Information about Harriete Estel Berman Feed

Craft Forward Symposium 2011 - Keeping Your Radar Up for Opportunities

CraftforwardBANNER
The Craft Forward Symposium 2011 is sponsored by the California College of the Arts on April 1 to 3. I've been hearing about this upcoming symposium for over a year through a whispering "telephone game" in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Symposium is almost on my home turf. (Actually it is an hour a way from my house.)  I plan to attend and gobble up every word.  I don't want to miss a minute!

Grass_SWangle The Symposium will also feature an exhibition titled, Manufractured. This show is a new iteration related to the book of the same name (which includes a whole chapter about 41+veDJYNuL._SL160_my work). The premise of the exhibition is that all the work uses re-purposed manufactured materials. (More in a future post.)

The lead up to is Craft Forward symposium and the exhibition Manufractured are good examples for every artist and maker.

Radar-dish_Antenna 1) The importance of keeping your radar up for opportunities. You've got to be listening to the rumors, working with your local arts organizations, and reading your magazines to catch the opportunities. (see the bottom of this post for another opportunity.) 

While the list of speakers makes this a really interesting EVENT (YES, EVENT with capital letters), it doesn't seem that it was very well publicized. Why?

Measuring Compliance sculture about education by Harriete Estel Berman 2)  Every artist and maker will benefit from the nuggets of information from the speakers of Craft Forward. I plan to write something about every "session" so that everyone can benefit from this symposium.

Subscribe to ASK Harriete or check back regularly.This is our chance to hear what the leading lecturers, curators and writers have to say about the future of our respective and collective medias.

Every post will be as brief a possible. I will try to organize each blog post:

  • Title of lecture with session speaker(s)
  • Summary
  • What did I learn?
  • What were the thought provoking issues raised? 
  • What questions were Asked and Answered?
  • Background about the speakers.

GameBoardgreen1wed Share this information with your fellow artists and makers. Give a shout out! 

"Craft Forward examines the multifaceted practices that both distinguish and blur the historically charged boundaries." "The symposium brings together a diverse group of makers and thinkers to explore the ethos of craft and its resurgence in the 21st century."

This blog post is your early notice. Stay tuned for daily blogs for about two weeks until each and every lecture, presentation, event and discussion is covered.

Stay tuned.

Harriete

Below is information from the Craft Forward web site about who is sponsoring the symposium:
"Generous support for the Craft Forward symposium is provided by an anonymous donor and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Additional support is provided by Grants for the Arts / San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund and by the Chalsty Aesthetics and Philosophy Initiative, made possible by a grant from the Chalsty Foundation. Special thanks to the American Craft Council for their partnership in the realization of the symposium."


What does Craft Forward mean to you?GameBoardgreen1wed

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MAKERS: A History of American Studio Craft - HOT OFF THE PRESS!

IMG_5245 Arriving home from my family vacation at the beach, I found a mountain of mail waiting for me.  But thrill upon thrill, there was my copy of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, HOT OFF THE PRESS!  Ordered weeks ago, it has finally arrived!!!!!.

This book took five years of research and intensive effort from Bruce Metcalf and Janet Koplos. As mentioned in a previous post, this book was designed and written as a college level text book on the history of craft in the 20th century published by The University of North Carolina Press. It looks like a text book with only about one picture per page. This is definitely not a picture book. IF you aren't familiar with craft history you might want to read this book next to an internet resource for quick reference.

Makers: A History of Studio Craft

Essentially, it is the one and only book of this kind published to date. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to read the entire book word for word, cover to cover.

Joking aside, I am not kidding. This book is bound to be a milestone in the studio craft movement of the 21st century.  

SLIMfast
Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture
Recycled tin cans, battery motor, alum.
rivets, dial, screws.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 1994
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

The first chapter starts with "The Roots of Studio Craft" in the 19th century, but thereafter, each and every chapter covers one decade after another in the 20th century. My joy and excitement is that an image of my work, Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture, is included in the final chapter titled, "1990-1999 Mastery As Meaning" along with a column of commentary text.



So far the best price I've found for Makers: A History of American Studio Craft is on Amazon.com In the interest of full disclosure, clicking on the link and purchasing a book will provide this blog with a few cents as an affiliate link.

IF you don't want to buy your own book, then I suggest you ask your local library system immediately , and put your yourself at the top of the waiting list.

