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exhibition schedule fall 2006

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Ball and Chain - photographed by Larry Sanders of Sanders Visual Images.
         

Though September 20th is technically the end of summer, Labor Day has always marked the beginning of fall for me.   With this in mind, I have posted my exhibition schedule for the fall.  I hope to see you at one of the openings!

Solo Exhibitions
Woman’s WorkCurfman Gallery at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CA September 8 – October 20

Odds Polvo,  1458  W. 18th St., Chicago, IL  60608  November 10 - December 2

Group Exhibitions
Thinking Through the Body -  H.F. Johnson Art Gallery at Carthage College,  Kenosha, WI September 7 – October 7 – opening September 14

Embroidered Stories / Knitted TalesWalnut Creek Bedford Gallery, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CA  September 24 – November 5

Touring Exhibition: Twist and Shout
Ohio Crafts Museum1665 W. Fifth Street, Columbus OH September 17 - October 29 September 17 - October 29

Reed Whipple Cultural Center Gallery, 821 Las Vegas Boulevard N, Las Vegas, NV 18 November, 2006 - 21 January, 2007

A catalog for Thinking Through the Body will be available and also includes the work of Molly Carter and Lorraine Peltz.  The essay is by Margaret Hawkins, art critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and contributing editor for Artnews.  A catalog is also available for Twist and Shout with the essays by the curator Michelle Tuegel and Sunita Patterson, editor of Fiberarts.  It may be purchased through Florida Craftsmen Gallery or the particular exhibition site.

Embroidered Stories / Knitted Tales will feature my first exhibition of photographs taken of my performances, as well as the piece above, “Ball and Chain.” Thank you to Audrey Mandelbaum for the photographs!

 

 

gnome

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I don't know what the deal is with all the mushrooms that have recently sprouted in my backyard.  I must pick 8-10 of them a week.  This one sprouted near Jean Claude, one of my garden gnomes.  Before you Free the Gnomes radicals get any clever ideas, please know that Jean Claude adopted me.  It was in Germany, 5 years ago.  He heard that Chicago was plagued by Snotgurgles, so he offered his services.  How could I resist such kind assistance?!  So, please let it be known that Jean Claude lives a happy life near my rosebush where he has all the rosehips he can eat, occassionally sauteed with touches of sage and rosemary. 

And for those of you who think I am completely nuts, what's the harm in a little fun?  Hi, ho, hi, ho, it's off to the studio I go!

 

restless

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A detail photograph of my piece "Worry."
 
Restless.  It's is late in the evening and I am wide awake.  The cricket's serenade drifts through the window.  It is a lovely sound, the sound of summer.  I see few of them in my garden, but the symphony is large if one goes by the strength and depth of music produced.

Josie, aka Squirt, rests at my feet.  She hurt her paw this afternoon while digging.  Fortunately no bones are broken, but she has two tender toes.  Jack, the Pomeranian, is curled up next to her, his paw resting on her head.  Is it a protective gesture or one guaranteeing the least amount of annoyance from her?

As I write, I can hear a train.  It must be carrying a large load as it has been rolling past for several minutes.  During the day the regional train, Metra, carries worker bees to and from their hives, but at night it is the freight trains that rule the tracks. 

Josie woofs and grumbles in her sleep.  Do dogs dream?

If you are locked in an apartment high above the sounds of nature or if you are simply curious, turn on your computer's speakers and listen to the sound of insects.


zinnias

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In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. - Artistotle

After yesterday's ugliness, I needed a bit of beauty.  I woke soon after dawn, pondering and wandering about in my garden.  Its beauty exists even in the decay.   The death of a flower is an inevitable mark of time's progression.  A car explosion is symbolic of an uncontrolled flash of rage.  Measured perhaps to be optimal in its desctructive power, yet it is ugly; it lacks beauty.   


kaboom!

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When anger rises, think of the consequences. - Confucius

Last night I was shaken awake.  The noise reverberated through the house, waking all but my daughter who only seems to rise to my voice.  I quickly ran to the window to see yet another car on fire.  It was a terrifying image, but what is more terrifying was my blase attitude.  I can't actually count the number of cars I've seen on fire.  These aren't cars with overheated engines.  These are cars that have been purposely torched. 

Much of my adult life I have lived in what many would term as "rough" neighborhoods.  Cars were  torched for gang retribution.  They were torched as payback for a lost argument.  I don't get it.  I don't understand this rage.  I don't understand the need to destroy.  These days I live in what many would consider to be a "good" neighborhood, and yet this is the second car torched since I've lived here. 

Acrid smoke filled my house despite the windows being closed.  Great billows of it bored out of the car.  My dogs hid under the bed.  The firemen arrived promptly followed by the police.  The whole event was over in half an hour, but the shell of the car lingers.    The shards of glass sparkle in the afternoon sun.

I'm tired.  I am tired because I was shaken out of my bed in the early hours of the morning.  I am tired because such rage exists and was once again unleashed.   


lighthouse

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I work next to a lighthouse.  Though the building is no longer in active use, it holds its regal posture reminding all that this area was once treacherous to bustling water traffic.  I grew up in Missouri and still think of the Midwest as landlocked when in fact it isn't.   I could set sail (if I knew how) and navigate my way through the Great Lakes up the St. Lawrence River and eventually to the Atlantic.  Amazing. 

These days work for me is teaching summer art camp.  This year's theme is the Silk Road.  Like the Great Lake system, the Silk Road was a conduit for trade.  Ideas flowed along it.  They still do.  My students come from all over the world and bring with them their knowledge of their cultures.   Parents happily share photo albums of Turkey, Pakistan, Korea, and India.   

