Sunday, December 13, 2015

Four Exhibits and a Slice of Tomato

As we approach the Christmas season, winter seems to be holding back on the snow and cold.  That’s fine with me!  It keeps me in the spirit to keep working on my fall vegetables.  This week I kept after the tomatoes.  I’ve been investing my time into the detail work to keep my late summer fruits from looking like red flying saucers.  The obliging weather also means that I’ve been able to putty, sand and paint eight more frames for this winter’s weaving projects.  The early frame effort reminds me of the Czech expression udelat si strýček.  It translates roughly to ‘make your uncle', but really means something more like squirreling away resources now that you know you’ll need in the future.  

 I’ll be prepared when my compositions become finalized.  I’m tentatively calling my next exhibit ‘From the Earth’, which will feature subterranean views or materials that are the result of the earth.  I want my themes to capture finding home and comfort from the earth, including burrows.  The color palette will draw from my extensive collection of earthy tones and the bright colors of produce.  This will be a big change from my most recent blues and greens of water and trees. 

Speaking of my plan to saturate Bloomington with my art, on Monday I will hang my next exhibition at the downtown Bloomington BagelCompany.  That will make four currently showing in Bloomington, including the group show that is currently hanging at the Convention Center.  These pieces will be different, though, as I share my foray into another medium.  I’ll be presenting sketches from our family vacation in North Carolina this past summer.   

I packed only paper and pencil crayons so I wouldn’t be drawn into my usual fiber art pieces.  It was very freeing to have limited resources to create art.  It sounds strange, but the basic drawings don’t rely on my extensive boxes of well organized and plentiful yarns and strings that fill my art studio.  Last month I framed all of the pieces and yesterday I printed the information labels. 

I think that as much as showing the art I’m looking forward to hearing the reaction to this very different body of work.  I remember when I was involved in Jill Bolte-Taylor’s Brain Extravaganza project, people said that they were able to recognize a my bipolar brain before they knew I was participating.  It is fascinating to me to think my aesthetic is in my art, even when I’m not using my primary medium.  The show will be up until February or so.  Some of the pieces are marked ‘not for sale‘ are pieces I am giving my sewing faeries for all their amazing work in bringing the Beauty and the Beast stage performance to fruition. 

Another fun adventure from last week involved my field trip with Dawn Adams up to the Peeler Art Center at DePauw in Greencastle.  We took in two exhibits.  One was by Nathalie Miebach and it was an interesting fusion of sculptural fiber art that spoke to science, nature and art.  More specifically, it explored a scientific perspective on the natural world built up by weaving and incorporating small objects.  In most cases they were an interesting, non sequiter combination of bright happy colorful sculptural pieces unified by forces such as the destructive effects of storms.  The most important aspect to me was the level of intricate detail and diverse objects brought together to create a body of work.  This is something I try to do in my own work when I create fusion pieces such as the platter of vegetables that came together to tell a bigger story.  The artist used a lot of small objects and repetitive shapes to create a body of work.  I found it interesting that the art kept the viewer moving around the piece to take in all the different perspectives on the work. 

The other exhibit we saw was Guerilla Girls.  It’s an exhibit that speaks to the unfairness and underrepresentation of female artists in major galleries in the world.  One of the stunning statistics that was presented was that only two percent of artists in major galleries are female, where 70% of the art presented depicts females.  What’s also interesting is that little has changed over the past generation even with the emergence of some terrific female artists. 

In additiont to the art, Dawn and I made a completely unexpected but major find at the gallery.  We met a faculty member in sculpture there, Lori Miles, and we discussed a potential collaboration between her students and the Fourth Street Festival. The project would involve installations of student’s sculptural pieces on Dunn Street as a new and interactive art exhibition.  It would benefit show patrons as an unexpected art experience and Lori‘s students to have access to an audience of forty thousand art fair patrons who could engage the artists during the show. 

And last, of course it is family story time.  Friday was Jim’s birthday.  Jim requested a chocolate cheesecake, so of course I took it to another level and created a dark chocolate ganache topped cheesecake.  It was delightful.  During the creation process I did make too much of the crumble bottom.  I wasn’t about to throw that away, so I created multilayered peanut butter treats with a dark chocolate upper crust.  Basically, they’re what Reese’s cups should taste like.  On the music scene, both boys had their winter concert this week, so we had some nice evenings out.  One more week of school and it’s on to family and Christmas over the break!

Until next week,

Martina Celerin 


  1. You are so incredibly prolific and productive!! You inspire me so 1 We both speak very similar languages and I so wish that someday I will be lucky enough to view one of your exhibits. I am still trying to hatch a plan that will get you to Virginia to teach at Artful Dimensions. If you ever come east for other reasons PLEASE let me know and perhaps we can arrange something!! Merry Christmas!! Your tomato is amazing!!!

    1. Thank you so much!! And yes, I will let you know if I ever head east - and a Merry Christmas to you too!!