rebecca belmore

This is “trace” {2014}, a breathtaking a community project by Toronto based artist Rebecca Belmore. This cascading blanket of beads has a permanent home at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. Rebecca is a member of the Lac Seul First Nation (Anishinaabe) whose artwork is “rooted in the political and social realities of Indigenous communities, [and] makes evocative connections between bodies, land and language.”  Yes, yes it does! Here is the description – that was written before the project began – of this very important project:

“With the creation of the large ceramic blanket, ‘trace’, Belmore honours the original inhabitants of the land upon which the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is built. This land bears evidence of over 6,000 years of Indigenous presence where 500,000 artifacts were excavated from the ground beneath the museum, including thousands of ceramic shards. Using clay from beneath the city of Winnipeg, thousands of small “shards” will be formed by hand. The action of squeezing a small lump of clay in one hand will produce an organic shape that will be pierced through the centre to become a “bead”. These shapes, although unique, will identify as being similar due to the hand-made process and because of their vast number. The beads will then be fired and woven together to produce the large-scale blanket-like form. The use of clay, the earth itself, imbues the artwork with a sense of timelessness. The modest gesture of forming these beads is a reminder of how precious and universal the bond is between humans and the earth.” ~ written by Lee-Ann Martin

Amazing. Rebecca, and fellow sculptor Osvaldo Yero, worked with the people of Winnipeg to create these hand-squeezed beads, and the result is absolutely stunning.

*Installation photos by Lindsay Reid via Wolfrom Engineering

nneka jones


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Gasp! This is the absolutely gorgeous work of Florida based, Trinbagonian artist Nneka Jones… an artist who “paints without paint”. Yep, this is all embroidery thread. Insane. Also insane? Nneka just graduated from the University of Tampa’s Art + Design Department about two weeks ago. What!? That’s right, you’re looking at several of the pieces from her final show. Not only are they striking and beautifully executed, her work also focuses on a huge subject… the sexual abuse and sex trafficking of women and girls. Here are Nneka’s words refers to the series the first two images above are from:

“This hand embroidered series highlights women and girls of different ages. This series gives power back to these victims, emphasizing the importance of women and girls having control over their bodies. The side profile and focal point of the eye for each target, reassures the viewer that each figure is demanding respect.

This contrasts with my previous series where the target symbolism is stamped on / around the front facing images of young girls. [bottom two images in this post]

With a traffic light being such one of the most important sources of control and authority, I thought I would use this as inspiration for the color symbolism in this series. The red border on each circular canvases puts these victims at the same level of significance regardless of their age and is a call of action to STOP sexual abuse and sex trafficking of women and girls.”

So powerful. Seriously, I cannot wait to see what’s ahead for this talented young woman. Contact Nneka via email to purchase her work… you might want to hurry:

calida garcia rawles

This is the beautifully painted, powerful, breathtaking work {acrylic on canvas} of LA based artist Calida Garcia Rawles. I’m going to hand this over to her, because this description from her ‘about’ page says it poetically and perfectly:

“Merging sharp photo-realism with poetic abstraction, Calida Rawles paints African-American women and men submerged in glistening water; bodies are swarmed by a flurry of bubbles, ripples, and refracted light. For Rawles, water is a spiritually healing element for all people – yet she recognizes its historical connotations to racial exclusion and cultural fears. She uses the complicated duality of water as a platform to address identity politics while reimagining her subjects beyond cultural tropes. At times, her work alludes to current events, even making topographical maps of cities where acts of racially targeted violence have occurred. In other moments, her works are purely celebratory of the resilience, strength, and beauty of African American culture.”

Beautiful. But wait, there’s more… as stunning at Calida’s paintings are, I just had to share a few images from her Instagram feed. Some of her paintings are so big that she works by sitting on scaffolding… but look how small her brushes can be:

The pay off for using such teeny tiny brushes on those great big canvases? Yet another solo show at VSF {Various Small Fires} in LA, not to mention a fantastic interview in W Magazine. So, so, so inspiring.


caroline monnet

Styrofoam, insulation, plexiglass, concrete, foam, wood … and that final piece? It’s is embroidery on Tyvek {a synthetic material used to wrap houses during construction}. What?! Yes. This is the very powerful work of Montreal based, Algonquin-French artist Caroline Monnet. Her show, titled “R-Value”, is currently showing at Division Gallery in Montreal. Here is the exhibition description:

“For years, the housing situation in Indigenous communities has remained grievously unchanged. In remote regions with harsh winter conditions, construction materials can be scarce and expensive. Construction financing is cannibalized for repair and upkeep, while residents and local councils are excluded from decision-making. The result is generic housing, unattuned to its environment and bearing no resemblance to traditional dwellings. Caroline Monnet’s recent work grapples with colonialism’s impact, updating outdated systems with Indigenous methodologies. Combining contemporary building materials and patterns transmitted across generations, Monnet creates hybrid objects. Resembling city maps and bar codes as much as they do traditional weaving and beading, the patterns she prints on, weaves into, or cuts from insulation offers a glimpse back and a path forward.

Meticulous, beautiful, powerful. This work will be at Division until July 1, 2020.

“the fortress of solitude”

Oh, HELL yes! The power of vulnerability displayed as brass knuckles topped with some very beautiful / badass quartz. Do you remember this “ring”? I wrote about it waaaaay back in 2011… and now it’s in the Smithsonian! Yep, American sculptor Debra Baxter is my guest today. I’ve been following her ever since that first post, so it’s about time I had her on the podcast. You can listen up there under that stunning piece of wearable art, or subscribe right here.

