I was off to what I thought would have been a slow time for me and I honestly was looking forward to taking a break, so I decided to stop applying to open calls and learn how to enjoy life and the fresh air. I Instead found myself juggling a Maker Faire workshop that I was asked to conduct at Barnes and Noble on the 7th of November, a group show at The House of Visual on the 13th, a commission that needs to be done by October 30th for a recording artist, an ongoing redesign project that I’m working on for the National Domestic Workers Organization and I still need to make my damn costume for Halloween! I’m very excited by all of this but this is ruining my plan to sleep more lol!
I was asked by the Community Business Manager of Barnes & Nobles who I met through a friend to participate in the mini Maker Faire workshop. I knew that he was a fan of my work but apparently his whole branch is as well, I’m looking forward to being at the event but I just wish I had more time to prepare for it. To make life a bit easier for myself, I’m going to rehash a workshop that I’ve done where I demonstrate how to start building a doll from scratch. I really need to finesse it since Margaret Honey who is the President of the NY Hall of Science is going to be there, so I better not screw it up!
The idea of the show at The House of Visual has been kicked around a few times by me, Cisco and Robert who are the founders of HOV previously, but we’ve yet to plan on a date. Since they are now mentoring a new artist who also makes dolls, it was the perfect time to have it. Thankfully with this show I will be able to bring work that I already have on hand and not create anything new.
The commission that I am working on is for an artist named Billy Black. He found me on Instagram through one of his friends and contacted me since he and his girlfriend loves dolls. I am currently making a doll of him so that he can present it on stage at his show on October 30th in Philly. I’m hoping on a bus to see the show and come back in the morning just in time for Halloween. Hopefully my costume will be past the initial sketch stage that I am in now… Can you tell who it is? I’m definitely an 80’s baby lol!
I have a load of new items that will be slowly trickling into my Etsy shop over the next few weeks. (I take a really long time to list items, they need to be properly photographed and documented). The influx of items is a result of an outdoor art show in The Bronx’s Little Italy area being a total washout! It was such a sad day, there was little to no foot traffic and there was at least one artist that I know of whose art was damaged by the rain. Thankfully there was a 99 cents store nearby where I was able to get a beach umbrella to shield the few pieces that I did choose to put out. No Melandollies were harmed in the making of that show. There may be a second or third date scheduled for it but in the mean time I’m putting my new pieces up for sale in my Etsy shop. Getting ready for the show made me realize a very important thing, I work much faster than I think I do. In about 3 months time, I cranked out 18 small wall pieces/ornaments, 9 dolls in frames, 2 busts and about 20 small people in bottles. There were plenty of late nights and events that I had to miss but in the end it made me realize my capabilities. At one time it would take me 3 months to create 2 dolls, boy have the tides turned! Well in the mean time, you can check out the few items that I currently have in my Etsy store. I will keep you all posted when I add my new pieces to the shop, hang tight!
I am still hastily preparing for the Bronx Little Italy Art Show. I want to try to focus on more affordable pieces so that everyone could have a little Melandolly of their own. It’s at that point where I’m beginning to feel the crunch, I have about 2 1/2 weeks to try and crank all these little ones out. Wish me luck!
I am very proud to be a part of this upcoming show with the Bronx Arts Factory. The show is curated by Yolanda and Yelaine Rodriguez and they wanted to choose 10 female artists to connect you to the female form and the struggles that women face. I am still working on my pieces but I wanted to share a few of my work in progress shots. The name of this piece is “Women’s Troubles”. I wanted to illustrate the changing roles of women and the problems that they face as they make an attempt to live up to society’s expectations of them along with trying to balance their work and home lives. The show will be at the Andrew Freedman Home at 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx, New York 10452 from March 6th through April 1st
In addition to exploring the lovely French Quarter and boozing it up on Bourbon street, I took part in a group show at Msaniart Gallery located on 823 Royal Street. This was their first time hosting a show featuring outside artists and I was the only one of the six artists chosen that didn’t live in the area. I was initially planning my imaginary trip to Nola and decided to apply to some open calls in New Orleans on craigslist. When I began making some concrete decisions on actually taking the trip, I received a response from the gallery. I was both shocked and excited, the flight was booked about three days later, we had a blast! 🙂
Here’s the website for Msaniart Gallery: http://www.msaniartgallery.com/#!rsge/c23ni
I finally got a few done just in time for Christmas, check her out in my etsy shop here: Etsy Shop
I must say it was a wonderful experience to have a two person show in Soho. Not many artists can claim that so I am extremely thankful. It was still bittersweet having to pack up my dolls and stuff them into boxes and then finally into a rolling bag. In my usual fashion, I broke a few pieces along the way. They can easily be fixed but I’ll wait till I’m good and ready, I’m taking a rest form having shows back to back.
