Art behind the Art

Looks like art, huh?

What a lot of people don’t realize is there’s “art” behind the art. The art of making things work, the art of presenting, the art of bringing things to completion.

These are just a couple of photos from last week’s take-down of the Vital Threads show at Stephens College in the Davis Art Gallery. Annie Helmericks-Louder’s  husband John Louder is removing Annie’s butterfly from the wall. He’s especially motivated because he’s going to install his landscape paintings for the next upcoming show.

The wood piece is actually the hanging hardware for Annie’s huge art quilt, but you’d never have seen this elegant structure during the exhibition. It’s completely hidden behind Annie’s big butterfly that is composed of all sorts of fabrics, threads, and other embellishments. You can get a better sense of the texture of Annie’s work if you go to her website to see the nice close up photos she has on her welcome page.

One of the nice things about exhibiting with other artists, you get a chance to see how they pack, transport, and install their work. I’ve learned so much from watching other artists – both at shows I’ve been involved with and with my husband’s sculpture and gallery work. Plus, it’s just darn fun.

Annie’s system is pretty amazing. The wooden frame has small hooks screwed into it, and the hooks all match hand-crocheted rings sewn onto the back of the quilt. At first I thought she had crocheted thread around rings, but she said no, they are completely made of the yarn or thread so they are more flexible than metal would be.

For more photos of the exhibition, go to the Vital Threads photo gallery on my website. I’ve finally gotten my website converted to WordPress, something I’ve been trying to do for what seems like a year. I don’t have all my quilts there yet, but some of the more recent work.

Now after going to see Annie’s website, it makes me think mine needs a lot more work. Thanks for the inspiration Annie!

Inspiration at Christine’s Studio

Last weekend we helped out long-time friend Christine Kreamer-Schilling at her studio Mosaica during C-Street Steampunk Loftwalk. Christine has been a working artist for years, doing public art projects, teaching workshops for kids, collaborating with other artists, and making and selling her sculpture and art furniture.

Since she works often with recycled materials, her studio is stuffed to the brim with shelves and tubs full of potential art-making supplies. She has an old building on Commercial Street that she’s slowly turned from a junker to a gem, and everywhere you there are interesting surprises.

I loved the look of these giant letters spelling out “more” down the steps, but wondered what it meant — until I turned around and saw the second part of the installation on the wall behind. JOY.

That pretty much sums up Christine.

In recent years, she’s made several trips out to Burning Man, and that’s brought a lot of new energy into her art. She’s the first one who introduced me to steampunk, and her idea to add a steampunk theme to the C-Street Loftwalk was an inspiration. The mix of Victorian and industrial-tech is a great fit with the electic nature of historic Commercial Street that is being revitalized by artists and art.

Here’s Christine moving a mannequin outside to advertise her open studio at the loftwalk – love the stripy tights and the colorful trim on her building.

The event at her studio was to get the community and other artists involved in a charrette to develop ideas for a steampunk fence she’s planning to build at the entrance of her sculpture lot — you can just barely see the entrance to that lot in the back of the photo.

Here’s an interview with Christine on KY3 and also on the Springfield Public Art blog — a Steampunk loftwalk and design charrette photo gallery.

Vital Threads exhibition at Stephens College

Over the weekend, Russ and I made a quick jaunt up to Columbia, MO to help install a two-person show at the Davis Gallery at Stephens College. The show called Vital Threads features my work and the work of Annie Helmericks-Louder, another Missouri artist who does art quilts, silk paintings, and fabulous plein aire pastels. Check out her website and roadtrip blog.

It was fun to meet Annie for the first time, and her husband who is also a painter and artist. Dan Scott the gallery director also brought his family, so between all of us, it was pretty quick work to get everything looking good for the reception coming up this Friday.

The Davis Gallery is a sort of retro 60’s space with floating stairs, waffle ceiling, cool chairs and a charming sculpture patio just outside.

The reception will be this Friday, August 27 from 4-6 p.m., so if you’re in the area, please stop by!

Vital Threads
August 27-October 14, 2010
opening reception: Friday, August 27, 4-6 p.m.
Stephens College – Davis Art Gallery
Corner of Walnut & Ripley
Columbia, MO 65215

Vital Threads exhibition at Stephens College

International TECHstyle Art Biennial (ITAB)

I’m pleased that two of my quilts will be shown soon at the International TECHstyle Art Biennial (ITAB) at the San Jose Quilts & Textiles Museum. Skating on Thin Ice will be there, and also my newest work, Tokyo – Wish You Were Hair.

layered cotton fabrics stitched with thread, 65"x50" by Pam RuBert

ITAB is a juried exhibition of work by artists exploring the intersection of fiber art with new information and communication technologies, to be held in conjunction with San Jose’s biennial ZERO1 Festival, the 2010 01 SJ Biennial, which runs from September 16-19, 2010. The exhibition includes 41 works by 28 artists from six countries—including Canada, China, Germany, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. For more information and some images from the upcoming show, check out the museum website article.

San Jose Quilts & Textiles Museum, San Jose, CA
August 17 – October 31, 2010
Opening reception is Sunday, August 22, 2-4pm