All in a Day's Work
Welcome to my newest project entitled "All in a Day's Work"
All in a Day's Work is my newest project, I have been chosen as a recipient for the 2021 Creative Support for Individuals Grant form the Minnesota State Arts Board. My intention for this grant is to create a virtual exhibition documenting my creation of art basketry and fiber arts work. Basketry can be a wonderful bridge between form and function. Though tradtional forms like harvest or storage baskets have consistent shapes and sizes, basketry and weaving can be conceived in abstract and beautiful ways as well. By drawing an audience in to the act of basketry, an audience can build a relationship with the process itself. They can relate the paper weaving they did as school children with log baskets from Ireland or an abstract random weave piece with the nest of a gold finch.
This idea stemmed off my current daily "This or That" projects that I've been presenting since March when the pandemic began. I started as a way to keep myself creatively motivated AND to engage my social media followers in something outside of the news media and lockdowns. By creating my own accountability group, I have succeeded in creating consistently for more than 160 days to date. I average around 300 views and 40-50 votes per day, without marketing. The challenge I have identified is that my daily project is often an end-of day, small project or craft.
By evolving my "This or That Project" polls and finished pieces into a weekly "All in a Day's Work" piece, I'll be designing and creating woven fiber art pieces that take form in approximately 8 hours. We are working on the possibility of posting time-lapse videos to this page and my YouTube Channel, as well as filming live updates for Facebook and Instagram as they day progresses. In addition to showcasing all of the finished pieces in a virtual gallery and in my home studio, with the intention of submitting the work to regional galleries as well.
Ideas for each day will be promoted on my Facebook page and on this blog a week in advance, with similar Polls or voting to my current project. My audience will help direct the work, either choosing from differing shapes, colors, or materials. For example: antler or driftwood, wall art or vase, natural willow or plum rattan.
If wall art wins, it could be one large sculptural piece or collection of small pieces. In the case of antler or driftwood, I might weave a vase or a pair of ribbed bowls.
Using my existing Facebook, Instagram and Youtube accounts I can reach audiences that are homebound due to pandemic, weather, or any other deterrent. Based on audience feedback, I can pivot to accommodate requests for specific demonstrations, interact in real-time with the help of an assistant, or even create a work based on suggestions. The artistic process will be challenging due to the very public nature of the work, both in technical and creative terms. When weather and health permit, I hope to offer demonstrations and workshops inspired by the work I have presented.
I plan to devote Thursdays each week for 4 months, January through April, to demonstrating work completed in a single day. At the end of the project, I will have 16 pieces or collections that can be displayed in a physical exhibition and as a virtual gallery.
Shannon Lucas Westrum is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.