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Hello to you, from this all too infrequent blog post.

I wanted to share some upcoming works that will be shown this weekend and share a bit more detail about one in particular.  Women’s Rights are Human Rights will be shown during SOFA Expo this weekend.  Also, TRUTH at Walnut Creek Farms will be shown as part of a show titled Truth as a Contested Concept, at Women Made Gallery.

I am thrilled to share the piece, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, shown in the Inspired Interiors Booth 41 at SOFA Expo 2019!  See the Facebook post here.  Like most things, Facebook is woefully inadequate to fully express the nuance of things or thoughts or ideas, when one wants to go deeply in to a topic.

The designers at Inspired Interiors invited artists to propose works for their SOFA booth, very intentionally focused on significant, historical events, related to women’s rights and women’s history. The accepted proposals were gently steered towards these important events that include reproductive rights, hiring practices based on gender, women’s suffrage, and more.  I am a firm believer in understanding from whence we came in order to understand where we must go.

Here is the more detailed information and further links that hopefully may peak your curiosity about the inspiration for my art work, how far we have come and how far we need to go.

Above is the amazing superhero, Mechelle Vinson, who took her sexual harassment case all the way to the Supreme Court… and won!  The Wiki link goes in to some detail along with this recent Washington Post article.  Long before #MeToo by another superhero, Tarana Burke, there was Ms Vinson paving the way.

A SCOTUS document here from the Washington and Lee University School of Law . helped guide my thoughts while viewing the annotations, double, triple, and quadrubled, underlined sentences by the various Supreme Court justices.  You will find strips of a color print of that document, rolled up in many of the pockets of the skirt.

Oral arguments of the case here, including the only female on the Court at the time, Sandra Day O’Connor.

Lastly, an image detail of the skirt that I will be wearing tomorrow night and through the weekend at SOFA Expo 2019 at Navy Pier, titled:  Women’s Rights are Human Rights, silk organza excerpts from the SCOTUS document in each pocket along with repeated images of Mechelle Vinson.  100 pockets to symbolize the 2020 anniversary of Women’s Suffrage.  45 pockets are black and brown to symbolize the 45 year gap for black and brown people to wait to vote, as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed 45 years later.

 

(detail in progress) Women’s Rights are Equal Rights

I will be at Opening Night at SOFA Expo from 5p through the evening, wearing the work.  I will also be there wearing the skirt, on Friday Nov 1, 4-6.  Saturday Nov 2, 2-4.  Sunday Nov 3, 2-4.  It would be great to see you!

Lastly, TRUTH at Walnut Creek Farms will be experiencing a reprise.  I am excited to be in this show, opening Friday night.  I have admired the curator, Indira Freitas Johnson’s  work for such a long time, so I consider this a triple thrill to be included in the exhibition.  Opens November 1 6-8p and up until Nov 23.  I will be at the opening, cuz I am still in need of some TRUTH!

I will forever be grateful to Ned and Lyrah Bushnell, for they offered up their farm for the installation back in 2011.  Please refer to past blogposts for more information about the making and documenting TRUTH at Walnut Creek Farms, The Fields Project, and more.  Photo:  Peter J Schulz Photography

 

 

Weather the Weather

In collaboration with The Art Center Highland Park, Jennifer Dotson, founder of Highland Park Poetry and I, invite you to Weather the Weather – Artists and Poets respond to the Weather.

Exhibit runs currently through March 1, 2019

Available for viewing during business hours, M-F 8a to 5p.  Christmas and New Years Day, closed.
ELIZABETH PETERSON Ice Island.jpg

Photo: Ice Island – Elizabeth Peterson

Reception:  January 14, 2019 at 4pm.

Artist and Poet Reception will include poetry, a welcome by Zoe Carlson, curator for the Art Center Highland Park, an address by the mayor of Highland Park, Nancy Rotering along with special guest Jon Davis, Chief Meteorologist of Riskpulse.
Refreshments will be served.and refreshments.

“Whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot, we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not.”
This tongue twister cleverly captures that no matter where on the planet we live, we are all subject to the weather. From drought to flooding, hurricanes to blizzards – all of us are experiencing increasingly severe or extreme weather patterns, global climate change, and traumatic events. We are bombarded with weather alerts, images, suffering and beauty, along with waves of information on our phones, computers and television. Weather phenomenon is an obvious metaphor for the storms of culture, politics, personal relationships and the individual psyche.
Guest curators, Visual Artist, Catherine Schwalbe and Poet, Jennifer Dotson have invited responses to the theme of Weather. Schwalbe, is a practicing artist, curator, and educator. Dotson, is a published poet and founder of Highland Park Poetry (2018 Mayor’s Award for the Arts). Both women have collaborated, exhibited, and created thought provoking exhibitions for over two decades!

