Monday, December 06, 2010

A Proud Mama

Last year I became interested in making a clutch bags and started the journey by ordering some metal frames from Thiland. They sat for a year. Decided to revisit the idea this fall and the results are these wonderfully funky acessories. Part bag, part jeweled accesory and part art, my clutches can set off even the plainest outfit. Most come with a detachable cross body lace or double strand handle (not shown) but you can decide how you would like to feature them. Sold 4 of them this past weekend and I expect not to be able to keep up with the demand once my A-list patrons see them. The hand beading and emblishing make these one of a kind pieces very special. Some even feature beads and buttons I have made.

Holiday Madness

Well the Holidays are here and I am feeling somewhat prepared. I have several new items that I have created for the 2010 season as well as some old ones. Please visit my website at and the "Harlem for the Holidays" tab for a listing of local events that I will showcase these items. My "Charmed Angels" were a hit this past weekend and at $10 each they are ready to be taken home. Folks have said I should charge more but I create them to be affordable gifts. There are only a limited number and they are moving quickly!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Gadson quilts at the Strivers Gardens Art Gallery

The public art exhibition The Blossom of Fiber is currently on exhibition in the gallery at the Striver's Garden's condominium, 300 west 135th street. Joining that exhibition will be some of my portrait quilts. Portrait Quilts by Laura R. Gadson will feature some old favorites, previously exhibited and new portrait work. Included will be my first portrait quilt, Lisa and The Color Yellow and quilts that have become banners on 125th street: Hazel Scott (2009 banner), Old School Hip Hop (new 2010 banner). The Gallery at Srtiver's Gardens is a private space there are currently 3 scheduled public viewings:

Thursday, July 8 2010, 7-8pm(walking tour with myself and other Blossom of Fiber artists)
Sunday, July 11 9, 2-5 pm (open to the public for viewing)

Sunday, July 18th, 2-5pm (open to the public for viewing)
Striver's Gardens, 300 West 135th Street, between Frederick Douglass and St Nicholas Ave. Take B or C train to 135th street or take 2 or 3 train to 135th street and walk toward the visible park.
shown above: detail of latest work - "Loving to Coltrane"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Blossom of Fiber Art in St Nicholas Park

This past weekend Harlem Needle Arts (HNA) with Michelle Bishop at the helm celebrated their first out door public art exhibition. Blossom of Fiber Art hosted knit, crochet and quilted 3 dimensional artworks by several artists. My contribution was to install the exhibition and my 3D piece (shown here, photo by Gerald Peart) "Audrey's Dream". Since she came out looking like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors("feed me Seymore") I decided to name her accordingly. She is a lot more tame and people friendly. I may try to make her some friends over the summer.
If you missed the exhibition in the Park you will be able to follow it to its new home at Striver's Gardens, 300 West 135th Street, where you will have an opportunity to view all the floral presentations from 2-4pm on July 11th and July 18th. This is planned to be an annual event in St Nicholas Park so we hope to be even bigger and better next year,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Side Bar: Picking on the mulberry

Every year about this time, June/July, everyone on my block who has access to their backyard complains about BERRIES. Many of the yards have 4 story high mulberry trees that have either white or red/black berries. They are messy, draw flies, stain what they land on and knock you upside they head while they are in season. I have 2 of the trees, I feel their pain.
But quite frankly I think folks have the wrong attitude. The trees give us shade and a wonderful breeze. The mess they make is only for 2 months and by mid July the are gone and we have our yards back for the rest of the summer. Let's not forget about the CO2-O2 exchange we have going on. When life give you lemons you make lemon aid so when you have mulberries make cobbler, sorbet, wine (not whine!) . How many Manhattanites can claim they have something harvestable in their own back yard. I made a gallon of mulberry wine in 2008; tastes like sherry. Harvesting mulberries takes a while since they don't all ripen at the same time but I have started squirreling mine away is the freezer so I can make wine this year. Threw a few in a berry cobbler I made last week and it was tasty. There are not enough trees in NYC for us to start nit picking at everything they do. Humans tend to forget that our wants and needs are pretty much taken care of due to God's other living children.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Obama Quilters Next Exhibit

Recently I joined the Obama Quilters whose members reside nationwide and originally came together through a Quilts for Obama exhibition they organizedin Maryland. Many of the artists work are featured in Carolyn Mazloomi's latest book entitled "The Journey of Hope in America: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama". I have the pleasure of knowing the books cover artist Sherry Shine.

