Sep 16, 2015

Life Stream - solo exhibition

Installation at PUB Gallery, Peninsula College, Port Angeles, WA

Life Stream 

I imagine
our lives
like threads
moving through time.

Emerging at birth
from an ocean
of consciousness,
and returning again
at death.

In between
a mystery,
we call life.

In between
we dip in and out
of a larger stream,
at times
immersed, submerged,
renewed or humbled
as the current carries us along.

In between
we play with possibility
of who we are
and who we might be,
with what we’ve been given
and what we choose.

Alone and together
we weave the fabric of our lives.

Anchors serve as symbols of what helps us feel connected, grounded and centered. They link us to what we care about, and to what and where we want to return.  When life challenges us, they give us stability and sensibility.  By consciously identifying our ‘anchors’ in times of calm, it’s easier to connect with them when we’re challenged. 

Beacons serve as symbols of illumination. Their light guides us through darkness, helping us move through challenges to find our next step.

What are some of your Anchors and Beacons?

What are the anchors that ground and calm you?
What helps keep you steady? 
What are the beacons that illuminate and help clarify your direction?
What serves to move you towards your dreams, goals and intentions?

What are the relationships, activities, people, places and things that illuminate, guide and help sustain your life?  This might include family, friends, meditation, exercise, dancing, school, job, home, a certain kind of music or place in the world and more. 

 I invite people to share their responses by writing or drawing on the tags provided in the gallery then hang their tags on the nets around the frames.  

I would love to know how you relate to the idea of anchors and beacons in your life. You are welcome to leave your responses through post a comment at bottom of this page.  

8:00am - 8:00pm Monday - Friday

Aug 16, 2015

Welcome to the Plastisphere

Welcome to the Plastisphere is a collaborative project by artists Karen HackenbergMargie McDonald, and I.  It began with debris collected from Anacortes beaches and the Anacortes Arts Festival public art project called TideCraft, "turning salvaged marine debris into art".
The three of us began meeting in April to brainstorm, imagine, play, decide on a direction and begin to clean up the beach debris.  We decided early on to work with plastic bottles. For the next four months we worked alone, together and with others, cleaning, cutting, folding, drilling, stringing, imagining and reimagining.
After some of our work parties we set up little mini 'still lifes' to problem solve and envision how it might look with the 20' rebar we planned to use.
We installed at the festival on August 6th and continued cutting plastic bottles to add to the Plastisphere throughout the weekend.  
The beginning of set up and on site construction

Welcome to the Plastisphere, Anacortes Arts Festival, 2015

More images, videos (stunning in the wind!) and information about Welcome to the Plastisphere on its Facebook Page

September 26-27, 2015 
We will unveil a new form of Welcome to the Plastisphere for the The Surge Festival at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, WA.       

Karen, Margie and I will be joined by Gary Pascoe, the environmental toxicologist to present the next incarnation of Welcome to the Plastisphere for The Surge Festival at the MONA in La Conner. The Festival will focus on artists and scientists working together to draw attention to climate change and its impact on the Northwest’s coastal communities.   

Morning meditations - On retreat in Spokane

This place of now
Puzzling (Ponderosa pine)
Coming out from under
Between many and one
This 'work' was done during a 9 day silent meditation retreat with Jason Siff in Spokane. The outside temperature varied between 70 degrees in 'cool' nights and 104 degrees. Being a Washington coastal type (our weather is often cool, grey and rainy), the heat provided another dimension to alter my perception. Camping at night, in a tent in the meadow, helped me wake with the birds and develop my own form of morning meditation. In the cool of the morning, I walked the land, engaging what was within and around me with natural materials and the cotton gloves and jigsaw puzzle pieces I brought with me. 

During the retreat, as we wove between sitting meditation and dharma talks, between being indoors and being outdoors in nature, I had many thoughts about art-working as a spiritual practice. For years this has been a recurring thread in my work and thoughts. Soon I look forward to focusing more attention in this direction. If you're interested and want me to keep you posted on developments involving my work with art and spiritual practice and/or art as a healing force. Let me know via email at  glolamson @ gmail dot com (no spaces) . (will send only rare emails.)

Tertium quid

Jun 14, 2015

Playa Residency

Recently returned from an incredible month "creative residency" in southern Oregon at the the amazing Playa. What an wonderful gift of time, studio, living space/cabin, super supportive community and stunning Big nature enabling me focused time for art-working! My idea of an ideal world.  Thank you - Thank you Playa!!
My Playa home and studio which I shared with Sash Bischoff, a director from New York city.
My primary focus was working towards my 2015 Fall exhibition/installation at PeninsulaCollege PUG in Port Angeles. For this exhibition I'm considering Lifelines as the unique pathways we travel from birth to death. The study below shows a model for the 70’ wall I will be working with at the College. 