The curators have welcomed collaborations, ekphrastic responses, as well as works that evolve into a fusion of both words and visual art.

Participating Artists and Poets:
Tobi Abrams
Melanie Brown
Heather Bryant
Emily Calvo
Joseph Kuhn Carey
Jill Charles
Patrice Boyer Claeys
Marilyn Crocker
Charlotte Digregorio
Jennifer Dotson
Christine Forni
Kristina A. Govorovska
Betsy Katz
Malo Kolodziej
Emma A. Kowalenko
N Masani Landfair
Kerry Leaf
Meredith London
Martin Marcus
Elizabeth Peterson
Hallie Redman
Marjorie Rissman
Larissa Rolley
R. Craig Sautter
Cathi Schwalbe
Mary Seyfarth
Peggy Shearn
Merle Tovian
Joe Weintraub
Lynn West

A big thank you to Adam Zucker for his attention to my #FreeListening and so many others using listening as a creative tool. You articulated so much for the reader and future better listeners! With thanks, Cathi

Artfully Learning

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 3.24.45 PM Catherine Schwalbe, #FreeListening, 2018. Photo by Pate Conaway.

Active listening is one of the most valuable skills that an educator can bring into the classroom in order to create a successful student/teacher relationship. Active listening means that the teacher is fully engaged and focused on the conversation they are having with a student. There should be no other distractions. The teacher should maintain eye contact with the student, take account of the student’s tone and body language (their expressive nature through which they’re speaking), and be genuinely interested in the discussion that is taking place. It is important for educators to show that they’re truly listening by asking appropriate follow up questions, while being mindful not to interrupt the student or come across as didactic.

Active listening is a strategy that teachers should use to motivate students to become more socially and emotionally present in school. When educators really take the…

View original post 1,182 more words

#FreeListening

Art in the time of awfulness.

Greetings to you.

I wanted to share with you a social practice work title #FreeListening, that launched over Memorial Day Weekend with the annual Chicago Fluxfest.

I have been taking notes on listening for awhile and I came across notes from 4-5 years ago.  I have been wanting to do a piece about listening and wasn’t sure if there was a enough meat about my concept.  I have taken the leap while not knowing where it may lead, which is exciting and terrifying.

Below is the body of my proclamation, available to anyone who has been heard, by receiving a Certificate of Being Heard.  Each will be hand lettered by me, along with an embossed medallion for complete authenticity.  Each certificate includes the Proclamation along with tips to enhance your own listening skills.

********************************************************************************

#FreeListening – A proclamation for listening from the studio of

Catherine Schwalbe of Chicago, IL

#FreeListening – a social practice work

Proclamation

Whereas, widespread social media and technology have set us up to make ourselves loud and necessarily heard

Whereas, this artist has been told she is a great listener

Whereas, People of Color, our Elders, our Children, Free Thinkers, those who are non-binary thinking, those who are urban, those who are rural, those who are fill in the blank here, are in need of the dominant culture to sit down and listen

Whereas, all people could benefit from being heard and learning tips about being a good listener

Whereas, we speak of the fine art of speaking and we need to consider the fine art of listening

Whereas, this artist makes opportunities to engage fellow humans in her art and recreation therapy practice

Whereas, the role of older adults can be sounding boards for younger generations

Whereas, this artist has a history of social practice works

Whereas, there is value in the simple act of being heard

NOW THEREFORE, I, Catherine Schwalbe of Chicago, Illinois, do hereby proclaim Fluxfest 2018 Chicago and beyond as an opportunity to engage in #FreeListening, in Chicago and beyond, and urge all citizens to become familiar with the services and benefits of the fine art of listening, offered by the artist herself, and to support and participate in Schwalbe’s art practice whenever and wherever you come upon her.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal for #FreeListening, from the studio of Catherine Schwalbe, Chicago, IL, on this day____________________

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Some images taken at 6018North during Chicago Fluxfest last month.  Thank you Pate Conway, for the lovely documentation.

A person being heard at 6018North.

My sign is out at 6018North during Chicago Fluxfest 2018

Side note:  Following a post on my Instagram using the hashtag #freelistening, I received a couple of very supportive messages from this amazing group.  I decided to move forward with my piece, even though there might be some overlap with intent.

