Honored and excited to have my Holy Cow! recycled art glass mosaic sculpture featured in Monmouth Museum's 38th Annual International Juried Art Exhibition opening January 14, 2017 through March 13, 2017.
My beautiful beloved Zeus. R.I.P
Creating and installing a planter mosaic could be considered a mosaic artist right-of-passage. This job had its unique challenges that included weather conditions and source materials. Still, I am grateful for the opportunity to create a legacy mosaic for Stamford, CT. The recycled tile mosaicked planter will be place permanently inside a park along with a painted mural and sculptures. I will post more photos once the planter in moved to its permanent location. Gratitude. Onward!
It seems that a run across the Newburgh Beacon Bridge last weekend caused me to have an epiphany as it relates to my running. That PR 2.42mi @ 9:46 pace (personal record) had me thinking that I should begin to incorporate speed drills into my running practice. So, I've been running 2 mile interval drills. It's all new to me and so very far from my normal and very natural Zen approach to my running. However, my Vo2 Max has been rising in the process. I will write more about this later. In the meantime, I read an article about Ida Neeling, a 100 year old runner and record holder of the fastest time for an American Woman age 95-99 in the 60 meter dash! I am in awe. I am so inspired by Ida Neeling!
A day I will never forget. My dear friend Sue Kreitzman and I were having lunch at Street Bird in Harlem when I started getting text messages that Prince had passed away...Suddenly, Prince's music was playing in the restaurant and a woman at an adjacent table began talking to Sue and me. She recounted stories of her meeting Prince over the years. The woman was in shock. We all were. At first, we thought it was a hoax. Sue and I spent the rest of the afternoon having deep reflective talks about life, love, laughter and relishing each moment....Sue Kreitzman is a force of a woman with an aura as bright as the sun. I am so happy to have found her! A year ago, when I reached out to Sue to be a participating artist in an exhibition I was curating, I had no idea at the time that I had not only found a prolific and amazingly talented artist; I had also found a life-long friend. I cherish you Sue! RIP Prince. God Bless You!
Driving toward the gym on a road like this seems unnatural.
While I rehab my running injury and heal; I will walk...
On my way to work it out in the gym before sequestering myself inside my studio....
I'm in the midst of a run streak. I was already running 6 days a week. However, I saw the Runners World Run Streak 2015 challenge posted on Instagram that challenged runners to run every day from Thanksgiving until New Year Day 2016. So, runners are tagging #rwrunstreak on Instagram photos from their daily runs. This is my first experience with participating in a social media virtual run streak. I find it quite amazing. I appreciate seeing other runners journeys and stories. There's so much beauty out there!
I already use nature photography as part of my creative practice. However, my photography is taking on a whole new significance, as I am determined to run through winter 2016. I am so grateful for this practice. And I am so excited for this #rwrunstreak!
Here are some of the photos from my Instagram gallery. All photos from my runs are taken with my iPhone 6 Plus.
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.
Jere Edmonds, producer of 5ONTHEGO, an arts and culture online show taped an upcoming episode with artists and members of the Monmouth Museum Board of Directors and Women's Auxiliary Committee. Thank you for a wonderful shoot, Jere!
Featured artists: Lisa Hirkaler, Kevan Lunney and June Keprow, President of the Monmouth Museum Friends of the Museum.
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.
Grouting the beast! WIP.
Racing toward the deadline! Will grout the beast in the coming days.
PRESENTED BY BARRETT ART CENTER/DCAA
OPENING SEPTEMBER 26 THRU OCTOBER 21, 2015
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.
This is one of the two plates that I made for the Tony Moore June 2015 Anagama/Noriborigama Wood Firing. I created all the surface texturing of the clay surface. I wanted the surface to look as if it had been buried int he ground for centuries. My plates were placed on a back shelf in the fire box: anagama. The patina is a very dark caramelized brown. I was surprised by the results. I am looking forward to further exploring texturing the clay for use in my sculptures.
I made this ceramic plate with the intention of breaking it into pieces for my "Invocation" mosaic sculpture. There is something precious about the whole of something. There's a part of me that wants to savor this plate. Still, there is that aspect of ruination in my work. I find myself reveling in the mystery of what is left behind...I will write more about this later.
In November, it will be a year that I've been working as part of a crew of potters that work the wood firings for Tony Moore's Japanese style anagama/noriborigama kiln. It's been an invaluable experience.
After the June unloading, Tony was very generous with his time, as he answered questions I had regarding clay bodies. We discussed what I'm striving for aestethically. Tony was able to show me the results of silica sand on a pot from the firing. The work was beautiful. I got the silica sand! The experience of working with Tony Moore and the opportunity to talk with other potters and to see the vast array of works that demonstrate varied approaches, clay bodies, and techniques has expedited my learning curve, as I am assimilating what I'm reading in my pottery books. I am so grateful for this incredible journey.