Category Archives: Exhibits

Artist writes about herself

April is a month of exhibits for me. My solo show “Ephemeral and Enduring” at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center features my cloudscapes and landscapes. One of my cloudscapes — Cantata for Eventide — was accepted as part of the Indiana Artists Annual Exhibition at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

The dreaded artist statement

All of this exhibiting requires not only artwork, but also words. For the solo show, I needed to write an artist statement to explain why in the world I made these massive linocuts. As a rule, I find artist statements an exercise in hyperbole where the reader feels inadequate to even be viewing the artwork.

Five cloudscapes and landscapes from Ivy Tech John Waldron show.

Five of fifteen cloudscapes and landscapes create a peaceful, contemplative exhibit at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center.

(more…)

Share

My art delivery odyssey

Late summer is a time of letting go in the college town where I live. Parents drop off their students and have to walk away. They must trust that their children will eventually find their way by themselves. From experience, I know this is difficult to do — so much is unknown. It turns out that this experience is similar in showing my artwork.

Letting go of artwork

I have been invited to show work in two upcoming shows, located in Lafayette, IN and southwest Chicago. I loaded my RAV4 with three large works laying flat, and five small pieces tucked behind the front seats. I set off with a friend to begin delivering this work. Instead of speeding north, we were eventually detoured onto back country roads, where we spent an hour with intermittent cell service, snaking our way past orchards and through state forests. “What does this have to do with making art?” I thought to myself.

Processed with Snapseed.

Snaking through back roads and forests, trying to get to points north.

Delayed more than an hour, we finally drop off one piece and begin the longer part of the journey toward the Argonne National Lab outside of Chicago. Instead of the swift journey forecast by Google Maps, we experienced more delays… and trucks!

Processed with Snapseed.

We were always surrounded by trucks as we inched north and west of Chicago. What was I doing here? Why was I not home carving and printing?

After seven hours, we finally pull into the Argonne National Lab, and are greeted by large brick gates, lots of fencing, and a tiny visitor’s center. This is as far as I can go with my art. There is a small area to leave the artwork, which will be moved to the lab’s gallery later in the week.

Now I’m nervous. I have carefully transported my larger work flat, to avoid stress on the frame’s corners. All I can do now is prop them gently against a wall, and pin a note explaining how they need to be moved.

Processed with Snapseed.

Distant view of the Argonne National Lab. Was the gallery in this building?

Letting go and trusting the process

When I deliver artwork, I usually bring the work into the space and meet the people who will be installing the exhibit. Argonne National Labs is a collaboration between the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Energy so in retrospect it makes sense that we left the artwork outside the facility as we were not cleared by security nor escorted. My friend later suggested that the art would be inspected as well. Just as parents cannot find out information about their student’s classes, professors and grades, I must trust my artwork in the hands of others. Not an easy thing to do.

Processed with Snapseed.

Consolation often comes with sugar. It just does.

Dealing with loss and change

What do you do when you must let go? Empty nesting parents redecorate, or go on a much needed vacation. The accidents and congestion faded away for our return drive, and we were treated to Simpson’s clouds as we neared the Indiana line. A stop at the Albanese Candy Factory — home of the world’s best gummy bears — lifted our spirits and made the journey home a bit sweeter.

I hope to get back up to the Argonne National Lab to attend the opening. Like Parent’s Weekend this will be my opportunity to convince myself that the artwork is doing just fine without me.

Share

An Afternoon with Gustave

I took a break from my studio routine recently to visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s exhibit entitled Gustave Baumann: German Craftsman — American Artist. Baumann actually began his career printing the landscape right near where I live. He joined painter T.C. Steele in Brown County, Indiana carving and printing the hills, forests, fields and quaint rural buildings. Baumann’s relocations and travels truly informed his work — from the browns and oranges of a midwestern fall, to the blues and purples of the Pacific Ocean.

gustave baumann valle grande

Gustave Baumann (American, 1881-1971) Valle Grande, 1939. Color woodblock print, 12 3/4 x 12 3/4 in.

Each period in Baumann’s career was covered extensively in this exhibit. I was most drawn to some of his later work from the mountain west, where he uses brilliant greens, yellows and purples in dramatic ways. Baumann used multiple blocks to create his imagery, and the resulting color combinations are spectacular. It makes me wonder if I should use a few more blocks! (more…)

Share

My first museum label…an affirmation

In every person’s professional life there are milestones. For some it is a promotion, for others a large grant or publication in a prestigious journal. For still others it is simply making a profit. For me it was seeing my work installed in a public location, complete with museum tag.

First Intalled Art

Me posing with An Echo of Beginnings at the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center.

The Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center purchased my linocut An Echo of Beginnings, after my two-month show at the center in June and July of 2015. During a visit with my daughter to the annual Artisan Guilds of Bloomington (IN) show, I spotted my work, installed and professionally labeled.

First Museum Tag

A museum label accompanies my linocut at the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center.

I’ve made plenty of labels for my own work, but seeing my name, plus “American, 1967” — why that was what they put on the labels for real artists! A bit of emotion choked me as I read this. I am so thankful (on this Thanksgiving Day in the United States) that my work can be seen by lots of visitors at the Convention Center. I feel like I have arrived.

