Meeting: the Organization of Women Architects

The Organization of Women Architects (OWA) was founded in 1973 by a group of bay Area (California, USA) female architectural graduates and architects.
On February 28, 2017, I was invited to attend a meeting in Oakland, California, at which the architect Wendy Bertrand was to tell the attendees about the conference she recently attended at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden: Architecture and Feminisms. This conference is one of the annual Architectural Humanities Research Association conferences.
The conference was too vast for Wendy Bertrand to be able to attend every meeting, and there was also too much to tell in one evening. A few highlights:

  • At registration to the conference, attendees started by embroidering at a kitchen table and reflecting on what their mothers shared with them about survival. It was a Nuestras Madres (Our Mothers) workshop and ritual led by the art collective, The Institute for the Decolonization of Art.
  • The architecture school in Sweden has a 50-50 policy, i.e. every project must equally represent both genders.  As per Wendy, “Architect Malin Åberg-Wennerholm is the Program Director at the School of Architecture, KTH Stockholm, and was recently awarded the 2016 KTH “President Gender Equality prize.” Her goal is to create a better world at the School of Architecture. She is working to integrate gender issues in Architecture’s undergraduate education and has started a Gender Equality Society for students. In October 2016, she published a Gender Equality and Architecture small book to be handed out to everyone – students, teachers, and employees and conference attendees. It includes rules for gender equality., and a self-evaluation program as well as a position of 50/50 as the new normal. Students’ wishes and criticism for a more equal college are taken seriously, and on the basis of her position, she is driving to realize projects that achieve real change.”
  • The first Keynote speech was: PARLOUR: WOMEN ARCHITECTURE ACTIVISM from Australia, introduced by Lori Brown, who teaches at Syracuse University School of Architecture. History of and by four members of the award-winning website Parlour: Women, Equity, Architecture.

    Wendy Bertrand attended the 8th Taking Place Breakfast. To attend the breakfast, it was required to write a question along with the application for the conference, and these questions were listed in the program for discussion.

Wendy Bertrand provided the lists of books she discovered at the conference:
Recommended reading for the conference:
– Three Ecologies: mental, social, and environmental, Félix Guattari
– Relational Architectural Ecologies, anthology edited by Peg Rawes
– Behind the Straight Curtain, Towards A Queer Feminist Theory of Architecture, Katarina Bonnevier, www.axlbook.com, 2007, 2011
Additional books:
– Feminist Futures of Spatial Practice, Meike Schalk, Thérèse Kristiansson and Ramia Mazé Feminist Design Power Tool, Hélène Frichot
– Transgression: Toward an expanded field of architecture
– Architecture and Culture: Journal of the Architectural Humanities Research Association. (There are calls for articles.) The November 2017 issue will feature this conference. www.ribabookshops.com
– Architecture a Gendered Profession: A Question of Representation in Space Making

Her takeaways at the end of the conference:
ECOLOGY has mental and social elements, not just physical.
DIVERSITY need not argue any specific contribution.
BELONGING or transgressions have enormous impact.
SOCIAL FACTORS are undervalued, like Capitalism, relationships, culture.
PAY ATTENTION, rather than depending on experts.
TEACHING equality, ethics, criticism and activism is essential in architecture.
FEMINISM in ARCHITECTURE is expanding.

The meeting, with twenty-two attendees, took place in a wonderful colorful home in Oakland. Below a photo gallery:

 

Woven together: Experience and Expression

Sanchez Art Center invitation
Invitation cards to exhibition

The Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, California (near San Francisco) is staging several art exhibitions simultaneously. One of the exhibitions is Woven together: Experience and Expression, which showcases many types of weaving and artistic expression.

Some art was wearable; other pieces were political/philosophical; some were woven baskets; and yet others were “purely” decorative. One seemed to be tongue-in-cheek, and I would have liked to know the story behind it, the Milk Carton Zip House.

 

One of the artists, Deborah Corsini, received the ATA award for Excellence for her tapestry, Rip-Tide.

