Friday, July 30, 2010

Empty space: 1, Me: 0

Today I started installing the show. My empty corner of the gallery's general emptiness was both exciting and rather daunting, considering the fact that I had no idea how on earth I was going to hang this damned thing.

You see, installation of the show is as important as the work itself. I can't just hang it up and walk out with a smile on my face. I have to make sure the work is displayed in a way that helps viewers access it the way I need them to. Every pedestal, hook, and nail has to be carefully considered. I totally understand why this is the case. However, right now I absolutely, completely, and totally hate this.

Why do I hate this? Perhaps this series of images from today will help you understand:

The empty space. It thinks its so cool, being all empty and safe-looking. Look how smug it is. 

This Ikea bag houses the quilt so perfectly it's as if it were designed solely for this purpose. Yes, I am aware of the irony.

This is when I noticed that there was a unusual amount of loose glitter on the floor. Oh well. If there's any quilt on which random glitter wouldn't appear out of place, it's this one.

This was the fun part. I'd never seen it unrolled in a large enough space to actually view it all together. It's either been in pieces, or draped over furniture. 

Three hours later, I'd figured out how to hang it. I was so proud that I didn't get killed while balancing on one foot and using my free leg to pin the quilt to the ladder, thus keeping too much weight from causing the clips to slide. Notice how high up that ladder is? 

It's, like, really high.

Really, seriously high. Scary high. Did I mention how much I hate this?

OMG OMG OMG I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF AND I'M STILL ALIVE!!!! Mom! Look what I did mom! Damn... it's a little low.... it should really be up about six inches higher. Hmm... I have ten minutes until I need to meet Suzie to go to the Cambridge HR office and turn in some paperwork. I can totally finish this in five minutes all by myself and have time to get a soda on the way. 

Empty space: How's the heat up there, Icarus?

The sound effect is really all I have to share with you here. Snap......... snap...... SNAP SNAP SNAP!!! Thud.

For about thirty seconds after that, I'm sure people wondered if the Arnheim Gallery was demon posessed. I don't know if I uttered actual words, and may have instead invented new swears in my own fake language.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Preparing to defend my thesis

And so it begins. Well, I suppose it also ends, in a sense, as this is the culmination of the program that prompted the quilt's birth. This is the beginning of my super-intense preparation for my thesis defense, but also (hopefully) the end of the road to getting my Masters and all the things that come with that degree. I admit to being very eager to go up that rather huge notch in the salary tree...

I was up for critique this week, and it was an interesting experience. it was the first time I'd seen the quilt laid out after it had been (mostly) pieced together. As a painting major during undergrad, I was used to stepping back from my work while making it so I could see the whole of the piece. That was impossible as the quilt grew because I simply didn't have the floor space. Seeing such a large chunk of it so close to being fully assembled was wonderful. After working on it so hard for so long, I'd grown nervous that no one but I would be able to see the work that went into it.

There's still much to do for the show. I need to baste and quilt one more section (the one on the far right in the second picture) and prep the edges for the borders. I need to attach the borders around each section and join the sections together. I need to wear-out and shred the tulle covering the borders to they look a bit more like well-loved fishnets.

Then I need to decide exactly how to exhibit this giant beast of a project. Yeah, I don't foresee a ton of sleep in my future.

Monday, July 26, 2010

A visit from Bhodi Slapva

The quilt got its first out-of-state guest recently. Bhodi Slapva, a jammer for Central Arkansas Roller Derby's Rock-n- Renegades, just happened to be in Boston when her teammate posted the details of the quilt exhibit to their team's forum. Covalent Bondage created a square for this league, and I'm thrilled that one of her teammates could come out and see it in person. Phew... so many links...

Coming out to see the quilt wasn't exactly an easy feat. She had to take the T out of the city to my little suburb of Boston. She was willing to take a couple of trains and a bus to get here, which is quite a trek in an unfamiliar city. Thankfully the buses and trains ran on time. As anyone from Boston knows, that's not always a guarantee.

