betsy & iya 7th Anniversary Artwork.
Posted on April 07, 2015
Untitled by Sarah Jean Simmons 27" x 19" acrylic on canvas (SOLD) Sarah's Artist Statement
Moment 1: Memories are essential in defining the ness of the human. They are how how we understand who we are and where we came from. They are how we know we have overcome, seen, grown, lost, and loved. There is so much in one lifetime. There are too many moments to carry in such fragile, porous bodies as ours are. We are fallible archives at best. For this reason, the need for mementos is vital, as they act as catalysts for recollection, they become the little cues that get us home. Human history shows the need to make marks which guide the mind back to what can no longer be seen, held, or experienced. We have marked the dust, we have marked the caves, we have marked the streets, our bodies, stone and metal, paper and canvas, and with cameras and light we make the marks that guide us, so specifically, to the moments that shape us. They provide relief from the ephemeral nature of memory. They muck about with linear time and send us back home... home to Virginia summers and that specific yellow. Although, while a picture can capture the look of a time past, a photograph would not be as poignant without the collaboration it shares with the body. It is the body that holds the feeling. The body recalls with the richness of shapes and hues that the heart alone can define. This work is about the movement in recollection, the parade of color, the dance inside the body to recall a certain kind of light. This project was more than the opportunity to paint a photograph, but to paint a joy.
As Betsy told me about her sister there was light in her eyes, a love, an admiration, a kinship. And so I walked away asking myself, how do you paint kinship? How do you paint what sisters have? How do you paint a recollection?
The Tinder by Vivian Chen 19 3/4" x 27 1/2" charcoal on paper (SOLD) Vivian's Artist Statement
Moment 2: I was intrigued by the idea of portraying all the feelings one goes through when working on something with pure passion, yet completely unsure of where it will take them- which was what Betsy went through before she started everything. As an artist, all of those feelings are very relatable to me, the constant back-and-forth between feeling triumph and despair, confident and self-doubt. And so that is what I tried to capture in my piece. While using mostly charcoal, which to me is a liberating and primal medium, I was hoping to create the sense of focus and creativity, but at the same time the feeling of solitude and struggle.
Journey to Success, betsy & iya by Brooke Weeber 15" x 20" ink, pencil, watercolor on paper Brooke's Artist StatementMoment 3: I wanted to make a piece that represented both the journey that Betsy and Will took to get to where they are today, and the playfulness that shines through their personalities. I was asked to portray the road trips they took across the country in the very first years of betsy & iya, the stops they made at boutiques across the US, and some of the trials and tribulations they ran into along the way.
Untitled by Kira Lynn Cain 19 3/4" x 27 1/2" micron pen, watercolor, watercolor crayons, and water on paper Kira Lynn's Artist StatementMoment 4: I began with this question: What sort of story am I seeing here? And answered it this way: The act of taking a photo as metaphor for transformation. A single moment when the ephemeral ceases to be so and becomes tangible. A collage of realities created by the snap of a lens, in a deep chasm in the earth surrounded by northwest flora and fauna in motion. I thought of Lewis Carroll for the dreaminess, Carson Ellis for the wonder of nature (especially pacific northwest nature), and Alfred Hitchcock for the glamour and transformative nature of the camera. Then I filled a piece of paper with words, mental images for this project. After that- sketch, sketch, baby. I drew ugly and meaningless and boring things for days. How to depict transformation by camera!? Eventually, the basic drawing and composition started to click, and it was time to ink.
Untitled by Alyson Provax 19 3/4" 27 1/2" silkscreen monotype, acrylic, letterpress on paper (SOLD) Alyson's Artist StatementMoment 5: I am interested in the repetition inherent to multiples. My own practice includes letterpress, so I relate the action of printing with the action of jewelry production. In my experience this repetitive action of creating physical objects can be hypnotic and lead to altered states.In the process of making there is this physical exchange: the craftsman alters the metal to create the piece, and in the process, the metal affects the craftsman. Object and human will be forever connected through that touch. In a sense, this jewelry can stand in for the team that made it, and vice versa. I have used this opportunity to take time to think about my own process of making, and the way that repetitive action will cause me to sort of merge with my surroundings - first into the work, then into the space around me. It is a state of total awareness and total connection.
Untitled by Heather Ryerson 19 3/4" x 27 1/2" watercolor, gouache, ink, colored pencil, wax crayon, and graphite on paper Heather's StatementMoment 6: I was really moved by Betsy’s memory of the day the shop’s sign was installed. She described standing across the street near tears, filled with emotion, as this huge symbol of her dream’s fruition literally needed to be installed by crane. Though many passing pedestrians wouldn’t have realized the moment’s impact, a few stopped to tell Betsy what a positive presence her shop is in the neighborhood. I could completely identify with Betsy: just one lady taking small steps each year to build her creative vision and her community. It’s a spirit that enlivens the whole city of Portland. It was for that reason- and also because the city’s architecture inspires betsy + iya jewelry that I knew I had to include more than just their street corner. The moment that was so huge for Betsy was tiny when surrounded by the city’s thousands of other small moments all happening together.
Untitled by Emilee Booher 19 3/4" x 27 1/2" watercolor on paper Emilee's Artist StatementMoment 7: I was interested in participating in this project because I liked the idea of collaborating with betsy & iya and using art as a way of depicting the shop’s story. The open-ended process allowed me to experiment with style and materials in a way I wouldn’t have normally considered. I chose to use watercolor because I enjoy the clean and minimal look it gives the piece, and I felt it was fitting for a jewelry shop. The painting represents the growth and evolution of the store, starting from one small box that morphs into something organic and uninhibited. My goal was for the work to be open enough for viewers to interpret their own version of the story, but also feel a sense of forward motion and expansion. All 7 artworks are framed and for sale in our brick & mortar shop, and 50% of the sale goes to Friends of the Children. Come by and see them in all their glory before they are gone! Cheers to the next 7 (and the 7 after that, and the 7 after that, etc. etc.), Anna ***Song of the Moment: Suburban War by Arcade Fire***