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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hanging with the 1% making the scene


vandalized paintings selling like hotcakes
Breathing in the rarefied air of Miami Basel art collectors, I have spent the last three days polishing my feet to smooth painful nubs and letting my eyeballs play freely across every texture, surface, and pointedly cunning perspective. This weekend was the annual event that breaks us down (as artists) and builds us up (as artists). Dozens of art fairs and ludicrous traffic jams take Miami by storm. Money reigns down on the restaurants. The masses jostle with the stars, and we all play the bourgeois among the peculiar and exceptional. It helped that I carried a wine glass with me...
  
paper mache vase with contemporary athletes
I nearly tripped over the riffs as people snapped selfies, endlessly, in front of puns and mirrored artworks. The quiet humor of a nearly packed up gallery such as the illusion, of Shen Shuamin at Klien Sun, might have been missed by those in a rush to post their photos. His installation titled "handle with care"  at the ArtMiami fair consisted of faux masterpieces "wrapped" in painted bubble wrap and leaning against the walls with packing tape.  At Pulse fair Patrick Hughes tricky "reverspective "painted moving buildings in the Flowers gallery had me almost give up drinking.
paper sculpture- I might do this at home!

another flat paper sculpture, for MG
Across all the fairs (only 1/4 of the fairs that were going on this weekend), I attended there was a predominance of clay sculpture, lenticular photography, pushpin installation, and images of bunnies, skulls (normal artist subject), and butterfly wings. Looking up the symbolism of bunnies perhaps the definition of  "abundance and vulnerability" rings true for all of us at this time.
embroidered hood of a deer's dreams by Chris Roberts Antieau (New Orleans)



There was a lot of embroidery. There was Carrie Seigh at Bernice Steinbaum. I loved the exquisite embroidery by Chris Roberts Antieau, at Red Truck Gallery from New Orleans in Scope Fair.
Deeply chilling sculpture by Mark Jenkins Three men dressed in red, white and blue with masks and bats
I found overall that the work that really resonated with me was work that had some sort of social impact, such as Swoon's work. Her prints and collage wall pieces at Scope were by-products of her work in Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Haiti. They are deeply personal depictions of people she has met that become symbols of transformation. The money from sales goes back to the communities and yet the art stays vibrant and unique, like the artist herself, (who had a public welcomed birthday party Saturday night in Wynwood with lots of dancing and fantastic hairdos). Also, I really appreciate the work of Miami artist Maggie Knox which I saw at her open studio in little Haiti. She hosts small residencies for women artists and likens her space to "an incubator for authenticity, femininity and creativity". I lusted after the prints of Marylin Rondon (author of children's book "Why does Mommy have Tattoos"). Bought two candles made by Isadora Shamash there for the next new moon.  At the uber boutique art fair Aqua I ran into Daria Sandburg of BoxArt Gallery in Pittsburgh, who was lugging a suitcase written with the words something like, "the load I carry" as part of her "baggage claim" performance. Daria asked me if I would like to hand over something, some baggage, that I could use help with lifting. When I thought about it and decided that I was okay, she offered me a wire mesh boat loaded with scraps of inked up ribbons, and invited me to add my wish, promising to help move the positive forward on it's journey. She also had for sale little wire mesh beds with chains and tiny books underneath them, or underneath the pillows... things that made you surprised and awakened your imagination. Her work carried the potential to be helpful in addition to being darn sweet looking.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Starting off Basel art fair week with home grown student show

 For one night only, we hosted a pop up event! One hundred works of art, juried by visiting RISD scholar. We had a couple violin musicians in the corner...
 A poetry reading...

plenty of Art fans and good food!


(wow, my feet hurt.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

This is not a peaceful protest

Wall map from History classroom AFTER water added

added the Great Lakes
 I started the holiday week by staying late after school to "fix" the wall mural that had been installed in a History classroom. The map was frustratingly inaccurate, featuring Iceland as large as Africa, and eliminating all the major water sources that civilization (and wars) have depended on! The professor had asked me to correct the map as much as possible, without totally repainting it. Researching the lakes and river shapes beforehand I noticed how the sizes and shapes have changed over time. For example, it was hard to get a good idea of the coastline of the Aral Sea because it is drying up so fast, and I only hope that the lakes in north Africa are accurate today. The professor and I decided not to add the rivers as they would be too small in scale.
But imagine a world without rivers!!!
That's what the Native Americans are doing as they protest the Energy Transfer Partners oil pipeline along the shores of the longest river in the USA. The Native Americans, calling themselves "water protectors" have been protesting the pipeline as a risk hazard since April in courts and now on the ground when the pipeline was first moved further from the city (because of risk!) to the edges of the reservation. They contend that the quick permits did not allow for complete environmental hazard evaluation. The pipeline, (that is to move frack-sourced oil), crosses the Missouri river twice and is laid on top of the worlds biggest aquifer! Call North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple at 701-328-2200 and leave your thoughts at this site about the importance of untainted water access for the future of us and this planet.
This protest is not a peaceful protest... the Indians have 5 different state police forces, the national guard, Oil Transfer Partners' private militia, and the injustice of all of history to face. Stand with them or look away, but there is nothing peaceful about this assault on our common and most basic resource.


Flaming Blue Heart descending from Clouds

I am calling the Whitehouse 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 to ask Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers permit. You can also call Lee Hanse and Glenn Emory both Executive VP of Energy Transfer Partners  210-403-6455 Lee.Hanse@energytransfer.com or 210-403-6762 Glenn.emery@energytransfer.com

Friday, November 25, 2016

Some Holiday Decorating

My prayer flags

I always feel a little crafty around this time of year! The season of winter feasts, where we clean up the house and fill the kitchen with goodies, inspires me to bring out the tissue, ribbons and sewing needles.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Healing Power of Art

It's important for me to share what I can, and use my work to help others make sense of the (mostly) senseless. With this week off from teaching, I am in the studio inviting others to drop by and throw color at the wall. No experience necessary! I even have a collection of symbols that can speak for the voiceless.

Let your inner child out!
ALSO BIG NEWS!!!: I've just been accepted onto the Healing Power of Art online gallery http://www.healing-power-of-art.org/tilly-strauss/ run by Renee Phillips through the Manhattan Arts International. She fuels her website and newsletter by focusing on the positive aspects of creative mark-making and the joy of building communities.

I am thrilled to have my work out in a larger circle, and to gain exposure to other artists working to heal ourselves and this planet.


Please check it out and forward to your friends.
Lots of Love,
Tilly


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Table Blessings


It's time for us to gather and break bread together, reaching across distances, perhaps, that are greater than the width of the table. This was a set of blessings and instructions I made years ago in an attempt to educate and inspire my own children.
I hope everyone's Thanksgiving week is filled with awareness of our blessings.
Love you- Tilly

Thursday, November 17, 2016

40 minute Selfie, a Demo for the Drawing Class

serious and blown (up) (away)(bad hair day)
 We are finishing the semester with self portraits on cheap brown paper. I love the addition of drippy black and white paint for the negative space and shirts. The idea came from an art school catalogue.
We proceed with gridded photographs like we did for the staff appreciation drawings. This self portrait took me 20 minutes the first day in just gridding and mapping out the face, and another 20 minutes today adding the dark charcoal, the white chalk highlights and then the quick liquid background!
Thank goodness for my job, it gets me outside of my morose mood since the election.