April 1, 2017

In Dreams I Drifted Away -Part 2

In Dreams I Drifted Away, WIP, by Sue Reno, Image 7
 While I was intermittently working on In Dreams I Drifted Away, the opportunity to attend the James Webb Space Telescope Artist Project came up. I was soon heavily invested in making Luminosity. (You can read about the NASA visit, the quilt, and the exhibit by clicking the JWST tab at the top, or go here.) The centerpiece of that work was a set of hand-stitched silk hexagons representing the telescope mirrors:
Prior to this I had never worked with English paper piecing, but it was the perfect technique for this application. I enjoyed it enough that I began piecing more hexagons, just to have a hand sewing project while waiting around for an auto oil change and such. Some of the fabrics I used were leftover dye prints from making Luminosity, because they were at hand. You can see parts of the telescope imagery in the pink and orange hexagons:

In Dreams I Drifted Away, WIP, by Sue Reno, Image 10


As I worked I thought about how my my work to date about the Susquehanna River has grown from my personal detailed observations of it, in various states, and from various locales. 52 Ways to Look at the River in particular was about these observations. Working on the JWST project has expanded my outlook, and I realized that there is a wealth of observation and knowledge about the river that has been recorded by scientific methods. As one small example, I happened upon this video about satellite EO-1 that includes an image of the Susquehanna from 2011.

This type of observation and data has never been more important, and would seem to be at increasing risk of being unavailable for continued research. So my hexagons in this work represent the satellites and other technology that we collectively as a species are reliant on.

In Dreams I Drifted Away, WIP, by Sue Reno, Image 8

Now that my concept is clear, it will be easy to expand on it. These gelli plate prints I made last year are going to fit in perfectly.
Luminosity, by Sue Reno, center panel



March 31, 2017

In Dreams I Drifted Away - New Work in Progress

In Dreams I Drifted Away, WIP, Image 1
I really do dream about these pieces in The River series. I look at and think about the river a lot, I always have, so themes and ideas about it float up from my unconscious when I'm just about to wake. If I'm lucky, I catch them. This title, and the general sense of it, came to me last summer and I got to work immediately on it. I pulled a vibrant piece of turquoise felt for the centerpiece, and auditioned fabrics to accompany it. Not all of them made the final cut, but they helped to set the tone.

In Dreams I Drifted Away, WIP, Image 2
 I laid out the riverbank/border fabrics, a variety of silks with different patterns and textures, and needlefelted them onto the felt base. Next I laid slivers of wool and silk on the river and arranged them to show movement.
In Dreams I Drifted Away, WIP, Image 3
 A layer of wool roving and lots of sparkly mylar fibers came next, and were also needlefelted into place.
In Dreams I Drifted Away, WIP, Image 4

 I was happy with the work so far, and the title and general direction, but was still not entirely clear on the conceptual underpinnings. To give me more opportunity to reflect, I began hand stitching on the piece. Embroidery, like beadwork, is a very meditative process.  I worked on it, off and on in the odd spare hour, just enjoy the feel of the textiles and the repetitive motion of the needle.
With the embroidery complete, I added a layer of batting and a backing and quilted it improvisationally.  
In Dreams I Drifted Away, WIP, Image 6
 I hate forcing a work, and I'm OK with having a variety of works in progress, so I pinned this one up on a design board where I could look it over and ruminate on it from time to time.

Up next, the fog begins to lift!

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

March 12, 2017

JWST: Art + Science Opening Reception

Luminosity, by Sue Reno, at NASA Goddard Visitor Center
Luminosity.  Image credit Jolearra Tishiteya
UPDATE: Due to popular demand, the exhibit has been extended into May!
What a great experience! Here's my chronicle of attending The James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 opening reception. It's open, and free, at the NASA Goddard Visitor Center through April 16. This is my work in the show, Luminosity. If you are new here, you can track back the project and my part in it by clicking on the James Webb in the top header, or clicking here.
Luminosity, detail, by Sue Reno
Luminosity, detail.  Image credit Jolearra Tishiteya
Because the Center had been undergoing renovations, mounting the exhibit happened on a quick timeline. I decided to deliver my artwork in person the day before, and I was very glad I did.

