Archive for the ‘Mosaic’ Category

1 Chronicle S.Dorrance presents ‘Contemporary Group Art Show’ May/June 2014   2 comments

I am  chronicling my process for organizing and presenting my next group show. May to June 2014, San Francisco, California. I think the title is one of the most important parts of the show.  I am giving it deep thought and I have a bit of direction. I talk about it with any who will participate in the discussion. I look for others to name it; it usually comes together for me in that way.

I am in my mind often these days, picking the artists, 1st initials only f,c,s/j,j,L/,j,w,d,/r,j,e,/d,o,m?/,v, h?. There may be others, some of these may not participate. Some of the artists will read this blog looking for their letter. This is a lot of artists.  Too many?  I will have to ponder this number. I may have a size limit? Something to think about.

I am considering spaces. I have loyalties, things I want to support in my neighborhood and things that support me. I always like to include my neighbors in my projects. I will begin working from my street level House Sparrow Mosaic Studio (new name for my long time studio space) soon, on my mosaic for this show and begin collecting my neighbors ideas.  I may get my show title this way. The interactions I have with my neighbors when I am working on a project  keep me motivated and not only in my alone head.  House Sparrow Mosaic Studio is unique in that it let’s my neighbors see what I am doing and  share with me what they are doing. It’s a great part of working in the urban environment.

I have decided on my mosaic piece, and have even mocked it up, still some small details to be decided.


Maps Only: Radical Cartography in Contemporary Art   Leave a comment

Please join us for food, drinks, grog and conversations with the artists, May 26th, 2012 at 7pm, in San Francisco’s Mission District. The artists will be  offering insight into their personal psychogeographies.

Maps Only, SF 2012   2 comments

Tonight, at Mary Brown’s house we met to talk about her map.  We climbed the stairs to the roof and sat admiring the view of the City. What an amazing, 360′ view from her roof top! After today’s unusually hot, global warming day, the evening air was refreshing. She served lovely and tasty, Two Dog Farm, dry farmed, organic tomatoes and white wine in two sweet glasses painted with birds, gold along the lip, vintage. Her map she said,”will have a botanical element, will definitely hang on the wall and won’t be small.”

The conversation was random and focused, about maps, plants, bikes, food and their opposites.  I learned that paper maps are on there way out, like the car, a sad map fact. I am urged on by this sad fact, to work harder on my Ansel Adams Wilderness mosaic topographical map.

When she talked about her map it seemed to me textural, possibly of some local San Francisco spot.  I was excited as she talked about her ideas, random she said, though they did not seem random nor unconnected to me. Maybe it will be a take away piece of art, as she is not at all interested in the money aspect of art. She said the pirate map was a ‘genius idea’ and it is Oliver Lowe.  She’d love to be in discussion with the other artists over the web, be involved in the process.

The idea of not taking money for art is funny to me. One of the many reasons I curate art shows is to highlight the fact that artists must make money, or make a trade that in some, clear way, meets their particular needs. I encourage the guests to support the arts, to think of buying art as supporting an artist, a person.

We/they/me eat too and need greenbacks, pesos, to do so. Art is Fun, but it is our work.

Maps Only, 2012   Leave a comment

Today, I made a list of the artists participating in the Maps Only with some that having agreed to join and I have met with, and others that I haven’t yet met. I don’t know what map, half of the artists are making.  This is exciting and a bit stressful.  There are 12 of us, with 2 other possibilities.  There will be much art in this show that does not hang on a wall. There will be sound, ‘Lordrifa and True North’ will make a music map, with just the right amount of sound. There will be interactive maps; maps you can touch.  There will be food by Emery, always a treat. Oliver Lowe has just agreed to join us with his installation of a Pirate Map, so opening night might include a rum grog.

I will be sending out invitations for this event on line as well as by snail mail, still a favorite of mine.  Initially I thought the cover art would be an image of my Ansel Adams topographical mosaic map, but Oliver Lowe’s, Pirate Map Installation has just edged it out as the image to be used.  The postcard is one of my favorite parts of curating a show. If you are interested in getting this postcard send an email with your preferred address or your snail mail address and you will get an invitation when it goes out.

