This fall I had the pleasure of creating editions of two prints for friend and fellow artist Sandy Walker. Though Walker is known for his abstract figure and landscape painting, I came to know him through printmaking, through our mutual association with California Society of Printmakers. Over the past ten years, my studio Painted Tongue Press has created 5 Walker editions.
Walker’s wood blocks are minimalist abstract works printed in black ink on Japanese paper. They read like calligraphic brush strokes, which are fast and fluid, but they are set in solid and irrefutable wood –the presence of which is emphasized by careful attention to maintaining clear definition in the wood grain while printing. Fast isn’t the opposite of solid, nor fluid the opposite of irrefutable, but visually and artistically, these read as two opposing states which Walker manages to not simply cause to coexist, but to form an intrinsic union, to present together as one. They are influenced by place, but not a specific place, and they deal with essence that goes deeper than appearance.
The beautiful titles of these two pieces are influenced by the poet Farnham Blair, with whom Walker has been working in collaboration. The images on these blocks were developed in the North Cascades of Washington State and were carved in the artist’s Oakland studio.
The prints were on display at Gary Francis Fine Art this fall, in the show “Sandy Walker: Figures & Landscapes,” which offers a closing reception Sunday October 26th at 3 pm, 1419E Park St, Alameda, California.
As part of my role at Painted Tongue Press, I’ve had the pleasure recently of creating a letterpress invitation featuring the artwork of Maya Lin, on the occasion of the David Brower Center’s annual Art/Act Award. I wanted to take a moment to share a little about this special event with you.
The David Brower Center in Berkeley offers education and arts programs to support and sustain social and environmental activism. The Art/Act award is presented by the Center each year to honor an established artist who has devoted a significant portion of their practice to transforming perceptions and enticing action.
This year, the Center honors acclaimed sculptor and architectural designer, Maya Lin. Lin is known widely for her Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. Her recent work calls attention to threatened ecosystems. Following Hurricane Sandy, Lin began addressing the fragility of bodies of water around the world, creating abstract wall sculptures to represent entities like the San Francisco Bay and Tuolumne River, both of which will be featured at the Center. Art/Act: Maya Lin will also highlight the What is Missing? project, dedicated to documenting vanishing species and environments around the world through an interactive website. As part of this year’s Art/Act, the Center is partnering with Heyday Books’s Malcolm Margolin to add an in-depth exploration of the Bay Area’s environmental history as a permanent contribution to the What is Missing? project.
To view the exhibit:
Visit the David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sundays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m
Free and open to the public.
To attend the Private Reception:
On Sunday, September 28th from 6-8 pm
is a private reception for Brower Center supporters.
Tickets are $250. If you are interested, ticketing is available here: https://secure3.4agoodcause.com/david-brower-center/register.aspx?eventid=14
Please purchase your ticket by Thursday, September 25. If you have questions, Jackie Hasa at the Brower Center is available to help: 510-809-0900 x156.
I have some events on the schedule for the upcoming year. I’ll be writing more about them as they near. Here’s an overview in chronological order:
Artspan SF Open Studios
November 1st & 2nd, 9 am – 9 pm Saturday, 10 am – 8 pm Sunday
I’ll be participating with a group of five artists at Folio Books in Noe Valley. 3957 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114
Here is my Artspan artist profile: http://www.artspan.org/artist/kimvanderheiden
I’m creating new work with a special emphasis on work inspired by an as yet unpublished poem by Marly Youmans, author of poetry collections Psyche’s Throne, The Foliate Head, Thaliad, as well as novels Glimmerglass, and Death at the White Camellia Orphanage.
Join us on the eve of November 1st for Folio Book’s 1 year anniversary party!
Follow these links for more info. RSVP is helpful but optional.
Eventbrite link: http://www.eventbrite.com/myevent?eid=13074956547
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/events/703916609661741/
Picture Book Adventures Drop-in Family Workshop
The Contemporary Jewish Museum
November 23rd, 1-3 pm
736 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Join me in creating images with my beautiful Griffin etching press. I will demonstrate how to pull your own monotypes through the press, which you can bring home with you that day. http://www.thecjm.org/programs/for-families/679-drop-in-art-making
Solo Exhibition at the Alameda County Law Library
April 3oth – June 19th
Oakland. 125 12th Street, Oakland CA 94607
May 1st is Law Day! I will be joining the American Bar Association in celebration of the 800th birthday of the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta was originally written by feudal barons to impose restrictions on the King John of England. It has evolved greatly over the course of its history, becoming a code that defends the rights of the common citizen, leading to the rule of constitutional law in England, the U.S. and beyond. As this is a living, changing law, the work I will be displaying will address areas where, as a common citizen in our present time, I would like to see the law develop to serve us even better. More on this to come. Please join me in the sharing of ideas.
