Thursday, August 25, 2011

August Art Night

I was ably assisted by my daughter Signy (R) and many others.
August Art Night came together very quickly. Sometimes things don't have to be protracted ordeals!

This quickly-assembled but quite successful little show was a display of work by local and regional artists, sponsored August 13, 2011 by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (KaCSFFS).

Five artists graciously agreed to join me on short notice for the display at The Writers Place in Kansas City. Two (Oklahoma City jeweler/author Bev Hale, and former Kansas Citian Lucy A. Synk) could not be there in person, so I set up their displays and made sales for them.

Jewelry tables were by the door: Bev Hale (L) and Signy Gephardt (R).
Besides me, the other local artists in the display were Allison Stein and Rachael Mayo, who displayed work on art show panels; and Signy Gephardt, who filled a jewelry table.

L-R, here is the work of Allison Stein, Jan Sherrell Gephardt, Lucy A. Synk, and Rachael Mayo.
If you read this blog regularly you already know quite a lot about my artwork, but I'd like to spotlight the other artists whose work made this show such fun to look at and such a success. And by success, I mean every single exhibitor sold at least one piece, even though we didn't have more than 25-30 people at the meeting where the display was held. Thanks, KaCSFFS, for supporting this show!

Hale's Avatar 3
Our two jewelers were Bev Hale and Signy Gephardt.

Bev makes pins, earrings, pendants, hair spikes, snoods, bracelets/bracers, hatbands, and medals with a Steampunk look and feel. She also includes a strong theme of time travel in her "Otherwhere" and "Otherwhen" series. As I understand it, these pieces include an image of another place and/or time, to which the wearer can "escape" if needed. Her 3-D work coordinates with her writing, much of which has been published by Yard Dog Press.

Three sets of wire-wrapped Swirl earrings (L) by Signy Gephardt, and her Swirls of Time pin (R).
Signy has been a master of wire wraps for some time, but recently has branched out into Steampunk, as well. She studied jewelry-making with Chuck Crawford at Shawnee Mission East High School, and several artisans at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. She normally uses sterling silver, copper, or occasionally brass, along with lampwork glass, crystal, or semi-precious stones. In her recent Steampunk work she has used gears, charms, and watch-parts.

Stein's Bad Boys gives a glimpse of her humor.
Allison Stein describes herself as "an artist and author with a dark Southern streak, in whom random cuteness runs very deep." I would strongly recommend you take some time looking through her website for a more full idea of her oeuvre and many talents--but the random cuteness was prominently on display for August Art Night.

Adept in several styles, Stein's most accessible artwork probably is her collection of watercolors and prints (available via Etsy) in which a breezy cartoon style and wicked sense of humor give her fantasy images considerable appeal.

For August Art Night, I also owe Allison an especially big thank-you for sharing her nifty little folding tables with Rachael Mayo and Lucy A. Synk.

Mayo's Jazzdragon incorporates many favorite themes.
I've been a fan of Rachael Mayo's for quite some time, and it seems to me that she just keeps getting better and more inventive.

Her bold designs, intricate detail, and command of color and pattern focus mainly on dragons, but she's not shy about tackling other challenging fantasy beasts; for example, I own a Hydra of hers that's really lovely (in a snakey sort of way).

The artwork she brought to August Art Night reflected a new trend in her work: going 3-D. She isn't making paper sculpture of the sort I do, but rather adding richness and fascinating detail by layering her images and adding jewels, trim, and other elements.

Synk's Oriental Delight was one of a series of fantasy still-lifes.
Lucy A. Synk's work once was well-known throughout the world of sf convention art shows, though she shows her work in them less often now. A gifted painter who also holds a BFA in photography, Lucy has always supported herself via her artwork. When I first met her, she was painting mainly in oils, and had just left Hallmark Cards to begin a successful decade as a freelancer creating originals, prints, and book covers. She lived in Kansas City during that time.

In the 1990s she moved into painting murals (in acrylics, with an airbrush--a total change for her, but she made it look easy), for natural history museum displays. Most recently, she has begun to explore the world of computer animation. She currently lives in Champaign, IL.

Before I close, I'd also like to acknowledge Diana J. Bailey, Director/President of KaCSFFS, who first had the idea to sponsor an art display at the meeting; Cindy Norton, who volunteered her truck to haul art show panels, lights, etc. to the meeting; and Tracy Majkol, who hauled art show panels in and out of The Writers Place, took pictures (and allowed me to post them!), and also bought some of the artwork!

Many, many thanks to Tracy Majkol, for the photo of Signy and me, as well as the two images of the display, and Signy's Swirls of Time pin, which is now in his private collection. He gave me permission to post them on blogs with acknowledgement (and there it is, Tracy! Thanks again!) 
The photo of Signy's series of Swirls earrings was taken by Ty Gephardt, and is used with his permission.
Allison Stein, Bev Hale, Rachael Mayo, and Lucy A. Synk each provided the images of their artwork that I used with their short biographical sketches. Many thanks to all of them!

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