Thursday, March 26, 2015

Vibe Up!

In the past months, I have been more deeply exploring my spiritual life.  I have been making time for yoga and trying to develop a meditation habit.  I have been tuning in to Super Soul Sunday on OWN, falling in love all over again with Oprah and Deepak as they share free meditation experiences and in general trying to "vibe up" through food choices, making time for my own wellness and learning about radical acceptance.

Our family went on a wonderful get-away (a working vacation for me) that started at Maumee Bay State Park Lodge and ended up at our first Airbnb experience at an amazing Loft in downtown Chicago.  We were so lucky to meet Luke Jensen, the host who is a small business owner and visionary.  He started Selfless, which redefines charitable giving modern age and co-founded Vibe Up.  While in Chicago, I was so incredibly fortunate to get to go to one of the Vibe Up! events!  I discovered that I was stronger and have more stamina than I gave myself credit for as I did yoga in a group of 40 people (most of whom were 15-20 years younger than me) and kept up.  My family joined the fun afterwards to play vintage video games, eat delicious, nutritious foods and meet more people engaged with their own wellness.  Truly, it was inspiring.  Since we have returned home, we have "voted at the grocery store" through buying organic and in general connected more with our inner selves.

We are encouraging Luke and his business partners to bring Selfless and Vibe Up! to Columbus and around the country. For more information, visit I Am

Filling Books

I know that my life as a teacher is influenced by my life as an artist which in turn influences my life as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, human on the planet Earth.  I love this symbiotic relationship and realize that it makes me who I am.  I have worked in a Visual Journal for most of my adult life.  Lately, I have been inspired by The 2015 Art Project and how my visual journal allows me to develop The 16 Habits of Mind.  Here are a few recent 2-page spreads from my current journal:
Self Portrait

Self Portrait detail

When I Needed Wings

Let it Go!

Super liberating to take fodder that was generated around toxic people of my past, cut it into tiny shards and reassemble it into my "frozen fractal".  I was able to move on as I wrote out statements, "Just like me, the people who have hurt me are...
seeking happiness
trying to avoid suffering
have known sadness, loneliness and despair
they seek to fulfill their needs
Just like me they are learning about life.
I literally felt lighter after I finished the page!
Self Love (detail)

Self Love

I used quotes from Mother Teresa and Don Miguel Ruiz in this one, as I thought about embracing both my light side and my dark side.
 These were all inspired by journal prompts from 2015 Art Project.  So glad I signed up for this year long project!

 These are less finished but equally as functional pages from my current journal.  I use my journal to process my life.  One page bleeds to the next, influencing it and changing it forever, JUST LIKE LIFE!  I revisit each page 3 - 7 times, sometimes within hours, other times over a period of months.  I don't work in my journal everyday, but I do keep it close to me and close to my heart.  I truly live in my journals and work on filling them for 8 - 12 months each, a few minutes at a time.

Making Books

In the Spring of 2013, I had a message in my email inbox inviting me to enter an exhibition at the Columbus Metropolitan Library.  In my life as an artist, this is about the most exciting email possible!  The challenge was to take discarded books from the collection as an inspiration to make new art.  The show was called Art Unbound and featured 18 local artist (including myself!)  When I asked curator and artist Stephanie Rond how she decided to contact me, she said "I have been following your career and I thought your work would be a nice addition to the show".  Wow!  Somebody has been following my work???  I made a town of books for the project.  It includes books inspired by my house, my chicken coop and other personally important aspects of Columbus, Ohio such as my parents home, my neighbor and close friends' home, a school, a place of worship, the main library, city, hall, the zoo and more. I designed and made a large mixed media map to place the books upon and titled the collective work

A Sense of Place:

"New" Art and I love my pets

Well, my studio practice has certainly ratcheted down since grad school (full time jobs take up a lot of time!), but I feel more often than not that artmaking is a part of my daily (or at least weekly) life.  I have developed several bodies of work post MFA and I have filled five visual journals.  I have worked a lot with watercolor paint due to it's vibrant color potential and portability.  Here is a bit of an update:

Sacred Heart of Shelter Pets

This body of work was inspired by adopting two rabbits from Capital Area Humane Society, which led to volunteering there through their remarkable STEPS training program . My son and I learned so much about animal wellness and the work of this important organization through this 20 hour program.

Once we had our new pets (first Jasper, a male Holland Lop, selected us in June of 2012, followed by his life partner Kitty, a female Jersey Wooly and Lionhead mix -formerly known as Tulip-in October 2012), I thought deeply about the journey of animals towards finding a "forever home".  I wondered about why humans selected, then discarded animals and I wondered about what the transition full of foreign people, animals and spaces must be like for the tiny creatures who simply want to love and be loved.  Through making the paintings, I realized that I was just grateful that these two particular animals had endured the process so that they could find a home with our family.

