From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Identity Tapestry at Pepperdine’s “Reel Stories”

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This has been a great process and the piece went very well.  It was tricky, knowing that I would only have a single day to set up in LA after flying in the previous night from SF, but I knew I could do it, especially with help.

IMG_4089This is in my studio in SF.  It takes me hours to arrange where the posts with the statements about Identity go. Since I knew I would have limited installation time I did a sort of map on some butcher paper that was the same size as the panel.  It worked perfectly.  We taped it over the panel during setup, drilled right through the paper, screwed in the posts, added the labels and tore away the paper.  🙂  I love when things work.  Also, this gives me a process that I can potentially pass on to a curator.

LA was unfortunately getting a ton of rain on the day of the installation and event.  The Reel Stories organizers were scrambling to get tents and other last-minute rain protection.  After some hiccups and problem-solving, we set up a wall to withstand the wind, protected from the rain.  They got the lighting in and everything was set up beautifully.

Installation of the actual piece went more quickly and smoothly than it ever has before.  The organizers and volunteers were extremely helpful and sweet for the entire thing.

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The response was overwhelmingly positive.  The character of the place came through very clearly in the tapestry too.  The most obvious things were the demographic- these were mostly students, and it showed in statements like “I am a homeowner” being almost blank.  Other things about the community came through though- the love of travel, the values of service to others, listening, care-taking… those were all very strong.  The religious and spiritual  background of the school (something I hadn’t know about until I got there) also came through, in combination with a desire for open-mindedness and exploration.  It was clearly a portrait of a unique community.

This is the sixth time I’ve done the piece, but each one before was a more extended group around a gallery or type of place, but never with almost everyone in the same community.  The distinction was visible in the work.

This is still my favorite piece.  It changes every time and I love seeing how different groups of people create it.  Much thanks to Sarah Attar for finding my work online and bringing me and Identity Tapestry to Pepperdine for the Reel Stories film festival.

See more on Identity Tapestry

Written by Mary Corey March

January 27, 2013 at 3:57 am

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