Friday, May 30, 2014

Magical Book Launch

Otherwild in Echo Park is hosting a Book Launch with Maria CalderonErin Rivera Merriman and Carly Jo Morgan this Saturday with Jacqueline Suskin's "Poem Store."

All three publications were created from a spiritually sacred place within each artist whose intention is to inspire and empower. Rachel from Otherwild along with the authors (each in different stages of motherhood) shared sneak peeks and insights into their latest project, as well as their amazing artwork beyond the books.

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Growing up in Kansas City, Maria was immersed in South American culture and Latin folk music through her father, a Peruvian Andean folk musician. She studied painting and taught drawing at University of Missouri-Kansas City. Presently, Maria is traveling wherever the land calls her, teaching yoga along the way. I love her ability to work within different mediums (painting, video, installation, clothing, performance) to create time based narratives – addressing the past, present and temporal to engage the viewer in energetic social exchanges. Her purpose "is to promote personal reflection of what our life constitutes and uphold a connection to the human soul through intentional art practices and gatherings."

The Radder : Otherwild Book Launch - Maria Calderon

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Maria's book, "How You Made Mama a Magical Mystical Miracle" is a conversation of gratitude for our children and the out of body sensory experience they reveal to us. She explains that child-guided birth is a psychedelic journey – a series of altered states of consciousness spiraling through the senses. "Our children unleash questions of progression and replay our own life journey while residing in our wombs, inviting us to grow along with them... children awaken the dormant energy within us and bring clarity to our ego-based blocks – but only if we choose to face them."

Maria is currently in the final month of pregnancy. "This book," she says "is a very direct reflection of my experience of gestation in regards to the sensory experience the child reveals to you. Each illustration represents a different sense-based experience or emotion that becomes compromised during this time." The book is a wonderful way for a mother to start or continue a dialogue with her child. Although a mother physically creates her child, the book intends to bring power and respect back to the child – and through pregnancy and motherhood, the child actually helps the mother grow, prosper and become more aware of herself.

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Raised on a 100-acre Christmas tree farm in rural Connecticut, Erin has studied medicinal plants and women's health in-depth. She taught art to Brooklyn teens, volunteered as an interfaith Chaplain in a maximum security NYC prison and organized women's ceremonial circles and retreats with indigenous teachers - often with the emphasis on wellness through the philosophy of Wise Woman Healing Tradition. Currently, Erin lives in a cliffside cottage in San Diego, California with her husband and young son, Moses Arrow and works to raise awareness of the medicinal benefits of Kava root. 

Erin is also the founder of the multi-dimensional collaborative experiment, Active Culture Family. Current partners include: 

Cover art by Elena of Everything is Medicine, a Summer 2014 mix CD of incredible (understatement) artists. //

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experimental third eye opening technique from Dream School

"Starseed Survival Guide - Volume 1" is the first chapter in a series by Erin that serves as a "what-to-expect" guide for the early stages of individuation from our family of origin. "It was conceived as a remedy for teen depression by countering some of the cultural programming that interferes with our ability to experience joy by depicting 'growing up' as an ongoing and highly personal inner journey of healing and self-discovery."

Erin admits that the book is not for everyone, but can be a lifeline for others – speeding up the learning curve to cut through some of the illusions of life and seeking the truth. The book is presented in a "lighthearted way... with the sincere desire for those coming up the path to know that they are not alone, and that although it may feel like it is taking forever, help is on the way."

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photo by Heather Culp

Most new mothers I know tend to wrap-it-up before their due date. Carly managed to not only put together The Mothership Show right before her daughter's birth, but also just completed her first book in the blurry days postpartum.

Like Maria and Erin, Carly fluidly moves from one medium to another in her artwork: jewelry, furniture, objects, painting, textiles, music – all of it represents the dream and freedom to create. Her aesthetic "explores the trans-dimensional psychedelic realm through campy mythical landscapes."

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"The Sacred Door" by Carly is a magical quest inspired by her daughter, Cookie when she was a seedling in the womb. It is a visual journey of an inquisitive soulmate duo learning the importance of manifestation. Two canine companions, The Boo Boo and Wings Livinright, set out on a cosmic expedition to find a place where all dreams come true. Along the way, they encounter a series of mystical characters who offer clues and challenges that propel the pups to far-off lands and places deep within themselves. An epic poem about companionship, faith, perseverance and the power of nature, "The Sacred Door" is a children's book for all ages of the New Age.

The concept came about through Carly's love of making songs and "cheesy rhymes" - often having full conversations in rhyme with her husband. Upon learning of her pregnancy, Carly began writing a poem for their daughter to share all the life lessons she's learned. The two starring pups are the same dogs Cookie will have as companions growing up. What an amazing gift!

I have had a preview of the book and each page unfolds as a joyful surprise – sounds totally dorky, but it's truly pure and innocent delight. Visually, it unites the diverse facets of her art into magical and radical collages.

Collaboration is a running thread in Carly's work that plays an important part of life – "because everything is all about LOVE." It is also the reason for opening The Sacred Door Gallery (now closed) in Venice – "to draw in a community of creative friends to inspire one another." And I completely feel the same in her sentiment about Los Angeles, "everyone has open arms and wants to collaborate... I feel very at home."

Below are the collaborators of The Sacred Door Book:
Heather Culp - photography (along with Carly) 
Elena Stonaker - costumes
Matthew Morgan - model, "Lord of Diligence" & Carly's husband with a furniture line in the works with Carly 

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Much gratitude to the lovely ladies for sharing your vision and a preview. I already have a list of many friends to give, as the books are treasures too beautiful a concept to keep to oneself. 

