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Obsess Over Everything

Posts tagged papercutting

So for the rest of the summer, I’ll be living in Taos, New Mexico during my residency at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation.  I’ve been here about a week and all I can say is that my life has already changed in that short period of time.  My health has been bad since past August, which as many of you know has forced me to stop making artwork and exhibiting.  Since I arrived, I don’t stop sketching out ideas in my notebook or writing down subjects that interest me about the Spanish and Native cultural influence in the town.  I came here with the intention of creating spiritually themed work in performance as well as outdoor sculptures involving papercutting, and I cannot wait to share photos throughout my stay so keep checking back!

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So I recently was in a group show with some of my good friends for my last show in Pittsburgh, PA before I head off to grad school at CCA.  It was especially important to me since I had my first major exhibition at Unsmoke Art Systems, and here I was again three years later for my last.  Unfortunately I ran into a lot of health problems during install so I wasn’t on my top game, but I’m glad to say the work came out exactly as I had hoped.  In the end, a total success!  I am eternally thankful for friends and family who helped me with this install.  _DSC1554 _DSC1558 _DSC1563 _DSC1565 _DSC1568 _DSC1571 _DSC1572 _DSC1575 _DSC1579 _DSC1582 _DSC1585 _DSC1590 _DSC1591 _DSC1599

As many of you may have seen, my face and my paper appeared in a commercial for Cadillac for their Dare Greatly campaign, first airing during the Oscars broadcast.  I cannot even explain how incredibly honored I feel for being chosen to be a part of this- everyone should take the time to read the stories of each person featured.  There are amazing people doing amazing things, even at such a young age.

 

I am amazed that I was able to feature my art, but am especially excited to be able to stand as a heart transplant representative.  Even with all the knowledge we have, transplants are still a rare occurrence and I am one of the oldest survivors for a single organ at this date in time.  I want to be open about my work and my personal medical experiences- if you have any questions please feel free to ask me!

Click here to view the special page about me and my work on Cadillac’s Dare Greatly website.

 

Thank you again to everyone at Cadillac!  #DareGreatly

Last year, I was contacted by SF MOMA to do a special, site specific installation to hang inside of the newly renovated Square Offices in downtown San Francisco.  At first they wanted to know what I had available in inventory, but I had nothing at that moment left to give.  Then, I was told about a special wall they had in mind that had an enormous amount of light and extra high ceilings.  Obviously I was in love, so within 5 days I cut something special and was ready to install!

Here is the result- materials are handcut sketch paper and gold ink.  That’s it!  I was inspired by hanging plants and the landscapes in Oakland, CA in terms of imagery.

 

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It’s all about the details for me in papercutting.  When you’re making work like mine, that’s so repetitive and consists of mostly one, patterned image, you must get detailed in order to give your viewer some surprises.  In my latest installation, Vascular Caverns, I created my largest papercut work yet: a largescale installation that formed a cavern comprised entirely of handcut paper.  It took the longest, but was one of the shortest installations thanks to a solid month of prep!  Once it was up on the wall, I ended up cutting out more and more pieces just to give that extra touch.  So, for all you type A personalities and detail oriented creators, I have posted detail photos of the installation!  Have fun detail hunting!

 

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On April 24, after 5 months nonstop of papercutting, I opened my biggest show yet called Vascular Caverns at 707 Gallery in Downtown Pittsburgh.  The idea was one that I always had with me, so somehow I had to plan out covering a whole entire gallery in entirely handcut paper.  I knew I wanted it to be meditative, so I created a cavernous space, and included a smaller, secluded cavern within the gallery that viewers could step inside.  It was a huge success and it’s on view for some time.  If you are in the Pittsburgh area, come see it!  At the end of the exhibit’s time, I will be burning the entire installation during a performance piece- more info to come!

 

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It’s been ages since my last post.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on some things!  At the beginning of January, I came out to Oakland, CA so that I could start my time as an artist in residence at the Kala Institute in Berkeley!  The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council awarded me a grant that helped me to finally follow one of my passions that I sometimes forget: printmaking.

So, from January to February I will be doing a whole lot of etching (on copper plates) and maybe some screenprinting.  All my extra time will be devoted to prepping for an upcoming Solo Show at 707 Gallery in downtown Pittsburgh and exploring the Bay Area.

 

What have I made so far?  A few prints and many more tests and experiments with paper!  I’ve been printing on sheets of rice paper (not pictured) and different thicknesses and it’s going surprisingly well.  These images shown are my interpretations of my cutouts into two dimensional prints.  Next step is to incorporate papercutting!  There’s a little shop in Japantown in San Francisco that sells all kinds of rice papers and I think that’s where I’ll begin my papercutting experiments.  _DSC0318_DSC0328 _DSC0325_DSC0330 _DSC0331 _DSC0335 _DSC0337 _DSC0341 _DSC0344 _DSC0347 _DSC0348 _DSC0351 _DSC0353 Wood

 

 

 

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New piece I installed this past week into the Mine Factory for the show “I Just Want the Paper,” curated by Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi.  For this piece, I handcut rice paper and added in details with graphite.  Normally, I’m adding wax, burning paper, or adding a jumble of processes into the sculpture.  But this time it was just me, my knife, and the paper.  Relaxing.  A relief, actually.  It was as though I was challenging myself to get back to papercutting basics.

Even more of a challenge was examining the space and adapting the piece to it.  Install week was renamed papercutting week in my book since I had to make an extra 400 cutouts in 48 hours.  And this is the final product!

Things this month have been absolutely amazing and absolutely busy! I am proud to announce that I am the Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 VSA Young Emerging Artist Program with the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.! This year’s theme was “The Journey,” and prompted artists to submit their work that concerned their own personal journeys living with a disability. With this award, my piece is exhibited in the Smithsonian in Washington, it is also part of a nationally traveling exhibition, and I receive a cash prize of $20,000. I have been invited, along with the other 14 winners, to attend a Congressional Reception in January so I’m already starting to plan my outfit! I am extremely honored to be receiving this award and am so excited to see what this next year holds for me.1622843_10152345255192694_5115025851877106456_n

My winning papercut sculpture, Never Stopping, deals with my experiences as a heart transplant recipient, specifically the overwhelming feelings related to my physical issues as well as the desire for healing. The entire original sculpture is about 16 ft in height and is made entirely of handcut paper. I also added screenprinted cutouts of hands, legs, oranges, and bananas. These symbolize offerings and milagros, or physical representations of intentions. The idea behind it was for the viewer to become overwhelmed with the structure, in order to mimic my own feelings. For the Kennedy Center, I brought the piece down to a smaller scale, which you can see in the photo.me

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My transplant is a major part of my life, and I am open to any questions readers might have. I received my heart at the age of 14 months at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. That transplant team became my family, and I am always going back every now and then to visit. They still follow up with me and my procedure results even though I have switched to the cardiology team at UPMC Children’s Hospital. Right now, I still have my original heart making my transplant one of the oldest single organ transplants in the country.

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This past week, I opened a show in Oakland, CA for First Fridays.  It was so much fun and my first exhibit on the West Coast!  I had a bit of help with some of the bigger installation, and for the first time went on scaffolding.  Since I’m a short little lady, I was terrified of being so high off the ground.  But I did it and everything turned out so perfect.  Really, I don’t think I’ve ever had an easier install and it’s all thanks to the awesome, generous people from the gallery.  There’s an espresso bar connected, so I suggest to anyone from the area to stop by!  The show is at Hat Rac Gallery up from June 6- July 25.

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Boys setting up the scaffolding.

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Gold and black cutouts going up on the wall.  Yes, they’re all handcut!

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Growth in the

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Is there an ending?