Wednesday, June 14, 2017

May has flown--June is half-way over!

Wow!  It's now over a month since Penland Spring Concentration ended.  Already it seems like the whole experience was a dream.  Yet I know it wasn't.  I know that I now have wonderful connections in many parts of the country that will remain firm for years to come.  I haven't heard from everyone from the class but have from many and they're immersed into their "real" lives and settling in for creative adventures where ever they are--or preparing for changes that may take them in new directions.  I wish them all well.  I know that I'll be hearing and reading about many of these creative makers in the future.  I want to write more about the experience and will do so in a future blog post.

My view from Big Lear, my home away from home, on the last morning as I was leaving Penland.
For the months of May and early June, here's a bit of what's going on--

The day after the end of the two months concentration I drove from Penland to Yadkinville, NC where I was to be the keynote speaker at the opening of Filaments, the Tapestry Weavers South exhibit that's on display for the spring/summer at the Welborn Gallery of the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center.  The show looks great and there were several TWS members there at the reception.  My talk was videotaped by Michiele Elliott's husband and he's posted it to YouTube.  Michiele mentioned the link at her blog, Weaving Song at this post.

Phoenix, the tapestry I finished weaving in February, hangs at the entrance to the exhibit.
Dorina Scalia and her husband came to the reception, a side trip on their way home from Penland.  Dorina was one of the students at the spring concentration.
After an ovenight stay in Yadkinville, I made the 6+ hour drive home with my car loaded to bursting with all of the stuff I'd taken to Penland.  Once back in Dahlonega I dropped off the studio things--just opened the front door to pile in the stuff until I got the car empty except for my suitcase and laundry bag.  I took those home, unloaded and put myself flat on the sofa for an hour or so.  But the buzz from the intense two months at Penland kept me going for the next week and beyond.

Through the week I slowly unpacked studio things and began to put them away.  Slowly is the operative word here because it seemed like I could work on the reorganizing for an hour then I was off in a new direction.  Naps became my afternoon occupation, in fact.  Long ones, short ones.  Didn't matter; just lying down to rest my back and close my eyes for a few minutes was delicious.

The following weekend I went back to North Carolina to stay overnight with friends and then to go to Hendersonville as the program presented for the monthly meeting of the Western NC Fiber Guild.

The next week, my husband and I spent several days on a journey through NC, with a stop overnight in Bethania with friends--and then on to Roanoak to visit another friend, and finally to Richmond to stay a few nights with friends there.

While in Richmond we went to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to see a couple of exhibits.

Yves Saint Laurent exhibit was at VMFA.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts... Dale Chiluly piece, Red Reeds, in the pond.
We also had a visit to Hollywood Cemetery, the resting place of many Civil War veterans as well as two U.S. Presidents (Tyler and Taylor), and Jefferson Davis, who was President of the Confederacy.  The cemetery is a beautiful spot with hundreds of fascinating monuments.  In fact, according to a book about the cemetery, there are over 18,000 Confederate soldiers from the Civil War buried there.

A cast iron dog guards the grave of a little girl who died in the 1860s.
Jefferson Davis's gravesite--and his statue looks toward 21st century Richmond, Virginia.
After we returned, I took works from my co-exhibitors to the Lyndon House Arts Center in Athens, Georgia for an exhibit that will be up from June 10-July 29.  The exhibit is the second version of "Time Warp--and Weft" of the daily weavings by Janet Austin, Geri Forkner, Janette Meetze, and myself.  Kathy Spoering's twelve tapestry calendars also are in the exhibit, as well as the daily 2" x 2" tapestries made by Rebecca Mezoff during her 2016 Petrified Forest National Park artist residency.

Here's a panorama view of the time warp pieces being assembled for the exhibit in the South Gallery.
There's an opening reception for the summer exhibitions at Lyndon House on June 15 from 6-8 p.m.  I'll be doing a presentation on June 20, 6-8, as well.

I've written an article about the exhibit and the concept of daily weaving that's just been published in the most recent issue of Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot.

In late May I was off to St. Simons Island, on the coast of Georgia, for the 20th Anniversary Retreat of Tapestry Weavers South.  We had two days and three nights of beautiful weather at Epworth by the Sea.  There were about twenty TWS members there, as well as several spouses.  Jon Eric Riis, who's a Lifetime Member of TWS, was our guest and keynote speaker.  He also gave critiques of tapestries to those who'd brought ones for his review.

Beautiful blue sky and bright clouds traveled with me as I drove the 6+ hours to St. Simons from north Georgia.
Our morning view from the balcony of the hotel.
Beautiful sunsets every evening while we were at St. Simons.
Genie Greenlaw and MJ Lord discuss MJ's wedge weave.
Chatting after lunch and before critique time.
Connie Lippert's wedge weave underway on Hockett loom.
Joann Wilson--"Why not?"

So enjoyable to bring looms and work on whatever you wished--and talk to old and new friends while you were at it!
Jon Riis takes a look at Pat Williams's tapestries during his critique session.
I did a small four selvedge weaving from a watercolor sketch I made of the view of the river the first morning I was there.
What would a 20th Anniversary/birthday be without cake!
Since then I've been gradually getting back into the studio for productive work.  I've started a tapestry that I'd designed last fall, based on one of the several earth pigment paintings I did at a Lillian Smith Center residency last year.  I've been dyeing yarn to use in the tapestry, mainly using henna and a bit of black walnut to add to the black walnut dyed yarns I had left from last year's adventures with dyeing.

I also have new teaching opportunities arising for next year.  I'll be posting those once details are available.  This year holds two more teaching experiences, one in late July at John Campbell Folk School and the other in late September in Durham for the Triangle Weavers Guild.  Both of those are weekend workshops.

Maybe some of you might make it to the reception for the Time Warp exhibit on Thursday (tomorrow!).  I'll be there and also back to Lyndon House on Friday to spend the day in the gallery (10-3) weaving along with Janet Austin and anyone else who wants to come join us.

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