recreation

For Immediate Release:

recreation

Katie Simpson Spain’s MFA thesis exhibition.

Presented by The City College of New York, CUNY

March 18-22, 10-5.

Reception Wednesday March 20th, 6-8:30 pm

Meet & Greet, March 21 5-6 pm.

Compton-Goethals Gallery

The City College of New York

Compton-Goethals Hall, Room 134

160 Convent Ave.

New York, NY 10031

With a focus on different ways humanity navigates in and works with nature, this interactive installation combines recycled materials, fabrics, live plants, painting, sculpture and printmaking to create a strange situation involving outdoor activities. You are invited to experience this version of nature, recreations of natural environments and recreational activities, from the safety of Compton-Goethals Gallery.

This work is a reexamination of organized outdoor activities, exploring relationships people have with the natural environment. I am interested in the thin membranes of safety that lie between the natural world and organized modern life. Often humorous and culminating in installation or video, this work combines recycled materials, fabrics, live plants, painting, sculpture and printmaking. I re-create biological environments and the tools associated with them, like giant friendship bracelets or camping tools without function. These awkward works nudge at nostalgia of time spent in nature.

Events during the show also include:

Camp Craft Time: Monday March 18th, 1 pm (friendship bracelet and drawing party)

Short Talk/Meet and Greet: Thursday March 21st, 5 pm

Please be in touch if you’d like to schedule a tour of the exhibition.

Visit this blog for details about exhibition programing and behind the scenes information about the work: http://www.katiespain.wordpress.com

Compton-Goethals is located on the Southeast corner of W 140th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.   

Subways: 1 @ 137th St and A, C, B, D @ 145th St.  

When visiting CCNY please go to Cohen Library Archives Gallery to see an ink and acrylic drawing of mine in CCNY Women Make Art, an exhibition showcasing women artists affiliated with the City College of New York, in conjunction with International Women’s Day. The Archives Gallery is on the 5th floor of Cohen Library, in the NAC Building (Amsterdam and 136, on the north campus, close to Compton-Goethals Hall). Here is a campus map.

Also don’t miss my upcoming installation at DUMBO’s 111 Front Street, part of an awesome April group show curated by Risa Shoup of Brooklyn’s Invisible Dog.
 
Take good care!
Best,
Katie Simpson Spain
 
For more information about CCNY’s MFA Thesis Shows visit: http://mfaccny.blogspot.com/
crop postcard vista 2

sweet slight studio move-over!

hi there,

i guess it’s been a heck of a while since i last wrote! yikes!

but, yeah, the holiday conglomeration and the wonderfully dark solstice and family and wonderful visitors have distracted me. also food! it is distracting when people are making so much of it and such a big deal out of it! mmm food!

also i have been distracted by moving my studio over a tiny bit! well, maybe 20 feet? 25?

i’m still at the switchyard, thank goodness. but now i am on the wall with the train against it every so (sometimes very)  often. i am very happy to have moved, and am so super not done yet, but at least i have moved out of my lovely old space (so someone can move into it soon)!

i’ve put all of my finished paintings in the basement of my apartment complex. it’s stinky, damp, gross and not the best place for things of value, but at least they’re out of the way. otherwise, honestly, i’d paint over them. then what’d they show at my big retrospective in 20 years?

i am sooooo excited though, so excited! it’s going to be great! the studio is pretty much square – my old one was long and skinny. there is a ton of light, and i’ve got little zones for different work set up. the painting zone, the plastic bag crochet zone, the drawing/bookarts/printmaking zone, the building stuff zone, and even a little spiritual zone with an altar and a comfy chair.

well, it’s not done being set up though. it is close though!

i’ve been at the switchyard for over a year now. in a year people like me (i can be fondly referred to as “trashy” because i find things on the street that will hopefully be useful later and bring them back with me) can accumulate a lot of stuff. a lot. especially me, with this plastic bag crochet work, i have so many bags!

