Sunday, April 29, 2012

Creating Timelines with Children

Twin sisters with their timelines
I was asked to hold a small workshop with children last Friday evening. The children had their own art show at the 78th street studio space. My little workshop was an art-related activity to take place during their own opening reception. 

It was held in the Cleveland West Art League gallery space where I created my installation for the 6 in Studio Show. Children from 8 local grade schools had their own art show in a larger space outside the walls of the small gallery I was in.

Most of my work, if not all, is associated with the idea of mapping my place in the world. I was asked to develop a workshop for school children where they would create a small artwork relating to my own artwork.

Thus, was born, Who Are You? I provided strips of colored paper and asked the children to write/draw a few significant life-events about themselves. In turn, I sewed the strips together. The workshop had to be something these kids could do within 10 minutes...the room was crowded!

Children and Parents reading the sign I made to have them make a timeline of their lives.
My hands sewing the strips of paper timeline pieces together for the kids
We set my sewing machine up on a table in the studio space and I spoke to each child as I sewed their timelines together. It was grand!

What I learned was that making timelines with kids gave me the chance to look into the eyes of each child, engage them with conversation about  themselves, and thanked each one for sharing bits of their life with me.

I feel, think, believe, that Adults are entrusted with empowering children. Not having any of my own, I take care to be the voice of encouragement to children when the opportunity strikes. 

This was one of those times.

Proud boy in front of me as I began to sew his pieces of timeline together
Here a few pieces of artwork in the Children's Art Show. I enjoyed viewing all the work and speaking to many children.
Artwork I purchased from the Children's art show. This student is is 5th grade.

Isn't' this paper mache sculpture terrific? A red boxer

Clay work

Fish bowl painting

I want this lovely piece of wire-work. I wish it had been for sale.
Simple and charming.

I would do this again. Wouldn't you?
Next time, I'd like to have an hour with one class. Discuss timelines, mapping, and expand their view about who they, themselves are. 
Then make timelines in different forms...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Landfill ground-swell

If you take a walk in Wendy Park on a nice spring day
And look around towards the salt mines and the city skyline and at Lake Erie...

You may just find bits and pieces of Cleveland's past, given up by the ground as the earth warms in the spring...

Wendy Park in Cleveland is about 2 miles from my house  on a plot of land at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River called  Whiskey Island. The land is raised up a bit because the city of Cleveland filled the land with refuse in order to create a straighter, man-made mouth of the river in 1827. Originally, the land was inhabited by American Indians, then by a farmer who also had a whiskey distillery, and later  inhabited by Irish-Americans who helped to dig the Ohio andErie Canal

If you ever visit Cleveland...perhaps for a workshop? You'll want to find this lost gem.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

6 in Studio Show

Flow, C. Mauersberger, 2012

I posted about a show I was invited to participate in here called 6 in Studio.
Six artists were selected to create artwork in the gallery space of the Cleveland West Art League as a great experiment for a month to work on whatever artistic endeavor we wanted. 

I am pleased at the resulting works and I was more then thrilled to have this opportunity to experiment with my work on a large scale.

ARTISTS:Michelle Murphy
Christine Mauersberger
Grace Summanen
Meredith Hahn
Kelsey Leib
Laila Voss
PROJECT Juror: Dana Depew

I've posted quite a few images. 

Flow, side view
Metal rod and round screw used as hanging apparatus for my piece
Rubylith as I was cutting the material to sew it

Looking through Flow at Laila Voss's installation
Studio as it looked during the last "work-day"

Laila Voss

looking back at my piece through Laila's hanging roots

Laila's roots extend towards the windows.
Then you can see Dana Depew's bird housed out doors
Dana Depew
Dana served as juror for the 6 in Studio

Michelle Marie Murphey
Photo taken on one of our "work" days in studio.
I was up on the ladder, looking down at Michelle
as she tweaked images on her computer.
Grace Summanen

One of the 4 pieces made by Grace Summanen
Kelsey Leib

Looking through my piece at Kelsey's work.

Meredith Hahn
Picture above is of Meredith Hahn working on last day in studio.

