Sunday, April 28, 2019

River Terrace Church Installation

Here it is.  The final hanging day of my River Terrace Church installation.  It felt like being in art school all over again, up until 3am sewing for a 9am critique.  It has to be done.  My energy and spirit was deep into this project.  I have been through a lot in the past 6 months and this piece lived with me along the way.  Somewhere between exhaustion, joy and beauty I teared up when I finally saw it complete and hung in place.  

I am so honored to have been chosen to create this piece for River Terrace.  I told Laura as I was hanging and hemming the dowels into the bottom of the panels that, as an artist, I usually hope that I am pleased with the work I create (it doesn't always happen), I hope some other people like or appreciate it, but this is different.  This piece I hope, pray, that a congregation of 400+ people like this piece.  I created something that would change the entire background of their sermons as long as it is up.  Laura, Mark, Melissa and Carol all encouraged me to come to the Easter service.  I wasn't really planning on it since that week I had to finish this piece, I was late at work for floorset and I was volunteering for the Capital City Film Festival.  I wasn't just tired, I was exhausted.  I decided I would make my best effort and the fact my Dad wanted to drive in an hour to come to the service with me that  morning solidified my decision.  

Approximately 38 hours + of designing and meetings.
More than 130 hours of pinning, sewing, hand stitching and cutting.
315 some odd feet of black satin ribbon.

I felt like I was running back to Jo-Ann's for more ribbon every week.  I could do a two hour lecture on the design technique and my process creating this work.  I'm lucky that I had such a great group to work with while putting this piece together.

I've been to a lot of Easters, but this one meant much more to me than any other Easter. I was pretty much in tears the entire service.  Every word that the Pastor spoke, the hymns, the congregation spoke to me.  It kept circling me back to my past 5 months when I had decided it was time to join AA, and without that fellowship, support and weekly meetings, I wouldn't have gotten this installation finished by Easter.  The constant state of overwhelm I was living in has washed away and from it came this piece and a new beginning of my artistic drive.

This piece was commissioned to highlight the beautiful stained glass windows at River Terrace.  I have always been inspired by stained glass but I've never pursued any work based on it.  From the first meetings around doing this piece I've been excited to play with this inspiration and now I want to do more.  Please excuse the above weird panorama, but the color was better split between two different photos so I just plopped the one over the other so you get the idea. 

Thank you Dad for coming out and supporting this piece, thank you to the group and River Terrace that made this possible, a huge thanks to my boyfriend for tolerating piles of paper, ribbon, needles, pins, thread and fabric taking up the living room, dining room and studio, and thank you to my AA groups (you know who you are, you've heard all about this piece).

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