Building a support for Luminosity at NASA Goddard Visitor Center
I had previously expressed my concerns on displaying my work in a way that made it obvious that it shouldn't be handled. It's been my experience that textile art in general, and my work in particular, is so tactile and inviting that people who wouldn't dream of touching a painting will almost unconsciously reach out to touch a quilt.  When I arrived, the staff was busy building a structure to accomplish that goal and simultaneously show it off to the best advantage. I got to help design and screw together what was basically a giant erector set. You can see how happy I am with the results!
Luminosity, with Sue Reno, being installed at NASA Goddard Visitor Center
I also had a bit of time to look around the rest of the renovated Center and appreciate the interactive science exhibits.
NASA Goddard Visitor Center
The next afternoon, I was back for a scheduled media event. This also gave me a lot of time to talk with the other artists, admire their work, and talk shop about motivation and process.  Once again, very happy!
Sue Reno with Luminosity, at media event
Luminosity, as befits its name, looks different in all the changing light conditions in the center. (The glass is UV protected, so no worries there.) Just outside the window is this cool rocket model.
Rocket model at NASA Goddard Visitor Center

Finally the big night arrived!
Sue Reno with Luminosity at NASA Goddard Visitor Center
Sue Reno with Luminosity.  Image credit Ophelia Chambliss
Everyone looked great--there was a lot of gold/space themed attire.
Artists at opening of JWST: Art + Science 2017
L-R Sue Reno, Joanna Barnum, Brandi Smart, Maggie Masetti, Lauren Emeritz  Credit: Ophelia Chambliss
Here's some snapshots of the artwork.  For better, and accredited, images, along with detail shots and artist's statements, visit this NASA site.

James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 Exhibit

James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 Exhibit

James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 Exhibit

James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 Exhibit

James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 Exhibit

James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 Exhibit

James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 Exhibit

James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 Exhibit
Even the cupcakes were appropriate to the theme.
Cupcakes, James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 Opening Reception

It was both gratifying and humbling to see how many of the people who have worked on the James Webb Space Telescope came out in support for the opening. I had conversations with scientists, engineers, and administrators whose involvement spanned the long term. It truly was a meeting of Art + Science.
James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 Opening Reception
Part way into the evening several people spoke, including Maggie Masetti. The art event was her brainchild, and she deserves many accolades for its design and execution. She has been a grand cheerleader and an advocate for the artists, and always accessible as we worked on our art and had questions.  Thanks Maggie!
Maggie Masetti, James Webb Space Telescope: Art + Science 2017 Opening Reception
As you can tell from the artwork, one of the strengths of the project was the diversity of the artists invited.  Hannah Larrabee wrote three poems. which she had  letterpress printed.
Hannah Larrabee, poem/letterpress


Here's Hanna reading The Three Body Problem. (Edit--this may be too long for viewing on some mobile devices/connections.)

video
John Garvey performed his very catchy song about the Telescope.  You can view his video on You Tube:

While everyone was gathered there was a call for a group photo. That's photographer Jolearra Tishiteya, who did a great job of herding us all together.
Organizing group artist photo, NASA Goddard Visitor Center
I'm glad so many artists were able to attend--we missed those who couldn't.
Artist Group photo, credit Jolearra Tishiteya

Some more  links for your enjoyment:
The official NASA article about the exhibit opening:
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2017/an-inside-look-at-nasas-webb-telescope-art-exhibit


I was interviewed for this excellent article about space art::

Ashley Zelinskie was featured in this one:

John Garvey put together a cut of his live performance at the event:

Joanna Barnum and Maggie Masetti did a live news interview:

 WJC 13 in Baltimore did a nice spot that they have on rotation.


Luminosity, artist Sue Reno, NASA Goddard Visitor Center
Sue Reno, Luminosity, photo credit Ophelia Chambliss
I am so glad I took a leap and applied for this opportunity. Personally, it stretched my skills, and gave me a new lens on the world that will be impacting my work for a long time. Professionally, I enjoyed meeting artists from many different disciplines and talking about our similarities and differences.  As a citizen and a patriot, I am inordinately proud to have done my small bit to promote  awareness of the JWST, and by extension, the science and technology that comprise the basis of my worldview and which I am happy to help support with my tax dollars.
Luminosity by Sue Reno. NASA Goddard Visitor Center
Luminosity at NASA Goddard Visitor Center

