Last year, my Army Wife apron, Home Fires was part of Support and Defend, an exhibit at the VETS gallery in Rhode Island devoted to art by military service members and their families. That show went well and much of the artwork went to a follow-on exhibit There and Back Again. I am excited to announce that thanks to the tireless efforts of curator Paul Murray, the show has been expanded as Journeys Onward and will be on view at Hygienic Art Gallery in New London, CT from April 29 through May 27th, 2017. My apron will be joined by The Other Woman, shown above, Suck It Up, Absence II, and Unravelling (all of which can be found under The Army Wife within the Galleries tab above). It’s an honor to represent the spousal side of the military family, and I’m especially thrilled that these artworks get the opportunity to go out into the world again and speak for me — hopefully sparking conversations.
Along with Home Fires going to Rhode Island, I am honored to also have had my newest artwork, Home is Where The Army Sends Us accepted into the ground breaking exhibition at The George Washington University Museum/The Textile Museum, Stories of Migration.
Housed in the new George Washington University museum, The Textile Museum is hosting a juried exhibition in collaboration with SAQA, Stories of Migration: Contemporary Artists Interpret Diaspora. Works will include 3-D pieces, large installations, and video.
This textile sculpture is a mobile village reflecting a military family’s canny ability, or heartfelt desire, to bring their communities with them when they relocate. The houses are created from old Army uniforms, an Army issue blanket, and bits and pieces of previous quilted projects in order to convey the lives lived in them. They also have crocheted roots, searching for purchase, but ultimately being dragged along wherever the mobile piece goes. I sent stickers along with the piece to be placed on the floor to encourage visitors to randomly move the village. Military moves are often last minute, and not always of the family’s choice, and are always on the horizon, so I wanted my artwork to reflect that instability. I can’t wait to hear from visitors if this aspect of the sculpture is realized.
Before I sent it off I tried to create a quick video of the village in various settings. I’d like there to be more locations and smoother transitions, but that will be a task when the piece comes back. For now, here’s a fun, quick, video we’ll call a rough sketch.
Stories of Migration
April 16th – September 4th, 2016
The Textile Museum
701 21st Street, NW
I’ve had a lot of rejections lately, and when compared to the job satisfaction I have working at the quilt shop, I’ve lately been pretty un-motivated to create any art or to look for places to show what I have. But then I get an opportunity, and I realize I can’t throw in the towel.
The Army Wife: Home Fires (my very favorite of my apron series) has been chosen to be part of Support and Defend at The Art League of Rhode Island.
The exhibit is all about providing a way for U.S. Armed Forces veteran artists, currently serving or separated, and their immediate families, to share their military or veteran experiences through their own art, and to express its meaning to them in their own words. Every member of the U.S. Armed Forces takes an oath that includes the phrase “support and defend.” For veterans and their family members, the experiences that follow that oath are specific to each individual and may be hard to grasp for those outside the Armed Forces community. Many of those experiences are complex and enduring–perhaps lifelong. This exhibition of 2D and 3D artworks, accompanied by the artists’ written words, will reflect the military experiences of veterans or their family members and create an opportunity and forum for artists to share a personal expression of that experience. Many veterans and their families want to tell their stories, but those conversations can be difficult to start. Often, art can be the starting place.
I submitted three aprons and Home Fires was chosen. If you are in Rhode Island in April or May, please take the time to see this important exhibit.
Support and Defend: Art Relevant to the Veteran Experience
The VETS Gallery, One Avenue of the Arts, Providence, RI 02906
Sponsored by Art League of Rhode Island
April 1 – May 29, 2016 Open Thursday and Friday afternoons
Opening reception April 14, 5:30 – 8:00 pm
I’m here. I hope.
My computer died, and at the same time I had compatibility problems with my website program/template and our server on which it all resides. Ugh. I probably shoo,d have just hired a professional to sort it all out, but the budget could only support having my husband work on it in his free time. Needless to say, it’s been too long, and it’s still not completely sorted out. So this is kind of a test post to see how much is accessible.
For the past few months, I have been working on a new piece for my Army Wife series, with the hope that it might also be appropriate for an upcoming SAQA exhibit at the National Textile Museum. Good news, my piece was accepted! Here’s a little peek. I hope to create a companion video for it which I’ll post soon with more photos of the piece.
I also have pieces from my Feisty Femmes, Rooted, and Americana pieces at the Craft-Tastic show and sale at Pelham Art Center in Pelham, NY. Craft-Tastic is a great place to purchase one of a kind artful gifts. I’d love to sell at least a few pieces in order to pay for mailing them there and the leftovers back home again.
I hope to post again soon with more art, some adventures exploring our new home-town, knitting, and home improvement!
Friday was the last day of my co-exhibit at the Arts Council of Moore County in North Carolina. I packed up all my artwork and brought it home to get packed again, with all our household goods and moved to our new home in Portland, Oregon. It was wonderful show, and so much more than I could have dreamed up myself. I am thankful for the vision and dedicated work of director Chris Dunn and friend Nanette Zeller. The exhibit was a real community effort. Below is a short video by local videographers Brady and Laura Beck which shows the artwork and the festivities from the opening weekend of the show. Enjoy!
