Monday, November 17, 2014

Flower Moon ~ A Tribute to Allison Stilwell

It began when I received an email announcemet of Flower Moon ~ A Tribute to Allison Stilwell.  It was to take place at Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery in Sanford, Florida.  The date of the celebration was November 15, 2014.  I couldn't believe it, I would be in Sarasota and I happened to be free this day! 

Months later, the day arrived.   I stepped into the rental car and got the GPS programmed, I started my 2 1/2 hour journey northeast. I thought what a lovely day to celebrate a beautiful soul. (It was sunny and in the low 70's)

Sanford Florida is a cute little historic town with a cute little gallery that also houses artists' mini studios around the perimeter of the space.

As I walked in to the main gallery, I saw friends and the hugs and feeling of love just flowed in the room. 

MT and Sue

 I was surrounded by fabric art, hearts, stitches, paint, dolls, pillows, sculpture...all the things I loved!

buttons with Allison's phrase
handmade guest book

Tracy (Allison's sister) and Midge (Allison's wife) clearly worked for months finishing projects and  re-working her surface design to create more art. 
Allison's portfolio made into a accordian book on fabrics by Allison

Tracy and Midge

 I became so enamored by all the art I stopped taking photos. 

madonna wall hanging by Allison, sculpture by Tracy

 One photo I totally forgot to take was of her "girls with positive attitudes" developed by Allison.  (darn it!) They were cute little dolls with a message of love incorporated in them.  I just love the messages in her art.  She was spot on.  Phrases like, you are awesome, change the world, do what you love and be fearless are just a few. 

Love poured out of every corner of the gallery. 

pieces by Tracy using Allison's work
Midge and Tracy received hearts and fabric from fellow artists from all over the country.  Midge reworked the hearts, incorporating them into various pieces of art.  She added her own stitches of love on them. 
Heart pieces by Midge

My favorite, were the 'hearts to go'.  I just love the idea of carrying a little bit of love around with you.  It's like having a piece of someone wherever you go.

There was also a wall of work from contributing artists Linda Willis (I can't believe I didn't get a picture of Linda!  sorry Linda xo) and Jessica Rosner.

As we gathered at 2pm, Tracy spoke of the art, the collaboration of all the pieces and how she and Midge created their pieces.
pieces made by Midge from the original cape Tracy and Allison made
original cape made by Tracy and Allison

  The focal point was a self portrait Allison had left unfinished. 

 Midge and Tracy searched high and low, eventually finding the canvas in a corner buried under fabric.  Tracy worked tirelessly finishing it while Allison's eyes stared back through the piece.
She did a beautiful job!
Allison's self portrait completed by Tracy

There was a poem by ee cummings read aloud, a prayer and of course tears and hugs.  Midge strummed her ukulele quietly in the background and people told stories of how they came to know Allison's art.    

midge and her ukulele

It was a true love fest and I couldn't have been happier to experience it.  I will always love the ArtGirlz ~ they get 'it'! 
Allison and Midge

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

one of Midge's 'hearts to go'



kecia deveney said...

just lovely Kathy - thanks for sharing the experience

Dawn Gold said...

What a special tribute, very moved reading your words...what a gal, and yes the artgirlz are amazing

Thanks Kathy for sharing

kathy n said...

thanks for your comments! it was a wonderful tribute and i am so happy i was able to attend