Mud Pulp Fiber – A memoir Hidden In The Stacks Opens At Mesa Public Library’s Upstairs Art Gallery Saturday

Ceramic by Suzanne Vilmain. Courtesy photo

Ceramic by Suzanne Vilmain. Courtesy photo


Visiting the Mud Pulp Fiber exhibit in Mesa Public Library’s Upstairs Art Gallery is like stepping into a memoir of artist Suzanne Vilmain’s life. The exhibit opens 2-4 p.m., Saturday with a Surrealist Picnic, after which this richly layered installation will be on display until June 30. The Surrealist Picnic features the art of artist Katharine Kagel of Café Pasqual fame.

Vilmain shows us many of the significant items from her life, from things she has made, to books she has read, to artwork that has influenced her. The show is subtitled “a memoir hidden in the stacks.” She has created a library of her own within the library, as a metaphor for recording her life and art.

“I’ve kept a journal since I was 19 years old,” Vilmain said. “This is a process that has evolved from simple pen to school notebooks –to making the paper, printing, designing, binding the pages and writing in the margins. I’ve also had a practice of consulting the I Ching and writing down the readings on a weekly basis.”

“Now I’m making in clay what I have written down—not a sketch, not a drawing, not a maquette, not a collage but a movable feast of mud/glaze/form/balance/fun/& humor.”

The works on display include journals, sketchbooks, printed broadsides, clay figures and shapes, and much more.

Much, much more. Hand bound books and albums, homages to beloved artists and philosophers and writers, collections of memoirs and artist’s books. Clothing, armor, guards, and sentinels.

The “GUARDS! GUARDS!” series explores the ideas of standing watch and protection in the form of clay figures. “This installation is a brief history of the juxtaposition & domino-effect of my psyche and the process of using art and art-making as a form of “moving through” as the I Ching instructs,” Vilmain said, from a broadside of letterpress forms to a re-creation/appropriation of the Chinese terracotta warriors armored breast plate to a Guatamalan embroidered blouse.

Vilmain’s previous show in the Upstairs Gallery was in 2012. As she said at the time, “If I were to do another show, I would choose a completely different selection.” And that is certainly the case with this new show.

All will be revealed at 2 p.m. May 12 in the Upstairs Art Gallery at Mesa Public Library, 2400 Central Ave., in downtown Los Alamos. For more information about Library events, call 505.662.8250.

Artist Suzanne Vilmain in the Upstairs Gallery at Mesa Public Library. Courtesy photo

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