Showing posts with label Illinois. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Illinois. Show all posts

Monday, October 24, 2016

It’s Your World For The Moment (Part One)

Artist Talk, Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois

Last week I spoke to a group of art students at Western Illinois University.  I told them about my work, about myself and about the paths that I had taken to get to that moment.  When asked to offer up any words of advice that I might have for emerging artists, I told them to "simply get yourself out there...that you never know who would see your work and what opportunity that may bring".  I shared my story of how doing just that has led me to where I am now and to an art commission that currently covers every open surface in my art studio.

In June of 2015 I received an email from Amy DeLap and Andrew Jendrzejewski of Art Space Vincennes. They were offering me a solo show at their gallery.  Now, to be perfectly honest, I had to Google Vincennes, not knowing where, exactly, it was located. Well, it turns out that Vincennes, is located in Indiana, our next door neighbor!  Founded in 1732 and home to Vincennes University, it is an almost straight 5 hour drive south of Chicago.  

Art Space Vincennes, Vincennes, Indiana

Amy and Andy, artists themselves, had retired from teaching in the Art Department at the University and converted a lovely historic home into a beautiful gallery space.  The story why they invited me to show at their gallery began a year earlier in 2014.  They became interested in my work when they saw it at the Swope Art Museum's annual juried show in Terre Haute.  I applied to that show when I saw that the juror was Carter E. Foster, the Steven and Ann Ames Curator of Drawing at the Whitney Museum of American Art and knew that this was an excellent opportunity to get my work in front of this leader in the art world.  Not only did my work in this show receive an Award of Recognition, but it caught the eye of  Amy DeLap and Andrew Jendrzejewski, leading to my solo show "Surfaces" at Art Space Vincennes.

Yah, that's me on the front page!!
The community of Vincennes was very welcoming and my exhibition was a great success.   Chris Jackson, the Director of Begley Art Source at the Evansville Museum, saw my work and reached out to me regarding the possibility of a commission for a new hospice that was to be built by the Deaconess Health System in Evansville, Indiana. I was asked to present a proposal for an art piece that would be hung behind the front desk of the lobby of this new facility.  Inspired by my fiber and encaustic wall-hung sculpture "Wallflower", this piece, upon completion will be 3' high and 7'wide and is titled "It's Your World For The Moment".

This story continues in my next post!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

2016 Art Exhibitions

I am so very happy to announce that I have a number of exciting opportunities to show my art in 2016!

February 26 - March 31, 2016
4th Annual Art Competition
Bridgeport Art Center
Chicago, Illinois

Persistence of Vision

April 2- May 21, 2016
11th Annual Encaustic Invitational: Length x Width x Depth
Conrad Wilde Gallery
Tucson, Arizona

The Power of Place

May 1- June 31, 2016
The Dot Show
Chicago Arts District showPODS
1822-43 S. Halsted Street
Chicago, Illinois

Detail, Flow

October 10-November 20, 2016
Space and Surface:  Sculpture and Paintings by Alicia Forestall-Boehm
Western Illinois University Art Gallery
Macomb, Illinois
Spaces We Inhabit, Art Space Vincennes

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Evolution of a Sculpture

I often begin a new work from a sketched design.  The lower design in this image from my sketch book was the inspiration for a new sculpture.

Beginning with a circular wire support, I created a 3 dimensional version of this sketched image.  The problem was that, to me, the actual sculpture didn't please me as much as the sketched image.  So it sat in the back of my studio waiting for a creative revelation. 

Then one day, as I studied this piece, I envisioned it "exploding" open, so I took an  knife to it and, leaving the circular wire armature intact, turned the single form into one that had five connecting sections.  This  alteration added interest and movement.  Hmmm, this certainly was a dramatic departure from the original sketch but it was a move in the right direction.

Knowing that this piece was not finished, I returned it to it's spot in the back of my studio.  I lived with this new form, manipulating these five appendages in many different  ways until I was sure that this wasn't what I ultimately wanted either!!  This time I got out the wire cutters and separated the sections from each other.

