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.

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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.

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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.

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OnLoaded boxes activate at sunset on Friday night.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

my notes – working title

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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.
Cella.
(like my studio, like the exhibition space)

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

mapping a cell (using the city of Phoenix)2