Send Jo or June an email if you want to get involved in the 6th season of this collaborative project in Bellaire, TX!
|M u n i c i p a l D i r t||
We are very excited that Jo Zider will be the guest curator for the spring exhibition at Russ Pitman Park! June Woest, Dirt Committee member, has agreed to serve as the liason to the Nature Discovery Center Staff and to assist Jo in any way she can. Welcome Jo! Thank you Lisa Qualls for two years of great blogging!
Send Jo or June an email if you want to get involved in the 6th season of this collaborative project in Bellaire, TX!
Russ Pitman Park Wind Farm
Duralar, acetate printed from polyester litho plates, plastic straws, dowels, beads, jewelry findings
The Russ Pitman Park Windfarm was created in response to the numerous children I saw enjoying the park on each of my visits. I wanted to be whimsical and playful and capture the moment when the pinwheels harness the spring breeze and use it to "sing" to the park's visitors.
My work for the last six years has focused on the loss of my parents. My imagery consists of a cast of characters in the form of various birds who appeared to me at critical times during these times of loss. I also use nets and maps to symbolize being caught up in and lost in life happenings that are outside our control.
The piece for the park allowed me to get outside my usual art practice and subject matter. I enjoyed being forced to think in three dimensions and create for a wider audience.
Cathie Kayser is a Houston artist whose work is in collections in Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Cincinnati and Tel Aviv. She was chosen in 2008 to participate in Diverse Works DW2 Creative Capital Workshop. In 2009 she and four other artists started PrintMatters, a local arts organization whose mission is to promote traditional and non-traditional printmaking, encourage print collecting and further the professional development of its members. In 2011, they created the annual art events: PrintHouston and Rockin' Rollin Prints.
Cathie has taught numerous printmaking workshops in Houston and Austin. She is the volunteer studio manager at Burning Bones Press. She works in various printmaking techniques: lithography, intaglio, and woodcuts. She has been the assistant printer for master printer Pat Matterson for such artists as Trenton Doyle Hancock, Francesca Fuchs, Katie Von Sherpenberg and OmSoorya. She has printed for local artist Rabea Ballin'.
Her recent works on paper are the prefect union of her love of drawing and printmaking.
HUMAN INVASION AT RUSS PITTMAN PARK
Just when we thought it was safe, an idyllic walk in the park goes incredibly wrong.
As we know, humans and the natural world they live in can be dangerous. Humans are violent unto themselves and to their environment. As careless, cool, or arrogant as humans can be, nature is always stronger and can strike at any time.
Since humans often believe they are above nature and can control it. I want to display the literal affects when everything (foliage, trees, animals, and our own worst instincts) turns against us.
The wreckage of one dominated figure will be exhibited.
Justin Varner is an artist who primarily works in drawing and painting. His most recent exhibition include, The Specious Instant, exhibited black and white charcoal drawings (displaying the horror of America’s ignored societies) travelled from the Dishman Art Museum at Lamar University to Rudolph Blume Fine Art in Houston. His work has been featured in New American Paintings and is in collections in Dallas, New York City, Boston, and Atlanta.
Justin is a new resident to Houston, after joining the faculty at Houston Community College-Southeast as Full-Time Professor in 2012.
The "Encircler" converts the vertical radial motion of its activator into horizontal radial motion. Originally intended to spin two bull roarers, the large scale interactive public sculpture also serves as a platform to attach and spin various other materials on. Specially made for the 2013 Russ Pittman Park invitational group show with “Movement” as its theme, the artist in his execution of the work considered elements of site specificity- being near a playground for willing users, the height and colors in relation to the trees. Other concerns regarding the design include the temporary aspect of the installation and it being a public work, which influenced the choice of scrap components and the need for good craftsmanship, respectively. In addition to the visual impact of the kinetic action a significant potential for sound making is present and manifested by this work. Other kinetic works by this sculptor include “Human Hamster Wheel,” (which just finished its debut run at Lawndale Art Center, Houston) and “Frankenova” (an award winning hot rod/art car on the theme of Frankenstein).
Fresh out of N.Y.U. and squatting in the Lower East Side, sculptor James Ciosek cut his teeth as a metal working artisan for Flickinger Glassworks, Pier 41, Brooklyn, in 1994. He later spent over a decade in the Midwest studying blacksmithing and running his own ornamental iron business.
Focusing his energies on sculpture beginning 2006, Ciosek moved to Houston and is making a mark as an award winning art car artist, youth art bike advocate, and highly respected metal and mixed media sculptor. The sculptor currently has a piece in a group show at Russ Pittman Park, a long term solo showing of his buckshot textured “Constructed Chaos” series at Redbud Gallery, and just closed a large scale solo installation, “Human Hamster Wheel,” at Lawndale Art Center, all in Houston, Texas.
