The Art in the Pearl was a success for the 15th (I think) year of demonstrating artists from the Pacific Northwest Sculptors! This year Dave Gonzales, Maureena Ross, Chas Martin, Olinka Broadfoot and myself, showed some of the possibilities our art. The reception from viewers was warm and inspiring. It is always wonderful to hear what people see and feel about your art. There are so many different ways to see each sculpture and people freely talk about what you do there and of course they quite often share what many of them are up to in their artistic lives. As usual, many folks were interested in joining us, we’ll see how many actually come to meetings or become members. It is good to get the information out about us either way. Our participation there is an excellent way to support the art community, wake up people to some of the art in the area and to let people know about who we are and what we do both individually and as a group. So many visitors were really excited about the meetings that we have monthly in each other’s studios, so who knows who will show up at this next meeting.
Art Installation by Aim Axon
The senses, how enticing, visceral, our primal instincts… unnourished. The Belly was created to awaken our healthy and innate urges within ourselves, within nature itself. A 20 minute sensory experience crafted to open doors, unlocking the tight control that represses and denies the very essence of who we are and the Earth we live on.
Into the chaotic jungle, through angles of bamboo, near the mind altering glows, enter The Belly. Feet undressed, pass through the veil, greeted by one glowing light. The ground soft, inviting a seat ~ lay ~ crawl ~ stretch. Look around, Earth is hiding in the darkness. Trees, flowers, scents of rosemary, lavender, and lemon. The sky has an underground feeling, wet and mountainous. Come closer to the light, see your reflection. Put your skin in the Earth and Water…touch your body…the elements so wonderful, so giving, have you forgotten?
It wasn’t who she thought she knew, but who they used to beExcerpt from the poem written by Jessica Stroia
She whispered to the wind at night, preserving bits of memory…
Vibrating sound surrounds, undulating in emotional spectrum: fear, anger, repression, hunger, sexuality, ecstasy, sensuality, gentleness, unknowing, meditation, renewal. All here, seeping and pouring through our souls like the streams and rushes of Water.
As experiencers came out of The Belly with mud on their faces and a curious look in their eye, many greeted me with warm hugs. Some expressed they had feelings of being in the womb, being deep within and tending to the core. Being in a mystical and sacred place, similar to a sweat lodge. Being close to Earth’s weaving roots…
This journey has been so fruitful and fulfilling. Thank you all who interacted and took a moment to feel.
Musical appearances by:
• Nature – Spirit, Fire, Air, Water, Earth, the Crow and native birds
• Amber Metz (Aim Axon) – Composition and recording, female vocals, planetary patterns, bamboo, tingsha bells, chimes, xylophone, Tibetan singing bowls, wood drumming, rainstick, gong, whistles, effects
• Dave Gonzo – Dejembe drumming, bamboo, Rick Gregg’s bells
• Matt Weiers – Clarinet, flute, xylophone
• Chayo Wilson – Tibetan singing bowl, bells, xylophone
• Andy Kennedy – Male throat singing
Listen in a quiet and dark space at » www.aimaxon.bandcamp.com
Special thanks to:
The elements for nourishing our very existence, allowing us to feel the senses and experience this stay on Earth.
Andy Kennedy for stoking the fire to this conscious experiment, for being an intriguing collaborator and a whimsically supporting hand. Andy, thank you for creating the engaging jungle atmosphere outside The Belly room, which encouraged the audience to touch – play – wonder – let go.
Also within the jungle, Craig Dorety for lending his hallucination chamber and Joseph Cartino for his indigenous dangling decor.
Chayo Wilson for her spiritual guidance and all around kindness and support.
Matt Weiers for sharing audio knowledge and lending his recording equipment and handsomely crafted singing bowls.
Dave Gonzo for harnessing the essential and primal animalistic forces.
Jessica Stroia for her surreal poetry, elegant flower reef and veil decor.
Terri Elioff for her excellent seamstress skills that made the ground oh so comfortable.
Jennifer Corio and Art at the Cave gallery for making the use of this space possible.
And of course, to the Pacific NW Sculptors who donated materials and for their artistic encouragement.
The International Sculpture Center, (the publishers of Sculpture Magazine), some 4 years ago suggested that there be an International Sculpture Day. Not surprisingly sculptors and sculpture organizations around the country thought this was a good idea.
This is our third year of participation. It is a thing we look forward to all year. Much effort goes into preparations and not enough can be said about the volunteers who put it together.
This year the event was held at The Cave gallery in Vancouver WA. The gallery mounted a juried show of member’s works for the month of April 2018 with an opening on Friday, April 6th. International Sculpture Day was celebrated on Saturday the 21st. On that day three artists gave talks, demonstrations of welding and ceramic construction were outside and the vacant storefront next door was transformed into a space for immersive and interactive installations. Janet Julian provided acoustic music on a vintage Gibson guitar.