PS: the blog will be on hiatus while we move. Hopefully more regularly postings will resume mid-August (brace for house before and afters!).
The last four days have been full of exhibit related festivities. I drove my Army Wife series to North Carolina last Wednesday and spent the afternoon helping to install it, along with photos by Hunter Rudd, at the Arts Council of Moore County in Southern Pines for our show, Homefront & Downrange.
This came about because friend and fellow SAQA member, Nanette Zeller really wanted to see my solo show in Charlottesville a year and a half ago, but was unable to make it. She decided to bring the show to her. And she did! Working with Chris Dunn of ACMC, they have created not only a a lovely exhibit of my work, but an entire event, telling the story of military life through the eyes of a spouse, a service member (Hunter’s photos), veterans via The Combat Paper Project, and the kids through the Military Child Education Coalition. All the artwork together tells a compelling story, and each facet reinforces the others.
It took a lot of sponsors to make this event happen, so to thai them, Hunter and I gave a presentation Thursday morning at one, Belle Meade, and then we had a private reception Thursday night.
Friday night was another reception, open to the public and part of Southern Pines’ First Friday event. There was a good turnout and I enjoyed talking about my art and stories with visitors on both nights. I think we all agreed that it was all about the stories — mine, Hunter’s, and the viewers’.
Hunter talks about one of his photos.
Everything was about contrasts and comparisons. On the contrast side, the show is male/female, home front/downrange, soft textiles/hard prints on metal, and the most surprising to me was that I am the pushy one and Hunter’s is quieter, waiting for the viewer to suss out the story.
On the comparison side, there’s repetition in colors and visual textures. My work is up close and personal in the narratives and his is up close and personal because of the portraits. Both our works are BIG! We agreed scale helped to pull the viewer in in a very visceral way.
Nanette talks to visitors about the work too. This is nearly as much her show as mine. It couldn’t have happened without her.
I wish I could have stayed for the Combat Paper workshop, but I needed to get home to my kids and our upcoming move. There will be a Military Appreciation Day on the 20th as well, and I very much hope that it is as well attended and received as our opening receptions were. The show is on view until July 10th for anyone in the area to come visit.
It was a special four days, and part of that was because I got to stay across the street to the Weymouth Center for Arts and Humanities. It’s the historic home of a local writer and is now a retreat for writers to come and work in peace and quiet.
I loved the Jeffersonian serpentine wall, as well as all the nooks and passageways to explore in the house.
This funny guy watched me from the end of the hall.
It was all steeped in Southern charm, if you ask me.
It’s almost here! The day after tomorrow, I’m packing up my show and on Wednesday I’ll drive to North Carolina to set it up. There are all kinds of events planned around the event, to include two receptions, a talk at a major sponsor’s place, hosting a SAQA regional meeting, a special military day (which sadly, I won’t be able to attend), and what is sure to be a fantastic exhibit with my textile art, photos by Hunter Rudd, and selected pieces from the Combat Paper project.
Homefront & Downrange
June 5th – July 10th, 2015
Arts Council of Moore County
482 East Connecticut Avenue
Southern Pines, NC 28387
Using art as a catalyst for conversation, reflection, discovery, and education, HOMEFRONT & DOWNRANGE will take a deep and personal look at many aspects of military life:
An Army wife’s story through narrative textiles by Kristin La Flamme; A soldier’s story through photographs by Hunter Rudd; The story of returning home from combat through artwork selected from the Combat Paper Project; The story of military children through artwork selected by the Military Child Education Coalition.
Last weekend I drove up to New York to hang my exhibit Home Fires at Etui Fiber Arts. We had a reception on Sunday which was unfortunately quiet — probably because of the impending storm and the Superbowl. The show looks fantastic though. The space is light and bright and shows off my work so well. The great news is that the show has been extended and will be on view at Etui until March 14th! We will have an artist talk on the 14th as well as a workshop by my friend Natalya Aikens, and an opportunity to just hang out and work on stitched or knitted projects. So, if you missed the opening reception, please join us for a closing party in March! And, of course, one can see the show any time between now and then.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also say that Natalya was instrumental in helping me hang this show. She’s awesome. Plus, I got to hang out with her all week-end which is great. We went to the Katonah Museum of Art to see their current exhibit Line Describing a Cone, which was quite fascinating. It’s great to go to an exhibit with a friend and be able to discuss what we’re experiencing. We both really liked a very organic piece made with zip ties, and I liked a sculpture defined by light, while she was entranced by an installation with mirrors. For most of the weekend (and bonus snow day) we talked and talked and talked, and, as happens every time we’re together, I came away with an inspired list of things to work on and new enthusiasm for my work. Artist play dates are great and I am so thankful that I have a group of wonderful artist girlfriends who all inspire me every day. I look forward to returning in March.