Curationism – Stitch Fetish 5!!

As predicted, it was a doozy, so this post will be as well. Many amazing images to share from an amazing show!!! Ready? Here we go…

Guests in front of “Consequences,” by Spike Dennis

First the installation, which is always a huge amount of work. About 100 pieces of work by 60 artists from around the world, most of them being shipped to my apartment. It’s super fun, but insane. Two weeks of, “Oh my gods, this is even better than the photo lead me to believe it would be!!” And, “Oh my gods, my apartment is being taken over by boxes!!” Then I somehow manage to fit it all in my car (thankfully I inherited my Mom’s giant, old car) and drive down to the Hive Gallery & Studios, in DTLA. The lovely and talented AshFord Harrison met me there and helped me unload the car, because DTLA is a nightmare for parking, and there’s construction going on. No one wants a ticket.

I keep a spread sheet of every show i do. It has the artist’s name, the title, dimensions, price, and location of each piece (here, gallery, shipped back, or sold), and each piece of art is assigned a number by the chart. There was so much work in this show, a couple nights before the installation began, during a bout of insomnia, I made a map of where I thought I’d hang things. When actually installing I wound up switching stuff, but the map helped me feel less overwhelmed with so many pieces.

Top row by Rebecca Levi, second row from the top by Karin O., third from the top by Amy Dame, and the pieces on the bottom are by Eva Kitok and Patricia Dolan.
Bareback Mountain by Aubrey Longley-Cook

Then the show opened! It was wonderful and crazy and fast and crazy and fabulous! So many talented and terrific people flew to be here for the opening! And the fabulous locals who came out! It was truly an amazing evening. As per the norm, I spent the night in a whirl, and never got to spend enough time with any of the people who were there.  But even so, one of my very favorite things about curating is connecting people. I love finding an artist who’s outside the community and watching them gather mutual friends on FB as the show progresses. I love the (seemingly) unlikely friendships that evolve. And I love getting to meet and hug these people!!

Alexander Kain and his work, “Starshower.”
Matthew Monthei and his work, “XXX: A Brief History of Gay Porn Films 1971 – 2016”
Erika Hagberg and her works, “Euporia,” “Rapture,” “Spent,” and, “Climax”
Emma Rose Laughlin and her work, “God Bless Sasha Grey”

Another amazing aspect of curating, I love selling other people’s art!! I love selling work by established artists and I adore selling works by people who don’t consider themselves artist, but so obviously are. One of my favorite sales this show happened before the show even opened. An artist submitted a piece that was outrageously good, but not dirty enough for the show. This is an artist I admire and follow avidly, and I wanted her in my show, but it just wasn’t the right piece. But I thought I knew someone who might want it. I shot them an email with an image, and indeed, they did. I wrote to the artist, explaining that I wanted something dirtier, but that I’d sold that piece for her and she made another, amazing piece for the show. Yay art buyers!! Yay art!

One of Sally Hewett’s fabulous Butts
Before We Were Mortals by Michelle Kingdom
From Flora to Fauna by our very own Olisa Corcoran

Artwalk followed on the heels of the opening, and that’s always a totally different kind of fun. It’s such an incredible mix of art collectors, hipsters, college students, locals, everyone and anyone; amazing! Watching people’s reactions to the work at the opening was fun, but those were people who had either been to Stitch Fetish in the past or mostly knew what they were coming to see. People at Artwalk are there to see what there is to see. They did not expect fiber filth. It was wonderful! I got to watch people laugh and see that art can be fun. That they can like art. That art doesn’t have to be heavy. It’s just a beautiful thing.

The fabulous Rebecca Levi (who took almost all these photos – thanks lady) in front of her works.
Works on the left by Daphne Jamet, on the right by me.

If that wasn’t enough, we had a closing event. A whole stack of people who’s work you know and love, and some you may not know already, sat around with me and laughed and chatted about stitching and such. If you want to check it out, it’s streaming HERE.

Part of the panel, from left to right, me, AshFord Harrison, Nicolle Filiatrault, Aubrey Longley-Cook, Giddy Girlie, Pat Ahern, and Emma Rose Laughlin

And then it was over (and I was sad). Taking it down is almost as exhausting as putting it up, but in about half the time. Now, I’m in the shipping process – if any of the artists are reading this, you’re work’s a’comin’, I swear! It takes me a minute. I took it last Tuesday and was wiped out.. Then it always takes me a few days to start shipping – and believe me I’d like it not all in my living room, but it’s as though I need to recover from the whole thing for a few days before I can start the final phase. Obviously if anyone ever said they needed their work ASAP for another show or something I’d get it done ASAP, but so far, this has worked.

My amazing Banana Bag by Lori Herbst! Just one of the perks of curating – because you don’t want to see what my apartment looks like right now.

If you follow me on the Instagrams you may have heard me refer to Stitch Fetish San Francisco, which will be in October/November of this year. I’m excited to take the show north!! It’s a smaller space than The Hive, and I haven’t decided yet if it’ll be open submissions or not. I will post here when I know. If I don’t take submissions, never fear, Stitch Fetish 6 will be here before we know it (oh my, I just overwhelmed myself a bit)!

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