Tuesday, January 28, 2014

when all the plants need watered

UFORGE Gallery welcomes the work of artist, Joetta Maue with the opening of her featured show "When All The Plants Need Water" on Thursday, February 6th through March 2nd, 2014

Reception on Thursday, February 6, 2014 from 6-8pm 
Artist talk on Thursday, February 20, 2014, 7-9pm

 Joetta Maue uses the traditional arts of embroidery and appliqué to reflect on contemporary domestic life. Her recent work has explored the bed as a place of rest and regeneration. In this exhibition, she explores a new theme – plants and their need for nourishment (perhaps a metaphor for any growing organism).

She says: “In this show, I explore how the small everyday moments and objects in our daily life are often the truth tellers of our state of being. This work is inspired by the realization that when all my plants need water it usually means that my life and relationships are out of balance and attention needs to be paid. The work on display is part of a larger and active body of work that explores how the seemingly insignificant moments and objects in our domestic space signal to others and ourselves where we are psychologically and emotionally, mostly represented via found still life, text from notebooks and scraps of writing. The centerpiece to the exhibit, plants hung, represents a new direction that is moving toward a more ambiguous image stripped of color. Other works in this series include images of household piles, the found collections of toys that exist within a childrearing home and the detritus of daily life.”

The gallery is open Thursday & Friday from 5-8 pm and on (winter hours) Saturdays & Sundays from 12pm to 6pm and located at 767 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, MA.

"... of cloth itself"

 Loving the work of Jesse Harrod.

simple in aesthetic, colorful, full of concept and labor.

"I find answers within the layered history of cloth itself; how a single scrap
of fabric, when researched, produces evidence of deeply entrenched
colonial, gendered, and class-based oppression."

See more.  (including some awesome works on paper.) Read an interview with her here?

erk, ack, flounder,

brain overload. In the last 3 days I have gone into every emotion possible about my upcoming mini show.  From being totally committed and determined to being totally overwhelmed and shut down.

I did FINALLY get the larger work done. In about an hour I will have it ironed and be able to see how it really turned out.
But I am still floundering on deciding how to present the rest of the work. Formal, informal. some framed or none framed, just textiles or some drawings and older photos mixed in. etc. etc. etc.

In other words ack, f-ing ack. Today is really the only day I have a big chunk of time to look at this and make decisions and I am feeling the pressure. And as always you also feel the foreboding of what is next. Once a bigger work is done and hung there is always the "what s next?" And though I am starting to feel more clarity about my work I am still a bit lost---

and even more so I am still struggling with finding the time to do all the crappy parts of being an artist like apply, apply, fing apply. So you get the satisfaction of actually showing. It has also now been almost a year since I curated anything and I am really feeling the itch but oh so lacking the time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

hand off eyeballs out

I am sewing my hands off--- not really but seriously non stop stitching. I am going to be so down to the wire on this main piece for my show next month. Ack. I do now fully know that I can get it done but I am seriously stitching any moment that I am sitting still. I sat in my studio and worked ALL day and made wonderful progress. But dammit I better love this piece by the time I done.

The last time I did this...sew until the very last minute was a huge breakthrough in my work and my studio practice so here is to hoping this piece is just as beautiful and turns out just as well.

 I am getting worried about getting all the other pieces for the show in place, tick tock tick tock I lost almost the entire last weekend to a nasty virus. So here is to hoping the next week goes smoothly and success if found.

And then I am going to let myself sit down and do a puzzle and read a book since I have been sewing until my eyeballs fall out.


I have inspired a "call for work" that is like RIGHT now and has a VERY short turn around but to any of you local fiber artists take advantage. Uforge is a lovely space right on the main strip....

In February, UForge Gallery will host the solo exhibition, featuring Joetta Maue. In her show, when all the plants need water, she'll use embroidery to reflect on times when our domestic environment sends us signals about our lives. Joetta's work is a delightful blend of traditional needlework and contemporary comment.

