New Altered Books on Exhibit


The Children’s War

Today I spent about four hours working with my new artist friend, Phil, at Arts Benicia hanging this year’s Arts of the Community Show. I learned so much today. I was partnered up with Phil since he is the pro and I’m a newbie, and he did most of the work while I held the paintings and tried to keep up with all the mathematical calculations.

The idea is to keep the center of a pair of vertically hung paintings at 56″ from the floor. So you have to add the length of the two paintings (or three, or one), add two inches to four inches for the space between them, divide by two, find the center, find the measurement for where the wire hangs and . . . well, you get the idea. Even with a calculator, I’m still mathematically challenged, so I was lucky to have Phil there to help me get the hang of things. I learned that the larger of a pair gets hung down at the bottom so the top doesn’t look heavy. And that you have to hang a pair so that they’re centered with the paintings beside them. I know it sounds complicated, but it’s not so bad, really. The best part was getting a preview of all the amazing art work, although I didn’t get too much of a chance to look around. The exhibit runs from January 21 – February 26, so if you’re in the area, I encourage you to stop by and have a look. You can find directions, hours, and other info at the Arts Benicia web site.

This is my third year (I can hardly believe it!) showing art work at the community art show. Every year I’ve shown something different. The first year I had two pieces that were assemblage and collage on book covers. The second year I showed three of my Reliquaries. I got a lot of positive comments about those. There was nothing like them at the show.

This year I made three book sculptures; they are different from anything I currently have on my web site. They are pretty dark and serious. I used a lot of found objects, burning, tearing, painting. They were so much fun to make but very time intensive. My husband doesn’t know what to make of them, and my youngest son says they creep him out. My oldest son says they’re”sick,” which is supposed to be a good thing. So overall, I’d say response from the family has been fairly positive!

Going to the artists’ reception for the show is crazy. The gallery is pretty small and it’s always packed with people. You have to nudge your way around the room. It’s a good time to schmooz and meet new people–not really my strong points, although I’m really going to make an effort this year.

After I look at all the other art work, I like to hang-out non-chalantly by my pieces and eavesdrop on peoples’ conversations. I love hearing reactions to my work. This year should be the best. I’m sure there will be a variety of lovers, haters, and people who are just plain puzzled. I can’t wait!

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