Walking the Back woods.
May mother adores her giant hosta. She goes to great lengths to protect it from the deer buffet. Nonetheless, the deer always win the end...They will eventually have the most beautiful bountiful dessert by end of summer. Gratitude. Impermanence.
In April, I will begin hospice volunteer training at the Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties Inc., I will write about my experience. My artwork and life's work are merging. Gratitude.
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.
My Offering mixed media sculpture series centers on death and rebirth. I'm in the process of wrapping the offering. The process of wrapping explores the act of devotion and our inherent desire to protect those whom we love from pain and suffering.
Snow days are an excellent opportunity to recalibrate and center oneself. Gratitude.
While I rehab my running injury and heal; I will walk...
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.
PRESENTED BY BARRETT ART CENTER/DCAA
OPENING SEPTEMBER 26 THRU OCTOBER 21, 2015
Excited to have three of my mixed media sculptures chosen for this wonderfully compelling and inclusive exhibition for the visually impaired.
Took a walk in the back woods. The ice was a foot deep in places; it creaked but did not give way. Frozen. The snow came later. Spring 2015 made her entrance in a snow white ball gown. Glistening icicles swung from her ears.
"To live and to act with a robustness and determination which approaches joyful intoxication, while suspended in he space-time moment, book-ended by the nothingness prior to one's existence and the nothingness that ever looms as the threat of one's own death, is a vital and visceral response to our own existential situation" (Carter, 2008, p. 103).
It's been a rough week and it's only Tuesday! I have back and neck pain from working on the mosaic. Still, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
My "Offering" series is an exploration of creativity as a sacred act. I love working with the bead form as a meditational tool. When working the clay, I feel a soul connection with the ancient past. The first people come to mind. And like the first people, I connect with the bead as one of the original expressions of beauty. The sculptures that are the result of my bead work carry a sense of devotion. I'm excited to see where working this way will take me.