Monday Morning Mail Art Call: Feed the Fish

This week’s Monday Morning Mail Art Call is as special as the couple hosting it. Moan Lisa, the mail art legend and digital artist known to many of us as Mark Rossmiller, of Iowa and his lovely counterpart, Renata Solimini, of Rome have been working on a collaboration of grand proportions. Their Feed The Fish exhibition is upcoming at Five Monkeys, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa from April 1-7, 2016.

To coordinate with the exhibition, they have issued a mail art call whose theme is FISH. The pieces they receive will be on display at the exhibition. Use the following link to check out the details: http://moanlisa.com/blog/2015/11/05/feed-the-fish-exhibition-five-monkeys-inc

You may recall that I was carving rubber stamps of fish last week… They were for use in creating mail art pieces for this particular call. This is what transpired…

School of FISH

School of FISH

School of FISH Bones

School of FISH Bones

FISH in the Round

FISH in the Round

On Saturday, February 27th, I was honored to have been able to spend some time with Moan (Mark) and be there to support him as he had his first one man show, Signs of Nonexistence, at the Christine Frechard Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA.

With Moan Lisa (Mark Rossmiller) at the Christine Frechard Gallery 2/27/2016

His digital artwork is even more impressive on a larger scale. I was taken in by the movement of the pieces and their magical, ethereal quality.

A glimpse of Moan's Gallery Opening

Books of Moan’s poetry were offered for sale at the gallery. Many folks were very interested in the poetry and taken in by the artwork on the books’ covers. Christine, the gallery owner was able to persuade Moan to read for a few of us at the end of the evening.

Moan's Poetry Reading

As I am a huge fan of Mark’s poetry, it was a special treat to hear them read aloud by him. I am used to trying to find quiet moments alone where I can read them aloud to myself, as I find they are more alive and vivid in their imagery that way. You can find the current editions available and other bits of Moan’s work for sale here: http://moanlisa.com/shop/

Do think about sending something for the Feed The Fish mail art call. And if you are in the Pittsburgh area between now and April 1st, do stop into the Christine Frechard Gallery to view Moan’s offerings. You won’t be disappointed, I assure you.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

 

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Dada: American Style

Linda French - postcard Dada and Fluxus are only somewhat

Postcard for Keith Chambers, by Linda French, 2016

Dada hit the New York scene in 1915 and largely, it stayed there for eight short years. Why leave? Why New York? Who were the New York Dadaists? What was their angle? What did they hope to accomplish?

Keith Chambers (Amalgamated Confusion) with Charlie Holt A

Keith Chambers (Amalgamated Confusion) with Charlie Holt (A)

This week, I challenge you to dig in, to read about Dada in New York. I could conceivably write a fresh piece from my perspective, but I feel that there are several good sources online that can acquaint you with the basics and guide you on to further information, should you be so curious. I present you with three such links to start you off.

Keith Chambers (Amalgamated Confusion) with Charlie Holt B

Keith Chambers (Amalgamated Confusion) with Charlie Holt (B)

Every search will turn up something from wikipedia, from the mundane to the obscure. I’m not its biggest fan, but it’s a place to get generalities, a good starting point, if you will.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Dada

Dada Art has an extensive website devoted to Dada. I especially appreciate its page of Dada links, all which are quality references.

http://www.dadart.com/dadaism/dada/023-dada-newyork.html

If you want to learn anything about modern art whatsoever, MoMA, is definitely the way to go. Factual and yet, interesting.

http://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/themes/dada

Denise Woodward - Dada Dreams of Elvis Hair

ATC for Keith Chambers, by Denise Woodward – Dada Dreams of Elvis Hair 2016

In closing, I’d like to thank Keith Chambers for the use of his images, including the collaborations with Charlie Holt, and those sent to him in recent weeks. Thanks to Charlie Holt, Linda French and Denise Woodward also.

