Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring 2012 C.L.A.P. is out and about!

SO damn sexy!

We have some great offerings in our most recent issue of C.L.A.P.! In addition to the usual goodies (Dear Sheila, C.L.A.P. Creative Exercise, comic by Lillith Fair Fan 6969696, Vagina Speak and more), we have some community-centric pieces for our "community" themed issue including articles by past C.L.A.P. contributors Shieva Salehnia, Stephanie Ratanas and Ryn Gibson. Sweet new offerings including a pieces on what Sara Blair learned from RuPaul's Drag Race, Terese Elhard's no-nonsense blog "Waiting for Boys to Call," and more!

We also have to make a MAJOR announcement in that one of our returning contributors, Christy Hicks, was incorrectly identified as "Christy Hunt" in the publication. Our apologies for any confusion that may have caused! 

If you are interested in picking up a new issue of C.L.A.P., you can do so in the Twin Cities area at any of the following locations: Yeti Records, Everyday People Clothing Exchange, Miller Upholstering and Boneshaker Books. For our friends outside of the Twin Cities, C.L.A.P. is available on our Double Peace Etsy site. We just sent out some copies to the very rad White Rabbit in Iowa City today as well, so if you reside there, look for them coming soon!

In other news, it is gorgeous out. And summer is coming. Which means our summer issue is coming soon! We are aiming for a summer equinox publication date, so that gives us a deadline of JUNE 1st! Our theme will be "weird things," which you can interpret however you'd like. So far there has been talk about kinky erotica, and discussions about our favorite Northern Sun bumper stickers and Robert Plant as a pre-teen fashion influence. In other words, you should take it and run with it.

In need of some inspiration? Low and Kat of the Grease Rag have been gracious enough to offer up their home the evening of May 10th for a Summer Issue Brainstorming session. If you want to chat about your ideas, or just hang out with sweet women, you should totally come. More details on the event here.

If you can't make it to the Brainstorming session, stay tuned for details on our Midnight Writing Session, which will take place sometime closer to the deadline in order to give contributors that extra kick in the pants to get their pieces finished!




Friday, April 13, 2012

Come get the C.L.A.P. at Is/Is's album release TONIGHT!

Sweet local lady band Is/Is is releasing their first full length album, III, tonight at the Turf Club and we are going to be there!

 Come stop by the C.L.A.P. table to pick up the Spring issue (we will also have back issues on hand as well) or just to say hi! Stay for the jams: they are going to be excellent! As an extra bonus you get a free PBR tall boy when you purchase the new album. Now THAT's a win-win!

 The line up is as such: 9:30 - Fire in the Northern Firs 10:30 - Acid Baby Jesus 11:15 - Zoo Animal 12:00 - Is/Is 1:00 - Heavy Deeds (featuring C.L.A.P. contributor Molly Harrington!)

 Tonight, all will be right in the world. COME! More details here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

In our own words...C.L.A.P. media round-up

We have been very grateful here at C.L.A.P. for the great exposure we have been getting through some of our favorite independent, local media outlets. In the past month, C.L.A.P. has been featured twice on KFAI, our Twin Cities community radio station. First, Sheila Frankfurt, of "Dear Sheila" and I sat in on a portion of "Minnesota Sound," to discuss the zine, our favorite local bands and the upcoming Is/Is album release we will be at (this Friday! for more details on the sweet show, which also features Heavy Deeds, Zoo Animal, Acid Baby Jesus and Fire in the Northern Firs, check it out here). We were also able to play some of our favorite lady-and-lady-ally bands including C.L.A.P. contributor Littlefoot, the Burglars (which includes contributor Shieva Salehnia), C.L.A.P. supporters Cadette, Robust Worlds, Leisure Birds, the Cactus Blossoms, and of course, Is/Is. To hear us a few drinks in discussing all this fabulous stuff (thank you Acadia happy really greased the wheels on this one), check out the audio here, under "Minnesota Sound".

Second, I was joined by regular C.L.A.P. contributor, Molly Harrington, to discuss C.L.A.P. for a segment about the Legacy Project. Phil Khalar, who I work with and who has been a supporter of the zine from the start (his girlfriend, Ryn Gibson, has also been a huge supporter and contributor of C.L.A.P.) was the brainchild behind this piece and did some excellent editing to create the final product. You can hear the whole piece here:.

