Connect & Collect – Going, Going, Gone!

The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Artis holding it’s 36th annual art exhibition and auction, Connect & Collect! Last weekend was the opening reception, silent bidding and buy it now options have begun and will build into a crescendo by October 22 . For more details and to get your bidding number visit:

Jody Alexander’s linen wrapped and sewn book piece was already purchased!

Cynthia Ona Innis’s Tioga

Kirk Maxson’s Hummingbird Wings

Katja Leibnath and Katy Kindig‘s paintings had already sold!

Two pieces I adored by Pantea Karimi and Kim Froshin.

Dotti Cichon and Katy Kindig

Charlotte Kruk’s  Bomb Shell!

Detail from Michael Koehle’s Young Hillary

Monica Van den Dool’s– ceramic bird

Hung Liu and Eric Fischl!

Lorrie Fredette’s Distant Measures

Mary Souza with her Tuming 1

Carolynn Haydu’s

Jenifer Kent’s  Tum

So great that all these artists have donated work to help the ICA keep giving back to the arts community!

Down the Rabbit Hole – Anne & Mark’s Art Party 2016

What a party! The food, the fun, the friends the fashion the frolicking the theme (falling down the rabbit hole into a world of wonder) and yes, booze, but at its core, Anne and Mark’s Art Party is all about the art – visual, musical, spoken and dance, SO many artist and SUCH great work! Artists emerging and established, local and international, street meets museum! As an exhibiting artist this year I am so grateful to Anne Sconberg and Mark Henderson and Georgie Huff and to the vast army of volunteers and contributors who made this all possible…and it’s not over yet!

The gallery is open this week, Friday and Saturday from 11am-5pm ($10 admission) and a Closing Bash ($29 admission) Saturday night, October I, complete with a Pivot to Fashion Show that is not to be missed!  It’s a good thing because you can’t see everything in one visit! Check out for more information! FYI This post is link rich – click on the artist’s names for websites where available!

Bill Gould‘s installation over the gateway to Anne & Mark’s Art Party clattering in the breeze  like a river rucking over stones.

Exhibiting artist Holly Van Hart and company in front of a sculpture installation by Tulio Flores and Linnae Asiel of Asiel Design.

Live painting!

So delighted to have six of my Florilegia – illuminated mixed media assemblage paintings on exhibit in my own little “gallery” in the south-west corner of the Main Gallery. Here I am with Purity and Oblivion.

Pano of my “gallery” Secret Lover, Mature Elegance, Happy Marriage, Purity and Oblivion.

With Bryan Callanta – the man who knows galleries and shirts and also the man I have to thank for my great little gallery!

With artist W.M. Vinci – the Mad Hatter with the sublime taste and the fab footwear!

Goldfish heels! Swoon!

Fabulous Steam Punk art lovers.

Susan Kraft and her encaustic paintings.

NUMU curator, Marianne McGrath. 

Sieglinde Van Damme and her digital prints from scanned Chemograms with gallerist Jack Fisher.

Jay Ruland‘s  gorgeous dying rose scanned prints.

Lovely White Rabbit & Mad Hatter!

Christopher Elliman‘s mixed media Systematic Deconstruction.

Tessie Barerra-Sharaga‘s mixed media installation.

Exhibiting artist Holly Van Hart with her abstract landscape oil paintings on canvas.

Samuel Price‘s mixed media collage.

Will Marino‘s wound and folded paper, Shadow (Fig Tree)

Jody Alexander and her Keep installation of discarded library books, and vintage linen  and book skins, boro technique worked textiles.

Lisa Wangness‘s mixed media collage Sin / Without.

Dotti Cichon‘s digital photography printed on silk.

Exhibting artist Sara Friedlander and her American Women: Birds of Im/Migration
Mixed media digital collage and paint on wooden panel

Sara Friedlander‘s  American Women: Birds of Im/Migration: Ethel on Her Way Home From School – Mixed media digital collage and paint on wooden panel.

George Rivera‘s dramatic oil on canvas figurative work.

Karen Gutfreund‘s bold text pieces.

Exhibiting artist Laura Jacobson with her prints and ceramics.

Rose Sellery – Baby Shoes!

Rose Selery‘s Pins and Needles dress (detail).

Exhibting artist Rose Sellery and her Rags to Riches sculpture with JR

Rose Sellery‘s Rags to Riches

Laura Scandrett‘s Untitled – Photochemicals on Photo Paper.

Cristina Velázquez‘s installation.

Exhibiting artists Kent Manske and Cristina Velázquez.

Marc D’Estout – Pinhead

Tim Craighead – Without Constantini and D. Brent Stephens – El Triunfo

Khaled Akil‘s Requiem for Syria 1- Digital print from painting and photography — with Anne Schonenberg and exhibiting artist Mary Wold Souza.


Exhibiitng artist – Guru and Angel – Mark Henderson.

Robert Larson‘s mixed media paintings – I love the one with the cigarette packaging!

Lorraine Lawson – mixed media on canvas (left)
Mary Wold Souza – oil on canvas (far wall)
Kim Pourciau – wedding china sculpture (center)
Patrick Wädl Hofmeister – mixed media on canvas (right)

Margaret Niven‘s mixed media trees flanking Stan Welsh and Margitta Dietrick Welsh’s mixed media, sculpture, photograph with drawing on far wall

Della Calfee‘s photograph On the Inside.

