The Art and Craft of Serena Blossom Appel

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Lightboxes at Goodfoot Last Thursday August 2016

I Am Therefore I Think

I will have a set of 3 new works up at the next art exhibit at the Goodfoot in SE Portland! Opening this coming Thursday, August 25th, upstairs lounge & pool room open 5pm-2:30am.

The “I Am, Therefore I Think” show will feature original works from artists all across the Portland Metro area, and will serve as a platform for creative sociopolitical, subjective/personal, expressive, and diverse commentary, questioning/challenging, and observation.

I’m excited to participate in this show, as I had been strongly affected by the ongoing shooting tragedies going on in the news over this past summer, and have been trying to come up with a creative response to the thoughts, fears and feelings that recent events had left me with. I had been encouraging those around me to do the same.

Art and creative expression can be powerfully healing, eye-opening, & transformative in the wake of tragedy, horror and the distresses of life. I haven’t been the only one, now or historically speaking, to try and find a way to process world events and personal experiences through art making. It is the basis of what I believe, and have come to know, both through direct, personal experience, through making my own work, as well as fostering and witnessing the creative works of others.

What I wound up envisioning, takes a nod from my parents’ era and the formation of art commentarists such as Leon Golub, Anselm Kiefer, Jenny Holzer, Andy Warhol and the like- but in this instance,  it turns the 1950’s habit of “world culture” appropriation & exploitation on its head.

I was easily able to find some images of Adinkra, or West African cultural symbols, online. I can’t help but appreciate the almost-too-simple convenience of being able to get this info directly from an African blogger and peace activist who’s kindly made these resources freely available to the public, along with clear descriptions of the meanings they hold:

“Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Ashanti of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. They represent concepts or aphorisms, and are extensively used in fabrics, pottery, logos and advertising.

The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages that convey traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment.” – Mawuna Remarque Kotounin, siliconafrica.com

From the list of symbols, I chose three which I felt represented a healing energy & commentary that could be displayed & enacted through the use of transforming them into illuminated art pieces on display. These three certainly aren’t the only ones that have such potential, but given just how many symbols I had to pick from, it provided me the luxury of fine-tuning what I wanted the artworks to convey to the viewer.

This has led to a light box series that focuses on the specific meaning of each symbol:

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“NYAME NNWU NA MAWU- God Never Dies, Therefore I Cannot Die”- Mixed Media on Canvas Board, 2016

 

As I constructed the pieces, I noticed that the way the LED light hits the front of the piece- normally a frustrating part of the process for me to try and mitigate- actually enhances the “message” of the work in this case:

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The Adinkrahene

‘“I am the King, and everything comes from me, everything shall return to me. I link you with everything. Your actions affect others, no matter wherever you are. Your thoughts influence others, therefore watch over your mind. Think positively, constructively and scientifically.”

Chief of the Adinkra Symbols Symbol of greatness, charisma and leadership. This symbol is said to have played an inspiring role in the designing of other symbols. it signifies the importance of playing a leadership role.

This is a symbol of the waves of thought impulses. You are in the middle of The One Life, the Life that permeates the whole Universe. This is a wonderful opportunity offered you to positively identify yourself with Universal Mind, with the Ultimate Source of Life.”‘- Queen Nzinga Maxwell

… I love it when things come together like this!

I hope you can drop by the Goodfoot this coming Thursday evening, or any evening this coming month, to check out “I Am, Therefore I Think” & see all three of my pieces on display. May they shine a little light out into the world. I hope to explore and expand further with the light box series- stay tuned for future offerings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SE Makers Market This Weekend

I will be showing some of my small original art pieces, as well as some jewelry and vintage/collectibles at the SE Makers Market this Saturday! If you’re out and about this weekend in SE be sure to stop on by!  

Print On Demand Now Available

Hi folks, I just signed up with Artflakes.com to provide you with quality fine art prints, posters, greeting cards, and more- all featuring prints of my original work.

You can see my profile page on Artflakes here.

They are one of the few art print services that will identify purchasers to me, the person generating the content, which is valuable to me, a woman running a small art business who would like to build a customer base from positive community relations- not just as a nameless content producer online.

And right now, I am motivated to grow that business- so if you would and could, please take a look, try the site out, make a purchase or two, and help me get some real world feedback on the service! Also don’t forget to “like” work as I put up images you might enjoy, share with others, and leave me some (hopefully constructive) comments on my Artflakes profile! You will definitely receive my undying appreciation. For extra devoted fans, I might even throw in a freebie 🙂

Any experience with using Print On Demand services that you’ve found helpful? Feel free to comment on this post and share your experiences, good bad or otherwise.

 

 

 

The Constitutional

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Here is the poster for this weekend’s Constitutional art party in St. Johns, 9am-2pm. Vendors in Cathedral Park plus a number of other fun activities. Make sure to drop by Proper Eats Market & Café if you visit, and see my show currently up in the dining and front window areas!

