Sunday, March 3, 2019

Installation Day for Alternative Storytellers


Today the fabulously talented Bohumila Augustinova and Diane Hare spent the afternoon installing all the artwork at Anastasia & Friends, 1534 Main Street, in downtown Columbia.  The exhibit opens during "First Thursday", March 7th from 6 - 9.  The artwork is by Susan Lenz, Olga Yukhno, and Flavia Lovatelli.  These are photos from the installation!  See you on Thursday!

The central installation is by Susan Lenz and Flavia Lovatelli.  It is called The Storyteller.  Flavia made the most remarkable gown from dozens and dozens of recycled dryer sheets.  She pain-stakingly smocked the bodice and created a unique book-inspired necklace.  The pedestal and hanging book covers were created by Susan.  Each cover includes a different different use of the word "cover".  The pedestal includes late 1940s to mid-1950s yearbook covers.


This is a ceramic piece by Olga Yukhno.  One will have to come to the show to see where the coil of twine goes!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Creating the Alternative Sustainable Story

My story is about the inevitable evolution of what I do, where I have been, the slow progression of my growth about making changes in my own life. I have lived by my sustainable and recycling premise, I have been recycling since for ever, always recycling discarded materials into something new since not because I heard we were headed where we are at today, not because I got whiff of it becoming the in thing one day but because I could NEVER understand why things were being tossed when they still had life in them or the potential of a rebirth. My family would throw away perfectly good wooden and metal boxes, bottles, clothing, broken jewelry and so on, I would take them all and paint them, collage, etch, cut and inject new life in them. 

My story is about the pressing issue at hand today; Climate Change and the damage we are doing to the planet with single use plastic in particular. It is becoming so pervasive it's in everything, everyone, everywhere. I am attempting to shine a light to how we are altering everything in the name of progress, convenience and the speed in which we live, and create images of what nature might look like in the future adapting and living with the waste we are creating.

Anthusai is my first survivor, a standing testament to the future, to what we are inevitably causing with global warming and the amount to plastic waste. She is the metamorphosis or genetic mutation of nature infused with plastic. The body is made with willow branches harvested from the river walk by the rangers clearing the overgrowth. I added a paper mache` skin and a ruffle of willow tips. Topped it with a ruffling of dryer sheet to give it the intended trifecta blend. 

dryer sheet are made with polyester (PET) sheets that's been covered in a fabric softener chemical and, usually, fragrance chemicals.
Fragrances in Fabric Softeners can include tens to hundreds of different chemicals, some of which are toxic, and many of which are known allergens, like limonene and linalool

Dryer sheets can contain volatile organic compounds like acetaldehyde and butane, which can cause respiratory irritation.


Quats, a fabric softener chemical, is often part of a family of chemicals called quaternary ammonium compounds, many of which are linked to asthma. Acetone, used in dryer sheets, can cause nervous system effects like headaches or dizziness.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Exhibition Postcards Have Arrived!


The exhibition postcards have arrived and will soon be popping up in galleries, art spaces, coffee shops, and public places all over town.  Many will be mailed directly.

Here's the information!

Alternative Storytellers will open on March 7, 2019 during First Thursday on Main Street at Anastasia & Friends Art Gallery, 1534 Main Street, from 6 - 9 pm. The show will run through the month and be part of the Deckle Edge Literary Festival on March 23, 2019.

This is an exhibition focusing on three artists' desire to tell a story that provokes thought and conversation. Their media and platforms are diverse but united in the passion to create their own narratives in unique and unexpected ways. Lenz's work brings feminist twists to familiar fairy tales. Lovatelli's pieces are about environmental problems addressing the issue and shedding light to the sources. Yukhno deals with social and political injustice. All three are tied by friendship, sisterhood and community.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Snow White by Night

(Above: Detail of Snow White by Night.)

This detail image of a fetish bustier on red velvet is part of Susan Lenz's Snow White by Night, an alternative twist on the traditional tale.  More information and images can be found HERE

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Good Meals and How to Prepare Them: A Witch's Guide

(Above:  Three different views of altered cookbook Good Meals and How to Prepare Them: A Witch's Guide.  Shut:  7 1/2" x 5" x 1 1/2".  Click on image to enlarge.)

Susan Lenz returned to her earlier theme involving Hansel & Gretel's witch.  This vintage cookbook was altered to include recipes on thirty-nine index cards.  The front of each index card has notations made by the imaginary witch.  The reverse includes a spell, curse, hex, incantation, or detailed explanation for a magickal use of an ordinary herb.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Hansel & Gretel's Witch: Hoping for a Michelin Star

(Above:  Hansel & Gretel's Witch: Hoping for a Michelin Star.  Framed:  15 1/2" x 37 1/2".)

This is the first of three pieces that Susan Lenz is creating based on an alternative story about the witch in the Grimm brother's fairytale of Hansel and Gretel. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pandora's Box

 (Above:  Pandora's Box. Framed alternative story and altered antique chest.  Framed work: 28" x 19 1/2". Chest (closed): 10 1/2" H x 24" W x 11" D.)

Pandora's Box is a two-part work consisting of a framed story made from letters clipped from vintage ephemera on faux-finished watercolor paper and an antique chest collaged with the artist's childhood stamp collection.


The work is a flash fiction alternative story about mythical Pandora unleashing evils.  In this telling, Pandora has unleashed the oppression of a patriarchal society.  The heroine then uses her box to travel the world, collecting canceled souvenir stamps along the way.


The framed work is the narrative and reads:

Pandora's Box

Dear John aka Epimetheus: Foolish Titan of Greek Myth

I know you told me not to open the special box because it would unleash all sorts of evils, but I did! There are now dirty dished in the sink, dust bunnies under the bed, mildew in the shower, and every stitch of clothing needs washed. The evils of a patriarchal society have escaped.  I have taken the box with me and will travel the world spreading awareness of equality. I leave only HOPE behind. Treat her well and she might stay. Since I'm gone, you will tell a different sotry, but this is the TRUTH about my box.

Pandor