My friend, fellow preschool mom, and freelance writer Samantha Gratton proposed writing a feature on me for local Walter magazine. Walter magazine does a great job of featuring local artists in the triangle area. The story talks about my evolution from architecture to art and the ways I have explored as an artist, through personal ups and downs. You can find complimentary issues around town in Walter out-in-the-wild racks or you can read the article online at waltermagazine.com (with more images!).
Since Jack was born I've had a few pieces in group shows here and there, but it has been two years since my solo show at Wally Workman Gallery. That's why I am excited to be showing my new body of work from Labor Intensive at The Block Gallery in Raleigh this summer, May 2 - August 24, 2018. I'll be showing new paintings on panel and paper as part of Playscape with two other local artists. It has also been a while since my work was last displayed at Block Gallery, at Unraveled featuring works from the Amusement series in 2014.
In this new body of work I am primarily painting on Ampersand Aquabord, using layers of high fluid acrylics (+ water) to create rich colored backgrounds for my suspended fabric compositions. This series is very personal for me, giving form to the emotions of pregnancy, labor, and motherhood through knots and twists in the fabric and the expression and interaction of color. I am playing with new three-dimensional forms and with the layering of paint to create patterns inspired by quilting blocks (and my laundry). May is just around the corner so I better get back to work!
My two paintings, The Waiting (40 Weeks) and The Waiting (42 Weeks), were selected for Wally Workman Gallery's group show "Light" on view December 2-23, 2017. The show highlights new works from over 30 of the gallery's artists with their interpretation of the theme "light."
For a virtual tour head to Wally Workman Gallery.com
Read the Austin Chronicle review of the show.
Two of my paintings from the Hunting for Mysteries series have found a home at UVA Hospital in Virginia thanks to Page Bond Gallery. These works will be added to the collection that also includes Magical Mystery Machine (2013) and Jigsaw Falling into Place (2015). I hope my artwork can bring a little joy to those dealing with illness and trapped in a hospital.
My new painting The Waiting (42 Weeks) was selected for the Artspace 30th Anniversary Retrospective exhibition, celebrating 30 years of Artspace artist members' work. Annah Lee, Artspace Director of Artistic Programs, and Lia Newman, Director and Curator of the Van Every/Smith Galleries, juried the show. The show is up in Gallery 2 from April 21 - June 3, 2017. The celebration continues throughout the building with more non-juried 12"x12" works by Artspace members. Congratulations to Artspace on 30 years!
I was selected to be one of six artists participating in the 2017 Artspace CSA. What is an art CSA? An art CSA ("Community Supported Art") is a model of art support and distribution that encourages artists to create new work and establishes relationships with local collectors and patrons. Shareholders purchase an affordable share and receive SIX original works of art from six local artists. The other five artists to be included in the 2017 Artspace CSA are Tedd Anderson, Alexandra Bravar, King Godwin, Liz Kelly, and Sarah West. Shares of the CSA go on sale December 2, 2016. Pickup of the shares begins February 9, 2017, where the six unique works are revealed. Learn more and purchase one here: artspacenc.org.
Find out more about me and my CSA creation on the CSA Artist Spotlight.
I'm excited to announce: my first solo show at Wally Workman Gallery opens next month in Austin! I will be traveling to Austin to deliver the work and will be present for the preview party on Thursday, March 3 and the opening reception on Saturday, March 5. There is an artist talk on Thursday night, so please come to hear about this new body of work.
I have been in hibernation since September working through this new work, inspired by a wonderful two-week adventure in Iceland last year. I started by spending the month of October digging up ideas during an artist residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, NY (near the home of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay). With four walls of space and complete isolation, I delved into a magical land of icebergs, northern lights, and geothermal forces.
Inspirations for Hunting for Mysteries include cranes, sea vessels, turfhouses, and lighthouses with the addition of natural elements such as icebergs and rock formations. Iceland's strong natural forces of the earth and sea prompted me to go underneath the ground plane in my compositions, playing with underwater and sectioned landscapes.
Preview work from the show here.
In 2014 I received a Regional Artist Project Grant from the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County to create kinetic sculptures based on what I learned from my Mechanical Playthings workshop at Penland. This past spring I made two new kinetic sculptures that are now showing at the Working Wonders show at Gallery A in Raleigh.
