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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Angenett Taft Walking In Love Installation Artist

I first met Angenett Taft nearly ten years ago when I walked into the Quilt Show at the Trinity County Fair. To tell the truth I did not meet her but a quilt she had hanging. I had never seen someone use fabric to create a scene. Here was a shaft of sunlight piercing through a gorgeous old growth forest and it was all done in fiber. I fell in love with the work and the artist. Imagine my delight when a few weeks later I found myself in a Shasta College class for training Emergency Medical Technicians and there were Angenett and Jim Taft. I went up and introduced myself and perhaps scared them with my gushing about her quilt. All these years later and the Tafts have become dear friends. I have Angenett to thank for leading the way for me in her inventive use of design. Angenett taught me to use the long arm machine for quilting, inspiring me to try new ways to lay down thread. This is what Angenett Taft has to say about Walking In Love:

Our theme, "Walking in Love" continuously drove me back to the question, "Am I walking in love right now, these days, while I work on the panels and face many obstacles in doing them and in situations in my daily life?"  So often I stopped myself to re-group, to re-calibrate toward the theme.  I believe this refocusing had a profound positive impact on my panels and more so on my daily living.

I hope one day Angenett will share more of her story. She has been in the midst of a life altering course and is a role model to me for the grace with which she and Jim are navigating change.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Walking In Love has a Non-Profit Sponsor

It is with great pleasure that I announce the Walking In Love Installation is now under the umbrella of the non-profit organization Leading From Within. It is possible to support this beautiful installation moving on to Washington D.C., our nation's capital, and receive a tax deduction with your contribution. If you are interested in supporting this work please click on  DONATE  for more information. Thank you for your enthusiasm for this project.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Highland Art Center, Weaverville California

The Walking In Love Installation can be seen at the Highland Gallery until March 27th. This delightful gallery features astonishing work from many talented artists. The rich array of work runs from exquisite jewelry, artful clothing, fine photography, to watercolors, ceramics and so much more. It is a very great pleasure to work with Yvonne Pegoraro and Barbara Edwards. Their love for art and artists draws me to the gallery again and again.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gratitude for Walking in Love Installation

When I first stepped into saying "yes!" to this idea there was no way to see into the future and how beautiful the entire process would be. Maybe because the idea had been fomenting for several years when the time was ripe the flowering could unfold rather effortlessly. This is not to say that there has not been work involved. There is plenty. I think right now of a dear dear woman who wishes to remain anonymous. I sat next to her last night on a couch while she pulled out of a gorgeous silken purple bag a white strip measuring four inches by twelve inches and the tiniest crochet hook you could ever imagine. She pulled the ball of white thread out and began to take stitch after tiny stitch. "Only 91 inches to go" she said. I think "she is creating a valence for a window." She has her crochet work hanging inside doorways in her home. Instead she hmmms and ummms and then it begins to emerge that this is her third panel for the installation and it will be all crocheted lace. I am moved to this place of such gratitude. That she will sit in her home, in her life, and create a treasure to hang in the Walking in Love Installation is just one part. The deeper part is  her decision to create this panel with dedication to the premise: hold the feeling/concept of love while working on the panel. And boy does she. In many ways I feel this anonymous woman is living at the core of the real reason this project strikes a chord with people. It is the invitation to walk in love in your own life in a way you might not have before. Maybe it is the permission to actually create and rest in love. I can't say exactly. I welcome your comments on this topic. Please use the click on the word comment below this blog and tell your story. I am so interested to understand how this project touches you.

I am grateful to know that this kind of work draws and moves and attracts people. I feel just a little bit overwhelmed at the support that exists. Particularly now that this installation will move to Sacred Threads outside of Washington DC in June. It takes a team. This work is not possible without the help of many. The video that will soon be released is a work of love from Neil Harvey (film, sound, voice), Karen Renaudin (editing and production, voice), Jean-Pierre Brandt (voice), myself and Tony Kendrew who uploaded the file in the late hours of the night. We would not be going to Sacred Threads without you. There are not enough thanks to express how moved I am to have watched all of you jump in and say "yes" yourselves to communicating this work, in love.

And to all who join to celebrate: you make life rich.

