Since moving to Durham, NC, I've joined two Artist / Mother groups - one a global network and second, a local, in person group based in the Triangle. It's been a boon of education, support and collaboration. I've done everything from getting involved in a professional development course, called Wearing All the Hats, to participating in a one-month Virtual Artist Mother Residency during February all through the Artist/Mother Network (both an online community, as well as a podcast). Now, the local group has gotten together to participate in a group show that is part of a global initiative of women artists taking up space (developed through the collaboration of the Artist Mother Network and the Thrive Artist Network.
Opening on Friday, May 6th, from 6 - 8pm, at the Pocket Gallery in Raleigh, NC, and running through the month of May, Taking Up Space includes a group of eight women artists living around the Triangle, specifically in Durham, Hillsborough, and Raleigh. The Pocket Gallery is the working studio and and gallery of artist/owner, Caitlin Cary, who is showing us and exhibiting with us in her space. We are just one of 80 shows that will be hosted globally!
Featured artists include: Caitlin Cary - Jean Gray Mohs - Natalia Torres del Valle - Kelly Sheppherd Murray - Susan Martin - Joanna Moody - Jennie Traill Schaeffer - Shanny Kohli
The work women artists create is important and deserves to be seen by our communities. “13.7% of living artists represented by galleries in Europe and North America are women,” according to Julia Halperin of artnet News in “The 4 Glass Ceilings: How Women Artists Get Stiffed at Every Stage of their Careers," cited by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. This all-inclusive exhibition is the beginning of a yearly invitation for female-identifying artists to exhibit work and invite our communities to view important contemporary art made by living working women artists. This is the beginning of a large community project to bring women artists into conversation with each other.
LEARN MORE about the show here.
Works possibly included by Jennie Traill Schaeffer. You can learn more about these works on Jennie's Instagram feed. AND, follow #TAKINGUPSPACE2022 on Instagram.
Get a Sneak Peak of my New Studio
On Friday, 4/22/22 at noon, I'll be offering an intimate tour of my new studio in Durham, NC, on Zoom. This has been a work of love, that has been in progress since July of 2021, after we moved from NJ. This room has faced a lot of challenges since we bought the home remotely, gasp, in 2021. I know - crazy, right? It was the only way in the current real estate market in the Triangle.
Anyway, the back story: we bought the house with the 3rd floor finished, however we learned just a day prior to closing that permits had never been taken out on the work. We were told if we wanted to resell the house based on the square footage we were buying, we would need to permit the space. That meant we might need to tear down all of the drywall and redo rough inspections of electrical and HVAC. This was beyond a headache, but fortunately we found an amazing electrician who was able to work within reason with the building inspector and get access points to the electrical without tearing down the drywall. He did find some problems which he corrected.
We then learned through our HVAC professional that the room had been shared with the 2nd floor zone and to be up to code, needed to be on it's own zone. Given the labyrinth of ductwork that was done, they felt it best to take the 3rd floor off the 2nd floor zone, and install a mini-split system. Geez!
Once all of that work was done, we finally embarked on removing the wall to wall carpeting. My handyman pulled out the rug - which was a huge help in getting us over the overwhelm of starting the project. Next, my husband learned how to build a floating wall - by sinking 2 x 4s into the floor joists below. Then sometime in January, we started laying the vinyl plank flooring I took some time to source and purchase. Finally in March I embarked on a Facebook Marketplace hunt for specific pieces that I needed to store everything I still had boxed from NJ. I found four really good finds - I'll point them out on the tour.
We are close to finish - the floating wall needs drywall, spackel and paint, and we need to finish installing finishing trim around 1/3 of the room. Then, I'm thinking about repainting a wall or two - that might come later . . . we'll see!
If you have some time at noon, EST, on Friday, RSVP below to get an invite for the Zoom. Who knows, I might even have some art hanging! PS - I can also tell you about an upcoming exhibit, part of the #TakingUpSpace2022 initiative, with the Artist Mothers Triangle area below, opening in Raleigh, NC, next month.
I had the delight a few weeks ago to spend a long overdue day with my mom, without my kids! We had planned for her birthday to take a trip into the city and visit a museum. My mom lives in Easton, PA, so getting her to my place then into the city is not an easy endeavor. We were determined to do it.
Sadly, the day we picked ended up correlating with my car in need of a new set of tires. This in and of itself shouldn't be a problem. After looking at our schedules, my husband offered to take my car, plus the kids, the morning of my day with my mom, to Costco to have them replaced. Great, I thought! It was one of the only days that we thought we might fit it in, and I can still spend the day with my mom in NYC.
