Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blog Installation No. 8: Ossia Fine Arts Space

This blog installation is part of Chicago Connection: The 5 Artists Project, showing through November 1, 2008, at Ossia Fine Arts Space in the Fine Arts Building. For the duration of the show, anyone coming into the gallery on Fridays from noon to 4 p.m. will be part of the blog.

Sallie Wolf, artist and writer, stopped by the gallery. Her comments on the show: "I like the way the work is hung. There is a beautiful flow to the work, and people should come to see it. You have some nice juxtapositions going on -- poetry and art; color, scale, and modular groupings; contemplative and active art. I work a lot in grid, and the whole show appeals to me because I can see the wonderful grids in the art."

Starting watercolor painting at a young age, Sallie majored in Anthropology in college and then went back to school after many years to earn a BFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Working in watercolor, mixed media, and collage, she focuses on landscape painting. She writes and illustrates children's books as well as conducts workshops for children and adults in both art and writing. Her new book, The Robin Makes a Laughing Sound: A Birder's Journal, based on her daily journals, will be published by Charlesbridge in 2009. For the past 14 years she has been studying the moon, charting it in her journals, and making "astronomical" art based on her observations. Two Moon Charts are on display at the Science in Art Exhibition, Ellen and Melvin Gordon Center for Integrative Science, University of Chicago, 929 E. 57th St., Chicago.

Sallie Wolf. June 10, 2007, Sketching Diary.
Watercolor, pen and ink on paper, 5 1/4" x 7 1/4".

"Whenever I travel, I make sketches in watercolor and sometimes with ink. These sketches themselves make up a 'Sketching Diary,' and others are in my journals. From these sketches I choose compositions to turn into multi-sheet, mixed-media panoramic landscapes. I usually make a charcoal grisaille drawing and then begin working into it with clean water and with watercolor. Sometimes I add acrylic white. The result are watercolor paintings that have a deeper surface, paintings which have been worked over time in a way that traditional watercolor is not."

Sallie Wolf. View From Clay. 2008.
Watercolor, charcoal, graphite on paper, 20" x 42".

Influenced by her degree in anthropology, she uses the same methodology -- taking field notes -- to develop her art. Her subject matter is inspired by anthropology as well. Artists who have influenced her include Alfred Jensen and Joseph Campbell.

Sallie Wolf. Daily Moon Music, Dec. 21, 1999 - Dec. 22, 2000, wall installation at the Art Gallery of the Fermilab, Batavia, IL, 2006. Screws, wire, colored paper, Teacher's Tape on wall, 9' x 23'.

"This wall installation is actually a musical score based on one year of observing what I call the north-south shift of the moon. Each note represents one day in the year. The notes begin with December 21, 2003 and continue through December 22, 2004. Each row ends with either the equinox or solstice, so the rows represent the seasons in this order: Winter; Spring; Summer; Fall. The colors of the notes are coded to the toy piano so you can play this musical score yourself. The black diamonds represent days when I did not see the moon. I suggest for those "notes" you (gently) bang the top of the piano with your fist. My intention is to compose more years of moon music and compare one year to the next to see how much the music differs."

Sallie is represented by Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery in New Hampshire. Sallie's recent and upcoming exhibitions include: Department(Store) exhibition, Sullivan Galleries in the former Carson Pirie Scott Building,Chicago,(Sallie's case will be on display Nov. 4 to Dec. 11, 2008); The Moon Project, Professors, USAFA Art Gallery, US Air Force Academy, CO, 2010; New Work, Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery, Center Sandwich, New Hampshire, 2009; Oak Park Sketching Diary, Oak Park Hospital, Oak Park, IL, 2007; The Moon Project, the Fermilab Art Gallery, Batavia, IL, and Adler Planetarium, Chicago, 2005; Drawing on Experience, juried group show, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago; Color + Pattern + Shape = Camouflage, an exhibition of Sallie Wolf's and Art Start Students' work, Village Hall, Oak Park, IL, 2008.

For more information on Sallie and her art, please visit the following websites. Sallie has a working studio in the Oak Park Arts District, which people can visit. Her hours are by appointment.

Personal website:
Books: and

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