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On Running 23 Miles and Exhibit Reception Dates

It’s been a strange couple of weeks. We got a bunch of snow a few days ago – AND IT’S STILL HERE. If you’ve spent any time in the South, you might know how weird it is to get snow and for it to actually stick for a while rather than turn into a grey mess. While my classes at UNCSA started last week, I still haven’t had a chance to see my students in person because all our classes have been online. My son has been off school all week due to the winter weather. And I ran 23 miles last Friday – on a mountain. Yeah, you heard that right. I ran 23 miles and I’m still kicking.

If you’ve been following along on my journey, you might remember that I’ve been training for a trail marathon in my favorite place, Pilot Mountain. It’s been almost half a year of training so far and I have one more long run to go before the big day. But back to last Friday.

It was a pretty terrible run. Nothing felt right for most of the 5.5 hours I spent up on the mountain. But worse than the physical discomfort was the mental anguish (not exaggerating). I just couldn’t get it together and dealt with self doubt/pity for most of the run. It’s normal to have a particularly bad training session at some point, so it wasn’t totally unexpected. There were some bright spots during the run though: I got to use my first aid kit and save my foot from an impending giant blister for example.

After this experience, I have a good idea of what to improve on for my next long run. And as my husband Tim said, “Look at it this way: on a bad day, you still ran 23 miles.” ‘Nuff said.

In the studio, I’m in my usual winter routine of digging into fundamentals and studying color. I’ve been working on color studies and playing with ideas for a new project involving Legos. I’m not sure this project will amount to anything big, but it’s keeping my momentum going and may lead to other ideas.

My show at Charlotte Russell Contemporary is up until February 16th and we’ve scheduled a closing reception on Friday February 11th 5:30-7:30pm. Find more details on the gallery website here.

Living in the Sky, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Happy New Year and a New Exhibit!

Happy New Year!

It feels good to embark on new beginnings… I’m prepping for a semester of teaching at UNCSA – which starts next week – and am kicking things off with an exhibit opening in Raleigh, NC.

I’m pleased to share with you that Charlotte Russell Contemporary invited me to show a group of paintings in a two-person show called Fresh Air with textile artist Sydney Zester. It’s interesting to see the interplay of colors and shapes between my work and Sydney’s, and I’ll be curious to hear what you think when you see the work together.

The exhibit Fresh Air will be at Charlotte Russell Contemporary Jan. 14th – Feb. 16, 2022. 

Find more details on the gallery website here.

Because of the current Covid surge we’re moving from having an opening reception to a closing event, so stay tuned for that date.

Community Garden Paths, acrylic on wood, 18 x 24 inches, one of the paintings in the exhibit

 

How I painted Chosen Path, a commissioned artwork

This morning I installed a new painting in a collector’s home. This painting has been a wonderful project to work on, so I thought you might like to hear about how it developed.

The painting was commissioned by a filmmaker as a wedding anniversary/holiday gift for his partner who is a neurologist. The client asked me to combine stills from one of his films with illustrations of brain cells by the 19th century artist/scientist Santiago Ramon y Cajal, one of his wife’s favorite artists. He trusted me to come up with something using all of those images as references and was open to the finished painting being abstract rather than looking like any of the photos he sent me.

To make the painting, I ended up layering image after image to find new overlapping shapes.Then through a process of finding and combining shapes and playing with color, the painting emerged. It was a fantastic project to work on.

If you’d like to commission an artwork, you can learn more about the process here or email me to start the process.

chosen path painting
The finished painting: Chosen Path, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 30×40 inches

Here There Everywhere

Where to Catch Me and my Work this Month

It’s heating up here in the studio and I’m pleased to share with you a few events where you’ll find me and my work this month.

This Saturday December 4th I’ll be at the Artfolios Holiday Bazaar with artwork available for purchase. You’ll find artwork from 17 other artists there and live music, coffee and snacks from 1-4pm at Current Coworking in Winston-Salem. Find all details here.

Yadkin Riverkeeper  is running their annual fundraising auction, and one of my paintings is up for grabs. Support my favorite local nonprofit and bring in a big breath of fresh air all at once when you buy this painting.

The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) is featuring my work along with others from a small group of artists in their Holiday Gift Shop. Proceeds support the museum’s programming. Details are here.

As always, I’m happy to chat with you over the phone or email if you have any questions about an artwork, installment plans, lighting or shipping. Email or call me at (336) 283-0185.

abstract landscape paintings on wall
PIlot Mountain 1 and 7, each 20×20 on wood panel – Click the image above to find them

 

Join me for Artists Sunday on Nov 28. It’s like Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, but for art.

 

I’ve joined artists, creators and makers across the country for the Artists Sunday, earth’s largest art event, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, November 28th, encouraging people to shop with artists. Think of it like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday but for shopping for art!

I want to help you end this year on a high note by making your holiday gifting more special and rewarding. To make it easier for you to find art you’ll love, here are some quick links for easy-to-gift artwork:

And if you want to spread out the cost of a painting over time, I’ll be happy to set up a no-interest installment plan for you. Simply email me to let me know how much you want to pay each month.

