Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"New Works" show

m. saffran  "palpable nothingness"  2014  color photograph  12" x 12"

m. saffran  "moment of momentous decision"  2014  color photograph  12" x 12"
Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden in Concord New Hampshire is hosting an exhibit called "New Works" a show that includes work from artists who attended the North Country Studio Workshops at Bennington College last winter.  
I received a Vermont Arts Council Artist Development Grant to attend a week long North Country workshop in paper engineering (handmade books)with the amazing Carol Barton.  
As you can see from the photos above, the pieces I have in the show are not books but two of my recent photographs from the Remembering Our Future Death series that just closed at Studio Place Arts.
The show runs April 7 - May 27, 2015 with an artist's reception Sunday May 3 at 4 - 6 pm.  I am hoping to be there.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

small works salon 2015 + image and text

Maud Morgan - Chandler Gallery - Boston

Three of my pieces are part of the Image and Text show in the Chandler Gallery at Maud Morgan Visual Arts Center in Boston.  The opening reception will be Sunday April 12,  3 to 5 pm and the show will run April 10 - May 15.

Made from the apron project scraps, found text and thread, my images were selected for inclusion by Boston artist, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons.  I have been a long time admirer of Campos-Pons work and feel honored to have been selected by her. In point of fact she was the reason I applied to the call in the first place. 

Campos-Pons use of autobiographic material and gift for visual story telling inspire me.  Her art points the viewer towards thoughts on identity and how it is shaped by individual as well as collective culture.  I also believe we may share an interest in the persistence of memory and how it defines us. 

Michelle Saffran  2013  "Gardening Without Soil"  8" x 11"  mixed media collage  $230 one of a kind

Michelle Saffran  2013  "Heavy Pressure"  8" x 11"  mixed media collage  $230
one of a kind

Michelle Saffran  2013  "Deep Down"  8" x 11"  mixed media collage  $230
one of a kind

Friday, March 6, 2015

pick up yesterdays Times Argus

There is a long and detailed article by Mary Gow in the Thursday March 5 Arts and Entertainment Guide of the Times Argus about all three SPA openings happening tomorrow night.  The article headline "Rock, Paper, Scissors" takes its name from the group show on the main level of the gallery.

Thank you Mary! 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Remembering Our Future Death OPENS SATURDAY

Remembering Our Future Death opens this Saturday, March 7 from 5 to 7 pm at Studio Place Arts.  I will be showing this group of photographs together for the first time.  Many of the pieces where made specifically for this solo show.  

There will also be a group show opening in the main floor gallery and another solo show opening on the third floor.  You will find me in the second floor gallery.

installing Remembering Our Future Death
Artist Statement:

Remembering Our Future Death brings together my current reflections on the subjects of memory and death. Earlier stages of my art practice treated these two subjects as discrete and separate from one another. I failed to see their connection, perhaps I wasn't ready.

The physics of non-linear time explains that all time, past, present and future exist simultaneously in the present moment. Applying this line of thought to memory leads me to the idea that memory may extend back to a time before this lifetime while at the same extend forward into future lives. This inquiry presupposes the existence of reincarnation.

Plato believed in a soul that guided the body away from hedonistic drives for pleasure and satisfaction of worldly needs toward a path of deeper knowledge and truth. He reasoned that because we have concepts of Ideal Forms (meaning ideas like God, Truth, Beauty and Reason) even before we personally experience them, our souls must have known them before we were born, otherwise we would not recognize the experience when encountered. Plato believed in an immortal and indestructible soul that passes through a continuous cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

Reading Plato began to pull my thoughts together. He wrote that before the soul is reborn it drinks from the river of Lethe, one of the rivers that flows through the Underworld of Hades. Translated from the Greek Lethe means oblivion, forgetfulness, concealment. Hades is the abode of the dead. Although memories are washed away prior to rebirth, the soul does enter its next incarnation with buried imprints of past knowledge. We spend each life trying to recall what we once knew. Memory is the context for this knowledge and knowledge is truth. I would like to take this one step further and suggest that memory is indestructible and immortal, transformative and mutable, but never too far from the truth of our identity. Memory is our soul.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

remembering our future death

saffran  "palpable nothingness"  13" x 13"  photograph  2015  price upon request

saffran  "a moment of momentous decision"  13" x 13"  photograph  2015  price upon request   
These two photographs, along with other new works, will be part of my solo show installation entitled "remembering our future death", second floor gallery at Studio Place Arts (SPA)   in Barre, Vermont: March 3 - April 4.

