Hawaii Craftsmen Newsletter
Joey Chiarello's Jumping Spider was a leap of faith for the self-taught local artist. When he first sketched out the piece, he didn't know how he would be able to construct, assemble, and mount the final sculpture, but he knew he'd find a way. Serendipitously, he found out about Beth Cavener's Hawaii Craftsmen 'AHA 2014 workshop (The Wildness Within: Conceptual Framework and Ceramic Building, January 2014) after he had built the head and body of the spider. Limited to a small kiln, he knew he would have to fire the pieces in batches and then assemble them afterwards...but how?
Learning Beth Cavener's techniques for solid building, armatures, and post-firing assembly gave Joey what he needed to move forward with the sculpture, and the confirmation that the epoxy he planned to use (PC-7 or PC-11) would be appropriate for final assembly. It was not the first time that an 'AHA workshop helped Joey grow as an artist; the 2004 workshop with Sergei Isupov introduced him to using mason stains as pigments and gave him permission to not wedge (Sergei uses a cut-and-fold technique instead). In 2005, Michael Sherrill's workshop taught Joey the use of closed hollow forms, using an extruder as a tool, and ways to use equipment that he still uses in his work today. He's also drawn on his experience as a construction worker, using a method he originally used to mount a lamp in a kitchen to mount the finished Jumping Spider piece in the Nano Gallery at the Honolulu Museum of Art School earlier this year.
"I've been doing this for 10 years and I still think of myself as an emerging artist."
Keeping an open mind and embracing adventure keeps Joey growing as an artist. Over lunch at Lucky Belly, we talked about how trusting his gut and keeping his eyes open has led to his finding new ideas and materials to incorporate into his work. As an example of what going on a little adventure can do, Joey explained that the eyes of the spider were originally glazed, but the glaze didn't work out. On a trip to a hardware store, he asked a few questions and got a recommendation to go elsewhere, which led to his using highly reflective mylar for the eyes instead. "When you take a picture, she flashes back at you," Joey explained with a grin, "she's sassy!" He's incorporated non-traditional materials into other sculptures as well. For Pondering the Truth, a self-portrait sculpture that won the Paul Loo Award of Excellence at the 2013 Annual Statewide Juried Exhibition, and which is currently on view at the Hawaii State Art Museum (Accession 2014 exhibit), Joey used eyeshadow for the skin color ("I couldn't find the right paint"), and thorns to use as claws while walking through a forest ("...can't find it in stores - can find it in the forest!").
After spending long, intensive sessions with Jumping Spider (from first sketch to final mounting, this piece took "a ridiculous number of hours" over the course of a year), Joey hasn't taken a break from making art. He's got more large-scale pieces in progress, and is researching ways to boost his production. Joey will also be heading to Alberta, Canada, to do a Medalta residency next summer, which is the grand prize for the Medalta Spoon Me! Medalta International Spoon Show exhibition. He's also hoping to do more collaborations, like the one he did with local ceramic artist Jon Vongvichai for the Hawaii Craftsmen FORMable Feast fundraiser in early 2014 (Jon threw the vessel and Joey painted/glazed it).
Photos courtesy Joey Chiarello
Hawaii Craftsmen board member Tanyah Tavorn worked with Indie Visual List to produce ICONICA, a fashion show event featuring designers and artists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu Community College, and other local fiber artists, showcasing looks made from unconventional materials. As part of Hawaii Fashion Month, with food trucks, wild fashions, music, and three performances by artist Robert Reed, this event was well attended and unlike anything Hawaii Craftsmen has done before!
Hawaii Craftsmen board members Liz Train and Tanyah Tavorn, along with Amy Azada of Indie Visual List, appeared on the KITV4 This Morning show to talk about ICONICA on November 17, 2014. Watch that segment online: Fashion Meets Fiber
Photo album includes: Jackie Mild-Lau modeling her Popoki Hat, Robert Reed performing, an outfit designed by Hawaii Craftsmen board member Kat Cowan made of bicycle tire inner tubes, a dress made of coat hangers, dresses decorated with melted plastic spoon flowers, and Tanyah Tavorn wearing a skirt made of bubble wrap. Click on the photo thumbnails for a larger view.
Liz Train, Fiber Hawaii 2014 chair, thanks Reiko Brandon, Kathleina Cagigas, Mamiko Carroll, Ghislaine Chock, Chris Edwards, Tamsen Fox, John Friend, Yoko Haar, Theresa Heinrich, Boris Huang, Charlene Hughes, May Izumi, Beverly Major, Jackie Mild Lau, Lynn Liverton, Jane Noe, Yukio Ozaki, Jimie Ramos, Robert Reed, Allison Roscoe, Nancy Sack, Pat Steinhoff, Tanyah Tavorn, TheFUZZ Hawaii, Barbara Thompson, Kathy Tosh, Bonnie Town, Lori Uyehara, Mark White, and Carol Yotsuda for helping to make Fiber Hawaii 2014 a success. Special thanks to Vince Hazen, Christine Koroki and the staff of the Honolulu Museum of Art School, and extra special thanks to Maya Portner for being co-chair and Tanyah Tavorn for organizing the fashion show!
Binding & Looping: Transfer of Presence in Contemporary Pacific Art
October 5–December 5, 2014
University of Hawaii, Manoa, main gallery
There is still time to see Binding and Looping: Transfer of Presence in Contemporary Pacific Art at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. The exhibit brings together artists from Hawai‘i (featuring Hawaii Craftsmen member Bernice Akamine) and the Pacific for whom fiber and concepts of binding are both a respected tradition and an inspiration for contemporary art. In their individual ways, these artists consider their indigenous binding and looping customs and at the same time incorporate different media to create new works in sculpture, printmaking, photography, painting, and video. The exhibition includes work by artists from Hawai‘i, Tonga, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Micronesia. The closing ceremony on December 5 features a performance by Moana Nepia, Assistant Professor, UHM Center for Pacific Islands Studies, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Oahu Open Studios at The Gallery At Ward Centre
Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6-7, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Five gallery artists, including Hawaii Craftsmen members Jackie Mild Lau and Jo Rowley, will use the gallery as a studio to discuss their work and do demos. For more information, please visit the Gallery’s new website at hawaiifineartists.com