This year is whizzing by with little time to post here! Much of my creative time has been consumed with community art education projects. Here’s a quick recap…
The Spring session of LUNA, my ecoliteracy and art after-school program, wrapped up with wonderful tissue paper collage posters of plants that are suitable for the urban environment. We showed off the posters at our open house event on May 31. We are now gearing up for our summer session. See much more on the LUNA web site and follow us on Facebook!
Following on the heels of the LUNA Spring wrapup, I invited botanical artist Melissa Fabian and designer Lisa Rasmussen along with Maya Guerin, my LUNA program assistant, to join me for the first annual Phipps Conservatory Bioblitz. I proposed to Phipps that we demo botanical art and offer art activities for the public. Despite torrential rain for part of the morning, we had a great time and enjoyed sharing our love of nature through art. Melissa and I also gave a nature journaling session for Phipps’ Biology in the Burgh education program as a precursor to the Bioblitz. We worked with three different school groups. Here’s a few pics of our team (L-R: Lisa, Maya, Melissa, and me).
Earlier in May, I opened up my studio to Art Excursions Unlimited, a program run by Edith Abeyta. I showed the group of kids and adults examples of different fine art printing techniques, and then they made their own stamps and explored overprinting to create patterns and designs. It was great fun!
The creativity continues with my Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (through University of Pittsburgh) Mixed Media and Collage class. A loyal group from my fall Visual Journaling with Mixed Media and Collage class has continued with the current class, which I hold in my studio. Here’s a sampling of what they did in the fall…
As for my own work, my most recent project was created for Brett Yasko’s massive portrait exhibition of one subject–his friend John Riegert. Over 250 artists are all doing portraits of John, which will all be exhibited at SPACE Gallery in downtown Pittsburgh opening this Friday, June 24. Here’s a digital mock-up of what I produced. The actual work is four pieces each 16″ square. Each piece is a collage of photos I took of John’s belongings in his home. Each panel is comprised of one room, or adjacent rooms. The backgrounds represent locations that have meaning for John. From top left (going clockwise): bedroom and landing/desert near Jerusalem; living room and bedroom/lake John visited with his family as a child; attic/farm field north of Pittsburgh; garden and front porch/Allegheny River, Pittsburgh.
Finishing out the summer will be the LUNA summer program, my Osher class, and organizing an exhibition of botanical portraits of native trees for the Re:NEW Festival in September. Somewhere amidst all these projects, I will find time to continue my research on the history of botany and hone my botanical art skills, along with making new pieces inspired by my recent trip to Northern Arizona (a sampling of the sights visited below).