Somewhere in the middle of the summer i received an email from an art organization in St Joseph, Michigan. This is the western end of Michigan, on the lake and directly across the lake from Chicago. I think i am on their mailing list because i had applied for their large annual art festival and was not accepted this year. None the less, the email spoke of a one week long holiday boutique – a juried event, and i would not be required to attend. Why not, i looked through my photos and selected two images of my silk , and one image of the new silk cocoon earings… sent in the two applications (apparently they had to be separate). Several months have passed, and attention has been focused on gearing up for the fall/winter with our business, the house, and my attention has been in other directions, so this application slipped my mind. But there it was – two emails that started “Congratulations, our jury loved your work and we want to offer you the opportunity to exhibit at our Artisan Market”. Wow.
I submitted several things for consideration, to include several photos of my silk cocoon earrings, and several large pieces of silk. To my astonishment the earrings were much discussed. They have never seen such a thing. (That might have to do with the thought that it is extremely original. The closest works are from Eastern Europe, where they just keep the cocoon form and cut a zig zag edge to look like bells. I wanted to give the fiber a metal look, to simulate well crafted metals. And the dye was intentionally that of a platinum color… although in this photo it was very pewter in appearance. Freshwater pearls in a smokey off gray/off white seem to just make the earrings pop… and the pearls add enough weight to balance the light weight of the cocoons.
The art organization is known as KRASL, and has a longevity in the art education and promotion of that region. For well over 50 years they have hosted an award winning summer art fair which is rated as one of the top fairs on the list of art fairs nationwide. St Joseph, Michigan is just across the lake from Chicago, and draws a sizable patronage from that metropolitan area. They talk about the start of KRASL as follows:
In 1962 a handful of local artists held a clothesline art exhibition along Lake Bluff Park in St. Joseph, Michigan. Those artists went on to form the St. Joseph Art Association which, through beneficence of George & Olga Krasl, built Krasl Art Center as we know it today in 1979.
The Krasl Art Center provides southwest Michigan residents and visitors the opportunity to experience high quality art exhibitions, installations, and events as well as art classes, camps, guest artist workshops, and outreach opportunities. Located in a 17,500 square foot building, the center has public galleries, art making studios, a black and white wet darkroom, a gift shop and a permanent collection of 38 sculptures.
The former clothesline art exhibition has now become the nationally ranked Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff, a juried fine art/fine craft fair featuring 216 artists from U.S. and international locations.
The box is waiting, and now to just tag, log and ship my work out. Such an exciting day!!! If you live in the Chicago area or near KRASL please stop out and visit.