Before I get to the exhibit announcement... here is a little interesting story about this show.
A couple of weeks ago, I assisted my friend and mentor, Barbara Waterman Peters layout her new self-published book "Baci." We spent a few hours creating an awsome little book of essays, poems and art about her demon cat on a program called "Book Smart" provided for self publishing on Blurb.com. It was a fun project! I recommend the book as well! After finishing the book, I showed Barbara the Feminine Desert book that I had been dinking with in Book Smart for the last few months. I don't know why it had gotten stuffed to the "later" box but it only had a few changes to be ready for publishing. She advised me strongly to get that book finished and out on the web as soon as possible.
Ok, I'll admit, it the project remained where it was (I'll blame it on the Holidays taking up time...) until, Thursday evening... It is now up online Feminine Desert: Paintumentary What spurred such action? Well... I was asked to exhibit the entire series! And wait there is so much more to the story.
I was contacted on Thursday by Christine from Sun Resort Tanning and Fitness looking to exhibit artwork in her business. I was recommended through a local arts promotion and grant organization called Arts Connect Topeka. As I was replying to her email and suggesting my Feminine Desert Series for her location I decided that I should pull the pieces down from the attic where they are stored to inspect them. They really needed to be looked at before I made a commitment.
After sending the email off, I crawled toward the back of attic I noticed that the recently stored Christmas boxes were WET! In near panic I tossed those boxes to the left and right. There was a leak in our roof dangerously close to my art storage area. I called to my husband and he quickly assisted me in bringing every piece of art in the area down for further investigation. I can't express my relief, the boxes that the pieces had been stored in did get damp but the framed artwork was relatively unscathed!
It's wild how events come together serendipitously! We discovered a leak in the roof early enough it did little damage to the roof, my artwork was saved from destruction, I finished my Feminine Desert book as recommended, and I got a new exhibit! All from one simple email inquiry.... can I say it... WOW!
So, Now about the show....
Sun Resort Tanning and Fitness presents Feminine Desert: Paintumentary by local Artist Michelle Leivan. The exhibit will open on January 2, 2009 during the First Friday Art Walk 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Sun Resort Tanning and Fitness at the 1301 Gage location in Topeka, Kansas and will run through the month of February.
The imagery, commentary and call to action that Feminine Desert presents is for young women to find love within rather than seeking approval from others. The message encourages the seeking of inner beauty which will only enhance the great looks the customers reap through Sun Resort Tanning and Fitness’ services.
About the Series:
“Feminine Desert: Paintumentary” is a series of paintings and prose based on the perception duality many young women present to the world. The conflict of the independence they believe they portray versus the true co-dependency they actually exhibit to the world, a contradiction they are too often unable to recognize.
Each piece is dominated by abstract human figures. The pallet used allows expression of the human form in a multicultural, non-ethnic specific tone, capturing the universal aspect of humanity. Notable the use of color creates a striking contrast to the expected outcome in portraiture.
Michelle Leivan has also self-published her second book featuring the entire Feminine Desert series with paintings and prose available online through her website link "Books" at www.MichelleLeivan.com.
As young women I watched my sister-in-laws struggle with co-dependency issues. I believe many young women, including myself, at some point in our lives have a tendency to please others and are eager for self sacrifice and believe we are happy if the people in our lives are happy with us.
My in-laws and I spent many evenings in long discussions about their relationship choices and their desire to define themselves through other’s eyes. I ached to witness their lives filled with disappointment and tough affairs of the heart. I sought relief and turned to my art to sort out my own anguish I began painting the series.
One evening I was nearly done with the current twenty pieces and I had another long night talking about relationship disillusionment with one of these young women. During the drive home I mulled over the long debates. I found my inspiration to complete the series. As soon as I got home, in a flurry of creativity wrote all of the accompanying prose for this series. What developed was an intricate intertwining of imagery, prose and use of anagram within each title to create a message which mimics the complexity of co-dependency. I hope that the message will encourage women of all ages to find love within and discover their inner freedom and beauty.
For more information about Michelle Leivan and to view the series online with prose please go to The Originals link at www.MichelleLeivan.com. To contact the artist please call her at 785-220-8460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Sun Resort Tanning and Fitness please contact Christine Hogan, Business Development, 785-783-8666 www.sunresorts.net, email@example.com
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