Category: Inspirations

Why I Marched

“Every woman’s success is all of our success.” Marcia Tucker

Last Friday night, I boarded a bus in Louisville, Kentucky, en route to the Women’s March in Washington D.C.  After arriving Saturday morning, I participated in the largest national mass demonstration in history.  Later that evening, I got back on the bus headed home.  I returned Sunday morning, totally wrecked, but ready to do it all over again.

So what motivated this kind of arduous activity?

It’s no secret that I am incredibly disappointed by the election results, but I didn’t march because my candidate lost, nor was I there to mock or belittle the newly inaugurated president.

I marched because I believe in equal rights for all humans, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, political or religious affiliation.  I marched because I believe in reproductive freedom, universal healthcare, right to clean water, clean air, and feel strongly that our environment must be protected.  I marched because I believe that our diversities are the strength of this country.  I marched because I don’t want to lose the ground that women have fought so hard for over the past 60 years!!  In the spirit of democracy I marched for what I believe is right and because I’m concerned about the new administration’s stances on health care, climate change, education and other policies I personally find frightening.

And when ya stand up for the things you believe in, it feels really good to do so!  By all reports, not one arrest was made in all the Women’s March demonstrations nationwide…including sister marches on all 7 continents…which is an incredibly impressive feat!!  With a polarized nation, during a time where tensions are most high, I think this something that ALL, regardless of party affiliation, can be proud of.

So why are women NOT ruling the world already??

On the bus, where a fellow marcher passed out the trademark pink pussy hats that so many of us marchers donned.

 

 

The bus arrived in D.C. later than anticipated, and the walk from the bus to the capital ended up being the closest thing to a march that I experienced due to the sheer number of people who showed up.  There were so many in attendance that all streets surrounding Independence Ave were jammed with little room for maneuvering!!  As we walked through residential neighborhoods to the capital, many locals came out and cheered us on…some with tears in their eyes.

 

 

 

Literally a sea of people…and this was still early!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Women’s March on Washington sent a powerful message to our new government on their first day in office.  But now the real work must be done.  All humans have the power to change the future.  May we be more engaged citizens in creating a stronger democracy for our country!!

 

 

Love is Love is Love is Love!

Peace,

~jz

Cooking more metals…this time with plant material!

So, it’s no secret that I have thing for working with metal these days.  My most recent work are images transferred onto large metal substrates, custom made from heavy duty aluminum foil, distressed in the dishwasher.  A few months ago, I started experimenting with cooking aluminum in a turkey roaster to get an aged look to the plates.  There is some resemblance of control when purposefully distressing aluminum in this fashion…but not always…and it’s that element of chance that makes this process so exciting to me!

Before I worked with items such as cardboard, bubble wrap, plastic stencils and textured fabrics to create one of a kind substrates…and I had some really great results.  But what kind of imagery can you get when using natural plant material?  Will the shapes of leaves be present?  Will the plant material simply disintegrate in the cooking process?  Pictured below is the plant life I cooked up.

No plant life was purposefully cut for this creative experiment!  Most was either picked from yard waste prior to pick up or pruned from my personal plants.

 

 

These two plates were sandwiched between a palm frond.  Love the mirrored look!

 

And here are more of my results from my cooking session with plant material.

 

 

And while it’s always interesting to see the results from the cooking process, here’s where the fun really begins…that of matching substrate to image!

Below are several examples visually detailing the process of matching image to substrate.   The individual aged plate is on the left, original image is in the center and the combination of the two are on the left.

 

 

 

The following are final results after transferring image to plates.  These have yet to be enhanced with oil paints…but it won’t be long until they are.  All I know is that I’m ready to do so much more of these!

 

I found that I really loved working with monotone type images and those with lots of negative space so the aging of the plates come through.  I also was quite drawn to those that became more abstract.  It was quite fun to line up patterns in plate to colors and lines in images…creating a new version of the landscape!

 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  And as always…thanks for hanging in there!

~jz

2017 Great Meadows Foundation Artist Professional Development Grant Recipient

2017 has already started off on the right foot!!  It brings me great pleasure to announce that I have been awarded an Artist Professional Development Grant from Great Meadows Foundation!

Great Meadows Foundation is a grant giving foundation, launched in 2016 by contemporary art collector and philanthropist Al Shands.  The vision and purpose of Great Meadows Foundation is to strengthen and support the visual arts in Kentucky.  There are accomplishing this by empowering artists and visual arts professionals to research, connect, and participate more actively in the broader contemporary art world.

Examples of professional development grants awarded include travels to attend conferences, major exhibitions, art fairs and biennials.  These experiences will enable recipients to connect with professionals in the field and help them develop their practice.  In pursuit of their proposals, grantee artists are traveling to American cities such as Boston, L.A,, Chicago and New York, as well as to countries as diverse as Cuba, Dubai, Greece, Iceland, and Korea to name just a few.

So where am I headed?  I will be attending CONTACT, the world’s largest photography festival in Toronto during the month of May 2017.  Each day of this week long trip will be devoted to exploring the broad spectrum of programming presented at this internationally respected photography festival, with the ultimate goal of initiating meaningful interaction and exchanges with the individuals who are making, presenting and viewing these works alongside myself.

CONTACT is a photography festival that is committed to advancing knowledge, creativity and innovation in photography.  As a photographer whose heart lies beyond the click of the shutter, I too seek ways to advance knowledge, creativity and innovation in my work.  The impact of this deeply educational experience is sure to be present in my output for years to come, not only by inspiring new ways of creating but also incorporating conceptual ideas in my practice.  It could also be the impetus that broadens my audience and advances my career.

It was a true pleasure applying for this grant.  The wide parameters and narrow time constraints of the application made me super aware of current and upcoming exhibitions as well as potential development opportunities worldwide, several of which I have already submitted too!

Thank you Great Meadows Foundation!!

The Great Meadows Foundation region encompasses the 120 counties of Kentucky, and the Greater Louisville area of Clark and Floyd counties in Indiana. The next deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday March 19, 2017.  Travel in this cycle must be carried out between May 1 and October 31, 2017.  Click HERE to learn more and apply!

~jz