Vernissage Frédérique Hervet

iImage invitation Frédérique Hervet
Image invitation Frédérique Hervet

Christine Loriaux, Maire adjoint en charge de la culture
a le plaisir de vous inviter au vernissage

MARCHER EMPREINTER DIALOGUER
de Frédérique Hervet

Vernissage le mardi 10 Janvier 2017 à 18h
Exposition du 9 Janvier au 24 Février 2017

Entrée libre du lundi au vendredi de 9h à 17h

« J’ai toujours aimé marcher pour découvrir les lieux et y flâner. Depuis quelques années je marche en questionnant d’une part le rapport du temps au lieu, d’autre part ma mémoire et mes souvenirs de ces parcours, des gens croisés ou de microcosmes révélateurs.
J’aime installer des dialogues avec le public lors d’ateliers en général autour de leurs lieux quotidiens, par essence par usure invisibles à leurs yeux. Je présenterai ceux commencés et en cours avec des habitants de Villeneuve-la-Garenne et une partie de l’espace d’exposition servira d’atelier.

Mes travaux et dialogues font généralement appel à des techniques autour de l’empreinte avec une transformation permanente des images, une métamorphose qui se nourrit de l’aléatoire et de la surprise. » Frédérique Hervet, juin 2016

Accès : Centre Culturel – 23 Quai d’Asnières, 92390 Villeneuve-la-Garenne
Renseignements : 01 47 98 11 10

Autoroute A86, direction Nanterre – Sortie : Villeneuve-la-Garenne
RER D : arrêt Gare de Saint-Denis, puis TRAM T1, direction Asnières-Les Courtilles, arrêt Mairie de Villeneuve-la-Garenne

www.villeneuve92.com

invit_frederique_hervet-2

Omar Chacon painting detail

Omar Chacon at Fouladi Projects in San Francisco

Omar Chacon painting detail
Omar Chacon painting detail

For my first art gallery exhibition in San Francisco, I attended the Omar Chacon’s “Mesalinas Operaticas” opening at the Fouladi Projects gallery on Market Street. The exhibition will be on display through December 17, 2016.

Omar Chacon is an artist of Colombian origin, who received an MA from Ringling College of Art and Design and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. He currently lives in Astoria, New York City.

His art is acrylic-paint based; he invented his own paint formula and finds inventive, tactile ways to layer and combine colors. The results are vibrant and original.

Fouladi Projects gallery is owned and managed by Holly Fouladi. A native of California, she studied at the San Francisco Art Institute. She founded her namesake gallery in 2009. Previously, she co-owned Lincart Gallery.

Fouladi Projects gallery also has a retail section, where clients can acquire local artists’ production, for a range of wallet sizes!

Fouladi Projects sales space
Fouladi Projects sales space interior

Secession in San Francisco: 9 years!

Secession SF storefront
Secession SF storefront

Walking down Mission Street, in May, I noticed a wonderfully original dress in a store window. The store was Secession, and the owner, Eden Stein, explained to me that she mainly represented local designers, along with other US designers. We purchased a t-shirt by Amos Goldbaum, a local artist, depicting the Sutro Tower and Twin Peaks; later, we realized that the mural of the same scene was 2 blocks away from home.

Eden Stein
Eden Stein, owner of the Secession store

To complete the mix, there is art, mainly paintings, also from local artists; jewelry, and a few other decorative items.

Encouragement at the cash register comes in the form of peanut M&Ms…

On August 12, 2016, Secession celebrated its ninth birthday – no small feat in a city where rent has been going upwards at an exponential rate for the past years. The good news, however, would be that the local client base is also increasing for higher-end fashion and art, and the demand for locally sourced is not limited to food.

Two artists exhibited, and were present at the anniversary celebration: Amy Ahlstrom and Heather Robinson. Two very different styles, both accomplished artists.

Amy Ahlstrom calls herself an “urban quilter.” She takes snapshots of urban scenes, and transforms them into pieces of art, using quilting techniques she learned from her grandmother. Ancestral knowledge: revisited. In her own words, Amy “re-invent(s) quilting as a pop art medium.” She works with silk and cotton fabric.

Heather Robinson has her own workspace at Secession. She works in soft colors, with stencil techniques, and her paintings have a wonderfully whimsical feel to them.