 

If you are interested in hosting or have any skills listed below such as

  • Wanting to be heard
  • Wanting to be a guest listener
  • Offering a location for #FreeListening
  • Wanting more information about #FreeListening
  • You speak a foreign language or use ASL and want to participate

kindly contact me at casbah3d@gmail.com or comment on this blog.

As always, thank you for paying attention.

 

 

Tonight.  Tomorrow.  Ongoing.  Forthcoming.

Tonight

…in light of recent events, consider joining hundreds of Nasty Women and other rabble-rousers, for the first ever Chicago version of Nasty Women.  Susan McBride, of Lillstreet Studios is the force behind this amazing event taking place this evening.  All works sold will benefit Planned Parenthood. I am thrilled to donate “Nasty with Brass Ovaries” to the event. Porcelain, stoneware, silk organza and brass marbles 8”X8”

Nasty with Brass Ovaries Porcelain, stoneware, silk organza, brass marbles 8X8″

Tomorrow

Celebrate #World Labyrinth Day with a Labyrinth Workshop at UNUM Gallery 1-3 pm at 3039 W. Carroll St.  Chicago, IL

Join me and others while we make a table/lap top labyrinth to enjoy for years to come, in conjunction with Mistakes were Made, a two person exhibition with Nathan Mason at UNUM Gallery (studio and gallery of Barbara Koenen). Text/call if you are coming to make a labyrinth or just come on by and see the show. I will be there most of the afternoon.

With Narrow Feet – extruded lengths of terra cotta brick clay. Outdoor hardy.

Ukranian Institute of Modern Art

Finger labyrinth, cast iron, soil, handbuilt ceramic, and micro-greens

(large labyrinth) – Time cards from the Woolen Mill, Reedsburg, WI, industrial sewing machine, bamboo, crazy quilt remnant

Labor + Time (detail) – Time cards from the Woolen Mill, Reedsburg, WI, industrial sewing machine, bamboo, crazy quilt remnant

Ongoing

Everything has come to this Moment – Reprise at Waubonsee Community College – Dickson Window Project  Date:  Present through June 17, 2017   Viewable 24/7 through the Dickson Windows!

Everything has come to this Moment – A Reprise. Handbuilt porcelain, stoneware, ochre, and terra cotta, found objects, urban detritus from growing projects, fabric, salvaged fabric, discarded numbers from irrigation rows, cafeteria food trays, discarded plow blades, salt, dried clay.

 

Forthcoming

Corn Again? Maiz Nuevo?

Curating and participating in this show with three other amazing creatives!  Margaret Berry of Lincoln, NE, Hector Duarte and Piloto Nieves of Chicago.  All corn all the time!  An exhibit.  A shared, Corn centric meal, and so much more.  August 18 and 19th, 2017 Woolen Mill Gallery in Reedsburg, WI, under the venerable umbrella Wormfarm Institute.

 

This life is rich with good people.  I encourage us all to move towards the light.  Thanks for visiting!

Always, Cathi

 

 

 

This image of The Great Lakes from Mars in January of 2014.

This image of The Great Lakes from Mars in January of 2014.  Yahoo News

Greetings.  Please, get a sweater.  Our winter isn’t over yet.

I wanted to share images, thoughts, and even some video, from my 2014 Winter odyssey towards Buffalo, NY and the environments of the Great Lakes.  I was going to represent my work and the infancy of the Sewing Forgiveness piece, that was to be shown at the U of Buffalo Art Galleries, in the show titled Yoko Ono Fan Club, juried by friend and then curator, Julie Rozman.  Most fellow northerners I know were escaping the record temperatures and ice and headed somewhere south.  Of course, often feeling like I am swimming upstream, why would being in the coldest winter on record, send me to warmer climates too?  I rented a car (Hey!  It had a heated steering wheel!) and headed to Buffalo.  I made plans and reservations for Buffalo a couple of days.  Then, a Fluxus friend and his wife offered their home in Toronto, since I wouldn’t be far.  I committed to little, other than penciling off nearly a week away, and being with myself for most of it.

Driving long distances in February may not have been very smart in hindsight, but I made it there with little sliding around, one speeding ticket (Indiana) and a reason that revealed itself mid route.  I was driving, incapable of syncing my cell with the rental car’s system, trying to connect with dear humans while enroute (with no success) wind blowing, bitter cold all around.  Eyes watering up for the feelings I was having about my own judgement.  Wondering about the sanity of this trip and my ability to make other healthy choices in my life.  You know, that crazy making place we go sometimes when we want to beat ourselves up with the hammer of self doubt.

Then it hit me.

