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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Statements and Stories at the Fuller

Yesterday morning, after Della and I scooped up Cheryl and Logan from the airport, we motored down to the The Fuller Craft Museum. I’m just wild about this joint. While they do show brilliantly beautiful, more traditional clay, fiber, glass, wood craft and such (e.g.: Brother Thomas exhibit starting next month!), they showcase amazing fine artwork as well.

The first special/guest exhibit that I came upon was:
Mindful: Exploring Mental Health Through Art  investigates the topics of anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and tendencies, and PTSD through craft.
Alison Saar’s piece J’Attends really hit me right in the heart and blew me away. It’s eerie and a little scary. The card to the left of the piece with artist's name noted that:
J’Attends features a prone head with hollow eyes. When viewers peer inside the head they witness a small solitary light bulb surrounded by moths. It is a view into a mind which is anticipating the advent of madness.
Buffalo Robe Red detail
Imagine being trapped inside a disintegrating mind and being aware that you’re coming apart.

Next up was:
Gender Bend: Women in Wood, Men at the Loom is a multi-media exhibition featuring male weavers alongside female wood turners – two populations that have been traditionally underrepresented in their fields .
Beautiful stuff. I particularly loved Beth Ireland’s small sculptures and Buffalo Robe Red by Wence Martinez.

The usual suspects from their permanent collection slay me every damn time I see them. Like:

Cristina Córdova’s Al Viento (ceramic, resin, casein, varnish, concrete and steel) – the woman looks, to me anyway, sad but not expecting to be any different than that. She’s existing, functioning despite the grey cloud she lives in.

Boy with a Hat (cast glass) by Frank Murta Adams is raw, funky and, practically, vibrating with a pure energy.

Raven Steals the Moon by Preston Singletary – there's a story here and I want to hear it.

And then I turned the next corner and ran smack into art of the resistance.
Threads of Resistance is an exhibition of modern and traditional quilts created in response to the Trump administration’s actions and policies
I think of quilts as warm, stitched and woven blankets to keep us toasty on cold nights but they’re so much more. Of course they are. There’s a rock solid, long tradition of quilts as statement, as art.

Quilters Susan Bianchi, Tricia P. Deck and Adrienne Sloane were just three of the amazing fabric artists.

Detail from Bianchi's Liberty Marches piece
There’s also a shit-ton of fabulous pink hats.
Revolution in the Making: The Pussyhat Project tells the story of the Pussyhat, a handmade cap with cat-like ears that played a central role in the protest following the 2016 Presidential election.
All of the exhibits yesterday were strong, forward thinking and tremendously moving. This wasn't just pretty art and craft but powerful, inspiring statements and in such a perfect setting. The Fuller's located just off the highway but it's on a quiet lake, surrounded by woods. As we were leaving, the word sanctuary came to mind and then I saw this inscribed boulder. Nailed it!
(FYI, if you wanna see any of the art bigger, just click on it)


  1. The Saar piece looks really powerful and primal, even though I can't see into the head in the picture.

    I like Tricia Deck's "Fractured Homeland," too, but the Saar piece just really jumped out.

    1. Even live and in person, I couldn't get a good look inside the head BUT it was still a moving, powerful piece.

      The whole museum, inside and out, is pretty mindblowing.

  2. ...a central role in the protest following the 2016 Presidential election.

    Hopefully that energy will survive to the 2018 midterms.