Art: Plaza Midwood Signal Box

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I am honored to have work selected for installation on a signal box in Plaza Midwood, at the corner of Commonwealth and Plaza, outside of the firehouse.

I was fortunate to be a part of the early community of Chantilly Montessori School, a wonderful mix of creative families, many of them from the Plaza Midwood area. One of my favorite traditions at Chantilly was the annual Gallery Crawl, where a parent artist guided each class through a group art project. In 2011, I worked with 1st-3rd graders on a series of collages in the style of Eric Carle, featuring Charlotte landmarks. I always wished I'd shared these outstanding artworks with the Plaza Midwood community, as many of our favorite local places were depicted, and this project was the long-overdue chance to do that. Those young artists are now high school students, and I am thrilled to display their work in the environment that inspired it.

This signal box wrap will be my second public art project. “Lance Color Study” graces a signal box at the corner of South and Bland in Charlotte’s South End. Artist Laurie Smithwick was the mastermind of both the South End and Plaza Midwood installations, each featuring 8 diverse works.

“Chantilly’s Charlotte”, Mixed Media Collage

“Chantilly’s Charlotte”, Mixed Media Collage

Art: "Amplify The Signal" SouthEnd Charlotte

“Lance COlor Study”, installed at Bland/South intersection, in front of historic Lance Factory Building.

“Lance COlor Study”, installed at Bland/South intersection, in front of historic Lance Factory Building.

In Charlotte's Historic South End eight utility boxes have been transformed with the application of artwork. The "Amplify The Signal" project, lead by artist/designer Laurie Smithwick, invited artists in the Charlotte area to submit works that reflected the SouthEnd spaces where utility boxes were targeted for art installations.

 
The project will mingle beauty and function by printing artists’ work on vinyl wraps and adhering them to the gray utility boxes at intersections along South Boulevard. Each artist featured is a Charlotte-based artist who submitted a piece of their work to be considered by a panel of judges. After more than fifty-four submissions, the panel selected eight works that will be featured on throughout South End.

It is an honor to be included in the eight artists whose works were selected for installation. My submission, "Lance Color Study", resulted from a morning spent at the corner where the old Lance Factory building sits, collecting photographs, having breakfast, searching my swatch books for the the colors I witnessed, then returning to the studio to find those colors again in oil paints. 

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I rendered my findings in squares, an homage to the orange peanut butter crackers I packed throughout my lunchbox years.

Gone Dogs

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I am honored to have contributed a story to Gone Dogs, a brilliant project in the works by friends Jim Mitchem and Laurie Smithwick. This book is a crowd-sourced collection of "tales of dogs we've loved", born from a blog post Jim wrote about his dog passing.

I look forward to sharing more information as Jim and Laurie get closer to making this work of love a printed reality. 

Made: Vintage Contact Paper Covered Notebooks

Like many of my sort, I am a compulsive list maker and notebook accumulator. I have found I work best having separate notebooks for daily/general work, personal journaling/tasks, and  for particular clients or big projects.

I have bought lots of pretty books, but my allegiance seems to come back again and again to the basic marbled composition book (bought by the dozens each fall for school supply lists). i favor graph-paper and college-ruled versions, but also enjoy the Primary Books with blank drawing space above the lines.

In the past, I have periodically covered these with wallpaper or shelf paper to help distinguish them from the kids' books, and to make them prettier.  So when I recently stumbled upon a roll of vintage ConTack paper at Frock Shop Revival, I got busy cutting and peeling and sticking.

My friend, Laurie Smithwick, has been leading a campaign to encourage us to "Step Away From The Screen and Make Something".  I share this not-work-but-worth-making post, in part, because of her prompts. As she shared in her recent Alt talk, creative people need to MAKE stuff -- in real life, with their hands -- to keep fueling the creativity.  For the many of us that do our creating on screen all day, this comes a surprising shoulder-shaking. So, here's to MAKING, even if we're just making prettier book in which to make our to-do lists!