So… Here we are. It feels as though we’ve stepped through a portal into an alternate reality, or perhaps awoken washed up on the shores of Lilliput completely surrounded by tiny creatures who may or may not do us harm.
By the time you read this, you may have heard the news that the coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of most planned NWSSA events in 2020. This includes the Kubota Garden Youth Carving Workshop, the Women’s Carving Workshop, the Volunteer Park pop-up exhibition, the Washington International Sculpture Symposium (at camp Pilgrim Firs), and the Oregon International Sculpture Symposium (at camp Suttle Lake). This brings new feelings of loss and sadness. It will be the first time in three decades that either of the symposiums have been cancelled. Through our events, we keep the stone sculpting art form alive and vibrant. Our members rely on these events to collaborate, and to inspire our studio practice through the rest of the year.
The question is, how do we choose to respond to this situation? Please, first and foremost, take care of your health. That includes giving yourself carving time! Apply your creative problem solving skills; in many ways we are better equipped than most to deal with this situation. Stay in contact. Call friends and see what projects they are working on. It will lift you up! Even though NWSSA activity will be limited, we are still here, and we will get through this. We had a great exhibit at the Northwest Flower & Garden show in February, for which we are grateful to Ed Salerno for taking up the mantle from Nicky Oberholtzer. Our new pilot project, the rotating public art exhibit at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA, is still active and soon will be seeing lots of summertime visitors. Finally, every two months this journal will keep bringing images, stories, and articles on the art of stone sculpture direct to your home.
To all the members of the tribe, be blessed with good health and good fortune and know that you are not alone. Better days will be here soon; let’s get to work on creating them.
Ben, Maya, Kentaro, Ellie, Doug, Cyra, and Ken
From the Editors…
Happy new year! The days are starting to get longer and that means more carving time every week. This issue we are highlighting NWSSA member Eirene Blomberg, who shares with us how her work as a sculptor has been developing and becoming a more central part of her life.
There are several exhibition opportunities to be aware of, whether you just want to see colleagues sculpture on display or would like to exhibit work yourself. See Cyra Jane’s article about the Seattle Erotic Art Festival (SEAF) to learn about how to get involved. If you would like to have a sculpture considered for the 2020 exhibition, get in touch with Cyra right away; she is still accepting submissions to be juried up through January 25th, 2020. Over the longer term, we expect to need large works for exhibition in our new rotating public art exhibit at Marymoor Park. See the article about the launch of our King County Public Art in the Park to learn more.
Last but not least, the 4th annual Women’s Hand Carving Weekend and Show will be the weekend of June 5th, 6th, and 7th this year. It will continue at its usual venue, the Old Alcohol Plant in Port Hadlock, WA. If you have any questions, please reach out to Ellie Hochman by phone/text at 206-419-3499.
Be well, read about art, talk to other artists, and make something to soothe your soul. See you soon at the Winter Gathering on February 8th.
~Benjamin & Maya