Now Showing @ Proper Eats

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I just hung artwork at Proper Eats Market & Café in the charming St. Johns neighborhood in Portland, this past Memorial Day. I have something like ten pieces, mostly in the dining area, plus this stained glass piece in the front window:

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This piece was a miracle “rescue”, of sorts, as it had been just about finished several years back- but the vintage carved wood frame that the image had been collaged and painted on to had started to split and fall apart! I would suspect it was a piece from the 1930’s or earlier, as the frame had been cleverly assembled from many smaller pieces of wood, and the molding that held the glass to the frame was one long piece of twisted paper, secured by tiny nails. I was so afraid that the exposed glass would shatter! And I just couldn’t, at the time, see how to reconstruct the piece. So it was wrapped up in a spare tablecloth and some cardboard, stored in a corner, and forgotten for a long time.

Finally, in search of some new pieces to put in this show, I got bold enough to unwrap it. By this time, it had sustained several moves and a number of reshuffles from one corner of living space and/or art studio to another. There was some rattling going on inside the package. I was worried. What would I find?

When the piece was eased gently out of its casing, I saw that the rattling had come from a random piece of plastic that had somehow gotten inside the package, hastily wrapped as it had been. The glass was completely intact, all of the frame pieces present. What’s more, it had been packaged together with a number of other pieces of raw glass that had been saved for other projects- with no extra wrapping or padding. Somehow, it had survived all of that traveling and jostling around, and so had all of the other glass inside. Unheard of!

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So, I carefully reassembled the frame, resealed the glass with sturdier, more modern means, and carried it on down to the show. Eh Voilá: You will get to see a piece that almost wasn’t meant to be.

The remainder of the works show off my interest and focus in the past few years, of combining assemblage and fiber arts/beadwork techniques on canvas and 2-D works. Here you will have a chance to examine them up close.

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And if this weren’t enough: I have the space for TWO whole months- June through August- so expect some changeup of work, and hopefully some intriguing new items, part way through the season.

And if THIS, plus the chance to visit one of Portland’s fine independent markets and their tasty food & beverages, were not enough- the show will be up during “The Constitutional”, St. Johns’ yearly art celebration event, happening June 11th. Read more about it here, then come out and have a good time up on the N. side!

People’s Art of Portland: Closing Show April 16

It’s sad, but true: People’s Art of Portland will be closing its doors at the end of the month.

The gallery, and associated OneDer Gallery and Air Gallery, as well as the Mark Wooley Gallery, have been asked to vacate in order to make way for investors that have agreed to contract the space on the top floor of Pioneer Place Mall.

“This was always the agreement”, is the comment from arts curator, Chris Haberman. The gallery had originally moved into a vacated toy store, a number of years ago, and provided mall traffic, interest and cultural tourism in exchange for being hosted by the mall and its property managers, General Growth Properties.

The gallery will be open regular hours until this weekend, when there will be a closing show Saturday, April 16th, 5-9pm, to commemorate People’s and celebrate the lives and work of its artists. Expect a LOT of artwork, as all of the pieces from OneDer will be consolidated back into the original People’s gallery space. This will be your chance to pick up a piece or two from artists you may have seen and admired at the Gallery- including EMEK, Gary Houston, Mona Superhero, Chris Haberman himself.. And of course, yours truly 🙂

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity!

Read the Facebook info about the gallery closing and show details

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Showin’ Up Around Town

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I currently have about eight pieces up at the People of People’s show. It’s somewhat of a retrospective for me, that highlights the evolution of my “style” and interests over time, especially as they relate to experimentation in fiber arts, painting and mixed media.

POP’s is the annual staff/volunteer show for People’s Art of Portland, and I have to honestly say that I work with a remarkably talented bunch of co-artists at the gallery, because every single piece in this year’s exhibit is inspiring… intriguing… amazing. I was having a hard time focusing on conversations during the opening, because I kept getting distracted by other people’s work. How cool is that?

people of peoples flyerThe show will be up until sometime around February 10th, when the gallery will turn over in preparation for the annual LOVE SHOW (Hint/Rumor: This opening, unlike our usual 3rd Sat, will be timed to coincide with Valentine’s Day Weekend- stay tuned for more details on that one!) – make sure to catch it before it’s gone, as some of the pieces I have up have never been on exhibit anywhere before- and may or may not be again!

AND ALSO, upcoming THIS THURSDAY evening at the Goodfoot on Stark St. in Portland, is the opening night for the New Brow of Portland, co-presented by Chris Haberman and Jason Brown. I will also have one piece in this show. It’s an exhibit that features current “signature” pieces from over 50 artists around the Portland/Oregon region. This is sure to be a lively and mind-expanding event. Don’t miss out!

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