travel and identity

Traveling alone puts my inner dialog on speaker phone.

When I traveled to Chicago for the opening at ZIA Gallery this past weekend the speaker phone was kept ringing. Conversations ranged from Why am I doing this? Who cares? Who am I? What does that left elbow ache really mean? Why am I doing this? What if I tried it this way? Wouldn't it be cool if I could listen in to that traffic cops thoughts? Why am I doing this? What's for dinner? to Why am I doing this?

Yep, Why am I doing this? was No. 1 on the hit parade. And I don't have an answer for it.

Upon entering ZIA Gallery these two pieces, Punditocracy and Incoming, take center stage.

I had as many questions as elevator buttons.

Dazed and confused.

If you get a chance to see the show at ZIA (open until July 30) let me know if it gave you any insights or changed your inner dialog in any way. Your thoughts might give me some insight into my own conversations.

preparation and separation anxiety

This piece and 14 of its brethren are traveling to Chicago for a solo show. It has taken me two full weeks of details to get them all prepped, packaged and shipped. And now it is done. The only thing left to do is worry about them being away from the studio on their own.

Incoming by Paula Kovarik, 31H x 41W, 2016

For those of my readers who are near Winnetka, Illinois: please take a break from basking in the sun, sipping lemonade and playing summer games to take in the show at ZIA Gallery. I would love to meet you on opening night.

ZIA | Gallery
548 Chestnut, Winnetka, IL
June 25 - July 30, 2016

Opening Reception
Saturday, June 25th, 5-7pm

this memory doesn't fade

Rock star smile.

Rock star smile.

Mom died three years ago today. Her buoyancy, fearlessness and resolve astounded me. She learned new art forms in her eighties and pursued them with vigor. She spread love and acceptance to all around her without judgement. She could bait a hook at the same time as steering the boat. She loved romance novels, bacon-fried potatoes, fabric in all colors and hearing from her sons. She would get in her car and head off without destination just to get a handle on what was out there. She was my mentor and sideline cheerleader.

I miss her every day.

fading shadows.

Memories fade, but not these. She is sharp in my memory. She talks to me in my dreams. I can feel her hands on my shoulders.

I miss her every day.

Inner path goes public

The Common Thread Symposium hosted by the North Carolina State University College of Design’s Department of Art+Design is on November 6-7, 2015 (find out more here). I am one of the featured artists.

Preparing a workshop focused on linework is daunting. It will be the first time I teach something about how I approach line and design. I have to look within to create an outward path. The hardest part of doing this is figuring out how to narrow it all down to a four-hour exercise. It's an opportunity that I feel ready for despite the mountains of ideas I need to edit.

If you are near Raleigh, North Carolina on November 6-7 take some time to participate in this event. I'd love to meet you and share some thoughts. Check out these speakers and workshops:


Dr. Susan Kay-Williams, Chief Executive Office of the Royal School of Needlework
Ilze Aviks, Contemporary Embroidery Artist
Precious Lovell, Contemporary Fiber Artist and Independent Researcher
Andrea Donnelly, Conceptual Weaver

Workshop Leaders

Ilze Aviks, Contemporary Embroidery Artist
Precious Lovell, Contemporary Fiber Artist and Independent Researcher
Gabrielle Duggan, Contemporary Fiber Artist and Educator
Mary Kircher, Contemporary Weaver
Kelly Kye, Contemporary Quilter
Mackenzie Bullard, Natural Dye Researcher

head spinning

OK, I gotta admit yesterday was pretty thrilling. As an ArtPrize Seven participant, I am one of many artists looking for the love. And, I am one of the extremely lucky ones because I was invited to show at the prestigious Grand Rapids Art Museum, smack dab in the middle of all the ruckus. (Thank you Ron Platt, American Craft Magazine, and the winds of chance that blow through our universe.)

Round one voting began last Wednesday and extends until Saturday of this week. The top 20 finalists (the top five in each of 4 categories) will be announced on Sunday, Oct. 4. Then Round 2 voting begins. The public will vote for their favorite and prizes will be awarded on Oct. 9. Top prize is $200,000.

Now back to yesterday. The ArtPrize website keeps a running tally of the votes and which pieces are leading the group in terms of the popular vote (so far 220,963 votes have been cast). The folks in Grand Rapids can vote for as many artists as they like in this round one vote session. And it looks like, as of yesterday, that I qualified for the top 25 list in the 2-D category. Though I know that the list will change each day running up to the announcement on Saturday, the fact that I made it into that group once is enough. Thank you, Grand Rapids.

Be still my beating heart.

Heartfelt, stands at the beginning of the display at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The piece was inspired by my mother, who would be cheering on the sidelines if she was with us today.