Please join me for the opening reception, Thursday, September 29, 5:30-7:30pm
Shoe Love is True Love
Many weekends when I was growing up were spent shopping either in my childhood hometown of East Lansing, Michigan, in the town of our summer cottage of Holland, Michigan, or in the city that we moved to when I was in 6th Grade, Minneapolis/St. Paul. The activity of shopping was no doubt hereditary, since my Mother used to spend a great amount of time shopping with her Mother and Grandmother. Depending on what time of year, there were frequently many good sales. Shopping was also legitimized because of my Mother’s sociological research on “dress as non-verbal communication.” My two older sisters and I received clothes and shoes as gifts, used our allowances to purchase them, and later on, used our money from part-time jobs in high school and college to supplement our wardrobes.
In particular, shoes in my family had many stories and memories. I remember getting fitted for new shoes at the “Buster Brown” shoe store where they gave out the “Goose with the Golden Egg” prize. I recall my first pair of burgundy Bass shoes that I saw in the back to school issue of Seventeen magazine; my sister Cynthia’s black and white saddle shoes; my sister Carolyn’s blue “Gunboat” sneakers (that were so big she wore them for many years); Carolyn’s clear plastic and wood platform shoes (that are now back in style); Cynthia’s up to date and fashionable shoe collection; the shoes that my Dad bought in Italy; and my Dad’s struggle to wearing clogs that made it harder for him to walk as he got Parkinson’s in the later years of his life. When we went shopping to get shoes, it was common to not get one new pair but perhaps three if they were on sale.
My Mother has many books on shoes in her personal library, as well as her own collection of shoes and a Shoe-a-Day Calendar on her dining room table. It has been inspirational to select shoes from the calendar. No wonder translating my life related to shoes has been easy to translate into papercuts. I like to find a photograph or drawing of a shoe or pair of shoes with a strong positive and negative image to produce as a papercut. I am hoping my shoe papercuts will bring others enjoyment and happy memories of their own fascination, and perhaps, obsession with shoes.