Opening Evening American Impressions Art Exhibition Velingrad Bulgaria
September 25th 2014 marked the opening of a new art exhibition in Velingrad, Bulgaria entitled “American Impressions”. Nearly 100 pieces in numerous media make up this show. Shown here, in these few photos, is the preparations in the Gallery.
The exhibition includes eggshells, gourds, cottonwood bark, and my first showing for jewelry of my own creation. My eggshell carvings were included in this show because they were the reason I was invited to Bulgaria in 2011 to share my art. When we were arranging this new exhibition, the staff of the Ethnographic Museum in Velingrad asked specifically for the gourd art I have been creating in the style of Native American art. There are many similarities between ancient Bulgarian art and Native American art. We also decided to include the wood pieces I have carved over the past ten months. When I first started carving with the Paragraver carving pen I carved a few pieces of Cottonwood bark and then moved to different materials. For a change of pace from the foundation for my art which is eggshells, I carved a few bark pieces and was drawn back to this media because it is very different than eggs. This wood is forgiving of mistakes and allows for freeform expression that cannot be made from an egg. Finally, These jewelry offerings were included because they are my newest creative outlet. For two years now I have been learning jewelry making and metal smithing. The sixteen pieces in this first collection culminate eight years of varying skill development. They combine wood, sterling silver, stone, and natural pearls.
Opening night was well attended, with a presentation by the Director of the Historical Museum, Snezhana Veleva and Velingrad Director of Humanities, Mrs. Stefanova. Chief Curator Georgi Kumanov also assisted with interpretations.
Words cannot express my gratitude to the people of Bulgaria and especially Velingrad for making me feel welcome. I am honored to be sharing art here and learning about Bulgarian culture.