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30 October 2011 @ 12:48 pm
This is the second Tapestry I completed, January 2011.  It is called "Siete", and I made it for Jason.  It is pretty wildly successful if I may say so myself.  All hand dyed yarns.  Damn, I'm good with color!  And pretty sharp with composition, too.

Current Mood: chipperchipper
09 January 2011 @ 05:40 pm
I have been working with a new set of images the past year or so, drawing, painting, stitching, drawing again, never quite getting them to what they wanted to be.  Then one day I knew, Tapestry.  I took a general Textiles survey course back at San Francisco State in 1997 or 98, and we did a small Tapestry Weaving exercise with teacher Sheila O'Hara.  I remember loving my little project, a window with curtains drawn and a view of hills and a night sky, and not wanting to give the loom back.  Looking over my recent sketches, I realized this current imagery I am working with wants to be expressed in Tapestry.

I made myself a little frame loom, found free basic directions, and read a bunch of loom reviews on this helpful site, TangleCrafts.

I found the American Tapestry Alliance website, and browsed the Artists Pages and the newsletter, Tapestry Topics Online.

Then, in a lovely moment of the universe lining up to support me in my pursuit, I received a postcard from the Richmond Art Center, five or so miles from my house, announcing the upcoming exhibit by Tapestry Weavers West.  I volunteered to help hang the show and immediately became a member.  Now I have a network of other local weavers, and met my teacher Nancy Jackson.  I am lucky to live so close to Nancy, as people travel cross country to study with her.  She was so kind to take some photos of my first independent project:

I am pretty pleased with this study.  I am now quite confident that I will be able to translate my drawings into weaveable shapes.
New Show! Stitched, Looped, and Knitted:  Contemporary Needle Art, at The Mills Building, 220 Montgomery St, San Francisco (1 block from Montgomery Bart), September 21st- December 4th, 2009.

Artists:  Emily Barletta, Lauren DiCioccio, Laura Kamian, Aliza Lelah, Ruth Marshall, Lacy Jane Roberts, Lisa Solomon, Esther Traugot, Marina Vendrell

From the Press Release:

Once considered personal hobbies, embroidery, crochet, and knitting techniques have crossed over from craft to contemporary fine art.  This exhibition features highly skilled and thoughtful artists who are pushing these needle crafts to new heights in contemporary art.

The artists featured use a needle with yarn or thread to create fabric, embellish, or stitch together fabric with tedious handwork and obsessive care.  From re-examining the found object, exploring memory and nostalgia, to using abstract design, these artists bring contemporary relevance to the long history of needle craft.

The Mills Building is open Monday - Friday, 8 am - 6 pm and by appointment on weekends.  For more information on the artists in the exhibit, please call Artsource Consulting 415.399.0333.

This exhibit is part of a rotating exhibition program sponsored by the Mills Building for the pleasure of its tenants and visitors.  The rotating exhibition program brings the arts into the Mills Building's business environment and provides a window into the artistic and cultural organizations of the Bay Area.  The intent of these exhibitions is to build bridges of understanding between business and cultural communities.

13 May 2009 @ 05:23 pm
A few weeks ago I received a call from Armenian filmmaker Vahe Babaian that he is making a documentary film about the Chamlian School, an Armenian school in Glendale, CA.  He was looking for some Armenian Alphabet artwork to make graphics for his film.  He said that he had seen pictures on my blog of my Charcoal Alphabet and that he had not seen any Alphabet art quite like it, that it was very unique artwork. 

We talked for a bit, and I decided to go ahead and have some pro-shots of the work done so it could be in his film.  This was no easy feat, because the work stands at 15.5 feet tall by 12.5 feet wide.  It's why I've never shot the whole thing before- when it was in my old studio in Oakland, you could not have gotten far away enough to fit the whole thing in the frame.  In my new studio, I have a big enough wall, but the pipes from the sprinkler system get in the way of the shot.  I looked around for another solution, say shooting it outside, but wind and uneven light became an issue.  I called my photographer Jeannie O'Connor, and we decided the only thing to do was shoot it in half and photoshop it together.  It turned out good.  Hopefully someday it can be displayed somewhere large enough for it to loom in all its glory.

