A blog for our members to share ideas, exhibitions, artists of interest or a fleeting thought.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Why Mannequins?

Part of what drew me to the idea was the challenge that would come with painting people made of plastic. Their skin is hard, the stares are blank, the proportions are skewed. Conceptually they also serve as a commonplace tool showing onlookers what they should be wearing. Although a departure, they still fit within my theme and support it in a new way.

I've also used this opportunity to seek out some examples of dress that I haven't run into as easily. For example, my bride to the right. There was something eerie about her that I wanted to capture. I think she has been on display in this shop window for a while, so why not take it a step further immortalize her in painting.

The wedding dress on its own is such an important garment in our society. It resurfaces across every level of income and is prominent in many cultures around the world. It is worn for one day, but remembered for a lifetime. Still, at the end of the day, it is just fabric. I love to bring focus to the power of dress, and this is a monumental example.

- Danielle Festa (see more at Daniellefesta.com/art/blog)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"Portrait of Tally Philosophe"

After 4 months, I have finished my ode to J.S. Sargent and Isabella Stuart Gardener. I decided to take a photo everyday I worked on it. Here is my stop animation of my progress (zoomed in edition). I decided to skip ahead the 20 frames that it took me to build up the gesso, the most time consuming aspect of this piece.

~ Danielle Festa

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Zines Zines Zinnneeessssss

The Boston zine-scene is ramping back up as of the last couple years, which is really awesome. I know zines have been there all along, but as someone on the periphery of the zine world, I can really see from recent events that there is fresh interest in zines as a medium for art and writing. Washington Street Art Center is happy to be part of it by hosting Spring Zine Thing, put on by members of Small Craft Advisory.

Spring Zine Thing!

WSAC will be hosting around 15-20 zine makers to come sell, swap, read, and talk zines all afternoon. I am in the process of making a collaborative zine with Marissa, all about one of our favorite subjects: ART. So with 2 weeks to go, you totally have time to finish your zine and come hang out! Or if you just can't get the final pieces together, you should still stop by, and even bring your zine to work on at the community table.

Other upcoming zine events in our area after SZT include a Somerville Salon zine talk at the Armory, and there is also a call for zines by the Waltham Lincoln Arts Project for a show later this spring. Everything rules!

Monday, February 13, 2012

SAC and MCC Fellowship Grant Award Plans

I am sure everyone at WSAC has heard that I got an LCC fellowship grant in visual arts for 2012. As part of receiving a grant through the Mass Cultural Council and the Somerville Arts Council, you are basically asked to brag about it, which I have absolutely no problem doing. Ha!Anyways I thought it would be cool to document it here, since the WSAC is where I was able to spend all my time making art to apply for the grant. I definitely feel that having a separate studio from my apartment is a huge luxury, and I feel really lucky to have a space at WSAC and to get to work around all of you!

So far I have 2 public events planned to show what the grant money was used for. My friend Marissa and I are putting on the Spring Zine Thing on April 15th. It is gonna be super low-key and really fun, I hope a couple WSAC zines end up getting made for this. That is my not-subtle hint that you should all make a zine. You can even show up on the day of and make a zine. I am going to make my first zine, probably with a lot of paper cutting in it, that is about making art and finding time/inspiration, and how process and collaboration are things I am really interested in.

The second event is gonna be the September gallery show, and it is going to be great! Lauren, Alex, my friend Sarah and I are going to collaborate, and are already doing some serious long-range planning for making the September show completely amazing. I can't wait to see it come together. We will definitely have our regular opening reception, but we are also going to figure out a series of workshops, talks, and video presentations to go along with it, during or after gallery hours on Saturdays.

This blog post was totally supported by the Mass Cultural Council and the Somerville Arts Council. Thank you!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Rad Artist Installment #4

I was talking to Monique about paper art the other day, and we got on to talking about a friend of hers who uses a technique called quilling. Lisa Nilsson is a paper artist who uses this technique in some of her work to make cool pieces with anatomical subject matter.
Nilsson also does work in other media, but her use of paper is most exciting to me. Her series of installation boxes (vaguely in the vein of Joseph Cornell or Louise Nevelson) are also really interesting, and I like how tightly the pieces within the box are tetris-ed together so perfectly. Definitely someone whose work I would love to see in person, and hope to someday soon! There is also a post on the MCC site where you can see Lisa Nilsson's studio, which is always my favorite extra tidbit to see about contemporary artists.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

the newengland craft conniseuer

Check out this great on line craft publication written by Janet Shepard


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sewing Machine Mechaninism

Someone was asking me about how a sewing machine works, and why there are 2 threads. Maybe it was someone at WSAC? Regardless, since there have been a bunch of sew-ers and fabric related projects, take a look at this mesmerizing gif of how it works.

Cool right?