November 29, 2012

The Cyrus Cylinder, 2600 years of Middle Eastern History and Thomas Jefferson

Cyrus Cylinder , 6th century B.C. Clay, The British Museum
     Anyone familiar with my work knows how I enjoy Archaeological objects. especially those which include text. So I became curious when  I read a notice of a major exhibition from the British Museum planned to travel to five major US museums in 2013. The Cyrus Cylinder is a clay cylinder about 10 by 4 inches. But its importance in history far overshadows its small size.

    It is inscribed with 45 lines of cuneiform script. These words are a message from the new ruler and King of Babylonia, Cyrus the Great. He begins by trash talking the previous guy and then goes on to tell us how great he is. Do things ever change? But the significance of the text is that it seems to encourage freedom of worship and allowed deported people to return to their countries.

     Cyrus lead a successful multicultural and multi-faith society for about 30 years  His empire stretched form Asia Minor in the west to the Northwestern areas of India in the east. Which has me wondering, just how does one conquer all that land and keep a glowing reputation for 2600 years? 

     The practice of religious tolerance by Cyrus, and by projection,  this clay chunk, although it may not say it outright,  have made the Cyrus Cylinder famous. It is often referred to as the first bill of human rights.  The United Nations has a replica of the clay text. Thomas Jefferson read Cyrus and it is said that it influenced his input to the writing of the Constitution, and Cyrus is mentioned 23 times in the Old Testament. That is what holds the fascination for me, as Neil MacGregor says in his TED talk, our objects have lives beyond ours.
Click for tour dates
Click here For a TED talk

October 26, 2012

Juried into Audubon Artists Inc.Exhibition 2012

Archeology Fragment #14 Enso. 54 x 48" Kevan Lunney

Fragment #14 has been awarded the Marquis Who's Who References Award for Collage and Mixed Media. I will receive two publications worth $600.

Archeology Fragment #14, Enso has
 been selected for the annual Online exhibit at The Audubon Artists Inc website. Entered into the mixed media category, it joins 34 other works.

More about Audubon Artists, Inc. here.

October 17, 2012

Early Man Makes Tools as Precursor to Language, and application to art

A million years of producing stone tools may have established the neural pathways necessary for language. One and a half million years ago the Ascheulean hand ax was the I-Phone of its day. The mental skills required for its development like  learning the material qualities, and predicting the outcome of certain strikes upon its surface and more, provided the same complex, sequential thoughts towards an end that are necessary for language development.  As it turns out tool making and language are accomplished in the same area of the brain. ( Link to program What Makes Us Human, 10/10/12)

Richard Serra, Junction   

Richard Serra, the prominent sculptor of magnificent environments  made of gargantuan, rusted, steel plates, says in his  interview with Charlie Rose, that he creates his own tools. He was using a paint stick that had a wrapper that took considerable time to peel as he worked.  It took so much time and made him so frustrated that he  named the piece "Abstract Slavery". His solution was to take many paint sticks and melt them down into loaf pans to create a brick that he could draw with using both hands. Drawing is a practice that is very important to Serra to keep him loose and disciplined.

He says that the artists he finds most interesting make their own tools and procedures. siting (Jasper) Johns' stencils and Pollacks drips, Seurat's (Conte') Crayons. "You're not going to build art out of the art store. You have to invent your own tools and your own procedures."

When I heard these two things just weeks apart I thought about the comparison of ancient man developing tools to build language development  and contemporary artists creating tools which aid to creative language. So I believe that by developing your own tools and processes you are also developing your own art language. It is your own vocabulary. It is the realization of the definition of creativity, using things that exist to make things and ideas that did not previously exist.

Archeology experimentation. Wash test. The batting shreds!

I am often asked, what is the gold that you use on your work? How do you get it to stick? Where are the stitches in your work? Is that sewing? The answers to these questions are my own tools, my own art language. The tools, materials and processes used in my first  Archeology pieces took  three months  to develop.
 The creative process takes time and it requires experimentation. I make samples, keep notes, buy new products, and try old ones.
During the creative process, when I have an idea for something that I do not know how to make, I will record a note of the idea. I do not let it go. I may be stuck because I do not see the solution then, but in working it out one will come. Sometimes many new ideas come as a result of the exploration of this one original problem.

This is the meaning of thinking outside the box. When you get to a wall, choose not to see the wall. It reminds me of a story about a fly who is trying to fly outside but continually flies into the glass. Defeated he lands on the window sill, just in front of the open window. Do you sit there on the sill in front of the solution or do you try new ones?
I encourage you to develop your own tools, and at the same time develop your own art language.

August 1, 2012

Why Innovation Matters

What a nice surprise to open my Aug/Sept 2012 issue of American Craft magazine and see my work pictured there! Just click on the link above and you can read the article too!

