On Becoming an Artist
“In the past I’ve been very focused on a business, on raising children, on my husband. I feel it’s time for me to really express myself as an artist.”
Nestled among fields and farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, some sixty miles west of Philadelphia, are the home and studios of Holly and Cliff Lee. Since 1992, this dynamic pair of craft artists—she a maker of fine jewelry, he a highly respected potter—have lived here in a nineteenth-century farmhouse and worked out of its 4,500-square-foot barn, both of which they have painstakingly fashioned into spaces that fit their needs, and their artistic and aesthetic sensibilities.
Chief among these sensibilities, in Holly’s exquisitely crafted jewelry, is the interplay between containment and openness—or, put another way, between interior and exterior spaces. Her signature element, a hollow silver sphere pierced with holes, reflects this characteristic “I’ve always loved the sphere,” she says. “The sphere is endless, there’s no beginning and no end. Drilling the holes creates interior space as well. It’s about light passing through space. You have a wall—you add a window, now you’re opened up, you’re not closed anymore.”... (More)
Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love,” showing through November 30, 2014, celebrates the brilliant but all-too-brief career of the American fashion designer, whose improbable trajectory propelled him from his hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi, in the 1950s to the Paris runways of the 1980s, where he reigned supreme until his life was tragically cut short by AIDS in 1990.
“A Queen Within,” is not about the physical features of a playing piece and their influence on fashion design nor even about drawing inspiration for creativity from the game of chess in a broader sense. In the context of the exhibition the queen appears as a symbol of multiple personalities in a dream realm to which chess is only a foil: a fleeting backdrop of logic and rules against which imagination operates like an erratic outlier brought suddenly on stage. It would be difficult to picture many of the exhibition’s fantastic dresses in the mundane walks of the everyday world, but in the space beyond the looking glass—a space in which the Red Queen and the White Queen conjure in their convoluted utterings the strange associate powers of the unconscious—extremes of the imagination are right at home.
Kelly is remembered as having charmed just about every human being he ever met, and his fashions have the same effect. “I want my clothes to make you smile,” he said, and in this he succeeded—they just make you feel good. The dance-club party atmosphere of Kelly’s runway shows is brought to life by videos that loop on multiple monitors mounted on the walls above the exhibition, accompanied by a pulsing 1980s soundtrack... (More)
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