Sunday, May 13, 2007


Okay, so that's where to start today's post, seriously, just wow. I'm still pretty stunned after Friday and Saturday. First. Chicago... wow... um.. it was bizarre and abstract to say the least. Looptopia started out pretty good. You know, crowds of people mulling around, looking at things, enjoying themselves, ooooing and aaaahing and saying art is bizarre, but kind of enjoying the bizarreness at the same time. I planted myself in an overstuffed border's chair at borders on the second floor on Lake and Clark and did a good amount of people watching from afar, which was way more exciting than anything Chicago had to offer. Interesting.

Then I went uptown a bit to I think the Lincoln park area... i don't know, it was the wellington stop on the brown line if that tells you anything... to where Brett W. was having a solo show. That was great. I got a coat, with a ridiculously large collar (i might have to alter it a bit, but I haven't decided yet). It has great buttons and really deep pockets! Perfect! And to

... There was this great scarf as I was checking out. Everything was 50% off during the opening so it was $11 for both! Good thing too because I neglected to bring a coat and it was freezing!

I came back to the loop and saw some stuff up close and a lot of it just looked like over funded extravagance, but that's okay. it's all good.

Then to my shift at the third shift worker celebration. (excuse the blurry pics, i didn't have a tripod with me).

Everything was fine, groups of people milling by, asking polite questions like "what are you doing and why?" and were content to be pointed to the signage that explained things, then nods of approval and smile... then midnight hit. Unknown to us, Chicago had failed us. From 12am - 5am.... valid hours of looptopia... there were no events planned, little food available, and definitely no place warm to sit and relax and maybe fall asleep until the trains ran again at 6:30.... so there were a few others, but we were one of the few to have an ongoing active exhibit until 5:30.... and holy crap. wow... bad planning.
Like I said, starting at midnight... until about 2 or so... people started getting aggressive... not bad, more like the air was charged with annoyance. It was colder than people thought it would be, most everything was shut down, and they were wandering around til the last train came (about 1:30) or the cta started running again at 4:30ish I think. We were protested by an angry misguided youth who thought we were trying to bring awareness to sweat shop conditions.... which we weren't... it was interesting, he gathered a crowd with his yelling and protesting, all of which was spurred because we wouldn't let him come in... we wouldn't let anyone come in. wow.

It was interesting the reactions we got... a lot of negative "your stupid" and later in the night "holy sh**, their f***ing sewing at 4!" which was responded by her friend "oh, it's an art space, their artists".. "oh... art-ists" ... like that excuses anything... oh the dada's final cop out... "it's just art"...

Anyway, a lot of window tapping, window banging, pulling at the door, yelling, trying to get us to respond. we finally, around 1am, decided not to respond to potentially aggressive individuals, which helped them to move on faster because they thought we couldn't hear them, which was in itself interesting. We all felt like gerbils in an aquarium. Or as I put it, pandas in the zoo... like any movement we made that resembled acknowledgment of what was going on outside brought camera flashes and more flailing of limbs to get another reaction. wow.

The best was the two reallllly drunk guys around 4 or so. They were saying stupid things about I don't even know what, but I remember it being crude for some reason or another. We were doing our normal, ignore them and maybe they will go away routine, when one of the girls looks back at us and says... "haha, his fly is totally down" and the other girl goes "he's not wearing any underwear!" and so Carole looks at him and goes "your fly's down" and does a zipper motion.. and we all start laughing in a way only sleep deprived people can.. and he was like "what?" and so she repeats herself a few more times and then points to his crotch and then does the zipper motion... we were all laughing so hard... he was trying so hard to be smooth and really he was just exposing himself in a way only a drunk 20 year old can at 4 am in downtown chicago... wow... thank goodness that door was locked. But wait no, at around 2 or 3 it stopped working... that was a little worrisome to say the least. But things calmed down and we figured after being sleep deprived, surrounded by scissors, we could defend ourselves with a blind stupor. Thankfully it never came to that point. Although one sad woman did come in and we had to make her leave.

oh and we got tagged too. hehe, that was more in the spirit of random art making in the street than aggressive.

So 5:30 came and I went on my way to the train station.

Then class... that's right I had class and a 20 min intro speech to give at 9:30... I was planning on sleeping in the car from 8:00-9, but there were all these business people mulling around and I was honestly a little worried they would call the cops on the girl sleeping in the back of the only car that was older than 2007 in the parking lot, so I knit in the car and then went in around 8:45 and then went inside to knit in a chair in the lounge but couldn't help but slumping into sleep... for 15 mins... I made my way to the main lounge and my prof was there and then up to the class.

She wanted me to go first, I thought because I was so out of it and she knew i would only get worse. But then she told the class she wanted me to go first because I had a significant body of work and she wanted to give me the time I needed to talk about it all and that she wanted to show everyone an example of how an artist should be working... I'm glad I was so tired or I would have been a lot more self conscious. In my state though it was more like, blushing and meh and moving on.

I talked about the weaving piece first: (I've decided to show them all here pretty much how they were shown to the class)

I showed them a couple of details and then for the next 40 mins there was a q&a about it's meaning and about my own spirituality and then testimonials from them and reactions to and identifying with the piece... So at 40 mins I said that it was interesting how much discussion was being generated, but that there were other people to show work and I felt that it was time to move on to other people.

Then my prof said, normally that would be true, but I really want people to see your full body of work... and proceed to have me talk and answer questions about my other work for the next hour and 10 mins..... it was exhausting. I talked about the blog and the Craft Leftover project, and the "Freedom of Movement, Freedom of Thought" piece I did for the Pleasant street reception, and the color studies that came out of the smaller bits being created from Craft Leftovers which gets rid of the larger bits, and the endangered species pieces and how they are about the importance of diversity in the ecosystem.

We didn't even get to the newest collaboration with brett or the sewing rebellion, or the junk mail project. It was really great really, it made me feel really good about giving artist talks in the future, I'm excited about my work and it's hard not to talk about it because I love it so much... there is a but in there, but i'm not going to put it in such a public place.

And I somehow managed to get though it with only stepping out and falling asleep in the hall once. I got home and tried to stay up until 8... but fell asleep at 6 until 9, tried to stay up until10, fell asleep at 9:15, then woke back up around 10 and went to sleep in bed until 10 am! I think I needed it.

I'm still groggy after so much sleep, but am feeling no worse for the wear kind of deal.

I'm going to be working on the next in the weaving series and stuff for the Craft Leftovers shop and the sampler this week. I'll post some pictures in a couple of days.

If you have read all of that, to this point... another wow for you, precious reader. Thank you for your time.


keri said...

Wow. What a day!!!

That would be scary with all the drunks and creepos out there banging on the window, I think you did the best thing by ignoring thm.

And hurrah for giving such wonderful talk and inspiring new artists, that sounded wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous, fabulous....!

Your Sis said...

wow is right -
I can't believe you went through all that! I'm glad all went ok despite crazy drunks and such.

What an amazing honor that your teacher wanted you to talk about all your work. It must be incredibly rewarding to be involved in so many outlets of creativity. Your work is really amazing and suddenly I get this ah-ha moment of you being an artist. : )

Anonymous said...

why was there such a negative reaction to what you were doing in Chicago? Why were all the drunks and morons pestering you? It's not like you were doing anything wrong or offensive, you were just sewing...I don't get it.

Well, I hope your summer is going good and call me if you ever want to hang out.