Finally, we were recently contacted by Juleana Enright about being featured on her first underground culture column for L'etoile's newly launched blog/website. I met up with her at Cafetto last week and we had a nice chat, despite both of us being rather out of it (myself in particular). I personally think that her piece on C.L.A.P. (cheekily titled, "We've Got the C.L.A.P.!") is very well written and entertaining—clearly Enright is a talented creative lady that we want to support and promote—so I highly recommend checking it out here!

It has been great being part of these local media sources—not only to get the word out about what we are doing, but also to take place in the conversation happening in our community. If anyone would like to feature C.L.A.P. in an article, podcast, radio story or blog, please contact us at creativeladiesarepowerful at gmail dot com . We'd love to talk!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Les Femmes Folles presents: VOICE

"Voice Front"  image for the show postcard designed by Wanda Ewing
One of the most exciting things about running C.L.A.P. is when we get an email from a creative woman outside of our little world here in the Twin Cities. It is even more exciting when she is interested in contributing! Things get off the charts exciting when she is doing work in her own community to support other creative women! 
Such is the case with Sally Deskins, who runs the Les Femmes Folles blog based out of Omaha, Nebraska.  For our Spring 2012 issue of C.L.A.P., Sally contributed a piece on Les Femmes Folles presents: VOICE, a gallery show she co-curated featuring female artists. Due to space constraints, we were only able to print a shortened version of the piece in the zine. In the world of the never ending internet, however, we are able to publish the entire piece here! Read on for more...
I’d pour over the magazines I kept stacked in my closet, reading the articles about movie stars’ favorite ice cream, how to get a boyfriend, and the right eye shadow for my skin type. Mostly though I’d stare at the models—skinny, beautiful models I thought. I took pictures of myself, stared at myself in the mirror. I wished I were skinnier and prettier, like them. Seventeen.
 In sixth grade, I put on a 50’s play and spun around freely with other girls on stage in a poodle skirt. I remember a boy telling me after the play that I wrote, staged, and directed, at age 12, “you looked fat up there!” Another boy blew up his cheeks and said “Chubby Cheeks!”
Obviously, everyone gets teased—it’s part of childhood. But, it hadn’t occurred to me before this to think of my physicality and how that played a role in what I was doing. I gave up theatre, but drama remained and grew in my head—my acne, my legs, my hair, my clothes—was I pretty enough?
Life went on. I had friends. I found newspaper as a quiet, comfortable, behind-the-scenes creative outlet.
One night, flipping through Seventeen, I got in a fit of teenage angst---
I wrote it all over a model’s face. I was wallowing in my sorrow. My mom later found the “FUCKS” and was irate; I got grounded for my inappropriate language and notably sunk-in again for trying to express myself—admittedly maybe too harshly and indirectly, but what I wanted wasn’t really to be pretty/skinny/perfect-looking. That’s what I thought, but really, I just wanted to be seen and heard—my voice—as a person with a brain and heart—not just some potential ass. Is that really the only way to be seen/being an attractive female? Obviously my own low-confidence and awkward teen age was at play, but as such, I was fragile, impressionable. 
As I sort through these women’s VOICES, I’m finding we’re there, we’re heard, we just have to listen and see on our ends, too, what is behind the beautiful faces—while also realizing that outward cannot be separated from inward.  These women of VOICE at The New BLK Gallery in Omaha will explore that very dynamic—each of their VOICES differently beautiful, alive, and heard.
Trilety Wade is an artist and writer known for her humorous, sexually explicit narratives. Her watercolors, such as an image of a clothespin being placed on a nipple and a tongue, in bright yellows, pinks and greens, give a light yet direct approach to images that could be seen as harsh or pornographic. Her work is from her female experience and much of it has to do with submission - to both men and women—and her “obsession” with the human form.
As she has developed, said Wade, “My style is changing from an external focus to using the external to provide focus on the internal.” With her work in VOICE, she will continue to use the body, focusing on “the obstacles we construct that keep us from truly connecting or communicating with others.”
“Lapse,” by Jewel Noll, relief, ink, chine colle and pigment on kozo, 51”x 48”, 2009
Artist Jewel Noll calls her female characteristics a “blessing and a curse”—an extra amount of love, care, compassion, empathy, attention to detail, self-reflection and sense of peace. She is known for her intricate prints reminiscent of Asian influence with floral patterns and natural landscape imagery.  “Being a female is part of my identity, and through my visual interpretations, it is my gift to the world.”
Her VOICE installation will come from the voices in her head—lists, lists, lists—groceries, tasks, errands, artists to research, order of operations, wedding plans… “It is rare that the world know how much we as women do everyday just to stay afloat. My lists are the evidence.”
Her wall of lists will include over – lists compiled since January 1, 2012. “I can only imagine that it will be overwhelming.”
Marcia Joffe-Bouska has been in the arts scene in Omaha since 1978. She has quietly been making richly colorful and aesthetically beautiful glasswork, paintings and sculptures with inner meaning that sometimes takes a closer-look to capture.

