between earth and sky: contemporary art from the american southwest

Curator Peter Held contacts me in the Fall of 2014. He is organizing an exhibition that will travel to four Chinese colleges and universities in the Spring and Summer of 2015. The plan includes work from a dozen Southwest artists focusing on contemporary art from the region. He explains it will include works on paper only: photography, prints and drawings.

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We hope this exhibition will give the Chinese audience a sense of what the Southwest is: place, landscape, people and culture.  We would love to consider including 1-2 of your works that are smaller in scale.

I meet with Peter and based on our discussion I decide on animal studies. My main focus is human anatomy but I have an interest in anatomy in general. After a bit of thought, I come up with the idea to paint a creature to represent the states I’ve resided in. I’ve lived in the Southwest all my life. Born and raised in El Paso, Texas – I spend five years in Las Cruces, New Mexico before moving to Phoenix, AZ.  I plan to research each state and find an exotic creature, preferably one I’ve crossed paths with.

Each artist has 1-2 or 3 works, all in China now, in their second venue.

Peter sends a note saying the exhibit is well received. I was pleasantly surprised how engaged and interested the students were, he says, spending an hour or more to look at the art closely. It was a great opportunity to converse on a wide range of topics which the subject matter in the art provided.

Last week I receive the catalogue. In this post I share one work from each artist and include the front and back cover. I am so pleased to see the quality and variety of the artwork. All the artist live and work in the Southwestern United States and each one brings a unique sensibility to the exhibit.

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Alice Leora Briggs, The Listener falls to sleep, Woodcut

 

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Binh Danh, #2 Saguaro National Park, digital print of daguerreotype

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Claudio Dichocea, de Amore Prohibido y el Anarquista, el Emsee 2.0, photolithograph

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Jason Garcia, Tewa Tales of Suspense #4 Behold…Po’pay!, serigraph

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Mark Klett, Slight Track and Red Clouds, Copper Mountains, digital photograph from gelatin silver print

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Michael Lundgren, Parasitic Weight, archival pigment print

Carrie Marill, Nature-T:Monument Valley, gouache on paper

Carrie Marill, Nature-T:Monument Valley, gouache on paper

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Monica Aissa Martinez, Armadillo: Texas, mixed media on paper

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Leigh Merrill, Denizens, pigment print

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Matthew Moore, Rotations: Moore Estates-Sorghum (homes) Wheat (roads), 35 acres, digital photogra

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Rose Bean Simpson, Know Thyself, ink on paper

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Will Wilson, Edward S Curtis, The Northern American Indian, Norwood, MA, The Plimpton Press

Between Earth and Sky, Contemporary Art from the American Southwest will travel to 4 locations:

Sichuan University 四川大学
March 11, 2015 – March 31, 2015: Exhibit at Sichuan University

Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications 南京邮电大学
April 6, 2015 – April 26, 2015: Exhibit at Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications

University of Shanghai Science and Technology 上海理工大学
May 11, 2015 to May 29, 2015: Exhibit at USST

Xi’an International University 西安外事学院
June 8, 2015 – June 22 , 2015: Exhibit at Xi’an International University

between earth and sky catalogue

Cover: Mark Klett, Contemplating the View at Muley Point, Utah, digital photograph from gelatin silver print
Backcover: Michael Lundgren, New Form, archival pigment print

The exhibition is a partnership between ACCEX – American Centers for Cultural Exchange and Arizona State University Art Museum.

nosce te ipsum (know thyself)

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The area I complete this week is a long 45 x 7″ strip that sits across a lower part of my current composition. The study is of my father. I said earlier that he’s always had strong physical presence. I imply this by including details of basic tissue like muscle and adipose.

I want to include bone tissue. He broke few bones, the wrist in particular, while riding a motorcycle. I recall he cut the cast of himself. His wrist healed slightly crooked. I think he liked that. I drew bone tissue in my mothers image. I want to do something different – connective tissue feels right here instead.

There are 3 types of muscle tissue in the human body so I study and draw out each. And the adipose tissue I finished yesterday, is the first detail below.

IMG_7393Adipose tissue ↑, better known as body fat, located beneath the skin, around the organs, in the bone marrow and in breast tissue. The small composition includes the 2 types: white (WAT) and brown (BAT). Its main role is to store energy, it also cushion and insulates the body. I have a tendency to run cold, even here in Phoenix. I’ll think of my BAT next time I’m shivering.

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This second study ↑ is Cardiac Muscle, unique in that it relies on blood and electrical supply to deliver oxygen and nutrients and remove waste product. It is almost completely reliant on oxygen to function.

This next study below is of cartilage ↓.

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And the last image is smooth muscle tissue.

IMG_7391While researching I learn general information about muscles and connective tissues is relatively lacking in ancient and medieval anatomy. We don’t see any real study occur until the Renaissance.

Enter Leonardo, who combines observation of the living with dissections of the dead. And Versalius, who publishes a book titled On the Fabric of the Human Being. Valverde combines images of muscles with the adage Nosce te ipsum (Know thyself). Later on muscles are studied in connection to motion, not only in the body, but in the world. Descartes describes muscles and tendons as devices and springs which seem to set nerves in motion , giving the body machine like association. And I find Blavatsky’s words, that basically usher us into the 20th century – Man is a little world-a microcosm inside the great universe…in the matrix of the macrocosmos…He is in it as it is in him…

I teach college level drawing. Sometimes I think I’d like to teach anatomy class. I would have students draw out parts and relate them to systems, and then to themselves. It would not be a science class. I am not sure it would even be an art class. It would be a class for the lay person wanting to know themselves more fully.

