Updated: Feb 7
New things are happening in the studio, finally.
I have always drawn flat, 2-D graphic shapes. As a teenager, I drew to pass time during my long, daily commute from the suburbs across the Causeway Bridge to my high school in New Orleans. In college at the Kansas City Art Institute, I discovered how to make them from wood using a CNC router rather than cut paper. Each shape is an archive of large and small: living rooms, kitchen cabinets, bi-fold doors, highways, airport runways, bridges. During my residency at the Charlotte Street Foundation from 2014-2016, I began to desire more from the shapes. What were they capable of? I soon discovered each could fold to become their own space. The memories, colors, houses, and cities I think about slowly developed the architectural presence I craved.
A shape like this:
As I modeled the shapes using balsa wood or thin poplar stock, I realized how far I had to go to wrap my head around translating something two-dimensional as three-dimensional space.
In 2018, Oliver and I researched woodworking classes we could attend together at a nearby school. During the hunt, Oliver found a class called Stereotomy: Building Architectural Models. He thought taking the course was the difference between life and death for my studio work. I brushed him off at first, but I eventually signed up and applied for a grant to help pay for the class and travel. Thank you ArtsKC.
The class was a gamechanger. I still practice the drafting techniques I learned or review my technical drawings from the class to make certain joints. I have been on a long journey, but every series of work I build improves just a little.
Here's a shot from my exhibition titled Limen in October of 2019.
I'm currently four months past these tabletop sculptures and I finally have my sea legs. I'm building without thinking too much about the next step and I am working directly from my sketches rather than drafting a full stereotomical drawing to visualize a form.
I've stepped back from building work in the round for a while because my upcoming exhibitions only permit wall work. I'm excited to jump back in after March and see how this series will change the new work.
Stay tuned to see these in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri in the next few months. I'll make the announcement in our next newsletter we send out this Friday (2/7)!