Pix from Current cWOW Art Show
On March 31st, I attended the opening reception for the exhibition "Knot Your Average Knit" at City Without Walls ("cWOW"). This is the description of that show at the cWOW website:
[C]urated by Lovina Purple[, this exhibition] examines artwork being created in traditional craft techniques such as weaving, quilting, lace-making, knitting and embroidery. The exhibition features works by artists Elisa D’Arrigo, Karen Margolis, Christina Massey, Hyo Jeong Nam, Gail Rothschild, and Katya Usvitsky. Also: In our New Media Room: paperJAM: a collaboration between Hannah Lamar Simmons and Rebecca Kinsey. Free and open to the public Wed-Sat 12-6pm.
As I entered the gallery, Rodney Gilbert, Senior Progam Advisor to cWOW, who is active in cWOW's murals program, came up to say hello and bring me up to speed on this year's plans. I love me my murals. He told me that five murals are to be added this year before the murals bus tour during the Open Doors weekend this fall, tho only one site is as yet, set. He said he would let me know by email where they are going up, and when, so I might take progress pix (before, mid-painting, and after).
I ran into Lowell Craig of Index Art Center, who told me he's been making updates and alterations to the Index website. In place of the drawing of a hand with pointer (index) finger extended that has always dominated the Home page, there is now a fine foto of the "Art Cycle" show. There is also an area about Index's annual "Filmideo" event (short films and videos shown on Saturdays from 6-10pm in April, the two remaining being this coming Saturday, the 21st, and the following Saturday, the 28th). I'm not a fan of videos, because you have to stick around even if you don't like the way it starts — and you might end up hating it. With 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art, you can look at something quickly, and if you don't care for it, move on. Add the 4th dimension of time, however, and you're stuck, either to see the current video play out or to get to the next one, which you hope will be better. So I won't be attending any Filmideo showing, esp. in that the one time I did go, something gross or obscene (I forget what, for having successfully suppressed the memory — a task that gets easier the farther I advance into my dotage) offended me.
Lowell said something about the 23 steep stairs to Index (and Kedar Studio of Art), an issue I have raised here, but there's not much he can do about that, in that installing an elevator is not feasible. Something he can do something about is posting "No Smoking" signs, so that smokers will know to navigate the stairs to take it outside instead of assaulting nonsmokers' lungs and clothing with their toxic and odoriferous fumes.
After I had made a circuit of the main cWOW gallery, I stepped into the New Media Room to check out the video there, but there were too many people in the way for me to see well, and of course the room was dark for the video, and I couldn't very well use flash to compensate for the dim ambient lite.
I had exchanged emails with the curator of this show, Lovina Purple (I didn't think to ask if "Purple" was her real name, but I suppose it is — a most interesting name, it seems to me), so introduced myself and asked if any of the artists was present. She introduced me to the three still there, whereupon I gave them my card and asked if they would be willing to pose by their favorite work (of theirs) in the exhibition. All three consented.
Here we have Gail Rothschild, who does not pronounce the S in her last name. "Rothschild", with an S-sound, is of course a very famous European banking family. Gail mentioned, as I knew, that the name is German for "red shield". Hm; "red" and "purple" in this show; how very colorful. "Roth" in German is the part that means "red". "Roth" is mainly a surname in English-speaking countries. The English pronunciation of "roth" obscures the connection with "red". But once you pronounce "roth" in the German fashion, roet or "wrote"/"rote", you can see that the two words are really quite-close cognates. Similarly, "schild", the element that means "shield", seems distant from "shield" in its English
"Rothschild" has no connection whatsoever to the English word "child", but is pronounced like it in English. In German, however, "Rothschild" is pronounced róet.sheelt. Gail pronounces it ráutth.chie.yald. A lot of us have anglicized last names. My name in Dutch, for instance, is pronounced skóen.mok.er, tho my family has long pronounced it skúen.mae.ker. The first Schoonmaker on this continent came over in 1653, to Nieuw Nederland (now, much of eastern NYS), landing at Nieuw Amsterdam (I think you know what that is today), and married a woman who had arrived by 1642. But Dutch was still spoken by some members of the much-extended family as late as 1912. In Dutch, "schoonmaker" means "clean-maker", "cleaner", or "janitor". Good political name, for a reformer, no? Let's clean house — sweep the rascals out. Now all I need is a billion dollars and I can run for President. It's time this country had a bald guy in the White House — a gay bald guy, to boot.
