Images, Ideas, and Updates May 2017

At the end of April, I was driving towards Kansas City to spend a week with family and friends. I rented an airbnb located in midtown Kansas City. This is the area of town I lived in right after I graduated from college. It is a very walkable part of KC, and I love it.


Walt’s mom, sister, and friend went with me to Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art . Rashid Johnson: Hail We Now Sing Joy was on exhibition. According to Artsy , “Rashid Johnson’s practice is defined by its critical evocations and entangling of racial and cultural identity, African American history, and mysticism.” I am in love with the urban jungle installation. It is an amazing collection of plants, books, and ephemera. This is a great time lapse video of the installation being built. 


I also got to view this amazing  piece by Jose Lerma. This new work is inspired by the cultural connections between the two sister cities—Kansas City, Missouri and Seville, Spain.

My sisters and I went to Valley Falls to see our aunts and other family members. I always love visiting these flat dirt roads. 


This was my grandmother’s where I spent time every summer.


I got to celebrate my long time friend Lisa Fleming’s birthday with her. We went to Knuckleheads and saw the legendary punk band X. It was totally old school. I wish I had worn my Doc Martens.

Then is was back to teacher mode. I traveled to Sun River, Oregon to teach for the Mountain Meadow Quilt Guild. This guild knows how to take care of its teachers. Thank you Mountain Meadow Quilt Guild for a very good time.

The guild members wanted a mash up of Making Prints out of Solids + BLOW IT UP! < > The idea is to work with a traditional quilt block as the structure of your composition. Here are some sketches I did for inspiration.

I had a range of students from expert improv quilters to first timers.


I love getting to teach longer workshops—this one was 2 1/2 days. The results were a bit mind blowing.

The students were focused and worked very hard.

At the end of the workshop, I packed my things and headed to the airport. The next day was the Rasmuson Awards Ceremony! I was one of nine Alaskan artists to receive fellowships this year. My award will be used to develop a new body of work based on the traditional quilt block Flowering Snowball and build a small storage facility off the back of our garage. 450 artists applied and 35 were funded including fellow SAQA members Amy Meissner and Beth Blankenship.


Fourteen years ago, Rasmuson Foundation asked artists and arts organizations what would be the best way to support arts and culture in Alaska. What they discovered was that if you fund artists directly, things happen. It’s true—the biggest obstacle for almost any artist is funding.


So much of what I am now is because of the Rasmuson’s support. Thank you Rasmuson Foundation for your continued support of Alaskan artists!

My McCarthy neighbor and dear friend Patt Garrett also received funding to continue her research about the legendary McCarthy business woman Kate Kennedy.


After all of that travel and excitement—as in three weeks of being on the road followed by a red eye and an 15 hour day long celebration—I got sick. I wrote about my illness here for hopefully the first and last time.

Maria Shell 365 Collage #1

Which lead me to think I should launch a new year long art project—365 Collage. You can see daily (well almost daily) images of the work on my Instagram feed. The project is easier prep wise—I don’t have to convince my photographer to take my picture. The project is harder because I truly have no idea what I am doing. It’s about the journey, right?

Instagram Feed

Old Momma Moose has been having babies in our yard at least since 2006 when we moved here. She always has twins.


And that about wraps it up May. Hello Summer. Yo sun, you can come out any time now….

This entry was published on June 26, 2017 at 11:58 AM. It’s filed under Image Journals, News And Events and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “Images, Ideas, and Updates May 2017

  1. mickeybb on said:

    I love your Grandmother’s house. Congrats on your fellowship. And those baby moose are darling.

  2. What a busy month! Your student work is impressive — I have this urge to make a blown up log cabin now. Since I’m in “fun” mode this week and next, maybe I will!

  3. Carole on said:

    Glad you are feeling better, obviously so have a great summer with su, bound to come to join you now. Loved meeting your sisters and seeing vicariously the biosphere at the museum in KC. Wish I could have joined you all. Carole

  4. I loved seeng the work from the Sun Rivers workshop!

  5. debby on said:

    Baby moose being born in your yard?? SO JEALOUS!! The work from the students is inspirational!! One more thing I want to do–get out my solids and PLAY. Big congrats on your Rasmussen grant. I will look forward to your new work–off to investigate flowering snowball.

  6. Your Kansas pictures are so evocative. I also spent time going to my grandmother’s house just about every summer. And there is very little like those dirt roads and blue sky with little puffy cumulus clouds.

    I’m sorry you were so sick but I’m glad you’re feeling a lot better. That is a LOT of stuff you did. Congratulations on the Rasmuson award!!

  7. Susan Long on said:

    Congratulations on your award! I need to attend one of your workshops! What a sweet moose story!

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