Category Archives: Exhibitions in CA

What is an Exquisite Corpse?

A tradition from the Surrealists continues in a recent exhibition with the Los Angeles Printmaking Society

The Surrealists adapted a parlor game into a poetic way to create relationships using either images or texts, that might reveal the metaphysical and upend the rational. Key to the game was using creativity and chance to create something collaboratively and something new! 

Known as “Exquisite Corpse” since the 1920’s, when passing a folded piece of paper created the sentence; “the exquisite corpse drinks the new wine”. Exquisite Corpse is now a regular practice of visual artists to work together creatively.  There are many examples online. Each artist creates a body in three parts, then they are mixed up with the sections made by other artists. No one knows how the sections will be mixed together until the end. 

Certainly artists are happy to be able work together and to have in-person events once again. Since 2020 was surely a cursed year for most of the planet, we are very happy that things are somewhat better in 2021.

Without going into all the issues in the world, I am sharing some photos of a recent exhibit from a group collaboration with the Los Angeles Printmaking Society which took place at the International Printmaking Museum in Carson, CA. 

Image of section of an Exquisite Corpse, "Why is she holding a fish?" Kathleen Thoma

Head section of “Why is she holding a fish?”, Kathleen Thoma, monotype

I am also showing my own process in creating my own contribution to this show. I start with showing my drawing in pencil. Then my drawing on a plate using Caran D’Ache neocolor wax crayons for the press.

Image of process in creating my part of an Exquisite Corpse, with the Los Angeles Printmaking Society

Image of process in creating “Why is she holding a fish?”, Exquisite Corpse with Los Angeles Printmaking Society

I created three monotypes for the color base image. Then the plate with the crayon image was placed on top of the monotypes, and run though the press using slighly damp paper. This step is a bit tricky, because if the paper is too damp, then the paper can tear under the pressure of the press. I’ve done this technique before, and I believe that it works better in a more humid climate (such as in New England) than in a near dessert climate where I now live, in here in Southern California. But I did manage to make it work.  

Why is she holding a fish?, Kathleen Thoma Art, monotype, 45x15 in

Why is she holding a fish?, Kathleen Thoma, monotype, 45×15 in, Exquisite Corpse collaborative

Our collaborative Exquisite Corpse was shown in two parts this summer and fall, There were two installments of this exhibition from LA Printmaking artist members:

View of Exquisite Corpse Collaborative Exhibit at International Printing Museum

View of Exquisite Corpse collaborative exhibition at International Printing Museum in Carson, CA

First installation: August 5th to September 1st.
Second Installation: September 3rd to September 30th. 

Artists in the first installation (August 5th to September 30th):
Mary Sherwood Brock, John Edwards, Christina Yasmin Fesmire, Karen Fiorito, Jani Hoberg, Poli Marichal, Gail D Panske, Marianne Sadowski, Katherine Sheehan, Barbara Belle Sloan, Annie Silverman, Kathleen Thoma, Cathy Weiss.
With special guests from the Lynck Collective;
Christina Yasmin Fesmire, Bill Jaros and Nguyen Ly.
Artists in the Second Installation (Sept 3rd to 30th):
Mary Sherwood Brock, Marianne Sadowski, Katherine Sheehan, Amaryllis Siniossoglou and Silvia Simmons. 

Photos from “ImMigration Project”

Photos from “ImMigration project 3” a collaborative traveling group exhibition showing at Self-Help Graphics and Art. 

ImMigration Project photos

ImMigration Project at Self Help Graphics and Art. Many artists are shown on the wall that I am next to.

 Showing : Saturday, January 11th to February 22nd, 2020

 Opening Reception, January 11th, 7PM – 9PM

Photos from ImMigration Project

Each printmaker has contributed a triangle shaped image to this wall display. There are many displays in the show.

I am showing a few shots from the opening night of “ImMigration Project” just to give some idea of how the show looks, which is pretty great. I am one of a great many printmakers from all over the place who have sent in their many interpretations and various techniques of the theme of immigration, but also of migration in general, of any sort. To live on our planet is to move with life and it’s demands upon us. Some of us move often, some very far or not so far. The idea of borders is a purely human construction of the mind, with many sad events as a result. 

