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supporting other artists…

Family Farm, from catalog. Photo credit:
Larry Berman

Decades ago when we bought our house, we met a neighbor who was a painter, unbeknownst to me, at that time. Her husband was a corporate executive and she dutifully maintained the perfect homestead for all of their married years. When he died, she painted the living room bright yellow and hung her paintings salon style covering the living room walls.

I was raised by a woman who never hung any artwork without consulting her decorator first; and had gone through a myriad of my own design styles by then. I was experiencing great angst about having too much artwork on my walls; and about spacing of said work. After I saw the bright yellow living room covered with her art, I had a revelation! Why not mix it up? And thus began my quest for installing my own art and that of others. That was also the turning point for the man who hates making holes in the walls. Relax, they have spackle for that!

Initially I had a vast collection of Navajo rugs, on the walls. Several came down and were relocated to the floor (what a concept), the sofa, a vintage trunk. Up went other people’s artwork. Well, that was easy. I inherited some paintings that I loved so I kept, and others I did not, so I released so others might enjoy.

Then I started buying 12″ quilts in the annual SAQA Auction online. It started with a blue piece with circles by Jill Ault. Within a few years I had acquired several pieces featuring circles, many of them blue. I installed them on my office wall, below the southern window, to minimize fading. Then I bought a few more in earth tones which were hung in the guest bath. I know, you want pictures, but ironically they all mostly reside in places that are difficult to photograph because of the light. Take my word for it though. Over several years I have collected over 30 auction blocks. They brighten my day, and adorn the walls of our home.Β Other than the 12″ auction blocks, most of other people’s artwork I buy are not textiles. They are primarily mixed media and paintings.

That is, until two weeks ago. SAQA sent me a care package of two exhibit catalogs and price lists. Most of the work did not move me in any way, but when I saw Patty Kennedy-Zafred’s Family Farm I felt a chill. I kept going back to it. I looked at the price list. It was still available after two years of traveling shows. I slept on it. The next day I was still thinking about it.

This piece resonated as my grandparents were the people represented in this piece. They were farmers in the Midwest during the dust bowl. They lost the family farm and moved to California lock, stock and barrel. Life was hard for them, their entire lives. And yet, here I sit in my comfortable 3 bedroom home in suburbia, surrounded by art I love, in perpetual gratitude for all they endured, suffered and survived. Yes, this work was speaking to me. I bought the Family Farm! (so to speak)

The piece arrived on Friday. I cut the stick and screwed in the eyes. It was ready to install. But where? I had two logical choices, neither of which I figured would offend hubs’ nail anxiety. I had him hold it up while I assessed it from afar. The decision was quickly made… the end of the entry hallway. Bam! It was installed requiring only one new nail hole. Rejoice. And the clutter of the coat and hat rack can easily be remedied. Even the curator approved.

I am thrilled, not only with this exquisite piece of art, but owning a piece of art from someone whose work has dazzled me for years. I am in awe of her research, process and ongoing pursuit of meaning in her art.

I wholeheartedly believe in supporting the arts…and other artists.

Family Farm installed by curator Mopsy

10 Responses to “supporting other artists…”

  1. What a great piece of work!! Responding to the chills is a good thing. And you deserve it. And the placement is absolutely spot on. Thanks to Mopsy, of course. I like that the images are reflected in the framed art works you have in the entry as well. The family multiplies.

  2. tallgirl says:

    Oh wow, I did not even see that (the reflection). Those are two paintings I inherited of East Coast beach scenes…very serene (like me!!!)

  3. Elizabeth Howland says:

    One day when we can safely meet, I would love to see it. The people I can see in the photo remind me as well of my Oklahoma farming (my dad always called it a dirt farm as that is about all that survived there) grandparents. So meaningful and beautiful in that space.

  4. Pat Bishop says:

    Looks perfect! Flopsy approved? (Hope I got that right) thank you for your support of artists!

  5. Tallgirl says:

    Yes…and your work is in my auction block collection too! Mopsy approved…πŸΆπŸ˜‚πŸ‘πŸ˜

  6. Anne Godwin says:

    After spending time in Patty Kennedy-Zafreds website – what a process! I’m running out of walls. Thanks for sharing.

    • Carol says:

      I agree…I am in awe of her studio practice! Just the research alone, locating the photos, the history and the PhotoShop processing is mind-boggling. Let alone the dyeing, silk-screening and design. And you should see the finishing details. Simply put..WOW!

  7. Cindy L Kelleher says:

    Oh, how I love this wonderful piece of art. It speaks volumes of what I think of America, a mix of men and women who sacrificed much and still persevered. Your artist’s eye picked the perfect placement, even Mopsy likes it, and nails be damned!

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