Of course it was right in the middle of that heat wave when it came time to shoot!  Here's the bottom half:

I found this article that gives more background about Vahe and his film After Freedom about an Armenian family in California, such a familiar story!  I am happy to have connected with him and honored to be a part of his project.  I look forward to seeing his film, well both of them, After Freedom and the Chamlian documentary, and will post a clip of the documentary with my work in it, if I'm able!

30 March 2009 @ 07:55 pm
Some new words I've been working on in the studio:


  Text, punakir     

                                                                                        Garden, bardez

Mend, norokel

I have been invited back to Olive Hyde Gallery in Fremont to exhibit several works in their annual Textiles exhibition.  The Alphabet will be there, along with several works from my I-Cord Series.  The Opening Reception will be Friday, March 6th from 7-9pm, directions here.

I have been following my usual pattern of hibernating in the winter, reading a lot (liked Vitamin P, now I'm on to the Joseph Beuys Reader), looking at art (Maya Lin at the De Young), knitting, knitting, knitting, and working regularly in my sketchbook.

I also finished a lower-case version of the Alphabet (pic taken on an iPhone):

Looking forward to longer days, and more light!

25 September 2008 @ 04:51 pm
Just got my UPS package today with the new book, "Knitting Art:  150 Innovative Works by 18 Contemporary Artists," by Karen Searle.  My work is featured- the Armenian Alphabet, some from my I-Cord Series, and some from my Fine Art/Fiber Art Series.  It is quite a nice book, and I am proud to be featured in such good company!

Check me out- in the photo they used I'm wearing my Skullyflower shirt!  (From Dragon Messmer's Skullyflower comic books!)

The other artists featured in the book are:  Kathryn Alexander, Jeung-Hwa Park, Ilisha Helfman, Debbie New, Katharine Cobey, Donna L. Lish, Lindsay Obermeyer, Carolyn Halliday, Reina Mia Brill, Adrienne Sloan, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Anna Maltz, Mark Newport, Janet Norton, John Krynick, Barb Hunt, and Karen Searle.

On my first glance-through, I am quite taken with Barb Hunt, whose work is new to me and I am excited to see more, and John Krynick, whose work I became aware of earlier this year when he friended me on ravelry.  (If you are a knitter, and do not yet know about ravelry, go there now.  It will change your life!)  There is so much in this book I would love to see in person, it's a tease that way.

In the studio news:  I'm close to finishing a lower-case version of the Alphabet, and I'll post pics of some new words soon.

Svea at Swarm was kind enough to send me the link to this article from Robert Taylor, the art critic at the Contra Costa Times:

He says the Alphabet "packs immediate punch."  Oh, yeah.  That is how I do.

It is great to get this kind of validation, having just moved from my Emeryville arts community out here to CoCoCo.  Moving is hard and it messes with my mind.  And it is not like I moved very far, like, say to Rochester NY.  But I'm kind of a wreck nonetheless some days.  And most definitley not one  on others.  This weekend in the studio was good.  Very good.


Here is a pic of me at the Bedford opening, holding one of the needlepoint purses that my Grandmother, Roxie Kamian, made.  She turns 94 tomorrow, July 14th.  Still needlepointing every day.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA!
25 June 2008 @ 11:40 am
Great news that the Armenian Alphabet has been accepted to the show "Local Voice" at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek!  The show is centered on the idea of artists in Contra Costa County getting to see what their neighbors are up to, and creating a sense of community, which works great for me since I just moved here in December!  I am so pleased to be back at the Bedford- it is really a beautiful space, and so nicely run by nice people.  I had work at a show there in 2006 called "Embroidered Stories, Knitted Tales" where I exhibited my Sampler Series:

Here is a pic of me and the late great Mr. Dave Forgie at the Bedford in 2006.  He stayed for the whole time at the opening, and was very, very kind.  It was a good time.  A very special memory for me.


And me and Uncle Arch:


And the family classic pic of me and Jason, on our 3rd day of romance:


In other Big News, my work is going to be included in a book coming out this Fall!  The author, Karen Searle, became aware of my work at the "Embroidered Stories/Knitted Tales" exhibit, and came to my studio in West Oakland to look at my work and interview me in 2007.  The book is called "Knitting Art: 150 Innovative Works from 18 Contemporary Artists", and is being published by Voyageur Press.  It will be released in October 2008.