Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mama's In The Kitchen

I think the thing I liked most about this exhibit, other than the excuse to buy yards and yards of the frilliest girliest fabrics ever created....was working with the Kitchen Goddesses. Stephanie, one of our students from the International Academy of Design and Technology, was a great example of a modern-day woman, with her life in motion. As part of Rockabilly Hour, Stephanie brought her own cutie-pie along.

And Madeline. A new and very talented member from the Guardian Angels Performance Academy, she gave life to our frazzled, multi-tasking modern day kitchen goddess with the phrase 'i just don't have time'. Even now I find myself repeating 'grey grey grey. it works. it just goes with everything!'. We were also very very lucky to have Jessica Story participate as well, and I'll be posting video of her kitchen poetry as soon as I have the files downloaded!

Sorry for all the delays folks! Just as the last piece was being stored away, I was already back at work on a huge deadline that just wrapped up. My goal is to continue onward with the kitchen goddess concept in different incarnations.
And of course, most importantly, a huge thanks to Laurie Brainerd, for all her help, and for opening up FiberArtspace to the Kitchen Goddess, in all its quirky and unusual trappings. We love you Laurie! Remember the jello!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Luminarias Exhibit Day

And that's all she wrote, folks! Today was the last day of this particular exhibit, 'The Kitchen Goddess Goes to Work', as part of the city-wide Luminaria art event. At the end of the day, taking apart the exhibit was a little bitter-sweet, but my aching feet made sure we made a fast exit once the last viewer had departed. Above, you see the lovely Kitchen Goddess Cindy, acting out the lines from 'How to Be A Good Wife' to an excited group who were taking notes, yes, on what should be going on in their homes.
I'll write more tomorrow, as I'm just too tuckered out now. But I think overall, the exhibit was a great success, and the overwhelming response from viewers was they liked the interactive exhibit, liked the jello, and loved the kitchen goddesses. Who wouldn't?
I will start tomorrow by posting a couple of videos as well. We have two very talented young actresses from the Guardian Angels Performance Academy who did both kitchen poetry and acting out the part of a frenzied multi-tasking modern woman. Until then, remember the advice from your local kitchen goddess crew, and always remember to use potholders at all times!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

VaVaVa Voom!

Normally I don't like to post images of myself, but this one is for my mom. Look mom! Look Catherine! I learned how to iron! There's documented proof now! Sniff... your little girl went and grew up and now look how domestic she is!

The olive tray and table got rave reviews, but our VaVaVa Voom object that attracted the most attention was the leggy and sultry iron and Irony Board. People just couldn't keep their hands off the long hand-wrapped cord, or the pink velour of the board. It was the host to quite a few educational and entertaining ironing tutorials, one of which we'll post a video of, here online! Soon! Because we know you too, would like to be as well-versed as we are here, in the Kitchen Goddess household.

The two lovely Sanders sisters, Zita Barbara and Martha Mauricia arrived just in time to give cooking classes with lunchmeat, and to scramble eggs for us. Always a pleasure, the perfectly attired Kitchen Goddesses impressed everyone with their extensive knowledge of All-Things-Kitsch.
I will be posting many more pictures of the exhibit over the next several days, as we gear up for Luminarias, and the final outing of the Kitchen Goddess exhibit for now. On Saturday, 12 -4, one week from now, the kitchen will be rocking, and we're even thinking about having a Rockabilly Hour during the show, with Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers. We'll let you know!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Peek Into My World...

One of the things I liked the most about creating the pieces for this exhibit was finding ways of presenting mundane kitchen items in a colorful and irreverant fashion. I loved taking unexpected fabrics and 're-assigning' them to a new role.

It took me weeks to hand-make the 'Bad Eggs' carton and each individual egg. 'Tasty Beans', an item from last year, was an exercise in embroidery patience, as was 'Milk'.

And here is the stove of my dreams. I imagine only fluffy cakes, puddings, and divine hams coming from this satin confection of an appliance. Dr. Seuss would be envious of this.
While whimsical, the pieces show that a commonly belittled skill, textiles, often labeled as 'craft' or 'hobby', can have a great deal of planning, design and skill to pull it off. 50 yards of seafoam satin can't be wrong!
Today we had the kids from Say Si visit our exhibit, and tomorrow we'll be inviting those from Celebration Circle into our lovely lovely home. There will be pickles-on-a-stick, there will be devilled eggs, and there will be plenty of sass and good home economics wisdom to share. I do hope you'll be there! More pics to follow soon!

Kitchen Goddesses Overtake Blue Star Art Complex!

A vision of loveliness in green, our retro kitchen goddess Zita Barbara Sanders started off our 2nd day of the Kitchen Goddess exhibit in style, beckoning visitors in from the windows of her lovely home. We were very lucky to have several kitchen goddesses hosting the show tonight: Zita Barbara (click on her picture to see the full-sized image), Mauricia Martha Sanders, Sonia Knape and April King-Bennett. We also had two young members of the Guardian Angels Performance Academy participating in both the modern and retro world. They gave spoken word performances from the minds of young aspiring kitchen goddesses, from both sides of the exhibit: both modern and retro.

The exhibit was all about audience participation. Walking towards surprised visitors on robotic stiff (Stepford-wife-esque) joints, our goddesses implored them to sample salami rolls, pickles-on-a-stick, fresh olives and more. Many visitors were surprised that yes, the jello was real, and yes, you could eat it. And yes... it was tasty!

