Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ariane and AHA

I think most folks who read this, probably already know about Artists Helping Artists (AHA), but I would like to share with you some of the things that have happened to me recently as a result of this little budding organization.

First off, last night I had a killer art show. It could not have been better! A local couple who recently formed a band, (Night Motel Wiggly) performed throughout the night, even though one of them had no voice and was battling a cold, but still came through to help and play keyboards. The venue of this show, was Boss Lodge restaurant. Let me tell you folks, Brenda Boss at Boss Lodge is one of the reasons why Gillette is a good place to live. She welcomed AHA with open arms, helped so much, provided easels at the last minute, and she donated the food. THAT'S RIGHT! And she didn't take a commission for works sold. So Ramona and I got to have our moment in the spotlight and we didn't even have to worry about recouping our costs, because there were none. Because people helped us. People came to us and said, "How can I help?? What can I donate? What can I bring?" and my favorite, "How do I get to host one of these things?" Seriously, I received FOUR offers last night from folks who want to host these events. I'm starting to believe that people love helping each other. I'm starting to see people as kinder beings that I've ever thought possible. And I'm starting to understand that AHA is doing more than helping artists, and is not only building a stronger art community, it's building a stronger community! I could not be more excited about this venture.

Another thing in my life that I'm very excited about and grateful for, is that my college semester just started yesterday, and that is something I've been waiting for. I was extremely nervous, much more so than usual, but everything went just fine. I love teaching so much, I've truly missed it and I am so eager to see what the semester will bring and what my students will teach ME. After one class I have already learned much! One of my students has formed several non-profit organizations over the years and she said she would be willing to help me so I can apply for a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt status for AHA.

Again, what a great community we have!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reflection, acceptance, and rejection. IT'S THE HOLIDAYS!

After the holidays, and before the new year, I would like to do what I think everyone is doing right now and that is, REFLECT. The past year has been one of the most eventful of my life, I think, and has brought about much joy, insight, and change.

This year, I quit my job, became a full-time artist, got married to the most amazing person I've ever known, started an artist's association, and somewhere in there I organized about 10 art shows. OK, I'm not bragging. I'm just saying, I've been a very busy girl. I also went from working in the public, to spending most of my time alone. This extrovert to introvert conversion has been interesting and difficult.

One of the recent shows I've had, was "What Would Buddha do?", an exhibition I shared with fabric artist Joan Sowada. I think this particular exhibition may have started something new with my work, my life, and my understanding of pretty much everything around me. While having one of many interesting conversations at the Buddha show, I had a sort of profound realization about acceptance, about how deeply grateful I am for the acceptance I have received in my life.

I think of Joan Sowada as one of my art mothers. She is one of my favorite people, but she is also one of my favorite artists. Her work is so well developed, I was intimidated to show with her, but she is unassuming and it WAS her idea, so I did it anyway. It was during our show together, during a conversation about something unrelated, that I realized that I loved Joan and her family so much, because they had always accepted everyone just for who they were, and that included me.

For days after the show I was flooded with gratitude for all the people in my life who have always just loved me, and didn't care about the details of my life they didn't agree with. They came to me in dreams, they came to me in memories, and gratitude for their acceptance was all I could see. It was intense. One of those days, I was writing about acceptance in my pottery journal, and trying to imagine what sort of ceramic forms would best present this topic. I thought immediately of plates, platters, and big wide bowls, all of these are forms that ACCEPT almost anything, they are wide open, and they SERVE people. I loved the metaphor! I was almost gleeful to begin, when in an instant it hit me, NONACCEPTANCE, UNACCEPTANCE, REJECTION!

And it happened just as before when I thought of every person in my life who had been accepting, only this time, I thought of the people in my life who have decided that a detail of my life that they do not understand is so great that they must cast me out of their life. For days I was in a gloom, trying to resolve these rejections in my mind, trying to accept the rejection. Coincidence or not, I started to feel better when I came up with a symbol for rejection.

Nonacceptance is damaging, it is hurtful, it causes deep wounds that can sometimes take generations to heal. The sculptural form I have come up with for Nonacceptance, is a very simple one. It is a stone. Stones are cast. A stone can hold nothing. A stone is cold and hard. The harder the stone, the more impenetrable it is, and the more damage it can do. But stones can be crushed, and stones can be melted, and be made into new things. That is after all, what clay is, small parts of mountains, washed to mud, made into something different, and then fired to create a new material.

My reflection: As an experiment, I'm going to collect the stones that have been given to me, hurled at me, or that have simply developed like calluses over the years. I want to melt them down, and then send the stone-throwers plates of love. If you receive a plate from me in the mail, it means I've been hurt but I love you and accept your rejection for what it is, a stone that comes between us. I'm chipping away at my side, I hope you will too so we can meet in the middle.

With love, acceptance, and gratitude,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Some stuff I've been doing

Things that I have been so busy with that I haven't been blogging:

~AHA! Artists Helpings Artists... check us out!
~What Would Buddha Do? An exhibition with fabric artist Joan Sowada for which I have been working relentlessly and with the most discipline I've ever been able to muster, for anything.
~Festival in the Pines! A little art show in Pine Haven created by glass artist Linda Lang. Linda asked me to put some pots in their show, so I've been busy getting stuff ready for that!
~December, I'm the co-artist of the month at the library! I've been making lots things for that upcoming show with Jewelry Artist, Maria Stiles. Because pottery should wear more jewelry.
~December AHA Art Jam. We're putting together a one-day festival sometime in December (dates coming soon) some where, (location coming soon) and I'll be making things for that as well, (more pots coming soon!)

