Offerings Solo Exhibition at Chroma Projects by Susan Jamison

My exhibition "Offerings" opened at Chroma Projects in Charlottesville, Virginia on April 7 and will run until April 29, 2017. This exhibition features egg tempera paintings and an installation piece which examine the relationship between the feminine and nature, rituals, and the aging mother earth depicted as a mystical crone.

"Offerings" at Chroma Projects

"Offerings" at Chroma Projects

Sanctuary for the Crone is an installation project I created as part of "Offerings." It is a space veiled by silk organza exclusively for the older woman who is invited to enter, sit at a desk, and write a piece of her wisdom into one provided journals. 

"Sanctuary for the Crone"

"Sanctuary for the Crone"

On April 15th Chroma Projects hosted myself and Beatrix Ost for a salon style conversation with the community on recognizing the gifts of grace, insight, and cultivation in creative aging women.

http://www.beatrixost.com

Beatrix Ost, Deborah McLeod owner of Chroma Projects, Susan Jamison.

Beatrix Ost, Deborah McLeod owner of Chroma Projects, Susan Jamison.

Chroma Projects is located at 112 West Main Street inside York Place on the downtown mall in Charlottesville, Virginia. Regular hours are generally Wednesday through Saturday, 1pm to 5pm or by appointment. 

https://www.chromaprojects.com/ 

The Enchanted World of Susan Jamison, An Interview for Huffington Post by Susan Jamison

Here is a interview I did for Huffington Post back in February to discuss my work and let people know about a talk I gave at Focus Gallery in Scottsville, Virginia.

Note to Self, egg tempera on panel, 12"x12", 2015

Note to Self, egg tempera on panel, 12"x12", 2015

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

What is your creative process? Do you rely on the Muses, or routine, or some combination of both? Sometimes, if I get struck with inspiration, I just have to create right then and there, no matter the time, no matter the place. Sometimes you have to manufacture inspiration. How do you see it?

I rely on the Muses, as in the visions that appear in my mind, but I also rely very heavily on my routine and my studio practice. I work both in my studio which is separate from my home and my large dining room table in my living space. It’s important for me to be in one of my art making places in order to focus on my work. The physical work of painting is relatively sedentary and tedious for me. It hurts my back and strains my eyes but it is strangely satisfying. The idea that an artist is suddenly struck with inspiration then just sits around happily painting while sipping Cabernet is a lovely fantasy. The job of an artist is really involved with looking, reading, thinking, editing, making, writing, and communicating. I do most of these things every day.

Give it a read here: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-enchanted-world-of-susan-jamison_us_58a3d0a8e4b0cd37efcfee9a?

SUPER NATURAL, My solo exhibition at Longwood Center for the Visual Arts by Susan Jamison

My exhibition "Super Natural" opened September 23rd at Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, Longwood University in Farmville, VA and will run until January 8, 2017. The exhibition features a site specific installation piece titled "Feathers and Weights" along with egg tempera paintings dating from 2007 to 2016. 

http://lcva.longwood.edu/exhibitions/super-natural-susan-jamison

Feathers and Weights, Soil, marble powder, silk organza, cotton floss, lead weights, various objects, 108"x108"x120", 2016

Feathers and Weights, Soil, marble powder, silk organza, cotton floss, lead weights, various objects, 108"x108"x120", 2016

Paintings on view include works loaned from private collections, "Trust in Me", "Lovelace", "Repair Me", and recently created available works, "Power Bear", and five selections from my spiderweb series. 

Power Bear, egg tempera on panel, 48"x36"

Power Bear, egg tempera on panel, 48"x36"

Note to Self, egg tempera on panel, 12"x12", 2015

Note to Self, egg tempera on panel, 12"x12", 2015

A catalog with images from the exhibition and essays about my work by Pam Grossman of http://www.phantasmaphile.com and Amy Moorefield, Director of Exhibitions at the Taubman Museum of Art will be available. I will be teaching a master class in egg tempera for students at Longwood University in November. 

