Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In the Gallery: July


Welcome to the Crawfordsville District Public Library's Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery where you will be transported, by the acrylic and watercolor paintings of Lafayette artist Angelina Fielding, to the simple life of India with a dab of Western culture thrown in. Vying for your attention in the Gallery's Display Cases are the twinkling fused glass bowls, beads, and adornments created by Williamsport artist Kathleen Kitch.

Born in Chandigarh, India in 1973, ANGELINA FIELDING took an interest in art as soon as she was able to hold a crayon. During her childhood and as a budding artist she was heavily influenced by her artist father and Nani who schooled her in crafts from an early age. As a young woman she developed a deep appreciation for the beauty of her majestic surroundings. Now, as a self-taught artist living and working in Lafayette, she strives to incorporate that amazing Indian culture and heritage into her paintings using scenes from her memory. She has worked in watercolor, charcoal, acrylics, oil and mixed media, developing a love of history along the way. An avid reader some of images incorporate history and ideas from novels. Primarily a painter of women, because she believes all beautiful, Angelina tries to project this beauty in all the images she creates. While many of her scenes depict an ordinary and peaceful life, she is not afraid to paint women in situations that are not so beautiful. She paints abused women; women filled with fear, grief, pain and anguish and through her art, hopes to bring awareness of these issues still faced by many women today.

KATHLEEN KITCH creator of GLASSROOTS Art Objects began working in the glass medium in 1978. Her initial interest was in stained glass. For three years she worked in a commercial studio gaining knowledge and the skills of the craft. In 1987, she opened her own studio in Battle Ground, Indiana, where she created three dimensional objects of stained glass which included boxes, vases and towers. She sold these works in galleries and at art fairs, primarily in the Midwest. In early 1991 Kathleen began working with kiln-formed glass, also known as fused glass. There are many similarities in working with stained glass and fused glass. The pieces in both mediums are cut from sheet glass, but in fused glass are fused together in a kiln instead of being soldered together with lead or copper foil. Kathleen preferred fused glass because it is a more fluid way to design her work and has greater creative possibilities and fewer limitations. Her work is now primarily kiln-formed plates and bowls, sculpture and jewelry. She works with a palette of vibrant colors, varied textures and metallic finishes. Some of her pieces are based on overlapping geometric shapes, but she also loves to create more flowing and organic designs. Glass is a wonderful substance to work with. It reflects and refracts light, bringing out an inherent quality of movement. When translucent colors and shapes overlap, they are enhanced as they change in tint and form. She has now relocated her home and studio to a lovely spot overlooking Big Pine Creek in Warren County, Indiana, where she and her husband Dana Goodman work together as well as separately on creating objects pf glass. In 2000, along with a group of local artists, Kathleen became involved in the founding of a cooperative gallery, ARTIST'S OWN, in downtown Lafayette, Indiana. A large selection of her work may be found there. She also attends art fairs in the Midwest and shows her work in other galleries. Kathleen has been commissioned to create special works for corporations such as Subaru Isuzu of Indiana; Tippecanoe Arts Federation, and the Purdue University School of Liberal Arts. She has work installed at Ivy Tech Community College, the Frankfort Community Library and in many private collections. As a lifetime learner, Kathleen continues to explore new ways of seeing and experimenting with the possibilities in her chosen field.

Even though Williamsport artist KATHLEEN KITCH was in Africa less than two years, she found herself drawn to the African influence of simple geometric designs, bright colors and repeated patterns. Kitch sees this as a reflection of the simple life she witnessed in Africa and throughout her other travels abroad. "I still do simple beading now," she says. In 1978, Kitch created her first stained-glass window. This was the beginning of a successful career for the down-to-earth artist. Through trial and error, she learned the craft with the help of a book and an older gentleman mentor. In the beginning, Kitch made stained glass pieces as an artistic outlet while raising her three sons. When her former husband's work took the family to Africa, she found herself making glass pieces for enjoyment and giving them away.
Upon her return to the States, she broadened her exposure through art fairs and eventually found herself phasing out stained glass in favor of fused glass. Fused glass starts with a type of stained glass that is specifically formulated for high temperatures. The glass is cut and layered, enabling Kitch to overlap designs in her pieces. With the intense heat of the kiln, the glass layers melt together. Kitch says she uses a lot of yellow, pink and turquoise. When blended, they create many other colors. "I don't plan out designs," says Kitch "They create themselves as they go. There is never the same thing two times, except for the size because of the mold I use."

