Monday, September 19, 2011

Worlds: Seen and Unseen -- Again

Solon, Maine artist Abby Shahn organized a show of globes this summer in the storefronts of Skowhegan called 'Worlds: Seen and Unseen."  About 30 artists made "globes," or whatever their idea of globe meant -- cable dish, hornet's nest, rosemary bush.  Mine was more traditional:

Called "Global Sleepover."  Medium:  globe and pillows made of military disposable pillowcases.   Each pillow represents 10,000 US military personnel stationed throughout the world.  There are 150 pillows.  

The globes came down in Skowhegan in August, but some of them, Global Sleepover included, are going to spin in the Space Gallery window on Congress Street in Portland.  

Monday, June 6, 2011

DK in the news -- OK!

Here's a nice article and great images from a Bangor Daily News article about the Dearly Kept show.


Dearly Kept Artist to Give Talk in Liberty June 9

Liberty artist Martha Piscuskas, whose exhibition The Dearly Kept can still be seen (and heard) in many venues around the town of Liberty, will be giving a presentation about her creative process on Thursday, June 9th at 7 PM at the Liberty Library.   The work depicts objects long-kept by Liberty residents, including audio recordings about each piece.   “I’ll address how this project is a combination of high tech, historical preservation, cultural anthropology, and just down-home visiting neighbors,” says Piscuskas. She will talk about the creative genesis of the project, her process of engaging community members, and will lead a discussion on why we keep what we do.   She adds, “Many people have wondered how I made these, so I’ll also be bringing a sample of my materials.”  All are welcome to this free event.   This project was funded in part from a grant from the Maine Arts Commission.  For more information, visit or call 592-2070. 

Having trouble uploading images for some reason -- will try again later.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dearly Kept Opening Report

On a rainy day in April (go figure) I zoomed around town and installed almost all of the 15 sculptures in their various locations -- the Ivan O. Davis Library, Peavey's General Store, Liberty Tool Company, Liberty Graphics Outlet Store, and John's Ice Cream.  The audio worked, after an initial scare.

And the people came. And listened.  

The scene was opposite of what you'd normally want at an opening -- everyone standing around with cell phones up to their ears -- but I was delighted.

It was fun to finally have them all up, and presented well, thanks to a last-minute angelic descent in the personage of new friend, artist and carpenter Wes Reddick, who whipped out 15 custom bases in a day (well, a late night really) and offered excellent technical advice.  Willy Reddick was also very generous with her wares -- she's also an artist and jeweler.  A million thanks, you two!

The Town Office, the Post Office (not the museum one, the working one), and Walker Elementary School all got pieces the following Monday.

The school installation was fun -- the students from my artist residency there immediately knew what I was up to and peppered me with questions and comments.    If I hadn't worked with each of them, and encouraged their own artwork, they might've wondered silently but never would've spoken up.  Here's one for community art!

FYI Dearly Kept phone number  207-228-0301.

Giving a talk at the library Thursday June 9th, 7 pm.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Medals for All

The day of the Walker School Dearly Kept Exhibit – from my artist residency there – was the same day that students received medals for reading lots of books.  

In my mind, the medals cold have easily been for the great work they did on this project.  All grades, K-5, participated -- 100 students.  They drew a “cherished” object, wrote about it, then sculpted it out of clay and painted the sculpture.  Here’s a few samples.  (Some drawings are in an earlier post.)

"I cherish my car.  It is cool!"

"My cherished object is a B-B gun.  it is a Red Rider 70th Edition.  Why it means a lot to me is because I got it from a friend."  

"My cherished object is my silver and black TV.  For a long time I couldn't watch TV.  In front of my TV is a place where I can sit down and relax."  

"My Grandmaw is my cherished object.  My Grandmaw came from Portugal and speaks Portugese. She is special because she is my Mom's mom."

OK, now gotta go work on my own Dearly Kept.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dearly Kept Show Opens April 23!

These are the crazy days prior to a show – exciting and sleepless.   I will be displaying 15 pieces to start with, and hopefully add more over the next couple months.  The pieces are hollow paper objects made in the form of cherished items of Liberty residents.   Each piece is accompanied by a corresponding audio recording made by the owner of the original object – accessible by calling 228-0301.   Best experienced when viewing the exhibit, IMHO.  

Here’s one location – Peavey’s Store -- soon to have a Dearly Kept display amidst the beef jerky and napkins. Can’t wait!

Oh yah – I’ll be having an opening at the Ivan O. Davis Library in downtown Liberty on Saturday, April 23, 5-7 pm.   A number of pieces will be on display there, and throughout town, until mid-June or so. 

Thank you thank you Liberty friends and neighbors.

I am humbled by your willingness to participate.  My intention with the DK is to honor and bring to light the hidden icons of our hearts.   From one community, my town.   

Here's a list of Liberty residents who indulged me to greater or lesser degrees, with this project, and other very helpful people:  (Please forgive if I've forgotten anyone!)
Bud Steeves
Jen Ponder
Mike Ponder
Sue Pelletier
Lou Pelletier
Tony Clark
Everett Peavey
Jennifer Spencer
Barbara Worcester
Elise Brown
Melinda Steeves
Carolyn Steeves
Warren Ard
Danielle Blake
Ruthanne Spence
Norm Fuller
Carrie Peavey
Joe Alex
Jean Alex
Al Crichton
Lorna Crichton
Svea Tulberg
Skip Brack
Dana Phillippi
Carol McGovern
All the students and teachers at Walker School
Sarah Thibodeau
Greg Warren
Cathy Sparrow
John Ascrizzi
Shannon Brown
Kathy Crowley
Kate Valleau
Steve Chapin
Sue Chapin
Laurie Cox
Maine Arts Commission

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hat Day!

My artist-in-residency started this past week at our local elementary school with 100 students -- we had a fun time.  Since the project is drawing, writing about, and sculpting an object we each cherish, I showed them objects from the art world.   They loved these:
Salvador Dali, Les Montres Molles, 1968

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Shuttlecocks, 1994

The kids drew their special objects (or sometimes people) on Friday, which also happened to be hat day.

And here's a few drawings from the day:
This is a mustache (not chicken wings) relaxing.  On the right is its water dish.

A sand rail.  (No, I don't know what that is.)

A girl and her video game with sounds.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tip: Write down your account info!

I just spent a good hour hunting around my computer and the web for answers about how to get back to this blog and post something.  Finally made it back through sheer luck.  Now, where was I?
Oh yah:
The Dearly Kept interactive installation is slated to go up around Liberty in less than 3 weeks, so long as I can take care of a few non-minor details -- create the audio, build the display cases, finish the art.  Still, I'm excited.  

Also starting a residency this week at the Walker School, our local elementary, in which the 100 students will be making drawings and sculptures of some object important to them.

Both kids home sick today -- hard to work in the studio with a fevery boy in your lap.   This is a piece for the show from a fossilized clam.