Iron Clad Artists


Louise Nevelson and 2 works

(image photos courtesy of yahoo images)

Picture this:

You see a call for artists at a local show. The show is titled, “Changing Things Up-Discarded Objects As Art.” It sounds pretty good…soon you are getting emails from art friends forwarding the show announcement. They cheer you on, encouraging you, “This one’s for you!” So you submit your 3 photos and pay your fees. The show is all abuzz amongst the assemblage artists. When the list of accepted artists come out, 200 artists have submitted! And 135 artists have been  chosen to show… are not one of them.

Assemblage artists are a misunderstood lot. (boo-hoo) You won’t find us along the country roads in large sun hats painting impressions of light on the vineyards. We will be the ones stopping to scrounge the rusty hub cap at the turnout. We tell our stories of humanity through broken parts, forgotten. ( I was once told I lost a sale because one of the items in my assemblage was a broken piece…)

We are the ones most likely to hear the wafting whispers, “…my 5-year-old could have done that…” as polite head shakings steer them toward the lovely florals.  (yeah, well bet you wouldn’t have pulled over to get that hub cap for her…)

On the other hand, there is the camaraderie  of misfits with us. We share bits of stuff and junky items inviting pals to take what they want from our larders. We can be mysterious and intellectual, rough and raucous. We are the ones working with the grit of life. We create composition, balance and sometimes beauty using these items. And we may have a story to tell in there…

To help with the lonely times I offer some suggestions:

  • Try learning about the history of assemblage art and its major players. (It’s a short story) And it will help with that intellectual thing…
  • Next time you are at a group opening try engaging a stranger in conversation about them. It could be more interesting that hearing Matilda wax poetic over the ducks she painted in her landscape. ( Sorry, Matilda)
  • Hone your skills. Learn to manipulate your background and foreground. Pat yourself on the back when you figure out that tricky connection that fools the eye…
  • Dress outrageously at the opening. At 65 years, 5’2″, and 140 lbs., I’m tired of trying to look sophisticated at openings. Rock those bell-bottoms and head scarf like the Louise Nevelson you were meant to be! (I’ll let you know later how that one goes…)






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