Feather Your Nest
New work by Amy Rice (Minneapolis, MN) & Abby Glassenberg (Wellesley, MA)
April 4th- April 30th 2008
Opening reception Gallery Night Friday April 18th 2008 7-10pm
Amy Rice will be in attendance
Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery
2375 S. Howell Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53207
414. 483. 8462
Although Amy Rice and Abby Glassenberg have never met they have similar creative aesthetic and motivation. Both artists’ share an affinity for using found, scavenged and recycled items in their work- Amy focuses on paper, Abby on fabric & notions. Feather Your Nest will showcase wall-based work from Amy Rice and three-dimensional soft sculpture by Abby Glassenberg. This will be Rice’s second show at Paper Boat Gallery that will highlight mixed-media works (spray paint, stencil, gocco, gouache, ink, more) on found, vintage paper as well as other found/nontraditional painting surfaces. Glassenberg’s three-dimensional bird sculptures will be installed along with Rice’s work. The gallery will be filled with works that conjure the feeling of spring, re-birth, growth and beauty. I urge you to come be inspired by the work of two talented women that embrace non-traditional methods of creativity, creating captivating work, each piece telling its own story.
Amy Rice Artist Statement
Serendipity played a large part in the direction Minneapolis based (but Wisconsin born and raised) mixed-media artist Amy Rice’s work has taken since her 2007 exhibition at Paper Boat Gallery and Boutique.
First there was her acquisition of a gocco printer forgotten in a small town craft store. Gocco printers are small, self-contained, screen-printing machines sold as toys in Japan. At one time one in every three Japanese households owned a gocco printer, but with the advent of computers/printers they fell out of use. American crafters have just begun to discover this remarkable tool, but the printers are hard to come by. Rice has been using her gocco printer in much of the same ways she has utilized hand-cut stencils…as the starting point for mixed media paintings. She has been making small one-of-a kind works based on some of her most popular stencil paintings with her gocco.
Rice also discovered of a box of handwritten journals written in the 1930’s by a young girl named Emma at a flea market. She bought them to use with her gocco printer but quickly realized she could use her stencil/spray paint method successfully on antique paper as well. Rice has always been attracted to found objects as “canvas”; exploring the sense of history and connectivity between the object and the imagery, she expands on the objects sentimental nature. Rice has become obsessed with antique handwritten documents and has collected and painted on old love letters (both sweet and illicit), library checkout cards with the names and dates checked out going back 70 years, recipe cards yellowed and evidently well used, as well as the pages of handwritten song lyrics of tunes popular in the 1930’s written out by Emma.
Thematically Rice’s work continues to be inspired by the urban community in which she lives, childhood memories (both real and imagined and sometimes exaggerated with time), vintage botanical prints, her dog Ella, bicycles, street art, random found objects, collective endeavors that challenge hierarchy, acts of compassion, downright silliness and things with wings.
Abby Glassenberg Artist Statement
Several years ago I began making one-of-a-kind soft toys. I became fascinated by the process of designing and creating each animal, then stuffing and shaping them to bring them to life. Over time, my pieces became increasingly complex, less like toys and more like sculptures.
With my Nest of Thread series I broke completely with the idea of
making toys and freed myself to create pieces that were truly sculptural. Each piece in this series contains a soft sculpture bird, a vintage spool of thread and some kind of nest-in-the-making. Many of the spools of thread belonged to my grandmother, while others came from complete sewing boxes that I found at thrift stores. These birds with their thread are building nests for their young, just like the women who used this thread two generations ago sewed toys and clothes and household goods to care for their children. Toward the end of this eleven piece series I began to incorporate found objects including receipts, bingo markers, rusted scraps of sheet metal and bits of wood.
After the series was completed I continued making soft sculptures and placing them in scenes, either in boxes or on two-dimensional collages. Many of my soft sculptures are sewn from recycled and found fabric – paper maps, clothing labels, feed-bags and flour sacks. I am inspired by the idea of turning utilitarian fabrics and discarded objects into something new, inviting the viewer to see these overlooked things transformed into graceful birds alighting, preening or guarding a clutch of eggs in a nest. I am excited by the combination of natural and enduring forms, like birds and seashells, with the artificial, the cast aside, the obsolete and the mass-produced.