Archive for November, 2008

Mindful Navigation: The POA Series

Thursday, November 13th, 2008
"Mindful Navigation" from The POA Series by Rhea Giffin

"Mindful Navigation" from The POA Series by Rhea Giffin

What is it?  It’s a haphazard venture into my own personal “pockets of autism” through dimensional “paintings of apples” and other playful papier mache and mixed media sculpture that loosely illustrates my poem or the other way around.  As an artist, embracing, questioning, sorting out my sensitiivities, thoughts and observations is what drives me.  For this series, Apples serve as a universally symbolic, light-hearted disguised guide for this expedition’s contemplation of complexities of thought, ironies and emotion accompanied by an occasional orange or pear.  This exhibition is in collaboration with the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture’s Art @ Work program.  Runs January 6 – March 29, 2009, 5-8 pm., Kress Gallery in River Park Square, 808 W. Main Ave., third level, Spokane, Washington, USA.  For art rental or purchase information, contact Ryanh@northwestmuseum.org A reception will be held on Friday, February 6th in conjunction with Spokane’s bi-annual Visual Arts Tour.  Hope you can attend.

The Poem:

POA (from Mindful Navigation: The POA Series)

 

Paintings Of Apples

Pockets Of Autism, Alphabets and Apples

Stopping, Chewing, Spitting Out or Swallowing.

Swallowing Pieces, Swallowing Whole.

Pieces Of Allegory, Audacity and Anger

Portals Of Adaptation

Practicalities Of Anxiety, Anonymity and Abnormality.

Why be normal?

Parties Of Aardvarks

Promenade Onto Ark

Feast on Provisions Of Ants

Aunts and Uncles

Provide Pieces Of Apples

Pieces Of Apples and Pretext Of Answers

Pretext Of Answers and Presumption Of Altars

Prayers Of At-one-ness

Pourings Over Ambulances

Postdiluvian Attitudes

Pessimism Of Anarchists

Pornography Of Anatomy

Promises Of Ancients

Priests Obscuring Audacity

Portentousness Of Animism

Apples and Amis. Apples and Enemies.

Poisonous and Sweet. Toxic and Sweet.

Pestilence Of America. Apple Pie and What-not.

Perils Of Angst. Poisons on Articulation. Positions Of Altitude. Perils Of Annihilation, Ambivalence. 

Poverty Of Application. Prayers Of Amusements. Poverty Of Artists.

Presence Of Anger. Pockets Of Attitude, Audacity, Abandonment. Pain Of All.

Pachyderms Of Africa and Asia.

Perilous Pretorian Pathways Obstruct. Offering Only Annihilation.

Planetary Pain. Outrageous. Overwhelming. Astounding Apathy.

Predictions Of Avalanches. Pockets Of Pain. Indigestion.

Perplexed, Puzzling, Pondering, Projecting.

Prisoners Of Addiction, Avoidance, Atrocity, Atrophy.

Purging Over-Accumulations, Oppressive Attitudes, Overwhelm, Off-putting Apathy

Possessions Obscuring Action

Pockets Of Articulation, Answers, and Altars.

Pockets Of Autism, Alphabets, and Apples.

Parcels Of Arithmetic. Patterns Of Ambivalence. Peels Of Apples.

Pleas to Openings of Awareness.

Pitiful Offers of Absolution. Pretend Ownership of Autonomy.

Pomegranates Of Awe, Abundance, Amazements.

Pleas to Ponder Poetry Of Apples and Pockets.

Paintings Of Apples and Acronyms.

Paintings Of Apples and Ponderings.

Parings. Pairings. Pear Rings Of Apples.

©2008Rhea Giffin

Cupcake Collaboration

Thursday, November 13th, 2008
Ken Yuhasz and Rhea Giffin with Cupcake Collaboration November 2008Thanks to neon artist, Ken Yuhasz of Spokane http://www.acmeglassworks.com for collaborating with me on this piece. In conjunction with the Spokane Symphony’s Festival in celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday, it will be part of an invitational exhibition, A House Divided: The Legacy of Lincoln at the Chase Gallery in Spokane City Hall January 5 – March 2, 2009.  Other participating artists are:  Tobe Harvey, Scott Kolbo, Garric Simonsen and more… An artists reception will be Friday, February 6th from 5 to 9 p.m. in conjunction with the Visual Arts Tour. www.spokanearts.org Same day and time as my “Mindful Navigation: The POA Series” exhibit at the Kress Gallery across the street in River Park Square, third level.
my ever helpful assistant and cupcake in process

my ever helpful assistant and cupcake in process

Ken Yuhasz Working His Magic

Ken Yuhasz Working His Magic

American Style Reviews “500 Chairs” Book

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

I am honored that my art chair, “Dali’s Darlin’ Ziraffe” is featured in the May 2008 Lark Book publication, 500 Chairs: Celebrating Traditional and Innovative Designs  (page 45).  The book is indeed, “eye candy,” as are all of Lark’s 500 series publications. 

