Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Amazons: A Celebration of Archetypal and Actual Women

I'm actually writing a blog post! Are you amazed?

Recently I finished a series of mixed media pieces that have been in the works for, literally, years, so I wanted to share them with you!

The Amazons: A Celebration of Archetypal and Actual Women

 Feminist female heroines mean the world to me. Without them in my life (actual or mythical), I would not be the person I am today. This series is a celebration of female power. I call it “The Amazons” because my basic idea when I began the project many moons ago, was to create breastplates of different women and incorporate them into pieces of art. The Amazons, wild warrior women of legend, seemed a perfect touchstone for the idea. It took several years for the concept to germinate within me, but I am pleased to have finally breathed life into them. I hope you enjoy them as well.

A Brief Visual History of the Legendary Golden Micro-Mechanicon
Fashion-Function Corporeal Enhancements
(sorry this isn't a great picture)

This is probably one of the most esoteric of the pieces. It’s also the first one I made. The idea behind it is an alternate reality in which Ada Lovelace, who created the first computer language in the 1800s, leaves her husband and children in England (something she dreamed of doing in order to dedicate herself to her work), and moves to America, taking up a young lover. After her death, her one-time lover meets up with Nikola Tesla, who uses her notes to create the first “robots,” which he programs to reproduce themselves at a smaller scale, as those smaller robots also are programmed to do, eventually creating nanobot-like machines. The nanobots could then be embedded in malleable gold and worn by people and placed in specific locations, creating interactive experiences of all sorts.

This is a tribute to the brilliant women of the past who were not allowed to thrive because of cultural limitations, and to all the things they might have been/created had those limitations been released.


This piece is inspired by the tale of Mulan, as recounted by Maxine Hong Kingston in The Woman Warrior, a book that I read as a young teen that deeply impacted me. In Kingston’s version, Mulan rallies an army of commoners to dethrone the emperor who has lost all compassion for his people. She marries, bears a child, and sends it away to be cared for in the midst of her many battles, never putting down her sword for a single fight. This is my meditation on the way a woman’s heart can bleed for her home, family, and country, leading her to make mighty changes, righting wrongs and changing the system, and the sacrifices made along the way.


In honor of Joan of Arc, a childhood hero, this piece celebrates women who listen to their deep spiritual wisdom and inner knowing. Although Joan was a peasant without any education, she changed the fate of two nations because of her bravery, passion, and her willingness to listen to her inner voice of wisdom. Like Mulan, Joan was also a literal warrior, with physical intrepidness to match her fierce spirituality. This piece celebrates the women who, like Joan, and moder n day artist Nike Okundaye (a Nigerian artist who has had no formal education but has given talks world-wide and opened her own art center) have changed and are changing the world we live in, because of their inner light.

The Continuing Transformation Journey of Darcy B. 

This piece is the only commissioned one of the group. It is also the only one with two chest pieces – one was made about years before the other – so that it is both a literal and figurative celebration of Darcy’s transformative journey. Throughout our friendship, I’ve witnessed dramatic shifts in Darcy’s inner and outer life, as she has claimed her personal, spiritual power. She is an artist, healer, feminist, and self-made woman who embraces who she is an a beautiful way that I attempted to capture here. The Buddhist hand and lotus is in honor of the way her spiritual journey began at the local Rime Buddhist Center, and the dragon is a symbol of her past-life and inner wisdom emerging. She is a beautiful role model to both myself and others, and I am grateful to call her my friend.

Water Warrior 

This piece is also fairly esoteric, celebrating Mother Earth, as she is mostly made of water, as well as the mythical mermaids that protect the seas. As a victim of childhood sexual assault, mermaids capture my imagination for many reasons, but especially because of the way they are said to be deadly to men and also are literally not physically capable of being raped. We need women to stand up for our planet and for themselves, so that neither are being treated in a toxic manner. I can think of no better symbol for that than the mermaid. Each of the words on this piece are a term for mermaid from cultures around the world, symbolizing that we are all parts of each other in both the dream-world and in our physical world.

And that's my Amazons! What do you think of them?

Related posts:
Exhibit Pics: Bits and Bobs
Event Pics: 2014 Chalk Walk Festival
Event Pics: The Art of Discovery

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Exhibit Pics: Bits and Bobs

Hello again! I'm finally back to post pictures from the Bits and Bobs steampunk exhibit opening. (I swear, once I have internet at home again I'll be a better blogger.)

My mom, Henry and I left NKC at 7 a.m., but still managed to miss the storytime at the library. (It was a loooong drive!) But we saw a fencing demonstration that cracked Henry up, and the exhibit itself was absolutely astounding. We also met a member of the world's largest owl species!

 The only picture Henry held still for the entire time.

 Posing with one of Kat Kaufman's creations!

