Musings on KC Streetcar Mural

From the artist: In late spring, the Art in the Loop Foundation commissioned me, among many other artists, to create temporary work for the series of summer programming in downtown Kansas City titled Connect. With the opportunity to partner with the KC Streetcar Authority during the streetcar’s inaugural year, a mural on one of the station stops seemed a clear choice. I See Yowas installed mid-July at the northbound Power & Light stop near 14th & Main.

Art in the Loop: Connect │ Power & Light KC Streetcar Stop │ 70sf │ 2016
Art in the Loop: Connect │ Power & Light KC Streetcar Stop │ 70sf │ 2016

Since I have been itching to do more of what I call “lace portraiture,” another clear choice was before me. This piece graphically fused the nature of lace – domestic, intimate, soft – with the metaphor I see in the material of many individuals strands creating an interconnected network. In I See You, the overlapping strands of cursive text radiate out to create the profile of a figure, a self-portrait, in truth. Yet, this is portraiture not beholden to capturing the physical likeness. Rather, it captures thought, consciousness, a meditation, or at the very least, that is my intent.

Art in the Loop: Connect │ Power & Light KC Streetcar Stop │ 70sf │ 2016
Art in the Loop: Connect │ Power & Light KC Streetcar Stop │ 70sf │ 2016

I invite you to visit the Art in the Loop’s website to listen to a short clip where I spoke about the meaning of this piece during the opening reception. The description I gave there is a bit different than what I have shared anywhere else and something I felt best shared through voice.

This work references a series of drawings created from the desire to transcribe consciousness into visual form.
This work references a series of drawings created from the desire to transcribe consciousness into visual form.

One never knows how a work will be received and I am grateful that this piece seems to be appreciated. Along with Don Wilkison‘s project, aka m.o.i., (Minister of Information), I See You was featured on KCUR’s website. The Shawnee Mission Post also featured the work.

i-see-you_streetcar-detail-1s-_gardnerroe
The transparency of the mural overlays a lacy filter onto the downtown surroundings at the northbound Power & Light Streetcar stop near 14th & Main St.
i-see-you_detail-6s_gardnerroe
The layers of handwritten text were printed onto a clear adhesive vinyl. While individual words can be picked out here and there, overall, the layers render the sentences illegible. A graphic mass of thought is the result.

While this work is temporary, up through September, I will have the opportunity to share more lace portraiture through an upcoming project called Femin Is.  This launched softly on KC Art Pie, with a hard launch including a Kickstarter campaign coming in October (sign up for updates here).

So, more lace, or at least my interpretation of it, is on the way. Until then, you can join me on the 17th for an Art on the Route tour hosted by ArtsKC and the Kansas City Artists Coalition. Otherwise, you have until the end of September to view I See You as well as all the other works on the line. Then it will be like what remains of our summer: going, going, gone.

With gratitude,
Rachelle Gardner-Roe

The Fresh Goods: New Cast Lace Work

Putting my Anderson Ranch Studies to the test, I have been busy making the first new lace works and I want to share them with you! These are the first mid-sized works on the way to working larger in scale.

These works use three main techniques. This first vessel uses what I call gravity casting, which allows for free form shaping.

Gravity Vessel #1
12 x 10.75 x 7.75″

In the Memory Records below, I cast resin in a highly detailed mold, which was made at Anderson Ranch. Learning a technique used by my teacher, Lynn Richardson, I carefully remove the piece before it has finished curing, allowing it to deviate from its initially flat existence (I do leave some flat though). While from the same mold, no one piece is exactly alike.

each 8 x 8 x variable depth (1/8 – 1 7/8″)

For an installation, they would hang in concert, but be available individually. This is the one examples where physical lace or thread is not used, but represented as subject matter.

For the following works, I’m working with two casting techniques. The lace is initially cast over a form and then I use gravity casting to build additional layers and texture. Mm, mm, MMM. I do love texture.

Pillar of… (#1)
23.5 x 6.5 x 2.5″
  

Pillar of… (#2)
24 x 6.5 x 2.5″
  

Parabolic Triptych
each approx 11 3/4 x 11 7/8 x 3/8″; overall 11 3/4 x 40 x 2 1/2″

It’s Alive! Superclusters Artboards Unveiled

A year in the making, the Superclusters are now on display at the Missouri Bank Crossroads Artboards at the intersection of Wyandotte and Southwest Blvd. Google Map. The images face west.

I am an amatuer space nerd, with the appropriate nerd crushes on the likes of Carl Sagan and Neal deGrasse Tyson. It is also immensely difficult to step back from the never-ending bombardment of minutue in our daily lives and bask in the knowledge that we are a part of a mind-boggling universe, so vast, mysterious and amazing that our jaws should be perpetually dropped. It is not a separate thing. It is us. We are in and of it. We are vast.