Water Street Studios Residency
June/July 2015 – final dates TBA160 S Water St, Batavia, IL 60510
Florida Artist Jenny Zoey Casey and I are pleased to be working in collaboration on a project for the Water Street Studios residency in Batavia, near Chicago. In the fall of 2014 through summer of 2015 we are exchanging a number of phone calls in which one artist describes a scene before them, and the other artist must create the artwork based on the first artist’s description. The sketches and finished pieces that will compose the body of work from this experiment will include Casey’s artwork depicting my life in Oakland, CA and my residency time in Batavia, and my artwork will depict scenes from her life in rural Florida and her separate residency time in Batavia.
I wanted to share a few words about the work in my upcoming show at Subterranean Arthouse, and how it relates to my studio neighborhood, known as Ghost Town.
In my art studio neighborhood, there is an community urban farm. On the fence is painted in 6 foot, somewhat graffiti-styled letters, “Ghost Town Farms.” Across the street, the garden (fence, vegetables, chickens, and all) look soon-to-be-devoured by the characters in a frightening mural by Jon Wayshak and Skinner. These hellish demons glower with bulging eyes, evil teeth, and faces of rage and wickedness. Flowing directly from that nightmare is a group of mystical light-filled paintings that include the 12 foot tall beautiful face of a woman fulfilled with radiance and inner peace. Across the street on the other corner is a vibrant building that once featured a mural, but has now been overlayed with tags, displaying a jumble of color and spectacular energy.
We are in Ghost Town.Read More»
“Observation Points” featuring Barbara Milman & Kim Vanderheiden
At The Subterranean Arthouse: 2179 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Exhibition dates: June 4th -25th 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, June 6th 5:30-8:00 PM
Sundays 1:00-4:00, or by appointment
(firstname.lastname@example.org) & during scheduled Subterranean Arthouse events.* (Some events may require tickets. See http://subterraneanarthouse .org for event schedule and details.)
I was thrilled to learn last weekend that a piece of mine is in a show with the Tall Grass Arts Association in Park Forest, IL, near Chicago. Due to an email glitch, I had been accepted and hadn’t known. The reception is this Friday. Thankfully, there was just enough time to get the work packaged up and off to the gallery!
The other pieces I’ve seen from the show look really interesting. If you’re in the Chicago area, I recommend including this in your Friday or Saturday plans, and when you do, you can tell me how everything looks, for I’ll be curious! I’ll be in town to see the end of the show, but not at the reception.
Here are the details:
Identity Interpreted and Assumed: Self Portrait
Opening reception: Friday May 23rd 2014, 7-9 pm
Open house: coffee and conversation with juror and artists Saturday, May 24th 11 am.
Juror: Ruth Crnkovich
Curator: Thomas Lanham
TALLGRASS ARTS ASSOCIATION
367 Artists Walk, Park Forest, IL 60466
website www.tallgrassarts.org, or call the Gallery 708 748 3377
A story about steep climbs, Morocco, and painting heat in the desert.
Yesterday, I took my two daughters, ages 3 and 5, for a walk at Lake Chabot. As it turns out, most of the city decided to enjoy the beautiful day there as well. Alas, there was nowhere nearby to park.
Now let me give you the lay of the land. Lake Chabot is a reservoir in the Oakland Hills near San Leandro. Ensconced in steep hills and natural California wildlife habitat on all sides, it has a paved path for walkers and joggers that looks out over the lake. Further downhill at the shore are areas for fishing and boating, and there’s a low green grass area for parties and barbeques. To get to the park, you go down a hill to the paid parking lot. If you park for free on the road above the park, you will need to walk up a sizable hill at the end of your hike or workout, or when your children are overtired. Well, I didn’t find $5 in my purse for parking, but I thought the girls could handle the hill at the end. However, when we arrived, the nearest parking we found was up yet another long steady slope that we’d have to trek after we had just climbed up to the road.
Not to be deterred, we went ahead with our walk anyway. The girls did a great job. Lana is strong and active. Lia was tired, having recently given up her afternoon nap, but she was a trooper and kept at it. I brought no stroller, so she didn’t have much choice I suppose, but in any case she did well. We took the hills slowly at the end, stopping to rest when Lia said she was tired.
Eventually, the van came into sight in the distance ahead, but by then, Lia was spent. As I handed Lana the sweatshirt I was carrying and scooped up Lia, I told Lana a story that took place in Morocco, before she was born.
