Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Creating + Community + COVID






Above: Our "COVID Art History Collage" was inspired by Sandro Botticelli and Amedeo Modigliani.

What is the best that can be said about the year 2020 (other than it is almost over)? It was a socially distancing, zoom-group-chatting year, allowing us to view artist symposiums and exhibitions online; it was also a year in which DOEprojekts (Deborah Adams Doering and Glenn N. Doering) persevered to create art and community through diverse creative projects. In addition, we taught art to several groups online, and took time to visit whatever museums and galleries were open in person (with masks, of course).  

We participated in "Masked NYC," a thoughtful and diverse documentary project by photographer AJ Stetson. We wore our custom-made Coreform masks (and Deborah wore a Coreform shirt) to Stuyvesant Square Park in Manhattan to be photographed. We were introduced to AJ by our artist/photographer friend Todd Drake, who took the photo of us shown at the conclusion of this blog post. More of AJ's work can be seen at www.ajstetson.com, and Todd's multimedia work can be seen at www.the-equalist.com.



In a previous 2020 blog post, we wrote about the "100 Mandalas Series" that we created at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, inspired by our Coreforms (zero, one, hyphen, tilde, and period) and also our cultural keywords and phrases. Some of these mandalas inspired us to conceptualize and cut stencils from a mylar-type material called Yupo. We have spent the last few weeks of 2020 painting the stencils on various surfaces. Two prints (overlapping) are shown here:


And, we were invited to be a part of a future exhibition titled "Net Gain: Experimenting with Geometric Folding," curated by Maddy Rosenberg, artist/director of CENTRAL BOOKING. We thank Maddy and her staff for their dedicated work during the pandemic. The exhibition, which already has a catalog-pdf, will ultimately travel to community venues and galleries, hopefully later in 2021. Until then, check out https://centralbookingnyc.com/exhibitions/net-gain/


As we prepare to enter the New Year, we anticipate the COVID vaccine releasing us from the restricted movement we have experienced in 2020. It has been helpful for us to remember that the "heart" of DOEprojekts' Coreforms concept is MovementMoving, changing perspectives, and creating community connections through art continue to be our focus and our central goals for 2020.


We thank all of you who have supported our journey to date and we wish you a healthy and happy 2021. Keep in touch and stay safe.

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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Our "NYC Green" Flag Waves From Rockefeller Center


In late July 2020, DOEprojekts received a rewarding email -- one of the seven flag designs that we submitted in June to "The Flag Project," sponsored by Rockefeller Center, was in production and would be flown with 192 other flags in Rockefeller Plaza beginning August 1, 2020. The stated goals of "The Flag Project" include showing love, strength, diversity and creativity during this time of social distancing because of the COVID pandemic.  We, Deborah and Glenn Doering/DOEprojekts, were very excited and honored to be included as part of this public art project, which includes flags designed from creative people around the world. Well-known artists who designed flags include Carmen Herrera, Faith Ringgold, Hank Willis Thomas, Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson, Marina Abramovic, Sarah Sze, Shantell Martin, Sanford Biggers, KAWS, and many others.   


Above: Our design for NYC Green (right) and the social media image that was sent to us by The Flag Project @Rockefeller Center (left). A PDF file of the catalog showing all the flags can be downloaded at this linkhttps://bit.ly/2PXvtDi
    






















Above: On August 1, 2020, we visited The Flag Project for the first time -- the weather was beautiful, but there was absolutely NO WIND. It took several more visits before we saw all the flags, including ours, waving in the wind. (Again, a PDF file of the catalog showing ALL the flags can be downloaded at this linkhttps://bit.ly/2PXvtDi )




Above: "The Flag Project" Celebrating New York -- signage showing all 193 flags can be seen in the area of the Rockefeller Center Lower Level (location of the famous ice rink in winter months). We thank all the people involved in creating The Flag Project and encourage our readers/supporters to see the exhibition in person or online.

ART 2 ❤️ SOHO, NYC


In June, we participated in another public art project, sponsored by ART 2 ❤️ Soho NYC -- local artists were invited to create meaningful and timely messages on the boarded up windows of the shops near Prince and Green Streets in SoHo, NYC.


Above: We created several stencils that featured our DOEprojekts' Coreforms and phrases such as "Seek Justice," "Black Lives Matter" and "Watch Beauty" for the boarded up store at 79 Greene Street. 

Our process: The DOEprojekts' designed and hand cut Yupo stencils were taped to the protective plywood boards and then black acrylic paint was applied to the stencil with a brush by Deborah and Glenn Doering. Designing, cutting and painting the stencils took about 35 hours total. The project was a volunteer effort.

Above: "Black Lives Matter" was a very popular message for the ART 2 ❤️ Soho NYC project. More images can be seen on the group's Instagram and other media pages.  

ART ON PAPER, PIER 36, NYC

It seems like a long time ago, but it was only the first week of March 2020!  The COVID19 pandemic infiltrating NYC was still a rumor, not a fact. No one was wearing a mask at Pier 36 for the "Art on Paper" exhibition, one of the satellite art fairs held yearly during the Spring Armory Show in NYC. DOEprojekts was pleased to be invited to exhibit two of our works by CENTRAL BOOKING's curator Maddy Rosenberg. Just 8 days after these photos were taken, we were all ordered to "stay-at-home" and the COVID19 quarantine began.

   
Above: DOEprojekts' sound book TRIO and a "Gestures of Hybridity" drawing were exhibited at Art on Paper 2020.


Above: Enjoying the views from TOP OF THE ROCK (made possible through the generosity of The Flag Project, Rockefeller Center). We are still social distancing in NYC, but for the selfie, we took off our masks! 

As always, we are thankful to all of you who continue to read about and support our DOEprojekts' art work! If you would be interested in a T-shirt with our "NYC Green" flag printed on the front, please email us at DOEprojekts@gmail.com. (We are contemplating setting up an "order on demand" website link for the T-shirts, but we won't if there is insufficient interest.) 

We enjoy hearing from you and knowing that you are staying healthy and safe during this ongoing pandemic. We look forward to the day when we can once again be in large groups without face masks or gloves. We trust that day will be here soon.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Mandalas for a Time of Opening and Awakening

On Monday, June 8, 2020, DOEprojekts posted our 80th consecutive mandala (literally "circle") on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  All were created during New York City's quarantine (a.k.a. "stay-at-home" to avoid the novel corona virus, COVID19).  However, for our 80th mandala, our "tag line" changed from the previous seventy-nine; instead of "Mandalas for a Time of Quarantine," we posted "Mandalas for a Time of Opening and Awakening."   

We feel we have moved from a time of quarantine to a time of opening and awakening -- physically, socially, and hopefully spiritually.  There is a newly heightened awareness of how racism and income inequality has disproportionately endangered the lives of black and brown people, especially after the murder of George Floyd on Monday, May 25th, 2020.  We grieve such injustices -- and we strive to be even more conscious of large and small ways we can contribute to making a much more equitable and open world.   

We created our mandalas, in large part, to keep the wheels of our creativity greased and lubricated during quarantine. We were surprised and pleased that a select number of organizations asked us if they could link to, or showcase, our mandala series. 

The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture (above) is the most recent; we hope you will read their website, not only for the link to our mandalas, but also for their many theater, music, and film events.  

Another organization that featured our mandalas for Mental Health Awareness Month is the Froedtert Hospital and its Medical College of Wisconsin.  Sarah Turner, a registered nurse at Froedtert, contacted us and asked permission to print out and post several of the mandalas on their community board. We were so very pleased to be asked, and of course, we granted permission. She sent us photos of the community boards -- positively eye-catching!



To our surprise, Nurse Turner also sent us a wonderful thank you letter signed by many of the doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital! It is WE who should be thanking these hard-working and brave professionals during the COVID19 pandemic!

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) also featured our mandalas in their "Weekly Gifts from LMCC" (e-blasts). We are looking forward to working again with LMCC to complete our SU-CASA grant at Lenox Hill Community Center in Midtown Manhattan. Our "Let's Do Modern" workshops were put on hold in mid-March.







Lastly, the mandalas were mentioned in an interview that Deborah gave to award-winning photographer John Noltner for his ongoing podcast series titled "A Peace of My Mind: How Life Changed." John contacted Deborah after he saw her Facebook post with photos she took of an empty Manhattan, during her Citibike ride on April 8, 2020, not long after the quarantine began.




We are grateful to all who have shown interest in our DOEprojekts work during this time of COVID19. We look forward to creating more mandalas (and other projects) as the world moves forward into openness and greater awareness of how all of us are connected. We send healing energies to all of you!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A Time and Place to Rest — Distant Socializing




Mandalas for a Time of Quarantine
A mandala -- literally "circle" -- offers viewers a place to "rest their eyes and minds."  Circles (zeros), are one of five coreforms of our DOEprojekts artistic practice. More about our coreforms may be found at this link.