ENCHANTMENT, My Solo Exhibition at Virginia Tech by Susan Jamison

My solo exhibition, "Enchantment" is on view in the Ruth C. Horton Gallery at the Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech from September 1 - October 8, 2016. This exhibition includes eleven egg tempera paintings dating from 2008-2016 that depict dreamlike visions of my florid female archetypes alongside her animal familiars. It was curated by Meggin Hicklin, Exhibition Program Manger at the Moss Arts Center. 

https://www.artscenter.vt.edu

The exhibition includes a special area in the back of the gallery with reference materials, books about artists and subjects that inspire me, photographs of my studio, and topics for discussion. 

The exhibition includes a special area in the back of the gallery with reference materials, books about artists and subjects that inspire me, photographs of my studio, and topics for discussion. 

Available in the gallery is a brochure with images of some works in the exhibition and an essay by Meggin Hicklin. 

Available in the gallery is a brochure with images of some works in the exhibition and an essay by Meggin Hicklin. 

"Suture Me Bat" Acquired by Mint Museum by Susan Jamison

I'm pleased to announce that my painting "Suture Me Bat" has been acquired by the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. http://www.mintmuseum.org

 

Susan Jamison, Suture Me Bat, Egg tempera on panel, 18"x18", 2010

Susan Jamison, Suture Me Bat, Egg tempera on panel, 18"x18", 2010

“Suture Me Bat” depicts a big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) tethered to a woman's finger by a red thread which is sutured into her flesh symbolizing our connection to these fascinating and helpful creatures. These frequently misunderstood animals are not creepy or sinister. In fact, they help mankind by consuming over 1000 potentially disease carrying misquotes per hour as well as pests that eat farm crops. Bats are mammals which nurse their young which means they have much more in common with primates than rodents. 

Big brown bats are among the North American bat species infected with White-nose syndrome (WNS) a fungal disease known to predominantly affect hibernating bats. To lean more about what you can do to help preserve our bat population go to: https://www.whitenosesyndrome.org

Introducing my freshly revamped website! susanjamison.com by Susan Jamison

The homepage of my freshly revamped website. 

The homepage of my freshly revamped website. 

I’m writing this in the hopes that others may benefit from my experiences as a less than tech savvy person who needs a website. If you are an artist, you need a website. It is your portfolio in online form. Unless you have unlimited financial resources to pay a responsive, professional web designer to make your site for you and kept it updated for years, I recommend taking a few days and learning to do it yourself. If you are a hip young web wizard, this article is not for you, and please don’t laugh too hard, just send this link to your mom. 

In the mid 2000’s I had someone build a webiste for me in trade for my artwork. At first this arrangement was satisfactory but then it seemed like more and more of my work was exchanged for fewer and fewer hours of updating and the value of my contribution was forgotten. I was increasingly made to feel like I was imposing on this person’s time. Most of us who have tried these trade-sy situations know how this ends. In 2010 I realized that I needed to acquire some basic skills so I could do this work myself and I taught myself how to use the now defunct iWeb application that came installed on my MacBook Pro. Why didn’t I do this earlier?!! After having the freedom to easily make updates when I needed to, as many times as I needed to, I can say the two days it took me to learn iWeb to create my new site was time well spent. It was basic but clean and it served me well for years. Unfortunately, Apple discontinued my beloved iWeb years ago and did not replace it with another site building tool. I still have iWeb on my 6 year old laptop but it’s always in the back of my mind that my laptop, and with it my dear old friend iWeb, will perish at some point. 

Building my former site with iWeb. 

Building my former site with iWeb. 

On April 21, 2015, Google made a significant change to their search algorithms: websites that were not mobile-optimized were penalized in their search-engine rankings. My old iWeb site was not mobile ready. Everyone including my mother is viewing my site on mobile devices. Increasingly I couldn’t do things I needed to do like paste in html code to create newsletter subscription forms, or add a page with a commerce component. It was time for me to find a new way to build and update my site. 

