Friday, August 8, 2008

My friend, Janet ...

Yesterday I spent a few hours with an old friend. We had a wonderfully fresh lunch at Mango's on Las Olas Boulevard followed by a personally guided tour through the Museum of Art where my friend is among the winners of the South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship for Visual and Media Artists... for the second time...

Once we'd completed our tour, we were off to her studio which is hidden in a warehouse district just south of the FEC railroad tracks. She had just acquired a huge collection of art and papers from the recently deceased mother of a friend the night before our meeting and it was a reverent yet delightful experience to see and touch this woman's things as Janet poured over them, sorting them into piles. There was a small plastic bag filled with cut-out egg shapes, each one with a random series of numbers typed in the center of the egg. Janet says that "obsessive compulsive" artists are the latest trend. The eggs are proof that these people exist, but I'll be very curious to see how she uses them in her collages.

She had nine of her pieces on exhibit at the Museum of Art and what I liked most about her work is its simplicity of design and sense of history that holds each piece together. One revealed an ancient, moldy book spine combined with a piece of an old envelope while another contained a rusty shape she'd scavenged from a dumpster somewhere. These objects would be totally meaningless if they'd been left as they were, but in the hands of this amazing artist, they are transformed to something else ... something that is all about design.

I enjoyed my amazing day and send many thanks to my friend, Janet Gold. We don't see each other as often as I'd like, but when we are together, it's always inspirational to me and way too much fun!

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