Sunday, June 28, 2015

Retablo Artisan

Peru is the focus of this year's Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Alfredo Lopez Morelez sits at a table coaxing clay into small animals, people and flowers. They will become additions to his carved wooden crosses and retablos. People come and go, peering at the large retablo on his table, populated by the Holy Family and an entire village's worth of farmers, sheep and celestial beings. He encourages the children to feel the clay and to try forming it into a leaf or a body. The musicians and craftspeople are here to share their traditions and way of life, hand to hand and face to face.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Silvered Leaves

Something sparkled at my feet as I walked by. The chain link fence had been freshly  painted and the overspray had dropped onto the weeds clustered around the base of the fence. Many pale or gray-green plants are described as being silver in color. What if the next Burpee's catalog boasted of a new breed---the first plants with a genuine metallic sheen? Would gardeners rush to add silver and gold to their front beds and hanging baskets? Although my chance discovery added a bit of magic to the day, I am happy with the non-metallic homegrown magic found in my own little garden, just as it is.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dye Dribbles and Splotches

On a Monday, the paper towels protecting the table were pristine. By Thursday, a continuous visitation of students had inadvertently left their marks. Grabbing the bottles with rubber-gloved hands, they squirted the thickened dye into smaller containers then carried it off to be painted, stenciled, monoprinted or simply poured onto the waiting fabric. This is life at the Quilt Surface Design Symposium. I lurk about the edges, peering over shoulders, trying not to get in the way as creativity flowers. Some of the completed fabrics were so beautiful that they elicited thoughts of thievery. Instead, I have formulated a plan for the next time; come with soda-soaked fabric to take the place of those paper towels.  

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Remembering Aminah Robinson

A very long mural spans the side of a building near the Columbus Museum of Art. It's the work of Aminah Robinson, a MacArthur Foundation grant recipient, who died last month at 75. She grew up drawing and making art out of anything she could get her hands on, including cloth, paper bags and buttons. Much of it was about life in the Poindexter Village neighborhood. It's all there on this mural, which faces a parking lot. To park there must surely brighten one's day. Thank you Aminah for this bit of everyday art.