News & Notes from Cameron

The Color Guys do it AGAIN - January 2012

the-color-guysKaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably do color like nobody else. Joyful, exuberant, masterful, fluid, and just plain fun. Their colors make me happy. Their colors push me to try new things. " What's going on here and what do I learn when I look carefully ?"

Their new book, Knitting with the Color Guys: Inspiration, Ideas and Projects from the Kaffe Fassett Studio, reminds me why A REAL BOOK is important. I'm happy to browse the Internet, but a REAL BOOK tells a powerful story, and this story is all about color and design. The tactile experience of holding this book in my hands, leafing through page after page of inspirational color combinations, is truly a gift for the spirit.  It will occupy a place of honor in the ARTSgarage reference library. Thank you,   Brandon and Kaffe !

Beauty and the Stealth Museum - December 2011



Helen Frankenthaler dared to embrace the importance of beauty in art. A color field painter in a movement dominated by men, she forged her own path. In a 1993 interview with Charlie Rose, a portion of which aired recently, she explained , "I think that today beautiful...has become an incendiary word, because in many ways today, beauty is obsolete, not the main concern of art, and you can't prove beauty. It's there as a fact and you know it and feel it and it's real, but you can't say to somebody, this is it... it gives no specific message other than itself which in turn should be able to move you into some sort of truth and insight and something beyond art..."

Listen to the conversation in We Remember the People We Lost in 2011. It is the last interview in the segment. And view some of her beautiful paintings. How fortunate we are that she lived such a long and productive life.




Recently encountered - a museum space in a derelict former automobile showroom at 4th and La Brea in Los Angeles - my own neighborhood. A massive shiny sculpture of Lenin's head was the first visible sign of habitation. The ultimate stealth museum - minimal signage, limited hours, the entrance down an unmarked alley. Curious, we ventured inside to find THE (SECRET) RETURN OF NOEVER, a SCI-Arch-curated exhibit "documenting 25 years of Peter Noever's curatorial adventurism" as Director of the MAK Museum in Vienna and the MAK Center in Los Angeles.

I foraged through 25 years of MAK/Noever-related publications, and found several with textile subjects - Fragile Remnants, Universum in Seide (Universe in Silk) Kiki Kogelnik: Hangings, and most intriguing to me, Lace and So On, the lace collection of Bertha Pappenheim - aka patient "Anna O" the first of Freud's recorded cases to be treated with psychoanalytical therapy -also a prominent activist for women's rights AND a generous collector.

5Dec2011 6Dec2011


Turkey and Textiles - November 2011

Turkey and textiles - of COURSE they belong together - at least at OUR house.


Breaking away from the mashing of many potatoes, I packed up work to ship across the country for Woven Stories: Contemporary Tapestries, an exhibit from December 10 through January 28, at the Ann Street Gallery in Newburgh, New York. It's right across the river from the Dia Beacon, so visitors can easily make a day of it.

In the mailbox on Thanksgiving Monday (a.k.a. the day we eat only lettuce) was the latest edition of Shuttle Spindle and Dyepot, with details on the international fiber conference Convergence 2012 . So now I can make the big announcement. Not only am I teaching two seminars at Convergence, but ARTSgarage and my studio are included on a tour that visits the Los Angeles County Museum of Art textile collections, the Craft in America Study Center and Freehand Gallery. My work will be on display at the Study Center, which is very, very cool. I'm so excited!


Making the Rounds/Pacific Standard Time- October 2011


It's an extravaganza. Over 60 museums  plus many private galleries, all exhibiting California art and design created between 1945-1980.  Wow, are we having fun making the rounds!

My favorites so far:



Eames Designs: The Guest Host Relationship at the A +D Architecture Museum, inspires us to look carefully - using the Eames' own words - to better appreciate common objects and tools. One juxtaposition: a hank of yarn and a braided bread loaf. Not only beautiful and unexpected, but the yarn is Merino Light, hand-dyed by Madelinetosh, a company I represent!


Way Out West at L and M Gallery was another gem - three compact rooms displaying light sculptures by Robert Irwin. I also snagged a copy of Notes Toward a Conditional Art, a compilation of his writings - his ideas are so illuminating. (Did I really just say that?) Too bad this particular show wasn't up for long, but fortunately there is Phenomenal California: Light, Space, Surface at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, through January 22.



Beatrice Wood: Career Woman at the Santa Monica Museum of Art is truly a labor of love - and it shows. This comprehensive exhibit explores the life and career of Beatrice Wood through the objects she created, gathering examples of her best ceramic pieces from public and private collections. What a great exhibit and an example of a long life well-lived.





Amazingly enough, I did manage to make something this month. Almost finished with a new piece - and cleaning up my studio in preparation for a visit by a film crew - more later, when I am able to share the details!

Family Quilts - September 2011

Children grow up. They move away. Our daughter's bedroom becomes the guest room. She comes home for a weekend visit and how do we make it special? We cover the bed with a quilt from Grandma Amy.


My mother-in-law, Amy Zeigler Brown, was raised on a family farm near Richland, Pennsylvania. Her father was a Brethren minister who died young, leaving his widow and ten children to work their farm during the Great Depression. Adventurous Amy went to nursing school in Chicago, fell in love with a doctor and converted to Judaism in order to marry him. They moved to Los Angeles where she followed her creative muse and became an artist.



Throughout her life, Amy collected quilts. She'd visit her family in Richland and go see "the quilt lady" - a Mennonite woman who acted as a quilt broker for the Amish community. Amy had quilts on beds, displayed on walls, and stored away in a trunk in the entry hall. When I married her oldest son, we were invited to select a quilt from the trunk. When our children were born, each received a crib quilt from Grandma and Grandpa - a red one for our daughter, blue for our son.

2crib_quilts_ 2quiltdetail

When Amy passed away, we received some of the quilts stored in that trunk and the memories associated with them. Years later, our daughter grew up and moved out - taking a quilt with her. When our son sets up his own household, we hope he will do the same.  With this tradition of family quilts, arranging the guest room became a joyful act of remembrance. Welcome home, and thank you, Grandma Amy!