Archeology Fragment #15 Enso Compassion 2011, 56 x 45"  
"Why Innovation Matters" is an interview by Monica Moses, editor in chief, with David Revere McFadden, one of the jurors of the Art Quilt Elements exhibition at the Wayne Art Center, and curator at the Museum of Art and design in NYC. This show was part of  Philadelphia's city wide event called Fiber Philly held bi-annually.

My work titled Archeology Fragment #15, Enso Compassion was juried into the show, and  received a Surface Design Award from the Surface Design Association. 

It joins two other award winners in the same article, Dianne Firth's Red Stones #2 which received the juror's choice award and Memories of Gombe by Mary Pal which received the Heartstrings Award. 
This piece was purchased at the show; three wonderful surprises!

July 19, 2012

A note from Toronto,

How cool is this? So nice to get feedback that someone is seeing my sketchbook.

We just wanted to let you know that Theresa F. just viewed your sketchbook (#S433) at The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, ON!
Your book has been viewed 3 times so far.
The Brooklyn Art Library Librarian
The Sketchbook Project

July 15, 2012

Reflections, Shadows, and Atmosphere

Kevan Lunney speaking about Reflections 6 by Ginny Abrams 44 x 57"

Depicting what isn't there is the subject of several pieces from artists in Fiber Revolution.   In my recent gallery talk at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance in Narrowsburg, NY I pointed out that in Ginny Abrams work, Reflections 6 we see the reflection of the thing in the  water, not the thing itself. In Cindy Friedman's work, The Couple, we see  shadows of the subjects. The four panels can be arranged in numerous ways, each one giving a fresh meaning to the couple's journey together.

Cindy Friedman's, The Couple, each panel  20 x 15"

In Wen Redmond's piece , below right,  Shaking the Tree of Imagination, the image is integrated into layers of sheers and further fragmented by its division into 9 parts.
 Lisa Chipetine literally has our awareness forcefully trying to stare through  foggy  layers of complexity. Her work is titled Things That Make You Go OM. 

Please visit Fiber to see the work of
its 25 members, and visit the links above in blue to see clearer photos of the artists work.
These are all works in fabric, which are  layered and stitched, the true appreciation of which can only be understood in person.

July 5, 2012

Thought for the Day

Creation, and creativity, 
growth and  growing up, is a continual dance;
 moving between the innovative and frightening and 
coming home to the familiar and nourishing. 

June 22, 2012

Exhibit Update

Abundance, 30 x 30" by Kevan Lunney

June 21 - August 11, 2012
The Botswana Collection - Art quilts by Fiber Revolution and the Kalahari Quilters of Botswana 
will be shown at The Noyes Museum of Art/ Stockton College at the Hammonton, NJ location at 5 South Second Street, Hammonton, NJ 08037

This wonderful collaboration was conceived by Cindy Friedman who travels to Botswana with her husband who runs the world renowned HIV/AIDS  clinic there for the University of Pennsylvania. She was delighted to  meet Jennie Healy who employs local women to make beautiful crafts for sale, an important source of income and pride for the locals. This collection of quilts from Fiber Revolution and the Kalahari quilters is the first of 3 collections that were brought together to exhibit in the U.S. 
Cindy and I are both members of Fiber Revolution, a group of 25 fiber artists from the Northeast who meet on the internet to  coordinate our efforts to schedule shows.

Archeology #'s 6,7,3          28 x 39"
by Kevan Lunney

June 11-September 5, 2012
Art Meets Science will be exhibited at Global Health Odyssey Museum at the Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia. This show is organized by Studio Art Quilters Associates, (SAQA), and has traveled to England, France, NYC, and San Diego.

July 10- August 18, 2012
Fragmentations, a collection of work by Fiber Revolution and curated by Carolyn Vehslage. She will be giving a gallery talk and a silkscreen demo.
Baylor University,Waco, TX 76706

Archeology #5    28 x 28" 
     by Kevan Lunney

Thu, August 16, 12am – Fri, August 17, 12am
The Self-Portrait Project 

Brooklyn Art Library
103A North 3rd Street 
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Self Portrait, by Kevan Lunney, 2012,  4" x 4"

Chronos Pods, Largest is 83 x 9 x 9"
by Kevan Lunne

July 13 - August 4, 2012
Nature- Interpretations in Fiber
Delaware Valley Arts Alliance
37 Main Street 
Narrowsburg, NY 12764

A show curated by Katarina Lichtman for Fiber Revolution

Sept 21, 2012 - January 20, 2013
at the Noyes Museum of Art
733 Lily Lake Rd
Oceanville, NJ 08231

I am delighted to  have two pieces juried into this show about trees and things that grow and to have them on exhibit at this fine museum!
Leadwood Tree, 28 x 29
by Kevan Lunney