The opening reception will be Saturday, March 7:  5 - 7:00 pm a change from the original date.  There will be two other openings that night as well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Reimaging Femmage

Girls Don't Need Book Learning  will be part of  Reimaging Femmage at the Foundry Art Center in St. Charles Missouri February 20 - April 3, 2015.

Juror Lisa Melandri, the executive director of Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, selected works by women from all over the country whose art puts a contemporary face to the tradition of femmage.  

Femmage is a term invented by artists Miriam Shapiro and Melissa Meyer in the late 1970's to describe art made by women with methods historically assigned to women, such as sewing, cooking and applique.  Leader of the feminist art movement Shapiro, along with Judy Chicago co-founded the Feminist Art Program at California Institute of Arts.  

Shapiro was active in the fight to have work by women artists exhibited in museums that typically only showed art by men.  Associated with the women's rights movement for political, social and artistic parity with men, femmage became a call to action.  

I only wish that I could say that the efforts of our fore-mothers affected a substantial gain for women but, according to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, even though 51% of visual artists are women, only slightly more than 1/4 (28%) of them have been spotlighted with solo shows in museums.  A recent statistic. 

I am honored to be part of a show that keeps the conversation going and reminds us that all is not created equal.

michelle saffran  A Girl Don't Need Book Learning  photo-collage apron, approx 34" x 44" paper and mixed media  2012  $1,000
detail of recipe card placed in the apron pocket - found text and photograph

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Art of Place - Chandler Center for the Arts

Opening January 17, 2015, the Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph VT will host the Art of Place.  The show called for artist's depiction of location that was not necessarily based in a literal interpretation, but more the idea of place as a starting point for inspiration and source material.  Details about the show are at the bottom of this post.  I regret to say that I will be out of town for the opening but I do hope you will go and send me pictures!

Two of my pieces were selected for the show:

Michelle Saffran "Peter 1972 #2"  sewn photo-collage  37" x 39"  2015

Michelle Saffran  "20960 Mada Street"  sewn photo-collage  19" x 37"  2012
The show was a perfect fit for my interest in memory and its re-creation of the past.  For those of you who have been following my work you are already familiar with my thoughts on memory, experience and identity.  Below is the statement that I submitted with the work.

As we navigate the world our senses become entwined with the physicality of each environment we 

pass through. The co-mingling of kinesthetic experience with the reality of a place become stored in 

the mind and body as memory. Each experience of a place contains elements of the past, the present 

and the future, all within the same instant. I am interested in the photographic image as a means for 

collapsing and unifying discordant time and as a site for recollecting the experience of place, and 

how that becomes as an element of personal identity.

Central to the work is the necessity of altering the surface of the photographic print. Primarily this 

mark making has taken the form of thread on paper. The act of slicing, sewing and collaging 

photographs into a new image allows for the telling of a narrative that may recall an experience but 

represents it in a “not quite right” manner. An unsettling process that takes the familiar and throws it 

to chance; an uncanny disturbance between what is real and what is imagined. The denigration of 

the image takes a photograph of something known, an image that is traceable to a physical location, 

and rebuilds it into an unfamiliar scene that offers an indexical relationship to the real.

The source photographs for “20969 Mada Street” and “Peter 1972 #2” are snapshots that I took 

when I was a child, the former being of my grandmother's house and the later being a portrait of 

my brother.

Art of Place

January 17  6 - 9  opening reception with food, music and cash bar

January 18  11am moderated artist panel discussion 

March 8 show closes

Chandler Center for the Arts

71 - 73 Main Street, Randolph, VT  05060

Office phone:  728-9878

Gallery Hours

Fridays 3 - 5

Saturdays and Sundays  12 - 2