 Fencing demo

 You can see the shiny new goggle strap I sewed onto my goggles!

What the bottom half of my outfit looked like. I was an airship pirate!

 Henry didn't hold still for this picture....

 ..or this one.

Thanks to Kat Kaufman for organizing another wonderful steampunk exhibit!

If you missed the exhibit, you can see GREAT images of the entire thing on Facebook. You should really take a look, because I barely took pictures and there are lots of great pieces on display! Like my mixed media piece which I didn't manage to get a good photo of...and so many more!

Related posts:
"The Art of Discovery" at Johnson County Library (Event Pics)
Steampunk Art Exhibit Opening Reception (Event Pics)
Sewing for a Steampunk Soiree

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bits and Bobs: A Steampunk Exhibit Opens This Saturday!

I had great intentions of posting about this sooner, but clearly that didn't happen.

Regardless, Bits and Bobs: A Steampunk Exhibit will be opening up this Saturday (7/18) at Mustard Seed (214 N Main St.) in Buhler, Kansas. I have the honor of being one of the many artists whose work will be on display. In addition to a visual piece, I'll also have a steampunk/sci-fi story I wrote on display, which I'm excited to share.

Cover I designed for my story,
based on the original cover design from
when I gave the story to Matt for his birthday
earlier this year

For those of you who aren't on Facebook, here is the event info:

The art will be on display from July 18 through October 17th

Opening ceremonies will be on July 18. We will have live music, fencing demos, a tea tasting, a fundraiser, and of course art. Also, we will have Roger Toliver Photography at the event, photographing you holding a rare Eurasian Eagle Owl! We will have a library kids' story time and a workshop, sales at local vendors, and more.

Artists and presenters include: Beverly Holman, mixed media sculpture; Ruth Cohen, fiber art – crochet; Jenna Tomlin, copper artist; Katie Kaufman, costumer and jeweler; Bob Spangler, mixed media prop maker; Mikael Clear, costumer and prop maker; Pake McNally, metalsmith; Anney Day, accessories; Ana Heaton, illustrator; Julia Deniss, jeweler; Dusty Howlett, hand made pens; Brandon Schnur, ceramist; Gary Pendergrass, mixed media sculpture; May Evans, painter and author; Bill Knechtal, photographer; Tom Krekow, photographer; Mark Wickersham, fencing demonstrator; Denise Donnelly, tea maker; plus musical guests A Ship Called Revenge!

I will be at the opening from 11 am until whenever Henry gets overstimulated, and I'll be wearing my most risque Steampunk costume ever, so that will be fun. See you there!

Related posts:
"The Art of Discovery" at Johnson County Library (Event Pics)
Steampunk Art Exhibit Opening Reception (Event Pics)
Sewing for a Steampunk Soiree
Steampunk Magazine Cranks My Cogs
2 Steampunk Web Comics You Should Read

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ask the Oracle / The Skin that Binds Us / Maker Faire KC (Event Pics)

Well, I'm finally getting around to posting again!

Since the pastels I used on my arms for the last Oracle performance got all rubbed off, I painted my arms for my latest performance. It was fun, but people kept wanting to take away my oracle cards, so I think next time I will have making little personal take-aways a part of the experience. I don't quite feel like I've gotten it quite right yet, so I'll keep tweaking. Right now I'm still in brainstorm mode for how I want to do it next time, so I'm not sure when it will be ready.

Self-painting before the costume went on

At the gallery

 Betsy making final touches!

Betsy's artwork was amazing as always! 
I loved seeing her smaller pieces and the spooky skulls too!

This past weekend was Maker Faire Kansas City, and I helped at the Create Your Own Reality table with Darcy. We invited people to make Artist Trading Cards (to take with them or trade for ones others had left behind) and to add to our Creating Reality tree (by writing what they want to grow in their lives on a piece of fabric and tying it to the tree). I had a great time and was especially excited to meet and observe a woman making prophetic art for people as it's very similar to what I'm attempting to do with my "Ask the Oracle" performance!

 Fun with Jesus-themed packing tape!
 With Create Your Own Reality founder, Darcy, at the Creating Reality Tree
 Our messy craft table :)
Artist Trading Cards I made.

Related posts:
Ask the Oracle @ the Pop-Up Gallery (Event Pics)
Starry Night Performance Art, Sweet Love Performance Art

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"Ask the Oracle" at Grimm & Barrett Art Gallery this Friday!

If you'd like to experience my performance art with a psychic twist, I'll be at the Grimm and Barrett Art Gallery (3915 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri 64111) this First Friday, performing "Ask the Oracle" from approximately 7-9 PM.

