Allied Craftsmen Today at the Mingei

So on Wednesday, Julie, in an attempt to force my brain from its nasty circular crap, took me to see the Allied Craftsmen Today exhibit, which is at the Mingei Museum in Balboa Park (San Diego) through January 5, so you still have time to go see it. It is an interesting exhibit with great variety and some awesome and inspirational work. That link to the museum includes links to all the artists, so to save myself some trouble, I send you there if you are more interested in a specific artist.

Of course, I start with the one piece where I didn’t get the artist’s name…and I went through the website and couldn’t figure out which one it was…but it’s what looks like wooden balls the size of bowling balls with stains and paint rubbed onto them and animals wood-burned into the surface. I know there was some reference to constellations as well. If Julie remembers who it is, I’ll edit this.

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Arline Fisch’s crocheted metal neckwear…

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Viviana Lombrozo’s Markings…a quilt that curves out from the wall.

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Kathy Miller’s two pieces Speak Softly to Me

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and Character Map, both using a twine/fiber made from Japanese calligraphy pages.

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My camera was being its usual bad self, by refusing to let me see anything in the viewfinder. Annoying.

Both Miller and Linda Litteral are in my women’s art group, FIG. I recently posted about Litteral’s paintings after a visit to her studio…here is some of her delicate ceramic work that those paintings reference…

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The faces repeat around the bowl as they did around the paintings…

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And the insides are carefully glazed as well. She calls these Possibility Bowls.

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Julie really wanted me to see these pieces by Sasha Koozel Reibstein. This is Inadequate (with thready pulse)…

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and Inadequate (with jagged breath). The ghost image of the ribcage is to show that “we are sometimes inadequately equipped to defend ourselves from emotional blows.”

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Yeah. You got that right. Here is a detail of some of the stitching.

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Truly beautiful work.

I liked the finish on this piece by Warren Bakley…this is Winter Landscape #1. You can’t really tell in the photo, but the glaze is cracked.

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This is Cheryl Nickel’s DNA Mobile

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And Gail Schneider’s animal leg…wish I could tell you which one this is…possibly one of the two Emus?

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Joanne Hayakawa’s Inhale…Exhale…ceramic lung paired with lung formed of thorny rose stems, with a background of drawings related to the lungs.

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Hayakawa also made this Crow Tea II, a tea set with crow as teapot, exploring what the crow means in our culture.

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Is it the harbinger of doom or something else when we drink tea from the crow? As someone who uses crows often in her work, I can tell you they mean many things.

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Jeff Irwin’s Jumping Deer Trophy…a porcelain deer that seems to be made of wood and jumping through the wall.

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Charlotte Bird is in California Fibers with me. This is one of the three pieces she has in the show, Living Fossils 3.

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Julie and I had a discussion about the prevalence of teapots in ceramics…and why. These are seemingly fairly useless as actual teapots, unless you want your tea to fly off without you, which is not to say that they are not beautiful in their own right. These are by Kathy Kapolka Grudzas, who says these are metaphors for the balance in her life.

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Upstairs is an exhibit from the permanent collection of the Mingei of animal art…called Menagerie. These two were perched up high on a divider. They are by Ricardo and Miguel Linares and are called Alebrijes, from a dream of their father/grandfather, Pedro Linares.

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I liked the shape of this bird.

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This is a tapestry woven under the direction of Joseph Domjan. It’s called Fire Peacock and is based on a woodblock that Domjan created.

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The museum had a wall covered with batik tjaps that was nice to look at…

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I have a few of these somewhere in my house that have never been used. I should just hang them on the wall as art.

The Mingei always has great stuff in their shop. The glass reflection on this piece is unfortunate, but really, I just want the story behind it. We have a cobra-like snake tail coming off some sort of demon…the cobra surrounds the head of a woman.

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The demon holds the hands of a child, while standing on the back of a man who is holding the child’s legs.

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Yes, there is a drawing in all that somewhere…but I don’t want to copy it. I just want it explained, and then maybe I will draw my version of the demon pulling people apart.

Julie and I wandered the park a little bit, since it was a nice day. These are cocoons of the caterpillars I saw back in June when I was here for my science program…same bush and everything.

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Most of the cocoons (chrysali?) had already hatched, but there were a few caterpillars who had procrastinated…

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There was also a butterfly or two, but having a shitty camera did not help and they were all blurry.

Christmas gift for Kathy: New functional camera. But I also need a new down comforter. Which one? They cost the same, neither cheap.

Anyway, it was 2 hours where I could think (mostly) about things besides being depressed…although I never seem to leave that behind. It’s always knocking on the door, reminding me that I would have come here with someone else, that something large is missing. I seem to be unable to deal with social situations well…they suck my energy in a disturbing way. I am trying to stay positive about school, since constantly assuming the worst is not allowed, but I feel incredibly drained after social interaction, even in a professional development environment where I don’t even really need to speak. Everyone says I will be better, even using the word “happier” (does such a thing exist?) when school starts. No, I will just be distracted. Maybe that will allow me to recover better…who knows. Maybe I will just come home and crawl into bed, pillow over the head, blocking out the rest of the world. There’s just no way to predict what will happen. I guess my move from negative to positive thoughts includes this intermediary step…from negative to NO thoughts. Positive thoughts require me to have an emotion that just isn’t there at the moment.

It’s a nice exhibit…intriguing and strange and interesting. It’s open until January. Check it out. Good for the happy and sad.

2 Responses to Allied Craftsmen Today at the Mingei

  1. craftymadre says:

    Looks like a beautiful exhibit. Art like that always inspires me but can also make me feel even more inadequate (in comparison). I hope it did a lot more of the former for you. Hang in there.

    Like

  2. Sheila says:

    Thank you for sharing Kathy, I’d like to check this out.

    Hugs… :) -s

    Like

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