Lisa Solomon : Migratory Patterns

My friend Lisa Solomon currently has an incredible solo show at Walter Maciel Gallery in LA called Migratory Patterns. I paid a little visit to Lisa's studio a few months ago and was able to see the work in progress. Amazing.

danne san [husband], 2012 by Lisa Solomon
graphite, acrylic, colored pencil, felt, pins, machine stitching on paper and duralar
20 ½ x 28 ¼ inches framed
Like me, Lisa thinks every element through. Every string, every stitch must have a purpose in her work. Seeing all the pieces together in these photos makes it even more compelling than just the beautiful snippits I saw on her studio wall.

All of these works relate to each other and this is the first time she says she has been able to combine the personal with the political in her work. The pieces describe her family's migration from Japan and throughout the US. But they also show Fukishima radiation's migratory patterns. The timing and the personal connection to the crisis makes perfect sense that it should turn up in her work. We had a great conversation about Fukishima. I had wanted to address it somehow in my own work but couldn't find a way to make it successful in what I was doing at the time. She's succeeded here.

Installlation view at Walter Maciel Gallery.
Head over to Lisa's incredibly thought provoking blog to see Part I of the photos of her show. Details of the show can be found at Walter Maciel Gallery. The show runs through May 26th. If you're near, be sure to check it out!


Foreclosure Quilt : Riverside, CA

I finished another foreclosure quilt last month and am finally sharing it with you! I have to say things have been quite busy for me the past month but it's all been good. I have numerous projects under way in the studio that I'll share soon enough. But I've also been busy in the garden. I'm trying to grow most of our own food this year, which ties into my concerns about global farming and the land grab. But back to the foreclosures ... Riverside, CA.

Riverside Foreclosure Quilt, 2012. 34" x 46"
Tea stained voile, cotton, linen, yarn and embroidery thread.

Southern California has been hit as hard as other areas in the US. As many of you know, SoCal is a very large swath of housing that just seems to go on and on. Zooming in on a particular area was quite a challenge.

Riverside Foreclosure Quilt detail, 2012. 34" x 46"
Tea stained voile, cotton, linen, yarn and embroidery thread.

I chose Riverside because it seemed there was no neighborhood in the city that was immune to foreclosures. I wish I could wander around the city to appreciate it more. One thing that was apparent is a lot of these homes that were foreclosed on in the past couple of years have been fixed up and flipped. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad? On the one hand, it's great that they are being spruced up and helping improve the neighborhood. But, who is behind the fixing up and flipping? A reputable company or someone out to make some quick money?

Riverside Foreclosure Quilt detail, 2012. 34" x 46"
Tea stained voile, cotton, linen, yarn and embroidery thread.

I heard an story today on NPR about companies that are buying up the foreclosures, fixing them up and renting them out. It works if it's a small business who is managing a few properties. But are companies biting off more than they can chew? It sounds like even renters need to do their due diligence before the sign a contract these days. Here we go ... into the next phase of the messy 'clean up'. Who knows where this will lead?


Work It: Artists Address Labor and Unemployment at Rochester Contemporary

Four of my Foreclosure Quilts will be part of a group exhibition entitled Work It: Artists Address Labor and Unemployment. The show opens tonight at Rochester Contemporary in Rochester, NY. The reception is tonight from 6-10pm. The other participating artists are Clarke Conde, Morgan Craig and Jonathan Stewart. From what I've seen of their work, it will be an excellent show.

There will be an artist's talk on April 8th at 1 PM and on April 21st at 1 PM there will be a poetry reading entitled The Rise and Fall of the Middle Class. The reading will be with BOA author Christopher Kennedy as part of CITY Newspaper's Culture Crawl 2012. 

Albuquerque Foreclosure Quilt, 2011. 35" x 47"
The exhibition runs through May 13th. See here for more info. I wish I could make it to the show, but if you stop by, let me know what you think! Thanks for your support!


Article in The Atlantic Cities : How Quilting Can Explain the Foreclosure Crisis

An interview about my foreclosure quilts came out this week in The Atlantic Cities. Let's just say I was quite surprised and amazed when Sarah DeWeerdt contacted me last week. I was already familiar with Sarah's writing so it was quite a treat to talk to her in person.

It was one of the first interviews that really delved into the planning and economic issues that I address in my work. She asked some wonderful questions. Head over to The Atlantic to read the article.

Modesto Foreclosure Quilt, 2011.
Within an hour, one of my former coworkers at Calthorpe Associates had just happened to open the site at work and was shocked to see a picture of me there. I thought my days in the planning world were far gone but I guess I just can't stay away!


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