When most people look up at the sky over Hay River, N.W.T., in the early evening, they see the sunset. Danielle Sachs, on the other hand, sees yarn.
Since 2014, Sachs has been dying yarn in colours inspired by the landscapes, skyscapes and scenes she finds all around her in the Northwest Territories.
Some of her skeins are aurora-themed, with “green in there, and black in there, and little flashes of purple.” Others, dyed in deep blues and browns, were inspired by the waves on Great Slave Lake. One skein, dotted with silver sparkles, was inspired by the frigid winter temperatures — Sachs calls it “My Lungs Hurt.”
But Sachs also draws on more off-beat inspirations to represent northern life in wool.
“When you’re driving into town and you have that haze of woodsmoke — that, to me, was a colour,” she said.
Another colour combination was inspired by thrift store denim.
“It’s that feeling of going through all the clothes at the thrift shop because you need a new pair of jeans, and you can’t just go to the mall or order something on Amazon that’ll get here in 24 hours.”
One of her favourite projects was a series she called “Northern Rainbow” — an effort to turn every colour from red through violet into a little slice of northern life.
“For red, we had ‘Wildfire,’ which was reds and oranges with speckles of black for the ash,” she said. “Then there was ‘Midnight Sun’ and ‘Road Trip,’ which is just a gray and yellow, because it’s the lines painted on the road.
“Then there was ‘Jackfish,’ ‘Great Slave Wave,’ ‘Magpie’ and ‘Nightlights,’ which is the Northern Lights-inspired one.”
For Sachs, finding the right textures and colours to represent these vignettes are a way of sharing her love for the N.W.T., where she has lived for nearly a decade.
“I wasn’t seeing what we see represented in other yarns that I could find in Canada,” she said. “I want to make a little bit of a nod to people that live here and that are here and that have been here longer than I have and have experienced more.”
Sachs is also an avid knitter, and makes a sweater for her son every year.
“I’ll dye the colours for him,” she said. “So he’ll look through pictures and he’ll pick a sweater that he wants, and then from there we’ll do the colours.
“Probably my favourite one that I’ve dyed is this little cardigan, and the top of it is a yarn called ‘Raven.’ It’s a blue-black with shades of purple, little tiny hints of purple.”
But she also loves when people send her pictures of what they’ve done with her yarn, finding their own inspiration in the northern colours.
“The same yarn can look so different when it’s incorporated into a sweater versus turned into a pair of socks or a pair of mittens,” she said.
Over the winter, Sachs works hard to dye hundreds of skeins of yarn so she’ll have enough inventory to see her through her busy season in the summer, when outdoor markets are open.
She says people shouldn’t feel daunted about trying to dye yarn at home themselves — it might seem challenging, but it’s a more accessible craft than many people think.
“Anyone can do it — all you need is yarn to dye, and colour,” she said. “People have used unsweetened Koolaid, or you can use food colouring.
“I use specialty dyes that are in the powder form. When you mix them up, they make a liquid [and] they need acid and heat to set. And that’s it.”
And Sachs says her friends and loved ones are all very familiar with her passion for representing her home through fibre crafts.
Whenever someone posts a beautiful picture of life in the north — a lake, a skyscape, a backyard party, some mossy rocks they saw on a hike — she’s likely to comment: “I see yarn!”
QU Announces Art Scholarship Recipients for Fall 2022 – Quincy University
QUINCY, Ill. – Quincy University’s Art Department awarded two art scholarships for the fall
“The Quincy University Art Department created the Art Talent Search Competition as a
way to raise the awareness for new or transfer students to obtain scholarships,” said Karl Warma,
M.F.A., professor of art. “QU has a long tradition of providing scholarships to art students, but
the growing financial need of students in art programs meant we needed more program
The selection process was held during the School of Fine Arts and Communication
Showcase on February 19, 2022. Participants submitted an application, portfolio and had
personal interviews with QU Art Department faculty. Recipients were chosen at the discretion of
the art faculty on the talent and personal vision of the candidate.
