Life Size

mediasmall0005 Last time I visited my friend,  Ahmed Fadaam, he was working on this foam sculpture he will call “Media” at the UNC art lab. He took foam sheets like those pictured above, glued them together and placed them on a metal armature, and carved a beautiful life-sized running woman to represent run-away headlines in the news. Ahmed showed me how he used a heated wire to cut through the foam, then refined his surfaces with rasps and finally smoothed with sandpaper. In this image her arms have not yet been put into place, but he is much further along in the process now. Ahmed Fadaam with "Media" in progress

Eventually this sculpture will be covered in headlines cut from newspapers and I think it may be placed somewhere on the UNC campus when it is finished. He was kind enough to let me do a little carving on the back leg and a very tiny bit on the hair.

I hope you enjoy these images. I feel so fortunate to have Ahmed as a friend. I’ve learned a lot from him. He has shown me several materials including this one that he believes will help me push myself further as a sculptor. How do you thank someone so generous and kind, who helps make your dreams come true?

Vandalized in Vain

Here is a video of the aftermath of an act of vandalism on a sculpture during the mold-making process. I’m sad, embarassed and disappointed that this horrible thing happened to the sculpture Ahmed Fadaam was working on.

“Welcome to the US, where we have this very precious, special thing called “Freedom” we’d like to share with you poor people of Iraq who have been beat down in your own country. Maybe you can learn from us!!”

What do you say to a man who has tried so hard to do the right thing -the best he can figure out what that is -from what I can tell? I watch him talk to people who ask him pretty tough questions about Muslims, about Baghdad, the war, Iraq, the treatment of women and he responds graciously.

Ahmed named this work “Civilization”, which he explained to me is a feminine word in his language and is considered a feminine quality, hence the title of the video is “Civilization Destroyed”.

The sculpture has now been repaired by Ahmed. Resilience.

Scott Renk has done it again

Here’s an article in the Indy featuring some of artist Scott Renk’s work with teens at the alternative school, Mary E. Phillips High School in Raleigh.

Naked Chocolate

Chocolate sculptures by Kim Marchesseault

We’re getting ready for the receptions of the annual Exposed: Nudes in Art show at Litmus Gallery November 2 and 3. Here are the torsos I sculpted to be cast in chocolate for the event.

They are masked with water based clay inside of a plastic jar that I cut the top and bottom off of. I’m making a two part, food grade silicone mold and this is the preparation for the pouring of the first part of the mold.

The sound of a voice

The Red Room at the Old San Francisco Steak House, former restaurant in Dallas I worked my way through college at a restaurant in Dallas called the Old San Francisco Steak House. The place was enormous with a large balcony surrounding the entire lower floor and a second kitchen upstairs.  Two grand pianos sat face to face on a stage up front,  and on some nights I was the girl in the red velvet swing, performing an act set to the music of duel pianos. On this particular night I was waiting tables.

It was someone’s birthday so I brought to my balcony table a piece of candy crunch cake ready with a candle and everyone I recruited to help me sing took position around.  We lit the candle and began when suddenly a man at the table stood up.

He was heavyset with a beard. He sang so clearly and powerfully in Italian, we stopped and listened.

The grand pianos downstairs that were engaged in a duo fell silent. You could hear silverware clinking against plates for a few seconds as people stopped eating and put their utensils down.  Staff from the kitchen came out into the dining area and stood quietly in white aprons. There was no talking. Nothing but the sound of this man’s incredible voice. He finished with a huge smile on his face and said, “For you. Happy Birthday, my friend!” He held his hands out toward his friend and the entire restaurant burst into a standing ovation.

Other waitresses asked me to request he sing for their tables and so I asked him if he would. He said, “No.  Tonight I sing only for my friend.”  Then he pulled me aside and told me what just happened was magical. He said the greatest honor a performer can receive is a standing ovation. He couldn’t top what had just happened. He said if he sung again and again there that night, people would grow tired of him and he wanted to enjoy that wonderful moment exactly as it was.

Thank you for the song and for that incredible moment. Farewell, Luciano Pavarotti.