We met up at the bus stop and she came in to see the frantic work on the quilt firsthand. My folks were excited to meet an eager quilt viewer, and my father immediately started grilling her on what one calls a person from Arkansas (answer: "an Arkansan"). We hung out for a bit, and she asked great questions about the project. What was the inspiration? Which were the first squares? Like everyone else, she couldn't stop squeezing the square with the little 3D bum. I know I certainly can't.

It was an awesome visit. When I started this quilt I never would have guessed that it would get house guests. When I really think about it, this was a very unique experience. I met someone from far away who came to see a huge collaborative project in which her league has one little eight-by-eight square. When you really think about it, that's really special.

Thanks for taking the time (and all those trains) to come and check it out, dude. Who wants to be the quilt's next guest?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I started this. Oh my god.

The other night I got a glimpse of the quilt partially assembled. Three sections are together. Because I'm my father's child, it totally made me cry.

I don't know what it was that overwhelmed me. Maybe it was seeing how far it's come. It could have been realizing the amount of hard work it took to get it to this state. I'd also been up past midnight for two nights in a row, so I was really exhausted.

I keep coming back to one thing, though: this whole time I had absolutely no idea what "it" would look like. It's not done, but now I can see the finished result in my head, and it's beautiful. Yeah, I have no words for that feeling. Just look at my face and you'll see.

I'm holding off on posting photos of the large strips finally pieced together, but I promise you, they look absolutely amazing. Come to the exhibit and see for yourself.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Exhibition, Aug 5-27

The quilt started out as a project for my Masters degree and has become the bulk of my graduate thesis. It's hard for me to believe, but this is my final summer at MassArt and my thesis show is fast approaching.

I'll be showing one completed section of the quilt in all of its pieced-together glory. You, my dear readers, are all welcome to come and check it out face to face. The show is open to the public, and I would be thrilled to see quilt contributors and fans in attendance.

The quilt will be on display from August 5-27. The reception is on Friday, August 20, from 6-8PM at MassArt in Boston, MAClick here to see the show details and relevant gallery addresses. 

We'll have the usual wine and cheese, with a strong possibility of a cluster of rollergirls skating around as well. I sure as hell plan to be on skates, but that shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Still accepting squares. You should totally send me some.

Goblin really wants some new squares to cuddle. You don't want to disappoint Goblin, do you? I certainly don't. I find that when I do, she does mean, nasty things like spending more time with Steve than she does with me, or refusing to let me carry her around the house.

But yeah, seriously, send more squares. I don't want to think about what might happen if the deliveries cease.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oak Park Illinois?

My most regular visitor (according to my feed widget) is from Oak Park Illinois. Here are some fun facts about Oak Park for those of you who, like me, live too far from this fine place to learn about it through direct experience. For now teh intarmets tell us:

Joseph Kettlestrings purchased the land that was to become Oak Park waaay the hell back in 1837. He paid $215.98 for the land.

• Oak Park was home to Earnest Hemingway. You may recognize his rather severe manner of dressing if you're not much of a reader.

• For those of you less interested in great literature, Dan Castellaneta came from Oak Park. You may know him as the voice of Homer Simpson.

Frank Lloyd Wright spent a chunk of his architectural career here. Some of his early work, like Unity Temple, graces the streets.

I don't think I know anyone from this place, so hey there stranger! I wanted to say hello because it's neat that you've been reading me so regularly. I hope I'm keeping it interesting for you.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pixie Bruiser

I have still more proof that NHRD rocks my metaphorical socks. This square comes from Pixie Bruiser, who skates on the Queen City Cherry Bombs as well as the Seabrook Meltdowns. I love skating with her because she's just so darned pleasant to be around, and she somehow manages to make fairy wings look tough. I always picture her as the pixie who smiles and bats her eyelashes before tying your shoelaces together and giving you a nudge down a flight of stairs - sweet and innocent on the outside, but fierce and wicked on the inside.

She found derby through her love of skydiving, as is shown in her square as well as her number: 14 thousand ft. I have a ton of respect for anyone brave enough to voluntarily jump out of a moving plane. Add that to voluntarily strapping on skates and smashing into people and you have a delightfully badass lady. Thanks Pixie!