March 4, 2017

New Work - Late Summer Roses

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno
Late Summer Roses
 I'm pleased to share with you another newly completed work, Late Summer Roses.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, detail 1
Late Summer Roses, detail 1
 It was begun plein air in the garden of the Governor's Residence in Harrisburg, PA. At the previous year's event, I focused on the wonderful Magnolia tree. This time, I was enticed by the prolific late summer blooms on the rose bushes, and the way they complemented the mellow brick of the walkways.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, detail 2
Late Summer Roses, detail 2
 The center panel is needlefelted with wool and silk, heavily stitched, and has a sparkly seed bead sewn onto on each individual rose. The supporting quilt is made of cotton and silk patchwork, including my own hand painted fabrics.  It measures 54"h x 47"w. You can track back the creation of this work by clicking here, or on Late Summer Roses in the right sidebar.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, detail 3
Late Summer Roses, detail 3
Late Summer Roses and its companion piece Magnolia made their exhibit debut at Life Along the River: Narrative art quilts depicting the Susquehanna River and its environs, at the Pennsylvania Arts Experience Gallery, Marketview Arts, York, PA, March 3 – 31, 2017.   I will be giving an artist talk on Saturday, March 25th at 11:00 a.m.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

February 27, 2017

New Work - 52 Ways to Look at the River

52 Ways to Look at the River, by Sue Reno
52 Ways to Look at the River
 Hurrah, 52 Ways to Look at the River is finished! It was an huge project, challenging at times but also fun and rewarding. I'm so glad I made the commitment and followed through on it. I'm also very thankful for all the support and encouragement I had as I progressed, with so many readers following along. I was very close to being done in the fall when I got waylaid by my involvement in the James Webb Space Telescope project, and the making of Luminosity. Now that that's completed, I had the time to wrap up 52 Ways.
52 Ways to Look at the River, by Sue Reno, detail 1
52 Ways to Look at the River, detail 1
52 Ways to Look at the River will be making its exhibition debut at my solo show, Sue Reno: Life Along the RiverNarrative art quilts depicting the Susquehanna River and its environs, March 3 - 31, Marketview Arts Gallery, York PA. I hope that some of my local friends will be able to join me for the opening reception Friday night, 5:30 - 9:00.  I will also be giving an artist talk on Saturday, March 25th at 11:00 a.m.
52 Ways to Look at the River, by Sue Reno, detail 2
52 Ways to Look at the River, detail 2
 A brief synopsis of the project if you are new to it: I’ve lived near the Susquehanna River for most of my life. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time visiting its shores and hiking the adjacent trails. It occurred to me that there was something new to notice every time. With that guiding principle I undertook an ambitious project to document my observations.

Beginning on the 2015 summer solstice and continuing uninterrupted for a year, each week I visited the Susquehanna River somewhere along its course and took pictures. Back in the studio, I chose an image and interpreted it in a 6” x 12” fiber art panel. 
52 Ways to Look at the River, by Sue Reno, detail 3
52 Ways to Look at the River, detail 3
The panels are on a wool/rayon felt base and are primarily needlefelted with wool and silk fiber, with some added applique, and were machine and hand stitched. I wrote about the process and illustrated it extensively here on my blog, and you can track it back at: http://suereno.blogspot.com/search/label/52%20Ways%20to%20Look%20at%20the%20River
or just click the 52 Ways tab in the top header.
52 Ways to Look at the River, by Sue Reno, detail 4
52 Ways to Look at the River, detail 4
At the end of the 52 weeks, I began assembly of the panels.  I hand painted fabric and quilted it to form a background. Each panel was appliqued onto black felt and then stitched on the quilt. I added hand beadwork with glass beads and semi-precious stones.  The finished size is 72”h x 82”w.
52 Ways to Look at the River, by Sue Reno, detail 5
52 Ways to Look at the River, detail 5
I hope you've enjoyed this journey as much as I have!  As always, thank you for reading and commenting.

February 21, 2017

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts Jury 2017

2017 CPFA Jurors
L-R Patricia Bellan-Gillen, Executive Director Rick Bryant, Jim BovĂ©, Sue Reno, Jay Gould, Naomi Cleary
I've just had the pleasure of serving on the jury for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.  Held each summer in State College, PA, the Sidewalk Sale is "consistently ranked as one of the top outdoor fine art and fine craft shows in the nation...Each year more than three hundred exhibitors offer a wide variety of objects for sale including baskets, ceramics, jewelry, fiber, painting, photography, and wearable art."