The Obama Quilters next exhibition focuses on racism. My piece Terrorism, Tragedy and Tribute depicts the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. My father painted a huge dark painting that hung in the house I grew up in for as long as I can remember. I now have that painting, one 1 of 2 I still have by my father, Thomas Harold Gadson. My quilt is almost a remake of the painting with a few additions of my own. It pays tribute to my dad and the 4 young women, Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14), that were killed in that senseless act of racism. Let this work also serve as a reminder that we don't have to travel overseas to strike out terrorism; our own backyard is littered with victims AND perpetrators.

125th St. BID Banner Project

This is the second year the 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID) and the Harlem Arts Alliance have partnered to showcase the work of artists on street banners. This is also the 2nd year that my work has been chosen to be one of those banners (yeah!). The privilege is accompanied by a small stipend (love that) and the opportunity for your artwork to hang in the skies above 125th street for 1 year. Last year Hazel Scott's portrait was my contribution to the salute to Harlem women. This year's theme is the music and sounds of Harlem. I presented 2 works for consideration: 1 commemorating Swing and the 1 shone here dedicated to Old School Hip Hop. Names like Harlem's own Doug E Fresh, Biz Markie and Curtis Blow were all a part of the then budding art form that is now and industry that includes just about everything.
If you want to hear the sounds that I have represented in my work join comedian Talent at the Apollo on June 25th for his "Throwback comes to Harlem Part 5"
Check out my banner as well as 3 others that will be installed on 125th street between Morningside and 5th Ave in June and will be on display for 1 year.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Historic Antiques meet Contemporary Uptown Artists

This weekend I delivered 2 new works to the Morris Jumel Mansion, a historic cite located in Washington Heights. They mansion wil host the work of several contemprary artists including myself and Beatrice Lebreton from now trough September. I love the house which is the oldest house still standing in Manhattan. Perched on a hill it has great views and the current skyline was once filled with trees and farmland.

June 19th the mansion will host a family day that will include an artist reception and artist talk.

Visit their website since they often host small music events open to the public and have great outdor grounds.

The Bigger the Better

In March I took the big plung and purchased a long arm, well actually a mid arm. For those of you not familiar this is an industrial sewing machine on a long table and allows you a great deal of ease when machine quilting you work espscially large quilts. At 10 ft long and 4 ft deep she is a big girl and I call her Sally.

Ride Sally Ride! So far I have quilted 6 large quilts and several art quilts on her and it has been great. There is still a need for all of may other machines: the little singer for binding, the pfaff for piecing... but with ease I can neatly free motion quilt with out fighting too much. Now this gal is a bit of an oil-aholic and will "cut fool" when she is thirsty. She also gives me a bit of a problem every so often in certain settings but all in all she's a good gal and we are working on our relationship. Wish me luck since I'll have to sew on her till the cows come home to pay her off! Its all about the big quilts this year.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Sunday Brushed with Greatness

Sunday, March 14th 2010. I traveled a bit further uptown to check out the Morris Jumel Mansion ( ) for a site visit in hopes of becoming a participating artist in their upcoming Design in the Heights exhibition. Ms Trish Mayo gave myself and others a very informative tour of the mansions and its antique treasures. While there I meet a New York Times photographer and later discovered he was artist Chester Higgins He was gracious enough to send me a photogragh that will help me with my project for the exhibit. Please travel to his site to see what a n honor that was.
Later that Sunday I was scheduled to showcase my work at the world famous Dance Theatre of Harlem ( ) as part of a reception for an in house concert. Ms Virginia Johnson came over to me and my display and thanked me for participating (fomer diva ballerina and current Artistic Director of DTH). After watching her on stage for many years this was another great honor.
2 Magnificient artists in 1 day. I just had to share

Friday, February 26, 2010

Baby, I'm back!

Well it has been over a year since my last post but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy with quilting. My new website, has taken up most of my web posting time but I have decided to get back to blogging.

This year I wil concentrate on creating new work. Last year taking care of my mom was a new deal and I spent time curating a few group shows for artists of different mediums. This year has started off with 2 new art quilts and 2 new bed quilts, three of which will be finished and featured in this weekends open house. Tried my hand at creating floor cloths inspired by quilts but this kept me away from my most cofortable sewing room. Didn't finish any of the 4 that I started but I promiss to get back to at lest the ones I started by the summer.

If you are in the New York city area and are not afraid of the snow please feel free to drop by my home gallery (225 West 134th Street, Harlem) on Sat 2/27 from 2-7 pm. I will have a few eats and drinks and will host jewelry artist Shimoda and fellow artist Clymenza Hawkins (who crested the artwork for Eraka Badu's "butterfly" CD cover). A good time is always had by all.