Visual Arts

The Many Talents of
Liz Curtin

The artist, Liz Curtin is like a magician with a hatful of beautiful, creative artwork.
Curtin just doesn’t do one thing very well, she does a boatload of things really well. Mixed media, artist’s books, quilting, printing, ceramics, and guitar playing. Just to name a few.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Liz is a close friend of mine and I’m pleased to celebrate her in this feature. Whenever Liz and I visit together, her hands are always moving like birds weaving a nest. She’ll be sewing a quilt piece, working on an art book, making rust stains on canvas to create an aged effect, and yes – whittling is her latest endeavor from sticks she’s picked up on her walks. Liz is a collector and sees art possibility everywhere in the streets and trash cans of New York City. Whatever she finds triggers her active imagination. The world is a treasure hunt and art will be made from it.

Curtin’s monumental piece, “Celestial Bodies” is an installation which consists of over 2,000 mixed media, paper circles sewn together creating floating lines of thread. The effect created by the light is magical, as circular shadows dance back and forth animated by the air. Circles filled with every hue on the palette; blues, pinks, purples, greens. I’m reminded of our humanity—that each one of us has our own hue, our own body of mixed media, our spirits. We have variations as a people. Can we become like this beautiful artwork, and honor and come together in harmony?

Installation of 2000 mixed media paper circles sewn together creating a curtain
“Celestial Bodies”

Perhaps Curtin is suggesting that “Celestial Bodies” is a kinetic, visual extravaganza where one feels joy and beauty in such an installation. It physically jacks up my endorphins whenever I look at it. “To Life” is the name of the artwork similar to “Celestial Bodies” except it is two dimensional. It has 100 circles of every color and technique, each circle different; another celebration that exudes a joyful exuberance and again a festival of color is the dominant feature.

The piece, “Something To Hold Onto,” is a book-like assemblage wrapped in altered tissue paper, tied in twine with turquoise beads and two blue objects made of clay, suggesting some kind of talisman or good luck charms. When the book is opened it becomes one piece that is sectioned by threads. One pictures it filled with poetry, mystery, and secrets that tantalizes the imagination. This piece also exhibits a deft use of materials and craftsmanship.

A book like assemblage wrapped in altered issue paper, tied in twine with turquoise beads and two blue objects made of clay.
“Something to Hold Onto”

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