In the Library Gallery: Curators as Artists

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

The current show in the Gallery at the Bedford Free Public Library, Curators as Artists, will be on display through September 12, 2018.

Each member of the library’s Art Steering Committee is an artist in her own right, and this show celebrates that work. Jean Hammond creates artist’s books, journals, and sketchbooks; Astrid Reischwitz is a renowned photographer; and Carol Rissman works with clay, creating beautiful ceramics

Jean Hammond

I’ve been working with books for most of my career as a book designer. It was my job to make the authors’ text and images, usually for college textbooks, function as a learning tool. While shaping the presentation of the content of books, I grew interested in the book as an object, the shape, size, and texture.

I intend books I make to be objects that are well made and functional, and well designed, that fit their use. The materials used in the sketchbooks and journals are chosen to make pleasant surfaces to work on. I’m not always sure that the idea I have for a book will work as well as I envisioned when it’s completed, but there’s something that will better shape the next one.

The ability to make things is a gift.
The ability to make things beautifully is a blessing.
—Milton Glaser, 1999

Astrid Reischwitz

The Gift of Regret: Every regret is a gift that opens a new door!

This series is based on an inner exploration of my history and values. The influences from my past linger, and looking back leads me to the things I have left behind; the path I never walked; the lifestyle that is about to disappear.

I find myself exploring feelings that surround the abandonment of my former scientific profession and comparing life in my country of origin to life in the about knowledge, education, and wisdom. I think about changes in communication, nourishment, lifestyle, and wisdom. I think about changes in communication, nourishment, lifestyle, and globalization.

In The Gift of Regret, I choose objects to symbolize these changes and values. By wrapping or presenting them as gifts, I preserve and honor them in my memory. After sitting with these images for a long time and experiencing the loss, I now feel that I can let go of regrets to make room in my heart for my new journey.

Carol Rissman

I am very engaged with patterns and textures in nature, and use a variety of surface design techniques to capture the feeling of the landscape in clay. Using natural and abstract imagery, I paint, carve, texture and print on handmade tiles. I think of the assembled tiles as a mosaic: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

To create my images, I use glazes, underglazes, and stains along with leaves, stones, feathers, and other objects I pick up on my walks through the woods. I may impress the object in a soft clay tile, or paint the object with underglaze and print its image. I use other objects, including toothpicks, drywall tape, and fabric stamps to texture the tiles. Most tiles are fired two or three times to enhance an image, each time adding layers or sanding them away.

When a number of individual tiles are finished to my satisfaction, I organize them into multiples that work together, meaning that the combination surprises and delights me. Then they are glued onto a wood back and wired for hanging.

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