Harriete


How do you find venues for your work? Asking ASK Harriete, the artist, a few questions

"Hi Harriete!
Ive recently been listening to all the past Whaley studios blog radio programs and have gotten up to your interview a few weeks ago. What a great interview! It gave me a chance to know a little more about you and your work...from your own mouth!

After listening I had a few questions about your installation/museum work: How does it work? Do you come up with an idea, make the work, then try and shop it around to different venues? Or do you try and fill an already perceived need a venue may have? Or something else?

What sort of monetary arrangements are there (if any) for just showing the work (instead of the piece being acquired by a museum)?

Stevie B.

Blades
Grass/gras' sculpture close-up © 2001
Recycled tin cans, steel base
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

That's a lot of questions.I will do my best to give you some quick answers.

Grass/gras sculpture about our consumer society by Harriete Estel Berman
Grass/gras' sculpture close-up © 2001
Recycled tin cans, steel base
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Mostly, I come up with an idea, make the work and then "shop it around", as you call it.  This takes a  considerable amount of time from start to finish. For example, the Grass/gras' installation took a year to make plus another year to finish the Grass/gras' video. The series of 200 cups titled, Consuming Conversation (see images below), took four years plus another year for the two videos. In both cases I photographed earlier examples and started promoting the work before it was finished. Considering the entire effort, both projects took several years from inception to the finished work because I need to keep up on other work that makes money during the same period.

It often takes years until a piece becomes known, shown in exhibitions, or published in books or magazines with images widely distributed. The Internet really helps with that aspect of promoting your work, but it is important to maintain your focus and keep on working no matter what.
 

SLIMfast
Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture
Recycled tin cans, battery motor, alum.
rivets, dial, screws.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 1994
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Sixteen years after completion, Hourglass Figure: the Scale of Torture is  included in the book Makers: A History of Studio Craft.  I haven't seen the book yet, but this is really big news! You have to plant your seeds and nurture them. You can not wait for opportunities and invitations to show up, you need to create the momentum by working all the time.

Pencils Sharpening System in the studio of Harriete Estel BermanI have been writing about a current artwork in progress involving a bell curve made from #2 pencils on my web site and Facebook. This is the fourth year of working on this project, but I am really trying to finish it this year. When I have some preliminary photos, I will start looking for exhibition spaces.

There is no money that I know of for these big projects. Once in a great while I get a little money to make a video or to speak about a piece. Big projects like this are time consuming, drain my financial resources, drive me insane, fill me with self doubt and torture -- it is not a picnic.  Yet this is what I see and must do.  It is my expression of art.

Next post answers the question: "How do you transport the larger work?"  Another real world question from several readers  of ASK Harriete.

Harriete


Consuming Conversation a series of 200 teacups construced from recycled tin cans.

Consuming Conversation © 2004
Teacup sculpture from recycled tin cans.
Handles are sterling silver, or bronze.
This was the first photo I had for the
series and started promoting the series
through this image with note cards
and images. 
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen


Anticipating History - MAKERS: A History of American Studio Craft

41OiZd-LhGL._SL160_ Makers: A History of American Studio Craft is the only comprehensive survey of modern craft in the United States and the release date is July 13, 2010!

This book follows the development of studio craft media including  fiber, clay, glass, wood, and metal from its roots in nineteenth-century reform movements to the rich diversity of expression at the end of the twentieth century.

Culminating after over five years of research and dedication from the authors Bruce Metcalf and Janet Koplos, this book provides a college level history of 20th century craft. But there is no need to go to college for this class, as the book gives in-depth perspective to inform your studio work. 

Many times craft is considered just a description of materials or techniques when in fact, craft can contain social and political commentary. As we enter the 21st century, the act of making or crafting by hand is in itself a social commentary.  When "makers" deliberately decide to make work in a time of mass produced consumer goods, craft is not just a media, not just a verb, but a symbolic action. 

Increasing Quantity Diminishing Value a sculpture as commentary about our consumer society by Harriete Estel Berman
  Increasing Quantity, Diminishing Value
 Recycled tin cans, copper base
 Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 2001
 Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Due to the depth and range across so much media, this book is destined to be the consummate resource about the history of 20th century craft work.  By understanding the roots of craft media in the 20th century, both the makers and their audiences can more fully appreciate and recognize the value of craft in the 21st century.   

