Looking through my studio files today I found myself looking at this work. This is where life started for me and it’s the place of my earliest memories: a neighborhood of row houses in Baltimore. My family lived there from the time I was born till I entered second grade.
For those who have not lived in row house cities — Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston or others throughout the country — the neighborhood may need some explanation. It is not a tenement or slum. It is not a fancy affluent neighborhood of Brownstones or Townhouses. It’s just a family neighborhood. Each block has six to eight houses with no space between them, and then there will be one “end house” that has a side yard and a little bigger back yard. All the houses have street parking out front, no garage, and a small fenced back yard with a gate leading to the alley. The alley is where kids ride bikes and play ball.
As I worked to capture memories of home in my artmaking this past year, recreating the feeling of a row house neighborhood in fabric seemed like a good fit. I had printed a number of fabric pieces with lively colors and patterns, and they spoke to me of the varied lives and stories inside each home. I also created photo transfers of actual windows onto muslin, and I liked the mix of the photographic reality with the printed fabric. I added the suggestion of leaves and trees.
Like the neighborhood itself – the whole work is one large unified structure. But it’s made of all kinds of pieces. Lots of lives. Lots of stories
THE CHAIR – Part II
I’ve done a little more on my chair project to be auctioned at an event in January. (Chair creations by local artists will be a fundraiser for public arts projects here in DeLand.) Today I started some structural fixes. The seat had been cracked and glued back together. Extra reinforcement seems like a good idea. So I’ve sanded the bottom, cut a piece of plywood to fit the bottom, and will glue and screw it in place. I will probably cover all this with felt. Next: Beginning the fabric printing of the upholstery.
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