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.