I've already pre-ordered a copy.  Personally, every time a UPS truck drives up near my house, my heart jumps out of my chest.  Is my book here yet?  I am so excited!  But then I go back to work  . . . anticipation is  . . . well, more inspiration until my book arrives. Can't wait!  And I have a secret to be revealed as well!!!! 

Increasing Quantity Diminishing Value a sculpture as commentary about our consumer society by Harriete Estel Berman
 Increasing Quantity, Diminishing Value
 Recycled tin cans, copper base
 Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 2001
 Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Harriete

So far the best price I've found for Makers: A History of American Studio Craft is on Amazon.com.  (Even better than the price I paid, Aw Shucks!!!)  In the interest of full disclosure, clicking on the link and purchasing a book will provide this blog with a few cents as an affiliate link.

Grass closeup view of Increasing Quantity Diminishing Value a sculpture about the environmental impact of lawns.
Increasing Quantity, Diminishing Value is about the environmental impact of lawns on our environment. Constructed entirely from post consumer tin cans, this series of grass sculptures highlight the grass lawn as an ultimate consumer icon of American culture. Watch the video featuring the construction and motivation behind the Grass/gras sculpture on my web site or YOUtube. 


April Flower Brooch in Honor of Earth Day

Every day through the month of April I am going to post a new Flower Brooch in honor of Earth Day. Constructed from post consumer recycled materials, each brooch is a combination of this springs fashion focus on flowers and prints.

April Flower Brooch Blue and Yellow constructed by Harriete Estel Berma from recycled tin cans in honor of Earth Day
Flower Brooch Blue and Yellow with Purple Center     © 2010
Post consumer recycled tin cans.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman                   Photo Credit: Emiko Oye


Hey, I'm on TV working in the studio.

Eons of Exodus Seder plate by Harriete Estel Berman
Eons of Exodus    ©   2008
Recycled tin cans, Plexiglas, 10k. gold,
sterling silver and aluminum rivets.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen
Permanent Collection of the
                   Minneapolis Institute of Art

WATCH ME on TV TONIGHT!
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, KQED (the local PBS station) is doing a repeat broadcast that includes my 3 minutes of TV fame on SPARK. This story is about the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the exhibit “New Works/Old Story: 80 Artists at the Passover Table”. You can see me working on my seder plate in the studio and talking about the inspiration behind this work.

The episode will re-broadcast on KQED-TV 9 on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 7:30 pm and will ... re-repeat on Friday, February 5, 2010 at 11:30pm.

This episode can also be seen in the South Bay/San Jose area on KTEH-TV 54 and KQET-TV 25 (same airdates as KQED-TV 9).  Click here for listings on KTEH-TV 54


IF you don't live in the Bay ARea and still want to watch this segment online, a profile about The Contemporary Jewish Museum can be found on the Spark Web site. CLICK ON THIS LINK TO WATCH THE ARCHIVED VIDEO stream of the story:
Hope you get a chance to watch it! You need to have "Real Media" to play the online video. This is free to download.
Let me know what you think.


Updates from Boris Bally

Here is an UPDATE from Boris Bally.

BorisBally A previous series of posts about late or non-payment from galleries/stores included an account from Boris Bally  about his experiences. He would like to add this addendum from the "pen of Boris Bally":

Regarding IMEC

I was stunned today to discover a check (no note) in today's mail. I finally received payment from Luis at IMEC- in full! (there were no finance charges assessed, as i wasn't aware how long ago (since the 14 months-or so- that i sent the work) the pieces actually sold (due to poor communication.) This is why I continue to dislike consignment with disorganized galleries- ugh! If Luis had paid me, or even communicated with me when I wrote my first note, I never would have thought to come forward with my story. 

Regarding Robert Kaylor, R Grey Gallery in Boise, Idaho

Yes, they finally paid the amount due and later (actually) paid me yesterday (!!)... for the final interest balance.. that they questioned (!!) 

So we are all squared away after months (of no communication).  They didn't reply to tell me they were paying the balance off.. otherwise, I may not have used them as an example.  Again, a small communication would have helped them.  go figure!

It is a good lesson that a little communication goes a LONG way! Anyway, I want to thank you, Harriete, and Joan, for helping raise your voices in solidarity, and to give mine more range. In the end, who knows why I eventually got paid...? I am just really happy to end on a good finish and be DONE 'neatly.' THANKS a million!

xo

-Boris