letters from the north

website 2016

I'm in the midst of updating my website/Check back for additional work being added in the next few weeks. 

//thea

The new 8E Quarterly Subscription Series!

For the past few months, I've been concentrating more on Eight Emperors, the art & design collection my husband Matt and I started, and creating prototypes for new products (hits and misses), than on my art studio work. For me, it is a slightly different thought process than trying to make installation and large scale sculpture work. Though I did just finish the new Roald Amundsen biography titled The Last Viking by Stephen Bown, which was riveting. So that has my mind beginning to churn with some new ideas.
What Matt and I are both really excited about is the new 8E Quarterly Subscription series we just launched! It's an idea we've thrown around for a while and were able to make real through Eight Emperors. It is the act of subscribing to, and in this case, curating, art & design into one's life 4 times a year instead of magazines.
The first piece for Spring, titled We are building, features a paper piece. Then the Summer is wood, the Fall is ceramic, the Winter is a collaboration between paper and wood, and then it rotates back to paper in 2014. So you can sign up anytime during the year and receive that quarter's piece. And similar to a magazine, where the content is new yet you know what type of magazine you are getting, the quarterly pieces are a surprise and created in the same vein as pieces in our regular collection.
The quarterly pieces are exclusive to those who sign up, and not available on our website until 4 months after they have launched and shipped and also at a premium rate. You can sign up on our collection's website wwww.eightemperors.com

Website redesign + Eight Emperors Launch

My website has sat languishing by itself for the past year while I just ignored it, too exhausted by many other activities. I finally started a redesign this weekend and just finished it! Same domain, new layout, and hopefully a little cleaner. Please check it out! www.theaeck.com
My husband and I have also launched a new collaborative art & design website: Eight Emperors. A place where we can sell smaller works of art (and a platform in which to play!). Our approach is making objects that can fit in the hand yet reside in the mind, within one's quiet mental space. We see the collection as art that you give as a gift, passed from one set of hands to another, instead of gifting something that is store-bought.
Our blog is www.8emperors.blogpost.com and we have all the twitter, facebook, pinterest to accompany it.

Providence: Part 4 in the Shackleton Series

Providence opened on Friday at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids. Their new building is beautiful, all green/LEED certified. The nautical flags spelled out 6 phrases from Sir Ernest Shackleton's autobiography South: 'the dearth of human words, the roughness of mortal speech', 'we met an old man who started as if he had seen the devil', ' we had pierced the veneer of outside things', 'our minds were set upon reaching the haunts of man', 'that was all of tangible things but in memories we were rich', 'pain and ache, boat journeys, marches, hunger and fatigues seemed to belong to the limbo of forgotten things'.

And the 4 piano compositions were inspired by those phrases: A call to exigency, a call to reckoning, a call for mourning and a call for Providence. I will post the sound pieces on my website soon.






UICA show- PROVIDENCE- two weeks left!


The Modern Quilt Guild of Ann Arbor has been assisting me to sew 350 nautical flags for the UICA. It has been really amazing to see how fast these women sew, sew, sew! In the history of polar exploration (1800's & early 1900's) it was tradition for the various ladies guilds and women's christian organizations in the UK to make sledge flags and other sewn items for crewmembers to take with them. They created dolls to give the Inuit in the high north and handkerchiefs.

This show follows in the same vein. We have sewn 7 phrases from Shackleton's autobiography South, in particular the chapter where he and 2 others cross South Georgia Island. Phrases such as 'our minds were set on reaching the haunts of man' and 'pain and ache, boat journeys, marches, hunger and fatigue seemed to belong to the limbo of forgotten things' and 'That was all of tangible things but in memories we were rich'. Shackleton and his men trekked for 36 hours straight, reaching the whaling station on the other side of the island. No one had ever breached the inner reaches of this mountainous island. Along with the flags, there will be 4 sound pieces evoking the various stages of this trek: hunger, resonance, fatigue and providence.

Kansas City Show Review

The Kansas City Star did a nice review of the Re:Search show, which is up now through January at the Paragraph/Project galleries via the Charlotte Street Foundation. If you happen to be around Kansas City, check out the show! I'm super pleased to be showing with two great artists, Erika Hanson and Hillary Wiedemann.

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/12/07/3304674/the-art-of-exploration-at-paragraph.html


What you see is 600 ft of 3-strand cotton rope that will be used in my new installation at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids MI. Their new gallery is beautiful, totally LEED certified with a fantastic blackbox theatre, film theatre, roof top garden and many gallery spaces in which to show work. I'll be showing in their Vertical Project Space= 50" high.

November show: Charlotte Street Foundation

My show in November is at the Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, MO called Re-Search. Curated by fiber/sculpture artist Erika Lynne Hansen, it features video artist Hillary Wiedemann, Erika Lynne Hansen and myself. I will be showing some older work, the It Is Never Tomorrow photographic series. The show revolves around artists who use historical research to motivate their artistic endeavors. The show will be up through December. The artist talks are on Saturday at noon.

http://www.charlottestreet.org/2011/10/re-search-three-projects-opening-on-1118-at-6pm-paragraph-project-space/

http://www.hillarywiedemann.com
http://www.elhanson.com/

Also, I will be showing at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids in January- mid March. Stay tuned for some images. Flags, lots of flags. And hopefully some ham radio.

The show is up! 'April 24' at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts


After our last night on solid ground:

It is the movement of a goodbye,
(the severing of a mooring line, two ships together tied)
and the swell causes difficulty.
It is the great heave of the sea.

An island full of pausing,
(a white handkerchief, too much by five hundred weight)
as an oar, held out,
separates men from boats.

The final gift is brief words,
(in the event of our failures, towards northeast gaze)
anchored as mindful patterns,
while the tide returns again.

Soon clear of the breakers,
(sails set against grim heights, a line of figures dark)
all is blanketed by delay.
Look out, and linger.

So look out, and wait.




To hear the sound component:
http://www.theaeck.com/projectsframe.html

Mary Thomas from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote a preview of the biennial in last Wednesday newspaper:
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11159/1152012-437.stm

Pittsburgh Biennial: June - October 2011

The Pittsburgh Biennial's website is now up and links all the artists + locations participating this year. I will be showing at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, curated by Adam Welch. The opening is June 10, and the other locations open at various points throughout the summer & fall. The PGH Center's show is up until October.

I will be creating a new installation including a new video + I am back at the piano creating a new sound piece for it.

http://biennial.pittsburgharts.org/

Right now my website is in maintenance. It will be back up by this weekend.