Readying for the next round, the move to Sacred Threads, I return to the white and I ready myself to create another panel. All of the curator parts of this work (and there is a lot) can wait for a moment. It is in the making of the panel that I rest.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sacred Threads invites Walking In Love Installation

It is a great pleasure to announce that the Walking In Love Installation will be included in the 2011 Sacred Threads Show. A very big Thank You to Karen Renaudin, Neil Harvey, Jean-Pierre Brandt and Tony Kendrew for making the Walking In Love Video so beautiful. Your love for this work is touching.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jean-Pierre Brandt Walking in Love Installation Artist

Jean-Pierre explains his panel.
Lisa, Jean-Pierre, Christine 
Jean-Pierre and his wife Christine Hassler-Brandt are a unique couple. I am sure I won't say everything there is to say about them because they are so multi-dimensional. Christine paints, creates herbal remedies, massages and does body work, gardens, dances and teaches wellness courses. She assisted Jean-Pierre in his vision for a panel. Jean-Pierre came to the opening with a loaf of sourdough bread from one of his tri-weekly baking sessions. A jeweler, a painter, he had a wood sculpture showing at a gallery down the street from the Walking In Love Installation at the Highland which debuted his first attempt in fiber. The result is ephemeral beauty. Jean-Pierre says:

Here is a photo that to my eyes translate the emotional feeling I have with
my panel.It is about walking in love with my father during the last 2 weeks of his
life. Since the image reflect the vision of a dream I had 30 min before his
passing, I wanted the panel to be "dream like". Hazy and inviting to "see the
emotion". Working with fiber was challenging and fun and the perfect media for this
vision. A very big thank you to Christine for working with me on the making of our
panel and for seeing it as a walking in love invitation.

Christine says the little red tab at the bottom of the little 'dickie' was attached into a special place in the pants to secure it against movement. So many little unexpected serendipities happened while hanging the show. One of them was having a window behind this piece. The lighting was perfect.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Frances Sherman Walking in Love Installation Artist

What can be said about this amazing woman? Mother to seven children, she still has room to 'adopt' others (myself included). Sensitive and caring, speaks her mind, makes astonishingly beautiful quilted landscapes and raises sheep and chickens and many varied things in between! Such a range of capabilities. Frannie says:

I think /feel love is a spiritual thing which one can feel in their inner being. It is a state of calm, pleasantness, fulfillment, receiving and giving, a feeling of completeness and wholeness of being. To me my panel is full of the love God has for me no matter where I am in my life or where my feelings are at the moment, good or bad. I know that no matter where I am He is with me, in me and around me. It is the agape love I portray in fabric in the hope that others will feel the peace in understanding we are all loved forever!

Fran outside the entrance to the show.
Frannie is one of those busy people that accomplishes much no matter what else is going on in her very busy life. At the opening she helped to guard the doorways reminding people to leave their food and drink outside! In addition to this she stayed up until midnight the night before the opening to help create a simple panel to frame a more complex one. I am sure grateful this woman is in my life .

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mary Murray Walking in Love Installation Artist

I have known Mary for many years now. Her genuine kindness, sense of humor and generosity are just a few of the qualities I have grown to love in her. This is what Mary says about her participation in the Walking In Love Installation:

Love is a verb

Grandmother’s love lasts forever!

I used a grandmother’s tablecloth for my panel background, remembering Granny trusting my sister Anne and I to set the dining parlor table with “the Good dishes” for a large family- gathering dinner. 
The buttons are symbolic of her button box that I loved as a child.  Her treadle sewing machine was my first sewing experience at age ten.
On the back panel, I used crocheted pieces and silk fabric from my second grandmother’s wedding dress.  This grandmother crocheted rugs from nylon hosiery scraps and today I still crochet rugs, but not from nylons.
My grandmothers loved us with their actions of comforting, hugging, giving, listening, teaching and praising.  They taught Anne & I , plus all the cousins, the meaning of service to others.
How blessed I was to have grandmothers who acted out their love for me.  I am responsible to pass on that love, so Grandmother’s love lasts Forever!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Opening Night

Ohhhhh! What can I say about being surrounded with loving and lovely people, fabulous art and an atmosphere of such astonishing support? Bliss. I sincerely hope that all who attended felt some of the rapture that was present. It is actually not possible to capture either on film (which has been tried), or even in photographs, the experience of walking the spiral. It simply must be experienced. The show is in Weaverville, California at the Highland Art Center until March 27th. Because this installation is alive, lively, and growing, a challenge is issued: anyone who completes a panel before the show is taken down can hang it in this show. Many thanks to all who came and walked in love.

