It's been quite the time for the past few weeks, and right now much of the West Coast is on fire. It's a tough time for so many and we're not even close to out of the woods yet.
There are fortunately some things that help me keep hope alive.
Maybe they will help you too.
The Opulent Mobility 2020 deadline is past, and I am so thrilled with the amount and quality of the submissions! I'm going over them all with my co-curator Anthony Tusler, and can't wait to choose the artwork and get this show started. I'll share the artist list with you all in October.
Making dance dresses and masks from Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric for Abilities Dance Boston was such fun. They're doing a collaboration with the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and I got to combine my love of costumes with a love for children's picture book art. Want to make your very own Very Hungry Caterpillar stuff? The museum gift shop has you covered. This fabric is freaking adorable.
Teaching sewing, pattern making, and alterations has been a delight. There's a real sense of community about coming together to make things, and I love it. I hope you'll consider joining us!
The Glendale Community College online courses are Knock it Off Pattern Making in October and Alter Your Clothes Like A Pro in November-December.
If you prefer a one-on-one session, sign up through Hire Artists for a Zoom or Skype meeting and we'll make some magic happen. Make Do and Mend or Alter Your Clothes.
The YouTube sewing tutorials have been more fun than I expected to make. So far, I've put up videos for sewing on buttons, threading a needle, operating the foot pedal on a sewing machine, finding substitutes for pattern paper and seam rippers, and making a clear window mask. If you have videos you want to see, please get in touch! I'd love your suggestions.
It's so easy nowadays to feel hopeless, and one of the best ways to I've found to keep hope alive is to take action. Vote Forward is a super simple way to help get out the vote, and I've been participating for the past 2 years. You can also sign up as a poll worker!
There are so many ways to make an impact- find one that works best for you. And if what you really need is rest, do it. Hey. Thank you all for joining me in these difficult times.
Let's help give each other hope.
Well, how did I miss sharing this? I'm a little forgetful, what with the global pandemic and all.
I'm posting how-to videos on YouTube, covering things as simple as threading an needle and as complex as making scales for the newest artwork Melusine. The most recent one is an intermediate level one on making a mask that shows off your smile and lets folks read your lips.
Take a peek and let me know what topics you'd like covered next!
No, seriously. Thank you for sharing!
These folks are helping spread the word about the Opulent Mobility 2020 call for art.
Art Connect Magazine shared Opulent Mobility in their featured listings.
The California Arts Council has shared the call for art for several years!
ArtsEarth has been a staunch supporter since 2018.
Thanks to SF Artist Network for sharing the call this year.
And through Instagram, these folks are helping spread the word:
Open Call India
and Artsy Shark
Thanks also to all the artists who have submitted their work.
Have you shared yours yet? The deadline is August 31st!
By request, the deadline to submit work for Opulent Mobility 2020 has been extended to August 31st, 5 PM PST.
This way we all get a chance to breathe.
Thank you to everyone who has already shared their art! I'm truly looking forward to this year's exhibit.
I hope you're keeping safe and healthy out there in these very difficult times.
Some inspiration for the quarantine: Heather Woodbury's "As the Globe Warms" Panel Palooza, the Auntie Sewing Squad, and mending, sewing, and re*making classes from yours truly.
Let's find creative ways to help change the world.
Heather Woodbury's "As The Globe Warms Panel Palooza" is a kick-ass tale of intersecting American livand a robust, life-affirming hearing & discussion.
This series of Zoom events raised raised awareness of (and donations for) Covid relief and Extinction Rebellion in the US and UK, and included activist culture-makers from Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Miami and London.
Click the picture to check out an episode or get lost in the full series.
If you haven't heard of the Auntie Sewing Squad yet...
"The Auntie Sewing Squad began on March 24, 2020 as a singular effort by artist Kristina Wong (in Los Angeles) who started making masks in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and needed some support in creating masks and increasing awareness. Kristina started taking donations to cover postage only and making masks for free."
The aunties (and uncles) make masks and gather donations of needed materials for vulnerable groups: farm workers, those released from ICE detention or prison, immigrant communities, and the Navajo Nation.
All funds raised purchase supplies in bulk.
They're also offering a free Mask Sewing Camp July 15th.
Got clothing to mend, remake, or re-invent? I can help with that.
All classes are online via Zoom unless otherwise arranged.
