Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spaces We Inhabit


 
Back in November of 2013, artists Mary Zeran and Emily Rutledge approached me with the idea of putting together a proposal for an exhibition of our work.  What evolved was “Spaces We Inhabit: Sculptures and Paintings by Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Emily Rutledge and Mary Zeran” at the Hairpin Arts Center in Chicago.  I was familiar with Hairpin having exhibited my encaustic and fiber Vessels in the center’s inaugural exhibition “Come Together”.  
 
Vessel 12, Vessel 14, Vessel 20 on shelves to the right.
Mary Ellen Croteau's work to the left
Come Together, Hairpin Arts Center
 
It is a beautiful light-filled windowed space situated in a historical building in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. In my last blog post "Winter Exhibition News" I mused about turning a new wall hanging sculpture, “Place”, into a multi-piece installation.
 
100+ feet of cotton rope for my ceiling hung sculpture, Spaces We Inhabit

 
My vision of the a multi-columned hanging sculpture was just the challenging project that would amply fill the long cold Chicago winter days.  And this is how my ceiling hung installation “Spaces We Inhabit”, named after the exhibit that inspired its creation, came to be.  In addition, I wanted to create a wall installation of 25 unique cubes.  Each cube began with a 3.5”x3.5”3.5” wooden cube form.  The materials for the cubes ranged from encaustic to fiber to paper, twine and wire. 
 
Cubes, in progress, for Infinite Possibilities
 
I entitled this work “Infinite Possibilities” as each cubes’ unique design stemmed from paintings and sculpture that I had made in the past.  The small size of my studio, which would likely be described as “cozy” in the real estate world, slowly shrank as each column and cube was completed. 
 
Pile of columns!
Detail of columns of
Places We Inhabit
 
As the drop off date for the exhibition approached I began to ask myself if I had bitten off more than I could chew with the decision to create two new large-scale sculptural installation works!  My initial plan to create 7, 15” columns was achieved but “Infinite Possibilities” shrank to 15 cubes.  While the final number of cubes made my plan of a grid-design impossible, I was very happy with the resulting asymmetrical installation.

 
 
“Spaces We Inhabit: Sculptures and Paintings by Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Emily Rutledge and Mary Zeran” at the Hairpin Arts Center, Logan Square, Chicago.  May 9-June 8, 2014
 Opening Reception: Friday, May 9th, 6-9pm

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