About rebeccasiemering

Rebecca Siemering was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1974, and lives and works in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She received a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and is an artist, arts administrator, and curator. For the majority of her career, she has explored the theme of “wanting the good life,” utilizing found materials. Currently, she is producing sculptures and textile art for her “Lottery Project” by taking a daily walk in the neighborhood and picking up thrown away scratch tickets. From her findings, ​she creates animistic textile pieces and tapestries. Her methodical, yet compulsive style of stitch and needlework reflects the original obsession-to rise above the mundane, the sculpture embodying a soul that exists apart from the corporeal article of ink and pulp. Her recycled, paper-based work is in the collection of Fidelity Investments, and in traveling in shows with the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum, the Fuller Craft Museum and Fiber Art International.

COVID Poems

A little over a month ago, I started to write again. I’ve always loved poetry, especially haiku. In high school I won scholarships to art school with my writing, and my love of fiber and sculptural work took over my time and hands. But, in times of stress, I would find myself using haiku as a way of condensing a moment, pushing me into a broader world outside myself and out of my internal meanderings.

I read that we should document these times of living with COVID, for historians and beyond our own children. I’m a Mom who has a 9 year old I need to be 7 teachers for most of the day, a job, my husband has new challenges in his job…..really everything about being a parent right now is a bit crushing. I missed using my hands. The first month of home “school” I would crash at night. I need my hands to move to feel myself in a spiritual sense. It felt like losing my hands , they lost their memory.

The first haiku came from just sitting. Just sitting and not doing anything for anyone else felt like a vacation, and I was listening to the dryer:

Raining endlessly

listening to the dryer

go round, and round and…

The movement of my hand with a pencil felt great. The next day came another, then another.

Traditional haiku references nature and specifics to the season, drawing out a view of the inner self by being reflective upon a moment. I think of the crisis of COVID19 as a temporary season itself. I found a small notebook and set some limitations to begin writing a poem a day. I find limitations in mediums to be freeing. You have to work against them to express your idea and that can lead to greater creativity. In my fiber based sculpture work, I take a material and study it until its form speaks to me. If I can’t make as much with my hands, I still have my mind and can use my hands to write.

I further set my limitations to writing about my garden and its changes, objects within my house and living with a young child. It’s a way of utilizing the limitation to bring a sense of control and inner calm to my little sphere at the moment. With this intense focus, and using my hand to write out the poems, edit, erase and be off the computer, has been freeing. All are posted to Instagram @rsiemering daily with a short explanation of the origin of the moment.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Together

This is one of my favorite portraits of myself and Asha, taken by my husband @click.erik. It hangs In our living room and I look at it every day. It is two years old, before our current stay at home sheltering. It was an unintended collaboration, and as a parent and an artist, I feel that my current art practice has been deepened by having a child. The inadvertent turns of phrase while she learned language skills, her observations at every age; all have had an impact. On this day, my husband brought home his Graflex and set it up in the yard in late afternoon. He wanted to make some portraits after taking pictures of the changing garden. You can just see the raspberries starting to bloom in the back. My kiddo would not have it; she ran around the yard screaming, no no no…Erik kept begging her to sit for “just a minute.” I thought about how to salvage the situation. My daughter had the first inklings of anxiety issues, and I had to be strong, but bend like a reed to get her back on track in lots of situations. I said, “Ok. Let’s make a deal. You can hide, I will stand with you, too.” I got some blankets and we stood together strong. You can just see the outline of her defiant face, her hand touching mine through the blanket. I keep looking at this portrait, and it changes with every bit of news and life crashing in, but always- there is a Mom and a child sheltering together. That stays the same. I think we all want a security blanket at the moment, if at least, a mental one. Stay safe everyone. Let’s stand together in spirit. #wip#stayingwiththetrouble#airpromptsforpractice2020#graflex#photography#portrait#covid_19#rebeccasiemering#erikgouldphotography#blackandwhitephotography#rhodeisland#momofaredhead

Tuft Enough Travels

Tuft Enough has just returned from North Carolina and is now headed to Brooklyn. This piece which was made at the Arrowmont School of Crafts during Pentaculum 2016, recently won First Place in Reclaimed! at the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County (curated by Bryant Holsenbeck).

It will be on view at Site:Brooklyn from Fri, Nov 1, 2019 1:00 PM  Sat, Nov 30, 2019 6:00 PM.From Site:Brooklyn:

Juried by Jean Shin

What is the relationship between recycling and art? We constantly seek out ways to deal with what we produce, consume, and discard. The aesthetic potential of trash is well established in artistic practice. It has had its place in avant-garde since the early twentieth century, when Marcel Duchamp introduced the idea of the readymade: discarded, modified works, remanufactured and displayed as an art. Site:Brooklyn is seeking artists whose practice continues to investigate the relationship between discarded materials and art. We are looking for works across all mediums

About the Juror:
Jean Shin is nationally recognized for her monumental installations that transform everyday objects into elegant expressions of identity and community. Her work has been widely exhibited in over 150 major museums and cultural institutions, including solo exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC.