Classes with 50% of proceeds benefiting the Loveland Foundation
July 26th, 11 AM - 2 PM
August 3rd, 7-9 PM
Schedule private lessons through Hire Artists:
Make Do and Mend
Alter Your Clothes Like A Pro
4 session class through Glendale Community College
Alter Your Clothes Like A Pro
8/1/20- 8/22/20 from 9:30 AM- 12:30 PM
I hope you're hanging in there in these tumultuous times.
Here are the Zoom classes coming up:
Remaking 101 is next Sunday the 28th from 11 AM - 2 PM, and it's about making one thing into another. $45.
Durable soft goods like tablecloths or drapes can be made into pillow covers or tote bags. A dress can become a skirt and a top, and an old jacket can become a hand bag. If you have something you'd like to remake, come out and play!
Mending Monday is July 6th from 7-9 PM. Bring your mending pile and we'll get it whittled down. $30.
50% of class proceeds will go to the Loveland Foundation.
Loveland's Therapy Fund provides financial assistance to Black women and girls nationally seeking therapy.
Take good care of yourselves out there.
Opulent Mobility 2020 is open for submissions!
We want your art that re-imagines disability, mobility, and access as opulent and powerful.
Please submit your work by July 31st at 5 PM, PST. Late entries accepted up to August 31st.
The entry fee has been waived, and there is no charge to artists for any sales made during the course of the exhibit. We are still partnering with United Cerebral Palsy Los Angeles for the exhibit, but have decided to host the exhibit online for safety reasons.
This exhibit is co-curated by A. Laura Brody and Anthony Tusler.
1. Characterized by extravagant, ostentatious magnificence: lavish, lush, luxurious, palatial, plush, rich, sumptuous
2. Given to or marked by unrestrained abundance: Extravagant, exuberant, luxuriant, prodigal, profuse, riotous, superabundant
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 ©
We accept all types of media: 2-dimensions, sculptural, film, music files, and videos of performances and spoken word.
For all the details, go to www.opulentmobility.com.
I am often asked if a project or a class is too mundane for me.
Don't get me wrong. I love the fantastic and out of this world. It's hard to be thrilled at the prospect of my 10,000th pant hem, and I'm not really into sewing on your missing buttons.
I am truly excited to show you how to sew your button on yourself, though.
Maybe you don't need an inflatable suit, but you probably have something that you want to create that is exactly suited to your beautiful body. (Yes, your body is beautiful.)
And that is exciting to me.
Of course I've done fantastical things for galas, film and TV, dance, and theater. That's all good. There are so many individual projects that stand out too.
Some of the projects were:
Reusing old clothing and fabrics to create new designs
Corsetry for men
Custom bondage gear
Pant engineering for climbers, BASE jumpers, and international campers
Adjusting clothes for specific body issues
Patterns for unisex wear
Wheelchair upholstery and wheel covers
And performance finery for folks from sizes XXS- 3XL.
I prefer working with real bodies, real issues, and having intriguing problems to solve. That is my idea of everyday awesome.
What would you like to create? Maybe I can help.
I take wheelchairs, walkers, and mobility scooters and turn them into elaborate works of art.
As part of International Sculpture Day, I'll use Zoom meeting to share my home studio and art, work on my newest sculpture (Melusine), and talk about ways to re-imagine disability as opulent and powerful.
Contact me for the Zoom meeting link.
The link goes live at 6 PM PST and lasts until 9 PM.
Thank you! I hope you are keeping safe and healthy in these very strange times.
These are weird times.
Fortunately, I am finding some wonderful ways to work with people.
Who would have thought I'd be so grateful for Zoom and Skype?
Zoom has been pretty great for online classes, and it's a lot less glitchy than Skype.
If you'd like to join us, I'm holding longer term classes on Saturdays:
Alter Your Clothes Like A Pro April 11- May 2, 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
T-Shirt Modifications April 11-May 2, 1:30- 4:30 PM
and short term classes the first Monday and last Sunday of each month:
Mending Monday April 6, 7-9 PM
Sustainable Sewing April 26th, 11 AM - 2 PM
Full details are on the "Classes" page.
No matter how you are spending your time, I hope you are safe, healthy, and as stress-free as possible. We're all in this together.
A. Laura Brody
I re*make mobility devices and materials and give them new lives. Sometimes I staple drape.