May you all take time to learn a little bit about the origins of Dada in New York and may you connect with your inner Dada.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

On My Desk: Carving Fish Stamps

If you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I don’t DO people and I don’t DO animals. My style is fun, colorful and often abstract. I love to collage bits of this and that together. I love creating colorful mixed-media backgrounds. Assemblage is my balm. But you won’t find me painting a portrait, or drawing animals. I leave that to the folks with the talent to do them justice.

So what does a girl do when she’s inspired to answer a mail art call for FISH? I’ll tell you what she does! She panics! She procrastinates and she practices all manner of avoidance techniques.

And then… she takes a deep breath and gets out her stamp carving supplies! Because she’s not going to let this little problem stand in her way. She’s simply going to approach it from another angle.

That, dear readers is what creativity is all about: finding alternative ways to do a thing.

So here goes nothin’!

My husband and I recently had lunch at The Bonefish Grill. It was delicious and the Urban Chic vibe was awesome. I was inspired by their logo and had to try my hand at creating something similar.

Fish Bone Rubber Stamp

A few more came down the pike…

Three Handcarved Fish Stamps

Not sure if I’ve gotten this out of my system or not, but I’m heading back into the studio to let it stew while I work on finishing up some other projects.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

Tuesday Trash Bubbles: Original Quadra Trash Bubble

Usually, my Trash Bubbles are created from one, single post consumer package. Often, they are too small to mail as art and are used as ornaments and gift tags, or are added to a larger flat piece for posting.

Close-up Original Quadra Trash Bubble (top)

This time, I broke the confines of my own definition by building a piece made up of FOUR!!! identical packages.

Introducing the Original Quadra Trash Bubble!

Original Quadra Trash Bubble

These pieces were anchored together using Tim Holtz’s Tiny Attacher, permanent double-sided tape and seals.

The interior packing cards were replaced by heavy paper cut to size, and folded accordingly to mimic the original.

Original Quadra Trash Bubble close-up (bottom)

Despite using trash as filler for these pieces, I follow closely the elements of art composition. Form. Line. Color. Space. Texture. Doing so turns the trashy bits into a cohesive art form.

Original Quadra Trash Bubble close-up

This particular piece is heading to a fellow mail artist in New Hampshire. You may recognize him as having been around a while.

Original Quadra Trash Bubble (back)

Be sure to check back next Tuesday for another installment of Tuesday Trash Bubbles.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

Monday Morning Mail Art Call: MEALART

mealartszines

Drawn to this mail art call by its colorful advertisement, I couldn’t help but begin brainstorming ideas.

Everyone eats. Lots of people love food. Foodies are everywhere. Facebook and Instagram are filled with snapshots of our meals, both the mundane and the extraordinary.

Why not give your hand a try at creating a piece of MEALART? What kind of GASTRO delight can you concoct? The possibilities are as endless as the sheer volume of recipes throughout the world.

Confession: the pun-lover in me finds tremendous joy in that this international mail art call originates in Hungary. Giggle, giggle! 😀

Be sure to check back next Monday morning for more in my new series, Monday Morning Mail Art Call. My hope is that you will find calls that inspire you to create, to participate in the continuing global phenomenon that is mail art.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

Dada: The Celebration Continues 2-19

Last week we touched on what Dada is and I invited you to create your own Dadaist poetry and exchange it with me.

This week, I’d like to expand a little on Dada, sharing a bit about two key women in the Dadaist movement.

Before I do, I’d like to share a piece of Dada mail I received this week. Jude Weirmeir is a very active mail artist whose prolific work is a delight to behold. It is quirky, whimsical, musical and highly entertaining. The things I’ve received from San Diego, California in his name are some of the most treasured pieces in my archives. This one is no exception. It is a celebration of 100 years of Dada.

