One of 200 handmade ceramic tiles from the April Tony Moore Wood Firing in Coldspring, NY. I am ecstatic about the results. This is the beginning of a long creative process that will culminate in thousands of handmade sculptural tiles for a large scale installation I am working on. So, there are many, many more wood firings, gas reduction and alternative firings to go. The beauty rests within the process...Patience....Gratitude...
After both the anagama and noborigama were completely unloaded. Tony engaged everyone in a discussion of the kiln results. Tony described the particulars of the firing process, as well as the unique challenges that contributed to what was most unique about the April firing. Tony encouraged everyone to share special glazing and surface results.
It was my first time participating in an unloading from beginning to end. I found it to be incredibly educational. I was excited to see so much amazing work with breathtaking results. I am already looking forward to the July firing.
The anagama and noborigama were unloaded systematically; the pots were laid out on pallets according to where they were originally placed inside the kiln. Therefore, one could see the atmospheric effects on the works.
One of my fellow crew members at the Tony Moore April Wood Firing Kiln Unloading. That's me in the background!
Unloading the anagram and noborigama involves cleaning of the kiln shelves and bricks...That makes for lots of dust and flying particles. Therefore, gloves and masks are essential gear.
Seth pictured here working on cleaning off the kiln bricks. Seth is a ceramic teacher from Brooklyn. His sculptures were amazing.
Shelita Birchett Benash with Tony Moore, sculptor and kiln master. I've learned so much in the year that I've been firing with Tony. I've met so many amazingly gifted potters and sculptors. I've been able to experience a sense of community, creativity and sharing with potters and sculptors from near and far. Catherine Thomas drives down regularly from Canada!
Recycled materials have a way of telling me what they what want to be in their next life; my job is easier when I listen.
I am honored and thrilled to have my sculptural work in dialogue with the compelling works featured as part of New Directions '15 at the Barrett Art Center.
BARRETT ART CENTER:
"Shelita Birchett Benash, your work was one of nine from Hudson Valley artists selected for New Directions ’15, Barrett Art Center’s 31st Annual National Juried Contemporary Art Exhibition. Juror Janet Bishop selected your work from upwards of 600 entries from across the country. In her Juror’s Statement, Bishop recognizes your work and the other selections as “works that reflect a strength of conviction—art that seem[s] to hit a high note in fresh, interesting ways no matter what the subject, style, or medium.” Congratulations!"
Thank you, Juror Janet Bishop and Barrett Art Center. I am tremendously honored and elated to have my sculptural work chosen as part of the distinct group of artworks for the New Directions 2015 Contemporary Art Exhibition.
NEW DIRECTIONS 2015 NATIONAL JURIED CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION
SEPTEMBER 26 THRU OCTOBER 31, 2015
OPENING RECEPTION: SEPTEMBER 26, SATURDAY, 4PM-7PM
INSIDE THE ARTISTS' STUDIO: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17, 4PM-6PM
BARRETT ART CENTER/DCAA
55 NOX STREET, POUGHKEEPSIE, NY 12601
ABOUT NEW DIRECTIONS and the BARRETT ART CENTER: New Directions is a premier national exhibition of contemporary art in all visual art media, showcasing the current work of established and emerging artists from across the United States working in a varied array of medium and genres. The show is visited by art appreciators and collectors from the Hudson Valley and beyond, including New York City and the suburbs of Connecticut. Now in its 29th year, and juried by professionals of repute from the country’s leading modern art museums, this exhibition brings contemporary art to an atypical venue - the warm and welcoming galleries of Barrett Art Center’s 1830's Greek Revival Townhouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Surprisingly, the Barrett townhouse lends itself well to a dramatic, visually compelling presentation of contemporary and cutting-edge work.
ABOUT OUR JUROR:
Janet Bishop currently serves as the Weisel Family Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art). Over the course of her tenure at SFMOMA, Janet has organized dozens of special exhibitions and presentations of the museum’s collection of 20th and 21st-century art, and published and lectured widely. She was one of the lead curators for The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde — an award-winning exhibition that premiered at SFMOMA before traveling to the Grand Palais in Paris, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Other exhibitions of special note include 75 Years of Looking Forward: The Anniversary Show and Robert Bechtle: A Retrospective.
While SFMOMA is undergoing expansion construction, Janet is overseeing its off-site exhibition program—“SFMOMA on the Go”—which presents exhibitions in both traditional and non-traditional venues throughout the Bay Area and beyond.
Janet is currently at work on two special exhibitions slated for SFMOMA’s newly expanded facility: Matisse/Diebenkorn, an exhibition co-organized with The Baltimore Museum of Art that will explore the influence of Henri Matisse on Richard Diebenkorn, and a retrospective of the work of David Park.
Janet was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her B.A. in art history and psychology from Cornell University in 1985 and her M.A. in art history from Columbia University in 1988. Her first museum job was at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell. She currently serves on the Johnson’s Advisory Council.
