Monthly Archives: August 2010



I went to the Vital Threads exhibition last Friday, and I got the chance to interview the two artists, Annie Helmericks-Louder and Pam Kanagawa-RuBert whose works were exhibited in Davis Art Gallery.

The article I wrote for this event is rather frustrating. I tried to describe the scenes, the processes, the feelings, and the ideas of the artists for their work, but it is difficult because these criterias are conceptual and very abstract. I can’t make them materialized and really let the readers “see.”

The advice Jeane gave me today is that I should have a tape recorder, so that it’s easy to catch what the interviewee said and it’s clearer to pull out information. It’s also important to write an outline for my articles.

I was kind of sad after I know my article doesn’t work. I also received e-mail from the Gallery’s curator asking me when the artile will be published. I responded with guilt because I can’t fulfill his wish.

I’m going to another gallery tomorrow to interview about the upcoming events, with the advices Jeane gave me, hopefully it will be successful.

Anyway, I would like to post the article I wrote for the exhibition last Friday, a “memorial article”.

The Vital Threads Exhibition reception was held at Davis Art Gallery this afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Sedalia artist Annie Helmericks-Louder and Springfield artist Pam Kanagawa-RuBert exhibit art quilts and silk paintings during the exhibition from Aug. 27 through Oct. 14.

“The Davis Art Gallery has been hosting art exhibitions since 1964, the current show, Vital Threads, is one of the five shows this academic year. Typically four of five shows are made up of emerging and established Missouri artists who work in a variety of media,” according to Daniel Scott, the curator for Davis Art Gallery, who took over for the 16-year-curator Robert Friedman.

“The title of the exhibition, ‘Vital Threads’, was meant to reinforce the impression that the work shown would go beyond your average impression of what a quilt or textile art could be,” continued Daniel.

There are 12 pictures exhibited in the gallery including five of Annie’s and seven of Pam’s. Each work is done with consummate skills reflected in sophisticated sewing, creative arrangement of fabrics and rich composition of colors. “All of them are neat and colorful,” said Amanda, fashion major student at Stephens College.

Art quilts by Pam usually take one to two months to finish without full-time working. The theme of her paintings on today’s exhibition contains a character name PaMdora, which is a stubborn girl having troubles trying to adapt to daily situations. Pam made a joke in the painting “Alien Invasion”, she explains her friend’s trip to Japan and met a kid asking him “Have you ever been connect by Alien?” Her ideas come from daily life, stay in her mind for several weeks and turn into liberative and imaginative sketches. By refining and sketching in a back and forth process, she approaches story in a different angle. The final piece of her work looks different because of the fiber effect that makes computer design different from printed patterns.

Pam chose to combine natural materials and drawings for a more practical effect influenced by her husband who has been a sculptor for 20 years. She also makes things bigger in her works, because audiences have a larger reaction to the emotion in her paintings.

Annie’s works are silk paintings composed of various materials depicting landscape. She focuses on the texture of the pictures that delivers a unique feeling when touched by hands. Her use of materials is ingenious in a way people haven’t though of, which forms a new-born landscape in her own style and leaves a wide-open space for audiences to interpret.

Taking notes at any time is a habit for Annie. The inspiration comes from the feeling of temperature, a glimpse of a sunset, or a shiver in the dusk of the rainless days. She adds her experiences to notes, uses art to represents the instant feelings and goes through the crash of art composing and physical reactions when feeling the world. “I search for materials to support the memory,” said Annie.

A work of a butterfly catches people’s attention. It is a big, lifelike butterfly and contains a mixture of different materials and bright colors. It is number four in a series of five Annie finished three to four years ago. She still got future inspirations from the works she have done. “But now staring at it, I think of number six and seven,” said she. “It conveys art to another level, and incorporates with different elements,” said a local junior student major in fashion. “The work in the show is fresh, intelligent, engaging, and unexpected,” said Daniel.


Thoughts of working as a reporter in 2010


I’m started to look for stories and events around the Benton-Stephens neighborhood from Tuesday, and find some places that might have stories. I sent e-mails to people taking in charge of them; fortunately, I got most of their replies.

By reading the former reporter Alyssa’s memo, my partner Abi and I noticed the Columbia Community Garden is a great place to go, so we went there on Thursday. Before that, I sent e-mail to one of the gardeners Rachel Penn, who leaded us to take a tour around the garden. She is very friendly.

Some story ideas came to my mind after the tour: I can write a story about the garden’s history, how many people are involved, and an introduction of what’s in the garden. Finding a personal and get to know his/her works in the garden is always useful, from which I would know is there difficulties in maintaining the garden as well as how s/he gets over them.

Interestingly, Abi and I saw there’s a Montessori book fair near the garden, and we can absolutely do a story on that.

I also sent e-mails to Benton Elementary School and the Memorial Baptist Church asking for events information. The interim pastor of the church James Smith told me that they prepared buddy packs to send food home over the weekends to families in need; they have several projects to assist with school supplies and coats for students, and additionally, there are some music and community events that the church plans in the near future.

It is impressive that James copied the ministers in the church to remind each other in contact with me.

These experiences taught me that courtesy is very important, with which I can build good relationships and keep in contact with my sources as a journalist.