Share

Incomparable Wonder in Louisville

I ventured two hours south last Friday to bring my work to the Roberta Marx Gallery at the Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. I crossed snowy fields covered with a strange fog — even though the air temperature hovered around 10 degrees F. Other fields had rows of corn stubble peaking up, fodder for future prints.

 

The Roberta Marx Gallery at Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church.
Photo by Jill Baker

The atmosphere at the church felt much warmer, with modern architecture and a clear appreciation for the natural world. The late winter sun streamed in through a round skylight.

I titled this exhibit: Incomparable Wonder: The Intersection of Spirit, Science and Art. The idea of exhibiting in a place of worship appeals to me. In centuries past, places of worship used stone carvings and later stained glass windows to communicate important stories to the congregation. Today, everyone can read stories from sacred texts. Art can take on a whole new role of asking what we value today. In my mind, what could be more important
than considering our natural world – both its beauty and fragility?

My newest work finds a bright wall. Photo by Jill Baker.

I had intended to make a return trip to Louisville two day later to join the congregation for its service, and a pot-luck reception afterwards. I even baked my white cheddar cheese biscuits with sage. (Full disclosure, this is a Martha Stewart recipe, and I am happy to share it.)

Alas, even though I make work considering the forces of nature, I am still amazed when nature affects me directly. The morning of the reception dawned with seven inches of new snow outside our window and travel advisories issued for the counties we needed to cross. The threat of freezing rain later made even my Montana-born husband demur from making the trip.

Bubble images are brightly lit by the round skylight and late
winter’s sun. Photo by Jill Baker.

Thankfully my work was wonderfully introduced to the congregation by artist and member Jill Baker. I enjoyed hanging the work with Jill on Friday and hearing about her journey as an artist. Advice from successful artists is priceless. I was sorry to miss meeting the good people of Thomas Jefferson, but am glad that my work can have a home in their gallery for the month.

Time to head back to the studio for a new series…and to try to forget that the cheese biscuits are residing very close by in the basement freezer.

Share

First Time in the Hall

I live in Midwestern basketball country. Although there have been years when the home team Hoosiers have not been a formidable opponent, Assembly Hall is always an intimidating place. It is a relatively small arena, with seats that rise to ridiculous, gravity-defying heights. We’ve only ever attended pre-season games, and I can imagine how these college kids from much smaller schools must feel.  Excited, overwhelmed, surrounded, inadequate, humbled, inspired.

Just about to enter the 808 Gallery…

(more…)

Share

And the clouds revealed…

Elizabeth Busey. Hope Despite the Evidence.
Linoleum Reduction Print, 17 x 25in, 2013.

In the last post I related the saga of my ruining a block and having to start over. This print is the final result of a new block, new paper and many more hours of carving. On the previous block I carved away those crucial corn stalks that extend over the water. Without them, I don’t think your brain would have been able to make sense of things.

(more…)

Share

And now in the news…

One of my goals in expanding my etching press is that I want to be able to create larger images. Right now the widest print I can manage is about 20 inches high. My reasons for the need for size are two-fold. Because my work centers around patterns, the more room the pattern has to repeat, the more effective the print.

Elizabeth Busey, Vernal Paradox. Linoleum Reduction Print, 14 x 28in, 2012.

But I also want to create larger art for larger walls — specifically walls that might be in hospitals, medical centers and places of healing. Being sick is such a tremendously stressful event in a person’s life, and researchers have found that a stimulating, nurturing aesthetic environment can be helpful in the healing process.

I recently had a show in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan Health System in their Gifts of Art program. I had the pleasure of having my art reviewed by Angela Son of Art Animal. Read the entire article here:

http://www.artanimalmag.com/feauture-elizabeth-busey/

I am off to the metal shop to work on the second roller. My goal is to have the press finished by New Year’s Day – and plan a press party for the New Year.

Share

Pay attention to the writing on the wall

Education and careers have become hot topics in my house. I always thought that I would have a profession where my efforts would be beneficial to others. Before my jump into artistic pursuits, I earned a Masters in Public Administration and worked for non-profits. I wrote grants and raised money, but I didn’t feel a connection with the people I was helping.
Fast forward to today. I treat my art-making as work, but there is still the thrill of discovery or the ahhh! when a print comes out even better than I expected. For the many times I endure the drudgery of framing, the exhilaration I feel when seeing my work fill a gallery is tremendous. It also feels a bit selfish. So I am always looking for ways to share my fascination with art by involving other people. Luckily I have a group of people from First United Church in Bloomington, Indiana who indulge me in my projects and participate with gusto.
Important words were shared by many members and friends of First United Church Bloomington.
We had a memorial service this spring for a nonagenarian man, who was much beloved in our church and community. During the service, three of his grandchildren read passages from authors and thinkers that he had chosen for the event. I was struck by what a gift this is – sharing meaningful ideas with others. I thought that other people might have other words to share. So I asked the congregation to send me their most meaningful words, whether from others or from themselves.

(more…)

Share

Wonderfully Made at the Waldron

This December I have had the privilege of exhibiting my work at the IVY Tech John Waldron Arts Center’s main gallery in Bloomington, Indiana.  I displayed my work according to the organizing principle of pattern.  One area was for spirals, another for branching, and another for cells.  Everyone has their own reasoning about why the natural world develops with such beauty, complexity and interrelatedness.  No matter whether the explanation is spiritual or scientific – either way, the world is “wonderfully made”.

(more…)

Share