Persistence of Vision, 24"x24"x3"

After working with each section on it's own, I ultimately created a wall hung sculpture that consisted of 5 individual and unique works.  Persistence of Vision really was a deviation from the form I originally sketched!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Exhibition

With much of my time spent creating new works, I have expended little energy on submitting to summer exhibitions.  The Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, Indiana has had an annual exhibition for the past 69 years.  The 70th Annual Wabash Valley Juried Exhibition includes the work of artists residing in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.


This year's exhibition was jurored by Carter E. Foster, the Steven and Ann Ames Curator of Drawings at the Whitney Museum of American Art.  The opportunity to position my work in front of this jurors eyes was all the motivation I needed to find the time to submit to this show.

Unfulfilled Dream

I entered three encaustic and fiber sculptures;
"Unfulfilled Dream", "Passages" and "Living Together-But-Separate Lives".
The first two were chosen and included in this exhibition. 

Living Together-But-Separate Lives

The exhibition runs from June 28-August 23, 2014.

Swope Art Museum

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Spaces We Inhabit part two

In my last post I talked about my preparation for the exhibit "Spaces We Inhabit" and the two sculptural installations I created for this show.  This post is a collection of images from the exhibition.  

"Spaces We Inhabit" at the Hairpin Arts Center, Chicago.

Me with my installation Spaces We Inhabit.  It consisted of 7 ceiling-hung columns, each 15' long.  The cubes themselves vary in size from 1.5"x1.5"x1.5" to 4.5"x4.5"x4.5".

Infinite Possibilities on the wall to the left.  The Power of Place and Make No Little Plans on pedestals.  On the wall - two paintings by Mary Zeran between two paintings by Emily Rutledge.

Moving Day on the wall to the left, Place on the pedestal, paintings by Emily Rutledge on the wall and a peek of my installation Spaces We Inhabit between the wall and column.

Emily Rutledge (left) and Mary Zeran.

The 7 columns of Spaces We Inhabit .

A detail shot of Spaces We Inhabit.

This side of the display walls are viewable from the street and include three paintings in the foreground by Emily Rutledge and a painting by Mary Zeran.  Two columns of Spaces We Inhabit are visible at the end.

Make No Little Plans on the pedestal and Infinite Possibilities on the wall in the background.

The artists of "Spaces We Inhabit" - myself, Mary Zeran and Emily Rutledge.

Four of my sculptures were displayed on pedestals.



     The Power of Place

Make No Little Plans

Monday, December 2, 2013

Winter Exhibition News

Place (detail)
I’m sending two of my newest sculptures to Florida this month.  I am especially pleased that both were accepted as it was the first time I had submitted either for an exhibition.  Place is the largest work I have created to date, measuring 6’7”, twice that if it is laid out from end to end.  I plan to pursue Place as a series that will be hung as a multi-piece installation.


 encaustic, cheesecloth, cotton cord, foam  

Passages has been a work in progress.  I made the base last year and it sat off to the side in my studio waiting for inspiration.  Over time this base changed shape until I came upon the decidedly boat-like form it is today.  It then returned again to that “place of contemplation” off to the side in my studio until one day I spied the roll of copper wire I had in a container of wire and cords.  I really like the combination of metal with wax and fiber.  The small sections of copper wire impale the smooth waxed surface of the form bringing a menacing sense to this simple, still and serene form.  This certainly might be my love-hate relationship with water coming out.  Nothing would make me happier than to sit on the porch of a beach house looking and listening to the ocean all day but you would be hard pressed to get me in that same water.
Passages (detail)
Place and Passages are both included in "Big Bad Wax" at the Mount Dora Center for the Arts in Mount Dora, Florida.  This national juried encaustic exhibition was juried by Kim Bernard and Susan Loden.  This exhibition runs January 10 – March 2, 2014.  The opening reception is January 10, 2014, 6-8pm. 

encaustic, cheesecloth, copper wire

As many of you know, I am a member of FUSEDChicago, a group of Chicago area artists using the encaustic medium.   One of our missions is to advance public awareness of encaustic art through exhibitions of member work.   This is a group of extremely talented artists and so the many group exhibitions that have been held have been truly excellent events.
               Make No Little Plans    
9”x9” cube
encaustic, cheesecloth on wood panels  

I am happy that Make No Little Plans is included in the next FUSEDChicago group exhibition, “Fused” held at the Union Street Gallery in Chicago Heights, Illinois.  The show is curated by  Jessica Segal and will run from January 15 – February 8, 2014.  The opening reception is January 17, 2014.

