Friday, May 13, 2016

Every Possible Green // Spring Updates

This winter I fell into living in the country with ease. All the the things I thought I'd pine for were less important then expected. There is no fancy coffee unless I drive over an hour to Nashville and the grocery store is 30 minutes each way with a limited selection at best. But I'm happy here and my house feels more like home than ever. My only other qualm with my rural lifestyle is the challenge to find fluid income. I am putting out into the universe that I am looking for (freelance) work, things I can do from here or there, I'm open to travel and discussing projects. If something comes to mind or you'd like to suggest my name for a project I'd be much obliged. I have to constantly remind myself that it doesn't hurt to ask or let people know what you need.....

The road to my house (right over the next hill, now hidden by trees)
Spring has arrived with an explosion of every possible green, snakes, bugs and a full calendar. I'm finding myself booked with a lot of travel in the next few months. A hazy reminder of what my hectic life used to look like, but nothing in comparison.  I just returned home from a trip East for the opening of CounterCraft: Voices of the Indie Craft Community. My first museum exhibit I've curated which will run through July 10th at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton MA. While in the area I was also able to visit the Boston Center for the Arts to check out the inspiring and wonderfully put together Queer Threads exhibit, also up through July if you find yourself in the area. 

 Featured artists: clockwise Xander Marro (paper mask), Tracy Bull (feathers), Betsy Greer (affirmation project)
That trip was the kick-off to a busy string of events over the next few months. I'm gearing up for meeting a lot of new folks, running into old friends and feeling very open and ready to be inspired by what is in the future.  I'll be heading out next week for a month at Black Mountain School in NC. I will be the staff documentarian, capturing in photographs what unfolds there. Myself, along with so many other amazing folks on staff and faculty are all donating our time to this project. You can read about it in Art in America. Come July I'm off to Maine where I'll be speaking at the Summer conference at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, then straight to my summer artist residency at ACRE in rural Wisconsin where I will be focusing on a few small projects I'm excited to share sooner than later. 

Upcoming 2016:
May-July: CounterCraft: Voices of the Indie Craft Movement, Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton MA
May-June: Black Mountain School, Black Mountain NC
June: Idapalooza, TN
July: Workshop leader, Craft Thinking: Ideas on Making, Materials, and Creative Process at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME
July: ACRE residency, Steuben WI

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mirror Neurons

Last December I wrote my intentions for 2015 while visiting NYC in a deep friend vortex. We sealed them up, I tucked them all somewhere they would be safe through a few moves and just last week was reminded to pull them out. I sent the others back to NYC for my friends and opened mine up to see what I had written....

2015 Intentions
Continue on this path I have started to walk: Managing my health by diet, movement, supplements and hope it keeps my pain at bay. Continuing to be self aware with drinking in moderation or not at all. Continue to make healthy responsible relationship choices and treat those around me with equal or more love than I receive or expect. Learn to let go. Establishing a vision of what home is/can be: House in the country 2-4 bedrooms, cozy, clean and functional for work and play. Continue self soothing habits like relaxing, reading and small projects. Also maintain established relationships (friends & work) while expanding on community. Settling into my new skin. Stay focused. Keep smiling. It’s all looking amazing!

Even without this short letter to remind myself things are going well I would feel like my life is right on track. See you later 2015, you represent the end of what was a really difficult period for me. As I move forward grounded within all the hard work I’ve done to get this far I still have no idea what’s in store. I don’t know what my professional life will look like by this time next year. And for the first time in a long while I'm not worried and just enjoying the moment.

Making the time and space to slow down and heal was vital. That paired with my new found ability to pace myself I’m way ready to pounce on this forward momentum. It’s time. I am entering a new era of my life and it’s looking mighty fine so far, and all from my tiny country house tucked back into a holler in Tennessee.

Photo: December back porch view from my house
Upcoming in 2016:

January: Residency, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN
May: Curator, CounterCraft: Voices of the Indie Craft Movement, Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton MA
July: Workshop leader, Craft Thinking: Ideas on Making, Materials, and Creative Process at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, ME

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mindful dedication

Hello Friends!

As some of you may already know in the past year I have experienced major shifts within my life. For a number of reasons I made the decision to move from my home of 13 years in Milwaukee to explore living in the South. Simultaneously I took some massive steps back from my work in order to focus on self-care, learning to understand and manage what had began to become shockingly debilitating chronic pain that was affecting my day to day life. Both of these events were incredibly emotional and eye-opening and I publicly talked about this with ease for the first time this past January. With sharing my vulnerability came an overwhelming out pour of support, understanding and kindness from friends, acquaintances and total strangers. This motivated me to stay focused and assured me I was on the right path. Thank you if you commented, sent a note or even just took a moment to send me a good thought - I FELT IT. 

With mindful dedication to slowing down and healing I have had massive breakthroughs and am successfully learning how to manage my pain. So far one of my biggest lessons has been learning how to take small steps that lead to larger goals. Holy crap it is so hard to break old work patterns! Within these new parameters I am relearning how to feel productive, creative and inspired. However difficult it has been, I'm happy to report the positive long term effects are obvious at this point.

With being able to feel a difference after taking so much “time off” I am super excited to be feeling inspired again. I had/have a lot of anxiety about "wasting time" and was worried about my lack of motivation. With relief I am starting to feel ready to focus on new projects, experiment with living rurally, get to work on my book project that’s been waiting patiently with long time collaborator Cris Siqueira and begin story-boarding a new experimental short narrative film I plan to direct. I also just returned from Detroit where I had some work in a fantastic group exhibit "Alchemy" curated by Monica Canilao at Inner State Gallery, up through the end of July.

Along with my ecstatic joy for feeling inspired again I am super excited to share my new website. This has been on my “to do” list for about 5 years, and I realized NOW IS THE TIME. I’m no web designer but feel real proud about seeing all my accomplishments in one space. It loosely catalogs the past 10 years of my work from films, photos to the long list of amazing shows I was able to curate in Milwaukee. If you have a moment please check it out, feedback is always appreciated.

I've used this blog as my hub since 2007 and plan to continue to make sporadic posts and keep it as an archive, as always I encourage you to follow me on instagram @faythelevine for real time updates. Otherwise stay in touch and if you happen to have a job that may be a good fit for this malleable artist, hit a lady up, I am in the market!


PHOTO: Planting echinacea on the new cancer moon in rural TN, July 2015