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!

Day Six - show opens!

Friday, July 6, 2012 - The day I have been waiting for and working for.  Heat remains up above 100 degrees.  I return to City Art Center to finish the show and celebrate.  I am blessed with the help of Jacqulyn Davis for the third day as well as Dawn Norris.  So generous of them to offer their time.  And lucky for me they are experienced in hanging 2D art.  They hang all the prints while I work on painting AV shelves black to allow them to disappear and 100 other last minute details.  I accidentally fall through the floor about 2 hours before the show opens.  Oops.  And ouch.  I decided to wear the long dress. 

Did I mention that it is still crazy hot?  I manage to snap at everyone, but it all gets done. 

Steve took the day off again to meet with doctors and such.  Hooray, his dad was released from the hospital.  At 5:30pm.  So Steve had to leave to be with me in Delaware.  And his car almost overheats, so no air conditioning.  Ely about melted.

We take a sanity break to cool off in the Mexican restaurant across the street and then the party begins. 

Day Five

Thursday, July 5, 2012
Steve takes the day off to be able to be with his dad and mom at the hospital and to hear what the doctors have to say.  I have a full day field trip with about 20 kids at High Banks Metro Park.  I am seriously stressed and sleep deprived, but a day with kids in nature turns out to be exactly what I needed.

Steve and I drive back up and meet with a photographer from the Delaware Gazette.  The story is about City Art Center's Kickstarter campaign to raise $3000, but I must say it was fun to be on the front page of a newspaper!

We stayed until 12:30 am and succeeded in hanging both of the two projectors from the ceiling in the "bedroom" of the installation. 

Day Four

Wednesday, July 4, 2012 - Happy Independence Day and a trip to the hospital

Still over 100 degrees, we decide to sleep in and forgo and parades - although we love them so.  A little after 11am we get a panicked call from my mother-in-law.  She is afraid that Steve's dad, Joe has had a stroke.  The ambulance takes him to the nearest hospital and we pick up my mother-in-law and brother-in-law to head to the ER.  Luckily, it is determined that Joe didn't have a stroke, but he is admitted for testing and observation.

We are exhausted after a day of heat and drama, but Steve and I head up to Delaware again where we begin to tackle the AV pieces.  One down, two to go.   

Day Three

Tuesday, July 3 - Red, White and Boom!

Start the day at Columbus Montessori again.  I love those kids and the chance to do longer term project work with them.  Ely stays at school to start his American Red Cross Babysitting Training - which he thinks is fantastic.  Steve keeps his day simple by only working one physically demanding job in the extreme heat and I head back up to Delaware to hang the butterfly book objects installation and finish the wallpaper with Jacqulyn's help.

After about 4.5 hours work, I head back to C Bus for a mini nap.  And then off to a secret, amazing location to view the fireworks spectacular.  Few things are more inspiring than seeing color explode in the sky!  I mean the whole sky - we were so close it hurt my neck to take it all in!

Day Two

Monday, July 2 - Still uber hot in Ohio. 

I start the day working with elementary kids at Columbus Montessori on an art/literacy project I call "A Day in My Life", which is a 4-6 frame comic about an aspect of their life.  They choose topics that ranged from the birth of a sibling, the death of a pet, diagnosis of a medical problem, to riding and amusement park ride with a friend. 

Ely and I drive to Delaware where we are later met by Steve and 2 wonderful helpers, Harry Pape, CAC Trustee (also a strong and competent worker) and Jacqulyn Davis a former and current student of mine who lives nearby.  We got a lot of the heavy stuff done, and started on the wallpaper.

Solo show installation timeline - Day One

July 1, 2012 - Summer wind storm and record heat in central Ohio.  Luckily, our power was only out for a few hours.  Many area residents won't have their power back for days.  Roads were closed due to downed tree limbs.  It takes nearly 2 hours to load my Subaru forester and a borrowed pick up truck with a full flight of stairs and its landing, a 100 year old door, windows, columns and more.  Finally off to Delaware, about 30 miles North, taking an alternate route.  With less than 5 miles to go, some poor soul crashed into the passenger side of my vehicle, a guard rail, a concrete median and a small tree while having a seizure.  I wasn't injured, just in shock with a sore back and neck - especially in days to come.  Instead of working on installation, we spent an hour baking in the heat on the side of the road to be sure she is okay, file police reports and wait for her to be life flighted away from the scene.

We finally made it to the City Art Center, 22 E Winter St, Delaware, OH  and unload.  Did I mention that it was over 100 degrees?  We break for dinner at the wonderful Bun Restaurant and go back to work for a couple of hours before returning to Columbus on the skirts of another storm.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Top 20 Art Teacher Blog!

Thanks to everyone who voted for my blog!

Fascination Awards

I am honored just to have been nominated and amazed to be in the top 20!

I will keep posting and hope you find some of it fascinating!  Thanks for your support!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hooray for me!  I just found out I was nominated for "most Fascinating Blog of 2012" for the category of Art Teacher.  Who knew?!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer begins...