If you don’t want a cookie-cutter wardrobe or decor in your home, and your accessories are one of a kind, Secession is the place to go.

Amos Goldbaum t-shirts and mural
Uncle and nephew wearing Amos Goldbaum t-shirts in front of the mural at Day Street.
Contact information:
Secession SF: 3235 Mission St, SF CA 94110
tel. 415-279-3058 http://secessionsf.com/
Amy Ahlstrom: www.amyahlstrom.com - email: info@amyahlstrom.com - tel. 415-336-8151
Heather Robinson: www.heatherrobinson.com - email: info@heatherrobinson.com - tel. 415-860-4283

 

 

 

 

“the Fanciful World” via HamletHub

transFORM GALLERY held the Opening Reception of  ‘the Fanciful World’, February 4th, from 5-8pm at the New York Design Center’s 7th HEAVEN DESIGN PARTY, sponsored by the Interior Design Society, NY Chapter, in conjunction with 200 LEX’s 7th Floor Showrooms. The evening included a performance by Jessica DiMauro Dance Company.
Artists, Bella Kotak and Catherine Latson, draw their inspiration from the natural world creating mystical and breathtaking environments, fanciful garments and sculpture – drawing the viewer into an enchanting land via sight and touch.

 

http://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/events/1708-yonkers-artist-exhibits-in-manhattan

 

transFORM – storage in style

The IDS (Interior Design Society) recently held an event at the transFORM showroom in New York City, at 200 Lexington Avenue, at the NY Design Center. The presentation was “Little Spaces in the Big City.”
Most people living in New York City make do with very little space and it is worth investing in stylish and most importantly astute storage… which is transFORM’s specialty.
The company is based in New Rochelle, NY, where all manufacturing takes place. Not only is it based in the United States – it’s a true New York company.
TransFORM also uses both its Manhattan and its New Rochelle space to showcase artists’ work. The next art opening will be on June 13, 6 to 9 pm, at the New Rochelle showroom and gallery, 20 Jones Street. The featured artist will be Alexander Rutsch.

TransFORM was founded in 2005 by Stuart Reisch and Andreas Messis. I had a long talk on May 18 with Mr. Messis, who is American-born, of Cypriot descent; who started out studying engineering, moved into design, and designed Broad way theater sets for many years before entering the high-end storage industry.
The products are wonderful and it is a one-stop shop: there are no distributors. Clients work directly with transFORM, whose design team designs according to each client’s needs, manufactures the equipment and installs it. There are solutions for bedrooms, pantries, living rooms, offices… and combinations thereof. The space saving ideas are perfect for our day and age, especially in cities like New York, where space is at a premium.
The best way to show the solutions would be by video, as there are so many moving parts and “tricks.” Below is a portion of a closet with an incorporated ironing board. No need to drag the board out of storage, set it up, and later close it again and store away!

Nowadays most people use laptops rather than desktop computers. A flexible desk can be used either for work, or for dinner.

The pantry has many features. Just a couple are shown below.

As you can tell by now–I am smitten.

BX200 launch at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

Bronx Museum of the Arts
Bronx Museum of the Arts

The Bronx was not known for the arts for several decades. However, this has been changing in the past years, and since several years the wonderful Bronx Museum of the Arts on the Grand Concourse has been the symbol of this renaissance.
On March 26, the Museum hosted an event to launch a new website, Bronx200, which showcases 200 Bronx-based artists. The Bronx is experiencing a revival, with both native Bronx artists and those who have been moving in and establishing studios. John “Crash” Matos, who founded the Wall Works New York gallery in Mott Haven, was the guest speaker at the event.

The Museum building is very contemporary and easy to navigate, a great place to visit at any time.

You can donate here to help BX200 flourish.

Holiday on 5th Avenue – New York City

Middle Eastern dancing

Belly dancing, oriental dancing… this doesn’t quite fit into the art and design categories I usually cover in this blog. But it is culture… certainly an important part of Middle Eastern culture, even if dancers nowadays in New York hail from all over. Here are some photos taken of Elizabeth Fernandez’ performance at Byblos Restaurant in Manhattan.