Friday, November 01, 2013

Rita Returns to Long Beach

The Long Beach Library - Main Library is a wonderful spot to exhibit Rita's Excellent Adventure.   The opportunity to exhibit came up quickly.  We checked out the venue on one day and the very next we were installing it!

The exhibit is right at the entrance to the children's section so there will be lots of traffic. The blue panels brighten the entrance and make the children's section an even happier place.  The librarians will be selecting a variety of books to place on the benches below to entice viewers to explore the topics illustrated in the story illustrated with out tapestries. 

If you recall, Rita's Excellent Adventure is a whimsical tale of a sand crab named RIta that loves purple plankton.  Her adventures in search of the best plankton in Santa Monica Bay are told in verse and illustrated with 20 tapestries.  It was completed in June 2012 and its initial showing was at the Society Gallery on Pine Ave during Convergence 2012 - Long Beach.  It has just returned from Eureka, CA where it was exhibited at the Morris Graves Museum of Art and will now be exhibited at the Long Beach Museum through the end of 2013. 

·       Whether the story is read out loud or silently, one can only smile while learning of the habits, predators, habitats and adventures of this small sand crab named Rita.

·     For the art lover, there is the discovery of how six artists with different styles can come together and create 20 tapestries, which coalesce into one look for the story.   It is also fun for the viewer to guess which artists wove which pieces.   

·       And for the child within each of us, there is the occasional discovery of two eyes peeking back at us from a tapestry here and there.  

Once upon a time, I dreamed up RIta - a nickel sized sand crab who had great adventures in searching for the  best purple plankton in Santa Monica Bay.  With the help of Merna Strauch, Karen Leckart, Judi Freed, Margie Fine and Carollee Howes, we illustrated the story with tapestries.  Each of us incorporated our own unique style while using a common palette of yarns and some basic parameters.  One of my favorite things to study are all the different frames we is amazing how 20 frames can be woven so differently. 

It's fun being part of the Seaside tapestry group.  We have a long rich history in tapestry starting in the early 80’s. Our members include both award winning artists who exhibit nationwide and some who only exhibit as part of a collaborative Seaside project. The group has a reputation for creating challenging, often whimsical collaborative projects. Rita’s Excellent Adventure is such a project.  

The Rita's Excellent Adventure, the book,  is available for borrowing from the Long Beach library and can be purchased through Amazon or at