Coming up…Uncover: Altered Books

Periphery Space @ Paper Nautilus is pleased to announce Uncover: Altered Books. Using pages, the cover or an entire book 38 artists transform a used book into an art piece.

The concept for this show came from its location, the art had to be about the size of a book. What could artists make with an old, discarded book cover? How could a discarded book be re-purposed, re-contextualized, and brought back into a bookstore as something different?

The invitation went out to a large group of local artists and makers. The response was immediate and enthusiastic. Perhaps the appeal is a reflection of the connection artists have with books, with the knowledge they contain, and the role they play in our creative lives.

The artists have chosen a variety of approaches to their pieces: some are painted, cut into, sewn, added to, burned, encased in cement, frozen in the act of opening, and even a performance recorded on video– each piece is a unique discovery. It is remarkable how often each artist ended up making something that is identifiably theirs, an object that feels connected to their larger practice.

Exhibiting artists: Adam Langehough, Alicia Renadette, Angel Dean, Ashley Pelletier, Barbara Owen, Carol Scavotto, David Mazzucchelli, Elizabeth Duffy, Holly Ewald, Irene Lawrence, James Sundquist, Jason Travers, Jenny Brown, Karen Rand Anderson, Karen Roarke, Kirstin Lamb, Kristin Sollenberger, Lynne Harlow, Magaly Ponce, Maggy Allen, Mara Metcalf, Margie Butler, Maria Napolitano, Marjorie Hellman, Markus Berger, Milisa Galazzi, Molly McBride, Neal Walsh, Rebecca Siemering, Richmond Lewis, Sue McNally, Susie Matthews, Suzanne Schireson, Taleen Batalian, Tayo Heuser, Uli Brahmst, Vazira Zamindar, Wendy Wahl.

~

Paper Nautilus hours:

Monday – Saturday 10-7

Sunday 12-5

http://www.papernautilusbooks.com

https://www.peripheryspace.com/

For questions and inquiries please contact:

Barbara Owen, curator

peripheryspace@gmail.com

Work on view inspired by Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts residency

A few winters ago, I was invited to the Pentaculum at the Arromont School of Arts & Crafts. It was an amazing time, sharing a space with fiber artists from across the country. I spent a lot of time in the library, looking through books while sewing..and then staying to sew while the poets in residence read from their work. I have two pieces on view that were inspired by my stay. Above is Through these wood breathe gold, a set of boxes that stacks and supports each other, within a a handmade fence of sticks. The sticks I gathered from walks in the woods and on the grounds. There was an unfortunate fire in the Smokies later in the year on my stay, so the trees I gathered these from are gone. When I would walk in the evening or look out my window, there were so many twinkling lights peering out front hills in the evening. I started to think about all of the artists and crafters of the past, who spent time there, too. Each of us contributing to the next person’s work, whether personally or not.

This piece is in Telling Her Story Creating the Future: A Women’s History Month Exhibit, March 4-28,  at URI Providence Gallery

Link here.

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Tuft Enough, is in Twisting Fibers, An Art for All Reasons, and is at the Blackstone Valley Visitors Center in Pawtucket. This piece is made from hand tufted betting slips from my visits to the local drug store. It was January when I was there and I was thinking about how paper can be source of warmth, that in old houses it was saved in floorboards to keep out the draft. Curated by Anastasia Azure and the Art League of Rhode Island. On display through May 8,

“Twisting Fibers into string is as old as humanity and has contributed to the survival of our species in similarly important ways as food itself. Using our hands in the creation of fiber products is akin of early mark making. Industrialization and its inexpensive mass production have nearly eradicated these fundamental expressions of human evolution. Handwork together with hand writing arelosing their relevance as our hands are trapped at keyboards and on screens. Nevertheless, fiber art has gained renewed interest, and as much as it is a remnant of the past it is claiming its place in the future as a mindful creative process practiced by most diverse communities and individuals all over the world.

As time itself has become one of the hottest commodities of the 21st century, the labor intense and time consuming nature of handwork stands in stark contrast to the increasing rush that consumes so many of today’s industrialized societies. This imbues handwork with a new value. We can see in a handmade object that time slowed down, which in turn creates a sense of restorative pause. We enter a world where the process cannot be rushed or forced but where the maker had to submit to the inherent nature of handwork, a meditative creative process integrating body, soul and spirit.”

Link here.


Interview with Brainard Carey

I had a lovely conversation with Brainard Carey about my work, recent shows, art school and what I am reading. Many thanks to Brainard for including me in his auditory catalog of artists, as I listen to his show, and have taken some advice here and there from his newsletter: Interview here.

Fiber/Paper/Love

Honored to be included at this exhibition at Wheaton College, curated by Elizabeth Keithline. On view, is something new, but I have thought about for a long time. I used lottery and scratch tickets, betting slips(all found) and transformed them into paper of several kinds, to represent the give and take of luck and life. There are two wall pieces, Is it rain or a chain? and Race to the top.

More HERE if you plan to go.