Sunday, February 28, 2010

Current and Upcoming Events

This Thursday, the 4th, I will be participating in the panel discussion "The Ivory Tower" in conjunction with the "#class" exhibition at Winkleman Gallery in NY. The discussion takes place at 4 p.m. All the panels are being webcast at

"Love, Infatuation, or Lust" is still up at Hardcore Art Contemporary Space in Miami through April 5th.

The nine person show, Embodiment, will have its delayed-due-to-weather opening this Friday, the 5th, in at the Greenhill Art Center in Greensboro, NC. It is an AMAZING show, I cannot wait to see it!

My solo show, Purge/Deluge, will also open this Friday at the Hillyer Art Center in Washington, DC. The person scheduled to exhibit after me cancelled, so my show will be extended through the end of April. I will not attend the opening on March 5th, but I will be attending the second opening on April 2nd, so come say hello. I will be showing mostly older work in March, and will rehang the show with newer work in April.

In conjunction with the Purge/Deluge show, I will be giving a Powerpoint lecture of my work on Saturday, March 13th, at 2 p.m. On Saturday, March 20th, at 2 p.m., we will be hosting a screening of "Who Does She Think She Is?", followed by a panel discussion of 4 artists who are also mothers (including yours truly).

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Unofficial pics of "Stay.", 2010, 18" round, baby shoes, baby blankets, embroidery thread, convex glass, frame.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Art World Truth #5 (unframed), 2010, embroidery on studio dress.

This is the latest piece in my ongoing Art World Truths series.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

On the left is part of a new piece, on the right, the beginnings of a sketch for a proposal I am doing. It needs to be more sad/intense.
This piece, which has been finished for a while, is now going to be matted with a baby blanket, and framed, then it can go out into the world.

If I can stay up a few nights this week, there will be 4-5 new pieces in the world.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mind numbingly busy. Working with my brother on (finally) updating my web page. Finishing a hair embroidery, a new Art World Truths piece, framing my "Stay." piece with an elaborate shirred, pleated, or smocked mat. Teaching two classes. Submitting two proposals. Loan forms for shows. Scanning and cataloging hundreds of images to build my new digital library for teaching.

On March 5th, my solo show of new and old work will be opening at The International Art & Artists Space/ Hillyer Art Center in Washington DC. I am in process of scheduling an artist's talk for the month of March, as well as a screening of "Who Does She Think She Is?" with a panel discussion following. It should be amazing. Please spread the word.

Also on March 5th, the opening for "Embodiment", an amazing nine-person show at The Green Hill Art Center in Greensboro, NY. I will, unfortunately, miss both openings, as I will be in NY for The Armory Show and the panel discussion at Ed Winkleman's on the 4th.

So forgive me for not writing. Things will calm down in April, and posting of in-progress work will resume then, I promise.

Monday, February 08, 2010

I am thrilled to be one of the invited panelists discussing “The Ivory Tower” as part of the “#class” exhibition/continuous happening at Winkleman Gallery in NY. This particular discussion takes place at 4pm on Thursday, Mar 4th. The exhibition, along with daily events and provocative panel discussions, will be asking tough questions about the state of the artist in the Art World.

Friday, February 05, 2010

The "Embodiment" exhibition opening at the Green Hill Center in Greensboro has been postponed until Friday March 5th, 5:30 - 7:30 due to inclement weather.
I am "snowed in" in DC for the weekend, transforming thrift store jackets into one-of-a-kind outfits for the College Art Association Conference in Chicago next week.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

How The Recession Transforms A Vocation Into An Addiction

One day without it, and you’re cranky: deprived for a week, you become unbearable. The question of sacrificing basic comforts is irrelevant: your life revolves around the ability to “get your fix”. You believe it keeps you sane, allowing you to function as a productive member of society. You go back to the familiar behavior time and time again, even though it steals time, money, and causes conflict with those around you.

These are some of the common behaviors surrounding addiction. Often, it takes a progressive set of circumstances to reveal that someone really has a problem: for serious artists, the recession is that wake-up call.

A recent study conducted by Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), a non-profit that works to support artists, reveals that more than 50 percent of artists have reported an income drop in the past year. 18 percent claimed an income loss of over 50 percent in that period of time. Artists who were (barely) able to support their need to make art when times were good are now facing a sobering truth: while the compulsion to create remains, the resources are not there.

Yes, I said “compulsion”. If you are not personally acquainted with any artists, or if you only know “Sunday Painters”, it can be difficult to comprehend how vital the realization of their visions can be. Laypeople have romantic words to describe artistic motivation, but terms like “passion” and “inspiration” are quaint, flaccid adjectives when used to articulate a drive so strong that it drowns out rational thought. Few people are able to conceive of this impetus that stems from your core, compelling you to go several nights in a row without sleep, or go a day without remembering to eat. For serious artists, the decision to devote themselves to creating is really not a decision at all, but an urgent, fundamental, and innate need.

The Art Boom of the past few years has painted a picture for the public of a new type of artist, epitomized by the likes of Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst. In fact, most artists across this country do not have glamorous, prosperous lives with 20 studio assistants: they are essentially slaves to their own creative drives. The LINC statistics show that a majority of artists work a second, or even a third, job to finance their art making activities. Unlike other “professions”, artists do not necessarily see any monetary gain from the student loans they invested to get their BFAs, followed by MFAs. They can cross the hurdle of securing coveted gallery representation, get amazing reviews, and spend 20 years of 70 hour weeks building up an absurdly thick resume, and still not be able to make ends meet. But, when pressed, I think that money retains little value to most art practitioners, except when they are looking to procure the capital needed to realize the next project.

All artists go through periods when they question their life choices. Those who live alone often sacrifice food, living conditions, and credit ratings in order to feed their art making. Accountable to no one and entrenched in their work, it can take years for them to “hit bottom”, and question whether the decisions they have made are in conflict with their own best interests for survival and longevity. When the occasional sales and grants that supplement a “day job” dry up, getting the second or third gig to make meager ends meet sucks up all the time that used to be spent making art.

It is often when one begins to share life with another that a mirror is held up for individuals to see and confront themselves. When a creative person enters into a relationship with a non-artist and gets to the point where they are making joint decisions about money with their partners, they are forced to look at the income vs. expenditures with a new set of (rational) eyes. Even the most supportive significant others can be tested when weighing the benefits of cobalt blue paint at $442.00 per pound against chicken at $2.49 per pound.

Regardless of marital status, when there is enough money available, art making can still be viewed as a vocation. Like one who chooses a religious life, artists acknowledge that the money’s not great, but the higher calling, with its soul-feeding rewards, sustains them. As long as they are creating, they exist in a state of bliss, despite ascetic surroundings.

But when sales drop off, the galleries close, and institutions declare that they will be giving no grant money this year, there are those among the creative ranks who are slapped in the face by the bottom line that they have been ignoring all these years. There will be interventions and reassessments. The cold economic reality of this time is so severe that it challenges the very definition of what it means to be a practicing artist. Because in this country, where money reigns and art is considered a luxury, “passion” is just another word for financial liability.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Current / coming shows:

"Between Two Realities" at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, VA, just opened.

"Intimate Apparel", University Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Jan 30 - Mar 14, 2010

"Embodiment", a nine person show at the Greenhill Center in Greensboro, NC, opening this weekend. Feb 5 - Mar 28, 2010

And a solo show, "Purge/Deluge" at the Hillyer Art Center in Washington, CD (of old and new work, because during "women's history month", pickins are slim in the Kretz inventory)