Rachel Malcolm Ensor's "American Quilt Series #2" Selected for National Biennial Exhibit at St. Louis Artists' Guild
Oak Street Art member Rachel Malcolm Ensor is thrilled that her painting "American Quilt Series #2," shown below, was selected for the Ann Metzger National Biennial exhibit (see flyer below) hosted by the St. Louis Artists' Guild.
The exhibit is an all-media, all-content juried exhibition which brings together modern and contemporary art from artists across the United States. Exhibit juror Hannah Klemm is the assistant curator of modern and contemporary art at the St. Louis Art Museum.
The opening reception is Friday, January 11th at 5 p.m. at the St. Louis Artists' Guild, 12 North Jackson Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri. The awards ceremony is at 6:30 that same evening.
A series of paintings by Oak Street Art member Rachel Malcolm Ensor will be on display at the Varsity Center in Carbondale, Illinois, from February 8 through March 5, 2019.
Rachel has chosen the title "Sojourn: American Quilt Series" for the show and will be glad to meet you at the artist's reception on Friday, February 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Varsity Center (418 S. Illinois Ave. in Carbondale). Please see the flyer below.
Given the influence of art from the African Diaspora in Rachel's work, it is especially fitting for this show to run during African American History Month (February). We invite you to read Rachel's artist statement below, immediately following the flyer.
by Rachel Malcolm Ensor
After a career teaching art history I have returned to my original passion, which is
painting. Color is a language that I use to express ideas, thoughts, and goals. The
American Quilt Series reflects on my depth of experience and knowledge
regarding modern art, the African Diaspora, and textile traditions handed down
to me from my grandmothers. This series reflects a strong parallel with African-
American folk quilters, especially their use of asymmetry and irregularity of form.
Time spent with my grandmothers and their textile traditions, quilting-tatting-
embroidery-pattern making provided a foundation for my work. Influences of
early twentieth century modern painters, American abstract expressionists,
African writing systems, textiles, and the African Diaspora in the Americas all
contribute to my work.
A few weeks before the 2018 Oak Street Fine Arts Fair, we spent a fun morning talking with reporter Chanda Green as Byron Hetzler snapped photos.
We loved the new feature story, Collective Souls: Oak Street Artists Nurture the Connections between Art and Community. Pick up a copy of the (beautiful, full-color, glossy) magazine where The Southern Illinoisan is sold, and see Chanda's story and Byron's photos online at the Life & Style website here.
Two Oak Street Art artists are showing pieces at the Hartley Gallery's "Botanical" show in Herrin, Illinois.
Rachel Malcolm Ensor (painting; see photo below) and Darby Ortolano (ceramics; see photo below) will have their work on display March 1 through May 5, 2018, along with that of a number of other regional artists. See event flier below for artist roster.
Everyone is welcome at the artist reception on Saturday, March 24 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The Hartley Art Gallery and Event Center is located at 100 S. Park Ave., Herrin, Illinois. See map and gallery exterior photo below. You may also phone the gallery for details at (618) 957-8142.
Oak Street Art members Rachel Malcolm Ensor and Darby Ortolano both had art work accepted into the The Shrode Fine Art and Craft Competition and Exhibition at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts.
Rachel’s mixed media piece Alternate Universe #3 (above, left), Darby’s Red Teapot (above, middle), and Darby's Reverie #2 (above, right) were accepted for display in the Regenhardt Gallery.
The annual exhibit was open to all artists 18 years and older living in southern Illinois. Artists could enter a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, clay, fiber, mixed media, wood, fine jewelry, metal, and sculpture. There are five prestigious awards: Best of Show ($400), Best of 2-Dimensional ($250), Best of 3-Dimensional ($250), and 2 Honorable Mentions.
Darby won Honorable Mention for Reverie #2 (above, right).
A couple of years ago I gave one of my handmade bookmarks to a good friend.
I received an email from her a week ago about the bookmark. Her father has been in the hospital and very ill. My friend has been caring for him and feeling extremely lonely. She sat down to read and escape from her daily trials and found my bookmark. Instantly the bookmark reminded her of me and our friendship and quelled her loneliness--so much so that she emailed a thank you.
Grace keeps on giving because the bookmark--my bit of grace--helped me in a time I was reflecting on missing my mother, who had passed the previous year.
So in a sense my gift of art returned grace to me in my time of reflecting on my loss.
I've come to the conclusion that in our creative work we are at our best, and that equates to grace. So when we freely give to others our creativeness, we are sharing our grace.
INVITATION: Do you have a story of art and grace? We'd love to hear, so please share it in the comments below.
Thanks to the Carbondale Times for publishing a piece about our recent fine arts fair, held September 23!
Two of the six founding members of the Oak St. Art Group (Rachel Malcolm Ensor and Sue Gindlesparger) were quoted as they spoke about their vision for the fair. Read the full story here: Oak Street Art Fair: Using Art to Revitalize the Community.
For us, one highlight of the article was the final paragraph:
Photos 1 2, and 4 by Carbondale Community Arts. Photo 3 by Oak St. Art Group. Blog posted by Ann Fischer
We had a blast during this morning's radio interview with Murphsyboro Mayor Will Stephens! Listen to Oak St. Art Group Members Rachel Malcolm Ensor, Sue Gindlesparger, and Ann Fischer talk about the Oak St. Fine Arts Fair, coming up Saturday, September 23.
Posted by Ann Fischer
Painter and Oak St. Art Group member Rachel Malcolm Ensor talks about art in everyday life.
My husband and I support our local community by making purchases in our community. Recently we refined our goal even more by deciding to purchase handmade items for our home, particularly our kitchen, from artists in the area. Also when we go out of town, we seek out galleries and make purchases as we can. Our most recent goal is to collect mugs made by artists, particularly really well-known artists, because this way, we can have something that is a specific work of art that we use every day, So we're integrating art into our daily lives.
This connects to the idea of the Bauhaus in early 20th century Germany, that art should be part of our every day experience: The teapot should be a work of art, the glass we drink out of should be a work of art, and the chair we sit in should be a work of art. We already had an extensive collection of art and artifacts, but they're not utilitarian. So this is a new thing for us, and we are loving it.
As a friend of mine told me about bookmarks that I make, "You know, every time I read that book and use your bookmark, I think of you." And we do the same thing when we drink out of a cup made by [ceramic artists] Darby Ortolano or Rob Lorenz. We think of them and appreciate their artistry.
Oak Street Art