21 Mar

Home is Where the Army Sends Us

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.

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photo by Mark Frey

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
Washington, DC

20 Mar

The Army Wife at Support and Defend

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.

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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

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31 Oct

It’s Craft-Tastic!

First, sorry for the long absence. My website and blog have been temperamental lately, and going straight to the blog (musings) still doesn’t work. We’re still fiddling around, but hopefully it will only get better from here.

Kitchen Superhero 2 web_Bubbles

More importantly, I am pleased to say that I was invited to take part in this year’s Craft-Tastic exhibit at Pelham Art Center in Pelham, NY! Check out all the info below, and if you’re in the area, or know someone who is, plan stop by. I’ve sent pieces from my Americana, Rooted, and Feisty Femmes series and I really hope that they all find new homes.

CRAFT-TASTIC
An Exhibition and Sale of the Handmade

November 13, 2015 – January 2, 2016

Pelham Art Center
155 Fifth Ave
Pelham, NY 10803

Free opening reception and all-age hands-on craft workshop:
Friday, November 13, 6:30-8:00PM

15% Member Discount Sale:
December 1 – December 5, 2015

A dynamic collection of quality handmade work will be on display and for sale, at the Pelham Art Center’s annual exhibition, Craft-Tastic, from Friday, November 13, 2015 to Saturday, January 2, 2016. Blown glass, woodwork, and dyed leather creations will be included among the many skilled craft disciplines. Craft-Tastic will feature 22 local and national artists who represent a range of traditional and modified craft techniques, creating all one-of-a-kind items. Supporting both local economy and artisans alike, the exhibition is a positive alternative to commercial holiday shopping. A hand-cut paper collage print, a wood and stone necklace or a naturally dyed silk scarf could be a unique and perfect gift for someone special.

The opening reception will include a free all-ages hands-on craft workshop on Friday, November 13 from 6:30-8:00pm. Pelham Art Center members will receive a 15% discount on all Craft-Tastic gallery sales during a special Members’ Holiday Sale, December 1-5. Anyone can become a member of Pelham Art Center at any time.

Craft-Tastic is curated by Kate Amato, the Gallery and Public Program Manager at Pelham Art Center and Gail Heidel.

Artists:
Mindy Ackerman (NY) , Shea Bartel (NY), Mayuko Fujino (NY), Lisa Giobbi (NY), MaryLouise Gladstone, MLV Designs (NY), Sarah Grange (NY), Heather Gray (MA), Jim Gubernic (MN), Amos Paul Kennedy (MI), Kristin LaFlamme (OR), David Licata (NY), Loop of the Loom (NY), Juliet Martin (NY), Maureen McCourt (CA), Virginia Piazza (NY), Jennifer Priebe, Park & Young (NY), Risa’s Pieces Jewelry (NY), Elena Rosenberg (NY), Pamela Sabroso & Alison Siegal (NY), Avery Syrig (NY), Kim Tinsley(NY)

08 Feb

Home Fires at Etui Fiber Arts

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.

Home Fires Exhibit

 

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.

 

Home Fires Exhibit

Home Fires Exhibit

Home Fires Exhibit

Home Fires at Etui

02 Feb

Don’t Forget! Fiber Art for a Cause 100

It’s just about time! Wednesday Feb 4th is Virginia Spiegel’s Fiber Art for a Cause 100 fundraiser to fight cancer.

1 Day – 100 Artists – 100 Patrons – $10,000
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Opens 10 a.m. Central

How The Fundraiser Works

The first 100 people to contact Virginia beginning at 10 a.m. Central on February 4th will be given a link to donate $100 directly to the American Cancer Society through Fiberart For A Cause. Each donor will receive an artwork from one of the 100 generous and talented artists participating. Assignments of artwork will be made using a random number generator. This is a great chance to collect a piece of art from one of 100 exciting fiber artists.

Check out many of the donated artworks on Pinterest (click the link).  My donation is Heart House shown below. Be one of the first 100 donors on Wednesday for a chance to add Heart House to your house.

Heart House sm

Questions? See all the details at VFFAC The 100.

Special Note: Our goal of $10,000 will make Fiberart For A Cause’s donations to the American Cancer Society a nice even one-quarter of a million dollars.

08 Jan

Part of Those New Year’s Goals

Some of my goals for the new year are to post to my blog more, update my website, and get better at promoting my work. I tackled an easy one first. I created a Facebook Fan Page and it’s going to be awesome. Why? Because I am somewhat ambivalent about my personal Facebook page. I know that FB is a good way to connect to people who might be interested in my art. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with far-flung family and friends. And then there’s the people from past lives or professional connections, who I want to stay connected to, but don’t necessarily want to know what they are doing on a daily basis, or want them to see all of my goofy antics. I’ve limited my Facebook “friends” to people I know personally or have established professional relationships with, and I try to keep my posts pretty art-related. It’s a tough balance and it means that not everyone who is interested in my artwork will be able to find me on FB to see what I’m up to.