Ok, let’s start off with a quick reference. For some of you, this will be a trip down memory lane… and for you youngins, an education. I give you Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, 1978:

Sigh. I was in love with him. Anyway, yes… those crystals! Clearly this would have an impact. How, after seeing this as a kid, could Debra not start making art that looks like this:

Oh, boy. The crystal brass knuckle collection… and this isn’t all of them! I know this is older work for Debra, but damn, it’s just too good not to show! It’s like having the Fortress of Solitude on your frickin’ hand!

But wait, there’s more. Here are the absolutely stunning pieces you can find in Debra’s jewelry collection:

Gasp! Absolutely stunning… and the reason for the rustling sound at the beginning of the episode. Hey, totally worth it!

Next up, the #30DayArtQuarantine. Oh my word, these are just a few of the pieces Debra made every day for 30 days:

See? How on earth could I ever pick a favorite? It’s impossible. A few of these pieces are being released TODAY via Form & Concept Gallery in Santa Fe…  Here’s an interview she did with them about this series, and a link to the 5 available pieces.

Next, a little look at the two-person show Debra did last year, with Vancouver based artist Rebecca Chaperon, at Roc La Rue Gallery in Seattle. This is the post I did for that show:

Aren’t they perfect together? Dreamy, mystical, all of it.

And finally, THE PAPER BAG. I have to put it in all caps because I cannot even begin to imagine carving something like this:

… and it’s not even finished yet! Keep an eye on Debra’s Instagram feed for #WIPs of this beauty. Thank you so much to my fellow sculptor {I’m manifesting this} for chatting with me, and thanks to YOU for listening to us. See you next week for a new episode of ART FOR YOUR EAR.

Other links:

  1. Debra on Instagram
  2. Debra’s jewelry: DB/CB
  3. Upcoming jewelry collab. partner: Susanna of Mineralogy Project 
  4. Roq La Rue Gallery, Seattle
  5. Form & Concept Gallery, Santa Fe / 30day sculptures in their shop


erika stearly

Ahhh, I want to spend the weekend in alllllll of these paintings by American artist Erika Stearly. Also, if we’re talking about things I want, I’d also like all of the lamps and potted plants she has so beautifully painted into these quiet, comfortable, homey spaces. Which brings me to this question? Are these places real? Kinda…

“She’s found inspiration in vintage home remodeling magazines, the IKEA catalog, photos taken in friends’ houses, searching sublet rental ads on Craigslist, and most recently though Instagram.

Using a combination of watercolor and acrylic paint, Stearly quickly sketches in the setting. Despite being loosely rendered, exaggerated and often brightly colored, the collection of domestic items depicted still manage to evoke the sense of a particular place. Stearly’s paintings are often titled by street address.”

Sigh… so dreamy. A few of Erika’s originals are available on, and you can find prints here. Happy weekend.

han cao

Okay, it’s no secret that I love the combination of embroidery on photographs, but these lovely pieces by Palm Springs based artist Han Cao have taken these found images from the past, and brought them directly into our current situation. This series, titled “Quarantine Collection”, is her latest work. Here are her words:

“This collection was created as a way to remember this significant, historic time, focusing on our collective individual efforts to protect and save the lives of others.”

Beautiful. Wash your hands and wear a mask. It’s really easy.

will cotton

Oh my word, YES. I’ve been watching the “in progress” images show up on his Instagram feed for months, and finally, New York based painter Will Cotton‘s cowboys ‘n unicorns are ready to ride! His brand new show, titled “The Taming of the Cowboy”, opens this Thursday May 28th at Galerie Templon in Brussels, and runs until July 31, 2020. Here is the statement from the gallery’s press release:

“In a nod to his country’s political schizophrenia in the midst of the electoral campaign, Will Cotton offers a new take on the myth of the cowboy, symbolizing the conquest of the West. His large, ostensibly classical oil paintings portray a surprising encounter between triumphant cowboys and their fantastical steeds: pink unicorns. The figure of the cowboy evokes a strong sense of American masculinity, associated with freedom, manifest destiny and a culture of violence. In contrast, the unicorn — particularly when pink — reminds us of a more contemporary mythology that has in recent years taken possession of the little girls’ section of toy and clothing departments everywhere. Questioning the notion of gender, the exhibition explores the relationship between the sexes along with the hypersexualization of childhood, the notion of queer, and the LGBT movement, whose global mascot has recently become the rainbow unicorn.”

Okay, I didn’t think it was possible, but now I love these oil paintings even more. 

kaye donachie

Oh my word, I am in love. These oil paintings are the work of Glasgow born, London based artist Kaye Donachie. Dreamy and narrative… I want to know everything about all of these women. Here’s a little snippet from an interview with Kaye that gives a little glimpse into that:

“My paintings primarily refer to literature, biography and archival imagery. I have an interest in the early twentieth century avant-garde women who contributed to art and culture but remain marginalized figures in history. These women have a clear sense of identity, represented through their writing and art, and as muses … Many of the women I refer to are liberated modern thinkers. Their biographies are sparse but that affords a space in which to interpret narratives in my painting and representation.” ~ Kaye Donachie, Excerpts from 2018 Interview with 

Sigh. So beautiful.

carlos amorales

Gasp! This is the surreal work of Mexican artist Carlos Amorales, titled “Black Cloud”. The still images above are from the first time this was installed in 2007 {Yvon Lambert, Paris}, and the video is from the CURRENT installation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. These black paper beauties will be covering the walls there until June 7th, 2020. Happy Monday.