In conjunction with this show, UForge has issued an invitation for artists and artisans to submit work to a show entitled "Woven." UForge charges a small fee for each piece to be included, and takes a small commission on all sales. They provide publicity, signage and a reception that is part of First Thursdays in Jamaica Plain.

Like the interwoven threads of a piece of fabric, there are tightly-bound connections surrounding us and supporting us in our day-to-day lives. Communities, relationships, technologies, environments, transportation: we are connected to one another in a variety of ways. This open call to artists seeks artwork that is inspired by the idea of connection- whether literal, as in textiles and mesh materials, or figurative, as in love, friendship or creative bonds. Show us how your interactions with the world around you can be revealed in your work, through any media.
Work will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis during the posted registration/drop-off period noted above. Work must be no larger than 24 in. x 36 in. framed/matted and ready to hang.

On view: February 6–March 2, 2014
Reception: February 6, 6-8pm
Drop-off: 1/18, 1/19, 1/25, 1/26, 12-6pm
Registration fee: $35 per submission; this reserves your space in the show.
Gallery commission: 25%
UForge Gallery, 767 Centre St., Jamaica Plain

More details about the call can be found at: http://www.uforgegallery.com/shop/february-2014/

draw for a day....

Super fun upcoming workshop:

Draw For a Day

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014 — 10am–3pm –

Draw with Unexpected MaterialsSunday, Mar 9, 2014 — 10am–3pm –
Instructor: Joetta Maue
Draw with unexpected materials. Use ribbon, thread, wire or pins to create drawings as detailed as you like. Instead of letting the art of drawing be an intimidating effort with rigid rules, we will be playful and adventurous. I like to let drawing be about play and going one mark at a time. We will start class with some drawing exercises and technique demonstrations, then focus on one drawing for the rest of class. Take inspiration from the room and objects around you or photographs and source materials that you bring to class. Leave your pencils behind. 

experimental drawing class Boston

 Get all the details here.

I also have an applique class on March 2nd here for details.

Come make with me!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

our body and our art

So another work of art that is questionably shocking. Artist Eliza Bennett embroidered into her hand. The resulting work is equally repulsive and beautifully evocative.  I have always had very mixed emotions about work that actually harms the artist from the violent acts of 70's performance art to the plastic surgery works of the 90's. I understand as artists we are commenting on our culture and sometimes go to great pains to do so- but when the metaphor and message leads to actual physical harm I am unsure. Conceptually I almost always appreciate the work but morally do not.

Eliza's work "a women's work is never done" really walks the line of this question-- if her hands are  calloused and her work is very careful she can almost do this work without harm. It really is less pain and "aggression" then a tattoo and what she says about the work is grounded in thoughtfulness:

I stitched into the top layer of skin using thread to create the appearance of an incredibly work worn hand. By using the technique of embroidery, traditionally employed to represent femininity and applying it to the expression of it’s opposite, I hope to challenge the pre-conceived notion that ‘women’s work’ is light and easy.

Eliza's other works show an incredibly skill and meticulousness as a sculptor and her work is intelligent and thought provoking. Definitely an artist to watch and see what she does next.

See more here. 

Found via here.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

textiles in the court


While I was enduring the torturous civil duty of jury duty I got all caught up on my New York Times app (and did some stitching) and found the wonderful article and slide show unfortunately named "Fruits of the Loom." an article showcasing the textile industry in the US today including an incredible series of photographs by Christopher Payne.


Payne's images are gorgeous documents and celebrations of the beautiful and labor intensive process of textiles.


The article is quite interesting so take minute and read it but do not miss the photos: Here.

not writing, but still working.

some peeks into the studio.  The top image is some progress I made on a new text piece during jury duty. It is a work done in the lineage of the design I made for anthropologie. I like the process I used for them so thought I would try a piece for myself done in the same vain.

2nd is another small text work that I foresee going into my show next month- all the text is gathered from notebooks, calendar's and scraps of paper (the small things that you write to yourself.) This one says "Sometimes it feels so miserable to be happy."

