Making Art


©2013-Lindsay-Obermeyer-bead-embroidery

Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art. --  Andy Warhol

I'm excited.  I am at the beginning of what I know will prove to be an entirely new line of work.  I am using an upcoming exhibition as an excuse to push these new ideas out of my head and onto the embroidery frame.  The task is daunting.  This new line of work leaped in front of me just three weeks ago and begs to be entirely bead embroidered.  There are no short cuts with this medium.  I sew each bead into place one bead at a time.  By the time I finish, I will have stitched over 20,000 beads and sequins onto a silk substructure. And that's just one piece!  My hands ache and my back hurts, but I feel so incredibly energized!

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Gone Viral: Medical Science and Contemporary Textile Art

Gone Viral

Each living creature must be looked at as a microcosm--a little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms,
inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars in heaven.  --  Charles Darwin

This spring my art was exhibited in Gone Viral: Medical Science and Contemporary Textile Art at the Casie and Jesse
Marion Gallery at SUNY's Rockefeller Art Center in Fredonia, NY.  Curated by Dr. Leese Rittlemann, the exhibition explored 
the intersections of art with medical inquiry.  Participating artists included Sonya Clark, Laura Splan, Anna DumitriuPaddy
Hartley and myself.  

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CHA Winter 2013 - Let's Cr8te!

©2013 Lindsay Obermeyer Felt Bird EK Success

"Creativity is intelligence having fun." -- Albert Einstein
 
At a CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) tradeshow there is so much to see, scores of new products to try out, and dozens of fabulous workshops and seminars.  The 2013 winter show was no exception.

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Woman's Work?: An Exhibition at Northeastern Illinois University Art Gallery

Twirlers
The innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care...
~William Shakespeare
Tomorrow is my visiting artist talk at Northeastern Illinois University Art Gallery from 3pm -4:30pm, followed by the closing reception the next day with another of the artists attending.  Anni Holm will be bringing her performance piece Networking, a gorgeous work that is part performance, part installation, and part community art.  The reception's hours are 6-9pm.  I hope you can make it to one of the events.  While you are on campus, check out the yarn bombing created by the students! 
It's been a pleasure to be in the show Woman's Work? and has me thinking in what direction my art knitting will turn.  More sculpture?  Community art like The Red Thread Project?  Street art / yarn bombing?  I don't actually know.  I guess you could say I'm in flux at the moment - or twisted in a tangle if you would prefer a yarn pun. *grin*
Heather Weber, NEIU's gallery director and curator, wrote a wonderful essay for the show .  As you many not have received one of the brochures, here is a copy:

The theme for this exhibition was taken from a series by Lindsay Obermeyer which, in turn, was inspired by a text entitled "Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society" by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. (1) The title, Woman's Work?, in the context of art, brings to mind the traditional (acceptable) forms of artmaking by women such as knitting, crocheting, embroidery, etc. Endeavors such as these not only have had to overcome the stigma of "craft" but also their association with the feminine due to their ties to the home and to the family. Yet while our customary idea of family has changed and "sewing arts" have overcome their non-high art classification, there remains something inherently familial, homey often, about these particular art forms. The three artists chosen for this exhibition, Anni Holm, Mark Newport, and Lindsay Obermeyer, share both their process-knitting-as well as the use of knitting as a metaphor for our connection to one another.

PlastiCity by Anni Holm, 2010

Mark Newport knits several Costumes whose bright colors, often recognizable symbols, and shape are reminiscent of the super-masculine action heroes which picture largely in our childhood memories. The concept of action hero speaks to the traditional notion of husband and father as protector of the family.   Not only do Newport's Costumes remind us of heroes battling outside forces but also of our interior world, our home. When juxtaposed with the medium of knitting the Costumes conjure memories of the warmth and safety sought in our domestic environment through their allusion to cozy blankets and warm sweaters. Due to the lack of an actual body to fill these Costumes, when exhibited, they appear passive as they hang limply from the gallery wall. Thus Newport creates performances which "activate" the Costumes by showing himself in the process of making and wearing them.

Superheroes by Mark NewportThe connection of textiles to the traditional role of woman finds its strongest voice in the work of Lindsay Obermeyer. For Obermeyer's series entitled "Woman's Work" she addresses the relationship between mother and child. For example, in her piece Twirlers Obermeyer uses thread to create a sweater whose "breasts" extend and pool onto the gallery floor. The resulting image is one in which the viewer is invited to connect to the biological demands of motherhood as well as the reality of an unending bond/giving of parent to child. Twirlers also alludes to the demands upon one's time which can be problematic for an artist/parent. Historically, for women, a choice must be made between their artwork and their duties to their family. Obermeyer reconciles this dilemma by conflating the two.