The first is a pumpjack, as found bobbing up and down in the fields of Texas. This mechanical object creates motion by converting rotary motion to vertical reciprocating motion and is called a "walking beam" in engineering. In my sculpture a handle turns two blue gears that connect to a red plywood beam, making it bob up and down. Hanging from the red beam is a golden yellow paper spiral that moves with the beam.
To create this sculpture I started by making a foam core mockup with gears generated from an online gear template. When this worked, I proceeded to cutting out the real parts from plywood and wood dowels using small saws. To stabilize the sculpture, I poured a Rockite base with wood connectors to screw to the tower and gear structure. For the paper spiral I assembled small sections of paper to build the spiral shape and connected it with delicate thread to the red beam.
The second new sculpture is a tipple, a structure used at a mine to dump and sort coal or rock. I referenced simple wooden tipple structures photographed by Bernd and Hilla Becher to draw my tipple on paper at full-size. I then used this drawing to build my three-dimensional tipple structure, complete with ramp track and chute. Now, I had to figure out how this thing would dump its contents. I built a foam core cart and through trial and error, created a platform with a lever to tip the cart and send the blocks down into the basin. I again made a Rockite base with a cast basin for catching the colorful blocks in the cart.
These kinetic sculptures are on display at Gallery A from July until September 30. Visitors to the gallery and office are welcome to play with them! Come by on Thursday, July 30 6:30-8:30 for the opening reception and we can play together!
Capture the Flag, Playing Catch, and Field Day, drawings from the Work/Play series, have all been shipped successfully to Wally Workman Gallery in Austin, TX. If in the Austin area, please make a trip to see them! Field Day will be displayed for the Patrick Puckett show opening February 7 through the 28. Please feel free to ask Wally or Rachel to see any work not on display (there is more in the back...).
In August I traveled to Penland for the first time to attend a two-week workshop titled "Mechanical Playthings" taught by artist Gary Schott. Since I have started to make 3D and kinetic versions of my work, I wanted to learn more about moving mechanisms (pulleys, levers) so that I can make them myself.
The campus at Penland is breathtaking and I was fortunate to work in such a beautiful, peaceful location for two weeks. It was a vacation where you also worked very long days, giving me flashbacks of architecture school.
Gary gave us several small projects in the first week, giving us the opportunity to play, fail, and practice. Working in the metals studio, we worked in wood and metal rod, which was a learning curve for me. I learned how to use a jeweler's saw to (tediously) cut gears and learned how NOT to punch out a washer.
In the second week, we were given the freedom to pursue individual projects and finish lingering ones from the first week. Since I had an upcoming show at Greenhill, I started thinking about my two sculptures for the show. Inspired by the movement of construction elevators in downtown Raleigh, I wanted to make an object that moved up and down, possibly passing a second object. After trying to figure it out on my own, I discussed with Gary and we arrived at a rack and pinion system...with more gears! A rack and pinion system would provide a stop in the line of travel that I needed. During the rest of the week I built a prototype of the rack and pinion on a wood frame. At the end of the week, my rack ended up looking like a pop-up periscope. I came back to Raleigh and re-used my gears in a new tower structure, to create Peeper for the Following Threads show.
I have some new work up at the Following Threads show at Greenhill in Greensboro, NC with artists Leigh Suggs, Jason Watson, and Harriet Hoover. In the show I have works of paper, fabric, and thread from the Amusement, In Search of Lightness, and Industrial Fabric series. I have four new drawings and two sculptures that I am calling Work/Play, for their exploration of the relationship between structures of work and objects of play. Last year I was inspired by visiting the Zollverein coal mine in the Ruhr industrial region of Germany as well as the vintage German toy museums in Nuremberg and Munich. In the drawings I have used structures of work such as cranes and winding towers from mine shafts that are re-imagined as playful toys with addition of colorful flags and banners.
To hear more about this work come see my artist talk - Wed, Oct 29 5:30-7:00 (with Leigh Suggs).
