We’re a couple. I scribble, she sculpts and paints… The Jaded Princess will be part of a Museum-Wide Exhibition, “Ying: Inspired by the Art and History of China,” coming up at Santa Cruz’ Museum of Art and History (MAH). The show runs from February 23 to July 1. The Jaded Princess, a life-size sculpture made in the late 1970s, took a year to produce and was constructed using antique circuit boards. Gloria’s piece is a replica of the Chinese Jade Burial Suit of Chinese Princess Tou Wan, Han Dynasty, 140 B.C.
According to the catalog, “The concept of this exhibition resulted from [Curator Susan Hillhouse’s] visits to the studios of a group of artists” in Chengde, China. “…this museum-wide presentation opens a new path of discovery through contemporary artists from China, the Bay area and Santa Cruz, deepening our understanding of Santa Cruz County’s many cultural heritages.”
Gloria’s Jaded Princess has been exhibited in several Art & Technology shows, at UC Santa Cruz, in San Jose and elsewhere. Hopefully, one day Bill Gates will see and want to purchase it.
GLORIA ALFORD became a mixed media artist by default. Refused admittance into a Graduate Art Program in Madison, Wisconsin, she enrolled instead in a Home Economics course where she learned printmaking. But on cloth, not paper. She went on to use some non-traditional methods and materials, such as solar cells, hand-made paper, plastic, cloth, computer chips, plus acrylic, watercolor, and methods like vacuum forming plastic, collage and paint.
Gloria’s best-known piece, The Jaded Princess, represents the artist’s concern with the duality of technology–a provider of “the good life” and, at the same time, a vehicle for destruction. The circular chips covering the princess’ brain are bomb detonators, by design. However, Ms. Alford’s princess is intended as an affirmation–a sleeping beauty, or technology preserved, awaiting awakening by the prince of technology.
Exhibited at the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, Gloria’s mixed-media work, said the Museum’s Director “was popular with the conservatives as it was with the more avant garde enthusiasts.”
Still true to her origins as a mixed media artist, Gloria Alford now works with varieties of paint and collage on paper and canvas.
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