Monday, September 3, 2012

Gillian Christy Preston: Waves of Grain: A New Sculpture Exhibit in Boston Creates Rural Art with Industrial Material

Great write up on Gillian Christy Preston upcoming gallery show by Dave Eisenberg on BostInno (below). There is a little preview video at the end not to be missed.  Exhibition dates September 5 - October 7, 2012

August 30th, 2012 by Posted in A&Eboston sculptor's gallerywaves of grain
When we think of metal, we think of extremes. It’s either cold or piping hot. It’s either jagged or smooth. The one definitive characteristic of metal, it seems, is that it’s industrial. We don’t often think of sweeping rural landscapes and soft breezes pushing and pulling at blades of grass in a Midwestern country side when we think of metal. But when local sculptor Gillian Christy showcases Waves of Grain, her first Boston exhibition, which will be at theBoston Sculptors Gallery in the SOWA district from September 5 to October 7, spectators will get a taste of rural life in her metallic work.
“I’m originally from Iowa,” she said. “This Midwest imagery is something that I’ve always kind of reminisced about, while thinking about home and where I came from. When I think of home, I think of something warm and soft so I’m constantly thinking of that dynamic as well.”
Of course, there’s the dichotomy between gender and subject here as well. Metal just inherently is something we deem almost masculine as a fabric, much the way we might deem satin feminine.
“You know, obviously I’m a woman, so the idea of treating metal with this kind of genteel feminine quality, is something that has this nice parallel. How do you make something cold and hard into something warm?”
She hasn’t posted photographs of the work that will be featured, though she hinted that one piece (every pice as a whole will be at least 8 feet high or wide) will be of an upside down grain bin with paper floating around it, as well as one with 640 blades of metallic grass, a play on movement.
“There’s a lot of repetition but this kind of energetic movement of metal that you don’t normally see when you think of sculptures,” she added.
Her studio is in Rhode Island for now, but as she’s been living in Boston for a while, she’s looking to find a new art space to call home in the Hub as well.
While this is her first exhibition in Boston, you very well may have seen work before and not even known it. She’s created work for the NFL on CBS, as well as the W Hotel. And as a new member of the Boston Sculptors Gallery, she won’t soon go away, as members provide exhibitions every two years.
“An exhibition every two years, that’s a commitment, that’s making a lot of work,” she said. “You know, I’ve had success in the public art world and I was ready to make something that fit in the gallery… It’s just different type of work.”
Check out some of her art here, and scope the video below to see her at work as preview of her SOWA debut.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stirring The Waters Part 6 of 6: Back on the Road, Homeward Bound

by Boston Sculptor Jessica Straus

But maybe the most fun of all was our stay at Peggy’s B &B in Ashtabula, Ohio, on our way back home. Maybe it was because the show went up smoothly, maybe it was because we had this whole cute little house all to ourselves and it came with cats.




Wait, Hannah, I thought you were allergic!

Peggy brought us the most amazing breakfast ever.


And then Peggy drove us to her private beach place on Lake Erie. Julie had actually thought ahead and brought a bathing suit.


Peggy and Jessica
Skipping stones
Julia takes the plunge!

A fitting end to “Stirring the Waters/ Between Two Bodies”, first installment, in Ohio. Stay tuned for the 2nd installment, when the visiting Ohio artists come to Boston Sculptors July 5, 2012.

Stirring The Waters Part 5 of 6: Tourists in Cleveland!

by Boston Sculptor Jessica Straus

All but Andy (who stayed up ‘til the wee hours of the morning to trouble shoot a bug in his program) finished our installations with enough time to go touristing around Cleveland.

I swear—we all fit on this bike. 

Our first stop: the Cleveland Museum of Art  then across the street, the Botanical Gardens


                                                        Look who hitched a ride on Hannah!