Maxine Kraemer has just agreed to help me organize and make Maps Only: Radical Cartography in Contemporary Art,  a pretty show.

See you May/2012 at Maps Only, in San Fransisco’s Mission District neighborhood.

It’s the process   Leave a comment

Today, I worked on the show I am curating, “Maps Only” 2012 in San Francisco.

I began talking with 3 of the 11 artists about their Maps; what medium, how big, their idea?  I’m interested in the process and especially interested in the group process.

One of the artists, an artist I know very well, almost quit before beginning.  Artists can be this way; I’ve been this way.  I tried to be clear and matter-of-fact.  I really want her to create a map, she’s quirky, intelligent and a talented user of bright colors. She would be patient with me. I will be patient with her. She agreed to let me include her in a group e-mail, but said, “I probably won’t talk with any of the other artists over the web.”  I hope she will, but of course, this is her process and she’s still part of the group.

Another of the artists has been working on a map for 10 years.  When I invited him, I had no idea. This map will not be ready to show he informed me, so he’s a bit more relaxed and is looking forward to making a map, possibly a fantasy map.  I wonder what this will look like, what fantasy map he will imagine?

The last of the three artists I spoke with is going on vacation. In one sentence he said, I won’t work on it while I am gone, but I might work on it, you never know, he said, I’ll just see what happens.  He was happy as he pondered his map.  I was happy pondering his map.

I even worked on my Ansel Adams Wilderness Topographical Map.  I can see it coming together.  It’s the process.

is writing doing nothing?   1 comment

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in 7th grade, and then much later, a mosaic artist.  I went through many artful  incarnations, but always I’ve liked making or ‘riggging’ things, now they call it re-purposing . I like the physical part of my art, the labor. This nagging question of ‘is writing doing nothing’ is related to not being physical.

I’ve been wondering if now that life is happening to me and my time is not my own, and I don’t feel up to actually building my Ansel Adams Wilderness, all colors of white, topographical, mosaic map; I’m wondering if  writing about my Ansel Adams Wilderness, all colors of white, topographical , mosaic map, art? Or, is writing doing nothing?


Censored   Leave a comment

Recenty, I have spoken to two artists that after having been told their work would be shown in public places, a cafe and the Wrexham Print International, both this year, 2011 and were censored.
Yesterday, I was in the gallery where the Maps Only show is going to hang in 2012 and there was the woman who had her work deemed unpalatable for coffee drinkers and was asked to take it down by the owner or manager, or someone in charge. So, because she was  in the gallery with her work, saying she had gotten another show because of this censorship, I asked if I might see the work. She showed me anything I wanted to see.
I was shocked! This was censored work!? There was nothing at all that seemed to me inappropriate. Really Not-a-thing. She said the show was about emptying her mothers house after she had died. The image I really liked was of a dog and a clock; the only mammal in the show, in a room with a clock marking the time. The dog looked at the camera with a dog kind of look, there was a peaceful feel to the image. She will be showing this censored show in some radical gallery in Oregon.

The other artist censored, Brian Jones just happens to be making a Map for the Maps Only show in San Francisco, 2012.  His print Brokeback Britain was to have been shown  from 25th March to 18th May, 2011 in Oriel Wrecsam, before touring Britain for the next 12 months.

I laughed when I saw it, which is what he said he hoped would happen. I saw the HOT pink print, but it’s available in other colors. It’s ‘clearly’ of the prime minister and his deputy, facing one another, dressed in cowboy outfits, no pants. When I communicated with Brian he said “being a cowboy” in Britain refers to a workman that does a bad job, particularly a builder and the phrase “all mouth and no trousers”  means spouting-off without substance, hence the the image. If you don’t want to see male parts, don’t go to his site

If you do go not mind seeing male parts and go to his site please let him know where you read it.

I thought the print was funny, intelligent and political at a time when we need to be able to express our thoughts with art or possibly lose our right.


Posted August 24, 2011 by sarahdorrance in Art, Mosaic, Printers, Thinking

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