Holiday wishes to everyone and many thanks for your support!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What a Great Way to Spend a Day!

Earlier this year I was contacted by Kelley Baum, a teacher at Franklin Fine Arts school in Chicago with a request that I participate in the school's annual Arts Day.  I was happy to have been asked and eager to participate in this annual event.  Every year artists from all areas of the arts are invited to spend the day with the student body.  This year artists included dance companies, authors, theater companies, visual artists, actors and musicians. 

I have some experience with teaching art in the classroom.  During the 2005-2006 academic year, I designed and implemented a weekly comprehensive art education curriculum for a Montessori class of children ages 6-9.  This curriculum amounted to a hands-on trip through art history.  The challenge was to create weekly projects that not only followed the history of art but were engaging and workable with the ages included in the classroom.  We began with one of the earliest examples of art, cave paintings.  Working with clay each student created his/her own individual section of a cave wall and carved and painted it using the original cave painting images for inspiration.  Well, needless to say, working with clay was a big hit with 6-9 year olds.  It was a messy but successful first class!  Throughout the year we progressed through the history of art.  We made papyrus scrolls with glue and brown paper bags (which was  messy and therefore a hit!) which we decorated by adding each students name in hieroglyphs.  The students got to feel what it must have been like for Leonardo de Vinci to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel when they created drawings on boards fastened to the bottom of their chairs.  They also were introduced to artistic concepts such as cubism, surrealism and abstract expressionism.  During one class I told the children about Jean Arp and the idea of chance.  By tearing  pieces of paper, dropping them onto a sheet of paper and gluing them down where they fell, each student was able to create their own collage using the law of chance.  This also taught them the importance of letting things happen and being ok with that lack of control.  That was probably one of the most important lessons taught in art class that year; to let things happen, to embrace that your art was not like the example or the student sitting next to you.  "Happy accidents" became my mantra and I repeated it more times that I can remember during that year of art.
So back to the present, as I said, I was eager to participate in Arts Day and looked forward to having the opportunity to work with students again.  Now, the question was, what was I going to do with a classroom of 4th graders for two hours!?!  I decided to create a project that the children could do that was similar to my encaustic and fiber sculptures but had a decidedly less abstract, more familiar form; the hand. 
I began my time with the fourth graders of Franklin Fine Arts by talking about encaustic, demonstrating  the process and showing them my work.  The first question I received was whether or not I was a REAL artist.  It was with that question that I knew that it was going to be a great way to spend a day! 
The excitement level in the classroom was really something.  They were going to spend the next two hours learning about something they did not know (although one little girl told me with great seriousness that she was very familiar with beeswax as her grandmother has candles all over her house).  For the next two hours they were going to make art and that was cause enough for excitement!  Yeas, this was going to be a great way to spend a day! 
Using paper outlines of their own hand, each child used a lightweight wire to trace that shape and create a simple wire armature.  Looking at the final hand shape that each student formed, I questioned my earlier belief that the hand shape would be a less abstract design than some of my own works! 
With each new sculpture I make, there is inevitably scraps left over of encaustic coated fabric.  It was these remnants, pieces that ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor, that the students were to use for their sculptures.  Laying their wire hands on a piece of wax paper, they chose shapes and colors from my many bags of scraps and layered and layered until their design was complete.  Now it was time to fuse.  This, was a highlight of the day for many of the students who returned to the back of the line again and again to see me heat their hand sculptures again and again.  The heat from the hot air gun causes the fibers to move slightly as the wax melts and the fibers fuse and that, to a fourth grader, is really something to see!  For a final "hands-on" fusing, each design was covered with wax paper and a towel and it's creator was able to rub the surface to ensure a nice smooth fuse as well as being able to feel how warm it had gotten.  Probably the students biggest challenge was waiting until their hand sculpture was cool enough to peel off the top layer of wax paper.
That really was a great way to spend a day!  I came away with a lot of great memories of the children I met and especially of the things they said and the way they viewed those two hours in their life.  I think my favorite quote of the day was made by a little girl, who, upon hearing someone say that they were not good at art, corrected him by saying that "everyone is good at art".