Connie Norman
Connie Norman

Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

NCECA Houston 2013

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Thanks for stopping by the ol’ blog!  I always appreciate it when people tell me that they have read or seen something interesting on my blog.  This time I really feel like I’m sharing two really captivating pieces.   When you get to the end tell me what you think of the Michael’s and Janice’s work and our show if you’re so incline.

Constructing Solitude by Janice Jakielski

These two images of Janice Jakielski’s  work were the pieces that I was most intrigued with, I love interacting with the binoculars, and the feeling of spying I had when looking at the fields of growing plants, wondering what I would see if I stayed there long enough.

I played with these pieces for a long time; I took tons of pictures through the eye holes of each of the ceramic vegetation.  I went from side to side, looking at every angle, I was the person who really was lingering too long. 

Misfit Cup Liberation Project by Michael Strand

The other piece that fascinated me was the Misfit Cup Liberation Project by Michael Strand. Michael asks people to bring in their cups that have been pushed to the back of the cabinet and has not been used for years in exchange for his beautiful handmade cup.  In exchange you are asked to write how you acquired it and why you are giving up your neglected cup.  I read many of the stories and I kept wondering what is Michael Strand going to do with all these cups?  Why would a maker of handmade cups be willing to trade them for these unwanted cups?  As fate would have it, I got to dine with Michael Strand and asking all my burning questions.  He said his Misfit Cup project will exchange with 10 cities and several countries, India being one and in the end he will have collected 1000 cups.  Michael said, “It will be a cultural anthropological study of what is at the back our collective closet.”

If you take the time to watch the video you will learn more about the “EX-Con” cup and about the project in Michael’s own words.

Here are images of our show Western Table Manners at NCECA in Houston.  Mike Olson, Ryan Olsen and Yourell drove our show from Wyoming to Houston!  It sounds like they had a great road trip.  They arrived a few days early and installed the show at Houston Community College SE and enjoyed Texas in the spring time.  I flew in at the start of NCECA all ready to take in a ton of clay!!!

Our show was behind glass making it difficult to photograph it, but here it is!

Top left: Danny Brown, Lynn Munns, my work, and Ted Vogel.

Top left: Mike Olson, Lisa Pedolsky, Yoko Sekino-Bove, Elaine DeBehr, and Kurt Anderson.

Top: Rod Dugal, Ryan Olsen.

Everything packed up and ready to go home!



New York, New York

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Last month I went to New York City to help jury the Scholastic Art Award in ceramics and sculpture.  It was a great trip.  We had lively discussions judging the artwork.  I was on a jury with two other judges, one was an artist, she made sculptures, and the other was a writer/art critic.  In the past when I juried the Scholastic Art Award for Minnesota, I did it at home on-line.   All three of us came from such diverse backgrounds and different aesthetics.  I was the only one who was a teacher.  Jurying artwork for me is never easy.  I know, the hope that each student has as they are entering their work.  I wish we could have given feedback to students and teachers as their work was eliminated.  But alas that is not how the art world works.  Welcome to the Art World kids, you have to become your own critic.

I’m sorry I don’t have images to show you of the work we selected.

Kris, Me, Hilarie, Deb

This was the best art trip, I got to see old friends Hilarie Goodenough and Kris Musto, and travel with my good friend and pottery buddy Deborah Britt.   Hilarie and I went to Alfred together, it was so good to see her and catch up.  She is now an art teacher at a private school called, The Town School in Manhattan.  I took one morning to visit her school.  It was amazing to visit such a posh and amazing school. Hilarie has a great art program and the kids and the school are lucky to have her!!  I got tons of lesson ideas from talking to her!  Kris is a college recruiter for MCAD, and she used to run the Scholastic Art Award for Minnesota.  Deb has been my traveling partner for several trips now.  I’m so lucky to have great friends with similar interests.

Please enjoy the slide show of the Town School.

  • A student work area.
  • Student work area.
  • Look wooden lockers, kids putting on ties!
  • The play ground on top of the building.

The Brooklyn Bridge

The first trip to NYC, my American studies Professor Eric Sandeen told me to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.  I took him up on that suggestion, and have done it several times since then.  It is a beautiful walk.  I recommend that you walk from the Brooklyn side to the Manhattan side.  As you walk to Manhattan you can see the Statue of Liberty and picturesque skyline.   It is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, and I really get a sense of history walking across it.

Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party

This time we went to the Brooklyn Museum to see Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party.  It was amazing!  I’ve always heard so much about it, but to see it in person was incredible.  I always thought Judy Chicago had made it all herself.  After looking at it for only a few minutes you realizes there is NO way she could have made this alone.  I really enjoyed learning how she brought all these women together to complete this vision of The Dinner Party.  This was my first trip to the Brooklyn Museum and it was well worth the trip.

The Guggenheim

Of course here is my gratuitous shot of the Guggenheim.  Deb and I went to see the Picasso Black and White exhibition. The show explored Picasso’s use of black, white and grey values, in his artwork.  I’ve never seen so many Picasso’s in one place before.

I’ve been to NYC several times since 9-11 but have never visited Ground Zero.  On this trip Deb and I went to the site.  Recently I read Breaking Ground: An Immigrant’s Journey from Poland to Ground Zero by Daniel Lebeskind.  I’m not generally an architecture fan, but I read the book in two days.  I love how Libeskind thinks of architecture as sculpture.  This trip I had to go see it for myself.  Freedom Towers are beautiful.  The 9-11 Memorial is moving to say the least.  Here is a short slide show of the memorial. 

  • The Pod Hotel at night.
  • The mod hallway at the Pod.
  • My room.
  • The Salvation Taco the restaurant at the Pod.
  • Ping Pong anyone? While your having your tacos you can work it off with a little ping pong.

We stayed at The Pod Hotel.  I was worried about finding an affordable place to stay in New York, and Kris told me about the Pod Hotel.  It is really reasonable.  It doesn’t have all the frills of a five star hotel, but it is super hip, very contemporary, and in a great location.  Our Pod was right by the Chrysler Building.  BTW, I tried to sweet talk the guy at the Chrysler Building to let us go up to the top, and I thought he was going to say yes, because we were from Wyoming, but no deal. 

Josh DeWeese’s jar.

Naturally, we had to see some pots!  Deb and I went to Greenwich House Pottery for Josh Deweese’s reception with Peter Callas.  Deb is good friends with Peter so he drove in from New Jersey to see her, Josh’s reception and dinner.  BUT…, the surprise of the night was I ran into Kurt Anderson at Greenwich House.  He was featured on my blog awhile back, check out his interview here.  We really had a western contingent at the Pottery that night, Deb and I from Wyoming, Josh from Montana, and Kurt who I know from Laramie, Wyoming many years ago.  Kurt now lives just out of  NYC now.  But I still consider him a western boy.             (You can see Peter behind Josh’s jar checking his phone.)

Mud, Sweat and Tears

One night we were trying to see the High Line, but it was closed, as we were walking looking for the entrance, we walked by Mud, Sweat and Tears Pottery.  What a great name!  So, we stopped in to check it out.  People were happily making pots!  My next trip I will get to see the High Line! 

Parting shot from Evolution.  Raccoon penis bones anyone?  Only $8 dollars!