Chadd and Donna walk in beauty.
All of my technology crashed over the summer. My 2011 iMac crashed at the beginning of July; then my iPad, then my iPhone... Will write more about that experience later.
For now, I feel the need to share my photography process. I've been taking digital photography courses at SUNY Dutchess. Right now, I'm taking a photojournalism course with Professor Lowell Handler. I'm learning so much, as I am delving deeper into incorporating digital storytelling into my artworks. Life-long-learning is where it's at...
I'm grinding toward a deadline right now....Still, I'm focused on what's important.
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.
This large scale mosaic was greatly inspired by the Hindu reverence for the sacred cow. The precious quality of the salvaged art glass became the tool I used for adoration. THErefore, the "HOLY COW!" wears AN HEIRLOOM CRAZY QUILT MOSAIC BLANKET. The cow is strong, yet gentle. The cow is a nurturer and giver. The cow is fiercely kind. It is my intention that when people see themselves reflected in the "Holy Cow's" mirrored surface, that they will experience the same fierce nature of kind gentle beauty within themselves.
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.