Monday, April 30, 2012

Featured Artist: Heidi Field-Alvarez

 From April 14th, to June 2nd, we present "Refuse/Re-seen" during which we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog.  Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Heidi Field-Alvarez

In Time, 10" diameter x 15" 2012

Heidi Field-Alvarez is a mixed media artist. She is currently a member of ArtSpace Gallery in Richmond, Virginia, Studio Art Quilts Association and the Surface Design Association. most recent  juried several shows are; CraftForms 2011, Wayne Art Center, PA and Outside/Inside the Box, FiberPhilidelphia 2012.  She  has  participated in various gallery shows including ArtSpace, Main Art Gallery and White Canvas Gallery in Richmond, VA and the Textile Art Center in NYC amoung others. Heidi  has had work printed in Lark Books: 500 Art Quilts, Richmond Home magazine, the Surface Design Journal and Studio Art Quilters Journal (spring 2012). Currently she is working on a mural sized embroidered public art piece to hang at Gallery X, Richmond VA. She is experimenting with taking fiber into video and other combinations of fiber and film.

Her work is in the collections of: Sheila Gray of Richmond, VA; Ben and Maureen Field of Toano, VA; Robin Ryder of Richmond, VA; Susie and Will Hudgins of Richmond, VA; Kara and Lee Parker of Richmond, VA; Brigette and Jeremy Pugh of Richmond, VA; Amy Ford and John Hessian of Richmond, VA; Diane and Tony Brozna of Richmond, VA; Jen and Ash Thakkar of Richmond, VA.

Self Portrait (Sulk) 16.5" x 24" 2012

“Fusing fiber with technology and mixed media is my newest passion. I love the idea of fiber in motion, the reflective qualities and playing with the different "states" of textiles. I am not married to one material but will use what feels appropriate to the subject.  I have used only string to complete some pieces and in some works have used up to four or five mediums.  It is more about achieving a visual balance between the mediums and exploring what each material will do in order to work it into new forms.  Art is very much an exploration for me, an experiment with materials, both traditional and non-traditional.  I work with the ideas of ephemerality and change and how they occur in humans physically, socially and emotionally. Fundamentally, my pieces are about fleeting moments and crossing barriers. ”

Friday, April 27, 2012

Featured Artist: Emily Dvorin

From April 14th, to June 2nd, we present "Refuse/Re-seen" during which we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog.  Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Emily Dvorin

I call myself a sculptural basket maker. I am known for my innovative, “transordinary” vessels. Challenging the original definition of basketry, I explore contemporary interpretations of this traditional craft, utilizing non-traditional materials. I transform the ordinary through the processes of manipulation, construction, alteration, repetition of singular elements, coiling, weaving and assembling to create dense arrangements of common, urban objects. I sculpt with fiber and interact with material, pattern, color, design, shape and texture.

My use of re-purposed, re-contextualized materials is commentary on over-consumption of commercial goods, societal excess and throwaway consumerism. My work references everyday life and our relationship with our urban environment. I use the vessel form with an emotional and personal visual vocabulary to speak about life’s issues. Color and texture, whimsy, exuberance, optimism, and a sometimes-edgy approach, always enter into my work.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Featured Artist: Jeffrey Lloyd Dever

From April 14th, to June 2nd, we present "Refuse/Re-seen" during which we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog.  Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Jeffrey Lloyd Dever

Whoville Revisited 7 x 2.5 x 2.5     2010 

Reclaimed, Recycled & Reimagined

All my works are sculptural studies loosely evocative of the natural world of my New England childhood. I’ve always been fascinated by making works of art from non-precious materials of virtually no value, where the value is in the artist’s vision imbued in the work by his own hands. The ephemeral cast offs of society as raw material are the pinnacle of that challenge and a conundrum I fully embrace.

