in an environment where we could risk sharing our dreams and ask for advice in the next couple of months. A wonderful bottle of delicious Merlot and hours of laughter with Natalie Merchant's melodic voice flowing through the room in the back ground. I hope you can feel the magic I held in my heart with these loving friends...the night was cool magic with magic moments to cherish as we move forward in our lives. Our inspirations, devotions, inspirations and affirmations for our futures...open and oh so fragile exposure in a night of dreams.
I am watching Bravo's "Works of Art" tonight where the individuals are asked to create their own shocking works...Andres Serrano had a gallery exhibit of his most controversial images to provoke the minds of the artists to widen their lenses and stretch their individual comfort zones. Serrano believes his works should evoke a strong reaction... a shock...vs. our society's indifference in their responses to seeing Art. Photo shoots with nudity and exposure and the male gaze following her every move, sexual abuse against children, the Catholic church's shame and perversion with pedophile priests, amputations phobias, perversion in sexual diversions, contour line drawing of Disney's mouse with inappropriate genitalia, twins in a dark herpes and syphilis advertisements and contradictions and a structure created by insects and possible aliens ...we will have to wait to see how the program develops in a very provocative inspirations.
The questions remain to what direction each individual is taking in their lives journey as a contemporary artist in the new century... what will be their personal limits they raise for their mark making and what technologies will be employed as their design elements in these controversial works of Art. Religions and spiritual beliefs are frequent themes and sexual gratifications have risen and a confusing alien performance art in a discovery process...there do not seem to be any evident clues to this artist conclusion of her hypothesis . Now they have been told that two people will be eliminated in this particular competition. Competition is a very tricky experience when an individual is given a time limit to perform an assigned yet difficult task. The time passes quickly and this exhibit is definitely questionable...I am questioning my artistic ethics and prejudices...maybe that was Serrano's whole objective? Black men as sculptural live bombs...who will come out a winner??? Is this the right word? I do not know. Iconography for some of the youngest artists is an eye opener for me and my personal experiences. Inferences, misunderstandings, vandalism, revelations, cosmic explorations and confusing explanations but disturbing uncomfortable recognitions of metaphors for really seeing violence and possible homelessness as aliens. Ritualistic approaches and uncomfortable feelings with social complaints and last supper compositions...the competition is thought provoking and confusing simultaneously for my personal interpretations of this project. I think...no I know I am grateful to not be in this type of Art competition. What does that say about my prejudices and my ideas about making Art? Abdi's blackman bomb sculptures won the competition and two other taboos were just not up to par...Naomi and John were eliminated this week. (John won last week's challenge and Naomi's failure was accepted as part of the artist's life process.)
Tomorrow I need to make a few errands and deliveries early in the day and do a couple of loads of laundry so we will be equipped and ready to share our home with our next guests. In the evening there is opening night for Weathervane's Theater production of "The Producers" and the opening evening get together with the audience and cast after the show. I have begun to write my thank yous for the people who came to my opening and luncheon gallery talk. I feel I have been generously supported in my vision and have so much work to do...well to say this is an exciting time in my heart's work...living openly my life as an artist. This community is embracing my vision and I feel hopeful in taking this step into the unknown.
I am hoping you will enjoy my photographs...my days are busy selecting supplies, furnishings, and work on a small work for an exhibit Kindred Spirits. My mind is processing but my body is just tired and needs to make up for a too busy couple of days. Have a great week. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart