Rhetorical Factory Show July 2015!

All new show scheduled, opening July 10, 2015 at Rhetorical Factory!

So excited for summer!

And here’s why…. 2 months ago I had a sit down, that’s amazing, brainstorm-y idea to collaborate with one of my favorite local artists. Today I ordered 9 yards of fabric from Spoonflower for what will become the centerpieces of my July show “Getting Off the Wall” at Rhetorical Factory in West Asheville.

This locally powered shop focuses on upcycling clothes and innovative design. Bethany Adams, the designer and captain of the ship at the shop,  had an inspiring boots on the ground meeting with me yesterday. She and I have had wonderful success in the past collaborating on projects (if you’ve ever seen me in a CLicKs shirt) and I can’t wait to see what she creates with my images! The show will also include 20 original glass art tiles which I’ve been working on for most of this year.

Come see what we’ve been dreaming up. . . second Saturday, July 10, 2015.

Tangleheart Carousel – Glass Art Tile 6″x6″ with wood stand available at upcoming show July 2015 at Rhetorical Factory in West Asheville.

In Vision – New Work by C.L. Kunst

Mom had it right.

When I was born my mother named me Cynthia Lea, which is an elegant and regal sounding set of names that I am only just now beginning to embrace. Now Lea is easy. Lea means shelter. Lea is an integral part of my Grandmother’s and my oldest daughter’s first name. But that uppity sounding first bit always seemed so far out of my reach.  Originally a reference to a Greek baby name, it literally means of Cynthus, and refers to the location of the birth of the Greek Goddess Artemis and the personification of the first phase of the moon. But modern definitions are more liberal and include ideas that relate to the moon’s more ethereal qualities such as its role as a mirror and reflectors and light in dark places.

When I was growing up I remember feeling intimidated by the big ideas that went with this name. Was this really me? Did this have anything to do with who I was meant to be? I didn’t feel particularly shiny or reflective, much less somehow related to any phase of some classical Greek goddess.  Turns out the answer is yes!!! I get so excited by light! Shining it, flashing it, catching it, teaching it how to dance funny, little flickers in dark places, whatever, just bring on the light! And I don’t think this is an accident either. My birthday comes right in front of the Spring Equinox and the sweet annual return of milder temperatures and longer days. I definitely experience my own personal quickening around this time of year.

March is when the phone starts ringing for portrait sessions again and the art shows, festivals and events for the summer start getting lined up.  So far this year has already been a major hustle-bustle with a pop-up show at a Blind Pig dinner in early February and this week  where I get ready for my latest show at The Circle Asheville that opens Saturday from 3-6.  I’ll be offering a bunch of new work as well as a few old favorites in a new way. Glass!! I’ve gotten together with a local printmaker who helping me create some gorgeous glass art tiles to go along with my other prints and photo art this year. Of course Pop was invaluable and helped me out by making some really cool stands for each tile so you can plunk it in the nearest window and let the sun (or the moon) do all the work backlighting it! They also make really pretty votive shades with a tea candle put on the stand behind the tile for your bookshelf or dining table.

This new body of work represents a jumping off point for me. After making what I call Radiants  for over 10 years I realized that what I’ve really been doing was picking up little pieces of flotsam and jetsam with my camera; bits of visual ephemera that might not mean much now but someday I felt I might find the puzzle this fits into. This year is the year I realized the scope of the puzzle and began to reassemble the pieces into a picture that made sense to me. After looking outward for a very long time I’m beginning to find the worth in looking in. So that’s In Vision, new looks at old works and a re-”in vision”-ing of their purpose in my bigger image. Come see.

In Vision

Show poster at The Circle March 14 – April 10


The Last LAAFF?!?

2014 – Is this the Last LAAFF for Lex Fest?

Hopefully not! Although is has been declared over and done and this year will be the “Last LAAFF” there will be metamorphosis to the project with a larger group of directors and organizations including the businesses along Lexington Avenue, the very source of the fest itself.  I believe LAAFF proved in the shadow of its final bow, that it is a festival Asheville wants. Even though I didn’t get to stay as long as I wanted to it was as much fun as ever! Particular favorites for me were The Water Temple, Bike Races with a Dunk Tank finish, Asian Teacher Factory and of course all of the great artists, performers and just folks that dress up and come out to LAAFF. The people watching is always par excellence and this year was no exception! Here are a few choice looks from the day. You can find more photos from LAAFF on my facebook page here.