  1. Barber, Elizabeth Wayland, Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1994.

About  NEIU Art Gallery

The NEIU gallery is located at 5500 N. St. Louis Avenue in building E in the northwest area of the campus.  Parking is free in parking lot F the night of the reception only.  The Fine Arts Center Gallery is a visual exhibition space committed to showing innovative works of art in all media within a  pluralistic, culturally diverse setting.  Fall gallery hours are 10am-5pm Mon-Fri.  Please call 773-442-4944 or visit our website at www.neiu.edu/~gallery/ for more information.


Addison St. Bridge Yarn Bombing: final installation

©2012 Sara Convery Addison St Bridge Yarn Bombing Yarn Storming Street Art
"It has been said that art is a tryst, for in the joy of it maker and beholder meet." -- Kojiro Tomita

So happy!  Our final yarn bombing was installed last Thursday and it is holding strong.  After our Day of the Dead installation being stolen in under a week, we were holding our breath on this one. But worry not, it is still there!  In fact these photos were taken by fellow neighbor and artist Sara Convery after several days and two rain storms.

©2012 Sara Convery Addison St. Bridge Yarn Bombing, Yarn Storming, Street Art  ©2012 Sara Convery Addison St. Bridge Yarn Bombing, Yarn Storming, Street Art
©2012 Sara Convery Addison St. Bridge Yarn Bombing, Yarn Storming, Street Art  ©2012 Sara Convery Addison St. Bridge Yarn Bombing, Yarn Storming, Street Art
©2012 Sara Convery Addison St. Bridge Yarn Bombing, Yarn Storming, Street Art  ©2012 Sara Convery Addison St. Bridge Yarn Bombing, Yarn Storming, Street Art

A big shout out to Joanie Friedman for offering the opportunity and to my new community arts partner Mary K. Lawrie for helping with the design, construction and installation.   And a BIG thank you to all the knitters and crocheters involved.  Your dedication was inspirational!

Thank you also to our sponsors - Lion Brand Yarn and Clover.


Illustration Friday - Blog Contributor

Fall
"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist
once we grow up." - Pablo Picasso

 

Happy Fall!  So many new projects are in the works.  I am excited to share with you that I am a new blog contributor over at Illustration Friday.  If you haven't swung by this website, you must.  Every week a new prompt is given and artists from around the globe send in their finished ideas based on that prompt.  It's full of oodles of inspiration as there are no limitations on medium, so you could see the same prompt illustrated in graphite, watercolor, collage or even mixed media.  The sky is the limit.  There are also artist interviews, book releases and a new kids section.  Started by Penelope Dullaghan, the website was a way to meet others in the field and further develop her portfolio.  Little did she expect it to become the powerhouse it is today.  

Twenty years of teaching art to children is being brought to you in the form of projects on a twice weekly basis.  I am having a blast covering techniques I haven't explored in years.  Check out my first two posts and sign up over at IF to get blog updates sent direct to your mailbox.   


Street Art Blossoms

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Street Art Blossom
"Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty
outvalues all the utilities of the world." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mary and I wrapped up our projects in Rogers Park this past weekend at the neighborhood's Harvest Festival.  The day was overcast and chilly, but families came out to greet the clowns, paint a pumpkin and of course, make a few fabric flowers.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Street Art Blossom

After the theft of nearly 2/3 of our Day of the Dead installation, Mary and I were determined to up the number of flowers at the corner of Howard and Clark.  We succeeded.  In just 1 hour children and adults had made 80 flowers for us to install!  We used the same technique I taught at Intuit in August, so I knew even the youngest of children could do it.  Everyone loved the idea and looked forward to spotting their contribution.  Mary is proud to show off her creation made with upcycled t-shirt fabric.

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Street Art Blossom

By the end of the afternoon, we had added them to street poles and a traffic control box.  I love it when folks honk, waving and giving the thumbs up.  Such response makes it all worth it.

Blossom4


The Video! - Yarn Bomb Addison St. Bridge & Vote

 

"While the spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few, it is even more important now because our neighbors are so many." --  Lady Bird Johnson

Scarves for the Addison St. Yarn Bombing are due today.  Installation is October 11th.  If you haven't finished your contribution, don't panic, Mary and I are taking submissions until October 8th. October 9th is the last day we will have in the studio to connect prior to installation. 

Drop off boxes are are on  my front porch (message me for the address) and at the Athletic Field Park House, 3546 W. Addison St., Chicago.  

Check out the video.  Joanie Friedman who initiated the entire revitalization of this previously cold and ugly corner of my neighborhood sent it to me this morning.  It really caputres the energy that has gone into the yarn bombing and the mural.  I can't wait until installation!  Get ready for one wild and colorful line spanning the entire bridge like a crazy Dr. Who scarf!