Click here to see American Style review (pdf)

By-the-way, this chair is available for sale or rental through The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture’s Art @ Work Program. Contact Ryan Hardesty, ryanh@northwestmuseum.org

Fine Arts and Crafts Holiday Sale on the South Hill

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

See fun new work by guild member, Sherri Ballman and other great northwest artists on Spokane’s South Hill, just in time for Holiday purchases!

A Red Shoe Event Art Auction

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Featuring contemporary and modern art to benefit the Toni M. Robideaux Scholarship Fund, www.spokaneadfed.com

First Friday Art Preview at the Spokane Club in downtown Spokane, Washington, Friday, November 7, 2008

A Red Shoe Event Art Auction at the Spokane Club, downtown Spokane, Washington, Friday, November 14, 2008, 6-10 p.m.

An exhibition of this year’s work will be available for preview in October. If you are unable to attend the event but would like to bid on items in our gallery, please contact Dean at 509.456.8799 for details.

Northern Lights, Inc. – POAC Satellite Gallery

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

September 16, 2008 – January 15, 2009, Northern Lights, Inc., Sagle, Idaho, a satellite gallery for Pend Oreille Arts Council (POAC) http://www.artinsandpoint.org Exhibit features the works of Northwest Papier Mache Artists’ Guild members:  Sherri Ballman, Lisa Conger, Rhea Giffin, Leata Judd, Judy Minter, Larry Thomas www.rheagiffin.com/nwpmag.htm

NWPMAG Exhibit in Montana This Summer

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Sandpiper Art Gallery http://www.sandpiperartgallery.com has invited The Northwest Papier Mache Artists’ Guild to exhibit in Polson, Montana July 31 – September 5, 2009.  Artists reception will be Friday, July 31st.

“About Faces: Personality in Portraiture”

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Many Northwest Papier Mache Artists’ Guild members participated in this all media invitational exhibit at the POAC Gallery in Sandpoint, Idaho this summer as part of ArtWalk I, June 20-July 27, 2008. www.artinsandpoint.org

"Megan" by Sherri Ballman

"Megan" by Sherri Ballman

Thank you, Tala K.K. Wood for such an explicit and thoughtful review in the July 3, 2008 issue of The Sandpoint Reader  (page 11)

Click her to view original article (pdf)

Note: The photographed images within the article feature artwork by Judy Minter. http://www.JudyMinter.com   Also note that my last name, giffin, is mis-spelled.  The correct version has no “r”. Betty’s correct last name is Gardner, not Gardener.

Unfortunately there is not an on-line version available at this time.   Here is a transcribed version:

“Faces” Captured Me

By Tala K. K. Wood

For SPR

The “About Faces: Capturing Personality through Portraiture” exhibit at POAC’s Powerhouse Gallery was a wonder to behold.  I saw a few names I knew, and some artwork that looked familiar, but in essence, I was a stranger in a colorful land.

There were portraits of family members, famous people, and imaginary individuals. There were fascinating sculptures, and wacky carvings. Some were disturbing, with bug eyes and swirled noses, and others quaint, with children, kittens, and normal features, but every piece was interesting.

I made a complete fool of myself, walking from painting to painting about every five minutes, my mouth in danger of falling open. I am not an artsy-type person — I’m a writer, so my paints are found in dictionaries and thesauruses–but I couldn’t keep my eyes off the display of creativity I saw splashed along the hallway.

One that I liked in particular was called “Pity Stew” by Rhea Griffin. It consisted of a cup, a bowl, a spoon, and a napkin on a tray, all in a deep blue.  Accomanying it was a copy-righted poem that I fell in love with.  It turned the stew and all things asociated with soups, like salt, into ingredients for pity–little hurts, and have-nots.

Another that caught my eye was the “Beekeeper” by Betty Gardener.  The thing that intrigued me the most were the elements that made up the bust.  Wasp nests formed a neck, lichen was hair, and flowers and other plant components decorated the face.  A third eye was represented by a five-petal flower.

While I particularly liked both of these unique creations, my affection for them is out-numbered a thousand to one in favor of another of Griffin’s works, “Blind Patriotism.”

I stared at this figure for ten minutes and kept coming back even after I had–ahem–“moved on.”  Every time I looked at it, I saw a new symbol.

The basis of the piece was a blue woman in front of a three layered box with clouds on the top level and a pair of eyes perched on top.  When you look closer, you’ll see–or at least I saw–that it is covered in messages.  Note to the creator:  If my interpretations are wrong, do forgive me, I am merely an uncultured teenager.

The woman is the center piece, but even her simple movements are worth noting.  In reference to the title she is blindfolded by a scarf bearing the United States colors.  One hand is over her heart, and the other is gesturing towards the box behind her.

She is almost showing a type of possession in her posture, but at the same time, it is defensive–covering her life-source.

The world behind her is one I would not gesture to, were I in her place.

The bottom level is empty and dark, where the woman is.  The second level is a sea with high wild waves, and the third has clouds haning from strings, and one cloud that seems to have fallen.

Above the box is a pair of “All-Seeing” eyes.  The God-like half a face’s eyes are spirals, which seem to indicate a sort of madness.  To me these portions seem to indicate Hell, Earth, Sky, and Heaven.