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The task of the right eye is to peer into the telescope, while the left eye peers into the microscope.
– Leonora Carrington, Down Below


IMG_7383Yesterday I head downtown to meet with Liz, the Dorrance Planetarium Manager at the AZ Science Center. She is also the Executive Producer of ART360. 

Each First Friday, the Science Center hosts Adults Night Out which offers a variety of events to bring in the 18 year and older crowd (in other words – no children). They tie into the First Friday’s art scene with ART360 where they project an artists work with added effects, onto the planetarium dome. My work is scheduled to go up April 3rd. 

ART360s first showing is at 6 p.m. and the last show will be at 8:30 p.m. Video averages about 10 minutes, I’ll speak to the audience before and after. All guests check in at the ticket desk prior to entering the center and the show.  *Seating is first come – first served.

The evening includes roaming all four levels of the Center’s hands on science galleries ( I want to see all of them), a lecture “Gridiron Genomics: What happens when your brain takes a hit!” will be presented by Translational Genomics Research Institute [TGen] (I am interested in this). Mysteries of the Unseen World will be playing in the IMAX (Yes, I want to see this too) and Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro football Hall of Fame (my husband likes) will also be there. The latter 2 events include a fee, the rest is free.

Below are a few shots I was able to capture at yesterday’s meeting. Keep in mind things are moving. My viewing was not accompanied by sound, yours will be.

These first 4 images ↑↓ are a kaleidoscope layout of 2 large anatomy studies – one female and one male.  I recognize the parts including, large and small intestine, pelvic bone, and the bright blue lines are the lymphatic system. The last image ↓ below is an image of 2 figures, one in a handstand. It includes a feline.

In my eyes, microscopic meets macroscopic.  I take away the idea of creating an environment one day. I already am playing with an idea and this experience adds to that picture.

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My work is grounded in medical illustration but goes beyond that. Come and see human and animal anatomy move across the heavens.

I enjoy a quick walk through the human anatomy area and shoot these final photos of connecting subject matter.

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the heart

IMG_7380 … Science!

For info and directions visit the website → AZ Science Center

 

no woman is an island

verticalEarly in the week I receive notice from the gallery that someone is interested in my artwork. Last night I arrive for the 3rd Friday reception to see a red dot on the label indicating the painting sold. This is a nice surprise. Yes, Nicole says, the gentleman came to the gallery several times to see the work. He will take it when the show comes down next week. Congratulations!

I spoke to Judson this morning. He kindly thanked me for creating the art. My painting has a new home – Thank you, Judson.

 

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gallery photo by Nicole Royse

 

The show will hang one more week at Shade Gallery inside of the monOrchid.  The invitational group exhibition titled Feminism Today began its run for this years Art Detour.  It received a lot of press, including this video below  by Douglas Proce that highlights all the women involved.


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

It’s all Intimate is a casein on canvas study depicting both physical anatomy and the subtle energy between two people. The painting was made for another invitational exhibition titled Sex, A Woman’s Perspective that showed at Frontal Lobe last year.

Here is a video of the painting process.

studying structure and texture


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The assignment: to study and identify complex structure and complex texture, create a composition and balance the positive and negative space. The subject-matter for the majority of the student’s are shells. They can make other choices with homework.

IMG_7283I consider this assignment to be a turning point. The commitment is big and the work is intense.  Students must work slow and careful using a magnifying glass to see, and see more.

Take a look at some of the finished drawings.  Note the advanced students work on scratchboard.

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detail shot of one of Anne’s shells

 

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Julio’s shells.

 

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Ali’s dry leaf

 

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Trenary’s shell

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Cory’s shell’s.

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Terry’s hand and seed pod.

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Heather’s starfish shell.

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Hyeokwoo’s shells


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Andrea’s shell’s

Drawing 2 students use scratchboard and work off of photos. Clearly they have more freedom but the assignment requires steady patience.

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Charles’ bird on scratch board.

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Susan’s work on scratchboard

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Cassidy’s Cat

 

no woman is an island

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“Is that ant available for purchase?”
“Yes it is.”
“Awesome! I will take it.”

I tell Anthony I’ll miss the ant.  I haven’t lived with it long.

Anthony lives in Arkansas. Some time ago he emails and asks if I will consider making an ant. One day soon, it’s on the list, I reply. Why? Do you like ants? It’s his nickname. Of course it is!

That’s some determined insect you connect with Anthony. She’s on her way, your bug should arrive Phoenix to Fayetteville, any day now.

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Thanks again Anthony!


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

feminism today in shade gallery @ the monorchid

This weekend is Art Detour.

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Nicole Royse organized an exhibition titled Feminism Today. It holds to be a powerful exhibit of 13 women artists. And You’re invited!
The exhibition will be displayed in Shade Gallery at the monOrchid. Focusing on the loose theme “Feminism Today,” looking at the many roles woman play including artist, mother, wife, friend , etc. How do these topics affect, play a role, or reflect within artists work?


Artists:
Kristin Bauer
Christine Cassano
Cherie Buck Hutchinson
Mimi Jardine
Melissa Martinez
Monica Aissa Martinez
Lara Plecas
Mary Shindell
Constance McBride
Irma Sanchez
Beth Ames Swartz
Marilyn Szabo
Denise Yaghmourian

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My work in the background and Christine Cassano’s work in the foreground @ MonOrchid (Photo by Nicole Royse)

 

Feminism Today
Shade Gallery at the monOrchid from March 6th until March 29th, 2015.
Opens: First Friday, March 6th, 6-10pm
Closing: Third Friday, March 20th, 6-10pm.

Art Detour 27: Saturday, March 7th and Sunday, March 8th from 11am-4pm
more info → visit website