Note: all photographs of artwork herein are copyrighted and used with the knowledge of and permission from the artist, Martina Celerin. It is prohibited to duplicate or otherwise make use of these photographs without the express written permission of the artist.
Joe Writes . . .
My wife has been very open about her treatment for cancer: first for breast cancer, then for melanoma. I’m happy – nay, thrilled – to report that she is doing very well.
We were at the University of Michigan’s Rogel Cancer Center a few weeks ago, waiting for an appointment, at the same time that a new art exhibit was being installed. The new exhibit replaced an exhibit which had included an extremely realistic painting of former Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer standing with a few Buckeye players on the sidelines of the Horseshoe in Columbus. I always thought that an odd choice of art to display at the U of M, even if the painting was superbly-rendered.
The new display featured fiber art with what I perceived as a river theme from artist Martina Celerin, who has an interesting life story. Celerin was born in Prague before immigrating to Canada as a child. After earning a doctoral degree in plant sciences from the University of Western Ontario, she accepted a postdoctoral position as a molecular geneticist in the Biology Department at Indiana University. The following is excerpted from the Artist Statement which accompanies her exhibit at the Rogel Cancer Center.
“The essence of art is a balance between contrast and harmony. I’m creating beauty – scenes of pristine places and idyllic impressions – using discarded and unwanted things. My art studio is filled with a plethora of odds and ends, new and old. I have jars of fossils, shells and weathered rocks, as well as yarns of all weights, colors and descriptions, much of it recovered as scrap from local weavers and knitters. They sit beside dozens of containers of beads and discarded jewelry from all over the world. There are strips of leather, undone hemp baskets, disentangled wires, and pieces of lace – all bits and pieces of everyday life, waiting to create a specific effect in a weaving.
My inspiration is drawn from both nature and my imagination. Some pieces are scenes taken from memories of family walks or places I have visited. Others are much more abstract, capturing an idea, personality, or simply reflecting the feelings evoked by an event or geographical area. All of the pieces, though, are true weavings, integrating the materials, landscapes or emotions I’ve drawn from my travels and experiences.”
Until my brother Tom and I can get out on the river again – until you can get out on your river again, real or metaphorical – we can draw inspiration and enjoyment from Martina Celerin’s work.
God Bless us all during The Great Isolation. Stay healthy and stay in touch with those you love. As always . . . take the river’s side.
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Thank you so much for your kind words about my art. It’s a difficult time and I hope that my exhibit brings a little bit of a happy escape to you, your wife, and anyone else that encounters it.
I have taken a class with Martina, and it was a rewarding experience. Her ability to tell her story, teach, and help students produce all or part of their vision while under her tutelage was inspirational. Enjoy her display at the U of M Cancer Center❣️
Thanks for touching base, Jan. Be well.