3D printing – artists (and arts education) are on it


my 3D self with my 2D mitochondria

A year ago:
I listen to an interview about bio-medical engineering and the printing of body parts. The program discusses the successful printing of ligaments and nerves while noting hollow organs (with volume or space), like a bladder, present particular challenges.

What is three-dimensional  printing? How do they do it? Can I print out a two-dimensional  art work and turn it into a three-dimensional object? I want to understand.


what we see as we enter a student area

Fast forward to last month’s Art Detour:
We come across Andrew, a grad student at ASU’s Grant Street Studios,  who  facilitates  a scanning workshop for the weekend. Before I know it, I find myself standing on a hand-made spinner  (think turntable or lazy susan). I am directed to hold still (for I can’t recall how many full revolutions) while Andrew explains the process to me. This is his make shift area.

Oh! The printing derives from full circle photography! I understand!


Photo process begins.




Photograph process as it appears on the screen.


Andrew explains process.



Andrew photographs the subject (an object), in this case me, in circular pattern, top to bottom.  He collects a file of digital images and directs them through a receiver to build the print.  He re-shoots my feet, he wants to get them right. He explains he wants my printed self to stand firmly and evenly and not tip over. Funny, I want my real self to do the same.


The printing occurs in a form of additive manufacturing (AM) – depositing layers of plastic or resin until the three-dimensional object (a form) is complete. I learn this printer is a type of industrial robot.


An image is being printed from an earlier run that morning. It takes time for the completion of prints.

When I receive my printed portrait (a few weeks later) I ask Andrew if this is the same process they are doing in the medical field with the printing of body parts. My sense is this material is too stiff.
He responds:

This sort of 3D printing is being done in the medical field in town! Dr. Ryan, a recent PhD graduate from ASU, has used this same technology to assist in surgical preparation. Here is one of several articles on it: → Cardiac 3D Print Lab This project in particular is being used for educational purposes. But there are other types of 3D printers that can print in more flexible and organic material. And there is research being done on bio-printing, allowing actual living organs to be printed with real human tissue, but this is still young.

 A changing world indeed. And artists and the arts are moving right along side with it!


my printed self in the nucleus of the cell

Next month I will participate in an exhibition titled STEAM  – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math. The exhibition at the Tempe Center for the Arts will showcase artists who work within some of these parameters. I will connect to the Science with my anatomy work.

Andrew Noble will be giving a 3D printing demo on July 16 from Noon-2pm. Andrew and Dan Collins will have a 3D body scanner in the exhibition from ASU’s PRISM lab.

the self portrait

In a portrait, you have room to have a point of view and to be conceptual with a picture. The image may not be literally what’s going on, but it’s representative. – Annie Leibovitz


In general, this group does not talk very much. But their self-portraits communicate plenty. That’s all I’m saying about this post…


Inner Vision by Gwynn


Neomi’s Self Portrait


The Best Time of the Day by Deja


Self Portrait by Andres


Self Portrait by Jennifer


I Hate Self Portraits by Monica


The Younger Son by Matt


Memory by Fabiola


Self Portrait by Dustin


Una Mujer, Una Nina by Yari



Portrait by Ehthlei


by Gabriela


Through My Eyes, Portrait #2 by Gabriela


Connection by Bravilio


Self Portrait by Nati


Escape by Jessica



phoenix first friday – comings and goings

Someone suggests I film visitors walking through my container. I don’t do it, but I do take photos of groups moving through Cella on First Friday night. I have to say again, I particularly enjoy watching people move through the space. I have a habit of seeing everything as a learning experience and this does become (for me) a social study of sorts.

We are certainly conditioned to move through space. Someone reminds me of a high-school hallway where one keeps to the right. Yes we do, I remember. Even in the chaos of the crowded and busy evening, the majority of people line up, enter on the right side and exit to the left. But there are always those that don’t – follow the path. And even though this is my space, and I want order, I secretly cheer those people on. Rebels too, have a place in society.

There is much about this experience I take with me. Like that I find it difficult to see people come so very close to my work.  I recall every museum I have ever visited and a security guard who asks me to step back. The work invites people to look closely. And people are for the most part, respectful. I have to and do locate a comfortable balance within myself.

I listen to conversations – thoughtful and amusing. You know – people respond to the body (parts) in interesting ways. They do respond.


I grew up in El Paso, a Texas border town, so I’ve always been interested in physical and symbolic transition  and change of space. The phICA (Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art) containers are situated in downtown Phoenix which now is in full reconstruction – noisy and chaotic. For me, creating (a) Cella became the creating of a fine and private place. Of course the agreement is to invite in the public, after setting up, I really didn’t want to – invite anyone in. I like things my way and I enjoy solitude. It works itself out. I learn more about environments and thresholds and change of space and how those things affect ones mental focus and energy. I learn about order and chaos, my space, your space and our  public space – letting things go and bringing them all back in…over and over again.

People. Change.


no woman is an island

The Onloaded Project I call Cella, opened (last) Friday night in the phICA containers on Roosevelt Row. The brightly lit boxes and the steady stream of visitors make the night memorable.


OnLoaded boxes activate at sunset on Friday night.


Last visitors as we prepare to close.

The evening is followed by the annual Phoenix Art Detour beginning Saturday morning and going through Sunday. Again, I enjoy steady visitors. I love watching how people move through the space and interact with the work. I manage a few sales.


Richard Ross, whom I meet exactly one year ago when the Contemporary Forum visits my studio, drops in. I enjoy reconnecting. We talk art, materials and hanging systems. Interested in several works he decides on a flashcard painting – the Pancreas. These are small, two-sided (two views), 6 x 4″ studies that hang in line, together. He likes that it’s somewhat abstract and resembles something that might live underwater, a sea creature perhaps. Some of the glands in the set have that quality, yes I agree.

