INTERVIEW WITH PAINTER CARLA CROW
Maude Kerns Art Center Presents, “Weaving With Nature: Donna Sakamoto Crispin, Deb Curtis, Patricia Montoya Donohue, Mariana Mace, & Sheri Smith with Carla Crow”
Exhibit Dates: May 25 - June 22
Today we’re at the Maude Kerns Art Gallery talking to painter Carla Crow who, along with several weavers, is in a show called “Weaving With Nature.” Carla gets her inspiration for her repeating patterns from a most surprising source:
" I got inspired by my first, new laptop computer, which had all of these interesting keys on the keyboard, and I would, uh, study the keyboard, trying to figure out how to make this machine work, and realized that the patterns and symbols on the keyboard were symbols, and I have been a student of symbols in art from many cultures over the years, so I became fascinated with the and thought yes, I can make art out of the pause symbol, the eject symbol, play, reverse, fast forward, stop, all of that became my new language."
Carla’s large scale art works with symbols that repeat so often that they not only become art, they start to take on an almost spiritualized message, For example, a painting with the repeated symbol to power up your computer is titled “The Power of Love.” The command symbol combined with the speaker symbol is titled “Command, Love.” The material they are painted on looks very much like Hawaiian kapa cloth.
"Kapa is an ancient material made from mulberry bark, and the people of ancient times used it for many purposes—to wrap things up for storage, they wrapped their dead in kapa; they used it for clothing, but the think is, kapa is hard to find these days; it is very rare. There are not many kapa makers left. So I in time discovered a beautiful paper called amate, which is made in Mexico …in the little villages where there is a paper-making tradition that has been going on for many, many, many years. I discovered this paper in the early eighties and have been painting on it ever since."
When you go to the Maude Kerns Art Gallery to see this show, take a close look at this rich, hand made paper, then stand back and see which keyboard symbols you recognize made into Carla Crow’s very unique art. The show runs through June 22.
Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.