Mar 4, 2016

The Wonder of Cardmaking

I had the pleasure of going to see the Wonder exhibit at the Renwick Gallery earlier this week.  The Renwick is a small gallery located across from the White House.  Part of the Smithsonian, it currently is hosting the widely popular (with adults and kids) Wonder exhibit.

The exhibit is 9 distinct displays of contemporary art, each by a different artist, and each in a separate room of the gallery.  The artists were asked to use only one item to create their work.  For example, artist Tara Donovan used a million white plastic index cards to create this:

source:  the Renwick Gallery
Another artist used just embroidery thread; another green glass balls.  I could go on. Here's a picture of me standing inside part of a sculpture (sorry if you already saw this on Facebook).


Don't worry -- the gallery encouraged photography during this exhibit.   If you live or are visiting DC, it is worth your time.  And, it's free! 

Each piece of art will be dismantled in the next few months.  So that got me thinking.  All that talent and design and effort and materials and then, the work will be dismantled.  That idea bothered me.  But, then I thought that if these amazingly talented "real" artists can design just for the pleasure of doing so, why can't stampers?

I've always felt constrained by the idea that I should only make cards that would be mailed, or a tag that would go on an actual gift.  After seeing that exhibit, I'm thinking that making cards or tags or whatever is just creating little pops of art with no value other than the fun of making and sharing them. 

And that can be my own little wonderful.



13 comments:

  1. THANK YOU!!!! Joan, I've been thinking along the same lines myself. Now that Operation Write Home is closed, cards are starting to pile up. My Lenten observance is to send a card for every day of Lent, but that's not making much of a dent. It's made me wonder about going back to making artist books or other things that might never be "used" but would be incredibly fun and creative to make.

    You inspire me, and I thank you!!!!

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    2. You better not quit creating, we love to see your creations!!!

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  2. Looks like an awesome display! How ingenious of using just one item to build...

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  3. Yes!!! our "own little wonderful" :))

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  4. Looks like a fun exhibit. Wish I lived closer! You are so right about just creating to create your own little wonderful. It's an escape for me & often I don't send any of it anywhere. Sometimes I keep it on my desk or hang it on the wall or throw it in the wastepaper basket! Thanks for always inspiring us.

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  5. Thanks very much for letting us all know about this museum! Just one more reason to visit Washington D.C. What a treasure of inspiration for card makers.

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  6. I am going to be in DC in April, and I think I will add this to my list of things to do! Thanks for letting us know about it Joan! It looks fun, hope my teenage kids will think so too! And I agree about creating just to create, even if you are the only one who sees your "art", it has brought you joy, and that's what counts!

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  7. Thanks for sharing the exhibit and your response. In my experience, when I'm drawing, it's not "for" anything, and my joy in creating is enough on its own. But when I'm making cards, I seem to need some purpose or recipient (even if future/ undetermined) to keep my energy going. You've given me something to think about!

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  8. Looks like a fantastic exhibit, so glad you enjoyed it!

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  9. I totally create just to be creating! I also love to be able to give it away, but I'm fine if I don't!

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  10. Brilliant insight! We should all take a moment to digest this thought about our talent and art. Thank you!

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