Friday, January 28, 2011

More Than Skin Deep 2

More Than Skin Deep2 by Jeanne Marklin c.2011 Dimensions: 32" H x 54" Wide
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                                                          Detail of More Than Skin Deep2

Last summer, I posted a piece on the blog titled "More Than Skin Deep" that I had made for an art quilt exhibit on racism. The art quilts were exhibited at a conference on racism in Chicago. A staff member from the General Council on Religion and Race had attended the conference, and contacted me about buying the quilt. The exhibit was already scheduled to travel for the next year and a half, so I offered to make another piece that was similar, but they could choose the finished size. I received a commission to make a similar piece for the General Council on Religion and Race in Washington, DC.  They wanted a larger piece for the reception area of the organization, and I was thrilled to be asked to make a work that would represent an organization with the goal of raising consciousness about racism.

This was the first time that I needed to produce a piece with a similar design. I wasn't that happy with the first piece, but it had a deadline, and I had made the deadline. And it had led GCORR to contact me, so it was a good introduction to a new organization. I had been unhappy with the proportions in the first quilt, so I decided to make the background much more variable in sizes and shapes, and the black line, stronger. I think this piece is much stronger than the first one. Do you agree?

The piece was meant to represent the variety of skin colors in the human race, and the blood, and heart beat that we all share. The artist statement went something like this "Our skin is meant to protect us from the elements, but is a very small part of who we are. So many judgements and prejudices are made on the basis of skin color, that really have nothing to do with the human being within that skin. We need to look inside each other, to see the person within, what makes them tick, what their heart tells them. We have much in common." GCORR asked for an artist statement to frame and post near the art quilt so visitors can understand the meaning behind the work.

I was in the DC area and delivered the quilt to the organization. The staff all gathered for the "unveiling", and it was a warm, welcoming, and appreciative group. They made it a special time for me. It is gratifying when people who are "simpatico",  get the meaning of one of my art quilts, and want to share it with others. If I can influence anyone to be more open to connecting with others, the goal of the work will be reached!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bird Photography - Audubon Awards

The Audubon Society Magazine has published their Annual Photography Awards. The photo's are stunning! They capture birds while feeding, hunting, resting (do they rest?) and mating. The photo's have exquisite composition and color. The photographer's must have been incredibly patient and observant to make the photo's. Any of these photo's could be an inspiration for art, using the colors, lines and texture of the birds.
Check out the photo's at the website:
There is a screensaver as well if you're a subscriber. The snowy owl with one wing across his head is my favorite - but the green-breasted mango (don't you love that name?) is gorgeous too. What's your favorite?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Get in line

"Get In Line" was created in response to an article on White Privilege. The quilt is the second piece in a series about Racism. The article is a thought provoking paper written about "White Privilege" by Peggy McIntosh. This paper is well known in the field of sociology. Read it here:

The author lists the multiple ways a white person doesn't have to think about their race. Easy examples such as "will the drugstore carry hair, skin and make up for my race?" To more difficult ones, such as if "I moved into a new neighborhood, would my neighbors accept me, and maybe even welcome me?" and, "when I"m part of a group conversation, do I have to parse my words for fear that a statement will be taken as representative of my race, rather than my own experience?" It's a list of thought provoking questions about the unrecognized privileges that come with being White. 

Get In Line, Jeanne Marklin c. 2010, 40" H x 50" W. I dyed the fabrics, using the shibori pole wrapped method. The shadows are black tulle.  Click on the photo to make it larger.