I've received some exciting news in the last month or so -- my application for a solo show at the Alaska State Museum in Juneau has been accepted! This new museum (on the site of the previous one -- some say it "swallowed the old museum" -- but in a good way) combined with the State Archives and cut the ribbon last May. "Inheritance: makers. memory. myth" will be installed November 2018 after showing at the Anchorage Museum May - Sept. 2018. This traveling exhibition will be the body of work created from a year's worth of gathering, collecting, inheriting old cloth and domestic linens from contributors all over the world. I'm now turning my attention out of state for 2019. Maybe it will come to a location near you?
But wait. I have to make the work first. And before I do that, I have to finish a dragon.
Which is why I stopped accepting contributions to the Inheritance Project on September 30, 2016. But then why am I still blogging about them? Because I have SO MANY Boxes of Mystery still to share! This group of items below came to me around the end of August when the days were much longer in Alaska and we weren't turning our faces to the sky seeking snow.
Blue envelope of mystery.
Many of you probably already know, or at least know the work of, Kathleen Probst. If you don't, you should click on that link. Her work is immediately recognizable, arresting and beautiful in its skill and simplicity. I know she was scrambling to finish a submission to a big show the week she sent this to me (because I follow her on Instagram and we sometimes get way chatty), so I'm honored she took the time to send me an Envelope of Mystery. She's a busy woman: artist, teacher, mom.
I so get it.
Thank you Kathleen for the sweet handkerchiefs. She writes:
"My grandparents, Marian Inman (1904 - 1987) and Charles Inman (1891 - 1975) both carried handkerchiefs their entire lives. These were found in the their Cooperstown home after my grandmother died. They were both teachers in Brooklyn, NY. that is how they met. My grandmother was not one to knit or sew (or even bake for that matter). These handkerchiefs have probably found their way to countless libraries, golf courses and trips both across the country and abroad. These everyday items wear the lives of my grandparents."
Kathleen and I have spoken on the phone, but not in person. Soon, though, right? You, too, can follow Kathleen on Instagram: @mod_in_your_eye.
And THAT is a brilliant handle, right up there with "Rubber Duck." (Yes, I'm a child of the '70's)
Thank you Ann Duggan for sending such beautiful old cloth from Ireland. If I remember correctly, Ann was visiting Homer, Alaska and saw my work in the Bunnell Street Arts Center gallery and our correspondence continued when she returned home. The pieces she sent have come via the Sherwood Family (her grandfather was one of the boys at 7 Parnell Street, Wexford) and from a neighboring house's Miss Doyle (no. 3 Richmond Terrace, Spawell Road). Miss Doyle never married and when she died Ann discovered a house full of beautiful linens, china and silver all headed to the dump.
This is a common story many of us seem to share, with various levels and facets of participation -- from exasperated runs to the dump to pawing through items destined for that place.
It's complicated, isn't it?
Many thanks to LeeAnn Bartolini, who sent work (and photographs!) from her French paternal grandmother, Juliette Delaverhne Bartolini and her Mexican maternal great-grandmother, Eugenia Cabrera Ryan. What a beautiful legacy.
The piece below was also made by Juliette. Lee Ann pinned a note on it, which read, "I have no idea how she did this." Ahh, but I do. The last image is from the flip side. The cording is machine made, then manipulated and held in place with fine stitches and knot work that slips beneath the satin cord and emerges at the next point of connection. She may have had a paper template to work on. If anyone knows the name of this kind of work, I'd love to hear what it is and/or the origins of such a thing.
My deep gratitude to these contributors as well as the contributors still waiting to have their items shared here in this space. Please know that I take my time with each of these things because I know the contributors did as well. I will skip a week of posting rather than dash off a piece of writing just to get it out there.
This attitude doesn't make me a good blogger, but it does make an amazing archive. If you would like to see a list of all the contributors, makers and the full set of posts so far, please click here and scroll down.
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Artist in Anchorage, Alaska, sometimes blogging about the collision of history, family & art, with the understanding that none exists without the other.