Jes Lee

Oh what a weekend

The first weekend after long weeks of at least one person being sick always seem to feel so good. And with all the art events going on this weekend, it definitely did not disappoint!

Friday, on my way home from work I stopped at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts to meet their new education coordinator, Jennifer Kennedy-Logan, and see their latest art exhibit. Jennifer seems like a great person, and I am glad to see her joining the BLCA community!

The exhibit that is on display is a show of paintings by Linda Deg Lee and Mary Lingen. It is beautiful! Their work pairs so well together, from the use of color and geometric shapes, even down to the beautiful OCD satisfying way one gallery is filled with work by one artist working in angular geometric shapes, and the other is all circular flowing lines and shapes. It is quite appealing just to go look at bright colors in the middle of our grey winter.

Saturday started off as a busy day at work for me, and concluded with a wonderful evening out. We started with dinner at a local wood-fire pizza place, continued with a pretty LNL* at a sort-of hidden gem of a store/coffee shop that is I think relatively new to the neighborhood, and then continued on to art and cocktails. Who doesn’t love that??

First stop: Traffic Zone for the one of two displays of one show. This particular exhibit is a juried show if many alumni from the College of Visual Arts that recently closed. I have many friends that graduated from there, so I definitely wanted to see the show. Aki Shibata (she and I met at MCBA) was doing a collaborative performance piece with another artist. They each had a writing desk, one at each gallery displaying work for this exhibit, and wrote love letters to each other, having gallery visitors that were moving on to the next gallery, deliver and read them to the other person. I delivered a letter from Aki to her collaborator, John Colburn over at Form+Content gallery, and read it to him. It was a simple friendly, love letter, not steamy, or overly mushy. Just beautiful. It was a lovely experience! It also made me think about how I don’t write letters often enough, especially sweet ones to the people I care about. I’d like to change that.

Just around the corner from Form+Content is Cave Paper, run by two women I have also gotten to know through MCBA. They were open for visitors, so we stopped to look at the new things they had hanging up on their walls, and so I could buy some cloud paper seconds! I am in love with that paper, and have collected a couple of sheets each time I go there. Now, to start planning projects to actually use it!

We ended the night with cocktails at a friend’s place (I think Manhattans might be one of my new favorites!) and then walked over to the 801 Gallery to see an amazing show of three photographers and a painter. It was the perfect show to end the night with. So, the 801 Gallery is actually inside a building of lofts in Minneapolis. Many artists live there and have their studio work space there as well. So, along with the artwork hanging in the large, open hall ways of the building, there are many other little shows of artwork going on in people’s individual spaces. We saw so many great pieces! My very favorite, is the work by Sara Belleau. Her staged photography is just amazing and beautiful. She was selling books of the series that night as well, and thankfully I had enough cash with me to buy one. She even signed it for me. I can’t write about her work without sounding like a gushing fan girl…but I’ll just leave it at this. As an artist, once in a while you go out and see an exhibit of someone’s work, and it in many little ways renews your sense of being a creative person, and reminds you once again that there are amazing people out there, and amazing art, and kicks you in to not-giving-up.

Sunday was full of family, and some shopping and many books, as well as more photographs. But I will leave that for another post.

*LNL = Late Night Latte (I am testing my caffeine time limits. Evening coffee doesn’t seem to cause me to not be able to sleep later, so this may become a thing!)

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Getting out

Even though winter is one of my favorite seasons (with summer a close second…I am a girl of extremes) it is still so easy to get caught up into hibernation mode and spend loads of time in front of the tv under the blankets. This year I am trying to combat that!

A friend of mine decided that she was going to go to as many openings and theater shows as she could this winter. So, I am copying her.

Valentine’s Day Weekend was the first of this experiment.

Friday evening I stopped by Rouge Buddha Gallery to see Nicolas Harper’s newest work as well as some of his guest artists. I stopped at a tiny art gallery on the way home that had a sign outside saying there was an art opening, but it seemed quite private, so I didn’t stick around. On Saturday, during our Valentine’s Day wanderings, we stopped by Black Dog Coffee in St. Paul to see the Metro Sketchers work that is displayed there, while sipping hot chocolate and tea. On Monday, I was at MCBA helping take photos of artwork for the upcoming ‘This Is Book Art’ exhibit where I got to see and look close up at some of the amazing book art that is being delivered to the gallery for the show.