"The Skin That Binds Us," an exhibit of new, large-scale paintings from local artist Betsy Barrett will also be on display. "Using the imagery of conjoined twins as a metaphor for self, and the dualities found in all of us. Barratt depicts the internal conflicts of the psyche, to overcome, embrace, and let go, aspects of the self less desired." (Source)

Live bands will be performing and light refreshments will be provided, and the gallery will be open until midnight. Find out more details on the Facebook event page

You can check out images of my previous "Ask the Oracle" performance here. (This Friday's will be similar, but a bit different.)

 Related posts:
"Ask the Oracle" at the Pop Up Gallery
"Swarm" A Collaborative Performance (with Betsy Barrett, et al.)
"Our Lady of Perpetual Beginnings" at the Slap-N-Tickle
Starry Night (Performance Pics)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ask the Oracle @ the Pop Up Art Gallery (Event Pics)

Here are some pictures from the "Ask the Oracle" performance I did earlier this month. I had a lot of fun and plan to have a repeat performance of it at another location for next First Friday. Stay tuned :)

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Pop Up Gallery! And a special thanks for those who were brave enough to ask a question of the oracle ;)

Related posts:
Our Lady of Perpetual Beginnings at the Slap-N-Tickle
My Part in the HyperKewl Relics Project
Swarm: A Collaborative Performance (Event Pics & Videos)
Starry Night! (Performance Pics)
Event Pics: SlutWalk / Chalk Drawing Demo

Friday, May 1, 2015

"Ask the Oracle" Performance at the Pop Up Gallery TONIGHT!

Nothing like last-minute news, huh?

Tonight I'll be performing as an oracle at the Pop-Up Gallery (2100 Grand Blvd.) as part of the activities going on for First Friday. Plus, for those of you who didn't see my exhibit there last month, there's have another chance to look at it!

The Pop Up Gallery is open tonight from 5-11 PM. I will be doing "Ask the Oracle" from 8-10. The Pop Up will feature over 10 artists and several live performers. From their event listing:

*10+ local emerging and established artists showcasing original artwork throughout 6,500 square feet of gallery & event space.

*Live Music by NICKI SCRUGGS (vocals & instruments) exciting, emerging locally based singer/songwriter, and former American Idol contestant showcasing

*Live African Drumming with ZANZIBAR emerging local world music ensemble showcasing Djembe & Dunun traditions of the Malinké people.

*Live acoustic set by Jasper Alford of The Leisure Boys, a group based out of Minnesota!

*Live Poetry by KAI ZEN Kansas City based emerging poet/songwriter :)

Art Raffles! Contests! Games! win art! win prizes! just win!
Artists Include:
Cyan Townley (mixed medium) exciting young artist, presenting recent work as part of a senior showcase

D'Antoinette Yancey (fiber arts/photography) established local photographer and artist, highlighting exciting creative approaches to fiber and photography

Jeff Watson & Jeremy Cole (mixed media/collage) two locally based emerging artists, showcasing their exciting 'DRAWN IN' approach to what is art!

Nancy Bovee (ceramics) established local artist & mentor, presenting a series of exciting ceramic artwork

Albane Ruiz-Campagne (photography) local emerging international photographer, presenting photography highlighting work from around the world

Mitch Stroup (photography) emerging commercial photographer, showcasing work on metal and other mediums

 Jim Sawyer (painting) late artist, with a passion for pop culture and celebrity

Phil Meyer (acrylic on plastic) emerging KC based artist, showcasing a signature process, inspired by his artist father

Mark FitzSimmons (abstract painting) American war veteran showcasing his approach to expression and experience

Sterling White (pencil, mixed media) talented emerging KC based teaching artist showcasing inspired mixed media and found object work
Here's a sneak peek at my costuming:

Hope to see you tonight!

Related posts:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Come See Me at 1st Friday with Tibetan Monks

"Mulan" (mixed media, 2015)

You read that right, folks, I'm going to be out at this next First Friday (1/3/15) at the Pop Up Gallery (2100 Grand Boulevard) for "A Spiritual Awakening," an arts and culture event with local artists, live music, refreshments, and Tibetan monks who will be creating a sand mandala, chanting, selling hand-made items and more. This is the Facebook event page with additional information.

I will be showing my latest mixed media piece ("Mulan," pictured above), a collaborative painting that Henry and I made together, some older pieces, and also some doodles. Since I haven't done an art event in a while, I'm quite excited. Moreso because I love when the monks visit!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Yes, I've Been Gone, Sorry About That...

Hi Everyone! Sorry I've been MIA for so long. We suddenly didn't have internet at home any more and haven't for a while - except on my phone which doesn't like blogger. Anyhoo, I'm still mucking about and plan to be back blogging regularly at some point but I'm not sure when. We're trying to move and stuff...Until then, hope you're enjoying the possibilities of this new year!