The focus of my Artist Talk at BoxoPROJECTS Artist Residency was the process of creating the first artwork series to interpret the stories of the 23 African American homesteaders in Lanfair Valley in the early 20th century. My challenge: create an artwork series that conveys the homesteaders’ stories while remaining true to my own oeuvre. There were lots of trials and errors – from numerous preliminary sketches to determining the media to sourcing and then experimenting with the support materials.
During the first week of the residency I prepared 5 of the 23 artworks that will comprise the final exhibit. I haven’t used a sewing machine in a very long time, but with my new computerized Singer heavy duty sewing machine (specifically acquired for this project) I created hems at the top and the bottom of raw linen panels to hold dowel rods.
Using blue and orange electrical tape on the floor of the gallery space I recreated a detail of the Lanfair Valley tract map where these homesteaders settled. Each numbered section represents the individual homestead plots in their self-named town, Dunbar.
Bernard Leibov, Director BoxoPROJECTS, continued to provide advice and guidance, this time during the installation process. Braided silk cord was attached to the dowels to facilitate the installation.
And a big thank you to all of the people who joined us for the Opening and the Artist Talk and the open studio last weekend. Your input and insightful inquiries during the question and answer session are an important element of my creative process.
Final Open Studio:
Saturday, November 13, 1-5 p.m.
Sunday, November 14, 1-4 p.m.
BoxoPROJECTS Artist Residency
62732 Sullivan Road
Joshua Tree, CA 92252