Having a weekend full of art filled up my empty spaces again. I have a list of other shows to see, and plan on continuing this well past the end of winter.

Of course, it would help if I felt better. This weekend I have barely made it off the couch, except for work. Being sick sucks, and I did miss a few fun things this weekend. But it happens, and life goes on, and I will eventually feel better. There is more art out there waiting for me.

 

May days

May is almost here, and there are so many fun things going on! Between new jobs, art festivals, new shops with my artwork, and gallery shows, this may be one of the most exciting months of the summer!

First up: Saturday, May 10th, is Craftstravaganza! Once again Jes Lee Studios and Dad and Kiddo Pottery will be sharing a booth. The festival runs from 10am-5pm. Come early and get a grab bag! The first 100 people in the door get a bag full of goodies. There is a coupon from us in there as well! I have heard there is always a line up at the door to get one of these bags, so keep that in mind! We will be at booth #89. Stop by!

Art-a-Whirl is the very next weekend, May 16-18. Once again I will be hanging out at FK Art Glass¬†gallery again this year. I plan to have a few new items for their gallery space, and I’m working on preparing some new demos as well. Details on demo times to come soon. Just like last year, there will be many other great artists hanging out there with me as well. And did I mention glass blowing demos? There will be glass blowing demos! I could watch them all day… Hope you can make it one of the three days! You won’t regret it!

May 31st is Johnstock! I adore this outdoor festival! Jes Lee Studios and Dad and Kiddo Pottery will as usual be sharing a booth, with many new things, and a few older favorite items. The festival runs 10am-5pm. Hope to see you there!

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts Artist Co-op will be having a group show in the binder gallery in May. Details on dates and a reception time coming soon!

The MCBA Artist Co-op will also have artwork up at the MacRostie Art Center June 1-30! There will be an opening reception and community art walk on Friday, June 6th from 4-8pm.

I am working hard on a new photo book. I am hoping it will be ready for all the above shows, but it will for sure be ready for the show at MacRostie. Here is a sneak peek:

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Last week I finished making the photopolymer plates for the text in this book, as well as one linoleum block. Most of the paper I had to order for this book has been delivered and cut to size. The size of this project is sinking in!

May also happens to be the month of our very last 10th wedding anniversary. When you have two wedding anniversaries, you get to celebrate so much! Each and every anniversary is special, and a reason to celebrate…but with all the changes over the past year, this one seems a little extra special. This weekend we decided that we were going to celebrate our anniversary quieter than we had originally planned, and I’m truly looking forward to that.

A very good friend is coming to visit this May for a long weekend before moving over-seas with her family. That weekend will probably be the last time I see her in the US for at least 3 years. I’m looking forward to that time to hang out, and super excited about the chance to travel to visit her. This girl is ready for some new adventures!

I’m stunned that April is almost over already. Last year I was nearing the end of the National Poetry Writing Month poem-a-day challenge. I’m glad that I didn’t try to tackle that challenge this year. However, I am looking at ways to get writing back into my daily routine, either through journaling or poetry or both. I haven’t written for a while now due to a list of excuses. I know it helps me cope with the day-to-day better, and I need to get back into that habit. I’m hoping in May to make it to the MCBA Visual Journal Collective meeting. Perhaps that will help kick-start my writing habit again.

Until next time,

~Peace~

 

A relief

It has been a crazy spring. But I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and may even get back to blogging soon!
I have been in crunch mode for quite awhile getting the work done for this show, and it has finally paid off. My work is now on display at Minnesota Center for Book Arts in the Lerner Bindery Gallery through August 4th. My reception will be Tuesday, June 25th from 5-8pm. Please stop by if you can! Much of this work has taken me in a new direction artistically and I would love feedback! For my long distance friends, I promise to post photos of the exhibit and work soon.
I know this post is quite short, but I will be back soon!

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