Calder et Miro, 9 x 6.25 x 1.25 2010

Blooming Promise, 5 x 1.5 x 1.25  2010

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Featured Artist: Michael Dennis

From April 14th, to June 2nd, we present "Refuse/Re-seen" during which we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Michael Dennis

Moon Drowned in the Pond, 20" dia. 2012

 Art is about surface. Paint on canvas, pencil on paper, the world is compressed to a thin film. Imagine that film thickening, imagine it as felt and fabric, being shaped and distorted to match the surface of its subject. But even as the surface is manipulated, the artist has to contemplate the structure that supports it. And in understanding the structure, a little comprehension occurs. Some structure is related to the art of sewing, some imposed by the nature of the subject, and some by the environment in which the tableau is posed. All that is left right out in the open, so that the art may be approached from all sides, not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.
Moon Drowned in the Pond detail, 20" dia. 2012

Michael Dennis has been a freelance graphic artist since 2002, doing business as MDIM. He graduated in 2010 from Pennsylvania College of Art & Design with a major in Illustration, and may eventually get a diploma.

Window detail 20" dia. 2012
Window 20" dia. 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Featured Artist: Kim Davison

From April 14th, to June 2nd, we present "Refuse/Re-seen" during which we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog.  Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Kim Davison

Crochet and Weaving
24 x 16 x 6  2010
There is no trash. There is just a failure of imagination.

Art resides in the artist. Materials and tools are useful methods for expressing artistic vision, but these tools and materials need not be expensive or complicated. I am currently exploring expressing my vision using objects of everyday living that are typically discarded or put in the recycling bin. I use my hands and simple tools to accomplish my works of art.

I use a technique I call "urban foraging" to describe my methods of collecting and preparing materials for my work.

Twin Orbits
Crochet and Weaving
19 x 20 x 5      2010
Just as the people living closer to the land looked at what was around them when creating what they needed, I look around my environment to see what I can find. The materials I am currently working with are plastic bags, cash register receipts, video tape, newspaper, magazines, cardboard boxes and gutter mesh.

I employ the methods that fiber artists know, such as spinning, knotting, crochet and weaving, although some of my techniques are invented to meet the needs of the particular piece I am working on. I use a minimal number of tools and almost no purchased materials.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Featured Artist: Miyuki Akai Cook

From April 14th, to June 2nd, we present "Refuse/Re-seen" during which we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog.  Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Miyuki Akai Cook

Plastic Series #2: Field, 10x20, 2010

       The theme of my artwork is “balance in life” and I use textile techniques such as, weaving, knitting, and crochet.  I use these repetitive, labor intensive, techniques as metaphor for our daily lives and connections between our shared histories. I am excited by the process of transforming familiar materials into meaningful objects and am enthused watching this dynamic transformation in my hands. 

       I was born and raised in Japan and moved by myself to the U. S. in my mid twenties.  Having lived in the United States for the last 9 years, and being away from my culture, today I feeling like I am floating between two cultures.  I struggle to find a comfortable and efficient compromise in each new circumstance.  These compromises are not only cultural and social differences, but also the source of my necessity to find balance in today’s changing environment through my art.

       My biggest concern is our children’s future. I was born into a spoiled generation. In my life, I have had no hardships compared to my ancestors. I lived for years with my grandparents during my youth, which changed my appreciation of what I have.  My grandmother especially had a hard life, yet she was humble and graceful and she always said, “mottainai”

Plastic Series #1 Perceived, 42x14, 2007

      Mottainai is the thoughtful Japanese word with love and compassion to think of the gift from the nature or someone who made the product.  The word closest to Mottainai in English is "What a waste!”, "Do not waste!" or the situation a thing is being wasted or being used without good care and consideration.
       According to my grandmother, we are given things, and we do not own them. When she was a young girl, she worked at a silk factory.  There she had respect for silk worms for giving up their lives for humans.  There was respect and honor even in something as unassuming as a silk worm.