Then we went over to Spaces, an alternative, non-profit gallery, where we were warmly greeted by the staff: Hey, I think they were pleased to have visitors from Boston. 

and they sent us over to a pop-up gallery a few blocks away with a very quirky, ambitious artist from San Francisco who was traveling across the country mounting exhibitions of her “Americana” paintings and making elixirs from urban gardens along the way (It’s a long story…)

Stirring The Waters: Part 4 of 6 - The finished installation and Opening Reception

By Boston Sculptor Jessica Straus

Michelle Lougee’s “Octoplus” hangs in the entryway and leads the viewers into the exhibition and her “Dinoflagellete” holds the platform space visible from Euclid Ave:

Michelle Lougee "Octoplus"
Michelle Lougee "Dinoflagellate"

These works were all in the “Euclid Gallery”:
Laura Evans
Hannah Verlin

Margaret Swan
Caroline Bagenal

Marilu Swett "Blue Whale Heart" (top half)


(bottom half)

Marilu’s niece, Caroline, and her friend, Piper came to help collect heartbeats during the reception. They are both Oberlin students and doing summer intern work in the area—lucky Marilu!

Up in the Main Gallery:

Jessica Straus "Widgets"
Peter DeCamp Haines "Migration"

and Andy Zimmermann’s  hard-to-photograph, but amazing, AMBITIOUS installation:

Andy Zimmermann
Julie’s work is in the main gallery too—sorry—I guess I only got those earlier shots with the ladders.

We all gave little talks about our work at the opening reception:


Stirring the Waters: Part 3 of 6 - Installation

by Boston Sculptor Jessica Straus

After a satisfying and fun breakfast (who knew you could laugh this much at 7:30 in the morning?) we all set of to the Sculpture Center for a full day of installation. Intrepid rental van driver, Andy Zimmerman, greeted us in the parking lot. He had begun his installation a couple days earlier with the help of generous and genteel Malcolm.

Ann directed the placements of our sculptures and we all buckled down to work:
                             Julia Shepley

     Marilu Swett                              Hannah Verlin

Here’s Laura Evans, just finished with her installation, stretching out near Peter Haines’s work:

Sculpture Center Director, Ann Albano, made very thoughtful juxtapositions and as the show came together we could see how well the work flowed from one artist to the next. We were very appreciative of the help of the three Sculpture Center interns, Bobby, Emily, and Lauren, all graduates or current students of the nearby Cleveland Art Institute. Oh darn! I didn't get a photo of wonderful Lauren! Well, here’s Bobby and Emily:


Here’s Ann Albano and Marilu Swett discussing the placement of Marilu’s Heartbeat piece:


Stirring The Waters: Part 2 of 6: Road Trip!

by Boston Sculptor Jessica Straus

There were plenty of things to be nervous about as the date drew near for our departure to Cleveland. Foremost on my mind was the question of whether all of our work would actually fit in the two cars and one rental truck that we had designated to carry the work. After a couple nights of tossing and turning I came to the conclusion that the only way I'd get any sleep would be to do a "dry run". So about a week ahead of time we packed the two cars with 7 artists' work and whew! It all fit, even if just barely (half-obstructed visibility out the back window of my car was better than no visibility)

At the crack of dawn, well in advance of rush hour on June 6, Laura Evans, Hannah Verlin, and myself squeeze into my car with all our work and head for the Mass Pike.

No need to use GPS--it's a straight shot on Rt 90 the whole way! It's roughly 11 hours each way and we drove it in one day.  Between the drive out there and the ride back we stopped at just about every rest stop along the way-- we think we'd be in a pretty good position to write a guidebook to Rt 90 rest stops--and yes, we had our strong preferences! We can tell you which rest stops have Starbucks and where you'll have to settle for Horton's (a very disappointing cup of Joe), where you get picnic tables and where you can stretch out on a scenic (well, at least it’s green) strip of grass. 

Laura was our exercise leader--she came up with this very cool egg-beater, arm-flapping thing that had the three of us drawing on-lookers' attention in the parking lot. No blood clots for us!

We arrived in Cleveland in time to join Marilu Swett and Julie Shepley (who were finishing up their challenging first day of installation) for dinner in Cleveland's "Little Italy" (it is little, but very sweet and several good choices of restaurants right near the Sculpture Center and our hotel, Glidden House. If you go to Cleveland--definitely try to stay at the Glidden House:

It's in a turn of the century mansion originally home of the Gliddens of Glidden Paint fame, on the Case Western campus and right across from the stupendous Frank Gehry building (below) on the Case Western campus.