Executive Director Rick Bryant, the staff, and volunteers have been running this show for many years, and function as the proverbial well-oiled machine. We jurors spent two days reviewing and ranking the images and information submitted by applicants to the show. This jury panel has a wealth of experience in various fine craft disciplines, and we were very careful and considerate in our deliberations. It's going to be an excellent and well balanced show! The jurors will return in July to walk the show, visit each booth, and award the prizes.  

I was also a CPFA juror in 2011, and was honored to be asked to return. I love this kind of work, and feel that I am good at it. If you are an artist who regularly applies to exhibits and opportunities, as I am, it's good to sometimes be on the other side of the equation. I never take a "declined" notice personally. I can tell you that on every jury I've ever served on, the jurors have been ethical, unbiased, and fair. 

February 14, 2017

Life Along the River

The Longest Day, detail, by Sue Reno
The Longest Day, detail
I'm having a solo show of my work at the Pennsylvania Arts Experience Gallery at Marketview Arts, 37 West Philadelphia St., York, PA.  The exhibit opens with a reception on Friday, March 3rd from 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. I will be giving an Artist Talk on Saturday, March 25th.
The Longest Day, by Sue Reno
The Longest Day
Sue Reno: Life Along the River, will feature my narrative art quilts depicting the Susquehanna River and its environs. There will be several works making their exhibit debut, including The Longest Day, a celebration of the summer solstice, as experienced by the Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna..  It includes wool and silk fibers, cyanotypes on cotton, digital prints on cotton, needlefelting, hand embroidery, machine stitching, hand beadwork with seed beads and semi-precious stones.  Size is 77"h x 49"w.

I'll be posting more of the work that will be in Life Along the River in the coming weeks before the exhibit opens. I hope many of my local friends will be able to attend.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

February 6, 2017

James Webb Space Telescope -Luminosity

Luminosity, by Sue Reno, for #JWSTArt
Luminosity
I'm pleased to share my finished artwork for the James Webb Space Telescope Artist Project, Luminosity.

Luminosity, detail 1, by Sue Reno, for #JWSTArt
Luminosity, detail 1
 In November of 2016 I was one of a group of  22 wonderfully diverse artists selected nationwide to attend the James Webb Space Telescope Artist Event  at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

I had the opportunity to meet and interact with engineers, technicians and other team members from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, the world’s next-generation space observatory, tour Goddard's Integration and Test facility, see the world's largest clean room facility, and see the James Webb Space Telescope itself.  I had time to sit in front of the mirror and create, which I spent hand stitching silk hexagons for my representation of the golden mirror. Back in the studio, I worked on creating a large art quilt. I've documented the visit and the work in progress here on my blog. To read all the posts, click on the James Webb Space Telescope tab in the header, or go here.
Luminosity, detail 2, by Sue Reno, for #JWSTArt
Luminosity, detail 2
 My official statement for this artwork:
Hexagons are a perennial motif in quilts. I began stitching the silk hexagons representing the mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope on site at NASA Goddard. Cyanotype dates from the 1840s as a pioneering photography process; these and the colored dye prints were developed outdoors using UV rays from the sun. The border image is from the other end of the photo technology spectrum, taken with a fisheye lens on an iPhone and digitally printed. The needle felted center panel is made with minimally processed wool and silk fibers and modern mylar strands. It is my depiction of the early luminosity, going back 13.5 billion years, which the telescope will be able to detect.

Luminosity, detail 3, by Sue Reno, for #JWSTArt
Luminosity, detail 3
 The work includes hand-stitched silk hexagons, needlefelting with wool, silk, and mylar, hand beadwork with semi-precious stones, cyanotypes and solar dye prints on cotton, digital prints on cotton, silk and cotton patchwork, stitching.  The size is 60"h x 74"w.


Luminosity, detail 4, by Sue Reno, for #JWSTArt
Luminosity, detail 4
All of the artwork for this project will be on display at the NASA Goddard Visitor Center this spring.  I will have dates and details to pass along soon.

And as always, thanks for reading and commenting.