She Bends: A film and conversation on neon art
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Image courtesy of Jess Krichelle
Join us for a film and conversation with the women in neon exploring the process, science, and conceptual growth of neon art. She Bends presents “Of Luminescence,” a film by She Bends artist and filmmaker, Jess Krichelle. The film is a meditative piece on women in neon, challenging the false dichotomy of art and science and celebrating the craft of neon glass blowing and the future of neon lights. After the film, meet She Bends artists Kacie Lees, Sarah Blood, and Kate Hush, and hear about how fabricating and being intimately involved with the science and technical aspects of the neon craft influence the conceptual nature of their work.
She Bends is a movement empowering women in neon. They support a network of women who are bending their own neon art and pushing the boundaries of their medium beyond the confines of commercial signage. She Bends is dedicated to building a more equitable future for neon through educating the public on its history and process, preserving the trade, honoring its craftspeople, and fostering diversity and sustainability in their medium.
Jess Krichelle was taught neon fabrication and design by Lili Lakich and tube bending from Michael Flechtner, two of the neon community’s most innovative artists in Los Angeles. She was the lab supervisor for the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, California, and is now a neon technician at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, New York. She is a member of the artist collective, She Bends, the first of its kind to feature a cast of womxn identifying artists in neon. With a background in film, Jess has taken her interest in neon and has been documenting neon benders around the US for an upcoming film exploring the history, the chemistry, and the future of the neon craft. Jess has currently been working with fluorescent airbrush paints to create synthetic dreamscapes that accompany her neon sculptures as well as integrating her profound passion for science and biology into her work.
Kacie Lees is an artist, author, and professor in art and technology studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL We see her in her studio screenprinting her latest book Neon Primer, a 200-page, coil-bound educational text illuminating the hidden nature of light via the craft of neon bending. Saturated with golden footnotes sourced from exhibition catalogs, pivotal light artworks, films, etymology, and classic cultural influences such as “Schoolhouse Rock!”, this handbook has a high 90s aesthetic, chunky black, and fluorescent exploded-view graphics, tear-out bending patterns, posters, and material guides that bring the text into the 3D space of the studio.
Sarah Blood is a UK-born artist, curator, and educator. She has enjoyed an active studio practice since 1999. Her work responds to the poetics of living, to beauty and heartbreak, and seeks to reveal moments that challenge our perception of vulnerability. Concerned with light and phenomenology she plays with the tension between materials, space, and the viewer.
Teresa Escobar was born in Veracruz, México. Her work in neon reflects sensual and organic shapes; she understands glass as a fragile and malleable yet powerful and hard material.
No registration is required. Free online event.
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