and i don’t want to thrown stuff away. there is so much that goes to waste in this world. i am an idealist. i want to use all of it. but that is not possible! so i have been recycling, throwing away what really can’t be used again, and compiling a large box of things to give away. and yes, in the spirit of making more more more i have thrown some of those bad pieces that i don’t like away. you’re too late. i tried to give them away and sell them for $5 (over and over again guys! you missed it.), but this whole hanging onto terrible things for too long has to end!

ha! more room to make more art finally!

so, this evening, at home, i’ve been tucked in with my headphones on. making plastic into yarn! i had to take a little break from the crochet, repetitive stress of the wrist, but i’m going to be more careful, and i’m super excited about a show i’ve got coming next year. until then i’ll have a few little gems of shows but i’m mostly planning to work and make revolutionary art, still.

wish me luck! i’ll update this sooner than later this time, with news and new goings on. and photos of the new studio space!

best,

katie simpson spain

10/25/09 Plastic Bag Drive at ‘Our Own Jungle’, Tyson Gallery

Hi!

I’m having a plastic bag drive and closing event for my show, Our Own Jungle, at the Tyson Gallery in Portland, Oregon. The address is a bit misleading, it’s 625 NW Everett (it’s part of the Everett Station Lofts), but the actual space is on the Broadway side. The address of the gallery itself is 116. You will find it, it’s on NW Broadway, between Everett and Flanders.

The gallery will be open on Sunday October 25th, from 3 pm to 6 pm, come on by! If you haven’t seen the installation yet, this is your last chance! I’ll be disassembling it right after the event!

If you haven’t heard about it already… I make these intricate and organic sculptures entirely out of recycled plastic grocery and other bags. I do all of this myself, mostly by crocheting. I do sew a bit, and bunch the plastic up too. They are very hard to describe. The sculptures are abstract, but based on plantlife and many other things. Each person who views them has a different experience and interpretation. I’ve also painted some of the walls.

Come see, if you can!

Also please bring me your used (not moldy please) plastic grocery bags! I really like the light brown ones (ie Freddies), and any bright color that you have! Any color at all, it doesn’t have to be bright. I’m really excited about different bag colors! Purple? Gold? Turquoise? Red? I will happily use them up! I am, however, not as excited about the white ones (ie Safeway) but I’ll take them off your hands for sure! I will turn them into art! Or I will take them to be recycled.

You will see some examples, and you may have already seen some! Here are a couple of photos of part of the installation. Come by to see more! Ge up close to these intensely complex gorgeous 100% recycled sculptures.

I hope to see you there!

Best,

Katie Simpson Spain

Our Own Jungle, 10/2009, fisheye Our Own Jungle, w/ Guardian detail

Portland Open Studios Day 3

Hi!

Today was pretty slow, but it was fun. I got a bunch of work done. I got to talk to some nice folks.

My favorite part was a highschool class (well, maybe 6 girls and a teacher) who kind of interviewed me. One girl filmed it! She said she’d put it on youtube or something. I was excited.

It was pouring for much of the day. That torrential portland randomness, it was sunny sometimes too.

Some people said our signs weren’t very good. That they had a hard time finding the studio. Sad! Next year the signage will have to be different, since apparently it is not ok with the city to have the kind of signs we do. Not that I will necessarily do this next year. It is not lucrative really. I haven’t made my entry fee back yet. I hope tomorrow will be a bit better. But today at least I made five more dollars than last sunday. So I got to buy soup for my sweetheart and myself!

I’m just tired. I’m not trying to complain. No days off, no weekends, it’s sleepymaking. This is a bad year for some of us just starting out in the artworld. No, I know, I’m not just starting out. But I’m not famous either. Not yet. And the stinky economy is stinky. And things have been tough. Portland has a really high unemployment rate. The pay rate is not high here and the prices of homes and such have been going up still. SO times are tough, I know, I know. For real.

