meeting with superstition review


The Invite
Carolyn and I receive an email from Patricia Colleen Murphy,  the founding editor of Superstition Review.

Hi Monica and Carolyn,
Congratulations on your exhibition at Mesa Center for the Arts. I’m so proud of you! It’s really exciting.

And I have some great news too. Our launch party has grown so big we needed a new venue, so we’re going to host it at MCA. We’re planning for Thursday April 25, and our guests will get free entrance to the museum before the launch party starts at 6:30. I am just thrilled that your work will be up while we’re there.

I’m writing to invite you to the party and ask if you might be willing to say some words about your work while we are there? And might we run a piece on our blog about your show? I’d love to include Mary too, though I haven’t met her yet.

Congrats again!


The meeting
We accept Trish’s offer, and set a date to meet for an interview. It’s an honor for Carolyn and I to connect with her again.  Superstition Review featured both of our art work in their magazine last Spring, and we spoke at their launch as well.  We connect on Friday, in the gallery. Trish meets Mary and quickly offers her a feature post this Spring.




Trish and Dominique looking closely at Carolyn’s work.


Mary share her process, while Dominique takes notes. Carolyn and Trish look on while I walk around.


Dominique and Carolyn talk, while visitors walk through the space.

While we conduct interviews – museum visitors enter and exit the gallery. Up the hallway is the activity of a new install. The usual people move about doing their work. I like the feel and naturalness of everything.

Photos of our meeting include artists, Trish, and the bright Dominique Brigham, who had plenty of questions for us. She’s writing the feature.


Monica, Trish, Carolyn, Mary, and Dominique

The launch
There will be a few people reading and we’ll be speaking – artists and writers … a good match. I enjoyed the launch Carolyn and I participated in before. It was a memorable and multilayered experience – out of our (regular) element as visual artists. This time guests will see the art work before we speak ( last time we showed digital images ). We plan to talk about how Mary, Carolyn and I began our partnership, and how we see our work evolving.

A productive meeting/interview with Superstition Magazine at Mesa Contemporary Arts – I call it one fine Friday morning.  We’ll be seeing everyone on Thursday April 25, at the Issue 11 launch party.  A congratulation to Superstition Review and Patricia Colleen Murphy on their continued success.

More info:
Carolyn Lavender, Issue 9, Spring 2012
Monica Aissa Martinez, Issue 9, Spring 2012

A note: The content for this post evolved out of someone asking me how Superstition Review selects participants. This is first an educational blog – we address process: work and general events. I share the general event, and in particular – I suspect the how always varies. In this case, my guess is that our work was in the right place at the right time (MCA). And most importantly Patricia Colleen Murphy knows our work..

Light Test

Before we delivered the show I had about a week of wiring and testing to make sure the suspended sculpture would work. Each piece is fabricated so that the electrical cord runs up to the ceiling and over to a LED driver which will also be mounted on the ceiling. The wiring process was interesting and Pere, our studio assistant, became better at fiddling with the drivers than I was. We celebrated every time one would light up which prompted Mitch Fry (we share studio space) to comment that we are cheap dates. He knows how to use electricity but for me it’s just that electricity is like magic-difficult magic.

At one point I had to call the lighting manufacturer to ask a question and he asked if I was a licensed electrician. I told him “no I am an artist”. In a somewhat huffy tone he told me that the first thing that should have happened is that I should have been connected to the entertainment division. He helped me anyway and it turned out they had sent the wrong drivers.

Everything worked we packed it up and took it to Mesa. Fingers crossed.

Testing the light at the studio

Testing the lights at the studio.

After testing the pieces were  wrapped to go to Mesa

After testing, the pieces were wrapped to go to Mesa.

Pere, studio assistant, with a finished sculpture.

Pere, studio assistant, with a finished sculpture.

we deliver the artwork

It’s an interesting opportunity to drop work off in person. One gets to know the various people who contribute to the success of an exhibit.

Marco, as noted earlier, is the new Exhibits Preparator/Specialist. I arrive to find him on a very high ladder. He is setting up an area where the museum showcases its permanent collection. I guess those ceilings to be over 25 feet high.


And though busy, he takes time to show us his new digs. He has an impressive workspace that is clearly to his liking.  I spend time talking with him and learn that Marco is one of few Latino exhibition specialists in the country. Bravo!


Marco, Mitch, Mary and Peri


Because shows are coming down and new work is going up we are directed to leave the work in the area where the private collection is stored. The climate controlled space is sprinkled with great artwork.


Mary needs to look at the ceiling in the North Gallery, which is not as high as the other galleries at the center. She can hang her sculptures with no out of the ordinary concerns. She talks low voltage, electrical panels, and transformers. I have a hanging issue with my 2 large works, and Marco makes a suggestion that appeals to my aesthetics. Mary and I wonder why the space looks smaller. We joke because the majority of our work is now complete, we have no overwhelming emotions – is there a connection?  And Mary finishes up saying that her mountain will be delivered soon. How many people can say that?


Meanwhile back at her studio … Carolyn is completing her painting. I caught her progress at an early stage where she was mapping the woods out. All her work is at Mesa, she’ll be delivering this 16 panel piece soon.

IMG_3554Impromptu lunch with a variety of creative people – personal history is shared but so are things like banana art, transformers and inventor Tesla.


10 x 10″ MCA benefit show

All proceeds benefit MCA exhibitions and educational programs.

Mesa Contemporary Arts (MCA) is having its Fourth Annual 10 x 10 Benefit Show & Sale, which features the work of more than 100 artists from Arizona and beyond. Participating artists created original work (2-D or 3-D) of art in keeping with the 10 x 10″ theme. The pieces will be on display at MCA from Oct 3-14 and sold at the reception on Oct 10. Each piece will be available for $100. First come, first pick! Doors open at 6pm sharp!

Mary and I are participating.

Martinez – Homage to the Cat
mixed media collage on canvas

Shindell – Tulip
Hand colored archival inkjet print

For more information and a list of participating artists, please visit their website.

WHO:     Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum’s
WHAT:    4th Annual 10 x 10 Benefit Show & Sale
WHEN:    Weds, Oct 10 (6-8 pm)