As my mom arrived to our house, my husband texted me: the wait at Costco was 3 hours long! Can you imagine trying to sit there with a toddler and 6-year old? That was the end of my trip to the city. I drove out to Costco to free my husband. Upon my return and the realization that it was almost lunchtime, my mom and I decided to stay instead in NJ.
I was bummed at first, but it turned out to be a perfect day. We ended up in Summit because of a potter that my mom had seen at the Maplewood Art Walk. Her wares were available at MONDO and she couldn't get a particular berry bowl by Laura Hanley out of her head. So we made that our destination and ended up having a delicious lunch down the street at FOOD. We shared a fresh salad and a savory grilled brie and fig sandwich, with a side of sweet potato fries. Loved the food at FOOD, the atmosphere, and delighted that we were given time to enjoy.
After our lunch we stumbled into the Papery, not a short visit for two artistic types. We walked out with papers and gifts, after exploring every nook and cranny.
We were about out of steam, but I really wanted to fit in some art before the day ended. So we drove over to the Visual Arts Center of NJ. I love that place! My work has been included in two of their past International Juried Shows, I've demonstrated materials there on behalf of Jerry's Artist Outlet and Pebeo, and I've attended some of their panel discussions. Sadly, I don't get there very often, but this trip was well-worth it.
So many exhibits and works to take in! These are gems! First, we encountered the stacked concentric rings of marble, stone, topped with brass horn-like fittings of artist, Don Porcaro's "Talisman Series" in the Sculpture Park. Then we walked through the ceramics studio to see the main exhibit titled, Adhere, which explores works by artists using glues, tapes, and other "sticky" media in unconventional ways to create. After walking down the hallway by the tape installation of grocery store shoppers by Tirtzah Bassel, we encountered the intricate cut-paper collages by Casey Ruble which upon further exploration are more than what meets the eye as they document former "Underground Railroad safe houses, and places where race riots have broken out" around NJ. Lastly, we stopped by the 2nd floor exhibit, featuring the works by VACNJ teaching artist, Anne Kullaf. While we weren't there long, each of the exhibits have left a significant impression on me, whether it be as inspiration for future lessons or how to explore my own work in a different way.
As an artist, I know it is important to get out and see art that is not your own. As a mother of young kids, who is also trying to maintain a studio, getting out is not always easy. This day was important both for the time with my mom, and for the time in front of other artists' art.
If you'd like to visit the Visual Arts Center of NJ, the exhibits I viewed are up through January 17th. It's well-worth the trip, as are the food and ephemera.
My head is swimming with thoughts: reactions to things I've read, ideas for paintings, stuff to do. I have a legal pad for my lists, a separate notebook for personal lists, a sketchbook for art ideas. My trouble is, my studio is on my 3rd floor, my kitchen (where I spend time when I'm not in my studio) is on the 1st floor. Then there are the times I'm away from the house running around getting kids.
I can't seem to get a system going for jotting down everything and keeping track. Something always gets lost. I don't know if this is an isolated problem of being an artist working at home, or it is compounded by the juggling of my time caring for kids and being creative.
I recently saw a blog post from the Carnegie Museum of Art, about artist, Lenka Clayton's attic studio. She happens to also be a mother and began the Artist's Residency in Motherhood in 2012 after having her first child. In the blog post, she shares a clever tool for keeping track of ideas: using a receipt spike. I think this is quite novel, but doesn't solve my problem of when I'm in another room, or out of the house and lightning strikes.
I do have an iPad and iPhone and occasionally use my reminders / note pad, but I find that the act of physically writing an idea down makes it more important and memorable. So, if you're an artist working from home, or an artist / mom, share your ideas about how you keep your thoughts organized.
I created a Pinterest board to start sharing our #CreativeIdeaManagement tools. Let's connect and discover what works for each other. Hopefully in the meantime I'll uncover my sketchbook!
Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Sometimes called the Kitchen God's Artist, I'm balancing mothering two energetic sons, our new pup, Cider, while making and teaching art. TraillWorks is the apron under which I create and teach. My own art develops mostly in my home studio, but is often spurred through my teaching, and travels. I just relocated to Durham, NC, from West Orange, NJ, so my studio is in renovation right now.
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Want to read more from the past? Click here to read archived blog posts from my previous blog on Blogger.