“We are so fortunate to have student’s bringing their developing talents to our Art &
Design Department at QU,” said Gary Meacher, M.F.A., assistant professor. “Every year we
have the chance to reward those talents with our annual scholarship competition.”
Laura VanNice, an incoming transfer student, was awarded a $5,000 scholarship.
VanNice previously studied at Moberly Area Community College. VanNice is from Hannibal,
Mo., and pursuing a degree in graphic design.
High school senior Aliya Callaway received a $3,000 scholarship. Callaway is from
Advance, Mo., majoring in graphic design.
“Laura VanNice and Aliya Callaway are talented young women who will bring additional
creative energy to the Art Department program at QU. We look forward to their active
participation starting in the fall of 2022,” said Warma.
Exploring the human design of motherhood at the MassArt Art Museum – GBH News
This week, GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen sits down with the Morning Edition team to bring you the latest exhibits from around Boston’s art museums.
Now at the MassArt Art Museum through December 18
This free exhibit at the MassArt Art Museum is “an exceptionally timely thing to do this weekend,” according to Bowen. “Designing Motherhood” takes viewers through the history of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, driven by the fact that “this impacts all of us, we are all born,” as curator Michelle Millar Fisher explains. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for this one act,” says Millar.
The exhibition’s curators hope that “Designing Motherhood” will challenge audiences’ understanding of human reproduction and what it means to be a mother at a time when so much of modern pregnancy resources come from “people without uteruses designing for people with uteruses,” says curator Michelle Miller Fisher. The works featured vary from photography to historical technologies to sculpture, including one artist’s rendition of their pregnant belly in wood.
Drawing the Curtain
Now at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum through September 11
Maurice Sendak is perhaps most well-known for his work as an author and illustrator, namely for his 1963 children’s book Where The Wild Things Are. A new exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, however, presents a different facet of Sendak’s career: his work in set and costume design for the opera.
Sendak designed elements for not only an operatic adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are, but also Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges, and The Nutcracker among others. As Bowen describes, the exhibit is “fun,” as “you walk in and you’re met with music, you’re met with actual sets and set pieces, and you can feel the 3D elements of his design.”
Curator Diana Greenwald says that “you get the sense that there are these little breadcrumbs of his identity showing up” in Sendak’s featured work. Sendak described himself “growing up as Jewish, gay, [and] chronically ill,” and many of his stories feature themes of strength, childhood resilience, and adventure — all of which are reflected in “Drawing the Curtain.”
Sotheby's CEO on Why the Art Market Is Soaring – The Wall Street Journal
Amid London’s ongoing summer auction series, Sotheby’s Chief Executive Charles Stewart is taking stock of the global art market, and he likes what he sees.
On Wednesday, Sotheby’s sold $182 million worth of art over a couple hours in London, meeting the house’s expectations even though a few works by artists such as David Hockney and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner failed to find buyers. Top sales included Francis Bacon’s $53 million “Portrait of Lucian Freud” and Andy Warhol’s $16 million “Self Portrait.” Feverish bidding followed young upstarts like Flora Yukhnovich, whose smudgy Rococo-style painting, “Boucher’s Flesh,” sold to a bidder in Asia for $2.8 million—10 times its low estimate.
London’s sales mark the latest win for Mr. Stewart, who joined Sotheby’s after telecom titan
bought the auction house for $3.7 billion three years ago. Mr. Stewart, who previously worked in telecom and banking, had barely made the rounds to meet his international team when the pandemic hit. Overnight, he had to cancel hundreds of in-person auctions and pivot the company to operate in a marketplace entirely online. The company took a hit in 2020, reporting $5.5 billion in sales, but it bounced back to $7.3 billion last year—a record-high for the 278-year-old company.
Mr. Stewart, a 52-year-old Connecticut native, said he applied lessons learned from the telecom industry to broaden access to Sotheby’s offerings by retooling its online auctions to be easier to find, livestream and click-to-bid. These moves are paying off now even as the world reopens.
