After thirty years as career teachers, (hurray for our teachers!), Sam and Chuck retired. Now they finally have time to take their art more seriously. They had the opportunity to participate in a program called Partners of the Americas. They traveled to Costa Rica and spent three weeks with artists from the Pacific Northwest and Costa Rica while exchanging ideas and learning from each other. To learn more about this program go to (www.oregonpartners.net)
Sam did not go to art school, but she has always enjoyed “making stuff” with her kids and grandchildren.
Her artist statement: Ten years ago I began exploring mosaic as an artform. I love putting things together and seeing what results. I am drawn to interesting textures, bright colors, irregularity, imperfection, and subject matter that depicts my connection to the unseen worlds. I start by pulling broken glass, used tiles, beads, wire, and found objects from my studio collections and then assembling them to make something new.
Recently I’ve broadened my idea of mosaic art to include small sculptural pieces, 3D altars, and fiber art/clothing projects that are made by the same process of taking diverse elements and putting them together.
Making a mosaic is an apt metaphor for making one’s life. You take the instances and moments of life and create something that can be beautiful and joyful, silly and entertaining, mysterious and magical, or something that is a big mistake that you learn from and do over.
I LOVE being part of the creating process!
She also makes hats out of old sweaters and says these creations are so, so fun to make! Below is her granddaughter modeling one of her latest pieces.
Chuck’s photography really started to come together on the trip to Costa Rica when he took on the role of group photographer. Here is his artist statement:
I am visually observant of all that is taking place around me. My eye is drawn to something that interests me and the camera follows. I attend to small things – a leaf floating in the current, a vibrant flower, a pebble on the beach. I am also drawn to larger views – mountains, ocean, trees. I especially look at people’s faces. I never pass a person on the street without seeing them clearly.
Life is a feast of sensory experience. How blessed I am to be able to capture the heart and soul of these moments visually. The images bring back the sounds, smells and feel of the total experience.
On our trip to Costa Rica my LED screen of my digital SLR was damaged in flight. I had to shoot through viewfinder and was not able to see the images until I downloaded them into my MacBook each night. This experience took me back to the roots of my connection with 35 mm photography and was a positive “relearning” that will stay with me as I move forward in my craft.
In September, Sam, Chuck, and other artists from Costa Rica came to Portland to hold a public art show at Director’s Park as part of the Art to HeArt program. (http://www.iconnect2art.com) It was such a great example of bringing cultures together and enriching each other lives through the medium of art!
Here is a mosaic image by Sam and a photograph taken by Chuck. We transferred them onto paper and printed them at Paperjam Press to be sold as cards at their art show. Sam selected our 100% cotton paper, while Chuck went with a high gloss paper to emulate a photograph.
What do Sam and Chuck want to do with their new art adventure? Sam is going to continue exploring mosaics, having fun with recycled hats, and will start making Talisman objects for healing purposes. Chuck wants to continue to keep a keen eye open for the beauty in the urban environment and expand his view of the world. I have no doubt that they will do it!
If you would like to purchase Sam’s art and/or experience the making of her art, they would like to invite you to visit them at the Portland Open Studios Oct 13-14 and Oct 20-21 from 10-5.