None of us who participated in this event could anticipate exactly what the spiral would be like before the final hanging. My daughter Sydney helped me all day yesterday and we worked until an hour before the opening. It was so gratifying to open the show and walk through leading the artists who created panels. The tears in the eyes, the justified pride, the ooohhs and ahhhs, the appreciation of the metal support as its own art piece, smiles, was all so rich. As this month progresses I will be putting up photos of the artists, their work, and their statements.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Walking in Rain

It might be that the opening night of Walking in Love is really about Walking in Rain. Some say that water holds whatever intention you send it. So I send love to the rain that is thundering down at this moment.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Walking In Love Better Than Imagined

The Installation is coming together in ways that are beyond what I was able to imagine. Light, Shadow, the perfection of some designs next to others. All of this is what emerged once the panels came off the ground on their protective sheets and began to hang from the gorgeous metal work above. I have heard it said 'the sum of the parts is greater than the whole' and this installation, Walking In Love, is certainly proving that statement correct.

John and Evan met me at the gallery at 10 AM to slide the clips on. YES! The clips arrived at the last possible moment on wednesday evening. To my relief they work beautifully. John and Evan slid these clips around the hangers and then spent considerable time (meaning all day) finessing the threaded rod to create a professional appearance. First Evan sprayed the silver rod white to create an illusion of a floating spiral. It was good. Very good. But Liz had put the idea out there about using copper following a flash of insight and John had brought along a coil of small diameter copper rod he had serendipitously found  at a salvage yard a few weeks earlier. Once John made a sample of the copper rod to cover the threaded rod the group decided to go ahead with the look of copper to float the spiral from the ceiling. Up and down the ladder multiple times per each of the twenty supports is the workout John did while the rest of us danced around him and the ladder on the ground with fabric. Except for my fastidiousness about not touching the white fabric with anything but just washed hands we all worked quite well and easily.

Angenett and Susan came to help hang the panels. First we worked to finish sewing tiny identifying labels onto each panel. Then began the actual decision about what would go where. Angenett and Susan both agreed that the more 'solid' pieces would fill the center. I so appreciate the decisive clarity with which Angenett works. Once the core was hung Angenett had to go on her way. Susan became the most indispensable help possible with her gifted intuitive way of seeing what was next. We were both surprised by the way the overhead lights played through the panels casting shadows onto the wall adding even more to the entire installation. Having noticed this the hanging of other panels to maximize these effects became fun. In addition there is a window on one side of the room. Certain panels were best seen in the direct light and were placed accordingly.

 Susan left, remembering her darling patient dog in the car, Liz returned in time to hang the last two panels and help John with the copper rods. Exquisite timing. Yvonne came in and out gently offering welcome suggestions and insight. All of the panels are hung, a few touches to fine tune and a few copper covers are left to be placed onto the threaded rods. We worked from the opening at 10 to the closing at 5 and will return again on saturday morning to finish. It was a great day and I look forward to going back and seeing the entire Walking in Love with fresh eyes. Thank you everyone for your great work!

I have decided not to show any photos of the hung show just yet. At the gallery we covered the doorways with fabric to keep the installation closed to viewing. But the heart above is one detail of the stunning work that you will see opening night.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Excitement Mounting

I drove an hour and a half to Weaverville this morning to meet with John Ritz and his son, Evan.  They unloaded the spirals from the trailer John parked in front of the gallery. The spirals were created oversized on purpose to allow some wiggle room. Evan and John put them into the East Gallery in the Highland Art Center and then figured out where to cut the metal. We were so happy to have sunny and relatively warm weather to work outside. 50ish and no rain. Life is good.

When John drove the spirals from the shop in Anderson last week in to Weavervile the roads had been salted for ice. The salt spray discolored the metal. Today the spirals were cut, polished and sprayed with lacquer to protect the coating.  These two men work well together with mutual respect and a quiet thoughtful approach. John had thought he would find the studs or joists in the ceiling. When I arrived they had not yet found any. Impossible! How is this true? The entire ceiling, it turns out, is wood, underneath the ceiling tiles. It was then quite easy to place the hangers anywhere to fit the curve of the spiral! The first spiral worked beautifully. About this time a friend, Bay, showed up and pitched right in to help install spiral number two. Angenett stopped by to see the progess and Liz, mom of the Ritz clan, stopped in and contributed a very good idea to the finishing touches. Yvonne Pegararo, the gallery manager and an artist herself, said she loves group collaboration. I do too. Everyone has something to contribute and the whole is so much better because of all who participate. 
The only thing concerning  me now is the delivery of the clips I ordered to hang the pieces from the beautiful metal. A little bit of a last minute thing with a very long delay on the delivery time. We are scheduled to put all the pieces onto the metal on thursday. UPS says the clips will be here late on wednesday. OH DEAR!