Book Launch with Maria Calderon, Erin Rivera Merriman and Carly Jo Morgan
Sat May 31st, 5 - 7 pm

all images courtesy of the artists

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

SF Chinatown on The Bold Italic

The Bold Italic understands and knows my people.
I love the way they have been capturing San Francisco's Chinatown. From Chinatown Sartorialist exploring senior styles to a tour of the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory – these articles bring back so many memories of my youth growing up in the Bay Area and being in San Francisco with my family every weekend.

This was my Ning-Ning's (grandmother on father's side) uniform: some sort of quilted floral patchwork silk jacket or wool cardigan paired with a baseball cap / hat... usually from Snap-On because my uncle is a mechanic. My Paw-Paw (grandmother on mother's side) who is still living at 95 likes to say the more colorful the better because she wants to feel vibrant and happy... and what good is it if I can't see her. ha! I love them so.

I used to visit my Boc-Paw (great grandmother) at a senior's living center and the Lee Family Association in Chinatown. Always hanging clothes drying in an assortment of colors & prints and always a hot pot on an electric stove in her little room with piles of Chinatown papers and calendars. Chinese people love their calendars.... I don't know why.

When I was 4 or 5 years old, we went to visit Golden Gate Fortune Cookies because my Paw Paw recommended my mom take her kids to see how the magic happens. It was along an alley and rinky-dinky. I don't recall much lighting, just natural light radiating from the open doors. The ladies were so nice. They showed us their process: how the cookies came out warm and flat (! -a life-changing revelation for a preschool aged Chinese-American) and how with their swift hand movements around a metal thingie (technical term), they formed the iconic shape. What a rad thing it was to carry off a baggie filled with warm, sweet smelling FLAT fortune cookies.

Thank you. Too many memories to recount.

p.s. Special shout-out to Accidental Chinese Hipster

All images via Bold Italic.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lately . . .

In between days, you can find me on Instagram

 studio visit with the lovely Jennifer Parry Dodge of Ermie

my dirty stained glass 

been doing some Kumihimo weaving . . . trying it out with beads here

Stopped by & Pens in Culver City. Got crazy inspired by the amazing collection of books, shot the sh*t with rad owner Andrew, found out that their sister shop Needles & Pens is next door to my old San Francisco apartment on 16th x Guerrero and discovered that he's hubs / baby-daddy to Michelle Blade. Stop by before they shut their doors and head east. Luckily, we can expect pop-ups from them this summer! Art above left by Victoria Wagner

studio visit with the lady-who-can-pretty-much-do-anything, Tanya AguiƱiga

Recently, I've been neglecting the indoor bloggy side of things [read: photo editing, post and writing / run-on-sentencing-word-making-upping] and spending more time exploring. But now, NOW (finger in the air!) I'm gonna do my best to hunker down to focus on stained glass, design work and kids (in opposite order of importance). I'll also be trying to edit and post all my studio / class / shop visits. So please keep checking back – stuff will be up some point soon, I promise - including some of the goings ons from my Instagram above.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sight Unseen OFFSITE

With ICFF and NYC Design Week happening in New York City and rolling off all the art radness from last week, go (GO) to the 2014 set up of Sight Unseen OFFSITE – on view now until Tuesday, May 20th. Every thing there is pretty much genius in concept, imagination and execution. 

There are way too many amazing designers to mention, so see the full list here.

The branding and identity designs were created by Kokoro & Moi. Their work is equally on point and radical.

Please share all your pics! #SUOFFSITE on Instagram. And um, I'd love a little SUOFFSITE tote & ceramic piece from the Ceramics Shop by Su Wu of I'm Revolting. Thank you.

Fri May 16 - Tues May 20
corner of Lafayette x Broome in Soho (entrance on Lafayette)
free and open to the public

p.s. Too many good things there in the city now: Also, head over to the Gallery at The Future Perfect and please say farewell to the Domino Sugar Factory before it becomes condos with Kara Walker's Sphinx (& another interview, with Leonard Lopate here).

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Adam Henry : Alien Beatnik Siren

On view in New York City's Joe Sheftel Gallery is Adam Henry's latest body of work, 'Alien Beatnik Siren.' What an amazing week to be in the city and this exhibition adds to the breath-taking art that is happening there now.

"A system is as human as a splash of paint, more so when the splash gets routinized." – Lawrence Alloway, 'Systemic Painting,' 1966

This installation of fourteen nearly identical paintings are hung symmetrically with their sequence providing an opportunity to investigate the multiplicity of experience and an uncanny notion of time. Adam takes his explorations into the relationship between the psychological and optical of earlier works further, by attempting to create the same painting fourteen times. Knowing that this is impossible, he embraces the anomalies that happen through the process of making each individual painting – opposing the fetishization of authenticity and exploring differentiation through repetition rather than through variation.

all images courtesy of Adam Henry & Joe Sheftel Gallery

I imagine to stand in front of each painting and to fall completely in, would be awesome in the truest sense of the word. "These glowing surfaces parallel the backlit screens that have become the primary way images are both delivered and consumed." You are viewing THIS on a backlit screen. Adam's intentions are within a painting's ability to project light as opposed to reflecting it.

Congratulations, Adam! 

May 4th - June 15th, 2014
Joe Sheftel Gallery  |  24-A Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Visit : Echo Park Craft Fair

I am off to the Echo Park Craft Fair & Nue Market in a bit. These are photos I took from December's EPCF Holiday Fair. This truly is a special gathering of a creative community that supports each other. 

Full list of artists for this weekend here.

Rachel Craven (co-founder of EPCF)

Beatrice Valenzuela (co-founder of EPCF)

Spring Echo Park Craft Fair
Sat May 10th 12-7pm & Sun May 11th 12-5pm
Mack Sennett Studios  |  1215 Bates Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029

p.s. Please excuse the lack of descriptives. Just trying to run out to the show and I'll add more info later if I get a chance. x