Another part of the exhibition will consider anchors and beacons as metaphors for that which gives our lives stability and questioning what illuminates our way.  There will be an area in the Port Angeles installation to invite viewers to share what act as anchors and beacons in their lives.

My studio

I was pleased to be able to share my work with the public and see the work of the other residents during “Playa Presents”; the monthly open studios, readings and reception welcoming the public for an insiders view of Playa
~ ~ ~
Also during Playa time, I continued my work of engaging the natural world with human materials, I took my "glovebird" for a walk in the surrounding country. I created this white bird from white cotton gloves, which are traditionally used for handling art and other precious objects.  These images will give you a sense of the incredible landscape surrounding Playa as well as impressive skyscapes which were so much a part of my time there.

Another incredible gift of the Playa residency was to be able to share that time with my good friend and the wonderful artist Rebecca Welti who had a residency at the same time.   We have worked collaboratively on several installations in AK, OR and WA as well as she is the one who made my art work in Alaska possible.  In image below from "Playa Presents", Rebecca shares with some of the visitors from Paisley, a near-by town with population of 250.
and below, a couple of her great photographs of her carvings out on the playa.

~ ~ ~
My time at Playa continues to inspire me. I would love to return to participate again in that incredibly supportive community and magnificent natural environment.

Jan 22, 2015

'Steps and Threads' - Installation at 731 Tyler St., Port Townsend, WA.

Steps and Threads
Small white boxes from discarded slide-film containers hold the idea of the many steps and stages between our birth and our death. I imagine our lives like fabric, are woven over time from our network of connections with people, experiences, places and things. The curtain represents and conceals what we don’t know and can’t see which I envision as the time/space between death and birth. The twine on the ground from past installations represent past involvements that no longer hold us. The image below comes from of one of these earlier installations which hangs on the west wall.
Being Here, Old Fort Townsend
For the window installation, while weaving the string from one box into the next, William Staffords' poem kept wandering through my brain.  He wrote this poem 26 days before he died.

The Way It Is
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
by William Stafford 1998

Oct 23, 2014

Psst....An Invitation

Installation created at Northwind's new location in the Waterman & Katz Building with the help of Jim Garrett of Garrett Metals and Nimba Anvils fame.  Apart from the dryer hoses circling, twisting, tangling and stretching, there is a space set up for your participation. Grab a tag and show your response to the importance and value of art in your life (images, words or ??).  There are materials for you to use and post with - or take a tag home and bring it back before the end of November.  There are also tags available at the Jefferson St. Northwind location.  You can pick one up and return it there where it will be posted on the board later (currently the Waterman Katz location is open Sat. 12-4 until the end of November, and a few other days in between.  look forward to seeing your responses!  

If you can't visit in person leave your comment in this blog and I post it on the board with the rest.

Oct 13, 2014

Art and the Word - Exhibition at Northwind Gallery

Art and the Word - Exhibition at Northwind Gallery until October 27, 2014

Three of my images from the series, 'Touching Ground' are included in the exhibition.  The words were created from white cotton gloves laid out the land.  The white bird is also made of the same kind of gloves in a more solid form...she often goes goes on walks with me...wanting to fly in particular locations.
Photo with thanks to Stephen Yates
These pieces are encaustic photographs on wood panels with which I've been experimenting.  Working with the wax - the heat and fire...reminds me of the alchemical nature in the origin of photographs as well as my own experience of many years working in photographic darkrooms watching the magic of an image slowly materialize in a tray of liquid.

These pieces are on exhibit exhibit at Northwind Gallery in Port Townsend until October 27.  On Oct. 19 at 1pm there will be a presentation by the juror, Alan Newberg, who is a full-time artist maintaining a studio in Bremerton, Washington and is a founding member of the Collective Visions Gallery. 
I look forward to his talk and would love to see you there.

In case you can't make it to the exhibit, you can see the images below.

Now and Then

Jul 18, 2014

Ahhh -- and the evolution of this Port Townsend Installation

'Hands of Wonder'
on the grounds of 
Hui Noeau Visual Arts Center, Maui
                                                                                                                                                       In the beginning.... well, It's hard to say where something actually begins. For me perhaps in placing white gloves in the form of singular words on the ground in natural environments. Then wanting to "bring the outside - inside"... And thoughts of the way a stone dropping in calm water creates expanding ripples. Imagining words have their own ripple effect.  Creating words out of white cotton gloves which are generally used to handle valuables with extra care.

Artist friend, Margaret Lindsey agreed to the idea of creating a window installation together. (2 years ago, created the cloud photos for the window AND the one who painted the window wall with the current skyscape) 
We traded ideas and images via email for weeks before she arrived.  She sent me the drawing below in response to my words and idea of the ripple effect.  After her arrival we continued with the evolution of ideas and materials.
Below image is the creative result from our thoughts, ideas, conversations and materials.
633 Tyler Street, Port Townsend, WA, USA


Between sky and earth,

Hand to ground
Colors to wall
Letters to sound
Word to image
Meaning to mind.

