It isn't always easy, sometimes it is bitter and unpleasant, other times filled with unimaginable joys.
May the sweet moments in life soothe and sustain you through the not so sweet times. And when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. Tomorrow is a new day, and a chance to create new joys.
In between Nancy running the gallery for the YS Arts Council and moi drawing and plotting next years art projects, we play. I've finished making the wedding crackers for my daughters wedding, and last Tuesday was spent making chocolate mice, a whole bowl of them. How we didn't gobble them all down is a wonder.
Nancy saw the idea in an old Family Fun magazine, and an apt title because it was FUN.
Nancy has been busy making felt ornaments and this weeks Free Art Friday Box-ATC Kit, which we left out this morning.
It was raining so we had to put the box in a clear bag, but if you are in town and see the yellow tag, it's finders keepers.
It happens a lot in our Village and it's one of the many things I love about living here. You put the call out for something and before you know it you find the Doorstop Faeries have left something in your mailbox or near the front door. Sometimes you know who it is, other times you don't.
In our case we know and we want to thank them.
Sam Eckenrode, Selwa Whitesell, Karen Russell, and Joy Joseph
We shall in turn make a gift out of your old boxes and turn them into our little BOX-isms for Free Art Friday.
This Friday's box is
"the fly and the poop"
based on a Kurt Cobain quote.
If you're a really mean person you're going to come back as a fly and eat poop.
If you live in town or plan visiting Yellow Springs on Friday I will be posting a clue where it is on here or twitter, look for the hashtag #FAFyes.
It goes out after 1pm. Clue If you find me it will make you go ha ha, but sitting out here it is chilly.
Margot has this wonderful way of writing, which is as fun as she is, and SPOT ON with tips and advice about marketing and branding.
To be honest I wasn't quite sure how I was going to fit in with the theme of the book. I am not selling my work online or marketing a product. I guess I just take some things for granted and it hadn't really occurred to me that the jafagirls have become a brand. It wasn't planned that way. I admit it. I do enjoy shamelessly promoting the arts, but mine is more altruistic in nature. Which is not to say I don't toot my own horn now and again. I'm doing that right now, yes ;)
a piece of YS history! This piece of art “After the Dinner Party” was one of
the pieces that sparked the controversy over public art and will be for sale at the Holiday Art Jumble. Proceeds support local artists and the Arts Council Community Gallery (more info here)
Background History:Here’s the scoop-
On March 1st,
2012, the visual part of Women’s Voices Outloud, was hung in the John Bryan
Community Gallery located on the second floor hallway. This Annual event has been around for 33 years, 20 years exhibits in the Bryan Center. The show is for women of all ages
to present stories, journal entries, poems, songs, dance and visual art to the
There was not a lot of work this year, but it covered all
ages and many styles, Ceramics by Lisa Wolters, tiny miniature sculptures by
Sharon Mohler, a political satire piece by Corrine Bayraktaroglu, a 3D Protest
Mannequin called “Hairy Mary” by the Jafagirls, a Mixed Media piece by Patricia
Hyde and other paintings, small textile pieces, calligraphy, photographs and
drawings. It filled the hallway that goes off the main hallway. We were hoping that some more artists might
put something up later on.
In the days that followed a controversy brewed in which 3
works listed below were deemed disturbing by an employee of the village and the
Village Manager stating that they
bordered on “sexual harassment.” of employees at the Bryant Center.
Sherraid Scott’s pencil drawing of a nude female model.
A painting done by Nancy Mellon that was a women’s
consciousness raising piece called “After the Dinner Party” that showed the
whole internal and external clitoris organ and the whole internal and external
organ of the penis dancing together in whimsical, dreamy sort of way.
The ensuing controversy inspired Sharon Mohler, a previous
curator of WVOL who had to deal with a similar controversy in 1999, to galvanize support for the integrity of the show and the
artists.In a show of support for local artists and freedom of speech
Sharon organized other female artists to contribute life studies in all
media. They did not fail to disappoint
and the halls filled up with ceramic
nudes, male and female, a polymer clay sculpture of an nude modeling art class,
photographs, sketches and many beautiful paintings- all of nudes. One large painting arrived with the paint
still damp. It was an exciting and joyful show.