“Sometimes a Safe Haven,” by Marcia Joffe-Bouska
Her latest series exploring nests, are a testament to her seemingly subtle—yet instinctively powerful—intention. The intricately sculpted nests with metal-leafed eggs appear on first view as comforting—we think of the nests in our yard or above restaurant signs—how lovely, a bird family, wondering if the babies are in there squeaking for food…Upon closer inspection of Joffe-Bouska’s are nails, sticking straight up lining the bottom of this beautifully rendered piece she titled, “Sometime’s a Safe Haven.” Her series for VOICE will reflect the issue of self-worth.

“I like the rich metaphor they provide (shelter, security, connection, family, individual vs. environment, nurturing, etc.) and can manipulate the image/symbol to convey many meanings,” the artist said.

Performance artist Kristin Lubbert sees each new project as a further revelation into her vast exploration of art—“art as therapy, art as self-exploration, art to reflect/reveal culture, art to create culture, art to challenge and change society, art to make the world more beautiful.”
In her previous pieces, Lubbert has emulated Marina Abramovic’s “The Artist is Present,” sitting silently in a chair for the duration of the art opening, welcoming visitors to sit across from her and divulge whatever information without a response or prompt.
A more outwardly intense performance, last summer she performed “The Shame of Isis” with artist Rachel Thomlinson Dick; the duo stood inside a blue candle-lit rectangle on the floor in red underwear, exchanging virgin and whore dresses while shouting shames at each other. It ended with branding stars into each other’s hands, and their friends binding them together in a yellow rope.
As each of her pieces may differ in intention, they do share her theme of intimate exploration. For her piece in VOICE, she will invite attendees to write a note—“anything they want”—on a piece of paper for it to be recited and re-interpreted by a group of performers in motion with another written and spoken response.
“It is an exploration of the mind-body connection and instinctual human movement. I am excited to find out what the content of this piece will be. I have come up with a form, a structure, but what is actually explored is up to the audience,” said the artist.
 Mixed media artist Megan Loudon Sanders’s inspirations vary from her son’s drawings to Art Nouveau, Japanese paper, tattoos and the natural world in general.  She works intuitively; mixing elements that might be stylistically dissimilar, like realistic drawings with flat planes of color or collaged elements, bringing in strong contrast, rich color and elegant line to create her beautifully crafted figurative and abstract pieces.
For her work in VOICE, co-curator Megan will exhibit a series of mixed media images of women with tattoos. In one, a young woman in a blue polka-dot dress sits cross-legged, bringing her teacup up to sip, a simpering smile to the viewer. Intricate and colorful tattoos line her hands and arms, challenging the pristine environment.
“Originally, I wanted to explore context, and how tattoos change the context of something, like being lady-like or feminine. As I’ve worked more, I think of it also as art about art, and art about women and expression. I see tattoos as a form of creative expression that can have social consequences, which leads me to think about ways in which societal expectations dictate the way that women express themselves.”
Artist Wanda Ewing was the curator of the original LES FEMMES FOLLES exhibit in March 2011 (since then it inspired the blog, and two following exhibitions including Les Femmes Folles Presents: VOICE).  She is known for her work exploring how race factors into society’s definition of feminine beauty such as “Black as Pitch, Hot as Hell,” her large-scale paintings of black pin-up girls, but also for her more subdued series “Black Catalogue” of black silhouettes in thoughtful poses. Last summer she made a splash with her “Video Grrrlllz” series of barely-clad black women with punching-bag heads, a metaphor for how women have been treated in the hip-hop industry.
As of late, Ewing has been busy hookin’—latch-hooking. Keeping with her exploration on the subjects of race, beauty, sexuality and identity, Ewing’s yarn rugs bring an unexpected contented feel to the perhaps originally risqué images of women’s bodies. In one, three women stand in sultry poses showing major skin, intently looking at the viewer, and the main image in gray-toned yarn, lined with a pink border. Another in pink and green of a mirrored woman’s profile almost appears abstract.
“The result is a completely different feel from the derived images…after I play with them in photo-shop, and I make them into rugs, they become kind-of demure, even though the subjects are overt.”
Ella Weber’s prints, designs and drawings are based upon her collection of childlike objects and her “internal collection of personal memories.” Her work explores how an individual’s identity continuously evolves from childhood to adulthood, from past to present experiences. Her playful use of iconic toys reflects the values, anxieties, contradictions and desires of contemporary society.