Ciosek represents the rare technically advanced craftsman who makes a successful leap over to the fine art world. Ciosek has recently come geographically full circle with an acceptance to the Windgate Charitable Foundation Visiting Artist Fellowship, for the term of August-September 2013, at the newly remodeled and reopened Urban Glass in Brooklyn, NYC. Through the Windgate Fellowship, he will be exploring the application of neon, slump glass, and fusing to expand the motif of his lighted, large scale, freestanding sculptural work.
My pH in Russ Pitman Park is a landscape. Like most of my artwork, it explores the history and identity of objects- their place and materials. My intention is to create moments that are sensory and wordless. When choosing a geographical location in Russ Pitman Park, I was attracted to the sight of still water in the ornamental pond in the park’s southeast corner. A faint logic led me to think about drinking straws to push the water around, then the observation that moving water already existed there. Soon I was contemplating floating on the invisible qualities in water, the ions and molecules.
This artwork, My pH, is made of a group of commercially printed paper drinking straws that mimic natural bamboo. Together, they form two letters of the English alphabet, so what you see is a representation of a scientific principal. There was a period in my life when I was keenly aware of my pH because I wanted to aid the work of a struggling digestive system. I desired an alkaline system in contrast to an acidic one and I scoured the internet for a list of foods higher on the 7-point pH scale. This information helped me make healthier food choices. My pH in Russ Pitman Park contemplates the treatment of aging water systems, soil quality, and my personal nutrition and health.
June Woest is a visual artist, sculptor, and educator living in Bellaire, TX. She earned her undergraduate degree at Fort Hays State University on the plains of Western Kansas and obtained an M.F.A. in drawing, painting, and ceramics from the University of Houston. Her works have been exhibited in the Big Show at Lawndale Art Center and Houston’s Assistance League show. Solo exhibitions include Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Borrowed Hands and Artificial Flowers, and Central Fine Arts Gallery, Seed Rooms. International group shows have shown in Australia, Japan, China, and Denmark.
June is the curator of a Houston alternative art space titled, RoadsignUSA, a structure inside Loop 610, which she considers part sculpture, part utility pole. She is a founding member of a community of independent Houston artists known as Municipal Dirt who curate exhibitions outdoors. She is a faculty artist at Houston Community College, Southeast, and professor in the Fine Arts and Languages Division where she teaches Art History and Art Appreciation and helps coordinate the artist-in-residency program with her energetic and creative colleagues.
MIGRATIONS & MOVEMENT
I am a product of migration. The Great migration of the United States. I am a descendent of slaves, Black Indians, and Jim Crow. My family moved. They had to move. Like thousands of African Americans, my paternal and maternal relatives relocated their families from Alabama and Georgia, to the Northern cities of Pittsburgh and Hartford. They migrated to the North to escape the brutality of Jim Crow, the demoralization of segregation, and fears of lynching.
The nests I created shelter my history. Members of my family, printed on leaves and feathers, are delicately nestled and protected amongst wild grass, Spanish moss, and handmade paper. With the wind at their side, the nests will gently sway in various directions, honoring the moves of my family.
I have also migrated a collection of Magnolia leaves and Sycamore leaves from Prairie View, TX, (a former slave plantation) to trees within the park. Again members of my family tree are printed on the leaves, as it examines genealogy, movement and displacement.
Ann 'Sole Sister' Johnson is an artist who paints portraits with her feet. Yes her feet!!!!! Born in London, England and raised in Cheyenne, WY, Ann is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University in Texas, (where she now teaches) and received a BS in Home Economics. She has also received an MA in Humanities from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, as well as an MFA from The Academy of Art University, in San Francisco. In 2010 she received the Teaching Excellence Award at Prairie View A&M University, and was awarded Art teacher of the year in the School of Architecture. In 2011 she received the distinguished Presidents Faculty of the year award.
Primarily a mixed media artist, Johnson’s passion for exploring issues particularly in the Black community has led her to create series’ of works that are evocative and engaging. such as: The Hoop Dreamin Collection: a series of decorative basketball goals that explores the social issue of a Hoop Dream, and It Is The Not Knowing That Burns My Soul, an investigation of exploratory mixed media works that examine the “Black Indian. The latter was included in an exhibition and catalog for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian titled: Indivisible. She has been invited to teach at Tougaloo Art Colony in Jackson, MS in 2009, 2011, and 2013.