A fan page is open to everyone. I will post my art, some inspiration and in-progress work, and information about where to see my work. February is a big month for me, so be sure to “like” the page to get updates, and tell your friends too. I may even end up posting more on my Kristin La Flamme – Artist page than on my personal page. My personal page will probably narrow down to travel, family, knitting, goofing off with friends. I may even unfriend a bunch of professional contacts if I know they are happily following my artist fan page — where my professional info will be. That would come in time though.

Next step should be to create a newsletter. That will be awesome for those who don’t do much Facebook.

22 Oct

Healing Arts Exhibit

Last week I was invited to speak at the 11th Annual Healing Arts Exhibit at Walter Reed Military Medical Center.

Healing Arts Talk

The exhibit started as an awareness campaign for the Breast Cancer Center and has now grown to encompass the use of the arts in many types of healing. The vast majority of artwork was created by patients at Walter Reed. Mine was there because the director loves my work and believes that it speaks to the same audience. I took four pieces from my Army Wife series. The two aprons on the plinth will stay for about a month — until mid November.

 

Healing Arts Exhibit

It was a fantastic experience. I spoke about my inspiration for the series and how it not only allows me catharsis but can also give expression to others who may not have found their words or images. Apparently it went over well. It’s hard to predict what kinds of connections an event like this will create, but I met the young curator who put together the show, many well heeled ladies from the Spouses Club, and one in particular who already gave me some tips for local galleries to shop another show to. Best of all was sharing my artwork with an audience who “got it.” Several wives came up and thanked me for expressing their story.

As an aside, there is nothing so humbling as spending a day at Walter Reed Military Medical Center. While my military experience has had it’s challenges, they are nothing compared to those faced by the service members themselves — especially those with visible and invisible injuries. I met several people whom I’m sure could tell fascinating stories. But the people watching is what amazes me every time I visit. Torsos outnumber limbs. I see different prostheses on every visit. Emerging from the elevator was a guy wearing standard leg prostheses and carrying blade prosthetics for running. Another man walking down the hall had a prosthetic hand with movable fingers. I think it was one of those that the wearer can control with their thoughts. There is always all manner of wheelchairs. Our favorite this time was the guy being pulled by his bulldog, but the dog was having a bit of a hard time because of the slippery floors. And then there’s the dogs. Many people have their own service dogs (like the wheelchair-pulling bully), but Walter Reed also has their own comfort dogs. Volunteers take these dogs around to patients or just hang around in the halls for anyone who needs a little doggy fix. Each dog has it’s own adorable harness/vest/pack thingie made from old military uniforms. They were made by a volunteer and are absolutely fantastic — some making great use of the uniform collars or pockets. One dog had her own custom ID tag. Too cute. My husband always stops to love on the dogs. It’s part of his own healing.

I am honored to have been asked to be a (very small) part of this important center for our military service members and their families.

24 Jul

Temporary Safety

As I wind down my Army Wife series, I have been thinking about Security Blankets. I love the play on words, especially since I always strive to make the medium of my work an integral part of the message. I have ideas for at least four textiles that fit under the general umbrella of security. Two are recently finished. The first, I’ve been working on for nearly a year, and posted some peeks along the way, but then removed them as I considered submitting the piece to Quilt National. They have very strict rules about the quilts or any parts being published prior to their unveiling. Anyway, I changed my mind when one of the other artists at McGuffey Art Center proposed a show about Privacy in America which I thought would be a perfect venue for the first of my “blankets.”

"Temporary Safety" 2014, Kristin La Flamme

“Temporary Safety” 2014, Kristin La Flamme

“Temporary Safety” is a pixelated image of a security camera in which the pixels contain circles and rectangles (0s and 1s) which spell out in binary Benjamin Franklin’s quote, They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

 

"Temporary Safety," detail.

“Temporary Safety,” detail.

It’s true human size in that it’s over 90″ long. When a friend suggested I call it Linus, I came up with a six degrees type description: This is a Security Blanket. It has an image of a security camera and a quote by Benjamin Franklin. The Peanuts character Linus has a Security Blanket. Benjamin Linus is a character on LOST, played by actor Michael Emerson. Emerson also plays a character named Harold Finch on Person of Interest. Person of Interest is about utilizing the spying capabilities of security cameras and other methods of data collection.The show is also about protecting people — like a Security Blanket. Cool, it goes full circle! 😉