Monday, 17 February 2014

Mennonite Arts Weekend 2014

Pin Wheel; Photo © Karen Thiessen, 2014
I've had a big week and now a cold is forcing me to rest. Last weekend I was a presenter at the Biannual Mennonite Arts Weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio. For two years it was constantly on my mind and I spent the last four months preparing images and what I would say. The weekend was a dream-come-true, except I hadn't heard of it until I was invited in 2012. I've been processing my experience over the past week and I continue to be in a state of awe and inspiration. I was only able to attend three presentations, so I stuck with the visual artists: Randall Stoltzfus, Kristina Glick, and Sarah Boyts Yoder. Sarah Boyts Yoder's mixed media paintings and collages hit me like a Mack truck. After seeing her presentation, all I wanted to do was be in my studio (instead of giving my own presentation). Her work resonated with me immediately and it's nudging my new series forward. Each of the presenters influenced me in surprising ways, even the music and drama. All week long I've been listening to The Steel Wheels in my studio. On Friday, I conceived of two Compositions that will be in homage to Yoder and Stoltzfus. Other work has been speaking to me slowly. I'm still sitting with Glick's work: how she integrates collected objects into her sculptures and jewellery inspires me. It's a mystery how some works resonate quickly, and others slowly and gradually. In all, the weekend offered me much food for thought and I look forward to attending the event in 2016 purely as an observer.

1 comment:

Judy Martin said...

Thanks for the link to Sarah Yoder. I enjoyed looking at her work v much and am inspired.
So glad that your speaking engagement was a positive experience.