Demonstrations were provided by Dave Gonzo, (welding), and Chayo Wilson, (ceramics). Also featured in that area were additional works by those two artists which included a rather remarkable spider fire pit by Dave. Note the glass eyes glowing from the fire within.
Immersive Works were set up in the vacant storefront next door. Just to the left of the doorframe a 3D printer provided by Proto Pasta of Vancouver was busy squirting out tiny gnomes. The floor, walls and ceiling were festooned with assorted segments of bamboo. Some pieces were meant to be rearranged as one saw fit. Curious items were here and there. Further up a passage was a box fixed to the wall. In it were a number of LEDs strobing in unison. A knob on the side of the box could control the frequency. One inserts one’s head into the box and then manipulates the knob to create the most desirable hallucinations. Not anything like flying monkeys but rather interesting moiré type patterns of dots. Those subject to seizures were clearly warned away. Flying monkeys have never hurt anyone by the way.
The Belly was just on the other side of the corridor. That was small darkened space lit by a salt lamp, the floor covered with pillows and a soundscape coming from hidden speakers. Artist Talks were introduced by Jennifer Corio in the main gallery. She talked about International Sculpture Day and our participation in it for the past 3 years. George Heath the current president of PNWS introduced the organization and talked of its purposes and goals. Three artists then spoke for about 15 minutes each. Sue Westfall Quast described how her art developed and intersected with life over time. Craig Dorety, a light sculptor, spoke about how the peculiarities of LED lights could be utilized creatively and further how such lighting can interact with the mind. The strobing chamber mentioned in Immersive Works paragraph was one of Craig’s pieces. Chas Martin spoke of creating a piece so as to control the space around it and using that space to elicit a response from the viewer. He also described how his current work developed from line into sculpture.
About twenty Pacific Northwest Sculptors group members and guests gathered at the home of fellow sculptor Andy Kennedy and his partner Stephanie Buddenbaum on the evening of October 19th for the group’s monthly informal get-together.
A different member artist hosts the gathering each month.
The potluck affair began with time to get reacquainted before everyone moved on to Kennedy’s studio out back. The studio is a converted garage teeming with hundreds of clay sculptures, large and small. Kennedy spoke informally about his work, saying he has “been doing raw expression in paint and clay for years,” since the late 1980s at The Evergreen State College at Olympia, Wash, where he completed a bachelor of arts program.
“Raw” is an apt description of many, if not most, of Kennedy’s sculptures on display in his studio. They are evocative of an experience he described at Evergreen in which he created drawings from photographs of dissected cadavers.
Most of his human-form sculptures—nearly all of the large body of work in his studio is human form—possess not an unsettling quality but an aura of “one step beyond,” a view of what it is like on the other side of where we are.
Kennedy describes this in another way on his website, “Objects that inform by asking the unanswerable.” Saying that “we should all draw more,” a remark that elicited a collective murmur of agreement from the room full of sculptors, Kennedy went on to share more of his 2-D work besides the cadaver drawings at Evergreen.
Interactivity Encouraged at Sculptors Group
In his slide show, he shared examples from a mostly pastel chalk series he called “missing children drawings,” adapted from images of missing children reproduced on milk cartons in a 1980’s nationwide awareness campaign about kidnapped children. Later, he created a public installation about the missing children. Besides working in clay, Kennedy also hand-builds in concrete on armatures, sometimes adding features in wood.
He has created several larger-scale outdoor installations in concrete, “yard sculptures” that, over time, are cloaked in vegetation and become integral with the environment they inhabit.
Friday, Sept. 8, was a big day in Newport for members of Pacific Northwest Sculptors. That afternoon, the Newport Visual Arts Center, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, welcomed the pubic to “Variety of Visions: Work from the Pacific Northwest Sculptors.”
Sculptures in a wide range of media by 27 PNWS members were on display at the NVAC, a project of the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts.
PNWS President George Heath, whose schedule kept him from attending the opening, said of the show, “It looks amazing and very professional. We can be proud.” He volunteered high praise for PNWS Shows Coordinator Dave Gonzo. “What I did witness was what it took for Dave and his crew just to make the arrangements. The negotiations were challenging and there were some last-minute issues that seemed impossible to overcome, but Dave just took it head-on and made it happen,” said Heath. “It was a marvel to see.”
Newport Community Supports Visual Arts
Gonzo praised those who helped him make the show a reality. “With much hard work from all of the show committee and other members, it couldn’t have been done without them,” he said. “I would like to thank the show committee for stepping up in making the exhibition a reality. Chas Martin for the show title and taking submissions, Joe Cartino for creating the spreadsheets, Jessica Stroia and Sue Quast for handling the marketing, promotion, and social media along with Alisa Looney.”