To be in the know about upcoming events, there are a couple things you can do:

  • Follow me on Social Media – Facebook and Instagram.
  • Subscribe to my email list here and I’ll send you updates about my work!

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!

40 hours installing an art exhibit

Last week, with the help of a whole team, I installed my latest exhibition at the Sechrest Gallery of Art at High Point University. The show includes a 19-foot tall painting installation as well as a 19-foot tall mountain of paper cranes with an approximately 12-foot square foot print. There is also a monumental video projection and a collection of paintings. Below is the video showing all 40 hours of the installation process. Read on for a breakdown of what happened during that time.

 

Day 1:

Measure/Cut/Attach the wire mesh to steel beams about 25-feet up

Tie fishing line to the mesh

Prep wall with masking tape to install 63 sky paintings in a grid

Day 2:

Tie fishing line to mesh

Prep wall with masking tape for 63 paintings grid

Lay out all sky paintings on the ground to arrange them for installation

Rebox paintings in order they’ll be installed

Start installing sky painting grid

Start attaching paper cranes to fishing line

Day 3:

Finish tying last remaining fishing line

Attach paper cranes

Interns start on this day: explain the work and each person’s job

Finish installing sky painting grid

Day 4:

Attach paper cranes

Hang all other paintings in the exhibit

Begin lighting mountain

Day 5:

Attach paper cranes and refine shape of mountain

Finish lighting mountain

Install largest painting in exhibit

Trim fishing line

Light all other paintings

I shot 1 photo per minute over the course of about 40 hours over 5 days, using a GoPro Hero 3+.

This exhibition is at the Sechrest Gallery of Art at High Point University, NC
October 25, 2021 – December 17, 2021
Opening Reception: October 28, 5:00-7:00 PM
Gallery Hours: Monday through Friday, 10am – 5pm

To see more details about each artwork or for purchasing, visit the gallery shop page.

THANK YOU to my partner Tim Bowman, the team of interns, Emily Gerhold and High Point University for supporting this exhibition.

Immersive Art Explores the Outdoors at the Sechrest Gallery of Art at High Point University October 25 – December 17, 2021

Thank you Yes! Weekly for covering my upcoming exhibit at the Sechrest Gallery of Art at High Point University. Read it on Yes! Weekly (and see all the images) or read on for the text.

(September 22, 2021, Winston-Salem, NC) Award-winning artist Jessica Singerman announces her exhibition of works entitled OF STONES AND EARTH AND AIR opening at the Sechrest Gallery of Art at High Point University on October 25 and continuing through December 17, 2021. The opening reception is free and open to the public on Thursday October 28, 5:00 – 7:00 PM.

The exhibit explores the intersection of the outdoor experience and art through paintings, video projection, a mountain of paper cranes and an installation of skies. Singerman’s work aims to create an immersive experience by evoking the energy of the outdoor spaces that inspire us, from mountains and valleys to skies and fields.

Says Singerman, “Spending time in nature – specifically riding bikes, running and hiking – is a mindful practice and brings me real joy. With these projects I hope to conjure up feelings of being in vast outdoor spaces that create a sense of wonder. I made Paper Mountain by folding over 1,000 paper cranes. The flock of paper birds is suspended from the ceiling, forming a floating mountain. The painting installation The space between the clouds is comprised of over 60 paintings of skies covering an entire gallery wall from the floor to ceiling. The work in this exhibit is a sort of experiment to see if it can evoke the spirit of the outdoors.

Emily Gerhold, Director of the Sechrest Gallery of Art and Assistant Professor of Art History at High Point University, writes “Singerman’s work first engages they eye with its color and vibrancy, and one cannot help but feel excited as they are welcomed into the space suggested by her gestural, energetic brushwork. But, balanced with the dynamic elements of her work are passages that inspire deep feelings of tranquility. True to its title’s evocation of the elements of nature – Of Stones and Earth and Air – this show will invite audiences to meditate on the myriad embodied responses, from the ecstatic to the profound, provoked by encounters with the beauty and power of the natural world.”

The artwork in the exhibition can be purchased at www.jessicasingerman.com or by contacting the artist at [email protected].

About the artist: Jessica Singerman earned her BA with Highest Honors in 2002 from the College of William & Mary, Virginia, and her Masters of Fine Arts in 2004 from the University of Delaware while on a fellowship. Her award-winning paintings and drawings are exhibited and collected internationally. Singerman lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

SECHREST ART GALLERY AT HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY, including OF STONES AND EARTH AND AIR, by Jessica Singerman, October 25 – December 17. One University Parkway High Point, NC 27268, www.highpoint.edu/arts-design/sechrest-art-gallery/ 336-841-4680.