Photos from ImMigration Project

Here is another group of contributions from Printmakers from all over on the topic.

Some of the printmakers focus on the human tragedies and death camps. Some focus instead on seasonal animal migrations that are now also about climate change. All the images share ideas about the purpose of migration and immigration; for a better life, or for food, or to escape horror and war.

Photos from ImMigration Project

Our curator, Mary Sherwood, who came up with this wonderful show for us all, and myself.

ImMigration has previously shown in Denton, Texas, Venice, Italy and now here in Los Angeles, CA at Self Help Graphics and Art. More locations for this traveling show will be announced later.

More info: LAPrintmaking.com or on Instagram for more and better photos than here. Also on Facebook on the LAPS page

selfhelpgraphics.com/exhibitions

Kali as a symbol of Climate Change

The Age of Kali, Kathleen Thoma, monotype, 14.5X17.5 in

The Age of Kali, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & chine colle, 14.5x 17.5 in

Art, Earth Day & Climate Change

While creating an entry for the upcoming show; Sweet Earth/Bitter Earth at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, CA; the myth and stories of the Hindu Goddess Kali, jumped into my mind. 

The theme this year is our relationship to the environment. And for me, that is the heartbreaking news of climate change which is everywhere around us and has been ongoing for a long while. According to recent UN reports, we are nearly out of time. We have about twelve years perhaps.

I have always seen climate change in symbolic forms as if it were happening through a series of images from a dream. This dream which is shared by all of the life on our planet; is either going to be changed by all of us working together or it will continue growing into a nightmare. 

My image shows the “ruins” of our lives and civilizations in the upper left, while also showing the “forest of life” to the right. So the image can be read in either direction. The question becomes: Are we going to towards the ruins of our planet’s ecosystem? Or are we going to rebirth our planet?  And while Kali dances between the two possible futures; at her feet, we see the poisons that we have already left behind on earth, the plastic, the death, the radiation. 

The Hindu Goddess Kali is a complex, ancient symbol of change, death and rebirth, healing, cycles of time, and opportunity. Although most traditional images show her only in her terrible death aspect, she is also seen as the mother, who gives us the courage to hope while she helps cut away ignorance with her wicked sword. 

The Los Angeles Printmaking Society is a national non-profit artist-run organization. The juror, Marion Estes has selected many wonderful hand-pulled prints for this exhibition.  I hope you will see our LA Printmaking Spring Show at Eagle Rock from April 5-April 30, which in conjunction with many other Earth Day-related activities. 

Update: 

 I have a few photos to share from the opening.

Exhibition Signage

2019-Sweet Earth-Bitter Earth exhibition signage

The Age of Kali, Kathleen Thoma

The Age of Kali, Kathleen Thoma

gallery view of Sweet Earth/Bitter Earth, Center for the Arts at Eagle Rock, LA

Gallery view of Sweet Earth/Bitter Earth, Center for the Arts at Eagle Rock, LA

link to info on exhibition

 

What have I been up to? Preparing for fall events…

The past few months I have been very busy working on new relief prints for some fall events.

Matrix, Kathleen Thoma, relief, 4x6 in

Matrix, Kathleen Thoma, relief, 4×6 in

I will participate in the annual The Los Angeles Printmaking Society’s show “Give and Take”, which opens November 9, 2017 at the Angel City Brewery. This is part of an effort to raise funds for student scholarships and printmaking outreach. Information about this show is at www.laprintmakers.com/site/node917

I will also have a table at the 9th Annual Los Angeles Printers Fair in Carson, CA, which takes place on Saturday Oct. 14, from 10 am to 5pm. I will be showing at table A2, inside the museum. My relief prints and postcards will be for sale there; while I enjoy meeting new people and talking to everyone. Each year I enjoy seeing what everyone has been creating during the year, and looking at all the beautiful papers that the paper vendors are selling.

