Want to support the arts, but don’t have a lot of cash? That’s why Craft Sabbath is bringing you the 5 and 10 dollar show for August. The Craft Sabbath artists will be out with all kinds of stuff, but this time, each artist will offer at least a few items that cost $10 dollars or less. With $5 and $10 hand-crafted items galore, what have you got to lose? Come out, get your craft on and support local crafters!
This is your chance to pick up a little something from all those crafters you have been checking out for months. Credit Cards will be accepted! Beat the heat with some of Nobrow’s Limeade and iced coffee.
Sunday August 1st
Noon to 4pm
At NoBrow Coffee and Tea
315 e 300 s, SLC www.craftsabbath.com
Have you ever played the game 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon? You play by trying to link yourself to Kevin Bacon through who you know.
Well, if you we were to play that game with the world-famous artist Kiki Smith, I would win because I can get there in one small step.
I don’t actually know Kiki, but a friend of mine spent several summers living in New York working with her, making art. At that time, many years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a week in New York going to galleries and meeting artists all over the place.
I usually leave it to Todd to talk about world-famous artists, with his massive knowledge of art history, I feel he is much more qualified. Writing about Kiki intimidates me. Her work is far more political and metaphysical than can be understood by a humble crafter with the word “duh” in the title of her blog. But because of my personal connection, I want to be the one to share her with our readers.
Todd and I saw many of Kiki’s pieces last spring when we went to explore the art museums and galleries of San Fransisco. But I don’t think I realized just how famous she is until I saw her work featured on the hit TV show Gilmore Girls. In the episode, Lorelei’s mom gave her Kiki’s Wolf Girl as a wedding gift, and Lorelei hated it. Wish she would give it to me instead!!
Kiki amazes me because she has mastered so many mediums. She grew up doing the things that I like to do – embroidery, crochet and sewing. She makes sculptures in plaster and bronze, she knows everything about printmaking, she teaches, makes books, works with glass, weaves and etches.
One of Kiki’s installations that I love is a group of 47 bronze ravens that are laying dead on the ground. She made this after reading in the newspaper that a flock of birds was flying along and suddenly all of them dropped dead and fell from the sky. She is also know for including bodily functions and fluids in her work, for example, her sculpture of a woman urinating yellow beads.
Kiki had this to say about the repetition that is such a huge part (and probably my favorite part) of art making, “I think there’s a spiritual power in repetition, a devotional quality, like saying a rosarie.”
Another thing that fasinates me about Kiki, is that she isn’t afraid to cross over into the more commercial world of fashion and collectibles. For instance, she designed a purse for Coach and has worked with Steuben Glass to make crystal vases and animals. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of snobby artists who believe if its not in a gallery, its not art.
Well, please enjoy some of Kiki’s images. Some are disturbing and others beautiful. And if you are interested, take a look at the links below to learn more about her. Drop us a comment if you have thoughts to add, love it or hate it, we would love to hear from you.
I’ve been thinking on one of my favorite knock-down, bone-breaking, poop-kicking, big-dumb-super-duper-hero-fun comic book series because of the San Diego Comic Con and upcoming Marvel movies. Yeah, I mean theUltimates!
The Ultimates is a reinterpretation of Marvel’s super hero team, “the Avengers“. Even though I really liked some of the individual characters, I never particularly liked the Avenger as a team. However, with the Ultimates, the story couldn’t be better.
The Ultimates starts off with Captain America on his final mission during World War II. Everyone thinks he had died on that mission, but nope! He is revived again 57 years later by Gen. Nick Fury, who is recruiting a new special-ops team for the U.S. Government.
In addition to Captain America, Nick Fury’s team includes Iron Man, Ant-Man a.k.a Giant-Man, the Wasp, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. I’m not sure that the Hulk is ever really a member of the team, but they definitely make use of him. Sometimes the Hulk is their greatest enemy, destroying New York City in order to get at Freddie Prinze Jr., and sometimes the Hulk is used as their greatest weapon. There is also Thor, who is either the living son of a Norse god or a lunatic new-age hippie with a big hammer.
All in all, I say “HOORAY!” But if I try and describe all that goes down, it might start to sound like a soap opera with tights, so I won’t give too much of an overview. Just believe me when I tell you this is a very entertaining comic.
Artduh felt it was important for you all to know that Governor Herbert signed a proclamation declaring July to be Bikini Awareness Month in Utah.
Okay, I made that up to cover for the fact that July 5 was the anniversary of the fabulous garment known as a bikini (named after an atomic bomb test) and we heard about it too late to get it up on the blog. So here you go, better late than never, our blog post about the wonderful invention known as the bikini.
I actually chose this topic because I LOVE to make bikinis. They are fairly quick to crochet (my favorite way of making things) and I seem to have endless ideas to make them weird – like weaving in bits of metal, jingle bells, even bullets. But, most of the time mine aren’t actually meant to be worn, except on a stage or runway, and I don’t know what I’d do if someone jumped into a chlorinated pool in one of my creations.
