upcoming solo show: through the eye of a needle

Please join me for an artist’s talk at 3 pm and the opening reception from 4-6 pm on Saturday, September 19 at the Catskill Art Society.   My new solo exhibit, “through the eye of a needle” is on exhibit at CAS until October 18, 2015.

6-Kosto

“ease is allowed” mixed media, 9″ sq. framed to 17″ sq.

This series of collages, interpreting words and themes used in sewing and needlework, reflects upon historical and current tensions over women’s work, identity, and how the product of a woman’s hand is valued – or not. The many-layered collages, interweaving textiles and fragments from sewing baskets, yard sales, and fellow textile artists, collect together aspects of women’s lives from many years and many generations. For some women, the ability to sew might have been an avenue for creative expression and for others, it was a means to a meager living; for many, it was likely a combination of both.

“darn!” mixed media, 8″ sq. framed to 12″ sq.

Commonplace words such as “dart/stay,” “notions,” or “bias” — seem newly unfamiliar when interpreted using the very textiles they describe. Other pieces invite the viewer to pause, and imagine life stories for the women featured in the anonymous photographs set within deconstructed samplers, for needlework was often done by underpaid (or unpaid) household help. Their labors survive, but their names do not. Reflecting an aesthetic developed almost exclusively by women, the viewpoint in these finely-detailed collages is always minute: the world as seen through the eye of a needle. I hope that you will find that looking at the past through this narrow eye provides a new, broader way of seeing our own time.

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installation at Catskill Art Society

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My work is also on exhibit in the following group shows:

Finding our place: the geography of art
Annmarie Sculpture Garden (a Smithsonian affiliate)
Solomons, Maryland
juror: Mary Savig, Curator of Manuscripts, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
October 23, 2015- January 3, 2016

small works
juror: Laura Johansen, Curator, Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art (KMOCA)
Woodstock Artists Association and Museum
September 5- 27, 2015

Columbia County Plein Air Artists “Volume 2”
August 1-September 26, 2015
Columbia County Chamber of Commerce
Hudson NY

Hope to see you soon!

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upcoming solo exhibit: “home”

Coinciding with National Poetry Month, my next solo show will be at the Canfield Gallery (Martha Canfield Library) in Arlington, Vermont from April 2-30, 2015.  I decided to explore the idea of “home,” drawing on the poetry of New England poets Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson.

KKostofarfromhome

“far from home” mixed media 5″ sq. framed to 11 x 14″

As I worked, interspersing my collaging with reading their poetry, I noticed how “home” represented much more than a dwelling place: home was the body, the soul – even eternity.  But home (particularly for Frost) could also be a marker from which to measure one’s distance: a way to calibrate one’s internal distance and displacement.  If we did not have a sense of home, we would never know ourselves to be lost.

Working with fragments from nineteenth-century sources as well as contemporary materials, I thought about how we consider home today and the resonance of these two poets’ words. I will be giving an artist’s talk Saturday, April 11 at 3 pm on the topic: “Inner Rooms: Reading Poetry, Creating Collage.”  The opening reception will be the same day, from 4-6 pm.   Both events are free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

white barn

“white barn” mixed media 3 x 2″ framed to 3 1/2 x 4 1/2″

The exhibit runs from April 2-30, 2015, and gallery hours are: Tuesday 9-8, Wednesday 9-5, Thursday 9-8, Friday, 2-6, and Saturday, 10-3 (closed Sundays and Mondays).

My work is also on exhibit in the following:

Cosmos: Imagining the Universe
Annmarie Sculpture Garden (a Smithsonian affiliate)
Solomons, Maryland  juror: Dr. Andrew K. Johnston, Smithsonian (National Air and Space Museum)
February 13 – July 26, 2015 (I will be giving a gallery talk and teaching a class at the Annmarie on June 7).

small works
Woodstock Artists Association and Museum
Woodstock NY
juror: Cynthia Winika, artist/instructor R&F Handmade Paints, Kingston NY
March 7- April 5, 2015

Hope to see you soon!

seasonal shifts

This morning, mid-November’s colors just made a sudden shift from warm mauves and a few splashes of gold to a bright white world.  As snow dripped off the laden branches as quickly as it came, I thought of how collage can capture these special moments so well.

viburnum under snow

viburnum under snow

I will be teaching a textile collage workshop starting at 5 pm on Saturday, November 15 at Greene County Council on the Arts (398 Main Street, Catskill NY).  I will have plenty of textile scraps to share plus pre-cut boards to make your very own miniature collage.  The workshop is free and open to the public.

My work may also be seen in the following exhibits:

  • re:Tree  Kinderhook Business & Professional Association (Kinderhook NY) from Nov 29- Dec 13 juror: Carrie Haddad.
  • 2014 Arkell Annual Juried Show, Arkell Museum (Canajoharie NY) Dec 5 – Jan 25, 2015.
  • I will also be participating in an upcoming art sale: BerkshireMade Artisans Sale held during the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Event; December 6-7, 2014, Stockbridge MA.