Choice of perception
for this place
  we call home.

Mar 15, 2014

Passage - Studio Window at Tyler Street - Uptown

Doorways mark passages between one world and another - whether between the hallway and the bedroom, the office and the rest of the world, the inside of an airplane and freefall. A transition zone between one role, activity, ecosystem; one reality and another. These physical doorways are familiar to us and easy to recognize, but what of the metaphysical passages within our invisible, inner worlds?

How do we sense transition zones in our non-physical areas of internal change?  Places and times are marked by an inner awareness that something has changed.  The world may seem suddenly fresh, alien, or our sense of self is altered.  These perceptions illuminate our awareness the internal shifting, moving, and changing of our inner landscape.  

I consider the forces transforming our inner worlds, some of which we initiate and some of which come upon us from beyond our conscious choosing.  Like metaphysical elements of fire, air, water and earth and their processes of burning, lifting, flowing, and grounding.  I consider these forces as active ingredients that help us move through our lives - like fish through water, wood in flame, bird in flight, tree rooted and growing towards light. We acknowledge this movement by metaphysical elements in saying,”trial by fire”, “free as a bird”, “riding a wave”, “solid as a rock”, or “rooted as a tree”.   

I imagine these forces transform our inner worlds and thus our perception of the physical world. I find navigational assistance in this world of inner transformation in Jung’s writing on alchemy.  With the installation, ‘Passage’, I attempt to give form to these non-physical forces and to evoke the experience they create within us.

Mar 7, 2014

"Yes and..." 'at Earth Matters' Exhibition chosen as Best of Show

Three photographs from the my series,Touching Ground, were chosen for inclusion in "Earth Matters" at Northwind Gallery exhibit.  February 28 - March 31, 5pm.   Best in Show was awarded to "Yes and..." (shown below) by Juror Michael Paul Miller.  Work was chosen in relationship to the following statement.

Looking through your own personal lens, what is your relationship with the land as material or metaphor? What does the word Earth mean to you? ” . . . the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope” – Wendell Barry

I was considering the importance of finding what and where we can say 'yes' with out energy and attention.  Also drawing from an idea from improvisation....when someone approaches you with something....find a way to say - Yes....and.
Yes and...Haleakala Crater, HI
How can art help?  Rialto Beach, WA
   Hands to ground, Cabo Pulmo, Mexico    
To see background information and more images on my work with gloves see link below
During the March 9th artist lecture juror Michael Paul Miller gave about the exhibition he shared the following comments about my work.
"I awarded “Best in Show” to Gloria’s environmental artwork, “Yes and …” When I asked the artwork if it should receive the award for “Best in Show” and if it truly believed that Earth Matters it then responded in Magic 8 ball fashion with a, “Yes”. How could I argue with that?

Now seriously, when looking at the formal elements of this photo it’s difficult to find anything disagreeable. The image seems perfect. The composition, contrast, and details are spot on and it’s beautifully presented with a simple white matt and thin black frame that enhances the almost grey monochromatic presence of the landscape. However, this artwork is more than a beautiful photo in a frame, it’s about a process that extends beyond the frames borders. One that seems to change locations, shapes, and ideas based on the other works of art Gloria has submitted to the show. In another similar work that appears to be a part of the series she shouts asking, “HOW CAN ART HELP?” The appropriate bumper sticker slogan response is that, “Art saves lives”. Yet it is a serious question that the artist or individual is burdened with and must consider when wanting change for the better. It’s especially overwhelming when that desired change is against the economic interests of the plutocracy.

At first glance the white forms of, “Yes and …” appeared to be feathers carefully placed to form letters in the landscape in an Andy Goldsworthian fashion. After closer inspection I noticed that they were white gloves, which are normally used to handle items of high value. They are also symbolic of the white glove treatment, which provides first class care and service. When placed in context of the landscape they are representative of people as caretakers of the earth. We should handle the environment with white gloves. We should perhaps give Mother Nature the white glove treatment instead of the usual individuals who receive this service and that are also responsible for its demise. Gloria with her limited resources is most likely doing her best to do what she can to care for and service the environment by creating art that can and more importantly does help.

There is a slightly darker and more sinister interpretation that can be found within the work. The illuminating light and heavy atmosphere found in the landscape adds both mysticism and mystery, which brings into question what lies beyond the foreground. It could be a reference to the unknown future that is obscured by either a more optimistic cloud or ominous smog. The word, “Yes” appears as if it were a large Hollywood sign making the fog read as smog. Going even deeper and darker into the artworks reading is the title of the work, which is, “Yes and …”. The ellipsis in the title suggests that some part of our ability to understand what is going on has been omitted as we are then left with unanswered questions and an awkward silence."

Michael Paul Miller
Associate Professor of Art
Peninsula College