I've just returned from the spectacular "Old Washington Street Festival" in downtown Muncie where I took the Historic Home tour with Maura Jasper and Serena Nancarrow. These homes are Spectacular! Fabulous! Jaw-dropping! From Victorian extravagance to arts and crafts quiet comfort, the current and past residents have restored and cared for original and new fixtures, furniture, wall-paper, and decor. The level of detail in the homes and furnishings is remarkable, and you would NEVER know any of it was there behind their humble exteriors. A few of my favorite patterns and doo-dads are below. The two figures are from a hand-embroidered mourning painting by a female artist:
Also on the tour, I met Cathy Day, author of The Circus in Winter, and hailing from Peru, Indiana, where the story from my recent "Vacant Quarters" interactive installation took place. She had a quick reference on hand that added to what I knew about the fire--she says that a farmer had bought the property where much of the old circus carts and other objects had been left in disrepair. He had no use for the objects, so he set them ablaze. Many of the circus performers who still lived in the town went to the fire and tried to rescue any objects they could! This adds relevance to the interaction in the Vacant Quarters piece--the viewer watches helplessly, contributing to the burning of the carts by doing nothing.
Yesterday, Maura Jasper and I traveled to Purdue University to set up our work for the "Conversation Pieces" exhibition, curated by Shannon McMullen. Shannon and Fabian Winkler were in the gallery helping us set up the work. Below are some in-progress installation shots. Documentation of this new version "Vacant Quarters" will be added to the Projects section of my website after the show is lit and opens later this week!