Friday, October 30, 2009

Velvet da vinci... jewelry by Kay Sekimachi and Kiff Slemmons...


Velvet da vinci
Puako: Jewelry by Kay Sekimachi and Kiff Slemmons
October 28 - November 29, 2009

Opening Reception, Friday October 30, 6-8 pm

Puako: Jewelry by Kay Sekimachi + Kiff Slemmons. Work in this exhibition is inspired by the beach combings of reknowned fiber artist Kay Sekimachi and celebrated jeweler Kiff Slemmons during their stays at Puako, Hawaii. Puako Beach is located on the Big Island of Hawaii on the South Kohala coast. Kay Sekimachi has been combing the sandy beach and lava-formed tidepools in Puako Bay for twenty years. Kay is famous for her baskets and hanging sculpture and has recently started making jewelry. Kiff is known for incorporating poetic detritus of the world around her and her Puako jewelry gives her an opportunity to celebrate the beauty of humble materials. Kay and Kiff have collaborated on a few pieces although most of this work reflects their individual responses to the natural environment at Puako.

Kiff Slemmons "Thanks to Kay's invitation I began the first ten days of 2007 with a long walk on the beach at Puako on the island of Hawaii. Shifts in the array of worn coral, shells, and lava sometimes altered the context of a single fragment. The beach redesigned itself continuously--the only constant was the change. Always present was intimacy of looking down, singling out some bit of natural or unnatural detritus that then released the eye to expand across the water--the big picture and the little picture side by side conversing in steps. The synthesis of the intimate and the expansive came later in the studio."

Kay Sekimachi was born in 1926 on Cottage Row in San Francisco. Often referred to as a "weaver's weaver," she took up loom weaving in 1949 after studying at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. Her work is in permanent collections at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland; The De Young Museum, San Francisco; The Renwick Gallery of The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC;. Kay is the recipient of the Master of the Medium Award from the James Renwick Alliance in 2007, a Gold medal from the American Crafts Council in 2002, and the NEA fellowship in 1974. She is still working at age 83 and living in Berkeley.

Kiff Slemmons was born in Maxton, North Carolina in 1944. Raised in Iowa, she studied art and French at the University of Iowa and a year abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris. She received her BA in 1968. Kiff is a self-taught metalsmith who has been exhibiting for more than 30 years. The daughter of a newspaper publisher and editor, language and the written word have important roles in her work. In 2007 she completed the project Re:Pair and Imperfection, in which she transformed unfinished, unwanted, or otherwise discarded works from selected artists, a traveling exhibition which originated at the Chicago Cultural Center in 2006. More recently she has worked in Oaxaca, Mexico with local artisans to produce paper jewelry. In November 2007 she was interviewed for the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art. Her work can be found in permanent collections around the world, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Mint Museum, North Carolina; Contemporary Museum, Hawaii; and the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington. Kiff Slemmons currently lives and works in Chicago.

At the top; Kiff Slemmons "Corallary 4" Brooch

"Coral Creatures" Sculptures
Artist: Kay Sekimachi

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