Saturday, September 24, 2011

Introducing "The Clothesline Project"

Sometimes during the autumnal equinox I feel lost. There's a nagging desire to look back and a tinge of a wanting to return to campus partnered with the visual remarker of time melting away faster than ice in a Florida cooler.  Thus, in the midst of a busy schedule of art shows and helping my parents move, I decided to apply for a 4-week artist residency. This would offer a way to hibernate within my art as the seasons changed and give me permission to "drop off the grid" to focus on my art instead of wandering through more memories than a September can hold.

I proposed to work on a concept I've been toying with since last Spring. I was struggling to finish a landscape painting and thought it needed "something figurative" and considered and began sketching clothing blowing on a clothesline as a way to represent the human image/icon that is a fundamental part of our local geography and local history. It is also having its own rebirth with the green movement and while I didn't end up using the idea at that time it stayed with me. Soon I was driving in and around rural routes of New York state in search for these elusive clotheslines and especially ones with actual cloths on them. And after a few dozen shots I new I was on to something...

And I guess the folks at Community Arts of Elmira agreed as I was awarded one of their new visual artist residency slots! 
The Community Arts of Elmira was an idea born by a small group of dedicated creatives in the summer of 2005 and fiscally supported by the Cornell Cooperative Extension until 2007 when it came into it's own 501(c)(3) and swiftly found a benefactor who purchased and donated the 1840's Langdon-Pratt mansion to be her permanent home. It was in need of much repair and over the past four years more volunteers arrived, spending their weekends manically bringing the old building back to life while offering art, poetry and other events, performances and classes to the community. 

What an honor it will be to spend the next four weeks within these walls. I will dive into the Clothesline Project first somewhat literally and give it time to breath and take on its own life and see where it leads me. I plan to explore new techniques and experiment not only with oils, but also printmaking, collage and sculpture. Please feel free to stop by to say hello, bring along some hot coffee and check in on my progress. I will also resurface online from time to time and post a few updates and let you know when the two required presentations will be in October. I feel both blessed and motivated to...brush on!  Yours in the creative life.