Thursday, January 7, 2010

End Use Experience

There is a lot of value for artists to show images of their work “in use” or being able to experience their art as it was intended. I love seeing a potters bowl filed with fresh, hot soup, or a slab rolled tray of fresh bread. When Tracey posted a beautiful image of one of her bowls being used you would have thought the bowl was shipped to Tuscany! Don’t get me wrong, my favorite images are still those of the actual process of artmaking. A bit of that process seems missed though when I sell my work through a Gallery because I rarely have the opportunity to even know who purchased the work let alone see the piece in its new home. I feel a special connection can be made when artists get the opportunity to actually experience their work through the people (or patrons) who have adopted the work into their lives. Sunday there was a voice mail inviting me to attend the Tabernacle dedication. Last year about this time I was commissioned to make a Globe Tabernacle for the Horizon House Chapel and this summer, an accompanying wheat wall sculpture and wall

sconce were commissioned. I had no idea the formality or spiritual significance of the dedication I was invited to, but had decided to shuffle a few things because the caller mentioned that Sister Kathleen (the force and real vision behind the Tabernacle project) would be there. The Church had recently “retired” Sister Kathleen at 80 years young from Alaska to the East Coast. I admire and adore Sister Kathleen –I’m not sure if it’s P.C. to adore nuns but I adore her. I’m also not a Catholic but have learned many things and have been truly inspired by Sister Kathleen, as are the many people who meet her. She is a gift. To attend the dedication meant a bit of schedule juggling and Daddy-O taking Gus to his first Swim America lesson for which we have been on a waiting list FOR MONTHS. My friend, Marieke was right. When she first joked about NEVER, EVER being able to miss her kid's swim lessons, I just chalked it up as being a

good mommy, that may be but this had more to do with not losing a coveted spot many families wait to for MONTHS to get.

With Gus and Daddy-O at Swim America, I’m so glad I was able to attend the dedication. An intimate group of about 30 people gathered at the Horizon House Chapel for the dedication. Attending were a few of Anchorages civic leaders, prominent families, donors to the Chapel and directors and supporters of Providence Alaska’s Horizon House. The dedication was a surprisingly beautiful mass with communion. The highlight being the lighting of the candle by family members in remembrance of their mother whose donation made the project possible blessing the new tabernacle, wheat sculpture and wall sconce. The custom fabricated wall sconce Rick and I made held the

eternal flame candle and as the candle was lit by the family, holy water was sprinkled on the wheat sculpture as well as the globe tabernacle by a priest. Rarely do I get a chance to see my work in such a sacred, prominent place let alone being blessed by a priest. I have to say it was extremely moving and changed the way I viewed that collection of metal sculptures that came from my studio. I was feeling a bit existential and as the incredibly talented opera singer (yes, there was an opera singer) showered us with her gift of voice singing “Ave Verum, Corpus” during the Blessing Ceremony, the group bowed there heads in reflection, reverence or prayer. I was moved to better understand the importance of artists roles in our world. The ability to sing and create is a gift meant to be shared and experienced with others who do not create. I sometimes forget that artmaking is a necessary and integral part of civilized life. During the dedication ceremony I cannot recall a time where I was more proud to have been an artisan.


Kristen said...

That's amazing! What an incredible opportunity.

cookingwithgas said...

wonderful, just wonderful.
you have the ability to realize what is important.
What a gift for you.

ang said...

how super cool cindy, nice pieces from your pic it looks like theyre all one!

Linda Starr said...

Thanks for sharing the dedication with us, very inspiring.