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Journal

News from Dowd House Studios: places to find our pottery, exhibitions, classes & workshops, new forms and exciting projects.

Filtering by Tag: Mystery Print Gallery

Clouds & Cupcakes: Part 2

Jenny Dowd

Clouds & Cupcakes opened this past week at Mystery Print Gallery and Frame in Pinedale, WY. I was so excited about the show that I completely forgot to take any photos - so thank you to everyone who photographed the work and posted it on Facebook! Now I have another excuse to travel back to the gallery and see the work… next time I’ll remember to photograph it.

In my last post, Clouds & Cupcakes: Part 1, I showed some process behind my work for the show. Here, all the work by Shannon Troxler, Matt Daly, and Connie Wieneke come together and for sweet and cloudy conversations.

I turned the window into a bake shop, plus covered another gallery table with porcelain sweets - cakes, petit fours, cherries, and fortune cookies. Scattered in are a few small paintings of sweets and clouds by Shannon.

Shannon captured the fleeting nature of clouds with oils, which also look as if they will change any second.

Matt projected cloud fortunes onto layers of silk hanging in the middle of the space, the projected words and light passing through the layers and onto the walls with cloud-like ripples. The fortunes are the type he imagines clouds would receive if they went out to dinner together and received fortune cookies at the end of the meal.

As a bonus, the light caused extra shadows in the cloud studies that hang below.

Connie wrote a cloud ephemeris, inspired by the human need to pin things down, and to feel like we know what will happen - despite the nature of the ephemeral.

At the end of the gallery I hung a bulletin board with little drawings of photos of memories of clouds. More cloud studies in shadow boxes hang next to Shannon’s oil paintings of clouds - these float off the wall just above a silver leaf background.

The fortune cookies do contain fortunes - though most will have to be broken in order to be read. I see this as potential. A fortune cookie holds many possibilities, in this case, perhaps they will sit and wait, to be opened and read at just the right time.

I’ll be back to take more photographs soon. And the show is on display until November 1. Check it out if you are in the area, gallery details can be found at the Facebook page for Mystery Print Gallery & Frame

Clouds & Cupcakes: Part 1

Jenny Dowd

Clouds & Cupcakes has been in the works for over a year - and as usual, most of the physical work has happened in the past few months. I’m always happy to have a show deadline on the calendar, it seems so far off with endless possibilities. Even though the final few months is always a scramble - it’s actually a carefully controlled chaos of a scramble because there has been so much time to think, and plan, and test, and dream.

Clouds & Cupcakes will open at Mystery Print Gallery & Frame in Pinedale on September 5 and will be on display until November 1. If you are in the area stop by for the opening reception from 5 - 7, with an artist talk at 6.

This is a show I’ve been turning over in the back of my head for close to 2 years and initially invited painter Shannon Troxler to tackle the space with me. The title didn’t emerge until this past very snowy cold January, and came from a specific feeling that I’ve found difficult to put into a few words. We started talking about this dreamy idea of clouds & cakes and that led to inviting poets Matt Daly and Connie Wieneke to join.

Today we are installing the show and I can’t wait to see all the work come together. I’ll publish the second half of this entry next Saturday with all the work in the gallery space. For now here is more on my process and how the show idea evolved…

I had an idea for prints, but something happened before I could even start them. While teaching a monotype class in the early spring I accidentally got a drop of white ink on my brayer that was already rolled up with blue ink. I proceeded with my demo - thinking this would be a good example of why you should keep a clean station - and ended up so excited and completely drawn down a tunnel of mark making. The small prints ended up with a lot of depth and wispy cloud-like forms. They were interesting on their own but also called for something more sculptural.

I like the idea of adding an element that can cast a shadow or move in a breeze, so after making a bunch of little porcelain clouds, I pinned them to the prints or hung them in the shadowbox frames.

While everything else was swirling around in my head, the prints anchored my thoughts for the show. Shannon and I met at Persephone Bakery one morning for sweet treats and brainstorming - which led to a desire to make the gallery window into a sweet shop.

Very flexible and thin porcelain paperclay was ideal for making fortune cookies. The paper here was just to help hold a side open during the firing. They fired an icy white and make a satisfying crunch when broken. Which, yes, you might just have to break the cookie to get to the fortune inside - each unique fortune written by Matt Daly.

My studio turned into a bakery as I made layer cakes that I could only dream of in a real kitchen. Each decorated with cloudy patterns and and perched atop handmade cardboard stands.

Another element came into place slowly over the summer while out walking. I started really noticing cloud shapes and tried to remember them.

You didn’t see that?

Oh. Well, since you missed it

I drew a photo

Stay tuned next week to see how the show comes together, I can’t wait to share the work created by the other artists!

What follows is my inspiration for this show and how the title came about…

Each year in the deepest moment of winter the same thing happens. Looking around, I think that I can’t stand one more day of the winter landscape. Too much white, too much snow, too much work and planning to get around. Within a few days this feverish feeling breaks. Suddenly the landscape is surreal; the clouds have combined forces with the snowy ground and I’m no longer sure where one begins and the other ends.

Indescribable shapes plus impossible shadows swirled with soft colors leave me unsure of what is concealed… and I’m reminded of frosty icing and the delicate sweetness of cake. Is the ground a cake and the sky frosting? Is it actually the other way around?

Conversely, in the middle of summer, the memory of winter is entirely out of place. The lush green plants growing as fast as possible in the short summer months, the river near my house that I ski over in the winter and paddleboard on in the summer - it’s just too much for me to comprehend. It’s odd, but somehow every summer I forget how high the snow piles and every winter I forget how green the land becomes.