[*And a note to the future organizers, please don't scrap a good thing because of one bad year. There's no such thing as a last LAAFF.]



1.21.14: Face Paint

 Face Paint for my Empty Head

Head Games - Face Paint

This is my new favorite art project!  Before the snow arrived yesterday, I took the head out to our painting table and spent some time seeing how well it translated. The painting table is actually a bit of banged up patio furniture that we are all allowed to paint on and decorate. (It sees a lot more action in the warmer months.) I’m very happy with the way these turned out! The colors on the table show through beautifully to become smudgy-licious “face paint” for my empty head. If you want to get your face or body bits painted for real, check out my friend Amy at Asheville Face & Body Painting.

Head Games - Face Paint

Head Games - Face Paint

Head Games

Sometimes the best parts are all in your head.

Cleaning out the office today. Since it has had to act as living room storage area for the past few months while we repaired the ceiling and painted, it’s pretty crowded in here. While digging through the knick knack box mountains  I found a wedding present from my Uncle’s family, a glass mannequin head. (Don’t ask, it was on the registry and I love it.) Anyway, this item has always turned my gears as an object of interest but it’s also something that has gone unrealized artistically.  I could never quite figure out what to do with it.  As I was about to put it away on the shelf to look over my hats & scarves I finally had a “Eureka” moment with this piece to use it as an abstract filter!! I can’t believe I didn’t notice it until today.  And what good is an empty head until you fill it up? Right?!?  Look out for more cameo appearances of the head in the future. Oh boy, this is going to be fun!!!


Feed Your Head

Begin Again

To begin again is the promise of every new year.

Last night, at the last moment of last year, we gathered around our family fire and held a handful of powder. Quietly we took turns approaching the fire, tossing in our share, changing the color of the flames from orange to blue and purple and green. We said goodbye to resentments and entanglements of last year and opened our hearts to what we would do better in the new.

Personally, I realized that I miss the creative pressure of the 365 Project I started 4 years ago. For 2 years I pursued it religiously and found it rewarding to my head and heart. Keeping my eye always open for the day’s best moment and the challenge of interpreting it. Then we moved and things got weird. I gave myself a break and enjoyed letting the current of life drag me along, putting up one thing or another when it struck me, but with no consistency it somehow felt less special.  So 2014 sees the return of the Asheville CLicKs 365!!!! Everyday there will be something new for me to make and for you to look at, I promise.

See you tomorrow.

Begin Again

Night Writers

In my high school photography class I saw a photo of a bull drawn by Picasso using a pen light and a long exposure.  Ever since then I’ve been intrigued with light drawing photos.  Since we’ve moved into Hopeville we have a nice dark back yard where I can experiment without bothering folks or having the cops called.  When I mentioned this to my artist friend Bill we decided to play in the yard last night. We let it rip with several different light sources to some pretty great effect.  Looking forward to changing up the lights, drawing some scenes and exploring colors next.

Composite of two seperate exposures and several manipulations.
In the Hammock with light pens and flash lights.
In the hammock with a sparkler.

Animal Smush the Home Game

MJ sprained her ankle this week resulting in a pile of couch time while we wait for the healing of those muscles. To stave off boredom and do something creative together we dusted off a game we used to play when the kids were younger. It’s more of an art project directive than a game really as there’s no competition and everyone wins but it keeps you occupied and creative for at least a solid hour without any TV.

How to play Animal Smush:

You will need paper, or other flatish drawable surface, and/or pens, pencils, markers, crayons, charcoal, spraypaint, etc.

1. Make a list of all the animals you can think of.
2. Cut up your list into strips of paper and put them into a bowl or jar. (We also use animal flash cards from another game we have.)
3. Reach into the jar and pull out 2 or 3 slips of paper.
4. Create an animal which is a combination of those suggestions with the most colorful and descriptive drawing you can muster.
5. You must also name your new creature and write at least 3 descriptive sentences about it which include information about what kind of an animal it is, or what it likes or does not like, what it eats, etc.

This little art project has resulted in some unexpected hybrids this weekend. Here are a few of mine. . .  I know they’re cartoony and goofy but that’s the best part!

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