Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A day in which I saw MANY things and did not take a single picture! Hard to believe . . .

This is my friend, donnalynn and her dog Tesha, right after she took over its care. Before that, the dog had a sort of vagabond life. Behind them you can see part of donnalynn's studio, which she had built behind her house as a space for her art-making, her art workshops and her women's circles. I took this picture last year. (See title of this post.)
Today, donnalynn and I spent the afternoon at two exhibits in the revitalized art district on South First Street in downtown San Jose. One was at the ICA, or Institute for Contemporary Art and their annual Monotype Marathon, which had an exhibit featuring one work by each of the many invited artists which was created over one weekend in the monotype print form. At the end of the exhibit, the works are sold in a silent auction which benefits the ICA.
We enjoyed the show very much and I have just found that photos of many of the prints are posted here on Flickr. Take a look. There was also an excellent exhibit of  
textile or thread work by  
We also toured their Print Room, which is the only publicly available print studio in the South Bay. Classes and workshops are held here and printmakers can use the facility for a moderate fee.
After that we went too the Museum of Quilts and Textiles, and, after tearing ourselves away from the splendid array of items in their gift shop (an exhibit in itself) we passed down a hallway hung with some of the most beautiful and finely woven Navajo rugs I have ever seen. These are the work of Ellen Begay who learned to weave from her mother who also taught her granddaughter, Lucy Begay. The exhibit is called Navajo Weaving in the Present Tense. These beautiful textiles were woven from handspun wool from the Churro sheep, dyed with vegetal, not aniline, dyes. The large rug at the end of the hall is a symphony in muted grays, off-yellows and tans. There is another room hung with these rugs, mostly from a private collection; it would be worth a museum visit just to see them.

Both of these institutions have new homes in repurposed older commercial buildings in this area, located close together along an attractive new stretch of faux slate sidewalk with tile mosaic inserts. I belong to both groups, but had not visited either in their new location.

to be continued
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