What is Kitch's favorite piece to design? "It depends on the mood," she says. What she creates is also influenced by customer needs. Most popular now are her small plates and earrings. Around Christmas time, look for her unique glass Christmas tree ornaments. She creates these with scrap glass (she doesn't like to waste anything) and adds beading and stitching. Unusual as it sounds, glass can be stitched, says Kitch. Stitching is done with a certain type of glass. Kitch uses this method on her bowls, plates and trays. She has perfected her own technique, but owes the inspiration to a native who lived with the family in Africa. "People there don't waste anything," says Kitch. Kitch is one of the original members of Artists' Own, a cooperative of local artists. Beginning with 22 women in 1999, the art store incorporates artists using many different mediums of expression. Kitch says she is inspired and supported by these artists, one of whom is her husband, Dana Goodman.
"Dana is very supportive of me following my passion," says Kitch. The creations are her design; however Goodman is instrumental in many of the finishing touches. Together they have made "Glassroots" a successful business that they started in 1987. Flexibility is a perk in Kitch's line of work. She points out that it takes discipline and motivation to be successful. The love of art has always been there, she says, but it was glass that got her hooked. "I love glass, the beauty of the substance. It's alive and has movement with light," says Kitch. "I am fortunate that I have found something that I love and have stuck with it, getting better and better at what I do."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Your History @ CDPL: Interurban travel

Interurban trains were active in Crawfordsville from 1903 to the early 1930s. Did you know that you could board a "traction" car at a station on Washington Street at one of more than two dozen times daily in order to arrive in Indianapolis in less than two hours? The tracks leading to Indianapolis ran south on Washington Street and turned east on Wabash Avenue -- going all the way to Grace Avenue, where the tracks turned south before eventually turning east again (near Elmore) to continue to Indianapolis. Stops along the way were in Linnsburg, New Ross, Jamestown, Lizton, Pittsboro, Brownsburg, Clermont, the Indiana Girl's School, and Speedway. Come to the Reference Department @ CDPL to learn more about your history! This photograph was taken in front of 313 E. Wabash sometime around 1910. Current-day residents would have difficulty imagining having to dodge interurban cars coming back and forth down the middle of this busy street.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

In the Gallery: June

In the Gallery
CAROL GRIFFITH was born in Celina, Ohio and moved to Dayton when she was three. She graduated from Oakwood High School and went on to the University of Dayton. For eighteen months after graduation she worked at National Cash Register Company and realized it was not for her, for Art was to be her Life!

She married, had two sons and was a stay-at-home mom until her sons grew older and Carol realized she was a good enough artist to support herself, which she did for twenty five years. As a practicing artist she sculpted children in clay and made exact doll images in porcelain. Most of the dolls were commission pieces.

Her work is on permanent display in Sidney and Melbourne, Australia museums, where she traveled extensively, displaying and selling her work and making authentic repairs and restorations to antique dolls for New York Antique Dealers. She created unique and unusual porcelain Christmas ornaments that are now collector’s items.

When Carol met and married Steve, his business required a move to Indiana. She packed up her kilns and porcelain and settled on the sandy shores of Morse Lake in Cicero, Indiana. Soon after the move, Steve told Carol she didn’t have to work anymore. So, after fifteen years, the kilns and porcelain have not been unpacked.

The Renaissance woman and her art began to emerge. She enrolled in Photography classes, then Watercolor lessons at The Indianapolis Art Center and studied with Leah Traugot and Joanne Cardwell. She joined the Watercolor Society of Indiana and The Hamilton County Artists Association and began taking workshops with nationally known artists. She entered competitions, sometimes being rejected and sometimes winning prizes. One of her proudest moments was winning the Best of Show award for a photograph of her granddaughter, Zoey. It was the first time in the history of this competition that a photograph had ever won Best of Show! At the same show in the same year, she also won third place in Watercolor. Both of these works are on display in this show.

Indianapolis born, LYNNE HAMRICK found a small Craft Shop in Mooresville, Indiana that offered craft classes and fell head-over-heels in love with their egg art classes. She took several and soon began designing her own eggs and shortly thereafter began teaching classes herself. She enjoys both designing and teaching others to design. In the last 35 years she has made over one thousand eggs which she shares with others and gives as gifts.

She uses eggs of all sizes from quail to ostrich, but prefers goose eggs because of their hard, smooth shell. Lynne now buys already blown eggs from Texas since they are no longer available in this area. The egg, for Lynne, is a symbol of new life and she finds great joy in creating something new and beautiful from them.