Ann's work has been exhibited nationally in solo, group and juried exhibitions. She was a Prize Winner in Houston’s “The Big Show” in 2004, and was the Mixed Media winner in the Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition in 2007. She has exhibited at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX, The Museum of Printing History, Houston, TX, African American Museum of Life and Culture, Dallas, TX, The National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture, Montgomery, AL, The Apex Museum in Atlanta, GA, and the California African American Art Museum in Los Angeles, CA. She has published several articles for School Arts magazine (Davis), and has written and designed a number of books: It is the not knowing that burns my soul (blurb), Paper & Ink (blurb), Solefolio (blurb), Roux (Solefolio Press) Craft$ For The No Budget Art Teacher (Solefolio Press), 5 Views From The Hill (Solefolio Press/blurb) and STIR (Solefolio Press). Ann 'Sole Sister' Johnson aspires to leave a legacy of challenging and thought provoking work that will entice the viewer and inspire younger artists.
the sky will set down
and you will lounge
to the tasseled yawning
of the bloom
In her work entitled "Soon" Jennifer Overfield's studies on time and evolution crouch in luscious and jazzy synesthetic imagery. Sound and light move very quickly, yet we perceive only a microcosm of that movement - an imperceptible delay which we call a 24 hour period. "Soon" zooms in on the transition from day to night and sprawls itself on an open field in bloom with wildflowers.
Vermillion curated by Lisa Qualls
Vermilion refers to the color and it's history of alchemy and intrigue as well as Vermilion, Louisiana which was sparsely populated by Native Americans then settled by Cajuns in the 18th Century and later became a place of refuge for European Jews, Italians recruited to work on the plantations and freed slaves and Vietnamese families in the 20th Century. Vermilion is a quintessential Louisiana town.
Three artists will display their artworks on the pedestal for a period of two weeks each. All of the artists like myself have a link to Louisiana and travel to and from Louisiana to their adopted homes or to their childhood homes. Each artist's artwork and the pedestal itself encircling the tree trunk are about movements; geographic, cultural, linear and existential.
The three pieces are in order of display:
Bienvenue March 16 - 30, 2013 (Melanie Crader)
Ronde March 31 - April 14, 2013 (Jacqueline Dee Parker)
Slow April 15 - 26, 2013 (Lelu Overbeck)
Melanie Crader was born in Baton Rouge, LA. She received her BA from McNeese State University and her MFA from Ohio University.
Melanie shows her work nationally and has been involved in the Houston art community as an artist, teacher, board member and museum administrator for over a decade. She lives in Houston, TX with her husband/artist, Mick Johnson their son, Merit and their golden retriever, Bob.
Mixed media painter and poet Jacqueline Dee Parker was transplanted from the northeast to the deep south in the late 80s. Her poems appear in many literary journals and anthologies; her visual work is represented by Hooks-Epstein Galleries, Inc. (TX), Ann Connelly Fine Art (LA), and Diane Birdsall Gallery (CT). Visit her website to see more of her work: www.jacquelinedeeparker.com
Wood is a precious natural resource that has always played a crucial role in our ability to document experience. This ephemeral book, made with collaged music papers, contains an original poem that addresses the continuous movement of human memory.
A spinning wheel worrying
shorn sheep’s wool to tapestry,
wood has memory and
memory needs no coaxing--
A spear tipped with obsidian,
bison rendered on rock,
scrolls of acanthus leaves
chiseled in columns,
the bridge of a cello
buttressing gut strings—
Wood feeds memory.
Pilings recall rising waters
planks ambered by two-steps
and smoky promises.
How many proposals and
propositions at the site
of the apple before it was felled?
Weathered swings of eros
and heartsore, a legacy of
pondering boons and losses,
the tree’s rings wreathe measures
like thread on a wheel.
Wood heeds memory.
Under tonight’s lambent moon
in this wood, loving you
still, I would need no coaxing.
Jacqueline Dee Parker
One of the most noticeable differences I see between cultures when
traveling is how they regard time. I prefer cultures who are slower,
respecting time, enjoying it, savoring moments in the sun or a walk
in the park.
There is something precious is being able to appreciate small and subtle
changes in the world around us, happening slowly over time.
"A petal falls. An instant. An age."
‘Go West’ and ‘Sacred Hoop’ (6 birdboxes)
Wood, Perspex, C-type print, paint and glass.
‘Sacred Hoop’ 2013, video work to coincide with the exhibition and viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCqCOPDWjsU
Tecklenberg and Georgeson have interpreted the theme of movement in terms of migration. This could mean the bird boxes migrating from London to Houston; the kings and generals could represent old Europe and the cowboy could be the new world spirit of independence. Art migrating from Paris to America. Does that spirit of enterprise still hold true?
Movement is of course relative which is why Georgeson and Tecklenberg’s birdboxes are microcosmic worlds of push and pull. They have chosen to populate them with kings and generals on horseback in dramatically ironic homage to the free roaming cowboys of the west. The stasis of tradition ridden rough shod over by freedom’s messengers.