If you’d like more information or to schedule an interview with the artist, please contact Jessica Singerman at 336-283-0185 or [email protected]

mountain of folded paper cranes

From floods to Legos to skies – Evolution of a project

A couple of years ago after heavy rains and flooding, I noticed a strange sight while driving over the Yadkin River: a forest under water. The river had overflowed and the trees were standing in a few feet of water. Downed trees and branches were violently shoved up against still-standing trees. I was struck by the sheer power of the water overflowing its river banks and the dissonance of seeing a flooded forest.

 

This image stayed with me for a while and I collected branches which I made into little piles and bundles in my studio. I imagined a huge pile of tree trunks pushed up against a gallery wall and spilling out onto the gallery floor, the pile’s size dwarfing viewers. On an adjacent wall I imagined a wall size video projection of water slowly filling the screen to the sound of water running continuously.

 

Over the course of the next two years I made drawings and prototypes and kept running into the same problem: no matter how elegantly executed, the log stack and running water video created a feeling of dread. I couldn’t reconcile the sense of anxiety the pieces would likely provoke in viewers with my desire to create an immersive and elemental kind of experience in a gallery. Climate change is very real and frightening, but I refuse to subject viewers of my work to feelings of anxiety. As artists we are responsible for how our work affects people, and ultimately I want my work to feel vital and uplifting – even when the work deals with environmental concerns.

 

I sidelined the log pile and running water video ideas and turned to my watercolors to play and think. Watercolor is my “go-to” for figuring things out and generating ideas. I made piles of small playful mixed media drawings and wondered how they would look in a large scale if I made hundreds of them to cover a gallery wall from floor to ceiling – transforming the logs and water ideas to something less heavy-handed.

 

To prototype this idea, I made a hundred and twenty eight tiny drawings with watercolor, ink and colored pencil, and I installed them on a piece of foam core as if it were a tiny gallery wall. I then photographed this maquette with Lego mini figures as viewers to picture how it might feel on a monumental scale. It worked.
lego art gallery
In the spring of 2021, I was asked to exhibit my work at the Sechrest Gallery at High Point University, specifically my large-scale installation Paper Mountain and its companion piece Sky Project. The gallery is big. Even after installing the mountain of paper cranes and filling a wall with the Sky Project video, there was space for more work.  I knew I wanted to include some of my paintings, but there are two twenty foot-tall walls on one side of the gallery. One of these was perfect for a painting installation like what I had prototyped, but it needed to be different. The work I had made for the tiny gallery was very active work, and this needed to be more quiet because it would be near Paper Mountain, a twenty foot tall floating mountain of paper cranes. The painting installation couldn’t detract from Paper Mountain and ideally should complement it.

 

I wanted to make something that would be monumental as I had imagined with my Legos, and it also needed to uplift and encourage minds to wander. I decided to try skies for their universal and poetic quality, and made some prototypes in different painting styles and with different papers. After settling on the type of paint and the application, I found the perfect paper – heavy enough to lay flat on the wall even when coated in paint, the right size and excellent quality. It’s called Yupo, a polypropylene paper that is unpleasant and difficult to use with some mediums, but perfect for this particular project.

 

The project in its current form uses loosely painted skies to create a sense of air and space. The paintings will be hung in a grid 19 feet tall by 17 feet wide, covering one of the gallery walls near Paper Mountain. I’ve named it The space between the clouds.

 

I’m curious and excited to see how The space between the clouds will look installed. I’ll have to arrange the paintings onsite because my studio isn’t big enough to lay them all out at once, and I look forward to that part too.
The High Point University exhibition opens Thursday October 28th and is up until December 18th. The space between the clouds, Paper Mountain, Sky Project and a collection of paintings will be on display at Sechrest Gallery of Art.

 

You can support this project and see images of the work in progress on Buy Me a Coffee where I’ve been fundraising to cover the cost of paper and paint for The space between the clouds.

 

Sometimes you drop paintings on your face

I dropped a wet painting on my face this week.

I’m working on a group of paintings to cover an entire 19-foot tall gallery wall, and I work on them each week in groups of nine. (I’ve completed 45/63 as of today.) At the beginning of each week I start with six paintings on the middle and bottom rows (see below), and when I finish a row, I move it to the top to make room for three more pieces of paper.

On Tuesday while I moved one to the top row, I lost hold of it and it fell on me. Luckily the works are on paper so I didn’t hurt myself, and I managed to wash out the paint from my shirt. I should know better than to wear a good shirt in the studio – even with an apron.

Yesterday I had a meeting at the Sechrest Gallery of Art at High Point University, where I’m exhibiting this project, Paper Mountain and Sky Project and other works starting in October. During the meeting we dialed in the logistics for this exhibit and discussed some other peripheral projects to accompany the show. I’m so excited to share my work in this big beautiful space, to reinstall Paper Mountain and Sky Project and to finally see how my sky paintings will look on a massive scale.

This show will open on Thursday October 28th. Stay tuned for all the details.

On the top right is the culprit – the painting that fell on me!

I am at 79% of reaching my $500 fundraising goal for this project! Can you help me reach the goal?

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