Finding Home:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Looking forward, looking back

It has been nearly two years since I made a post and tonight I decided to change that.  I spent a wonderful evening with my husband and now 13 year old son enjoying Columbus on a rainy October night by visiting galleries full of interesting art and people and dining in the oldest continuously running tavern in the city.  We saw glowing paintings and compelling monoprints from one of my art school classmates Inka Essenhigh in her show at Columbus College of Art & Design and delved into the life of Jim Arter at his exhibit at the Cultural Arts Center where we also saw dozens of people that we knew from all eras of our own lives as artists in our hometown.  It warmed me on this October night to be greeted with such enthusiasm.  It makes me feel like things are as they should be through all the changes and transitions that have come our way.

I also noticed that the link to the 4 minute Art Zine documentary about aspects of my art and life had expired.  This one should work: I still have never caught it on T.V. although people have told me that they have seen it.  It is sweet and lovely to see my child at that time and hear his voice, so clear and strong before it changed into the deeper one he now shares with the world.

I am thinking that I love the life I have created.  And I am grateful.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


It seems like making the art is the easy part compared to self-promotion and documentation.  Finally uploaded some documentation of my recent exhibitions.  I'd love to know what you think!

Brooke Hunter-Lombardi Artist’s Statement for City Art Center, Delaware, Ohio 2012

Doll houses are a place to play and perhaps to plan a domestic future.  As a child I spent countless hours shopping and planning for, decorating and playing with my Victorian themed doll house.  I slipped away into fantasy, imagining personalities and pastimes for the china dolls that lived in the space.  I often dreamt (both while sleeping and awake) about being in the spaces and about living in a past era where you needed blocks of ice and buckets of coal in your kitchen.  I fabricated family drama, never realizing how tragic and complex real family dynamics could become.  Here I want to explore the quiet spaces we inhabit where the objects themselves are full of history and the silence holds both joy and pain, evidence and mystery.

Replacing the dolls, silkworms and moths inhabit the space.  Silkworms are extinct in the wild, only able to exist under the care of humans.  They hatch from hundreds of freckle-sized eggs as tiny larvae and eat exclusively mulberry leaves, almost continually for four to five weeks.  Then they never eat again.  So many die; often slowly, appearing to suffer.  If they live to spin, they become interested in their surroundings for the first and last time in their lives.  Cocoon creation takes anywhere from a day to a week. Tucked away in their constructed safety it takes them two weeks to transform.  They secrete a fluid that makes a hole from which they escape.  They crawl out into the world as adult moths.  This life lasts ten days at the most during which their only goals are to mate and lay eggs.  Their wings are too short to allow flight.  These brief weeks are lived in captivity; a slow careful dance with many variables leading to premature death.

Using the two interrelated sets of imagery of houses and insects, I am interested in making visible spaces that resemble daydreams and invoke a sense of wonder.  This body of work explores “the other” within our subconscious as well as through careful observation of the insect world as connected to a human environment.  Layering the insects onto the human spaces and enlarging their scale, I ask them to operate as biological metaphor - addressing states of psychological relationships. The objects speak to home, both as a place for shelter and sometimes a self-imposed prison.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Almost Home

Friday, July 6, 2012 - over 50 man power hours in the installation, my solo show opens.  More than 150 people wander in and through the exhibition.  About forty of my friends and family members braved the elements to attend, including cousins from Florida and friends from Puerto Rico who happened to be in Ohio.

I really pushed myself and my family to the limits.  But, I am pleased.  It looks just like I hoped it would.

I always love seeing my name in vinyl on a white gallery wall!

This is the view from the street.  Welcome to my inspired space of old and new, cozy and creepy, assembled, found and made.  A dilapidated interior space, reminiscent of  the miniature places I created in collaboration with my beloved silkworms.  Three video projections of footage culled from the more than 24 hours I have documented of silkworms, moths and their life cycle.
A door inside the door.  A place inside the space.
Like a moth emerging from her cocoon, the moving image on the window only reveals itself over time as the daylight fades, the image becomes visible.  The footage is of moth silhouettes, fluttering on curtains, searching for a mate.

Ten prints, 9 installation areas, one idea.

The print I used to make the wallpaper hung on the wallpaper.  I thought about that a long time and it has been fun to see.  The table and chair piece has treasures in the drawer and a magnifying glass to look at them and at the wallpaper.

The bed has adult moths - calling, mating, laying eggs.  It turned out exactly as I imagined with mating moth puppets on the edge of the bed.

Possibly my favorite piece is the crib with projection of crawling, eating caterpillar babies.  The projection is somewhat dim and you have to approach the crib to really see what is happening.  Quiet like.

The show is up through July 28 with my artist talk on Saturday, July 21 at 7pm.  Come by if you can!