In May I had a fun-filled trip with friends to New York City. Being close to summer, I wanted to make a trip out to Coney Island to see it in person after so much research of the iconic amusement parks. On Sunday afternoon Craig and I took a long subway ride out to make the afternoon tour given by the Coney Island History Project. It was a walking tour that showed us the few remaining charming historic parts of Coney Island amidst the loud annoying music and shiny new super thrill rides. Deno's Wonder Wheel, Spook-o-rama, the Cyclone, some of the kiddie rides, and a shooting game are a few vintage parts that remain. (Some parts have been destroyed by fire or closed and dismantled.) We took a ride on the Wonder Wheel, choosing a stationary car over the ones that swing back and forth. I loved the colors of the Wonder Wheel and all of the old hand-painted signage.
Saturday we took a day trip out to see Storm King, a sculpture park outside the city. The setting was beautiful and scale and the siting of the works was impressive. There were several Mark di Suvero massive sculptures with suspended parts that slightly hovered in the air. The Alexander Calder sculptures were my favorite; I love his whimsical forms and his color red.
I was also inspired by Fortunato Depero's work at the Guggenheim Italian Futurism show. I loved his forms and color palette, similar to the Wonder Wheel. Both were from the same time period, around 1920. The painting below reminds me of The Wizard of Oz, one of my favorite movies.
I am competing for prizes at the second-annual Artfields, a 10-day art competition where artists hang work inside the buildings of the small town of Lake City, South Carolina and compete for prizes. Artists enter one work and compete with 400 artists from the southern region. I was chosen to display my kinetic installation Escape Plan in the Downtown Bakery & Deli on Main Street.
This weekend my husband and I drove down to Lake City to install Escape Plan. It was raining, but Craig had built a quick OSB cover for the back of his truck and kept the tower painting panel dry. I had visited the bakery earlier this month to determine location and outlets, so hanging the panel and return wheel was straightforward. The next step was trickier - measuring new rope to fit the site, sewing on the 17 gondolas to the new spacing (with hard-to-cut kite string), then getting the rope to stay on the wheels and move around steadily at the right speed. I picked a fun location - running over the heads of people ordering their food. It is ready to go for the competition that runs April 25-May 4. If you are in SC, you can visit and vote on your favorite piece (wink, wink).
My works Thinking of You, Freak Flag, and Lantern from the In Search of Lightness series are featured in the 2014 Soul | Body Connection article, "How to Inspire." This body of work is a great match for Spirituality & Health magazine.
I now have two window displays up for spring, one in Chapel Hill, NC for the Downtown Windows of Chapel Hill project, and one at Nüvonivo children's boutique in Raleigh, NC.
For the Windows of Chapel Hill "Flower Box" installation, I used flatter flowers of paper and fabric that were machine sewn and layered with foamcore for depth. I made all of the flowers and leaves before installation day and then on site cut the blue backdrop paper and trellis sticks to size. Installing a window with wind gusts, the weather chill, and all kinds of people walking by was a new experience. The parking meter was going and I had to cut, pin, glue and get it up there quick.
For the Nüvonivo spring window, the Maloufs wanted to reuse their "snow globe" window decal, so I imagined a terrarium with tall paper grass and big paper flower vines growing up the back walls. I made these flowers more three-dimensional, out of layers of paper and foamcore. The monarch butterflies are made of yellow cardstock, hand-drawn black ink lines, polka-dot fabric, and black pipe cleaners.
My proposal was accepted for Windows on Chapel Hill, a pop-up art installation in empty storefronts of downtown Chapel Hill, NC. This is a spring window, so I will be using bright and colorful paper and fabric to create a variety of flowers growing on wood trellis structures, titled "Flower Box." My window will be in the Walgreen's display window at 108 E. Franklin St from February 25 - May 30.
Summer is here and just a few more months are left to prepare for my show at Artspace. I have the giant roller coaster complete as well as a few more rides. Here's a sneak peak of the construction. The big show is:
Thought Maps & Ladders
Ray Duffey and Becky Joye
Artspace Gallery 1
September 14 - November 9, 2013
I am designing an amusement park which will open in the fall of 2013 at Artspace. Within the park a group of islands called The Magic Place is under construction. At Designbox on March 1, I will have the islands open for a special viewing.
Venture to The Magic Place to find a group of islands with a kaleidoscopic playscape of twists and turns. Climb in to The Lookout for a secret view of the main land. Ascend The Tree Houses for a ride down the giant swirly slide. Sneak to another island through wandering chutes and underground tunnels. At The Magic Place, magic is waiting for you at every corner!
The Magic Place
Opening Friday, March 1, 6-10 pm
Continues through March 29