Sunday, March 27, 2011

Loca- Consumer of Local Art

When you hear the word locavore, what comes to mind? Food? The attempted "greening" of everything? lists a locavore as: "A person who attempts to eat only foods grown locally. " In thinking of how our communities are stretched beyond small town limits with down town epicenters, I wonder what the new catchphrase is for the person wanting to not only consume local food, but also patronize local small grocery stores, hardware stores, and family run restaurants? What soapbox sits under my feet today? The label might be one attributed to potter Kristen Keiffer-"Sponsor Creativity & Community- Support your local artists by buying and giving handmade." The impetus for this blog posting is the kitchen of stained glass artist and Valley High School art teacher Prissy Pakulski. In creating a home with beautifully crafted furniture and stained glass windows, she included my terra cotta cherry designs. Those who read this blog know my cabinets are full of locally and internationally purchased hand made pottery. How nice for my art ego to see this!!

If you are looking to become a loca-consumer of the arts, I suggest the "Underground Pottery Sale" April 7 & 8th, Indiana University of PA, Robertshaw Building, 9am- 7pm. Pottery from the hands of IUP students and many potters from the surrounding communities. All proceeds benefit the Ceramics department. And, as awlays, the Saxonburg Area Artists Co-op is open Fridays and Saturdays for a more ecclectic selection of paintings, sculpture, jewelry and more.

Support Creativity & Community!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Soup Sales...people doing the great things they do....

Potter, Josh Floyd, Emmanuelle Wambach , Nancy Smeltzer and Harmony Ritchie, organizers of IUP's sale.

Many of you have heard of the"Empty Bowls" Soup Sale events across the nation. Hopefully you've had a chance to participate in this wonderful event that brings together potters, cooks and hungry patrons of the arts for the benefit of the less fortunate in our communities. Did you know that by simply purchasing a hand made bowl and homemade soup, you qualify as a patron of the arts? You thought only millionaires were patrons?? Support the arts, purchase from local artists. Be a responsible citizen, purchase that bowl at a local soup sale and all the profits go to the food bank. It's a win win win.
IUP hosted a sale yesterday, the community responded with many, many, many bowls donated by local potters. The best chefs in Indiana County brought their soup making talents to the table and the public lined up. In turn, they raised over $3000! Nice job, everyone!
Potter Josh Floyd and Debra Frew

Arts Patron LouAnn Hoviland and potter Kyle Houser

Potter, Irene Tabish serving up the soup.

Arts Patron Evelyn Smeltzer- mother of potter and chef Nancy Smeltzer. That's MY bowl going home with her!

If you missed this great event, no worries...Deer Lakes High School will be hosting it's 7th annual soup sale May 18th. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Meandering Time Travel

The gallery is stocked well enough for the time being. This allows time for a pause in the search for glaze combinations and traditional functionality and do some exploration. I have been working my head around some more figurative and symbolic sculptures... a concept that has presented itself many times in my work, though it's been awhile since goddesses and female figures have shown's probably time. In thinking about more symbolic pieces, I revisited some pieces I saw in Peru in 2007. These gorgeous pieces are in the Larco Museum, Lima. I was so enthralled with the pieces I neglected to photgraph the tags...

These three pieces impacted me the most for deceptively simple forms, the symbols of seeds and the beauty in the birds. Sustenance, humanity and spirit, don't we as artists look for these still today? In addition, I am working in groups of three, which draws my attention to the structures. The concept of connection in humans, to each other, within ourselves, our surroundings and the world as a whole seems an apt point today, considering how "connected" technology allows us to be today. Are we really connected? On what level? What allows us to be genuinely connected? To what are we connected?
And speaking of big ideas...I don't think there's a culture out there that doesn't make big pots...

And now a word from our sponsor...Corn.
In our society today, so much heated argument is dedicated to corn, at least in my realm of interest in NPR podcasts and broadcasts on agriculture, food, health and the state of the economy. Corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, health care, farm subsidies, ethanol, gmo's (genetically modified organisims), pesticides, and special interests, did I miss any? When did we loose sight of rejoicing in food and the life and livelihood it provided? My mother has a set of corn salt and pepper shakers, does that qualify? Depending on which museum you are standing in, the answer could be yes. Our culture, in the last 100 years, has mass produced a considerable amount of tchotchke or kitsch dedicated to all the foods that have sustained us for centuries. I don't think any of them measure up to these boys. Imagine future archeologists digging through the rubble of our homes trying to piece together our stories, the same way archeologists have been attempting to piece together the stories of the Inca through these relics.

After looking at these, I'm left with a craving for corn on the cobb and butter from a corn emblazoned butter dish...maybe there's a corn goddess in the making???