Yesterday, my son finished his last day of school at Columbus Montessori!  The past weeks have been full of reminiscing, connection and looking to the future.  He starts middle school in the Fall!  But first, we look forward to a summer of fun, filled with family, art and nature.

My focus now shifts back to my own work.  Which is a challenge since I am currently a studio artist without a studio!  I am having a solo show in July at the City Art Center in Delaware, Ohio.  This is a great space for contemporary art and I am motivated to transform it with my wallpaper, stairs, beds, windows and a door into a full sized version of my dollhouse inspired assemblages.  My working title for the installation is Almost Home.  I will be sure to update you as this idea becomes a reality.  Until then, you can learn more about the gallery at

For most of the summer, I will be teaching kids at various art and nature camps in Central Ohio, including Columbus Montessori, Franklin Park Conservatory , Thurber House and Columbus School for Girls, August in Action week two August 6 - 10 .  Please let me know if you have any kids in your life that might be interested in maps, comics, puppets/performing objects or who are looking for time in nature!

Are you a teacher looking for studio-based professional development this summer?  I will once again teach an Advanced Placement Summer Institute – this time at Oakland College in Rochester, Michigan (near Detroit) July 30 – August 2, 2012. 

In addition to an in depth look at all things AP studio art,the focus will be on staying inspired, innovation in the classroom and reconnecting with our own studio art making practice.  For registration info, a syllabus and tentative calendar:

And also this month, one last session of Nature Journaling also at the Franklin Park Conservatory will be held June 24, 1–3pm.  Journal work can help you connect more deeply to nature and your surroundings. Write, sketch and reflect within the sublime setting of the Conservatory and leave with inspiration to take back to daily life. Bring a blank unlined book or stop by Botanica to purchase. All other materials will be supplied.

Look for my new class for visual journaling and supported studio projects starting Tuesday nights in July at the Cultural Arts Center where I will continue to teach Watercolor on Saturday mornings and for studio-based workshops for teachers August – October in various venues around Central Ohio.

With school out and the Columbus Arts Festival arriving in downtown Columbus, this weekend is the unofficial start to summer - Welcome…and soak it in!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Curation, conferences and life as a contract worker

artist, Mary Frey

artists Nick Bontrager and Megan Cannon

It seems that time is filled and full and rich. Sometimes I think I am just as busy as my grad school days. Life as a contract educator means I spend a lot of time on the hustle, pitching course and workshop ideas, prepping to teach, of course the wonderful time with students and then waiting and waiting to get paid. I am loving my community arts students, and also the feeling that no company "owns" me. The no health insurance and intermittent pay checks part isn't nearly as fun. Also, without a full time job, I thought I would have much more studio time. Finding that space is still a struggle.

artist, Jessica Larva

This past week, my life was consummed with the art and technology show that I curated for the eTech Ohio annual conference at the Greater Columbus Convention Center 50 artists from 8 Ohio schools (including OSU, University of Cincinnati, Bowling Green State University, Ohio Dominican, Cleveland Institute of Art, Shawnee State University, Columbus State and CTec of Licking County) including faculty and student work, shown via seven large plasma screens, eight computers (pcs and macs), six projectors, seven dvd players, a kinects camera, 27 easels, interactive works, motion sensors, robotics, animation, video, digital paintings, photography, assemblage and installation work - was a lot to coordinate and keep up and running. Thanks to the amazing support of eTech of their first art show and the volunteers and assistants, including Steve and Ely Lombardi, John Cairns, Jenn Deafenbaugh, Jennie Evans Kinsley and Rachel Heberling the whole experience has now come and gone.

artist, Michaela Lynch from her moving video piece Nothing was Coherent

I was able to attend a few conference sessions, especially the ones hosted by Michelle Aubrecht in the MASH lab about game based learning and a couple of the keynote speeches. From our vantage point on the Mezzanene of Battelle Grand Hall I also saw middle school students in a lego robotic challange and a robotic birth from a life sized "mother" whose eyes blinked. The keynote speaker yesterday morning was Brene Brown. She had a profound message about the role of vunerability in living authentically and how practicing gratitude is essential for joy. Check out her TED talk.

I ran up to meet her after her speach, and invited her to the art show!

Ely missed most of his school week for conference style learning. In addition to supporting and promoting the art and tech show, he selected sessions to attend, sat in the front row, answered questions, provided feedback and collected candy, 7 colorful foamy stress relievers, 2 pens, a lego mini figure keychain and a mousepad from the vendors in the exhibition hall. It is very cool to have an empowered and creative 11 year old. I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity, its amazing experiences and especially the interesting and inspiring people that it brought me in contact with. All of the images on the post are from artists in the show.

GRoW bot, artist Austin Stewart

Suggestion Box, artist Barb Shardy

Machine Wheat Field, artist John Cairns
artist Brian Whitinger

artist Heather Elliott Famularo