       Today, I feel, we act like we have power over everything.  As a society I believe that we use technology to solve problems, and money to buy those solutions. I wonder how our children learn value and appreciation in their lives because I do not feel like today’s children understand challenge and struggle the same way as past generations had. In my artwork I express our coexistence and dilemma caught between human society and nature’s gift of life, as I work to find and visualize cohesiveness between them.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Featured Artist: Marilyn Casto

From April 14th, to June 2nd, we present "Refuse/Re-seen" during which we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog.  Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Marilyn Casto
Arty Trash, 16 x 20", 2012

My work focuses on two dimensions of design—color and texture. Color evokes emotional responses in viewers and is the first design element that most people notice when they see artwork.  As such, it strongly impacts perceptions. Texture, a more subtle design component, is integral to fiber art. Even when the viewer does not physically touch the art, haptic qualities bring memories of past tactile experiences and permits visual perception to suggest a sense of touch. Duality of hard and soft surfaces creates a contrast that draws attention to tactile qualities. My work integrates an overall geometric placement of design elements that reflects its structured designed quality, while referencing organic qualities of the human-made, rather than machine-made. Structured symmetrical placement coexists with irregularity of edges and surfaces and so joins conscious placement with intuitive shaping.

 I am a mixed media artist and design historian. My work often uses traditional materials or techniques in nontraditional ways and incorporates utilitarian crafts associated with women into art objects. Aspects of knitting or quilting often appear in my work, although in unconventional ways. I have spoken and written nationally and internationally on various aspects of design history, especially that of the nineteenth century and have taught courses on the arts and crafts movement, as well as architectural and design history. My work has appeared in shows in Virginia, Texas, and Colorado.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Featured Artist: J. Penney Burton

From April 14th, to June 2nd, we present "Refuse/Re-seen" during which we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog.  Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: J. Penney Burton

My work deals with the cycles of death, disintegration, rebirth, and regeneration found in the natural world.  I typically use found organic and man-made materials in my work.  The alchemy involved as objects, bodies, and elements break down and then come back together to form something new is fascinating, and holds particular promise for a scavenging artist.  The collected industrial materials are juxtaposed with the natural ones, mimicking the tensions found in the man-versus-nature relationship that goes on around us each day.

ph (Potential Hazard) 6.5" x 9" x 12" 2010
In ph (Potential Hazard), pig intestines are once again combined with rusted materials, in this case, steel wool and barbed wire.  The rusted steel wool, broken down by the elements, was recently found in this nest-like shape in a kiln yard.   Egg-like forms have been created with the potentially dangerous wire, and wrapped with the pig intestine, to create semi-translucent coverings and potentially permeable barriers.  These both fill and spill out of the nest, leaving the viewer to ponder what could possibly hatch out of this man-versus-nature union.

Doe A Deer, 9" x 12" x 6" 2012
Doe a Deer combines the jawbone of a young female doe with other materials.  The piece is held together structurally with a delicate steel mesh, which is then cast over with eco-dyed hand made paper, so that the essence of flowers and green leaves are left behind upon it.  This structure rests upon a branch that was broken off a tree during a storm last spring.  This is a shrine to the deer that died when hit by a car on a local road, a delicate reminder that if more attention is not paid to the currently unbalanced relationship between man and the natural world around them, one or both will perish as the end result.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Featured Artist: Deborah Bewley

From April 14th, to June 2nd, we present "Refuse/Re-seen" during which we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog.  Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Deborah Bewley

24 Balls Red-Black, 12x16, 2012

I am a northwest Ohio artist who works primarily with handmade paper, various fiber media and found materials.

24 Balls Red-Black, 12x16, 2012

A reviewer stated that I “combine a rich mix of media, found objects, textures, patterns, etc., with an aesthetic that is in other ways minimalist.” Which is a fancy way of saying I’m into grids and texture, which have formed the core of my work.

24 Balls Green II, 12x16, 2012

I began by exploring the possibilities of paper in its purest form, as the sheets were being formed. These early 2-dimensional works grew to include layers of paper that sprouted threads. I then began to fold the paper to achieve even more dimension and to add found objects to the surface.

I am now creating 3-dimensional mixed media assemblages with handmade paper, wool and found objects. Wool, buttons, ribbons, beads, zippers, thread, embroidery floss, shoelaces, candy wrappers, measuring tapes - the ephemera of daily life.

24 Balls Green II, 12x16, 2012

                                                              Deborah Bewley's Website