3rd still trucking, trucking, trudging along on the large scale white on white house plant piece. I am PRAYING it turns out to be a strong piece as it really is CENTRAL to the exhibit next month. It is just impossible to tell as it so much more subtle then any other work that I have done. So----- until it is finsihed, washed and ironed I really will not know. Though I am really far into the work it still has a very long way to go and I only have 14 days left. So... you know what I am doing all day today. YEP.

thank goodness for npr

Monday, January 13, 2014

wool of another kind.

As I said I went to NYC this past week- my intention was to go see the Mike Kelley exhibit at PS1 and I was very frustrated and disappointed to find that they are closed Tuesday and Wednesday (the days I was there.)  But I did not let it get me down and decided to trek to a few museums that when I lived there I rarely trekked to. First, the Guggenheim and the Christopher Wool exhibit.  I had decided to go there as Roberta Smith and Jerry Saltz had both given the exhibition rave reviews so I figured it has to be a good show.

I walked in and felt pretty unsure- at first look not really my kind of thing; Painting/Prints, large, a combo of pop and abstract expressionism and non narrative work. But... I loved the exhibit. It was inspiring and motivating to see that a show almost entirely of just black and white can hold down a space like the Guggenheim. As I myself move away from color and am more interested in the subtly that exists in monochromatic works I felt excited and validated that Wool's work rarely left the black and white palate.


I also was very attracted to his prints that used "Wallpaper" pattern rollers to create fields of decorative marks, however he embraced and emphasized the tools flaws by over inking and allowing smears and smudges to organically occur, interrupting the decorative.

My favorite works were when he did an aggressive mark on top of the decorative and careful. The contrast of the repetitive decorative and the feminine patterns with the large and aggressive painterly marks were surprisingly powerful and evocative.

and of course I enjoyed the text work too.

I did not leave this show finding a new favorite artist but I was opened up to an artist that I did not know and left with a notebook of thoughts and observations. The work looks incredible within the space of the Guggenheim and is a wonderfully unique body of work.

Go see it if you can. Read more about it here and read Smith's review here.

where oh where?

I know, I know you are asking where in the hell are you Joetta? Well it has been a busy start to the new year. I went to NYC for 3 days last week. I did not see the show that I went to see which was frustrating but did see so many good things that I look forward to sharing with you.
I also spoke at a wonderfully friendly event here in Cambridge on Friday- which you will be able to see online soon. 
Sent images re sized and color corrected for a catalogue for an exhibit that opens this week..
Taught a workshop.
Got offered an adjunct teaching position for the spring semester, yeah.
And am frantically working to finish all the work that needs to be finished for my exhibit that opens early next month.
And had jury duty-eck, eck.

So I hope, fingers crossed will have some reviews and writings and musing to share with all of you about all of the above. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

stitched together.

Did you see this article in the NY TIMES on the current show featuring contemporary Quilters at the Folk Art museum.  Read it here.


Lovely work by Malala Andrialavidrazana

"For the artist, ancestral land implies a return towards personal history (this history of the "self" is apparent across her photographic work), apprehended by an anthropology of what surrounds her. She concentrates on the environment and objects, and then her look escapes these domestic elements in order to examine the human figure that she captures in fragments."


last seen.

Beside the fact that everyone should go to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum just because it is very unique and wonderful I HIGHLY recommend seeing the Sophie Calle exhibit currently on view. I am a huge fan of Calle's work and she is rarely exhibited in the US so even more reason to see it.

Last Seen focuses on the infamous thefts of a number of Vermeer's and other valuable works that occurred in the early 90's. The original work was done soon after the theft while the newer part of the project was done very recently. Calle photographs the "space" where the missing artwork once was and asks people what do they see? Exhibiting the transcription of their responses next to the image.
The fascinating part is that some people do not even realize the artwork is missing (which if you know the museum makes more sense then if you don't) and those that do remember the artworks  reminisce about them and their power or beauty in utterly different ways from each other. Describing varied works of art that are actually the same piece. It simply seemed to prove to me that beauty is completely  in the eye of the beholder and how a viewer responds to a work is totally and utterly based on their unique point of view.

Go see it. Read more about it here.

Read previous post about Calle's "sleeper" project and "ceremony" project.