But all in all this experience has been really good. I’ve really learned a lot, and met a lo of great people. And learned how to talk about my art in a really good way! How to kind of teach painting. How to teach the plastic bag yarn making/crochet too. I have taught both before, but not given short demos. The past 2 weeks I’ve learned how to explain the painting technique that I use. Oh! I made up a name earlier, but I can’t remember it anymore! Dang.

I’ll post it when I remember.

Tomorrow is the last day of Portland Open Studios! I am excited to be open to talk to people for one more stretch. It should be a blast!

If you have time, please come see me. My studio is going to be open from 10 to 5. I’ll be there, making art, and will be happy to talk to you about it. If you’d like more information please message me. I look forward to talking to you soon!

Also, if you are not free tomorrow, I am happy to set up a studio visit for you.

Thanks so much for reading.

Best,

Katie

Heart Beet

Hi,

I have been working on this sculpture, it’s about 20 inches tall and 5 inches across.

It’s called something like ‘heartbeet’, as it is much like a heart and a beet at once. It only intended to be a beet, then it got ventricles around it’s stem and branchy bits that look like aorta.

I’m pretty damn excited about it. I’ve been working on it for a while. Some of the bits are pretty time consuming. Tiny black flowers at the tips of the top of crochet red branchy things. These must be sewn on, it’s pretty delicate work, with a yarn needle and thin plastic bag strips. Looping and knotting to make a sepal area that cups the flower and pushes the plastic in just the right way.

So my fingers hurt some, although I did take yesterday off from this activity (which I tend to do for at least an hour a day, or until my fingers hurt a lot – up to 4 hours). It’s the eye of the yarn needle that gives the fingers trouble. Little sharp sides of the eye.

But I am itching to work on it again as soon as I can. I have work to do today, but later on I hope to get some time to make and attach some more flowers to the little root heart.

Wednesday night I will be hanging out with one of my oldest friends, Natalie, and working on it too… so I may have good news for you sooner than I’d expect.

I’ve included a photo. It’s hard to photograph using the camera on the computer, and is longer than it looks. And more complicated. I’ll put up a photo when I am done too.

Thanks for reading! I have to get a move on!

Best,

Katie

heartbeet - not the best photo, but it's in process.

crocheting plastic flowers

hello!
i am in love with crochet!
i have been working on these flowery things for the ends of the guardian sculptures.
they are like puffballs with crochet bases.
there are like 30odd of them in total, but i only have 7 1/2 left to finish. they are not big, but each takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 40 minutes to finish. i’m so excited to sew them onto the sculptures. i’ve been slowly sewing on a few at a time, so i’ll have 10 to do, then need to trim the sculpture and stuff some of it more – then i’ll post a photo.
These are made with 100% plastic grocery bags.
the whole sculpture is made from bags – from the collections of various people.
people are very generous and share their bags with me often. i cannot accumulate bags quickly. i get a few here and there when i forget my reusable bags or i get paper bags and reuse those for other things. but many people give me their bag collections – often colorful bags. i am blessed with a community that supports my sculptures!
oh! i was on the bus yesterday and saw a woman with a cute clutch that was plastic bags. lovely colors, blue, green and black.
very fine crochet too.
i am including a photo of the last sculpture like this that i made. it is as tall as me (i’m 5′ 3″) and as big around as my leg (not too skinny) and has lots of branchy bits. the new one i’m working on has red, orange and yellow flowers.
oh sweet and beautiful art.
the last one maybe took me 70 hours? it’s hard to divide up the time, as the bags into yarn thing is a separate day’s work (but can take from 3 to 6 hours depending on how much coffee i’ve had, if i have 100s of bags at once available, and if i am listening to ratatat or watching buffy the vampire slayer or metallica, or how hot it is {i use my arm to store the loops of plastic, so if there are a lot on there it’s rather difficult to be cool – temperature wise}). if the circumstances are stacked right i can get a lot done, but if i am not thoroughly distracted and it’s hot out it does take longer.
anyhow, that’s a bit about my process.
please remember that i am having a large installation in october, and you are invited!
thanks, have a great weekend.
kPhoto 51the guardian