I haven’t written or posted much on my personal blog this year. There are many reasons, but the biggest reason is that 1+1=1 Gallery is now over 2 years old and is going strong and requiring a huge time commitment from me. I love having the gallery. I haven’t been happier for many years and it feels like I finally — in my 60s — have found what I am on this Earth to do.
One of my challenges continues to be finding balance in my life. Most folks who have started their own businesses know, that you pretty much have to work 60 hour weeks or more in the beginning. It’s equally as important to me to create my own art, have a successful gallery and teach art to children and adults.
I am gradually figuring out how to say no. How to be more focused when I am working as a gallery owner vs. working as an artist. How to spread out and limit what I want to do with what I can do. It’s working pretty well. You may not see new posts here often, but when I do post, it will be because I have something to say.
On running an art gallery: the most labor-intensive task is definitely managing the gallery. When we started, we were just the two of us — it was a way for us to show Tim’s exquisite furniture locally and for me to get the word out that I made art for my whole life. If I wanted to take the day off to hike in the mountains with my camera and Charlie, I just put a sign on the door, “Closed for the afternoon to go make art.” We weren’t worried about being fair to 14 other artists, which is what we took on when we moved to our current location. We are expanding to representing a total of 18 to 20 artists in the next two years. That’s a lot of responsibility to promote and sell their art, and to help them in their careers. We’ll be looking for a gallery manager next spring!
1+1=1 is not just a fine art gallery. We are a gathering spot. A warm, welcoming space where visitors feel included no matter how much or little they know about art. A place where children and adults practice creative expression in classes and art gatherings; a place where new artists have a chance to be exhibited and learn to work with galleries and promote themselves professionally. And lastly, a place where locals can listen to experimental music and jazz performances in an intimate atmosphere.
I want to introduce a friend of mine, a sister artist and one of the artists represented by my contemporary fine art gallery, 1+1=1 Gallery.
Trudy Skari is seriously cool
Trudy works intuitively, quickly, and with her whole body, heart and spirit. Her ceramic sculptures seem to come from some other-world, a dream world, a world of childhood memories or a place in nature that lives inside her. Having studied psychology, philosophy, then depth psychology and world religions, Trudy is greatly influenced by mythology and Creation stories from around the world. Her other influences are Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung and the open prairies of Montana.
Like someone who does gestural life-drawings from a model moving through quick poses, Trudy uses scraps and bits of clay to sculpt an implication of a flower … or the essence of a rabbit, bear, fox or dog.
She constantly learns new ceramic techniques and experiments to push herself and her art beyond the obvious. I love her work! I love having it in our gallery and looking at it — deeply — every day.
Each time I look at Trudy’s sculpture of the goddess, “Pele´ Eats a Fish,” I see some other aspect of the feminine, some other level of meaning. Trudy told me she was thinking of titling the piece “On Her Day Off Pele´ Eats Sushi.” This makes me think of how we all have different aspects of ourselves co-existing inside of us: masculine and feminine; adult and child; light and dark; serious and funny; out-there and in-here …
Wouldn’t a god or goddess also have co-existing personality aspects? Wouldn’t Pele´– goddess of volcanoes and all things explosive, also have a softer side when she’s taking the day off? And wouldn’t a softness also have a bit of harsh-reality tossed in for balance? So … on her day off, maybe Pele´ wears curlers in her hair, cooks (the spatula) and dives deep into her ocean world to catch and eats fish. She even looks fish-like. And so beautiful in an earthy, watery way.
Trudy Skari, Artist Statement:
I find that the objects I make are sometimes part of an unspoken narrative. Rather, they reside under or beside the formulated word or thought. At times the piece goes dallying around in some poetic realm and finishes sentences I was not aware I had uttered. The realm of image is forged in a different light than the realm of word. Like the visible spectrum the imaginal realm has a range that is just outside of the awareness to human senses but wide open to human insight, consciousness and our desire for making meaning.
Animals so are present in our understanding of how we navigate the environment, they protect us from our rigidity and ground us in our mammalian firmament. They are however always other, even if we anthropomorphize them to aid in our understanding. My attempt is to create an animal-ness that functions on a level of knowing and not knowing at the same time. It all works best when a balance is found between the gesture and the intent.
Trudy is represented in Helena, Montana by 1+1=1 Gallery. Her ceramic sculptures will be available for viewing during regular business hours at the gallery located at 434 N. Last Chance Gulch. Please call 406.431.9931 for more information about Trudy’s work.
More of Trudy’s artwork available at 1+!=1 Gallery. If you are interested in any of her pieces, call or email [email protected]