If you have time to help us install, we will be at the bridge next to the mural at 10am on the 11th. Installation will proceed from west to east across the bridge.  Bring scissors with you. 

Don't forget to vote too!  We are neck and neck for first prize in the Space in Between competition. The $1500 award would be used to further revitalize the neighborhood.  You don't have to be a member of the project or of the community to vote.  Just let them know that you like what we are trying to do.

Rogers Park is blooming! : Yarn Bombing at Clark St. + Howard St.


A1
 

 "We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers
connect us with our fellow men."  --Herman Melville

 
Walk by the southwest corner of Clark and Howard in Rogers Park and you are in for a surprise.   Mary and I installed a full garden complete with butterflies with the assistance of several volunteers and the staff at the Rogers Park Business Alliance.  It's gorgeous!  I love the details.  Children are finding a particular delight running from flower to flower like bees on a mission shouting their joy in discovery.  
©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Rogers Park Is Blooming, Street Art, Yarn Storming, Yarn Bombing  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Rogers Park Is Blooming, Street Art, Yarn Storming, Yarn Bombing

Every flower imaginable and some purely from imagination are growing in this garden.  Look for gerber daisies, plate-sized dahlias and delicate morning glories.  

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Rogers Park Is Blooming, Street Art, Yarn Storming, Yarn Bombing  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Rogers Park Is Blooming, Street Art, Yarn Storming, Yarn Bombing

The Emanuel Congregation Sewing Ladies were by far our biggest contributor having made several hundred flowers, but even those who had never knitted or crocheted contributed allium and dandelion puffs.
©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Rogers Park Is Blooming, Street Art, Yarn Storming, Yarn Bombing  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Rogers Park Is Blooming, Street Art, Yarn Storming, Yarn Bombing

One gentelman at the Howard Area Community Center contributed a large red crocheted banner.  It became the base for what I call the "pole of wishing flags."  We had a number of rectangular contributions that didn't quite fit the garden theme, but look lovely as flags! 
©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Rogers Park Is Blooming, Street Art, Yarn Storming, Yarn Bombing  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Rogers Park Is Blooming, Street Art, Yarn Storming, Yarn Bombing
©2012 LIndsay Obermeyer, Rogers Park Is Blooming, Street Art, Yarn Bombing, Yarn Storming 
October 6th is the official Chicago Artists Month tour of the Rogers Park yarn bombings.  Hope to see you at the mini yarn bombing event hosted by the Rogers Park Business Alliance at 2pm!  
A big thank you to Ana and Katrina at the Rogers Park Business Alliance and the Sprecial Service Areas for Howard and Clark for sponsoring these yarn bomgings and all the community who contributed!  
 
Our final yarn bombing of the year will be at the Addison St. Bridge crossing the Kennedy. Installation is October 11th at 10am.  We are looking for volunteers to assist.  The new mural, garden and yarn bombing in Avondale are up for the 2012 Placemaking , Space in Between contest.  Vote for our space!  We are currently in 2nd place.  Help us make it to first!  

Rogers Park Is Blooming! : Yarn Bombing Part 1, Touhy Park

A9

"Color! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams."
-- Paul Gaugin

We did it!  Mary and I successfully completed two yarn bombings with the help of the Rogers Park community!  Rogers Park is officially now blooming!

The weather was comfortably cool and sunny.  We couldn't have asked for a finer day.   Students from the Chicago Academy of Math and Sciences gave us a hand.  With their help, it only took 45 minutes to install over 200 crocheted marigolds and a dozen or so papel picados.  Thank you CAMS students!  You rocked!

  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Yarn Bombing Rogers Park Is Blooming / Day of the Dead  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Yarn Bombing Rogers Park Is Blooming / Day of the Dead

We managed to cover 2/3 of the fence along the Clark Street side of Touhy Park which is the length of a full city block.  Given that a Chicago city block is 660 feet long , that's approximately 440 feet yarn bombed!

 ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Yarn Bombing, Rogers Park Is Blooming, Day of the Dead ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Yarn Bombing Rogers Park Is Blooming / Day of the Dead 

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Yarn Bombing Rogers Park Is Blooming / Day of the Dead  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Yarn Bombing Rogers Park Is Blooming / Day of the Dead

©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer, Rogers Park Is Blooming, Yarn Bombing, Day of the Dead  ©2012 Lindsay Obermeyer Yarn Bombing Rogers Park Is Blooming / Day of the Dead 

Waste not, want not.  The chunky red flowers were made from upcyled red "thread" from The Red Thread Project®, the community art project I originated and led for 7.5 years.  I love them and want to make a blanket full of giant squishy red flowers.  

October 6th is the official Chicago Artists Month tour of the Rogers Park yarn bombings.  Hope to see you at the mini yarn bombing event hosted by the Rogers Park Business Alliance at 2pm!