In this episode, host Kate Jones has the pleasure of having conversations with two creative women about work and life.
In the first segment, Gretchen Bierbaum talks about her "light-bulb moment" that led to her becoming a collage artist. She went on to study Islamic art in Iran, became an art educator and administrator, and has enjoyed doing bicentennial and other commissions, including a painting that hangs in the dining room of one of the Sea Wolf nuclear submarines.
Gretchen is the founder and president of the National Collage Society, the first organization in the United States devoted to collage, which at the time of the group's founding in 1982 was a misunderstood art.
Gretchen's book, Collage in All Dimensions, published in 2005, traces the history of collage as a fine art. Although collage existed in many craft forms prior to the 20th century, it was not until 1912 that Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque were the first historically significant artists to glue collage pieces into paintings. The art form has evolved ever since.
Collage in All Dimensions is available from the bookstore on the National Collage Society's website, where you also can see the winners of the annual exhibitions.
In the second segment, writer-creator, puzzle addict and enthusiastic connector Susan Terkel talks about having a natural curiosity about people and their stories. And she has a marvelous way of finding commonalities with strangers, usually within 30 seconds of meeting them.
Kate saw this play out not too long ago at PodPopuli, a studio in Hudson, Ohio, just before Susan's recording session. Then, a couple of weeks later, Kate had her own Susan Terkel moment at another studio 19 miles away in Akron.
When an engineer who lives and works in Akron heard that Kate's from Hudson, he said, "I know a famous author there. Susan Terkel." Turns out he lived in Hudson for a while himself and hung out with one of Susan and her husband Larry's two sons.
Small world, isn't it? Susan comes to this realization on a very regular basis and, yet, every single time she's surprised and delighted. It's magical, she says, and she never takes that magic for granted.
In this wide-ranging conversation, Susan covers a lot of topics including:
- Being a worrier (she's a Jewish mother, after all)
- Comparing life to a puzzle
- Meditating every day
- Writing (plus advice for would-be writers)
- Knitting, sewing and "upcyling"
- Making friends with people of all ages
She also mentions one of her favorite books, The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness by Joel ben Izzy, and shares her own secrets to a successful marriage and life.
Thank you for listening to The Gale Hill Radio Hour, a show about purpose, passion, and sharing our gifts with the world.