In her most recent series, “Boy’s n’ toys” Ella places a real person next to a larger than life inanimate object, derived from popular culture- a grown man looking up to a mouthless hello kitty pez dispenser or a bearded man smoking a cigarette in front of a giant smokey the bear. At first glance, the drawings are saturated with innocence, nostalgia and humor. But she also aims to express a more subversive reality in which the values and roles within society are questioned and challenged.

For VOICE, Ella will further explore what it means to be real, to be human, but more specifically, to be female.
Amy Quinn, often known as “PlaiderPillar,” is recognized for her eclectic, hand-sewn lively creatures and intricately woven animal sculpture pieces, from tiny 3-inch birds to gigantic 8-foot rabbits. Often inspired by fairy tale, folk art or “otherwise far-fetched and implausible quality,” for her VOICE series, Amy will be delving into the human form, creating some “yoga creatures.”

 "Two Layers," by Melanie Pruitt, ink on paper
Other included artists Melanie Pruitt and Trudie Teijink are still working, and will exhibit work built on their own perspective for VOICE.
The only Nebraska-outsider, Colorado-based artist Melanie Pruitt is known for her elaborate line ink drawings of figurative and abstract images inspired by the “beauty of human history and the organic patterns of the Rocky Mountains that surround me.”
Fresh from being a part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Womanhouse’s exhibition: The House That Feminism Built at Parallax Space in March, Trudie Teijink investigates the “fragility of human life and feelings of loss, fortitude, and desire.”  Using digital imagery printed on paper and fabrics, drawing, and a variety of traditional printmaking techniques, her exploration of three-dimensional derived from 2-dimensional imagery transforms spaces into innovative, colorful rooms of art. 
As for myself, co-curator of VOICE and creator of the Les Femmes Folles blog, my work since childhood has revolved around self-portraiture and investigation of the relationship of my insides to my outsides. Since my days trying to imitate the models of the magazines via self-portrait photos, to writing intimate poetry and drawing series of self-portraits in college, to more photographs later in life and nude performance and modeling, I haven’t strayed much from the dichotomy of how my body both reflects and disguises my inner self.

"L.S." by Sally Deskins, tempera on paper, 18"x24," 2012
With my latest work, I have painted myself up—literally, with body-prints. Using children’s tempera paint and paint brushes, I have attempted to put on paper how my body is revealed and what it mirrors, how its perceived and its relevance or irrelevance with who I am as a woman, mother, wife, professional, as a breathing human.
VOICE attempts to do just that—sometimes we still get wrapped up in superficial obsessions, forget who we are, amongst the business of this modern life—but we’re there, we’re alive, and this is who we are, inside and out.
Instead of Seventeen’s, now I’ve got stacks of ARTnews with ripped pages of exciting artists. Exhibition postcards, posters, and small works by inspiring artists like the ones in VOICE, line my home workspace—reminding me, and hopefully my daughter, that we have a means of expression, a way to find ourselves, and its not gleamed from what other kids, magazines or whoever, tells us we “should” be.