My friend Krista Nielson, a local fashion designer and writer who I admire a lot, also makes bikinis. She makes hers out of fabric instead of crochet and she unveiled several new designs at Spring Fashion Stroll in May.
And now, a little bit on the history of the bikini.
This sexy swimsuit was first unveiled in July of 1946. Naturally, it was a French designer, Louis Reard, who first had the balls to put women in such skimpy clothing. The poor man couldn’t find a model who was willing to let so much hang out, so he talked an exotic dancer into wearing his bikini at a popular Paris swimming pool.
It seems politics had quite a lot to do with the development of the bikini. In the 30s, women first began wearing two-piece swimsuits, but they modestly kept the navel and, well, almost everything else covered. However, World War II brought hard times, and fabric was rationed. So swimwear grew smaller and smaller.
Naturally, the bikini caught on more quickly in Europe, though when the garment was first introduced many beaches moved to ban it. However, by the 1950s, the bikini was a mainstay of European fashion.
The prudish U.S. was slower to adopt the trend. However, in the 60s, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” became a popular song and Annette Funicello wore the magical outfit in many movies. And the rest is history.
Next week, visit artduh.com for Todd’s post on the history of the thong. Have a great summer and don’t forget your sunscreen when you lay out in your gorgeous Krista Nielson bikini!
Though I don’t know how to do it myself, I’ve had a love affair with handmade pottery and ceramics at least since high school. I have a fairly large collection, and nothing brings me more pleasure than adding to it. In 2006, Todd and I went to a ceramics show at BYU. And at this show we fell in love with the work of a young potter named Melanie McGee.
Melanie’s thesis show, that we saw that day at BYU, consisted of a series of hand built large spherical forms with conical shapes extending out from the center. They looked like large sea shells or sea animals. A few months later, at Christmas time, Palmer’s Gallery had a pottery show. I fell in love with some very affordable pots with black and white images carved into the surface – and discovered these were also by Melanie McGee. In fact, I bought one of Melanie’s carved bowls for Todd and he liked it so much he went back to Palmer’s and bought one for me. I asked Melanie about her carved pieces – which are my favorite and this is what she had to say:
“The carving style I use is called sgraffito which is a process of carving through one layer of colored clay to reveal the uncolored clay beneath. I had a brief introduction to the sgraffito technique as an undergraduate but it wasn’t until a fellow grad student made a series of sgraffito pieces that I became more interested. Her work was very loose, organic and spontaneous and she made it look so easy. I experimented with it until I developed my own style that was less spontaneous and more graphic design-ish. I was inspired to use black and white images from a series of paper cuttings that my father was working on around the same time. His design style was based on traditional European cuttings while my images were simplified stencil like cut outs of figures, faces or just simple shapes. My interest in black and white photography helped give me more material to work with as I used my own photos from previous photography classes to piece together collages that I then translated onto the curved forms of thrown or slab built works.”
A lot has changed for Melanie since her thesis show at BYU. Palmer’s Gallery sadly closed. But I have stayed in touch with her and continued collecting her work. Melanie McGee is now known as Melanie Evans and she has become a mom and an art teacher. Like all of us, she struggles to find time to create amid her duties at home and work. Melanie is now working on a process to screen print images on clay that I’m very excited to see. Here’s what she had to say about the process of working with clay:
“I love making things out of clay because it’s something real that people can hold and look at and experience and maybe they’ll love it as much as I love making it.”
Know some young artists, between 2nd and 6th grade, who would like to take their art career to the next level? Our friends Rachel and Leigh Kade are calling for entries for their Kids Craft Show and Artist’s Reception. The event will be Saturday, August 21 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at NoBrow Coffee and Tea.
To apply, the young artists must fill out a simple application and write an artist statement. This is intended as a learning exercise so kids know what it’s like to market their crafts professionally. The young participants are also encouraged to make business decisions about pricing, displays and merchandising. The kids are also asked to choose a charity or nonprofit group and donate a portion of their proceeds to a good cause.
I just bought a book called “Truth Myth Extinction” by the Portland, Oregon artist Jesse Reno. I discovered his artwork a few years ago, and really enjoy all I’ve seen. I’m sure I’ll be getting some prints or paintings very soon, but in the mean time this book will serve very well.
Here is what Jesse Reno has to say about his work:
My style and technique is made up of quick expressed lines, smears of vibrant colors, and layer after layer of changing ideas and shapes. I identify myself and my work most closely with the outsider art brut movements. Outsider art is considered by its proponents to be the contemporary antidote to our over industrialized, complicated, stressful, and uncertain lives. it is probably best described as a new kind of primitivism, i seek naive art as a purer form of creation and expression.