I would/could/should be near 4 of the 5 Great Lakes on this trip.  I followed so much of the weather patterns last year, its effect on the region, the water, our lives.  It was my way of embracing what was squarely in front me.  I came across the Yahoo image (above) from Mars, of the Great Lakes, sometime in early January of 2014.  I immediately thought “I need to render that feeling in porcelain.”  This road trip was weeks later.  I knew that I must supplement the piece,  presently only existing in my head, with melted snow and ice… from each Great Lake.   Of course!

Now the trip made sense.  Purpose, along with folly, mixed in with some risk and discomfort, and add good humans.  Now this is a road trip I could sink my cross country skis into!  I began mapping in my head, and later that evening in Buffalo at the Holiday Inn, and felt at peace with the New York state winds, snow, and the sense of possibilities ahead.

Another inspiring image of one of my favorite lakes.

I knew paddleboarding at Montrose was a far of dream.

I knew paddleboarding at Montrose was a far off dream.

20% of the world’s fresh waters comes from these beauties.  I can’t help but be in awe of them.

Here is a map along with some stats from a year ago, further affirming the uniqueness of our experience last Winter, and what has now proved, to be another, albeit waning, very cold, winter.  Note:  this is from 2014

Great Lakes Frozen 2014

and this comparison of 2014 and 2015 with more information here.

2014 and 2015 comparison with more info on the link below.

2014 and 2015 comparison with more info on the link above.

I think of my father this morning.  Today would have been his 81st birthday.    He is with me every day but especially when I see a swallow in flight.  Happy Birthday Dad.  I still miss you.

Watch for more on the final work, Polar Vortex.  Thanks so much for reading.

Sewing Forgiveness Postcard copyHi there!

A realization:  It has dawned on me, in recent weeks, from where the social practice works (in my art practice) have derived.  I have been working as a recreation therapist in long term care most of my adult life.  My role has been to engage people.  Either with each other, their environment/heart/mind, or those that visit (care partners, family, and friends).  It seems more natural than ever to have an overlap with that passion into my more art practice.  Sometimes it takes a creative a few years (some call it distance) to see their works and analyze, if ever!  This blog post is dedicated to the recreation therapists of Quality Care Consulting Services, and especially Dr. Susan Quattrochi-Tubin, with whom I have the pleasure of working.  They are amazing and inspiring women.

so this…
CAM_logo
Featured Artist

Featured Artist
A fun thing this month:  I am honored to be one of 20 featured artists with the DCASE (Dept of Cultural Affairs and Special Events) in honor of their 19th Annual Chicago Artists Month.  Every 50 years or so this should happen to an artist!  Check out the lovely write up here and the link here for the other amazing creatives.  Thanks too, for this thoughtful perspective on a conversation with  Lillstreet intern Peyton Rack.

 

and finally this updated schedule for Sewing Forgiveness:  City of Chicago

 

October

I will be Sewing Forgiveness from 12-2 in front of Lillstreet Art Center andLillstreet Studios
4401 N. Ravenswood… then back in my studio to enjoy your company until about 6pm both days.

Updated Schedule: 

October

Lillstreet Art Center – 4401 N. Ravenswood – Ravenswood Art Walk…….Sat and Sun October 4 & 5 12-2pm
Wilson Care – 4544 N. Hazel  – An Intermediate Care Facility…….Thursday October 9 2pm
Koinonia House – 6925 N Ashland Blvd – Rogers Park an Intentional Faith-Based Community…….October 19th 4-7pm

Arcade Park – Pullman Park CPD – 11132 S. St. Lawrence Ave…….Saturday Oct 11 11-1
Back of the Yards Park  – CPD  4922 S. Throop St…….Sunday Oct 12 1-4

Garfield Park Conservatory – CPD – 300 N Central Park Ave…….Wednesday Oct 15,  5-8 pm Hort Hall
Marquette Park – Ashburn Prairie CPD   6734 S. Kedzie Avenue…….Saturday Oct 18 11-1
Indian Boundary Cultural Center    2500 W. Lunt Ave…….Saturday Oct 25 11-1

November

Blossom Boys – 9911 S. Walden Parkway  A floral shop and so much more!…….Saturday November 1

If you are reading this and would like to be connected via social media, please connect here…

  • FB:  Cathi Schwalbe
  • Twitter:  @casbah3d
  • Instagram:  casbah3d
  • Carrier Pigeon:  Please message privately for my address or either studio.  Smile.

Thanks so much for you continued interest in my art practice.

Enjoy the most beautiful time of the year in the midwest!
In art, falling leaves, and the inevitability of change,
Cathi