El Refugio

A place on the web for escapism.

Friday, May 17, 2013

San Jose Artwalk: For the Birds

What fun have you been getting into lately?? I hope you'll tell me about it! If you're not having fun, be sure to dig some up, ok? 

Me?? Well, I went to South First Fridays Artwalk in San Jose earlier this month, and spotted some fun art. I like that sort of thing. Open studios, live music, lots of open galleries, and spontaneous public collaborative art. What is "spontaneous public collaborative art?" you ask. For example, Jane Q. and John Doe Public can walk right up and create 5' x 2' pieces by dripping paint on butcher paper. Working together, they laugh and spill and when done, the pieces become the decoration for a blank wall. Another time everyone made small block prints, with repetitive shapes but differing in color and arrangement. Kinda interesting I suppose, but I liked the Ephemeral Art better (read on).

I love going to Higher Fire Clayspace Studio and Gallery, and for the first Friday of the month, they run an open studio which really makes me want to get back into ceramics! I toured the studio and watched as the studio members gave demonstrations and talked about techniques.   

Linda Mau
I also found out that my former ceramics instructor at DeAnza College, Linda Mau, will be teaching sculptural handbuilding classes at Higher Fire's studio. Linda is an accomplished ceramicist, and an absolutely wonderful person; I loved taking her classes. This is a great photo of Linda grinning while working with her PaperClay medium--that's the spirit she brings to most everything she does.

I also visited the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles--I try to get out there once a month because they have an awesome collection of historic quilts as well as textile work from around the world. Recently, I was impressed with the variety and quality of some unusual pieces from the Folk Indian Textiles Exhibition. One piece of 100+ year old embroidery was incredible in the detail of the delicate hand work--showing tiny horses, a prince and princess, blue gods and dancing figures so flawlessly embroidered, not by machine, but by hand. I used the magnifier and found the stitching to be impeccable. (Can't get my photo to work! Arrgh!)

And finally, this piece of Ephemeral Art, collaged bird seeds in the form of birds. I couldn't help but be reminded of kindergarten days when we made early art by gluing pinto and kidney beans, peas and lentils onto construction paper. These weren't glued and would disappear by wind, attrition and nibbling in the coming days. 

I think it's kinda cool...temporary and eco-friendly.