These images are dedicated to that wonder. They are representations of galactic superclusters, the largest known structure in the observable universe. Matter does not evenly disperse. Galaxies cluster together in sheets and filaments. The galaxy clusters then also cluster into a larger structure, hence a supercluster. Our Milky Way is in the Local Group of galaxies, which is a part of the Local, or Virgo, Supercluster.


Photo by NASA

This commission was awarded in 2011, which is also when the US dismantled it’s space shuttle program. In the same year, the Tevatron, once the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, was shut down. Many of the advances in technology and in our daily lives originated in space exploration research and development, so I am saddened by the loss of interest and funding in these areas on a national level. So I thought science needed a bit of advertising!

These should be up through January, so I hope you get a chance to take a look when you’re downtown!

 

Anderson Ranch Arts Center – Soft (and not so soft) Sculpture

I have been so busy that it’s hard to even decide what to write for this post. I should backtrack…

The Kickstarter Campaign was successful. Wooo!! After finding that out, I immediately had to race out to Aspen, CO and The Anderson Ranch Arts Center for my course in Soft Sculpture.

Aspen…yes. Beautiful, amazing, and of course, depressing to leave. Time flew. While it did fit in a smidge of site-seeing and one good hike, most of that time was spent in the studio – a beautiful and well-lit loft space.

A few of my studio cohorts! Such a wonderful crew!

Our teacher, Lynn Richardson was (and I’m sure still is) fantastic. She had the great attitude of, “Yeah! Let’s make this!” Exploration and invention was definitely encouraged. Here’s some of her fabric sculpture…

Red State by Lynn Richardson
2005
vinyl, nylon, steel, lights
20′ x 20′ x 18′

On that note, I’ll just start posting some of my experiments of combining casting resins and lace or other fabrics.

 Cast paper lace.  This was a tricky little mold to make, but I enjoyed the crystalline results when backlit. So much so, a studio cohort even helped me shoot a few videos of it spinning in light. There’s no thread in it (just bits of paper), but hey, it’s definitely lace! I am currently making a series of these in black. Small individually, they could fill a wall and look delicious.

 This is a hanging onion orb, if you will, using only red organza. I recently tried casting one in my own lace, but learned the hard way that I must use clear tints when using my lace – ope!

I donated this little piece to the Art Center’s Auctionette, where I heard it was happily snapped up. This is 100% cotton cast in red-tinted resin.       I am currently trying my hand at this technique to make a lace bowl. I hope to get it cast this weekend (fingers crossed).

Here are a few more studio shots of building the molds and mother molds.     

And finally here I am examining my experiments. I suspended all my little tests so by the end of the week I had a curtain of randomness behind me. I also cast a few fishing bobbers and had some fun little results (the intent is to work with the media on a larger scale, but for the workshop I worked on a small scale to conserve materials and make as many experiments as possible). But I’ll save that for later!

Samples for Casting – Preparing for the Aspen Adventure

While I focus on lace, I have incorporated felt into that lace, which will be a component of some of the tests I will do at The Anderson Ranch Arts Center. To find out more about my project to cast lace sculpture, please check out THE ASPEN ADVENTURE on Kickstarter.

An example of such felt lace can be see in Seeing the Signs. While it can appear opaque, a bit of back light proves otherwise.

I am certain this sheer play of felt, thread and color can go farther, so one of my samples that I have prepared for my time at The Anderson Ranch Arts Center includes this technique to test translucency in the casting process.

This sunshine yellow hand-dyed wool absolutely glows when back-lit.

But is a yummy sunshine yellow even when it’s not back lit! I included hints of melon and orange  wool for accents as well. Just for flavor.

If you haven’t seen my Kickstarter page to help fund my project at The Anderson Ranch Arts Center this summer, please check it out!

Just for kicks, here is where all that bright, colorful wool comes from!

Baaaaaaaaaa!

One State at a time: Unable to Divide Heads to Maryland

Unable to Divide, a lace work piece in red, orange, and yellow thread has been accepted into the national juried exhibition, Fiber Options: Material Explorations, hosted by the Maryland Federation of Art.

It will exhibit in Annapolis, MD from July 19 to August 11, 2012. I was one of 65 artists chosen from over 300 entries.

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This meaning of this work draws from some of my mental struggles with incorporating tenants of yogic philosophy (I’m a certified yoga teacher, btw). While I can intellectually understand certain contepts, the practice and experience of it can be quite another thing, especially with this over-chatty brain of mine. What can I say, I’m a work in progress. 🙂

Lace Sculpture Test

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Last weekend, I dabbled in 3-D lace sculpture. This is to one, be able to show the artist I’ll be studying under in Colorado the type of 3D forms I am thinking of and two, I am starting work on yet another proposal for a potential residency in 2013 and need to show examples of my thought process.  Here’s the result of the first attempt. It’s a wee thing, around seven inches in length, five inches high.