Thank you Richard!


The Pancreas (part of the endocrine system), anterior and posterior view, mixed media, 4 x 6″

Will and Louise Bruder come into the container, while I chat with Richard. They too decide on a flashcard work – the eyeball – but not before Mr. Bruder congratulates me for representing Phoenix in the State of the Art exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum. They’d been to the ASU Art Museum the day before and note my work in the project room. I remind him we met years ago at a Burton Barr Central Library celebration.

He explains where and how he wants to hang the small work. He will enjoy it while drinking his morning coffee, he says, near an east facing window that allows in morning light. He’s pleased by the idea of seeing an eyeball – so appropriate, he says. He wants to know about the materials. Casein, I tell him, the Egyptians used it. The medium passes the test of time. That works for him.


Before the weekend is over Ted Decker picks a flashcard out too. The bladder and prostate gland get his attention. I also call the image The Minister of the Reservoir and the Water Gate. I explain I also see the small drawing as a milagros (votive offerings). He nods with appreciation.

bladder and prostate

The Minister of the Resevoir and the Water Gate, Front and Back view of bladder and prostate gland, 6 x 4″

It seems to me that having a Cella, a room of one’s own, to settle and reconnect to the self – feels appealing more now than ever.

Thank you Richard, Will, Louise and Ted.
And thank you to phICA for the invitation to exhibit – a unique experience, for sure!

The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.

install / cella


Invited to show my work with Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art, it’s the alternative art space that pulls at my attention. I want the challenge.  I spend yesterday installing drawings in the repurposed shipping container.  The long, narrow area has forced me to think and work differently. I realize quickly my original plan is not going to work.

A few curious passerby’s wander in. One woman, from Canada, tells me she’s read about Roosevelt Row and when planning her visit to Phoenix, puts it on her list of places to see.  I ask if they can walk though the space so I can see how they move in it. They are more than excited to comply. They do what I am hoping they will do, plan B works. Are you in Science, she asks. That’s the perfect question. I also meet a group of college students from Boston. They come close to ask questions and take photos.

I title the show Cella and after being in there all day, the name is right. It most definitely is like a small chamber, it is  in fact a rectangular room, simple and windowless, with an open entrance set to the front. Lets see how it will do with a crowd of visitors…I can only guess.

I walk away thinking the room appears like a sterile environment, suitable for anatomy study.


Handout and artist statement:

Layout 1

Exhibition runs:
March 18, 2016, Third Friday, 6 – 10
April 1, 2016, First Friday, 6 – 10
Art Detour, March 19 and 20, Saturday and Sunday
Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix (between eye lounge and Modified in downtown Phoenix)

my notes – working title


Cell – comes from cella, meaning small room.

Cella – Latin for Small Chamber.
Cella – Inner chamber of a temple (in classical architecture).
Cella – a simple, windowless, rectangular room with a door or open entrance at the front (behind a colonnaded portico façade).

Egypt – Cella is that which is hidden and unknown inside the inner sanctum of a temple. Exists in complete darkness, meant to symbolize the state of the universe before the act of creation.
Christian churches – cella is an area the center of the church reserved for performing the liturgy.

A small chapel or a hermit’s or monk’s cell.

The cell is the basic unit of life. Discovered by Robert Hooke in 1665, he thought the biological unit resembled cells inhabited by Christian monks in a monastery.

A Cell.
(like my studio, like the exhibition space)


….writing notes and working out exhibition title…
almost there.

mapping a cell (using the city of Phoenix)2


Hover: Hummingbirds in the United States


Over the holidays I buy an iBook (download) called Hover: Hummingbirds in the United States. Yesterday I take the opportunity to hear how the book came to be.  I appreciate knowing  creative process – always different but somehow always the same. Idea appears, problems arrive, commitment leading to creative solution takes hold, and results  (not always clear) show up.

This book has its own unique story. It is designed for children but you can trust me when I tell you adults will enjoy it. The interactive book includes pictures, text, soundbites and video. For me, the best parts of the book are the comparison of  both the real-time and slow motion video. Observing hummingbirds captured in slow motion is a true joy, to say the least.

Naturalist Maria Mahar and photographer Thomas Strich drop in to talk Carolyn’s (Lavender) morning drawing class.  Her students meet before my afternoon class and Carolyn invites me to come in early to catch the presentation. I  enjoy it so much, I ask if they can stay and share their creative process with my group.

Maria opens the slide presentation ↓ telling about a hummingbird’s nest that appears in front of her son’s bedroom window. He loves it and they enjoy watching it. One thing leads to another, involved are research, camera, video equipment, outlines, sketches, travel and several years of work and lots of patience. She explains her vision begins one way with wanting to capture the glamour of the hummingbird. And then she explains, video allows her to catch the birds in a more true light, picking up footage she did not expect to see. The birds are beautiful and have many qualities.

I recall Tom first telling me about their project. He calls it a labor of love for Maria. And after hearing her speak, I know this to be true.


The presentation starts ; Through the Window 

Maria shows an example ↓ of how she set up chapters – that include both text and image.


A photo ↓ of how Tom sets up cameras to capture photographs and video. IMG_8587

I hope my students grasp Maria and Tom never really know how things are going to play out. Maria does explain this to them. She meets many challenges along the way and together with Tom, they arrive at solutions. I point out to my students on a regular basis about the investing of time and care into their work – this kind of process can lead to fine and creative results. This afternoon presentation is an example of that.

For more info visit → Hover: Hummingbirds in the United States
Here is a sample of video you’ll find on the website and in the iBook.