The sides of the box are just as interesting as the insides. To the left are three American flags: the top and bottom ones are normal and right-side up, but the one that is level with the second portion of the box is upside down,. a universal signal of distress.

I find it interesting that the section that represents Earth has the distress symbol.

The Right side of the box has three identical flags of no country I recognize, each with a different icon on it.  The top one has a heart circled, equal with the “sky” portion.

The middle one, parellel with the Earth, fittingly has an Earth drawn on it.

The Earth is not shown as it normally is, with the Pacific Ocean split right down the middle.  Instead, it is only of Africa, and the bottom portion of Europe.

The third flag has a peace sign scrawled across a corner of it.  However, the peace sign is distorted and one bar is missing.  Are we missing peace, by any chance?

I found this politically slanted piece of art astounding and beguiling.  I can hardly wait to look at it again.

The entire exhibit is well worth taking some of your precious time out to see.  Maybe you’ll find your own “Blind Patriotism.”

"Blind Patriotism" and "Aquarius Rising Up From the Piscean Sea" by Rhea Giffin

Taylor-Parker Motor Co. – Sandpoint, Idaho

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

June 20 – July 27, 2008, The Northwest Papier Mache Artists’ Guild http://www.rheagiffin.com/nwpmag.htm  makes its debut in Sandpoint, Idaho for Artwalk I at Taylor-Parker Motors along with art quiltmaker, Sheila Mahanke Barnes.  The reception was fantastic and we were told by several sources that the town was abuzz with enthusiasm the entire five weeks.

"Thelma Goes to the Beauty Parlor" by Sherri Ballman, "Halloo Bienvenu!" by Rhea Giffin

Sherri Ballman’s “Thelma Goes to the Beauty Parlor” made the front cover full-legth full-color of the July 17, 2008, Vol.5 issue 29 of Sandpoint Reader, and an article about the guild by by reporter Tala K.K. Wood.

Click here to view original article (pdf)

Note:  The photo within the article features mixed-media marionettes by Betty Gardner.  Also note that my last name giffin, was mis-spelled. The correct way has no “r”, and all reference to “Carry Thomas” should be “Larry Thomas.”

Unfortunately there is not an on-line version at this time. Here is a transcript of the article:

Artwalk Goes Vehicular

by Tala K.K. Wood

for SPR

Paper Mache. Most of us have had the misfortune in our elementary days to have dipped our hands into that gooey mess and either loved it or hated it.

I am of the latter.  Anything that squishes between my fingers is not worth touching in my view.

But if you stop by Taylor Parker in the next few weeks, you’ll see why I have a sudden new fondness for the gunk.

The car dealership, a long-time participant in ArtWalk, are hosting the “Paper Mache Artist’s Guild.”

At first I assumed that it would appear as my disastrous sculptures from second grade would, but with creative titles and decidedly less science-leaning subjects.  But then I walked in.

You would never know these magnificent creations were made of water, flour, glue and old newspapers.  They went from pretty to unique to down-right weird.

The first time I saw the green dachshund with giant red spots and a rat-like snout, I thought his beady eyes were following me.  When I looked at him a second time, I thought he’d moved.

After scaring myself into heart-attack country, I crawled back out and away from stationary yet uncannily life-like dogs.

I moved on to pleasanter things, like “Flying Jolie Girl” by Leata Judd, in which a blue girl with wings and a dreamy expression sits on a winged blue horse with red eyes that almost seemed out of place.

I also spent some time looking for eye-candy, like “Going with the Flow” by Judy Minter, a pretty piece that had wild rainbow waves and silver-gold coral, and “Charity Changes our Perspective: by Carry Thomas.

I stared at the last piece, “Charity,” for a long time, trying to understand the title.

Finally, I understood what the turtle carrying a chair on its shell was supposed to symbolize – note to the artist: pray forgive me if I’m wrong, I am merely a member of the generation raised by the internet – the chair, decorated as it was with a sea, and islands, and even a sky, was the world, and the turtle was carrying the world on its back, much like the Native American myth.

The turtle, which in a generalization, could be called “lowly” is transformed into something grand, something that allows the rest of us to live, by “holding the world.” In its generosity, it provides for us all.

After that puzzle of a piece, I moved on, only to have my eyes drawn to an intriguing figure of a dark woman with a blue bird on her shoulder.

Her eyes were pensive, and she was cradling a huge heart-shaped crevice in one hand. Inside the heart, was an abacus-like design, with large blocks that can are turned to show different sides. The title, “Anyway,” suits Rhea Griffin’s sculpture exactly.

Each block has a semi-negative situation, and the other side tells you to keep doing what you’re doing, “anyway.”

For example, “Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway.”

I can’t do justice to this incredible exhibit, but I can at least beg you to go and see it.  Don’t have time? Do it anyway.

Coming Soon to Harding Family Center

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Papier Mache/Mixed Media Hands-on workshop, Harding Family Center, 411 N. 15th Street, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Four THURSDAYS, March 5, 12, 19, 26, 2009, 6pm-8:30pm.  Cost and other details will be forthcoming.