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Staten Island, New York, United States

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MAXIMUS/minimus, (4 more of the) 8 Women Artists

Today I'm sharing examples of the remaining 4 Staten Island women artists in our exhibit MAXIMUS/minimus. 

Irma Bohórquez-Geisler will be exhibiting some of her stunning large scale (maximus) landscape photographs. She works primarily in black and white and makes her own silver gelatin prints. Here is a (minimus) peak at one of her pieces.
(c) Irma Bohórquez-Geisler

Irma is also known on Staten Island for her wonderful annual community event Dia de los Muertos.  

Sheryl Humphrey will be showing her iconographic paintings which she says represent powerful forces within herself, in others, and the world around her. Her painting process is very labor intensive and we are lucky to be able to feature new work by her.                                  
(c) Sheryl Humphrey

Jenni Vitek worked in the fashion industry for many years, in illustration and clothing design. Her fine art work, unsurprisingly, also focuses on the figure and textiles. In this exhibit we will be treated to pieces by Jenni in both 2 and 3 dimensional media. Here is one example.            
(c) Jenni S. Vitek

And, then there's my work. I've been making paintings and collages on wood  and paper featuring glimpses of tango dancers for several years. Lately I have been adding found pieces of wood and making the figures more stark on the wood pieces. But the small collages I will be showing are packed with color and pattern. Here's one of the new pieces on wood. You can see some of my small collages on paper at my Etsy store
(c) 2011 Denise Mumm

Sunday, March 27, 2011

MAXIMUS/minimus, 8 Women Artists (a preview of 4 of them)

I'm so excited about our exhibit opening on Saturday April 2! I have to share a little about this dynamic group of women artists. It's a special treat to see this artwork. Most of the artists will be sharing work that is new, never before seen. This is just a teaser of examples from 4 of the artists. Tomorrow I'll share work by the other 4.

Gail Middleton

Gail Middleton will be exhibiting a photo essay
of her walks in Clove Lake Park on Staten Island.
Nature is a frequent subject for her.

Lucy Smith will also be showing work inspired by nature. 
She will exhibit paintings in several media. 
This is one of my favorites. 
It's a different take on the woods from Gail, not quite as tranquil.
Lucy Smith

Rachel Sanchez takes on a completely different subject matter. She has been working on a series of paintings called "Women Under the Influence", which depicts how the media uses women to advertise alcohol.
Here's a painting from the series.
Rachel Sanchez

The last artist whose work I want to share today is 
Judith Hugentobler. She will be showing sculpture  
made of stoneware, tile, sea glass and grout. 
Here is an example.

Friday, March 25, 2011

MAXIMUS/minimus, 8 Women Artists

I've curated this exhibit featuring 8 dynamic Staten Island artists at ART at Bay, 70 Bay St., Staten Island, NY, a fine arts collaborative gallery one block from the Staten Island ferry terminal. The exhibit is sponsored by the Staten Island Creative Community, a grassroots organization. I like to say "We create our own opportunities".

Exhibition Dates: April 2 - May 1, 2011
Gallery Hours: Saturday and Sunday, Noon - 6pm
Opening Reception: Saturday April 2, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Second Saturday Art Walk: April 9, 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Second Sunday Literary Reading: April 10, 3:00 pm
      Robert Sherman, Victoria Hallerman, Edward Joyce

Exhibiting Artists:
   Irma Bohorquez-Geisler - photographs         Denise Mumm – collages, paintings
   Judith Hugentobler - sculpture                      Rachel Sanchez - paintings
   Sheryl Humphrey - paintings                         Lucy Smith - paintings
   Gail Middleton - photographs                       Jenni Vitek – paintings, fiberart

I curated this exhibition through an open call to women in the Staten Island Creative Community membership and by invitation. The exhibit contains diametrically opposed aesthetics; pure, simple and minimalist vs. baroque, intense and densely-packed. Sometimes the two aesthetics are embodied in one artist. Hence the title MAXIMUS/minimus.

Directions to the gallery via public transportation from Manhattan:
Subways to S. I. Ferry: R to Whitehall, 1 to South Ferry or 4/5 to Bowling Green.
Staten Island Ferry: Whitehall Terminal to St. George, S.I.
Walk one block south (to the left) of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

ART at Bay gallery is run entirely by local artists and sponsored by the Staten Island Creative Community, Inc. (SICC).  ART at Bay exhibits photography, painting, sculpture and all forms of fine art, with new exhibits mounted monthly. www.StatenIslandCreativeCommunity.org





Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ruminations on a Cold March Day at Snug Harbor Cultural Center

my sad mini daffodils

 There's no cold like a drizzly March day in New York City. It seeps into the bones and lungs and lodges there. The promise of spring that 70 degree weather brought us only last Friday has been broken by sleet and freezing rain.