And I'm helping Donkey Creek Pathways Taskforce make a Wreath for a fundraiser. And I'm making them a website. And I made 20lbs of pumpkin pie filling from our Halloween pumpkins. And I'm creating a local artist directory.

Also I'm helping these folks have shows for AHA...
Edie Reno & Herb Kalenberg THIS SUNDAY! 10am-3pm @ Prime Rib Restaurant
Chris Amend, Feb. 12 @ Wyoming Art & Frame
Ramona Roll, March 12, details coming soon...
Sharri Bowker, details coming soon...
Mark Wigner, details coming soon...

And somewhere in there I've been Suzy Homemaker and Salvador Dali.

So yeah, I kind of have to get going now... I've got a few things to do!

Thanks once again to all of you for all your support, I couldn't be doing all this stuff without it.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Ghosts of Artists Past

I'm having an Art Show Halloween Party. Scary. I know. It will be an event like no other, at least not any other I've ever been to. Please go to and find out all about it. Or check it out on my website,

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's been a while, hey, I've been busy!

I realize I have fallen short of my goal of weekly blogging. Uhem. It'll be ok. I'm back now.

It's been a while, so here's a brief update of the last couple of months...
I got married! -Rachel and I tied the knot with our friends and family surrounding us in a beautiful ceremony. It was a dream come true, with pottery, flowers, hemp, and homemade bread everywhere. And so far, it seems everyday just gets better and better, even with the rough spots.

I made and sold a lot of stuff. -I gave up trying to get it all on my website, and hence missed documenting much of the work.

I got a display at Coffee Friends Coffee Shop! If you are in Gillette, go check it out!

I started a not-for-profit art organization! AHA! It's the name of the organization! AHA, Artists Helping Artists, (I feel) is the breath of fresh air the art scene in our town needs. THERE! I SAID IT! One morning after drinking too much coffee, and after being a little disgruntled about a sudden commission change for a show that we ended up cancelling, my accomplice/friend/brother-in-law, Herb Kalenberg and I dreamed up a little dream of a way to utilize spaces such as restaurants, hotels, and vacant commercial spaces for art venues. Our idea is to help the artists make all the arangements, teach them how to conduct sales, display and light thier work, and cheaply advertise to create one-night art shows (we call them One Night Stands) that are at a different place every month, featuring different artists. If the artists have to pay anything at all, it will be to the restaraunt, realestate agent, or other venue owner, but in some cases, the artists will pay nothing at all! If you haven't checked it out already, DO IT NOW!!! Click here or go to

I'm having an art show/Halloween Party at my house/Trailer Fire Studio. You should come! Click Here for all the details.

I'll be back soon to jabber on some more. Thanks for reading my sporadic tales!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Studio Tour.

A new piece that sold at the tour
The only bad thing about the studio tour was that there are no pictures. None. Not even one. I was way too busy talking to all my friends to take pictures, my studio assistant John was too busy filling drinks, refreshing appetizers, and flipping records to take photos, and Rachel was my accountant, taking care of all the sales, receipts, and overcharging my friends. (Seriously, to all my friends who paid $3 too much for your new mugs, let me know and I'll give you a special gift sometime. Rachel did not mean it, she didn't realize I had lowered my prices for the event, and she wants me to be rich.)

About 40 people came to the event, we think, but it was hard to keep track. I'll have to get a guest book for the next one. THE NEXT ONE??? YES! That's right! As soon as I get the new kiln in the yard done, I would like to have another one, and let my friends help me fire the kiln.

So in the case that you haven't noticed, there is not a store on my site anymore! That's because all the work is now available at Coffee Friends Coffee Shop. I now have to make all new work. All new ray guns. And all new space helmets. And all new everything. Excited yet? Yep. Me too.

P.S. I made 16 new wine cups yesterday, four are already sold, two sets left. Who wants em'?

Friday, July 17, 2009


What: A chance for you to come check out my studio and my new work!
Enjoy wine, beer, and Ariane-made appetizers!

When: July 24, 4-8pm

Where: Trailer Fire Studio! 2606 Sammye Ave. Gillette, WY (out in Fox Park)

Who: Open to my family, friends, collectors, admirers, and their friends. Only the coolest people I know. (Probably you, if you are not sure, email me or call me)

Why: Because I want everyone to come see my studio, my new work, and I want you to tell me what you think, and buy what you love!

Can you believe it, they asked me to come back to the library!

Yesterday my studio assistant John and I went to the Library's teen room for an art fair where teens were invited to come and learn about different art careers, art mediums, and just generally get inspired. I had a terrific time demonstrating and answering questions! Since it was in the basement, and it was a small space, they asked if I would do something that wouldn't require a pottery wheel, so I threw a piece on the wheel the night before and altered it and let the kids watch and ask questions. I think it went really well and they seemed to dig what I was doing. I also had to come up with some answers to some pretty intense ceramics questions, there were some extremely intelligent kids there, go figure, smart kids at the library. It was great. One girl had the coolest dinosaur t-shirt. I was jealous.