Monthly Archives: September 2014

September Exhibition – Erin Hall

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When an object becomes orphaned, it loses its history. We hold onto material objects for their significance; they hold memories through their continued existence and ownership. That significance could be as simple as what a person finds aesthetically pleasing, or as complex as a piece of family history. But without ownership, an object loses the importance it once held, and becomes a forgotten memory itself.

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I choose found photographs, postcards, and scraps of writing for their intrinsic effort to hold on to memory and their attempt to exist without ownership. They materialize the ephemeral. Photographs are physical proof of what the owner found aesthetically pleasing or of a specific precious memory. The photographer has specifically curated an image that is, for whatever reason, of importance. Writing cements thoughts that exist in conjunction with specific memory. Even with no ownership, these items cary echoes of their history and continue to exist outside of their context.

As I approach a found object that holds the remains of memories, my interaction with it (cutting, covering, revering, sewing, and discarding) destroys part of its history. Its owners have forgotten it, and I simulate that loss through the destruction of the original object in art making.

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However, in the creation of the work, new experiences are being created, birthing new context. We, as the audience (myself included) have no insight to the object’s original significance. So, instead I can only highlight its echoes and curate information. In sewing the writing from postcards, I expose the information, but it is difficult to read and obscures the original image. In displaying a woman’s devout patience in writing 2,300 songs, we can experience what she has curated but her persistence is overwhelming.

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Because memory is a give and take; there is no completely truthful memory. With all new experiences and contexts we bring in, we are only obscuring, warping, and altering what was already there.

Throwback Thursday – KCAC Forum Oct 1975

KCAC Forum Newsletter Volume 1 Number 6 October 1975

Fabric Paintings

By Pam Olson

Elsea Wasser is a petite little lady whose works are often times larger than herself… but then they need to be because she has a great deal to say.  Recently opened at the Angerer Gallery, Elsea’s fabric paintings are no mere craftsman’s delight.  They are first and foremost paintings; the fact that the color shapes are put together with string and fabric are secondary.

In her own way, Elsea has managed to combine the essence of painting with the sensuous qualities of fabric to create a new dimension in art.  And, in the past, they have always emanated the feeling of a collage, “put together” works.  In Elsea’s case, each piece of fabric appears to grow into and out of other color shapes.  There is no beginning or ending to them. They all work together in almost musical harmony.

Some of her paintings have the quality of transparent water colors due to her choice of materials.  Gossamer-like fabrics overlay heavier materials in successive layers and create the illusion of great depth and endless space.  All of her works allude to an almost romantic, mosaic mystery.

The subject matter of these works is mostly people, and some animals, all in luminous colors.  The style is *decorative without being cold, sensitive without being saccharin.

In this exhibit, Elsea Wasser displays the grace, dignity and professionalism that Kansas City believes to exist only on the east and west coasts.  We are excited, pleased and proud of her accomplishments, and hope that her success will spur other artists to hang on a little longer and not get completely discouraged by the negative attitude of Kansas City towards local artists.

*The term “decorative” is an insult to most artists. That used to be so with us also.  The word seemed to imply that we are doomed to become wallpaper hangers or some other nondescript position.  But we have matured since then, and find that decorative does no have to mean tight, stiff little flowers, washed out or acid colors, cold and flat designs. Those are only the negative aspects of decorative.  The art of China, Japan, Matisse and others are the positive aspects.  Elsea Wasser adds a new dimension to a much disunderstood word.

September Exhibition – Teresa Paschke

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I’ve become increasingly invested in the use of digital technology and it’s application within the arts. I’m intrigued by the expressive qualities that exist when combining new tools with ancient and traditional practices—merging sophisticated technology such as digital printing with the most modest ones—a needle and thread.

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My current artwork represents a confluence between traditional textile techniques and state-of-the art technology. It combines elements of painting, printmaking, photography, and textile design to highlight the visual impact of global perspectives on modern cultural landscapes. By juxtaposing contemporary and historical, sublime and profane, natural and cultural elements, it explores three relationships:

• how ornament and pattern are expressive of cultural, social, and political ideals

• the relationship or similarities between historical styles and contemporary forms of visual expression; specifically historical needlework and contemporary graffiti

• the relationship between traditional hand techniques, which lend unique qualities to each individual piece of artwork, and digitally printed images, with which multiple editions and repeat patterns are designed and printed with ease.

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To create my artwork, I manipulate my own photographs using off-the-shelf digital imaging software. Compositions are printed onto cotton canvas using a wide-format ink jet printer (Mimaki Tx2 or Epson 9800) followed by hand-printing and/or hand-embroidery. Artwork in this exhibition* combines digitally manipulated photographs taken throughout the city of Prague that are digitally printed and combined with historical Czech embroidery motifs that are then stitched, by hand.

Throw Back Thursday – KCAC Forum Sept 1975

KCAC Forum Newsletter

Volume 1 Number 6 September 1975

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Health Hazards Manual for Artists

Evidence is now accumulating that artists, like other workers, are prey to a wide variety of occupational diseases caused by the materials with which they work.  In order to make information on health hazards available to artists, ART WORKERS NEWS published over the last year a series of articles, “Health Hazards in Art,” by Michael McCann, Ph.D., a science writer and chemist specializing in occupational health.  The series discussed the health hazards of a variety of art techniques, including painting, print-making, ceramics, sculpture, welding, plastics, and sculpture.

The series also included articles on how to work safely with art materials, with special emphasis on proper ventilation and methods of personal protection. Now his series is being published as a booklet with revisions and an index.  This booklet, “A Health Hazard Manual for Artists,” is available from the Foundation for the Community of Artists, 32 Union Square East, New York, NY 10003.  The cost is $2.00 plus 25 cent postage for single copies, $1.75 plus postage for 50-99 copies, and $1.50 plus postage for 100 copies or more. AN UPDATED VERSION IS AVAILABLE : Health Hazards Manual for Artists Paperback – July 17, 2008 by Michael McCann Ph.D. (Author) and Angela Babin (Author) Buy it here and support KCAC :) Amazon


Public Favors Arts Support

John B. Hightower, speaking at commencement exercises April 26 for the graduating class of the California College of Arts and Crafts, told the emerging artists, teachers and designers that “the litany of sustained disregard for the arts in the United States is long and cheerless. “…As practicing professional artists you will find it easier to be paid for talking about what you do rather than doing it.  Less than a small fraction of you will ever make enough income from your work as artists to do without another job…” Hightower is founder and chairman of Advocates for the Arts, the citizens’ action group with more than 5,000 affiliates in all states, that monitors legislation and engages in the precedent-setting legal cases of the Museum of Modern Art.

He paraded a good deal more of the “bad news,” then tempered it with a “now for the good news” closing, citing some fo the findings of a recent Louis Harris public opinion survey about the arts in the United States.  According to the survey, a staggering 89% of the adult public – 130 million people – feel that arts are important to the quality of life in their communities. ” In California it’s higher,” noted the speaker. “Ninety-one percent of all Californians feel the arts are important to the quality of life here.” The survey showed that the public vastly over rates the earnings of artistic professional and has no clear idea of the profits or the losses of most cultural organizations. “Paradoxically,” concluded Hightower in his final quotes from the statistics, “ninety-three million Americans would be willing to pay additional taxes of $5.00 a year if the money were used to operate cultural faculties such as theatre, music and art exhibitions.”