Cupcakes & Clouds is an attempt to wrangle all those nebulous cloudy and wintery thoughts and memories into one space. Shannon Troxler, Matt Daly, and Connie Wieneke have joined me in describing the sweet cloudy mood of our skyscapes.

1 week, 2 shows

Jenny Dowd

Sometimes it works out this way, I have work in 2 exhibitions and they both have receptions this week…

Animal Shelter opens on November 1st at Mystery Print Gallery in Pinedale, WY. For this invitational exhibition artists were tasked with interpreting the theme of animal shelter - how do animals find shelter, especially in the shared spaces occupied by humans, other animals, etc?

I focused on the tiny: snake, spider, bird, mouse. These critters can be seen as pests or pets, and I like the idea of them having flexible found shelter - each has an indoor option and an outdoor option.

The little critters are made from porcelain, multiples were made in case someone lost a tail or beak. The little drawings were done in a local coffee shop- another reason I like to work small!

4 tiny sculptures resulted. I’m looking forward to seeing how the other artists interpreted the theme. This show will be on display until the end of the year, so check it out if you are in the area.

The cookbook project, a year in the making, is now an actual printed cookbook! (Check out my past post Illustration project sneak peek for some behind the scenes.) The cookbook is available to purchase in the Jackson CWC office in the Center for the Arts.

I never imagined that my sketch - how to butcher an onion - would make the cover! (I took a knife skills class a few years ago, a short evening class through CWC. Learning how to chop an onion blew my mind! Plus… I’ve only cut myself in the kitchen a few times since this class.)

All of the original illustrations are on display and available for purchase in the Theater Gallery located in the Center for the Arts in Jackson until November 5th.

This Friday November 3rd, from 5:30 - 7:30, the culinary arts students will be serving tastes from the cookbook at the reception. Come by to see (and taste) the recipes that inspired drawings by me, Jocelyn Slack, and Cal Brackin.

Utopia/Dystopia

Jenny Dowd

Yesterday I visited Mystery Print Gallery and Frame in Pinedale, WY to check out the exhibition Utopia/Dystopia: Inspiration and the Artist Book.

This exhibition started out at the Laramie County Library earlier this year and now a smaller section of the work is on display at Mystery Print.

The invitational bookarts show was curated by Sue Sommers, with the theme of Utopia/Dystopia. 

Here's a peek...

Camellia El-Antably: Experiments in Utopia

"Experiments in Utopia" reviews the American experience with communities dedicated to a utopian vision.

Mark Ritchie: Imperfect Circle

The practice of group equine groundwork is as close to utopia as may be possible.

Cristy Anspach: Highway Reliquary - Mule Deer

This work is inspired by a desire to address the human/animal struggle that plays out daily on our roadways.

Conor Mullen: Facts About Fallout

A hand-made PSA that compares ideas of utopia/dystopia through a repurposing of words/images once published by the U.S. FCDA and the DoD.

Holland Morelli: Dystopian Flora

A study of plants as sentient beings, leaves as fresh and plant forms/structures as art.

Tawni Shuler: Warrior Rabbits

After recently moving to the southwest desert, my attention has turned to the jackrabbit and the folklore of the Jackalope, a mythical creature with the body of a rabbit and sprouting the horns of a deer. Jackrabbits can live in the extreme heat of a desert environment due to design of their feet, fur, ears and most importantly behavior adaptation.

Susan Durfee: Mystery

Sue Sommers: Liberty Walking Part 1 & Part 2

Liberty Walking: coin albums full of drawn feet. Honoring the Statue of Liberty, Emma Lazarus, immigrants, and walking women everywhere.

Nyla Hurley: The Railroaders

Patterns of consumption, dominance and production over people, wildlife, resources and the land.

Nyla Hurley: Nativist Nostalgia

My way of thinking is an addiction or even a disease: a disease of nostalgia.

Nathan Abel: Excavation: Found Scroll

Created from scraps of old work, this book illustrated the tenuous nature of the relationship between utopian and dystopian ideals.

Jenny Dowd: Flowers still grow

This altered book represents a dystopian world of redacted and heavily censored information. Growth is still possible.

(Check out my earlier post here for a little behind the scene peek into my concept and process.)

If you find yourself in the Pinedale area in the next month, be sure to stop by and see the show in person!

Rendezvous in Pinedale

Jenny Dowd

On June 30th the exhibition, Rendezvous, opened at Mystery Print Gallery in Pinedale, WY. The show features the art of Wyoming artists, Christy Anspach, Babs Case and myself.

Given the theme of Rendezvous, I thought of my little furniture sculptures- groupings of objects coming together and often caught in the act of misbehaving.

From left to right: First Kiss | Longing | Time Out | Was it murder? (click on the image to see the whole piece)

I love the color in this gallery, now I want color behind my work all the time!

 "Dearly Beloved" by Christy Anspach  

Each line is a family- a group of pinch pots with similar yet unique features. (Christy's Obvara firing process is totally new to me and something I would like to try.)

This detail and studio photo lends a peek into the intricate collages made by Babs Case. My photos from the show were blurry, so I grabbed these from Mystery Print's Facebook page. 

Continuing the theme of Rendezvous and coming together over a shared meal or drink, Sam and I also have pottery in the gallery.

This show is up until September, so if you are in the Pinedale area be sure to stop by!