On my walk home from work in Staten Island yesterday, I walked through the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. There I saw a mixture of seasons, with the undeniable beauty (despite the chill) that both winter and spring bring.

Chinese Scholars Garden
winter-nude tree with forsythia behind it

pussy willow, already flowering

I always make a point to go look at the witch hazel in February, the first crazy bit of color that reminds me there WILL be flowers again. This year the blossoms were slow to appear and they have lingered.
witch hazel
The moment is fleeting. Hopefully this will be the last snow. The early spring flowers will be replaced soon by tulips, which have already made their presence known. And we'll all be sneezing from the overwhelming presence of flowering trees.

If you're interested, I have some small collages for sale at my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Imagination and the Changing Mind" Panel Discussion at MOMA

Wow. I attended this panel discussion last night, held in a packed auditorium at the Museum of Modern Art. It was presented by the MoMA Alzheimer's Project (http://www.moma.org/meetme/). It blew the lid off my thinking about people with Alzheimer's and about the incredible capacity of ALL our minds to grow through creative interaction. I left feeling so hopeful.

A woodcut Mom did of me when I was in jr. high.
My mother has Alzheimer's. She was a very accomplished watercolorist, exhibiting in Iowa and always improving her skills. She and I were art buddies. We attended ballets, symphony concerts, and art exhibitions together since I was old enough to sit still, at age 7. My parents supported my art lessons at the Sioux City Art Center for years (thank heaven for art centers!). Mom and I were in life drawing classes there together when I was in high school.

Now, we go on daily walks when I visit home. She surprised me one day when she stopped to look at a rabbit on a lawn and said "I know the rabbit and the grass are different colors, but look! They have the same value."  She still sees the world through an artist's eyes. Somehow, I think that without a lot of the junk in her head that fills up so much of our daily thinking, she is truly living in the moment, experiencing the world anew.
A watercolor Mom did of the family cat.
A watercolor Mom did of a New Mexico landscape.

Which brings me back to last night's panel. The panel was very distinguished, made up of scientists and arts professionals. The surface of brain research and related arts programming could only be scratched in an hour and a half. It's astonishing how little has been known until lately about how the aging brain works. There has also been a value system at work in our society, dismissing older people as not being valuable contributors to society and therefore not worthy of study. I think it's changing with Baby Boomers becoming senior citizens and living longer lives. Towards the end of the discussion, some concrete prescriptions were formulated, based on the  research and experience of the panel members.

Here are some actions specifically for people with Alzheimer's but that we can all put into action:

  • Integrate play into education and senior programs (and I would add - into ALL our lives).
  • Increase the number of ways to communicate. 
  • Keep engaging with other people throughout our lives.
  • Keep physically active throughout our lives.
  • Share what we know. We all have a human responsibility to do so.
  • Use art to engage each other emotionally and psychologically.

I had heard about the panel discussion through my part time job at City Access New York, which is a member of the Museum Access Consortium, an organization comprised of representatives of cultural institutions, service organizations, educational institutions, design firms and consultants.  The goal is to enable people with disabilities to access cultural facilities of all types. You can learn more at the website http://www.cityaccessny.org/mac. I have learned alot about changing museum experiences for people with different abilities through attending their discussions.

To see some of my own small collages, visit my Etsy store.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Visiting the Architectural Digest Home Show and Artist Project

On Saturday March 19th, I went to pier 92 to check out the new Artist Project, held in conjunction with the Architectural Digest Home Show on pier 94. There were over 100 artists participating. The work was very high quality and there was plenty of room at each booth for a good representation of each artist's work. The  atmosphere was conducive to perusing and discussing at leisure. Artists were running their own booths for the most part. Unfortunately the artists were complaining on Saturday of low traffic and few sales.  This was the maiden voyage for this event in New York. It had a lot of promise for unrepresented artists to be exposed to design professionals and the public at large, despite the high fee for a booth.  As of Saturday, it didn't seem to be living up to the promise.

The story on pier 94 was quite different. The place was mobbed and claustrophobic. There was a section, "Made", where artists and craftspeople could display their wares. These booths were smaller and shallower than the ones on pier 92, but the traffic was dizzying!  I was especially impressed by all the innovative handmade furniture coming out of Brooklyn, and at reasonable prices. But, that was a digression from my mission . . .    

I had spoken with one artist at the Artist Project who expressed regrets at not showing in "Made" as she had done in the past. It was easy to see her point of view.     Of course, contacts made at these shows can spin out in many directions over the course of a year and not just be a source of sales, however much one would like to at least recover expenses.         I'll follow up with a few artists to see how they feel post-event.