Meredith Hahn, Grace Summanen, Kelsey Leib, Michelle Marie Murphy, Laila Voss, and Christine Mauersberger (not in photo) but my work is.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's nice to read when you have a will to read (UPDATE)

Katheryn Norris  is a gem of a woman. I am proud to know her. 

When she was not quite the age of 5 and I might have been on the edge of turning 30, I recall reading a story to her as we sat on the back outdoorstairs of my childhood home which was also her grandparents house. Kate said, "It's nice to read when you have a will to read!"

I recorded those words in my journal on that day. 

I can hardly contain my excitement for my niece, Katheryn Norris who has just signed with a literary agent from Andrea Brown Agency, Inc.

I wrote a little piece about Kate here last year.

As an artist myself, and as you dear reader, do understand the grand event this is for Kate.

She is on the cusp of change, having quit her job last fall the day before she had to take the exam to apply for graduate school. (Her former employer was not willing to allow her to take the day off for her to take the GRE test!)
She has since been employed as a baker. A low-paying job that no doubt barely meets ends.

In the past week, she received a scholarship to graduate school and she signed with a literary agent! Not just any agent, but the agent of her dreams. This fall, she'll be teaching English composition to Freshman students at Ohio State University, taking graduate classes, and quite possibly writing her novels in the dead of the night. I will miss seeing her and sharing a meal or a drink or 2...but oh my, what reading pleasure she'll bring to my eyes and to yours.

Please if you will,  peruse her site and post  your well wishes for success. 


Kate received news today, 4/24/12, that she is one of 50 semifinalists in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Contest! Here's what Kate posted on her FB page today. WooT!

My first novel My Chutney Travelogue is one of 50 semifinalists in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Contest! Read the Publishers Weekly staff review of my novel on my blog:, and you can read an excerpt of MCT and share a review here:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Textiles in a Tube: Entry Deadline May 4, 2012

Textiles in a Tube has returned for it's second exhibit! Anyone may enter nationally and internationally.

Photo via Terry Jarrard-Dimond

Yes, that's you!

The progenitor of this innovative exhibit, Terry Jarrard-Dimond,  has all the details on her blog HERE

You still have time, today is April 13th. 

What can you make and send your entry  form (with image) by postmark, May 4th, 2012?

 You've got 20 days give or take a few.

I encourage you to release, relax, and let the ideas flow. What will you create to fit into  a 3 inch x 36 inch(7.63 cm x 91.44 cm) mailing tube and enter the show?

I'd love to know whether you do enter. I've got to get my grove on and make something now.

That's after I complete this piece.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Studio Work: Wall Drawing Part 3

For some of you, today day you will be with family and share a meal. I was in the studio at 78th Street Studios in Cleveland. Feeling refreshed and ready to resume my installation, I spent a few hours there today.

I installed 2 horizontal rods near the ceiling and have started to hang the strips of sewn red transparency film in front of my wall drawing.

I will continue to draw the red lines on the wall by adding more to the bottom section of the drawing.

Cleveland Artist, Laila Voss, suspend tree roots from the ceiling.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hello Spring, My Mother has Regained Health

Dear readers,
Thank you for your kind words of support and shared stories of your own experiences with your aging parents and family members. 

I feel the warmth and love put forth towards me from around the world. 

She has recovered from the depths of illness and is moving about.

She wonders aloud what happened to her?

We (her family) are dazed in amazement at her stamina and will to live. It is a strange experience, to see her near death, just like my father. He didn't pull back. She did. What a woman! We where giving her morphine, the Priest was called for the Last Rites...

Lessons learned:

The passion for food and family is enough to bring the dearly departed back from the brink of death. I am not sure that is what brought my mother back. But it makes me chuckle to think that perhaps it did. 

She does like to eat...all 100# of her.
This entire life-event reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite 1987 movies, "Moonstruck"
“Johnny: There’s been a miracle.
Rose: A miracle. Well, that’s news.
Johnny: My mother’s recovered.
Rose: You’re kidding.
Johnny: Oh, no. The breath had almost totally left her body. She was as white as snow. And then, she completely pulled back from death. And stood up. And put on her clothes. And began to cook for everyone in the house—the mourners, and me, and herself—she ate a meal that could choke a pig.
Rose: That’s incredible.”