“The art market is still really opaque, so we are trying to reduce barriers and allow more people to feel comfortable buying art from us,” he said. “I’m always going to be interested in extending our reach.”
Mr. Stewart recently spoke with The Wall Street Journal from the auction house’s office in Paris. Here are edited excerpts:
Despite the volatility in the broader financial markets, art sales are surging. How do you explain what’s happening in the art market right now?
We’re not impervious to global economic woes, but great material performs well, and we’ve had some strong pieces come to market. I think we’re also seeing the importance of the global nature of our business. We’ve had collectors from over 50 countries bid in our sales, and whenever we’ve noticed stress or anxiety coming from country X, sector Y, category Z, the bidding is so broad-based that it offsets these concerns. That keeps prices strong.
The market has also expanded to include people who are stepping in to bid at all levels, not just at the top. And I think there’s just more interest overall in owning tangible, physical objects at this point in time. In a world of volatility and uncertainty, people crave things that endure.
Is the market nearing a peak?
Art is probably more of a lagging indicator rather than a leading indicator of where the markets are. We don’t necessarily see dramatic corrections. When our market slows down, fewer things become available to sell, but anyone waiting around to get a 30% discount on a masterpiece may be disappointed and frustrated.
We’re kind of like the oceanfront property that everyone’s waiting for the right moment to buy, but there’s a lot of money waiting for that moment. As soon as the price for anything goes down even a little bit, people start to jump in. I see a similar dynamic in our brackets.
Inflation is high in the U.S., and yet that doesn’t appear to have dampened the art market. Why is that?
Art is priced globally, and people bid in whatever currency they use. You may own an object and think about it in dollars, but the bidders trying to win it might be thinking in euros or Swiss francs. Inflation can accompany currency weakness, but art is valued at a globally determined price, so it can be a good hedge against inflation made worse by currency weaknesses.
Cryptocurrencies are flatlining. What’s your outlook on NFT art?
Crypto has clearly repriced significantly, and that’s had implications for the NFT market. But I think people are starting to understand the difference between NFTs created by artists and those made for the collectible markets or for communities like the Bored Apes. Last year it was all sort of lumped together. Now, there’s some clear distinctions.
I also think there’s so much yet to be unlocked in terms of blockchain usage, and the day will come when the physical art we sell will somehow be recorded and supported by a token on the blockchain. It’ll be the standard because it has the potential to solve a number of long-standing issues around things like title, authenticity and provenance. It took the rise of NFT art to raise our own collective awareness to these possibilities.
Where else are you seeing growth and potential in your industry?
We bought a majority stake in our car auction partner, RM Sotheby’s, a few months ago because we see the power and the size of the collectible car market. It’s incredible.
Our luxury categories are also up significantly, more than 30% higher than last year. Even though we’re associated with the best masterpieces, 80% of our bidding goes to win objects under $25,000. Our clients aren’t just looking for the best Van Gogh—they’re buying things across 70 different categories in the 500 sales we hold each year, at all price ranges.
From sneakers to handbags to jewelry to wine and certainly collectible cars, collectors are thinking differently about these categories as well. Years ago, you’d buy a nice watch and you’d have it for your whole life. Now, you might sell it in three years because there are different ways to do that without much time or cost friction.
What parts of the world intrigue you now as potential art hubs?
Korea is an incredibly strong market, and even though we don’t host auctions there, we are paying attention to it. Hong Kong continues to be the hub despite its challenges, but we’re selling a lot to Japan, Singapore, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Vietnam. China’s very important and obviously very large, but it’s not the only thing.
We are seeing bigger cultural ambitions across the Middle East, from the Emirates to Saudi Arabia. We’ve just opened a beautiful space in Cologne, Germany, and we have a gallery in Los Angeles. We have to engage people where they are and not wait for them to pass through New York, Paris or London.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Why do you think art sales don’t track with higher inflation?
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