Chadd and Donna walk in beauty.
The process of wrapping my offering has me meditating on the beauty, meaning and myth of dragonflies. I've come by bucket full of thousands of brass dragonflies in the junk. This offering is becoming a swarming nest of dragonflies.
My Offering series centers on aspects of death, grief, mourning, rebirth, transformation and regeneration. The day Richard called to tell me that a bucket of brass dragonflies had been dropped at the junkyard, I knew I wanted to use them in my artwork. Still, I sat with them for a while, as they spoke to me.
4 mile run. Done. I've been reading MLK for inspiration, peace of mind and lessons for the way forward. Onward!
I'm in a thrilling place with my running practice. Taking my run off-road onto the field, backwoods and expansive open fields that are all around me has set my spirit free! The run is harder, yet my body does not feel the brunt of the impact. I feel myself getting stronger. I've been researching the benefits of grass running. I will continue to train this way for the half marathon I have coming up in December.
Awoke to 25 degrees this morning. Hello November. 3 miles in the book.
Took this photo during my run yesterday afternoon. The temperature was brisk at 41 degrees. Still, I wore my running skirt and compression socks. I love my new Nike neoprene running jacket. I swear by Nike running apparel. It's the best. Ran off road on the open fields; I felt like a mustang...
body is poem
spirit is breath
mind is sweat
earth is lover
Shelita Birchett Benash
6.24 beautiful miles...The focus is on breath during my practice. Centering. I believe, every working artist and human being needs to take time to away from distraction to recalibrate the spirit...Running is my way of spiritual centering and soul recalibration. I am so grateful for the ability to move...
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 was running late this morning, still I pulled over to take a photo of the beautiful fall foliage along the river. And when I looked up, I saw an eagle!!! On November 7, 2015, I saw an eagle for the first time. I had my iPhone 6 Plus...However, I walked back to the car to grab my Nikon P7100...This is the best shot I could get. I cropped the shot in iPhoto. A bird watcher with a massive telephoto lens stopped to take photos while I was standing there, by the river, awe struck. He remarked that there were two eagles up in the same tree yesterday. My heart is bursting. Mother Nature rewards us for stopping long enough to witness her glory...The creative practice of seeing feeds my making process. My work day was crazy with so many challenges and things going wrong. Nonetheless, my heart is full and my spirit is uplifted, as I am reminded of the abundant beauty and grace that surrounds me. No matter what, beauty and grace is always there.
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.