The Sketchbook Project 2012
World Tour

ask the Librarians for Keywords, Kevan Lunney, Into the Woods, Blue, Nudes

July 6-8
Lynn Arts 
Into the World, book by Kevan Lunney 3 x 5"
machine stitched and painted
25 Exchange St
Lynn, MA 10901

July 12-14
Space Gallery
538 Congress St.
Portland, ME 04101

The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen St. W.
Toronto, Canada M4J-1J6 
7/19 6:00-10:00PM
7/20-22 2:00-6:00PM

August 23-25
The Painted Bride
230 Vine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
1:00- 5:00 PM

August 29-September 1
MASS Collective
364 Nelson St S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30313
8/29-31 4:00- 8:00 PM
9/1 1:00- 5:00 PM

Sept 4-5
Full Sail University
3300 University Blvd
Winter Park, FL 32792
9/4-5 4:00-8:00 PM
Into the World, book by Kevan Lunney 3 x 5"
machine stitched and painted

Sept 12-16
Co-Lab Project Space
613 Allen St.
Austin, TX 78702
9/12-14 4:00-8:00PM
9/15-16 2:00-6:00PM

October 12-19
Canada Water Library
21 Surrey Quays Rd
London, United Kingdom, SE16

November 10- 21
NGV Studio
Russell and Flinders Sts.
Federation Square
Melbourne, Australia 3000

May 17, 2012

The Sketchbook Project 2012

Sketchbook Project 2012
for the tour schedule, click the link

 Into the World, by Kevan Lunney
Cover, screened blue ink on white cotton  is a story about my daughter and is only related to the book by color.
The story is on the cover and the illustrations are inside!
Into The World, 5 x 7" hardbound book by Kevan Lunney
2012 Sketchbook Project  for the Art House Co op, Brooklyn, NY
The entire book is blue and white. Each page has a window which frames the image.
Into The World, 5 x 7" hardbound book by Kevan Lunney

There are 8 nudes machine stitched on white cotton.
Into The World, 5 x 7" hardbound book by Kevan Lunney
2012 Sketchbook Project  for the Art House Co op, Brooklyn, NY

Into The World, 5 x 7" hardbound book by Kevan Lunney 2012
The Story-                                                                        
She didn't want to come into the world. She waited. Everyone else said it was time. So after Pitocin and breaking the water, she decided to try. She does everything with purpose and intention. She shot out like a rocket, pink and round. She was so beautiful she looked like a plastic doll. She never cried or fussed much but she was a very loud toddler. She loved the noisy fire truck; she loved banging pots and pans. She loved the rhyming books. She loved her cooking toys; her plastic food, the toaster, the dishes, the refrigerator. Once she played with lipstick on the back of the sofa. She trimmed a chunk of hair on the top of her head. She was brave to ride on a big horse and swim and meet new friends. She is so beautiful and kind; the kind of woman who is a 
good friend.

Here is a link to a New York Times Article about the Art House Co op.

April 18, 2012

Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Exhibit Opening, 
August 16, 2012 

 Art House Co-Op, 
103 N. 3rd St. Brooklyn, NY, 
Williamsburg section
from 12 noon until midnight!

Below is my submission for the Art House Co-op's
self portrait collection.
click the projects tab for more info. 

They provided a tiny 4" x 4"x 1 1/2"
wrapped canvas that I will wrap this piece around.

Self Portrait, 2012,  4 x4 " fabric, thread. Kevan Lunney 
It's finished. See more at

March 27, 2012

Sketchbook Project 2011

The Sketchbook Project 2011 goes on tour:

Thousands of sketchbooks are being exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the country. Click here to see the schedule. You can search the collection by theme or artists name. After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be cataloged and available for the public to view.

Just under 10,000 books will be on display. The tour starts February, 2011.

Quilt National


 I recently returned from Quilt National at The Dairy Barn in Athens Ohio. After submitting for several years, my piece Archeology Series Fragment #14 was juried in!  Any of you who have gone to the big shows know how delightful this can be! My mind is crowded with new acquaintances, new ideas, the overdose of visual input, the joy of seeing my family who is from Columbus, Ohio, and the wonderful time sharing it with them and friends. Achieving this goal has been a dream of mine for years.

I just broke down my show of dog portraits at The Art Bazaar in New York city at 7th Ave and 20th St. It was the third time I have exhibited there. After exhibiting I always need to reassess and redirect. I have showed both my Archeology Series there and my dog portraits. Two completely different markets.

My youngest child  graduates from high school next week and my head is swimming with emotions, and to- do lists, from buying her graduation dress to making college plans. I am thrilled for her but my heart is breaking.

