Thursday, October 8, 2015

Extracurricular photos from Gatlinburg

I am amazed by the juxtapositions I see in Gatlinburg. Just fascinating.
The entrance to Arrowmont. For those who don't know, Arrowmont is a school of arts and crafts where people can go for workshops of very high quality. It is a serious institution in a very strange tourist town.
This is my class work. Made from trash found on the Gatlinburg strip. 
Pumpkin spice liberation army. action against mindless consumerism. The T-shirt is the problem. Carol Lung. 
Sign outside the Salt and Pepper museum. They were closed when I got there. I hope to get inside today.
face in the pavement.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Critical crafting

I am at Arrowmont, in Gatlinburg Tennessee, for the preconference intensive workshops. My worksho Is with Ann Norton. Last night we warped our frame looms. Today we will walk the streets of Gatlinburg and look for weaveable garbage, and cast off ephemera. 

I shared a shuttle yesterday with Namita Gupta Wiggers. She is the former director of the craft mueseum in Portland Oregan, founder of Critical Craft Forum, and the juror for the show Materialities, here at Arrowmont. Look her up. Her name pops right up in a Google search. I got to spend a lot of time with her yesterday. She is warm, funny, and curious. I had the privilege of walking the show with her and hearing her insights about the pieces she chose. 
In some ways this week is shaping up to be like a return to art school crossed with summer camp. I am in a three person room with a shared bath down the hall. My roommate is very nice and considerate. It is pretty quiet, even though the driveway empties out on the main strip in Gatlinburg. Last night I heard the town referee to as "hillbilly Las Vegas". One of the things I could do this week would be to watch a lumberjack competition. And drink moonshine. The moonshine store is right next to the candy shop. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

On my way to SDA

It has been 25 years since the last time I went to Arrowmont in Gatilinburg TN. I can't wait to see what has changed and what has remained the same. Like the last time, I will be taking a tapestry workshop. This time it is with Ann Morton. It will be more conceptually based, and we will use items from around town, as we collect from merchants, and share with each other. I have been focusing more on traditional tapestry techniques lately, so I am eager to think differently.  On the other hand, I remembered with a bit of a surprise a project I did 15 years ago that might be similar to what we are about to do. I warped an entire room ( The Art Apartment) in downtown East Lansing, and invited community members to come weave with me. People came. They brought yarn, plastic bags, clothing,  bandanas and much more, I invited each person to write their story in the journals I kept with the project. I promised them all this project was a one time only deal and would never be displayed elsewhere. An article about the project was published in the September 2001 issue of Fiberarts magazine. It was an amazing experience. People shared their words and their stories, and wove with items that had personal meaning, even though they knew it would never be seen again. 

After the Morton workshop, I will be attending the Surface Design Association conference; Made/Aware. The theme of this conference will be on making a difference with fiber arts, from recycling to building community. Right up my alley! I will work with and meet several of my heroes, (Catherine Ellis, Rowland Rickets for instance) and re-connect with my old school mate Fran Dorsey. 

I hope to blog about my experience several times this week.