I’ve been organizing a weekly check-in for friends every Friday night since March 27. These recordings are a part of the KCHUNG.news project. Some of the chats are archived at Margie.LA and I will be uploading more soon! Please contact me if you would like to participate in the chats and I will send you an invite.
ink on watercolor paper, 8.5 x 11 inches. Margie Schnibbe Studio 2009
Sadly the ceramic studio has been closed since mid-March. I was just a few days away from finishing these two sculptures when we were ordered by the district not to return. The working title of this first piece was “The Doors of Perception”. Parts of the interior structure are visible through a series of openings. The title was inspired by the Aldous Huxley book about the author’s experiences taking the psychedelic drug mescaline. Some folks have said the sculpture reminds them of ant colonies. I thought it might be good as an outdoor garden sculpture – providing a safe shelter where bees could make their nests and breed. Maybe now once it’s fired and finished I will call it Girl Interrupted?
The working title of this piece was Binge. I was thinking a lot about Masoud as it was in the month of March two years ago that I found out that he had been dead for nearly three years. At that time I had just started taking classes at ELAC Ceramics. Same as when I was in my early twenties, working with clay helped me heal emotional wounds and transformed my life. Masoud loved the band Gorillas. We listened to a lot of Gorillas together and I never listened to their music until I met him. I became a fan. There was a young guy in the studio who was always playing Gorillas songs on his phone while he was working. The song To Binge is one of my favorites. It’s such a hauntingly beautiful song. Impossible love? Drug addiction? Cau-au-au-aught again. Maybe now I will title the sculpture Coitus Interruptus?
I ran into my ceramics teacher at Trader Joe’s the other day and he said that he would save my work and fire it. It’s possible that we may not be back in the studio until Spring 2021. Seems like forever. I also have 2 more completed pieces that have been slowly drying since December 2019. They are loaded in the kiln but have not been fired yet. I don’t have a photo of the pieces in the kiln but I have this photo from the day I finished building them. These are each around 40 inches tall. They will shrink 10 percent after firing. As of yet they are untitled. But just now in my head I hear the words Sodom and Gomorrah. So maybe this is what I will call them.
Many thanks to my ceramics teacher Chris Turk for all of his support!
We are still at home and safe. I am grateful that I have a day job that allows me to work remotely and I live in my studio so I have plenty of art supplies and space to make art. Mayor Garcetti has extended the Safer at Home emergency order until May 15th. The original “Public Order Under City of Los Angeles Emergency Authority” was issued on March 19th with a potential end date of April 19. And now it has been extended for another month. Read the press updated release here: SaferAtHomeAPR10
“New City Measures to Address COVID-19” was the order issued prior to the “Safer at Home” order. It was issued on March 15th Mayor Garcetti Emergency Order – March 15 2020
I’m excited to share some of my recent ceramic sculptures!