The inspiration for the Holy Cow! crazy quilt mosaic came from the lot of salvaged stained glass that I received from a retired glass artist. As I picked through the scrap glass, I discovered many beautiful bits of art glass. The sumptuous pieces of colorful and unusual glass took on textile like qualities to me. At one point in my artistic journey, I made art quilts. I also, designed and sold art wear clothing. I had even developed my own unique way of crazy quilting that I called Skitzoscrap. For years, I was an avid collector of vintage and antique textiles and lace, which I incorporated into my art wear designs. The small bits of beautiful glass began taking on that same precious nature that I found when handling vintage and antique textiles and lace. I was compelled to make a scrap quilt mosaic that would include vintage art glass, stained glass and mirror. I was excited to bring that celebratory, frugal, regenerative and dynamic nature of the crazy quilt, into my mosaic design. After all, quilts and mosaics are psychically bound art forms.
There are pieces of hand-rolled glass in my crazy quilt mosaic that are over 30 years old. I used many unique and precious pieces of art glass that will never be made again. Over several months, I created an heirloom stained glass and mirror mosaic crazy quilt to adorn my Holy Cow!
The Holy Cow! crazy quilt mosaic has inspired me to create a series of heirloom mosaic quilts from scrap glass. My love of quilting and textiles has come full circle in glass. Bliss.
Racing toward the deadline! Will grout the beast in the coming days.
This photo was taken during the Monmouth Museum's "Night at the Museum" tour for the visually impaired and blind. I was told that the children really enjoyed interacting with the compelling sculptures in the "Please Touch!" exhibition. I'm honored to have my sculptures in this creatively inclusive show where the aesthetic sense of touch is celebrated and where art is opened up to new and underserved audiences. This photo of a visually impaired child interacting with my "Helios Horse" truly warms my heart.
Richard and I will have sculptures featured in the outdoor sculpture exhibition on the 149 acre Saunders Farm in Garrison, NY. We are so very honored and excited to be participating in the 10th Year Anniversary of the Collaborative Concepts at Saunders Farm Project. It's a beautiful show that celebrates art, community and nature. Opening Saturday, September 5, 2-6PM (Rain dates: Sunday, September 6, or Monday, September 7.) Mid-Run Reception, October, 3, 2-6PM (Rain date: October 4. Last Day Exhibition is open to the public until dusk. October 31, 2015. Horses and cows roam the farm freely. Plan a God's Country picnic for day tripping the Hudson Valley. Hope you can make it!
The Farm Project 2015, Collaborative Concepts
Collaborative Concepts at Saunders Farm
We're celebrating our 10th ANNIVERSARY
this fall at Saunders Farm in Garrison, NY!
Saunders Farm is located on Old Albany Post Road, the historic earthen highway of the original route between New York City and Albany. The property begins with rolling pastures and culminates on a majestic ridge with 360-degree views of the Hudson Highlands. Black Angus cattle roam free. Sites for art range from intimate woody glens to open fields and dramatic vast expanses defined by stone walls.
This creative process is confounding and exhilarating. I've spent the last several months making the sculptural tiles and building the piece in my mind. This sculpture takes me back in time. Still, I push forward...
Instagram post from April 2015.
I had made enough work for a kiln load.
Honored to have my sculptural works chosen as part of this dynamic interactive sculpture exhibition that celebrates touch as part of the aesthetic appreciation of art. June 28 thru September 6, 2015
Excited and honored to be among so many very talented artists. It's a beautiful exhibition.
Excited to have three of my mixed media sculptures chosen for this wonderfully compelling and inclusive exhibition for the visually impaired.
Please Touch! Sculpture Exhibition at the Monmouth Museum is a Main Gallery juried exhibition featuring wall and free standing sculpture that can be touched by visitors. This exhibition is intended to help visually-impaired people overcome the barrier they experience at most museums by allowing everyone to experience art by touching. Sighted people will also learn to experience art without relying on their eyesight in addition to a visual artistic experience.
PLEASE CLICK THE TITLE LINK TO VISIT MONMOUTHMUSEUM.ORG
I am excited to have two of my mixed media mosaic sculptures and one of my ceramic mixed media sculptures chosen for the upcoming Monmouth Museum's Please Touch! Sculpture Exhibition opening on June 28, thru September 6, 2015.
My artwork centers on the visceral nature of gathering, wrapping, layering, breaking, forming and hand-piecing many elements to form a cohesive whole. Hand-crafting and hand-piecing is essential to building my mosaic and mixed media sculptures. Museum goers will have the opportunity to connect with my works through the powerful sense of touch. I find the concept compelling. This wonderfully progressive and inclusive Please Touch! exhibition will enable the visually impaired and the sighted to experience aspects of the kinetic and meditative energy that is imbued into my work. I am honored to have my sculptures chosen for such a wonderfully special exhibition that will allow the museum visitors to connect with me, my artworks and my intentions on such an intimate level. This is my first exhibition with Monmouth Museum. I can't wait to visit. I look forward to what I will learn from this interactive and transcendent creative experience. Gratitude.
Excited to be a featured artist in this wonderful article about the Stamford Downtown Dinosaurs Rule! outdoor sculpture exhibition that runs through an October charity auction.
Click the post title to read the article posted THEHOUR.COM.