Visual Thoughts: The Art Quilts of Fiber Revolution

June 22 through October 16, 2011
Visual Thoughts: The Art Quilts of Fiber Revolution

Morris Museum
Morristown, NJ
Opening reception June 29, 6:30 to 9:00 PM, reservations required.
A show curated by Kevan of 19 quilts by 19 artists from the group Fiber Revolution, Kevans Archeology Series Fragment #15 will be on display.
Also showing "On the Hat and In the Hand: 200 Years of Hats and Purses from the Morris Museum Collection," March 31 - September 25, 2011 

Modern Materials

Modern Materials (invitational)
(Artspace) at Untitled
Oklahoma City, OK
July 10 to August 27 2009
Curated by Jill Rumoshosky Werner, featuring some of the best and most innovative contemporary artists working in the medium of quilt art today including B. J. Adams, Mary Beth Bellah, Regina Benson, Linda Colsh, Susan Else, Jean Ann Fausser, Theresa M. Heaton, Marilyn Henrion, Wendy Huhn, Mary Anne Jordan, John W. Lefelhocz, M. Joan Lintault, Kevan Rupp Lunney, Angela Moll, Dan Olfe, Katie Pasquini Masopust, Lori Lupe Pelish, Pam RuBert, Arturo Alonzo Sandoval, Julie John Upshaw, Barbara W. Watler, Kathy Weaver, Jill Rumoshosky Werner, and Elia Woods.

Link to Pam RuBert's photographs of the exhibit on her Flickr site.

Pod, Kevan Lunney, 2004, 60x30x30"

March 16, 2012

Live your life now

Please: don’t wait to live your life until the right moment arrives, until you retire, until … whatever happens … Live your life now, live your life today, thoughtfully, lovingly … but: TODAY! NOW!
Australian Bronnie Ware has spent many years as a caregiver for dying people. She got to know the very broad palette of emotions that come up in these last moments of life: anger, rage, remorse. From what she saw and heard, she listed the five main regrets of people and has now written them down in a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.
2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.
5. I wish I had let myself be happier. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions.
Life is a dance, alone, or with beloved persons. Happiness is a choice and everybody has to make this choice on his own. But you have to make it soon! Time is the only thing, once spent, never comes back.
What’s your greatest regret so far, and what will you set out to achieve or change? And WHEN?

shared with you, borrowed from -Marlis Egger | Textile Art 

March 15, 2012

Newspaper Sculpture

Newspaper Sculpture
I can't believe what got into me!

I have been mulling over sculptural shapes for  2 years now. I would love to be doing bronzes but they are quite expensive and storage is a problem and then there is the concern about how to get them to shows?  Obviously sculptors have answers to a whole world of concerns that fiber artists don't need to worry about. So anyway, I got something out of my head and into reality. It is just crumpled newspaper and masking tape. I should have taken process photos but I was in the flow. At one point it looked more female and she had a flurry of newspaper ruffles flaming from the back of her head. It was really pretty. I will definitely revisit this.

March 13, 2012

Archeology work mentioned in Botswana news!

Well, the world just keeps getting smaller and more accessible.
 It's hard to believe that my son heads off to Berlin for study abroad this month and that he will have unfettered access to former East Berlin.( I remember my college buddy traveling there and witnessing the wall coming down in 1989. She brought me a piece.)  
It is equally hard to believe that my artwork has traveled to England, France and now several times to Africa. This article mentions one of my pieces! Archeology Fragment #5 . This was designed after the full page of the NY Times which has 5 columns, a space for the fold and 5 more columns. 28 x 28". Following is a detail.
Archeology Fragment #5, 2009, 28 x28" Kevan Lunney, 

Detail Archeology Fragment #5, Kevan Lunney
 Thanks to Cindy Friedman who is a member of Fiber Revolution with myself and 23 others, we all share this remarkable opportunity. Her husband runs an HIV/ AIDS clinic in Botswana with the University of PA. Her travels there have acquainted her with a lovely woman owned business , Kalahari Quilts. The article explains more about the connection and the current show there. Cindy has also arranged to have some of these Botswana- made quilts to travel with ours in the US. You can see pictures of the quilts and gallery at www.Fiber under Past Exhibits.

The full article-
an excerpt-
She said that she was happy that many Batswana were showing some interest in the art of quilting.
She then talked about her colleague’s pieces that were on display. One of the wall hangings was titled “Acheological Fragments”. 

She said that the piece is all about the artist’s imagination on what archaeologists will find when they dig in the land. She noted that the wall hanging  was created from a combination of fabrics and golden leaf.  The piece looks like an Ancient scroll with some unreadable words on it. Only three words have been stitched and can be read when someone is close to the piece.

Currently, wall hangings are available at the ongoing exhibition which  ends today (Sunday) while other products, such as bed quilts, cell phone pouches, pot holders, bags and stuffed animals are sold at their store.

February 8, 2012

Archeology- Suitcases From the Past

Go to this site to see a photographers documentation of suitcases which were stored away in a Psychiatric hospital for many years. Touching. Photographer Jon Crispin.

Jon Crispin Photographer