Robert Ortbal‘s A to Z sculpture.

Robin Lasser‘s photograph & fabulous party goers

Awesome aqua!

Brian Coleman‘s Neon lovliness!

Emanuela Harris-Sintamarian‘s gouache on paper.


Green fairy lights – Joe Miller – mixed media install, Exhibiting Artist Jane Peterman Trace and her acrylic Trace Memory

Wild orange!

Exhibiting artist Mandy Spritzer and her metal pieces

Exhibiting artist Danielle Dufayet and daughter.

Danielle Dufayet‘s acrylic paintings.


David Middlebrook with his missed media sculpture and the lovely April Gee.

David Middlebrook‘s sculpture and Gail Ragains abstact figurative paintings in oil.

Cool vibe – bass and piano.

Indian classical dance with Abhinaya Dance Co.


Best of friends!

Great sax with a jazz-funk-rap group.

Shovelman! I bought his Dirty West CD SOOOO good!

Late night in the VIP lounge.

One final blast of fire before I called it a night.

Jody Alexander – Keep: Modern Library

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - photo Marie Cameron - 2016

Shakerag Hollow, Kyoto, Santa Cruz

Jody Alexander‘s Keep: Modern Library, on exhibit at the R. Blitzer Gallery in Santa Cruz, is a thoughtful and finely crafted transformation of the skins of vintage library books which have been withdrawn from circulation into textile inspired two and three dimensional art pieces that could only come out of an intimate knowledge and a deep understanding of our emotional attachment to these books as objects and our response to the ongoing process of their obsolescence.

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - book skin swatches - photo Marie Cameron - 2016

Book skin swatches and call numbers.

The very “skinning” of the book covers seems to me a redemptive process, hanging on, not to the words and ideas of the books themselves, which may have become outdated or superfluous, but to the remnants of our collective physical experience of them,  the bits of gilded fonts becoming abstract “art marks”, the texture and feel of the linen, the retro hues, faded and worn over time, stained with our handling – soil from our carelessness, oil from out fingers and maybe even our very DNA.  These books have been stamped with the library’s own lexicon of call numbers, due dates and recommendations: KEEP, REQUIRES FURTHER CLEANING, DISCARD. Librarian’s knowledge.

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Spilled Hot Chocolate (detail) - photo Marie Cameron 2016

Spilled Hot Chocolate

Skins are incorporated into swaths of stained, stamped and elaborately stitched European linen, inspired by the symbols Alexander discovered in a library cataloging book (which acted as her muse throughout the project) and by the utilitarian Japanese technique of boro, or “rags”, where that which is ripped or damaged is mended to further it’s life.

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Higbee (detail 2) - photo Marie Cameron 2016

Close up detail from Higbee showing some boro techniques.

In her talk and book, Keep, Alexander shares a quote from Kei Kawasaki that refers to the philosophy behind boro… “there is an old Japanese saying that you shouldn’t throw away any piece of cloth big enough to wrap three beans”.

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Three Bean Rule - photo Marie Cameron - 2016

Pigments and the three bean rule.

Alexander’s process  (which had even involved dragging some of her work through mud and lakes as farflung as Shakerag Hollow, Kyoto and Santa Cruz) results in sublime abstract textiles that practically breathe with new life. Beyond a tribute to their past as well loved library books, they have morphed into another artistic plane that somehow says something touching and meaningful about out better natures.

I can’t help but think of the metamorphosis of a butterfly, but where focus is on the cocoon that is shed and honored and transformed once more…

ody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - 91385, Maxwell, Bias - photo Marie Cameron 2016

91385 Maxwell Bias.

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Maxwell (detail 2) - photo Marie Cameron 2016

Maxwell (detail)

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Maxwell (detail) - photo Marie Cameron 2016

Maxwell (detail)

This last Saturday the Jody Alexander gave a talk about her work at the gallery to a large and engaged crowd (where I gained all this insight into her art and her process).

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Talk 3 - photo Marie Cameron - 2016

Keep Talk

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Talk 5- photo Marie Cameron - 2016

Keep Talk Audience

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Talk 4 - photo Marie Cameron -2016

Full House

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Missing Dress - photo Marie Cameron - 2016          Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - blue -green library books - photo Marie Cameron - 2016         Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - first piece in the series -  photo Marie Cameron - 2016

Empty dress hanger, Stack of vintage books, Alexander’s first textile book for Keep.

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - with Shannon Amidon - photo Marie Cameron - 2016

Jody Alexander with Shannon Amidon, both members of Bay Area Book Artists.

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Talk 2 - photo Marie Cameron - 2016

Viewing Installation

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Essential - photo Marie Cameron 2016


Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Higbee (detail 1) - photo Marie Cameron 2016

Higbee (detail)

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Main Stacks - photo Marie Cameron 2016

Main Stacks

Jody Alexander - Keep Modern Library - R. Blitzer Gallery - Main Stacks (detail) - photo Marie Cameron 2016

Main Stacks (detail)

Jody Alexander and Marie Cameron  - Modern Library - photo Shannon Amidon 2016

Me with my copy of Keep and artist Jody Alexander in her fabulous dress.

There’s a lovely, signed, limited edition book, Keep, inspired by the exhibit -10% of the sales from this book will be donated to the Santa Cruz Public Library for the acquisition of books for the children’s collection – that’s just how Rydell Award Recipient, Jody Alexander rolls! You can get yours at