Discussion of each other's cultures makes for lively discussion and beautiful art.  The children work together to create large installations.  No one is in charge.  The projects evolve through a noisy forum of eventual agreement.  I wish the problems of the world could be solved with such simplicity.  Watching the children interact gives me hope.  Their laughter sends out a small beacon of light as welcome rather than as warning.


baby girl

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"All the arts we practice are apprenticeship.  The big art is our life."  - M. C. Richards

Is it foolish to wish for our children the life we ourselves have chosen?  My daughter has loved the arts since early childhood.  She isn't enamored with drawing or painting, but sculpture.  Her daily meditation is spent at the wheel throwing clay pots.  As she centers the clay, she herself becomes centered.  I know this desire.  I understand the need to find that moment of total absorption, but is a life in the arts the only way to achieve it?

I consider my own life a patchwork.  Bits of color worked together into a cohesive whole.  It isn't easy.  My work week average is 65 hours.  I spend part of that time teaching and designing and the rest in the studio.  A life in the arts isn't the most lucrative career choice.  Though I sell my art, my bread and butter comes from designing and teaching.  Do I want this struggle for my daughter?

Emily is entering her senior year of high school.  I have to trust that she will find her own way down the path of life.  She is fortunate to have participated in programs such as Gallery 37 which give students a sense of the "real" art world.  Her mentor, Karen Avery who teaches at Lillstreet Art Center, has encouraged and strengthened her ceramic focus for over four years.  Yet, as was hammered at the nonprofit workshop I recently attended, making and selling art is a business.  It isn't about what looks cool and dreaming that galleries will one day discover you.  It takes dedication in the studio, meticulous bookkeeping, and certain marketing savvy.   

But last night, worries were locked in the trunk as I attended family night at Gallery 37.  There was my daughter standing proudly near a mixed media sculpture which was woven from reed.  The craftsmanship was excellent and as an artist with a BFA in weaving, I couldn't have been a prouder and more delighted mom. 


leaping

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Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound......

After 4 hours and a 1/2" pile of paperwork, I have all I need to start a nonprofit.  The brain reels.  Yesterday evening I attended a workshop provided by Lawyers for the Creative Arts. Starting a new venture is exciting, but daunting.   

I feel more self assured than I did when leaping into my previous business ventures.  The terminology is familiar, the tax code is what it is, and the various pitfalls are known entities.  So why do I feel like I am jumping into the abyss?  The director of LCA mentioned the possibility of Founder's Syndrome, an ugly and dreaded disease afflicting founding members who can't let go of control.  Conflicts on the board can bring about disastrous results to any business, especially small nonprofit corporations. 

The Red Thread Project is my baby.  I nursed it from one staging to the next, but like any child, I need to let go of full control if I'm going to see it grow and develop into something bigger and better.   The last staging of the project proved to me that the project is ready for this step, in fact it has no choice.  I simply can't do it alone and I shouldn't.  The project isn't about me, though I appreciate being known as its originator, it is about everyone else's creative energy and all that positive energy being donated to cancer patients who are dragging on low to zero spirit. 

Art in service of the community.  The Red Thread Project is moving from my studio to the greater world.  I couldn't be more excited!


logo

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I needed more business cards.  Should I reorder the purple polka dots or use an image of my art?  An art piece made some marketing sense, but which image should I choose?  I didn't want to lock myself into one style over another.  It was time to develop a logo.   

Have you ever considered a logo for yourself?  What image do you wish to project?  Do you identify with certain colors?  What about shapes?  I was completely lost, so I called my good friend Pon Angara at Barkada Creative.

I knew a few things.  I like the color purple.  I have identified with the color since early childhood.  One of my email addresses is based on this purple passion.  Then there is the color red.  Sure it looks great in contrast to purple, but I was thinking of my Red Thread Project.  I wanted a small visual link to it.  And now the difficult bit, I wanted the logo to link visually to my website.  Those of you who have been to London may recognize my website's tool bar.  It is based on the map of London Tube.  My webmaster and I have been friends since in meeting England over 20 years ago (Was it really that long ago?  Eek!).  I also wanted to incorporate my initials.  My primary website address is www.lbostudio.com, so all three initials plus the word "studio."  I felt like I had asked for the impossible, but after just two attempts, Pon had designed the perfect logo for me.  (See above for the results.)

Now I need to figure out how to add it to my email signature, but that's another adventure.

 

squirt

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Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep. - Fran Lebowitz

Dreams became nightmares and nightmares shifted to dawn as I slowly woke to the nips on my nose.  They weren't caused by a monster, but a sweet, little puppy.  Or were they?  Once again, I was looking at the sunrise.  Josie, aka Squirt, needed to use the great outdoors.

I'm a night person.  I love it's contrast of colors, red, blue, yellow, green, and white against a purple black ink.  Dawn is wrapped in lilac velvet, pretty, but not as vibrant as the night.  Even my garden looks asleep at this hour.  Daylilies love the high noon sun, not the golden sliver of 5:30am.

My body needs a minimum of 7 hours of sleep to feel rested, but it doesn't shut down until the moon is high.   So, I walk through my days feeling a certain empathy for zombies.  Josie knows no such problem.  She is constant motion.  She runs laps in the house for the sheer joy of running laps.  I watch with fascination, amusement, and envie.  Remember running to catch a ball just for the joy of running to catch a ball?  These days I power pack in an hour at the gym. 

Maybe Josie is smarter than she looks.  She greets each day with a bark, a lap around the garden, and then investigates to see what's new.  Instead of looking at the sunrise with horror, I should perceive it with joy and invest in an organic coffee co-op.