I had already taken a picture of the work Gail posed by, noting that it, and her other pieces in this show, are not actually fabric, but paintings that painstakingly replicate the weave of fabric. It sure would have been easier to stretch a piece of fabric over canvas and paint the wool. Or it would still probably have been easier to weave each design in wool, cotton, linen, or other fiber. I admire the patience of people who can do such detail work, in paint or yarn. I never could.
The artist in the foto below is Karen Margolis, whose central cluster of 3D works is the largest in the show. I don't know that I asked for an explanation of her work. I should have interviewed all three artists on video and put the three short vids together thru Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker, then uploaded it to Blip.tv, to appear with my 66 other short videos about Newark. But I sometimes don't have enuf storage capacity on my camera card (storage chip) for video, which requires a lot of bytes per second. As my late mother might have said, "Come the revolution, I'll buy a second chip."
The young woman below, cradling one of her artworks, not a baby, is Katya Usvitsky, who was born in Minsk, Belarus. I'm unclear from the materials I found online where she lives now. Perhaps NYC, in one of the Five Boros. People have become very careless — or paranoid? — about providing basic information in their Internet presence. When I lived in River Plaza (Middletown Township) in high school, our neighbors two doors down were the Zagorskis, who were regarded as Polish but, I was told, were actually Belorussian (the term then; now "Belarussian", "Belarusian", "Byelorussian" or "Belorussian" — as Jack Paar might say, "I kid you not"; you see again why I am a spelling reformer). Joseph Zagorski is a nonprofessional artist. I have shown some of his works here, and have others to show when I have the time, to combine with those of another self-taught NJ artist for whom I also have fotos.
I did ask Katya about her work, much of which contains egg-like forms made, she said, from pantyhose. She is very focus(s)ed on women's nature and the artistic value of things that have traditionally been classed as "women's work", such as fiber arts (which I imagine include sewing, knitting, needlepoint, crocheting, embroidery, weaving, quilting, etc.). Historic quilts and needlepoint works are probably the most valued of these arts at present, and you can sometimes see hefty appraisals for such things on Antiques Roadshow.
When is Antiques Roadshow going to tape a show or three in Newark? Isn't the Prudential Center large enuf a venue to host it? Or do we need to build a capacious convention center — which every self-respecting major city must have — to host such an event? Is anyone at PruCenter or City government doing anything to bring Antiques Roadshow to Newark?
I asked (artist) Evonne Davis, cWOW's Gallery Manager, and a principal, with (artist) Emma Wilcox, of Gallery Aferro, what former CWOW Executive Director Ben Goldman is up to. She said she didn't know, but asked if I'd like to be introduced to the new Executive Director, who was standing nearby, and had been introduced to the gathered exhibit visitors, as a group, earlier. Naturally, I did.
Patricia Huizing is a tall woman who lives in Flemington (county seat of Hunterdon County) and commutes to Newark (county seat of Essex County). I imagine she sits in a car to go seat to seat. I said I guess she must have lots of furs (because Flemington Furs is almost the only thing I knew about Flemington, except that it is a long way from Newark. Actually, she said, she is anti-fur, so no, she does not have any furs at all. Good for her. My sisters love their minks, tho. My grandmother had one of those hideous fox stoles with the flattened head on it, with glass eyes, which creeped me out and made me sad for the poor little animal when I was a child.
Patricia likes her living situation, so is willing to put up with a long commute. (MapQuest puts it at almost 47 miles, and 57 minutes.) She has not been active in Newark arts for very long, but was active in a statewide art program that worked with Newark partners. I gave her my card and suggested that my blog might help familiarize her with Newark, as to both arts and the city more generally.
The "Knot Your Average Knit" show remains on view, free and open to the public, Wednesday-Saturday, 12-6pm, thru May 11th, at 6 Crawford Street, Newark, NJ 07102; phone: (973) 622-1188; fax: (973) 622-2941; email: email@example.com. If you are moved by this blog to go to any art show I feature, feel free to mention that to the gallery staff. I don't take advertising from galleries, but it doesn't hurt to let any organization know which sources of publicity produce results.