Jude Weirmeir Dada 100 Years (front)

Jude Weirmeir Dada 100 Years (front)

Jude Weirmeir Dada 100 Years (back)

Jude Weirmeir Dada 100 Years (back)

It must be said that I swooned over the Dada stamps on the back side of this envie. And they gave me the idea for this post.

One of Jude’s rubber stamps depicts “Emmy Hennings, 1st Dada Donor.” Emmy was the wife of Hugo Ball. She gave herself over to a life of Dada from the moment they met in 1913. She had been a published poet and performer with left-wing leanings, so this transition was a natural progression. She and Hugo were founding members of the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland and she was known as the “shining star of the Voltaire.” I strongly encourage you to learn more about Emmy and her poetry and performance art, though I will say that not much of her work can be found independently of Hugo Ball. They were inseparable and their work was codependent.

Another of Jude’s rubber stamps shows the silhouette of Hannah Höch. She was the most prominent female member and contributor to the Dada movement in Berlin, Germany. Her humble beginnings in fashion and textile were short-lived and she is more widely known for her social, feminist commentary via photo montage and collage. She felt strongly her position of being on the outside, looking in, the only woman in a largely male group of Dadaists who exuded their gender superiority. The chauvinist group included Raoul Hausmann, Georg Schrimpf, Johannes Baader and Hans Richter. In response, a good deal of her work addressed this. Her collage style was more harmonious and cohesive than her male counterparts, another reason they discounted her work. Her art was offensive to the Nazi regime and was included under the “degenerative art” label. She led a very quiet and secluded existence during World War II and her art thereafter did not achieve the acclaim it had before the war. In January thru March of 2014, a comprehensive collection of her work was exhibited at The Whitechapel Gallery, London. I would have loved to have been present at that exhibit! It must be said that I consider Hannah to be the Mother of Modern Collage. One needs only to view images of her work to see how she paved the way for much of what we, as modern day collage artists, do. Once again, I urge you to learn more about Hannah and her work. There are lots of excellent links to be found online, as well as images of her work. Start with the link below. You’ll be glad you did.

http://www.moma.org/explore/multimedia/audios/29/704

If you’re at all like me, you’ll have developed an insatiable curiosity for the people and concepts that we have barely touched upon. Go forth, feed that curiosity and expand your knowledge of Dada and its central characters. Celebrate the accomplishments of those who have come before.

In the tradition of Hannah Höch, I challenge you to create a Dadaist collage with a central theme of great social or economic import to you. Look to the headlines of the day, if you need inspiration. You can share it via social media using the hashtags (#)Dadawatch and (#)MyDada. If you send it to me at The Studio at Piney Creek Acres as mail art, I will send one to you in kind.

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

 

 

In The Mail: Lots of Goodies

It’s been quite a while since I’ve shared any of the mail art I’ve received. I won’t go back and try to catch up, that would only serve to frustrate us both. Instead, I will share some of the most recent gems.

The Cracker Jack Kid, aka Chuck Welch, sent a piece he’d posted on Facebook, that I had expressed interest in receiving. It arrived damaged and I was unable to thoroughly read his message. Such is the organic nature of the beast that is mail art.

Jude Weirmeir who is responsible for Subscription Opus sent along a fun piece, but unfortunately it lost something in transit as well. The front seems to be missing its center “wheel.”

From the Stafford Studio in New Mexico came this anonymous gem, but the style is unmistakable. The inside of the envie reads, “RAW NAKED WISDOM DIRECT FROM THE SOURCE.”

Anna Banana Sent her most recent issue of the Banana Rag my way. Always a fascinating read!

Banana Rag

A couple of Valentines made an appearance, despite the fact that I did not send any out this year. They warmed the cockles of my cold, cold heart. (Brrrr….)

From Lucky Pierre in Charleston, South Carolina:

Lucky Pierre Valentine

From Jill Eudaly of You-R-Here:

You-R-Here Valentine Jill Eudaly

Thanks to everyone for brightening my mailbox! And warming my heart! 🙂

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!