Friday, April 26, 2013

Alchemical Vessels Opens Tonight!

Join me for this exclusive benefit event at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery and add one of the 125 Alchemical Vessels works to your own collection! Opening is tonight - Friday from 7-9 PM.

This unique exhibition will feature the work of 125 artists, hand-selected by 16 invited curators (including yours truly) , to engage in a community dialogue on healing and transformation through the arts. Each artist will transform the ceramic bowl by means of his or her own personal aesthetic and medium, drawing inspiration from the bowl as a place of holding, open community, a circle of care, sacred space, nourishment, and even the alchemical vessel.  

100% of the ticket sale proceeds will go to support Smith Center’s life-enhancing work and programs for people living with and recovering from cancer.

Ticket information:

- Benefit tickets $125: 125 Benefit tickets will be sold, and each ticket holder at this level will be given the opportunity to select a piece of art. Priority will be given by the order in which the tickets were purchased—so the first to buy a ticket will be awarded first pick of the 125 works, and so on. All 125 works will remain in the show until after the closing of the exhibition on June 7, at which time the new owners can pick them up.

- Supporter ticket: $50: This price level is good for entrance to the Benefit only. Ticket holders at this level do not get to keep a piece of art.

If you have trouble purchasing tickets, please call 202.483.8600 or email them at 

See the Facebook Event for more photos from the Artists!

Benefit attendees will also be invited to the Artists' Closing Reception for Alchemical Vessels on June 7, 2013!

My donation to this event is below. I debated what to create, and in the end, I gessoed the bowl and once again delivered the visage of the most transformative artist that I know: Frida Kahlo.

The Secret Substance of Frida Kahlo
Charcoal, conte and graphite on gessoed ceramic

Seldom has human history seen an artist so transformed by destiny, events and the agony of constant pain as Frida Kahlo. When Kahlo's young body was nearly destroyed and re-arranged by a horrible accident in her youth, where the young art student was impaled on a handrail that pierced her vagina and emerged through her chest, her agony transformed her into another being who then proceeded to gift onto the world some of the most spectacular portraits of pain that we've ever seen.

The intense brutality of pain transformed Kahlo with the same intensity that a thermonuclear reaction transforms its surroundings. She became a being submerged in constant pain for the rest of her life, both physical (she underwent dozens of surgeries) and mental (she experienced many miscarriages and was never able to have a child). And that transformation was the catalyst the propelled her to paint her own image as a mirror of the pain in her life, and in the process to become one of history’s great artists.

In the process, Kahlo transformed all of us, as a little bit of her artistic alchemic powers infect all of us who become hypnotized by her portraits; the power of her gaze, the eloquence of her eye brows and the intensity of her face, all leave a little bit of the secret substance that changes artistic matter from the mundane to an aspiration to the sublime.

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