My husband, David, and I were traveling there with a small group. We drove in Land Rovers across the Sahara Desert and into the High Atlas Mountains near Algeria, where we stayed with the Imam of a small village. We slept on the rooftop. I’ve never seen such stars in my life. Absent city lights for hundreds of miles, the sky seemed sprinkled with powdered sugar. We certainly weren’t absent sound however! A veritable cacophony carried on through the night – a donkey would bray and wake a rooster, who would crow and wake the dogs. All the dogs in the village would bark, and then the dogs in a nearby village would pick up the chorus, and the rooster would crow again, the donkey bray again. Then they’d all settle down for a bit, and then the donkey would bray…Read More»
This December, the Array show opens at the Berkeley Art Center, and this piece, “If You Were to Try” is there. The words for this piece were pulled from a couple of wonderful poems that I’d love to share with you. The first is a poem by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks, (The Essential Rumi, Jalal al-Din Rumi/Coleman Barks, HarperOne, 1995) and it’s one that’s influenced three of my works so far:
“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.”
The second poem is called “The Return,” by Geneen Marie Haugen (© 2007). A wonderful piece that hasn’t been published, so it’s a treat for us to be able to see it here. Enjoy! And then carry on with your own thunderous journey, if perchance you’re on one. My piece, “If you were to try” depicts the beginning of such a journey.Read More»
Mockup for 6 color letterpress commemorative poster by Kim Vanderheiden to be printed by guests at the SFCB on Thursday, November 7th, 2013, 6:30-8:30 pm. Guests may keep their own copies of the print.
California Society of Printmakers is the oldest printmaking society in the United States, with its official announcement appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 19, 1913. This fall, it marks its 100th birthday with the publication of its centennial book, California Society of Printmakers: 100 Years, 1913–2013. Please join our celebration and book launch at the San Francisco Center for the Book on Thursday November 7th, at 375 Rhode Island Street in San Francisco, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.Read More»
One of the mixed media versions of this print will be in the new book, California Society of Printmakers: 100 Years, 1913-2013, edited by Maryly Snow, published by California Society of Printmakers, coming out in October 2013. We will share links and more information about the upcoming publication later this year.
You can view more work by Kim Vanderheiden at www.kimvanderheiden.com
“I Will Build” (extended mixed media version) Linoleum print, monotype and letterpress on paper. 13.5×22″ price available upon request.
A business seems like another life form sometimes. Indeed our corporations have their own legal rights and corporate personae. My experiences as owner of a sole proprietorship tell me that my (very) small business, too, has it’s own sense of being that’s apart from me. Feeding and raising it is another form of motherhood.
This piece, Time is Money, explores the tension between two limited resources when running a small business. The business needs both to grow. It must be fed. The clock is ticking. If it’s fed enough, it will turn time into money, more money than it needs. If it isn’t fed enough, it will eat time and money both, until it dies. Which will it be?
… tic toc tic toc tic toc tic toc …Read More»
“I’ve given my whole life to being an artist, every ounce, so that there’s nothing left. Now I need something else, but I’m emptied out,” (Crow, April 2013). This was said by artist Mike Kelley to his friend and art historian, John Welchman, shortly before Kelley committed suicide at the height of his art career. Kelley was reflecting on his earlier decision to not marry or have children, but instead to live life fully as an artist. It’s a troubling statement, not surprisingly, of course, given the context.Read More»
I received a notification today – a picture of “The Diameter of the Bomb” broadside (I don’t know which one) that Bill Denham and I collaborated on was accepted into the book, “For the Love of Letterpress.” by Martha Chiplis and Cathie Ruggie Saunders, to be published by Bloomsbury, coming out in the UK in August and US in October of this year. Here are some photos of the work, which was created for the “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” project, lead by Beau Beausoleil, owner of The Great Overland Book Company. It’s a really incredible project that has grown from artists responses to the bombing of Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad on March 5th of 2007. Al-Mutanabbi Street, eponymously named for a beloved Iraqi poet, is the book market, a gathering place for the sharing of ideas, and a haunt of writers and artists. The attack was seen by many as an attempt to surpress speech and open thinking. No one claimedRead More»
This is a small work I’ve been working on recently – the dimensions are only 7×5″. The text reads:
What will I give? I will build. If you don’t quit, you haven’t failed. Insanity is repeating the same action and expecting a different result. Ashes ashes ashes ashes, try again, try again, try again, try again, try again, try again . . . Hurry up please it’s time! ashes ashes ashes . . . I WILL! i am. we all fall down. What have I given? I AM.
With three young children, there tends to be a lot of noise in my daily environment. A lot of voices, chatter, singing, laughter, requests, demands, sparring, farting noises, shooting noises. Noise presses in on all sides. It can get hard to think, and without your own thoughts, who are you anyway?
Does determination (I WILL) or self determination, (I AM) make a difference? What of my self will I give in this lifetime? How? and When?