Gonzo also thanked Craig Dorety and Andy Kennedy for their logistic support. In addition, Kennedy also wrote promotional copy, and Jill Townsend found hotel rooms at a discount for PNWS members. Gonzo expressed special appreciation for the contributions from Newport Visual Arts Center Director Tom Webb. “Working with Tom was a pleasure, and I learned much about putting on big exhibitions. With communication, understanding, and patience, we pulled off a great show.”
Pacific Northwest Sculptors’ second annual celebration of International Sculpture Day on April 21 and 22 in Portland was an unqualified success, judging from comments after the event by its organizers, participants and guests.
Hosted at three neighboring venues in Southeast Portland’s Sellwood District and billed as “ International Sculpture Day PDX 2017, 3D Alchemy: Fusing Intellect, Intuition and Magic Into Sculpture,” the event featured leading local sculptors talking about their work, live demonstrations of sculptors at work, a tour of one sculptor’s cutting-edge, high-tech studio, an exhibit of sculptures by local artists, lots of good food and drink, a tango demonstration and, to wrap it all up, a dance party with live music.
PNWS member Alisa Looney was a driving force behind the event. It was her presentation at a members’ meeting at Marylhurst University near Lake Oswego about two years ago that led PNWS to commit to joining the celebration, observed around the world each April for the last three years.
Summing up this year’s event she said, “My feeling overall was that it was a wonderful event for all who attended. Our entire team was incredible, professional and dependable. Everyone really showed up and made sculpture to the public in a fresh way.”
Everyone on the organizing team and the other artists who were featured in the event worked hard and deserve considerable gratitude for their selfless contribution.
PNWS Members Create International Sculpture Day
PNWS President George Heath singled out Looney for her imagination and commitment to making Portland a part of this observance. He wrote to her after the recent event, “As for you, Wow! That was amazing. I rarely, if ever, have seen anybody pull off something like that with such aplomb. Nicely done.”
Looney said, “I was truly honored to receive this compliment on behalf of our team,” adding, “it would not have been possible to pull this off without even one of our amazing team members, artists, hosts, sponsors, volunteers and guests.”
Other members of the International Sculpture Day organizing team, all PNWS members, were Julian Voss-Andreae, Jennifer Corio, Dave Gonzo, Sam Hingston, and Sue Quast. Some of the planners were also featured artists at the event. Voss-Andreae opened his studio to the public where he led a tour and explained how he blends art and high-tech; he also was a featured speaker, along with Hingston, at the artist talks.
The other featured speakers were Chayo Wilson and Bill Leigh. Corio emceed the artist talks. Gonzo demonstrated sculptural welding techniques alongside fellow PNWS member Andy Kennedy who demonstrated ceramic work. Looney singled out Susan Schimelfining as one volunteer “who has not been mentioned enough.” Looney credited Schimelfining for planning and preparing the food available at various venues. “It was beautifully displayed and delicious as well,” said Looney. “She actually cooked the smoked chicken herself and went to great lengths to make it all work with the schedule of replenishing for each event.”
SE Portland Businesses Host Artists and Guests for International Sculpture Day
The event was sited at three locations in close proximity to one another along Southeast 17th Avenue: Anna Daedalus and Kerry Davis’s Roll-Up Photo Studio + Gallery, which was the venue of last year’s celebration, Voss-Andreae’s new studio, and Rachel Lidskog-Lim’s Dance With Joy Studios. Groups of artists and guests migrated together from one location to the next throughout the evening. Hingston thought the geography of the event added to its appeal. “I thought it was a really fun and engaging event.
The three locations gave the evening a lot of variety, and I thought having the group travel together brought a bit of adventure to the whole thing,” he said. He also had praise for his fellow planners. “It was a great experience working with the planning committee as well as the many people who helped to make it all happen.
It took a lot of effort from a lot of people, but it was certainly well worth it.” Corio was pleased with the outcome as well. “All and all, a smashing success! I am proud to be part of the planning team,” she said. She thought the audience at the artist presentations seemed “laid back and really interested in hearing what the artists had to say.” She said they asked “good questions” and with “a fair bit of laughter,” which, she added, made her job as emcee easier.
International Sculpture Day a Success
Corio summarized the event. “I felt a fun, joyful vibe throughout the evening. The show at Roll-Up (Gallery) was full of folks looking at art and enjoying themselves.” While it was difficult to count overall attendance at the event owing to its being spread out across three venues, it was possible to get a good count of the people attending the artist talks.
Corio and Looney agreed the number there was about 75 with a few others gathered just outside the door to the room where food and beverages were available. Paul Haist, the newsletter editor, who was focused on watching and photographing what was going on, though overall attendance could not be much less than about 200. The celebration would not have been possible without the generous support of many in the community including sponsors Cobalt Designworks, Dance With Joy Studios, Form 3D Foundry, Bill Leigh, Roll-Up Photo Studio + Gallery, the International Sculpture Center in Hamilton, N.J. (publishers of Sculpture Magazine) and Julian Voss-Andreae.