Hope to see you soon!

(re)collected: locations, people, places

My current solo show explores the idea of re-collection, as both memory and gathering.  While working on the collages, I found I certain patterns began to emerge: compass wheels and color wheels.  Maps and patterns.  Pattern lines and life lines.  Crossroads and quilt blocks.

I found as I worked, that more was linked than separate; in the landscape of memory, things interconnect.  I guess it took me many hours of cutting, layering, stitching, and collaging to figure that out!

quilt/felt II (sold)

quilt/felt II 10″ sq. (sold)

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quilt, recollected IV (detail)

The exhibit (re)collection runs until October 29, 2014.  Blue Hill Gallery hours and directions are available here.  I hope you might stop by and gather a sense of your own re-collecting.

Blue Hill Gallery Exhibit October 2014

Blue Hill Gallery Exhibit October 2014

solo exhibit: (re)collected

“Re-collection” suggests gathering, accumulating, perhaps even stockpiling something that can be held and felt. Even more, the word suggests an abstraction: the action of remembering or a memory itself.  In this solo exhibit of my new work with an opening reception on Thursday, October 2 from 6-8 pm, I consider the ties between intangible memories and tangible fragments.

quilt, recollected (detail) textile collage

quilt, recollected V (detail) textile collage

As I began work on this series of collages, recollections of people and places seemed distinct and in tidy categories. I gathered one mass of materials to reconstruct a life, and another to reconstruct a place.  Yet as I worked, I found myself reaching for fragments of text to recollect a person, and creating a landscape to capture a lifetime.

I found that like the process of creating collage, memory itself is interwoven and layered. Collecting fragments from another time creates the feeling of being able to reconstruct something real, bounded, and material.  Yet, in this collecting process, I found that memory becomes a form of art — a creative act.

I hope that viewing these collected fragments from diverse histories brings you a deeper sense of your own re-collecting.

The exhibit runs October 1-29 in the Blue Hill Gallery of Columbia Greene Community College. The opening reception is Thursday, October 2 from 6-8 pm.  Directions and more information available here.

Hope to see you then!

quilt, interrupted

Recently, I received a box of fabric scraps from a quilter, and I thought I would use the colorful fabric scraps for a landscape series.  As I sifted through the large box, I noticed some pieces stitched together where a pattern had begun, and others where the pieces had been cut out but never used.  I was intrigued by the experience of witnessing someone else’s creative process.  Seeing the different colors, patterns, and shapes, some trimmed from larger projects, yet others untouched, inspired me to reflect on the process of creativity.

"quilt/felt" textile collage  poetryCollage

“quilt/felt” textile collage poetryCollage

I created a new series “quilt” responding to both the patterns and texture of quilts as works-in-progress, rather than completed (perhaps more useful) objects.  In these collages, batting is exposed and quilting stitches are begun but left incomplete, suspended in time — perhaps even interrupted.  In the background, ledger entries and pattern pieces set the on-going rhythms of daily life in counterpoint to the unfinished work of quilting.

“quilt/felt” will be part of my upcoming solo show (re)collected at the Blue Hill Gallery, Columbia Greene Community College, from October 1- 29, 2014.  The opening reception is Thursday, October 2, from 6-8.  Hope to see you then!

I also have my work on exhibit in the following group shows:

"moon reading" collage poetryCollage

“moon reading” collage on exhibit at WAAM

Small Works
Woodstock Artists Association and Museum
Woodstock NY
until October 5

Nature in the Abstract
Historic St. Agnes
Menands NY
until September 30

miniature worlds

Working on a small scale means seeing with new eyes: an unraveled thread becomes a horizon, a torn envelope a mountain range — the tiniest of scraps transforms into a landscape.  Narratives seem to arise from the juxtaposition of these small fragments: a word or two from an old letter suggests the memory of a spring day, a vintage cameo holds court amidst a bit of lace and silk.

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Creating these small pieces has its own challenges – a soft breeze (or a sneeze!) can scatter a work in progress.  I use tweezers, the blade of an X-acto knife, and a sewing needle to position the small fragments and interweave threads and minute bits of lace.  Adhesives are applied with the tip of a knife for exact placement.  Since in-progress collages are difficult to place on an easel, I use mat boards cut into L shapes to block off the sides, giving me a clean white surface to surround the collage as I work on it and help me see colors and forms more accurately.

collage supplies

collage supplies

I will be teaching a class at Historic St. Agnes on August 1 from 5:30-7:30 pm: “Introduction to Textile Collage.”  We will be learning techniques for creating numerous textures and effects with textiles, and designing and creating life samplers which reflect the personal experience of each student. Personal interviews, memory logs, and other techniques will be used to help students create a textile sampler which reflects their personal life story.

The class fee is $20 and includes most materials (students are asked to bring scissors suitable for cutting fabric and a small box of fabric scraps).  A few spaces are still open; please contact St. Agnes Historian Kelly Grimaldi to register for the class at (518) 463 – 0134 x110.

Hope to see you then!