Thursday, April 21, 2016

Window Installation for "Encountering Yellow" at Studio Place Arts

The new show at SPA is called Encountering Yellow, and I've made an installation in the front window (and over the front door) using a bunch of lampshades I found while dumpster diving in New Orleans when we were there in January and February. They have a gorgeous yellow color inside (from years of people in motels smoking next to them, someone suggested...).

Here's a photo that James Secor took of the installation after he came down off the ladder (and it was also he who suggested some of them should go outside as well as inside):

I took this one with my phone after Sue finished taking the old signage off the window; I'll get more images later.

This is a fun show, and SPA's annual BASH (Big Arty SPA Happening) will be on May 13 -- so plan to come and party with us!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Militarization of Our Police

So this is the image I said I'd post.

Here we have exactly the same vehicles, army green on the left, and police black on the right. Somehow the black vehicles are more sinister -- maybe because we know that WE are the ones who might be the objects of their actions, not "those people" somewhere else in the world...

And again, the brand name "Rescue  Team" is like the "Peacekeepers" from the last post. Who is being rescued here?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

War Games

What do you think of when you think of Peace? Apparently the makers of war toys have appropriated the word Peacekeeper to market the old familiar war toys -- soldiers, tanks, guns, and other weapons.

I happened upon these because I was looking for Army vehicles for a project I'm doing. I prefer to have old, well-used toy vehicles (some of which I got from my grandson), but I have also used some new ones (more about which in a future post).

I'm working on a piece that combines my interest in the destruction of animals and their habitat, war, and the series of pull toys I called Rolling Boil. This piece is still in progress, as I'm not sure whether (and how) to connect the animals carrying war vehicles to the cart of people behind.

Monday, March 28, 2016

More Stairs

I'm continuing to work with the black and white photographs of stairs that I took in New Orleans. I have printed them out in black and white, placed objects on those photos, then photographed and printed those second-generation photographs. I've run into some technical snags, but they still seem quite appealing to me. Here are a few of the most recent ones:

I've used a clay head I originally made for my Dante's Inferno installation back in 1996. I've also been interested in text cubes and African carved animals.

Today I started working seriously on my large barrister's case cabinet.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Last Words

As I may have said here before, I work with the GRACE program, doing artmaking with residents in nursing homes in Greensboro and St. Johnsbury, Vermont. When I got back from New Orleans in late February, I found that there had been a lot of illness in one of the nursing homes, and several residents I worked with had died.

Death is real, and I often think how here in America (unlike in other places in the world) most people are not dying from bombing, murder, or starvation, but from old age at the end of a long life.

I bought a cool little alphabetized business card holder at a junk store in New Orleans, created by the Gordon K. Allen Company, "Funeral Coach Headquarters of the Southwest".

I have made cards with words related to death and end-of-life that are filed alphabetically.

Mark Waskow says he regards it as an "artist book". That's interesting.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

THEM, US & YOU Video!

The Times-Argus interviewed me for a video about the current show at SPA that Sue Higby and I co-curated. Have a look!

"Salvage" at the Chandler Gallery in Randolph

I was away in New Orleans pretty much during the whole run of Salvage, an exhibit curated by the irrepressible Josh Turk. The last day of the exhibit is next Saturday, March 19, when the gallery is open from noon until 3:00. I'm showing two large pieces, Men's Cabinet and Medicine Cabinet, as well as three smaller boxes with figures.

Meg Brazill wrote an extensive review of the show for Seven Days, in which she said:

No salvage-based exhibit in Vermont would be complete without work by Cabot artist Janet Van Fleet. This one includes five of her mixed-media works. During this writer's visit, the 21.5-inch high "Men's Cabinet" attracted many gallerygoers, perhaps in part because Van Fleet invites viewers to open it. Inside, the cabinet resembles both a tiny curio shop and a dollhouse, with its invisible fourth wall and three levels. It holds some miniatures, including a piece of dollhouse furniture, along with human-scale objects such as full-size photographs. The piece suggests a glimpse into an unknown family's history.