Group Encounter, 2019, high-fire ceramic with glaze,
17″ x 15″ x 14″
Ervin Says I’m Sorry, 2019, high-fire ceramic with glaze,
17.5″ x 17.5″ x 10″
Sun in Scorpio Moon in Libra, 2019, high-fire ceramic with glaze,
13.5” x 10” x 10”
Dancing with Myself, 2019, high-fire ceramic with glaze,
22″ x 8″ x 8″
Interpretation of Dreams, 2019, high-fire ceramic with glaze,
42″ x 14″ x 14″
I Feel Love, 2018, high-fire ceramic with glaze,
19″ x 10″ x 9″
A Certain Type of Object Choice, 2019, hire-fire ceramic with glaze,
7″ x 7″ x 6.5″
Big Woods Little Death, 2018, high-fire ceramic with glaze,
10″ x 10″ x 7.5″
Afternoon Delight, 2019, high-fire ceramic with glaze,
12” x 7.5” x 6”
Third Wave, 2018, high-fire ceramic with glaze,
9.34” x 10” x 4”
Two Cousins One Night, 2019, high-fire ceramic with glaze,
14” x 10” x 9”
A World One Needs to Discover, 2018, high-fire ceramic with glaze,
10″ x 8″ x 8″
While an undergrad ceramics major at Hunter College in NYC, I spent the summer of 1988 in an artist apprenticeship/residency program at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia not far from where Jessica Savitch drowned in a canal. I sublet my bedroom in an apartment I shared with Phideaux Xavier on Rivington Street on the Lower East Side of NYC to our friend John Kenny, whom I was told, was quite fond of sitting naked on the living room couch. At the tile works in the day I was required to perform the various tasks of a historic tile-maker and explain the tile-making process to the tourists as they walked through the facility. The job was stupid and the pay was shit but I learned about ceramic tiles, mold-making and cement. I liked my co-workers and housemates and met Carol Stakenas and Andrea Whitfield, who became my life-long friends. The best part about being an artist in residence/apprentice at the tile works was that after work and on days off, we could work in the studio and had free access to the materials and the kilns. I have fond memories of Carol and I smoking unfiltered cigarettes in a sweltering hot studio above the kiln room while working late into the night.
I found these exhibition images when I was preparing a grant application that required a 20+ year commitment to art making. This was my first real exhibition: a 3 person show. I recall that a husband of one of my co-workers was a photographer and generously shot these slides for me. I am grateful to have these images from so many years ago.
The pieces are constructed of cement and grog with imbedded (low-fire) tiles. After the exhibition the fountain was donated to the community garden at Ave B & 6th Street in the East Village but eventually disintegrated in the winter. The vessels and cement plinths still survive today.
Margie Schnibbe . Fountain. 1988. glazed ceramic, cement, grout, 48” x 36” x 36”
Margie Schnibbe. Three Vessels and Three Plinths. 1988. glazed ceramic, cement, grout, 40” x 14” x 14”, 39” x 14” x 14”, 53” x 14” x 14”
Please join us at the closing reception for my exhibition Mary and Masoud in Heaven at The Finley Gallery. Sunday October 20 @ 2-4pm. I will be a reading poems at 2:30.
4627 FINLEY AVE.
LOS ANGELES, CA 90027 (in Los Feliz near the corner of Vermont)
During the reception the interior space will be open so you can see the sculptures up close. Visit any evening until October 20 from dawn until dusk to view the work through the window. Take a poem from the box in the garden.
My exhibition “Mary and Masoud in Heaven” is on view at the Finley Gallery in Los Feliz 24 hours a day 7 days a week until October 20. Optimal viewing hours are from dusk til dawn. Stand on the viewing platform to see the sculptures and take a poem home with you. 4627 Finley Ave, Los Angeles 90027. This is a tribute exhibition for my best friend Mary Bellis and my boyfriend Masoud Benam who both suddenly and unexpectedly died in 2015.
Thank you Mary and Masoud for all of your love and generosity. Rest in power my gorgeous friends and I will see you on the other side.
Thank you to all who supported the Lot 2001 Kickstarter campaign! And many thanks to my fiscal sponsor Fulcrum Arts! We exceeded our Kickstarter goal thanks to all of you! I am in the process of mailing rewards and everything is scheduled to ship by the beginning of April. If you missed the Kickstarter deadline and would like to donate to the Lot 2001 artist residency anytime, you can do so here. Donations are 100% tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
When I got home from the ceramics studio tonight Orff’s Carmina Burana was playing on KUSC. (I leave the radio on for Juki so he does not feel lonely). This piece always makes me smile. I think it’s great when classical musical merges with popular culture- even to the point when it’s almost kitsch. (Magic Flute ringtones? Yes I have heard them on the street outside the Disney Concert Hall but that’s another story… ) So I’m not sure which orchestra was broadcasting tonight but here is a performance I found on YouTube.
The best know piece is “O Fortuna”. When you listen to this you will have flashbacks of multiple media moments. Totally kitsch!