You know from the minute you see the gleaming mosaics on the outside and then the giant Icarus flying in the stairwell (shown on the left) , that this is not your usual museum. The exhibits right now were themed "Parenting" and the stories told were from all sides of the coin - parent and child. Recounts of childhoods spent in danger or isolation were seen in all media. From a man who spent 30 years sculpting a "family" and then making detail costumes for each doll, to harshly scratched out drawings of a life spent hiding from addicted parents. An imprisoned father's depictions of life were shown in detailed embroideries made from the unraveled socks he could get. So many lives told.
Here are just two of her images with the accompanying texts that were embroidered at the bottom:
One of my other favorite displays ran along the spiral staircase. It was a ten yard machine sewn illustration of scenes sewn by a man at the suggestion of those who stopped by.
Here is his story, idea of what it looked like, and some details.
It was a heart-wrenching visit, saved from being overly emotional by the gift shop at the end. What a place of wonder! Every trinket, accessory and fun things you could want for yourself or to give as gifts... will definitely be back there for the holidays!
Yesterday we drove across Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia to get back home to C'ville! I must say we live in a beautiful country. The fields, the trees, the hills, and even the flatlands are all amazing!
Our trip was great, good times and good people. Our butts are sore from sitting, and our own bed felt pretty darn good last night!
Today will start organizing my new studio space at the McGuffey Art Center. So very excited to get it up and going. Feels like I have been off the machine for weeks.... oh ya... I HAVE!!!
So, while I am organizing, you can see more of my "Intentional Blur Photo Paintings"
We are on the road for about 2000 miles! As I watch the world go by I see the textures, that happen with my stitching, in the blur of the speed of the countryside going by. Last year, on a similar road trip I first tried this, you can see those on Facebook here. This year, after a lot of experimentation and testing, I finally have found a few combinations of f-stops, ISO, and shutter speeds, that replicated the look I was looking for. These blurs are pretty much as taken, with a little color editing, and I love the painterly look achieved, and am now ready for the ride home to try some more!
Day 14, continued
After the Conference closed, I couldn't wait to get back to the nature of The Great Smoky Mountain Park. I decide that even though it was tourist-peak Sunday, I would go to one of the most popular places in the park; Clingman's Dome.
I had started the day down at the bottom in the fog, but by the sunset, it was crisp and clear up on top and, as it got cooler, the clouds formed an ocean of waves below us. So here are pictures of the ride up, the top, and the sunset on the way down.
And one panorama for you, too!
Today I got to move into a studio on the Arrowmont Campus. What a joy and privilege. Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts was founded originally as a general school, and later, morphed into what it is today.
It hold advanced level workshops for all types of craft: wood turning, textiles, ceramics, etc. You feel the energy just walking the grounds. There are several Artist-in Residences here - all staying for about eleven months, then there is the rotating calendar of classes that draw artists and instructors from around the world. Last month was the first month they provided a studio for the GSMNP arts, so my timing was pretty perfect!
I got the place all settled yesterday, and a piece cut and ready to sew. Today the gods have provided a day of heavy rain, so I will not even be tempted to go sight seeing instead of working, so enough said... I am off to work while you take a look here at the grounds.
I will be leaving Monday morning for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I will be in an apartment in the park for the month as the Artist-in-Residence. The checklist is almost complete, and the art supply and fabric pile is larger than either the clothes or food piles, so I think I have my priorities right.
Some "plein air" landscape quilting is in the plans - putting down the fabrics on site and stitching later.
I have packed all kids of "toys"; dyes, screen print, paints, fabric crayons, etc etc. Because my real hope is to play, play, play, and experiment! I will also be trying some natural dying with a workshop that will be in the area.
The fall color should be in its full glory while I am there, so inspiration should abound for both photos and fiber.
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is just a mile down the road from where I will be living. It happens that the Surface Design conference is there while I am in the park, so I will also be attending that as well as the Natural Dying Workshop with Catharine Ellis. More inspiration I am sure!
I am so lucky to have this experience, and I will be sharing it with you here!
I used to have a job that required I travel a lot. It was back in 'the 90s' when computers were either ungainly or impractical to take with you traveling and cellphone minutes were precious and connections precarious. Weekly, I would fly to some hub (Chicago or Detroit) sit for a connection (or miss a connection and sit a long time) and do what people did then in airport waiting areas. Often that meant striking up a conversation with whatever road warrior or weary traveler happened to be in the vicinity. Once boarded on the plane, there was the immediate intimacy of being partnered in a small seating area with a total stranger. Often these were people you had shared eye rolls with when the airline had announced a delay, or they had helped heft your bag into the overhead compartment.
What followed was often a traveler's dance of deciding if conversation was welcome or not. If it was, what followed were usually interesting tales of travels made, airport mishaps and near misses, details of the visits to come at the next destination, business meeting comparisons, and often family histories or insights that seemed so much more confessional or intimate than the situation warranted. The conversations were so prolific and interesting, that I often thought about compiling a book of them - 'Short Stories from Economy Class'.
It has been years now since I was a frequent flyer. I just flew to Wisconsin and back, and realized how times had changed. Earphones. Everywhere. No eye contact, no traveler's camaraderie, road warriors connected only by being wired to the same docking and power stations. Even in the airport bars, the tablets were out, the phones connected and conversations were being held with people around the world, but not at the next bar stool! And the same happened on the planes. The small tablets and 'airplane mode' phones insure close to non-stop connection with anyone other than those next to you.
I am no Luddite. I love technology (see here I am talking to you on the computer!!) but there does seem like a loss here. Never will I get advice on a good restaurant, from the person going home to where I will be a visitor. I once heard trucker stories from a guy who drove trucks across country to deliver them and then flew home - who knew people had that job. That conversation will not happen again. Sure there were many times I hoped beyond hope that the person next to me would NOT talk because I wanted nothing but peace and quiet, but that was easy to signal by closing my eyes, or cracking a book - any experienced traveler knew that meant "do not disturb!"
It is no surprise - all this connectedness and disconnection at the same time, but I have been gone from airports long enough for it to be really noticeable to me. It changed an experience I have always thoroughly enjoyed into a much more mundane one. I hope the guy next to me enjoyed his movie, and the guy across the aisle got all his emails sorted. It sure would have been interesting to know what books all those kindles were tuned to. Guess I will just have to meet them all through Facebook or somewhere else on line.
After that, the documentation of the trip took a rather interesting turn. They charm of the landscape was lost to me, and I turned to the car interior and immediate surroundings. Thankfully we made it home to VA safe and sane, and I thought I would share the results of my boredom with you:
If you are really into history, click here for blog posts prior to 2014 !