These stately figures are tangled up in the moon lassoing line of the action painter as hierarchy dissolves into the shamanic mysticism that advises us to stand still and let the forest find us. Just as birds are migratory they also are great nest builders and these pieces explore the cowboys dilemma of yearning to explore when faced with the draw of settling down on the homestead - to consolidate.
A horse cast as symbol of power moves across cultures but it is also an embodiment of the freedom of the spirit itself. Life is a journey, a continuous circle, a sacred hoop.
Paul Tecklenberg studied sculpture at Nottingham Trent University 1988-91 and then the Slade 1997-1999. Awarded a British Academy bursary in 1997 and 1998. He has exhibited extensively in the UK but also USA, Italy, Germany, Holland and India. 2000 he curated “DIY – 19 variations on a theme of wallpaper”, a critically acclaimed exhibition that made the Time Out end of year top ten list. His 2006 solo exhibition “Bodies & Antibodies” was reviewed in the Guardian and made critics choice; 2007, elected a life member of the long established London Group; 2009 appointed first artist-in-residence at The Swedenborg Society. He is represented by Central Booking NYC and has shown in ‘Art & Science’, ‘Anatomical/Microbial/Microcosms’, ‘Chemical Reaction’, ‘Attract/Repel’, ‘Earth Works’, ‘Now You See It… Color & The Mind’s Eye’. Currently teaches photography at the University of East London.
Mikey Georgeson trained as an illustrator at Chelsea School of Art under the Neo-Romantic painter Susan Einzig. The metaphysical existentialist nature of that movement remains embedded in his work which he decribes as Tragi-Cosmic. This became the title of his second solo show at the Sartorial Gallery London. Following on from exhibiting at the John Moore’s painting prize he recently had a solo show at the Royal Standard Gallery in Liverpool entitled “Trope”. Art-Shaped saw his work as exploring “how the artist approaches the tension between art object and life” and Double Negative found “irresistible joy and warmth” in the paintings. Once described by his teacher as being drunk with words his paintings incorporate text in a song like fashion. He is also know for singing and performing and was part of the first show of the English School of Dada at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich last year.
Paul Tecklenberg has collaborated with Mikey Georgeson since 2010 and they showed together at Dulwich Picture Gallery, University of East London, Leicester Botanical Gardens and last summer at The Courts, Holt, National Trust Gardens.
THE LABYRINTH AND THE MENDING CIRCLE
My first one-person show, "Traces" reflected many ideas and inspirations expressed exclusively in raku fired clay. Several series of three-dimensional interpretations of landscape followed: "Shifting Sands", "Culebra Cut", "Mt. Everest", "West Texas Mountains". A major exhibition at the CG Jung Center in 2001 was the culmination of ten years investigation into all physical and emotional aspects of trees. Strange even to me was the shift that happened next. Following the explosion of the Challenger and needless death of seven astronauts, I was making bones as prayers for victims of abuse. "Bone Palace Banquet" at the Art League of Houston expressed a personal perspective on human consumption. Some repeatable Installations of the bone forms were juried into the Craft Texas Exhibition at HCCC. Other installations, as in Galveston Bay, were photographed then dismantled. I am pleased to have been invited to participate in "MOVEMENT" here at Russ Pittman Park. A desire to continue my work with the bones, led to a project in which the viewer must become a participant; and in doing so must 'move' through the installation: a labyrinth made of the handmade clay bones…
Step thoughtfully through this LABYRINTH of life. I have marked your pathway with BONES now silent. Take a BONE with you on your walk to the Center, and with healing spirit, place it into the MENDING CIRCLE.
Each BONE is a prayer formed by my hands, to yours is given, A symbol of abuse, stressed and distorted, yours to now consider. Do we partake of the "Bone Palace Banquet" feeding on the lives of others? Or might living flesh from this BONE take strength to acts of compassion change.
I am the Silence in the world's court; humanity is on trial. My BONES have no names, but a symbol of death and suffering, each cries: "I am a victim; acts inhumane have been committed against me".
Press this BONE to your body and give pause; hope lives within each act of grace, AMAZING GRACE.
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1944, third child of a transplanted failed Tennessee farmer turned tool & die machinist in the motor city. Elementary Education at Michigan State University from 1962-65 inspired me less than the Ann Arbor Potters' Guild. So following a passion for working with clay, I studied with chemist/ceramist Peter Grams in Ann Arbor, MI from 1967-70. During seven months of 1970 with architect husband and four year old son, traveled throughout eleven countries in Europe and Scandinavia absorbing the air, the art, architecture and culture. I returned to formal studies in Texas graduating Cum Laude with a B.S. in Art Education and Ceramics in Fine Arts from the University Of Houston. A professional career began in 1975, teaching, creating and exhibiting art with representation at one time ranging from New York to California and extensively in Texas.