Saturday, November 27, 2010

Student Saturday - TraillWorks Holiday Windows and Logo Designs

Detail of my windows (TraillWorks and the Springboard Shoppes)
My students never fail to impress me! When given a challenge, they generally rise to the occasion and create more than I imagine possible. For the past couple of months, my younger students and teen students have been working on two community-based projects: designing Candy Land-inspired store logos for Spring Street merchants participating in a post-holiday parade scavenger hunt, and designing my holiday windows which the entire community will see.

This is the first official unveiling of my holiday windows! It's tough to see all of the detail because of window glare. Forgive my photography; I'm a painter. Thank you Alyse Delaney, Emily Haag, Helen Walter-Cardinal, and Jake Scordato for your initiative, creativity, and enthusiasm. Alyse, Emily and Jake did all of the brainstorming, designing, and construction; Helen joined the three in the midst of production and helped out tremendously. 

After learning about the basic tenets of window dressing and touring Spring Street looking at the good and the bad, I gave my students the theme of "Newton Renaissance" and they took off. What transpired was a collaborative design, based around David Ohlerking's work, since that will be featured in my windows. They chose to select a variety of Newton buildings on and near Spring Street to line the bottom of the windows. These were all sketched out, then drawn to scale, and cut out with X-Acto knives. We discussed back lighting the buildings with spots so they would show up at night. 

To draw our eye down, we used a lavender tulle donated by Alyse's mom, used icicle lights to mimic the stars and hung silver ornaments. I came up with the canvas panels to display the jewelry in the center window, but Alyse and Helen helped select the jewelry to be showcased. 

What is so impressive, is not only the quality of the work these kids did, but the extra hours after school and on weekends that they elected to put in to meet our installation deadline on Wednesday. Many, many thanks to them and their parents for their cooperation and support. You will have to come and see them in person, particularly at night for their full effect.

Center Window with Jewelry Display (Maxwell & Molly's Closet, Charm, Mother Moon, Courthouse)

Right window (Cheddar Alley, Springboard Shoppes, TraillWorks)

Left window (Pennies Building, English Building, Statue on the Green, Fire Museum)

Alyse Delaney, Me, Jake Scordato working on the windows in the studio

The other project my students completed this month were logo designs for sixteen merchants who participated in a Candy Land themed scavenger hunt after today's holiday parade. I taught my students (age 6 - 14) some of the basics of logo and brand design, they researched the shop they selected and then designed a logo that would be suitable with the theme. 

Here's the map that was passed out to around 300 people in Newton today. They are all terrific! I'm so excited that their work has been shared with so many.

Logos designed by (from top left) Julia Young, Jessie Sparling, Niki Manning, Cailey Pokrzywa, Miles Shaw, Hannah Manning, Maddie Chymiy, Katelyn O'Connor, Will Somma, Noa Shaw, Natalya de Waal, Rachel Young, Ava Levin, Samantha Givone, Phoebe Nezamis, and Larson de Waal

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Share the Warmth of an Apron, and a Coat

Aprons have such strong memories attached to them and they have been the focus of my artwork, and Martha C. Hall's work that has been hanging in the gallery for the past month or so. Our joint exhibit, Two Sides to Every Story, comes down in two weeks, but before that happens, we planned an event for this Saturday that you don't want to miss . . . .

Tied and Released #3, Oil on Panel, 24" x 12", ©2010 Jennie Traill Schaeffer
The Daily Round, Collaged Quilt, 20.5" x 20.5", ©2010 Martha C. Hall

From 5- 8pm on Saturday, November 20th, we're inviting the public to join us for an evening of storytelling and apron sharing. We want to hear about your memories tied to your aprons! When our exhibit first opened back in October, I gave a lecture, which unfortunately is too long to share on YouTube and I know nothing about editing, but it focused on an overview of the history of the apron, and how it has affected woman's lives. It was so provocative to people that the audience lingered for quite some time sharing stories and interesting memories that had been lodged for years in their subconscious.

So, Martha and I decided to have this event to honor the women in our lives, give other's a voice, and learn more about the past and the present. We'll have a very loose format, since we've never done this before, as well as refreshments and wine.

In addition, we'll explain to attendees what National Tie One on Day is and how to participate. And, in the season of giving, TraillWorks will be collecting coats, hats, and mittens Saturday and through the 17th of December for the Gift of Warmth drive sponsored by the United Way and NJ Herald. For each person who donates, I'll extend them 10% off their next purchase at TraillWorks.

As Martha and I wrap up the end of our exhibit together, we'd love to share our work, learn more about your histories through your apron strings, and help others in need.

So, go ahead and "tie one on!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Aprons at TraillWorks

Guests at the Opening of Two Sides to Every Story, 10/9/10
After months of discussion and hard work, Two Sides to Every Story, has finally come together as a big success. When I moved to 214 Spring Street earlier this year and realized that I had some pretty big walls to fill, my first thought was to talk to my friend and artist, Martha C. Hall. I met Martha several years ago at a Business of Art meeting (an organization I used to run). She captivated everyone with her amazing fabric work. She was very shy, but was quite impressive to me about her seriousness and dedication to her work.

Last winter, Martha was at my old studio and we got to talking about ideas for our work and found we both had similar interests in aprons. I suggested that we regroup in 2010 and see where we were. We met soon after my move, brainstormed a variety of ideas, and came up with the name Two Sides to Every Story. We set a date for and October show and started working. 

Neither of us were overly aware of what the other was working on. And when Martha dropped by to hang the show, we were both amazed at how well everything worked together and at the differences in our vision of the apron. 

Martha on the day of the hanging.
Me, in front of our work.

The show opened officially with a reception on October 9th, which also happened to be Newton Heritage Day. During the day, I gave a lecture on the history of aprons, their symbolism and their roles in womens' lives, all connected to our exhibit. In the evening, Martha and I greeted guests and talked about the work.  As part of the ongoing exhibit, Martha taught a one-day workshop titled No Sew Fabric. Both the opening and the workshop were well-attended and enjoyed by all. I have a photo album posted on Facebook to see more of what we made. 

No Sew Fiber Workshop Participants with Instructor, Martha C. Hall, 10/24/10
It's been an extraordinary experience working with Martha, as a friend and artist. Exhibiting with Martha encouraged me to prioritize my own artwork production and explore new ideas. I love seeing her work every day, and I would be remiss if I didn't say that she has helped bring new people into the gallery through her workshop and our exhibit. The success of our show together has already encouraged a potential collaborative exhibition with another local artist next year, Karin Lowney-Seed
Martha and Me Talking to Guests.
Martha Talking to Guests.

Martha and her Friend.

Lee Goldberg (my husband), Me, Don and Adele Sirota (Lee's aunt and uncle)
Ibbie Boehnke (my aunt), Me, Martha Traill Schaeffer (my mom and successful jewelry artist).

Stay tuned for another post in the next few days about an apron sharing event she and I are hosting on November 20th at the gallery.