Over all the years at WVOL other nude paintings and
sculptures have been in the visual part of the show.
For the reception another artist in town, Susan Gartner made
a tasteful selection of cookies that were bikinied tops and bottoms of the
female form. She also added her own
collage of drawings that had been given to her by artists when she was a nude
model. She wrote a paper that spoke of
how wonderful it was for women to be nude models. That it was a great way to learn to love your
own body and be content in it’s shape.
During the week that the new art was going up the Interim
Town Manager contacted Arts Council repeatedly and told them that YSAC would
have to censor any public art for politics and sexuality/nudity if they were
going to be managing/using the JBC Gallery or putting up any Public Art in an
outdoor venue in Yellow Springs.
Women’s Voices Outloud is not run by the Arts Council. The month long gallery show and the one
night performance that make up WVOL have over the years been handled by
Volunteer Coordinators, Laurie Dreamspinner, Liz Hale and others. But the Arts Council for 20 years has
managed the gallery.
Two of the JBCC secretaries went to the YS News to tell them
about the controversy.
Megan Bachman of the YS News wrote an article. She also took pictures of the event. A
picture of one of the nude painting was placed on the front page of the Yellow
The Village Staff and Town Council were told to not speak to
the news. So from the village, the
article only included a quote from the YS lawyer. He said “the Village needed to honor the
artists First Amendment right to free speech and also to protect its employees
from a hostile work environment.”
No one has been allowed to put up a show at the John Bryan
Community gallery since the end of March 2012 and a Public Art Policy is still
in the planning stage.
It always surprises me when I come across an image of our Knit Knot Tree when browsing the web. I don't know the person who took this photograph
but it's used for the Yarnbombing Wikipedia page. I came across it again in this interesting article titled It's Not a Hobby, It's a Post-apocalyptic Skill: Space, Feminism, Queer, and Sticks and Strings.
You just have to go with it and I got a terrible yen to make my nana's Traditional Christmas Cake. So my son and I spent Sunday baking up a batch. I knew ONE person who would seriously appreciate a cake, jafapal, aka KAOS Queen, Karen Jane Russell. She did remind me of one trick I had completely forgotten, soak the fruit overnight in tea. Oh well next time. I dropped it off this morning and I was right.
Karen has her own yen's going on
and right now it's felting. She is going bonkers doing it and I am enjoying being the recipient of a couple of pieces. I scored this lovely table mat in exchange for the cake. Trading is so FUN.
She is currently working on the scarf below, and she wasn't kidding when she said her scarf looked like streaky bacon.
The jafagirls have started a new series of Free Art Friday pieces called BOX-isms, which are a mixture of recycling, found items, art, craft and creative altruism all rolled into one little box.
Kick OFF BOX
Hairy Man Thoughts
Made by Nancy Mellon
Box, cardboard, faux fur, old buttons, mini bird ornament
The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.Thich Nhat Hanh
Jafagirls have been leaving out free art since 2005. Jafabrit runs the Free Art Friday Blog highlighting free art being left around the world by groups and individuals, as well as links to the founders of the movement and various sites.
To view a slideshow of past jafagirl free art friday pieces click on image below
The Jafagirls would like to thank the Bryan Center for allowing women to have a voice and hosting Women’s Voices Out Loud.
We couldn’t think of a more appropriate event and month (Women’s History Month) to share Hairy Mary in honor of Mary Wollstonecraft, a pioneer and advocate for women’s rights and wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792.
Hairy Mary Hairy Mary is a work in progress and is a Protest Mannequin. She stands for a women’s right to be perfect just the way they are.
“One person’s expression of what it means to be human is for someone else the manifestation of something so repugnant or offensive it must be removed or destroyed.”
-Jennifer Higgie, The Art Newspaper, “Free Speech”, June-August 2011