Image Journal #31

I have discovered that writing a blog while in residency is not such an easy thing to do. I’m going to try and change that starting TODAY.

Many of the activities of the last few weeks should be their own blog posts–Moore Place, pillow cases, community quilt building, fellow artist-in-residence, and computer tote bags. But for today, I’m going to outline the basics with the goal of fleshing things out later.

This is off topic, but important. I love tomatoes. Especially real-grown-in-the-hot-southern-sun tomatoes. I was fortunate to get to eat all of these beauties. Image Journal #31Every Monday, all of the residents at McColl are invited to visit a particular artist-in-residence studio. The first studio visit was held in Ruganzu Bruno’s studio. Ruganzu was the Environmental Artist-in-Residence for the past four months. Using salvaged materials, he created two play ground experiences for the public–one in Charlotte and the other in Penland, North Carolina. His presentation was a madcap look at his past four months as well as some really lovely photos of his homeland in Uganda.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31Afterwards, we went to Common Market for a little farewell party for Ruganzu. I’ll let the images describe that experience.

That Thursday, at the McColl + Response: Artist Talk, all of the Fall Artist-in-Residents gave short presentations about their work to the general public. Here are the five photos used in my presentation. It’s hard to tell your life story with just five photos, but there you have it.

The next day, every one was busy preparing for the 15th anniversary celebration of the McColl Center for Art + Innovation as well as the opening of Marek Ranis’s Arctic Utopia. Here, Bill is helping me hang work in my studio. Boy, those walls are bare.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31That’s Jessica Whitbread and myself at the beginning of the evening. She did my hair which I loved.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31Hundreds of people visited the McColl that night. Here is my studio tricked out with quilts and visitors.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31The party ended in the Dignicraft‘s studio amongst all of their amazing Mexican pottery.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31Next up, I organized boxes and boxes of fabric for my projects with Moore Place. Moore Place provides permanent housing to the chronic homeless. It is an amazing place founded by Urban Ministry Center.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31Over the next six weeks, I will be leading sewing workshops and building a community quilt every Tuesday afternoon in their commons room. This past Tuesday we made pillow cases for resident’s apartments. In six hours, using only one sewing machine about 15 residents who had NEVER sewn before made pillow cases. It was crazy good. This week we will be exploring the wonderful world of oven mitts–a subject I know well.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31Maria Shell Image Journal #31Next up, Jessica and I began the process of prepping an entire bolt of Wonder Under for different community projects we are working on. We are almost done. Local Fiber artist Nancy Cook donated all of the fabric we have been using for these community engagement projects. Thank you Nancy!

Meanwhile, (I almost forgot) I was prepping 24 quilts to send to the Fitton Center for Creative Arts for the group show fiber. Whew. Got that done. I forgot to take photos, so you are just going to have trust me on that one.

I went to Modern Fabrics, a locally owned upholstery fabric store. It was amazing.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31They had a giant bin of remnants which I found very hard to resist. I bought two bags worth of this treasure.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31It made me think. I forgot to pack my computer bag, and I have been using this wimpy bag for hauling my makeshift office back and forth from the studio to the condo.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31Here is what I decided. Instead of making oven mitts as a no brainer recreational activity in my spare time, I will make computer bags. I drafted a simple pattern.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31Picked a palette.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31And got to work. I like it a lot.

So I am making some more.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31Here is the close up of the palette for next couple of bags.

Maria Shell Image Journal #31But first I’ve got to get the oven mitt supplies ready for tomorrow’s Sewing Shop at Moore Place.

Looking back on the past two weeks, I would have to say that I have not written a blog post, because I can’t type while sleeping. Things have been just a little bit busy around here.

I have a question for you. Of all the things I shared in this Image Journal, what would you like to hear more about? Where should I start?

This entry was published on September 29, 2014 at 10:58 AM. It’s filed under Image Journals and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

12 thoughts on “Image Journal #31

  1. Hi Maria… You are one busy chick… and look so cool with hair done and all dressed yup. Looks to me like you are being run ragged – but enjoying every minute! Received a copy of Celebrating Silver today and I LOVE your quilt…TWENTY FIVE… hugely wonderful. So pleased it was chosen. You are in great company!

    I would like to hear more about the project using Nancy Cook’s fabric – fusing and all. Please enjoy every minute – the Community is blessed to have you for two months and all of your residency partners.

    Bethany Garner
    Kingston, ON

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    • Bethany- I am always grateful to hear you kind words. Thank you! The next few weeks will be all about the community quilt–how to make one and what the Moore Place quilt will be like. I hope you will stay tuned.

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  2. I enjoy your blog so much! It is so inspiring to read of your adventures. I would love to hear more about how your new work is evolving as a result of being in this inspiring and thoughtful community. Enjoy your time there and I look forward to reading more!

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    • Ann- Wow. That is a good question. In between the community quilt with Moore Place and the social obligations of the residency, I have not had a lot of time to work on new ideas. But they are there! Hopefully late this month, I will get down to stitching them.

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  3. Wow Maria – all that activity makes me feel tired just reading about it. It sounds wonderful and like it is a great community.
    Lois

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  4. Loved your post. I would like to hear more about Moore Place, please.

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  5. Maria..you are so busy you make my head spin! I found all of it so interesting.I’d love to hear more about the group quilt you are doing.Do you have a theme? Who all will be contributing?

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    • Thank you Sue. I working on writing the full story to the best of my ability about Moore Place in the next days. We are thinking of the theme as being Journey to Moore Place as the quilt will document the participants journey from homelessness to housing. Stay tuned!

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  6. How lucky we are that you are in an amazing, inspiring place! I’m intrigued with your play/work at the Moore Place. Love all the photos, too. Keep them coming, please.

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