Thus, during our present reality, during the time we are quarantined in our Manhattan apartment because of the rapid global spread of the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19), we have decided to create a series of mandalas. "Mandala" has become a somewhat generic term for a circular pattern indicating the transitory nature of the univers, but the practice originated as an aid to meditation.

Making mandalas, considering circles and zeros, is a way for us to focus, with resting eyes, on the transitory nature of materiality. 

We share with you, dear blog readers, our recent explorations of mandala-making; there will be more mandalas to come as we continue to post on Instagram and Facebook.

As a way to participate in "Distant Socializing," if you would like us to create or locate a mandala image for you, or a person or people you care about, we would be glad to do that as a gift, and send the image to you and/or your friend(s). It may take us a bit of time, but we will do it! Email us at DOEprojekts@gmail.com and tell us more about how you hope to use a mandala image, and for whom. We will reply by email and set a schedule.

Rest Installation, 2008

Contemplative circles and zeros have been a key form in past works. In 2008, shortly before we began to officially work together as DOEprojekts, Deborah was invited by curator Beth Shadur to participate in The Poetic Dialogue Project at the Chicago Cultural Center. Beth paired Deborah with poet Eloise Klein Healy, and the theme that emerged through their "dialogue" (which was done at a distance since Eloise lives in California) was "Rest." Here are photos from the Rest Installation, 2008. 






Below is Eloise's original poem written as part of the Poetic Dialogue Collaboration (and translated into four other languages that may be read by clicking here).

REST by Eloise Klein Healy

rest so solitary
an away
a sibilant quartet
of reedy winds blowing beyond and back
a want so solely more
than body need
touchpoint
intangible in the 
O  O  Overhang
of effort
to find it

We send healing energies to all of you! Keep in touch during this time of rest (and rest-less-ness).
Deborah and Glenn •  
DOEprojekts@gmail.com


Monday, December 30, 2019

DOEprojekts Coreform Vision 2020

Remember Dr. Joel Fleischman (played by Rob Morrow) on the series Northern Exposure? Dr. Joel was a die-hard New Yorker, uprooted from Flushing, NYC, and assigned to the small-town of Cicely, Alaska, as part of his payback for medical school loans. Dr. Fleischman was kind enough to use a "DOEprojekts Coreform Vision Chart" during his year-end eye exams.  Let's see what our DOEprojekts visions may be as we leave 2019 and look forward to 2020!


Our "Bauhaus and Beyond" workshops, supported by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, were a resounding success and we thank all those who participated at the Lenox Hill Community Center in Midtown Manhattan. We hope to continue educating people about the cultural contributions of the Bauhaus school (1919-1933) in 2020. We had anticipated visiting the Bauhaus School and Museum in Dessau, Germany this year, but for reasons "beyond" our control, we must look to the future for our hoped-for journey. 


Our "field of vision" was enlarged this summer, when curator Sarah Jane invited us to be demonstrating artists at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center (PAFAC) in Washington State. We enjoyed sharing our Coreforms with participants in PAFAC's Summer Solstice Art Celebration during (when else?) the Summer Solstice, June 20-21. We always enjoy making a connection between Coreforms and nature's forms, and we hope to visit again and create a larger installation for PAFAC!

Visiting fine art centers, community art centers, galleries, and museums inspires our ongoing cultural visions and forms. We make it a goal to visit an exhibition or museum every week, although we sometimes fall short of our goal. Above, we visited the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum's Immersion Room, where we were able to draw our "Hybr" form on a nearby computer and have it projected as wallpaper.
And even when an exhibition does not allow us to make an intervention of Coreforms, we participate through observation -- as the artist Georges Seurat (1859-1891) stated "observation is intervention." Thus, we intervened through our presence in the exhibition "Illusions of the Photographer: Duane Michals at the Morgan" (Morgan Library and Museum). 

Yet, it is always exhilarating when our work is part of an exhibition. We were delighted to have two of our prints in the group exhibition titled "Relative Relations" at the Hebrew Union College, Heller Museum, New York. Our work will be on display until June 30, 2020. We thank curator Laura Kruger for selecting our work! 

Thank you for keeping in touch with us, and our work, through our blog -- we always enjoy hearing from you, and finding out about what is happening in your life and work. And please follow and "Like Us" on social media:

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Summer 2019: Bauhaus and Backbone and Bears, Oh My!