I had a wonderful time at my first Two-Person show in Soho! It was great to see my name in vinyl letters on the wall and I had plenty of friends show up to support me. I also got a chance to meet the wonderfully talented creator behind the whimsical AstoNuts stuffed creatures. His creations are massive and must be seen in person to fully appreciate them, I am a true fan! I hope to own on sometime soon! To see more of his work, head on over to his website: http://astronuts.exblog.jp/
This Saturday will be my first time showing at the Bronx Art Space which is located in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. I dropped off a few pieces there yesterday and was able to get a peek at some of the other artwork that will be featured. It really blew my mind, there were so many wonderful and interesting pieces and most of them will be under $300. I am super excited to be a part of this show. I was surprised to see some of the names on the bill, I’m honored to be able to participate in the same show as them!
The Artist Chain Reaction competition was an event where two artists who never worked together before were paired up to create an installation over the course of 5 days. It took place at the lovely Andrew Freedman Home on the Grand Councorse in the Bronx during Armory Week.
I initially saw the open call for this competition about a few weeks beforehand and thought to myself that I would be in over my head if I participated in it. At the time I was working in small scale roughly under 18 inches, so I couldn’t even begin to imagine how my work would translate into anything larger. After reading the open call, I immediately closed the web page and looked for another call that I would be better suited for. A few days later a funny thing happened, I received the open call in my inbox from Jeanine Alferi. At this point I figured this was a sign that I should at least submit my work, so I grabbed the biggest piece that I had at the time, took some great shots of it and wished for the best. About a few days later I received an email from Jeanine notifying me that I was chosen to participate. I thought “Wow, how awesome is this, I’m so excited. … wait how the hell am I going to pull this off?”
I panicked but quickly began to strategize and it immediately came to me that I needed to use chicken wire and paper mache. I worked with chicken wire for a whole semester in college building project after project with it because of its strength and flexibility. The idea of using paper mache to bulk up the frame was great because it cuts down on the amount of clay that I’d have to use, making it a quicker drying, lightweight and cost efficient sculpture.
After I figured out how to handle creating the body I had to tackle the one thing that I have been avoiding all my life, the sewing machine. Anyone that knows me is well aware of my on going battle that I’ve had with using a sewing machine. I can’t thread them for my life, I usually get my mom to do it for me but she was in the far away land called Brooklyn. I’ve had a few lucky tries in the past where I’d get a few pieces done only to see it snag the material of another piece. This time I was determined and I knew that I didn’t have time to play around, I had to get this done. After taking a good look at the machine to figure out my plan of attack it began to dawn on me. I needed to run the thread through the tension discs in order for the stitch to be tight. This was something I knew but never seemed to master. I went on to YouTube to see exactly how the thread should be ran through it and vuala, that solved everything. I called my mom to tell her I did it all by myself this time :).
After getting the outfit sewn, everything else began to fall into place. I put the hair on which was a wig that I had laying around and I was able to make her stand by manipulating the chicken wire underneath her dress. I made her into a half tree half person. The story behind it came from a recent experience that my partner in the competition had went through. She was recently evicted from her home in the Bronx and she had to move to Brooklyn with her family. She said that every thing that she ever knew and was familiar to her was in the Bronx. So I decided to represent her by making a tree with the roots exposed to show how she was uprooted from her home and surroundings.
Overall it was a wonderful experience and it challenged me to take my work to another level. I just wish that I had more space at home to continue working in this size:)