My bead jewelry is on display at Amapola Gallery, an artists’ co-cop in Old Town Albuquerque. In an artists’ cooperative gallery, we take turns with everything, and I’ve become more familiar with the power of working together. For example, here are four ways in which I participate:
- We rotate displays on a schedule called curating. Every three months it’s time to move and every piece in the Gallery is moved or changed, giving fresh perspective to the entire operation
- We work two days out of every five or six weeks. It’s a commitment and we each schedule our days when the calendar opens, working with one of the other member artists
- We each take on a job in addition to our work days so that the work of the Gallery is completed. For the second year, I’m serving as Communications Manager for the Gallery
- We take turns fulfilling the schedule for Featured Artists; once every year or so, our work is given premier status and we’re honored with publicity in ArtsCrawl. This year, my year starts in February.
When I realized my Featured Artist commitment for 2016 was in February, I got moving!
Along with four other jewelers, two of whom are bead jewelry artists, I’m part of the Featured Artist show for the month. Sweet! It’s a perfect complement for Valentine’s Day.
In conjunction with Sweetheart Stroll in Old Town Sunday, February 14, 2016 my display will feature some of my new work including these handmade beaded greeting cards.
In preparation for this month’s show, I staged three Ice Resin dates because no jeweler at Amapola Gallery displays resin as part of their collection. My Ice Resin earrings look unusual as microbeads, glitter glass and found objects artfully compile into resin settings.
The resin draws attention to the objects, adding a depth and clarity they wouldn’t otherwise achieve. When light hits objects with resin, they sparkle. Frequently, people stop to ask me about unusual resin objects such as the ones pictured here “in process.”
In addition to preparing for the Featured Artists show, I’ve taken the month of January to consider how my year will go. It’s my pleasure (and way to keep myself accountable) to share this list with you:
- I expand my bead art this year by learning at least three new techniques and using them to create a new body of work. I’ve targeted loom beading, structural peyote and free form resin as my special techniques
- I continue to focus on tribal, in both accessories and completed works
- I read one creative book per month, which means I’ll total at least 12 books on creativity by the end of the year. At the moment, I’m completing “Sacré Bleu” by Christopher Moore, a fiction work focused on painting during the era of Vincent Van Gogh
- As a member of the New Mexico Bead Society, I plan to participate in meetings and teach at least one class for the group which will be my “Theme for a Year class next November
- My theme for this year – Create, Amaze, Play – is brought to life with beads and was the topic of an earlier blog post, “New Year Vision Via Quest2016”
- I commit to produce at least one blog per week for MaryEllenBeads.com and speak from the heart in the process of writing that post
- For the fifth year, I’m part of the Sandia Heights Artists Studio Tour and during that time I present my new works to the general public
- Because the synergy of creating with others expands my creativity (and others,) I plan to participate in a group project at least once a month. (NOTE: In January, I had a wonderful resin date with a friend who encouraged me to simply play.)
- During the first week of February I will spend six days in Tucson at the world’s largest gem and mineral show, meeting other artists, participating in classes and showing interest in all manner of ways to improve my work at the event
- I’m excited to look more closely at ways in which a story framework can help me share my joy of creativity and bead art with you and, to that end, I’m part of a 90-day program called ArtMark which begins February 8th.
As you can see, my year begins in earnest in February. I look forward to sharing with you how my expansion goes. Meanwhile, visit Amapola Gallery 10am – 5pm daily to see my work. Beginning February 1, 2016, I’m one of five featured artists for the month. Join me as I help set up the show on Friday January 30th. I’ll also be there for the Sweetheart Stroll (1pm – 5pm) on Sunday February 14, 2016. (By the way, my work days this time period happen on Thursday, February 18, 2016 or Sunday February 28, 2016; I’ll be at the Gallery both days!)
Or, sign up for Soul Juice, my occasional newsletter to follow my bead adventures. I look forward to sharing some of Sweet 16 with you and yours!