Bright and squirrelly this morning Brenda Oelbaum and I hopped into her car for a trip to South Bend, Indiana. Why South Bend you ask? Because the Indiana chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art invited Brenda to come down and speak to their members about her art. I always love traveling to meet up with other WCA chapters and members because it allows me to take advantage of the immense network of female artists in this organization. Each woman I meet becomes a new sister, mother or grandmother figure that makes the greater art world feel so much more homey.
The Mishawaka (say that ten times fast) library provided space for the talk and nine ladies showed up to see and discuss Brenda’s work from her university days to her most recent Venus of Willendorf Project. There was much laughter over her “Axis of Evil” installation at Ann Arbor Art Fair and the “Does this make my (blank) look big?” series.
After the presentation, chapter president Helen Geglio hosted us for dinner at her charming home. The rugs, felted pillows and eclectic cheer of the home gave me the impression that Helen had a soft spot for textile art in her heart, which was confirmed as she showed us her most recent art experiments. These “sketches” were beautifully layered compositions of patterned fabrics quilted into a blanket of seeds. Looking forward to what these “sketches” will sprout into! Helen’s husband and Anna Bowers, another WCA member, also joined us for the delicious dinner of grilled chicken and asparagus, fresh guacamole, pasta salad, and a dessert of cake topped with strawberries and cream. Yum!
Thank you to the Indiana chapter for hosting us for this day of art and community!
Getting your art submissions in early vs sending in your submissions just before the deadline--
I have had conversations with a number of fellow WCA-MI members recently about various opportunities to show work at art fairs, online galleries or “vanity” galleries which are paid for by fees levied from artists. There are many, and seem to be more all the time, both physical and virtual. The best advice I’ve come across was in an article on http://www.artbusiness.com which you can read by googling http://www.artbusiness.com/artist-pay-to-play-list.html .
Gabrielle Pescador became an artist on the Day of the Dead. A linguist by training, the installation for the Day of the Dead that she created in collaboration with the her husband Juan Javier Pescador for Michigan State University Museum sparked her interest in a new career. Since their debut in 2007, these multifaceted altars have been shown annually and have also been exhibited in 2009 and 2010 at the National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago).
Pescador had some early success with her paintings, sculptures and installations, but felt the need for a more complete grounding in art history and contemporary art practices. She chose the 1-year post-graduate program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago because she wanted “the experience of immersing myself in an art community and engaging in critical discourse”. This was her first art school experience.
In what may be an understatement, Pescador says she has found it “stimulating…so much going on, so many different artists working in so many different ways.” And although she has found the intensity and pace of the program challenging at times, Pescador loved being connected to the Art Institute of Chicago and engaging with the Chicago art community. Her exposure to new ideas and ways of working has led her to become more productive as an artist.
She is currently working on a documentary with her husband Javier on the transgender community in Windsor, Ontario, collaborating on a book about shoe design with Prof. James Sommerfeldt of SAIC and planning on returning to school in the fall, this time as an MFA candidate in fiber at Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Michigan chapter members Brenda Oelbaum and Amanda Moyer and WCA supporter Jeremy Hansen traveled to West Lafayette, Indiana to stay with Gabriela Sincich. Sincich is a WCA member at large with a passion for representing nature in her work. Oelbaum and Sincich connected a few months ago over a performance idea Oelbaum submitted to (corpo)realities, the 2nd Annual Graduate Symposium on Theatre and Performance Studies at Indiana University. Upon acceptance into the event, Oelbaum asked Sincich to participate in her performance Corporal Punishment II.
The Symposium weekend has arrived, so we joined Sincich at her home for the evening in order to prepare for the performance and to connect with yet another talented female artist. We were greeted by a home filled with smells of delicious Mediterranean food and walls covered in beautiful art created by Sincich.
Sincich shared her beautiful paintings and drawings with us and a peak inside her process as she guided us through her studio and home. She even shared the exciting news that a gallery in Chicago has agreed to represent her work. Congratulations Gabriela!
Today we will rehearse for the performance and continue to connect to Sincich before we travel the two hours to Bloomington, Indiana. Check back for more posts on the Performance Symposium and the art scene in Indiana as we explore the town this afternoon.
To see more of Gabrielle Sincich’s work visit her website: http://gsincich.com/
Brenda Oelbaum and Amanda Moyer attended the opening of the Women’s Show at CAID this past week. It was the triple treat: art, music, and poetry. The evening began with an inspiring panel discussion with four confident women artists from Detroit. Next dynamic female poets took the spotlight and wowed the audience with their passionate, artistic rhetoric. The evening rounded out with food, music and time to browse two floors of women’s art. If you did not get to the opening this year, look out for the third annual Women’s show next year. Their call for art should come out sometime in January.
Michigan WCA’s own Brenda Oelbaum will be introducing this Lynn Hershman Leeson Film W.A.R. Women Art Revolution. This viewing will be hosted by the Ann Arbor Women Artists Group in collaboration with the Michigan Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art. Come out and celebrate women’s history month by bringing your friends to view this film which details the major developments of women’s art through the 1970′s with first hand footage by Lynn Hershman Leeson.