Divergence of Woman, Kathleen Thoma, relief, 4x6 in

Divergence of Woman, Kathleen Thoma, relief, 4×6 in

This is a fun event for all ages, and a chance to try your hand at printmaking if you have never done so, print your own t-shirt, and watch the demonstrations of old printing presses in the museum. Vendors sell hand-pulled cards, handmade books, posters, invitations, journals, fine art papers, and there is a letterpress swap meet and more. Information at www.printmuseum.org/printersfair/general-information/

My prints will also be for sale on my site by then as well. So if you can’t come to the shows, take a look and see later on.

New work, shows, invitations from the 7 planets

Dispatch from Omega Centauri, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & collage, 11x14 in

Dispatch from Omega Centauri, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & collage, 11×14 in

This month has been busy with work, a series of out-of-this-world invitations, a few shows and lots of printmaking. With the addition of collage to my monotype work, my images have been expanding in many new directions. You can view a number of new monotypes with collage worked into their compositions in my galleries. See New Abstract Works

I began to get some exciting fun ideas with the discovery of 7 new exoplanets, Trappist 1, in the constellations of Aquarius, only 40 light years away (235 trillion miles) from earth.https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-telescope-reveals-largest-batch-of-earth-size-habitable-zone-planets-around

What would an invitation from another planet look like?

Royal invitation from the 7 Planets-2, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & collage, 5x7in

Royal Invitation from the 7 planets-2, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & collage, 5×7

Wouldn’t other life-forms on otherworld’s use a visual, symbolic language to communicate? Or would they use sound? I have no idea. Inspired by this question, I created  a series of invitations to our planet, inviting us for a visit. I’m sure I must have watched too many episodes of Star Trek as a kid. 

In my mind’s eye, I could see the invitations appear in front of me. Perhaps, they simply pop into every mail box and email box in the world, all at once. I imagine that is how they must arrive, if they were from another constellation. I have no idea what sort of paper aliens would use, so I just used what I had on hand.

Royal Invitation from the 7 Planets-3, Kathleen Thoma, monotype& collage, 5x7in

Royal Invitation from the 7 planets-3, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & collage, 5×7 in

It’s been fun to play with these ideas, so have a look at the gallery and tell me what you think. I have a feeling there are more alien communications on the way. See Invitations

Some other news, I have three monotypes in a show coming up at the Fallbrook Art Center, May 21 – July 2, in the “Annual Artist Guild, Juried Members Show”. Fallbrook has a wonderful, very professional gallery, you can see more at the link here. http://fallbrookartcenter.org/

I am currently in the “National Collage Society Postcard Exhibit” at the Chaffey Community Museum of Art in Ontario, CA, and I was also in a show called the “The Heart Seed”, at The Hive in North Kingstown in Rhode Island this past January.

2017 fallbrook flyer

 

photo-Fallbrook Art Center

Transferring Ink 3 accepts my work

photo of Kathleen Thoma at Transferring Ink 3 show opening

Kathleen Thoma & “Seaflight” at Transferring Ink 3 printmaking show opening

I’m happy to report the acceptance of one of my fine art prints into an exhibit, “Transferring Ink 3”  a printmaking show at the Fallbrook Arts Center in Fallbrook, CA. The show runs from June 29 – August 10, 2014.

The Juror for “Transferring Ink 3” is Ron Pokrasso, who has a section of the show with his wonderful prints. The works in the show have a high level of skill and variety of printmaking techniques which makes it interesting and informative.

The opening was well attended, and we all enjoyed ourselves.

 

 

photo-Fallbrook Art Center

Fallbrook Art Center

 

The Fallbrook Art Center has a beautiful gallery which provides numerous exhibitions and opportunities for artists and collectors each year.

 

Show Invite to Transferring Ink 3 at Fallbrook Art Center

Show Invite to Transferring Ink 3, at Fallbrook Art Center

It’s worth a look at their web site to see all they have to offer: www.fallbrookartcenter.org