2.21.2011

Challenges

Merriam Webster defines a challenge as: 
a summons that is often threatening, provocative, stimulating, or inciting;
an invitation to compete in a sport, or a stimulating task or problem.

Each year, member and gallery owner Jean Skipper presents our Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild (CMMAG) with a 'kit challenge,' which tests our creativity, endurance and intestinal fortitude. The dictionary definition is very apt:  the current challenge threatens to drive us crazy, provokes spurts of creative energy, incites bouts of primal screaming, and is certainly a stimulating  problem (though not always in a good way!). 

Entitled "Take 25," the twenty-five of us brave enough to take on the task suggested one item for everyone to include, and now we must figure out a way to incorporate those 25 disparate things into some sort of cohesive whole.  Here's just a sampling of some of the items we must include:
glitter
fabric
metal
dictionary pages
the letter "C"
beads
a lock of hair
mirror
a piece of broken jewelry
beeswax
For the past two weeks, I've been working on my idea, which occurred to me almost immediately upon first reading the list.  Oh, and I should say at this point that I can't divulge the idea, or show you the progress I've made--challenge rules say we cannot share anything until the opening of a gallery show of all of our work in late March.  What I can say is that so far, "Take 25" has taken me to the following places, looking for things I've never sought or bought, or always fought (see #5) before:

1. Sally Beauty Supply (for the lock of hair, and wow did I find some!)
2. Jo-Ann Fabrics (for various things this non-fabric person had to search for, but true to form, I also found some cool pigment inks in the clearance bin, and scooped up lots for future projects!)
3. Edward McKay Books (for the map and dictionary, to no avail)
4. Ornamentea (lots of metal bits)
and, most amazingly for me:
5. To sit in front of, and actually successfully use my mother's old Singer sewing machine, circa 1968!

The sewing experience was actually pretty great (this from the person who always refers to herself as 'sewing averse'!); I really enjoyed creating a pattern, figuring out how it would work, sewing it, and having it come out exactly as I'd planned (now how often can you say that about something you've avoided doing for a very long time?).

I'm looking forward to seeing each member's solution to the challenge.  In years past, it has been nothing short of incredible to see the different projects people created using exactly the same items.  If you're interested, you can read about last year's CMMAG challenge here.

Wish me luck as I forge ahead to the finish, seeing my vision become reality.

3 comments:

Cinque said...

Disappointed that there are no pics allowed for works in progress. Would love to see a March post of progress pics AND final creation. Can't wait to see it.

Michelle said...

I know! I've been taking them, but can't reveal until after March 25th. I'll definitely post just as soon as I can. Thanks for stopping by, Cinque.

Edward McKay Used Books said...

I'm sorry we couldn't help you with the map and dictionary -- but the project sounds really cool!