Last Year, Kathy Tyson, Special Education Gifted Teacher at Upper Adams High School, asked me to come show my work to her students. She was starting a unit on Visual Rhetoric, and had been told my work fit the bill. Who knew? I was just making pieces that suited my heart, and now it had a name! I'd always been fascinated with graffiti, specifically that on boxcars. The people who do this kind of artwork have my respect; their eye for design, color and thought, in conjunction with the ability to figure which boxcar would be on a siding long enough to do a major piece of art on it is mind boggling. And spray paint isn't cheap; it runs when it should and when it shouldn't, and has to be easily accessible in colors the artist wants! So I gathered my old work, Saints' House, Queen of Hearts, and a few others, plus the latest boxcar graffiti brooch, March, as my response to the February 14, 2018 shootings at the Parkland High School in Florida. Kathy's students were interested in seeing my work, and it was fun to be back in the classroom, speaking with people who had so little life experience, and yet, so much. When I returned to my studio, I continued to make things to go with the pieces I'd already made. The Devil's (bottomless) Cup, the first piece of the series, never found a home, so I made a brooch with it as well.
The Devil's Breakfast at the Family Values Restaurant evolved from enameling small copper foil sculptures. A glass, then a vase of flowers, then the eggs and bacon on a platter; soon there was a wonky table holding the pieces in a weird space. Because I have felt overwhelmed by the ever-increasing mass murders in our country, I thought the restaurant window overlooking the train tracks would be a good place to put the Devil's Scorecard. The boxcars on the tracks are brooches I made after the shootings in Las Vegas: #ENUF, #NVR*AGN. The last, MARCH, was made after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It is a direct reference to the kids who won't be stopped, who keep on marching. I'm so proud of them.
The Devil's Table at the Family Values Restaurant was juried into the North Eastern Enamels Guild exhibit at Worcester, MA in the fall of 2018. It has also been accepted by the Enamelist Society's 17th Juried International Enamel Exhibition, Alchemy5 Exhibition to be held first in Eugene, Oregon at the biannual conference, July 31-August 7, 2019 and then will travel to the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington for a 6-month period beginning November 2019 through May 2020.
Hell's Drivers at the Family Values Restaurant includes the Devil's Scorecard, a Hell's Drivers brooch and more names on the wainscotting, including two people I knew. The first was the boss at my first job, at a fruit stand, and the second, his wife, who loved art. She was brutally murdered recently, over a few guns. Enamels on copper, acrylic and hand fabricated sterling silver with patinas. Under 4" in all directions.
Chaos at the Family Values Restaurant is the latest in the Devil's Table series. A Scoreboard, on both windows this time, can't seem to keep up with the murders. The windows themselves sport bullet holes, and the stool lies on its side: chaos abounds. The stool is also a wonky brooch. Enamels on copper, acrylic and hand fabricated sterling silver with patinas. Under 4" in all directions.
Bus for Glory echos my thoughts on the chaos at the southern border. The children were placed on buses to nowhere; what happened to them? The title references the gospel hymn, "This Train (is Bound for Glory)". Enamels on copper, mica, acrylic paint, fine silver leaf, patinas; 6" in each direction.
Bus for Gloryis included in the Adams County Arts Council's Annual Juried Members Show at Schmucker Gallery, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA, May 30-June 21
Homeland addresses my thoughts on the incarceration of children at the border as part of the Homeland Security Department’s take on immigration. The gate, with the word Homeland above it, references the Nazi Auschwitz gate with the words which translated to Work Makes Freedom. Inside the enclosure, and the open gate, the inmates march on a never ending track. Copper, torch fired enamels, silver, brass, patinas. 5.5”W x 2.75”H x 6”D