Here we have Art, one of our very obliging visitors, and a student from a local university no less, resting long enough to be properly fed a nutritious snack by goddesses Sonia (in green) and April (in brown with fuzzy scarf). The last thing any of our diligent goddesses would want is an earnest viewer of the arts, to go out with an empty stomach. More later! We still have several exhibit days to go, and one more performance by the Guardian Angels Performance Academy next Saturday!

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Opening Night

Ah yes. You know your opening night is a success when your goddesses really get involved in their household chores and take nutrition and motherly duties seriously. Above, you see Kitchen Goddess being choked by the ever-smiling Goddess Deserea. That'll teach her to put the tuna casserole on the table five minutes late!
***forgive the images you see here--- my pocket point-and-shoot isn't so hot. :(

Tonight (Friday) will play host to some other kitchen goddesses, Mauricia Martha and Zita Barbara, the Sanders sisters, as well as the lovely Sonia Knape. I hope that you can make the opening and we'll be waiting for you, devilled eggs in hand! Please make sure to check out the images on my 'kitchen goddesses' photo album in the upper right corner! More will be coming out shortly! Until then, our goddesses wish you well and hope that you eat everything on your plate!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Does Domestic Bliss Come In Polka Dots?

I've been busy putting the final touches on my installation for the upcoming kitchen goddess show this week... that's right! THIS WEEK! ALREADY! HOLY COW! ...and in between full-fledged freak-out attacks and naps prompted by total exhaustion, I've been giving a lot of thought to the whole kitchen goddess concept that I've been building.

While the whole premise of the show is humorous, whimsical and while standing at a green satin stove with furry stove elements, downright silly, there's some real beef to the women who've stood there before me, making statements about women, working and happiness. I had the chance to talk last weekend at length with Deserea (seen above, luminous and fetching in blue polka-dotted confection created by designer Jenna Gandy), about the modern-day balancing act between working, being a wife and mother, and somehow, trying to find happiness. I think Deserea's words pretty much say it all:
"I was once the happy housewife ignorantly blissful in my own world, until one day I found out that through all the struggles of being a young mother, trying to balance children, housework and somewhere in the midst of all that finding time to breathe, that nothing I did would ever be enough..."
Like many modern-day supermoms, Deserea discovered that even carefully balancing everything and still appearing capable left her no room for herself and her own pursuits. Now a single mom doing it all on her own, she found she had to carve out the space for her own passions, in order to find happiness.
"I had to completely re-make myself, and realized that it was time for me to live my dreams. I went back to school, started my own photography and graphic design business ( and accomplished many goals! Every day is a step by step process of balancing, and anytime anything gets added to my plate- I have to rebalance. I have learned to be strong and to stand tall no matter what, even when it gets hard and I feel like I am stretched to the finest. I adore the women that went before us, they had way more to balance, yet somehow they were able to make it work so well. If I could go back in time I would learn as much as I could from these super women! I am a modern day supermom to many of my friends, but I can't tell you that it's easy to do so much, a woman could go out of her mind if she wasn't me..."

Now friends, you try doing all that while looking as radiant as Deserea, Kitchen Goddess Extrordinaire!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Sonia, The Kitchen Goddess

Mother knows that while encouraging her daughter to attend those typing and dictation classes in college, brains must also be added to with a healthy sampling of beauty, sophistication and some good solid cooking skills. Our modern-day kitchen goddesses have long ago left behind aspirations of going to college to land a good husband, and are looking to leave their mark not only in the business-world, but in the hearts and minds of you hopelessly un-color-coordinated saps.

Sonia Knape, one of our sassy and worldly kitchen goddesses, is prepared not only to bake up some hazelnut cupcakes, but she'll sing to you in Russian while she gets down to the business of filmmaking. She's smart, she's punctual, and she's got eyes like a hawk. Currently a student, she aspires to be a working filmmaker, just as soon as she completes her studies in Russia!
me: so, you're finishing up with your degree here. What would you say is your strongest points in your studies?
SK: Keeping everything to the point, no dawdling, and still having dinner served at 5pm.

me: wow! I'm lucky to even be on my way to the grocery store at 5! If I were following you around at the grocery store, what would I see you putting into your cart?
SK: Cereal, syrup, herbal tea, coffee, macaroni and cheese dinners, and for my baking, sugar, flour, eggs, milk, vanilla extract.

Maybe Sonia will serve us some of these next week at the opening then? We do love our kitchen goddesses that can cook! Everyone knows that cupcakes are the food of goddesses. Cupcakes and kitchen goodies aside, our kitchen goddesses know the important issues of today, and are going to be involved in changing things!

me: Who do you think has done more for women’s rights than anyone else?
SK: Katherine Hepburn—she made wearing pants fashionably acceptable.

me: If you held an influential public office, what is the first thing you would do or change?
SK: I would demand better public transportation: devise routes for a light rail and employ people to start construction on it.
me: If you were to challenge a member of the opposite sex to a competition, knowing you could win, what competition would you choose?
SK: Sing the duet “Anything you can do, I can do better” from Annie Go Get Your Gun

I love our kitchen goddesses! These women are driven, funny and in all cases, hell on wheels. Sonia will be joining our kitchen on the First Friday exhibit night, so be sure to visit us! And now, I'll leave you with an exerpt from the always hilarious, 'How To Be A Good Wife' from a 1954 home ec book, with instructions on how a proper kitchen goddess would be expected to prepare for 5 pm.

"Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad he is home"....