Last week, I travelled to South Carolina and spent a couple of days visiting my 92 year old mother. She doesn't look her age, but I'm not surprised because she's always looked like she was 15 years younger than she really was. Oh, I just love the whole idea of "inherited traits".
My mother is deep in the throes of Alzheimers and there are some days that doesn't speak at all, but some of her personality is still leaking out around the edges. Just as I was getting ready to leave, I reminded her who I was and told her I loved her, but was about to go. Very slowly, she said, "I would like to live... the rest of my life... in the land of Jill". I love you too, Mom.
After leaving the nursing home, I drove to Columbia, SC and attended the opening of Cyber Fyber, a very interesting exhibit of fiber art that was curated by Susan Lenz. Her whole idea was to demonstrate the connections that she has made with other artists on the internet and the influences they have had on her art and her life. In one part of the exhibit, there were small artworks the size of postcards and trading cards, mounted by the hundreds upon the walls. They were created by artists from all over the world. In the side room, there were larger artworks made by 19 international artists who Susan had invited. Here is a picture of my artwork, Transformed, in the show.
I walked into Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, where the exhibit was installed, about 5 minutes before the reception officially opened. I recognized Susan from pictures I had seen of her, so I went over and introduced myself to her. From then on, she made me feel like a rock star.
Susan is an absolute ball of fire and I kept expecting to see sparks flying off her fingertips. Here she is in the middle of the picture, along with her mother and sister, Linda and Sonya. What a great family! They obviously love each other a lot and support each other.
Here's another picture of Susan with Stephen Chesley, a painter who has a studio there. He's helped Susan quite a lot with her career. Interestingly, Steve and I are only 5 months apart in age and our fathers worked in the same building in New York City, probably at the same time. How strange is that?
I was so impressed with the way that Susan curated this exhibit. It had a central theme that went far beyond "aren't these pretty quilts" and she created 12 different blogs to document everything going on. Here is the main one. She even has a blog filled with videos of the reception and exhibit. In the blog for the invited artists, I love her description of the installation of my work.
Another wonderful thing that Susan did was to recruit Cindi Boiter, a professional writer, to produce and distribute press releases. They both did a wonderful job and the show has been reviewed in a number of publications, such as undefined, an excellent arts journal for South Carolina. See p. 30 for the start of the article and P. 31, column 2 for the writeup about me.
The day after the reception, Susan planned a Fiber Day at the gallery. Four local vendors came in to demonstrate new materials and machines. The big hit was the Embellisher, which does needle felting. Susan also gave a demonstration of how she makes her own work.
All in all, I had a wonderful time and was so impressed with Susan's organizational abilities. She is a great curator and I hope she has the strength and energy to do something like this again someday. I was truly honored to be a part of it.