We, Glenn and Deborah Doering, DOEprojekts, were very pleased to have been invited (again) to teach at the Grünewald Guild, near Leavenworth, WA, this summer. Our one-week class focused on the centennial of the German art school known as the Bauhaus (1919 - 1933).  In the early 20th century, the Bauhaus was a radical art & design school that evolved from a philosophy centering on the integration of fine art and craft. Bauhaus students were required to take a year-long "preliminary course" that introduced them to, and required them to experiment with, various art forms and materials: modern shapes and colors applied to furniture design, weaving, pottery, printmaking, photography, and many other types of creative expression -- not unlike the Grünewald Guild!
In the spirit of the Bauhaus' innovative objects, installations, and performances, we brought our unique "Backbone" art work (inspired by many art historical works) to the Guild and encouraged everyone to interact with this 4-pound beaded-mantel made of cow bone and fish vertebrae. "Backbone" is a participatory art work that has been shown at several galleries and community art centers in the US and abroad. (Below: DOEprojekts' photos of "Backbone" and The Bauhaus Archive's photos of costumes & performances.) 

In addition to showing "Backbone" as part of the Bauhaus class at the Guild, we submitted it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's online 150th Anniversary Celebration Contest. Although we did not make it to the final round, we finished in one of the top-ten spots -- from over 400 entries. We appreciate the support of all of our friends, family, colleagues, and contacts in affirming our work!
Before teaching at the Guild this summer, we taught two-weeks of workshops titled "Socially-Engaged Storytelling and Symbols" at Holden Village. We were continuously amazed and humbled by the stories and symbols created by our workshop participants; below are just a few photos of the many visual stories created during our workshops at the remote and picturesque former copper-mining town at the tip of Lake Chelan in Washington State.

Our weeks at Holden Village were not only eventful because of the great work of our students, but also because we got and up-close-and-personal look at a momma bear and her cub outside of our window early one morning! The nearness of nature at Holden is always awe-inspiring to us.  


We are now back in New York City, preparing to teach and tutor high school students at the Beekman School during the fall semester. We have also begun another "Bauhaus and Beyond" series of workshops at the Lenox Hill Community Center in Midtown Manhattan. And of course, we continue to plan and create our DOEprojekts' art works.

Thank you for keeping in touch with us, and our work, through our blog -- we always enjoy hearing from you, and finding out about what is happening in your life and work. And please follow and "Like Us" on social media:


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Growing Things, Going Places


After a spate of cold weather and many days of rain during NYC's late Spring, we are now enjoying sunny skies and more stable temperatures -- so it's a pleasure to see the greenery and pastel colors of blooming things inside and out. Being frequently "out and about," DOEprojekts has visited (and participated in the public art of) seasonal art fairs including: the Armory Show (March 6-10), Frieze Art Fair, (May 2-5) and the Every Woman Biennial (May 20-29).     

At the NYC Armory Show, we were struck by a very large tapestry work titled "The Weather," (above right) by Canadian artist Shannon Bool. More than 10 feet long and 8 feet high, the wool tapestry is embellished by the artist's signature embroidered patterns. Bool's juxtaposition of grided clover quadrifoils with leafless trees asks viewers to consider what can we do to repair devastated landscapes on our distressed planet? The photographic image with the same quadrifoil pattern on the left is titled "Tsunami." Bool's repetitive forms speak to our own Coreforms.



Surprisingly, both the Armory Show and the Every Woman Biennial (EWB) offered opportunities for visitors to recline and reflect on issues such as climate change and art -- and so we did! Glenn takes a break on a large mattress work at the Armory Show (unfortunately, we didn't write down the artist's name, but we appreciated the visual and audio nature of the work). At the EWB, Deborah meditated under the large steel pyramid shape, following the artist's instructions (Angel Favorite is the artist) to meditate for at least 10 minutes.  We remembered our own work titled "Rest" that was exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center in 2009 (shortly before Glenn and Deborah began working together as DOEprojekts).


We took great pleasure in seeing the "Cultivate, Germinate" art booth at Frieze Fair on Randall's Island. Linda Goode Bryant was present to discuss her work about growing community gardens in various boroughs of Manhattan connected through her "Project EATS." For more info about Bryant and Project EATS see the article in ART News



DOEprojekts continues to explore work about and in Nature.  Our "Seasons" series, 2018-2019 (above), using our Coreforms, influenced our participation at Frieze Fair in a project conceptualized by artist Ray Johnson (1927-1995).  Find out more about Ray Johnson and his New York Correspondence School.

Thank you to all of you who continue to read about and support our work!
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www.DOEprojekts.com