In my search for a new website building tool, I looked at the many beautiful websites of my artist friends, http://jihamoon.com, http://www.lori-field.com, http://carrieannbaade.com, http://www.studiobeerhorst.com, among others to see how artists I love and respect were presenting themselves online. I read articles about artist’s websites from trusted sources like this one from Creative Capital http://blog.creative-capital.org/2013/04/internet-for-artists-why-we-only-recommend-two-website-services/. I figured out that some templates are built with Flash and that this is not a good thing. I researched sites like squarespace.com, wordpress.org, wordpress.com, wix.com, and many more that have templates which make it easy for those of us that don’t know much about building sites from scratch. Each service offers different features at different price points. I personally chose Squarespace because they have attractive templates for portfolios and they offered an introduction to eCommerce at a low price point (see my “shop” page with it’s lonely one item!) Those of you with more web skills than me might find wordpress.org more to your liking because you actually own the template you select. 

It took me about a week to figure out how to use Squarespace templates, build my website, and then connect my squarespace domain to my own custom domain name susanjamison.com. At first I selected a template that gave me a look that was similar to my previous site that I had made with iWeb. Then I decided to go for something completely different instead with a very impacting and changing homepage which is what you see here. Because my domain is registered with a rather unpopular company, the most difficult part of this process for me was connecting my own domain name to my new site. I received tech support from my friend, WebQueen, Christina Owens Knapp of http://hellowyellow.com who got me pretty close. Then I turned to Jason with Squarespace support for help. I sent him screen shots to show him how far I had gotten and he sent me back my same visuals marked up with exactly what I needed to do. Boom, done! Most of you who have your sites registered through bigger providers like Go Daddy, Dotster, etc. will find detailed guides on the help page for this topic. During this process I received excellent support from Squarespace. 

My painting portfolio as it appears on my new site. 

My painting portfolio as it appears on my new site. 

No matter which service you choose, I have complete faith in your ability to conquer the task of building and updating your own website with one of the terrific services out there, even if you need to cheat and use one that provides templates like I did. I think you will find that it is a great benefit to you to be able to easily make updates to your site yourself. The very first day I posted a link to my newly revamped website on social media, someone contacted me and bought a drawing. This sale paid for the expense of my new site for the first year and it paid me for the time I spent making it. Don’t sell yourself short, you can do this too!

FAREWELL, my exhibition at the William King Museum of Art by Susan Jamison

Drowning Dress )detail)

Drowning Dress )detail)

My exhibition Farewell, at the William King Museum of Art in Abingdon, Virginia continues through July until August 1st, 2015. Farewell features my textile based and sculptural works that are in remembrance of people who are lost, or are reminiscent of historical artifacts alongside drawings and watercolors that relate to the sea. Anchors and teardrop shaped lead weights are repeated symbols in this work. These anchors call to mind what can hold us securely in place in life or what can overwhelm and pull us under and the delicate balance between those two conditions. 

My body of textile based work began with “Drowning Dress”, a memorial to Virginia Woolf, the feminist writer, who drowned herself in the River Ouse by placing rocks in the pockets of her heavy coat. My dress is made of sheer white silk embroidered with the word “farewell” in red around the collar. Sewn onto the dress are approximately 200 teardrop shaped lead fishing weights. This piece is mounted directly on the wall along with several textile based works and veil forms. These veil works are made of lace, teardrop shaped beads, and horsehair. These forms and materials are closely related to Victorian mourning culture and rituals, which are a continued subject of interest that I draw from.

Susan Jamison, Drowning Dress, silk, cotton floss, lead weights, 58”x22”x8”, 2013 

Susan Jamison, Drowning Dress, silk, cotton floss, lead weights, 58”x22”x8”, 2013 

Works on paper done in graphite with accents of watercolor feature horses swimming through the blue sea. These pieces echo the theme of Farewell, using symbols of weights and anchors. I love the improbable image of a cumbersome beast moving through the water. The sea is a metaphor for the unseen world beyond our senses and for a passage from this world to the next. The uncontrollable power of the sea makes one acutely aware of the frailty of life in comparison. It can be viewed as physical, symbolic, and spiritual. It is timeless in quality and acts as a bridge between past and present. Seawater is said to be closely related to our blood and our tears. 

Susan Jamison, Feral Sea Swim, graphite, watercolor on paper, 12”x16”, 2015 

Susan Jamison, Feral Sea Swim, graphite, watercolor on paper, 12”x16”, 2015 

Please check the museum's website for hours and details.  http://www.williamkingmuseum.org