I began the Cookie Cutter House Project early in 2018. Though I have long been obsessed with the image of houses and buildings in my work, the act of relocating added another aspect to my thoughts on the topic of housing and community. I started to make paintings and artist books on the topic. I also wrote several blog posts on topics related to housing and local culture. Then it dawned on me that it might be fun and useful to learn what other people consider to be the idea of Home
I invited many art enthusiasts to participate in an on-line exhibition. Each participant was sent a set of identical house shapes measuring approximately 9″ x 6″. Using at least one of those house shapes, the artist depicted her/his idea of What Is Home and wrote a few lines about their thoughts on the topic. Each participant’s entry was then featured on this blog. All together, 18 artists from different parts of the US and Canada participated. Links to the individual artist’s posts are below.
Cynthia lives in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia and was born in St. Louis, Missouri.
Home to me is an open door, warm and inviting. Home is sunny and colorful. It is defined by the gardens, animals, and humans that live in and around the actual structure called home. Home is the memory of places lived and future places imagined.
About Cynthia: Cynthia Back has exhibited widely both in the U.S. and internationally. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation; residencies and fellowships to The Artists Centre Dale, Norway; The Women’s Studio Workshop, Blue Mountain Center, Acadia National Park; The Ballinglen Arts Foundation Ltd., Ireland, Fundacion Valparaiso, Spain, Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, The Cill Rialaig Project, Ireland, and The MacDowell Colony. Her work is included in numerous private and corporate collections, including The Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Newark Public Library, the Free Library of Philadelphia, The New-York Historical Society, Pfizer, Inc., and The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.Cynthia Back earned a BFA at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a post-graduate certificate at St. Martin’s School of Art in London, England. Cynthia’s website can be seen here.
Nancy Barch was born in Philadelphia, PA and currently lives in Delaware County, PA
The smell of wet sidewalks after a summer rain, roofing tar, playing under the water of a fireplug, walking to the library and the movies, playing hopscotch and red rover in the street, these are all memories of growing up in the city.
I was born and raised in a rowhome, you may know it as a townhouse depending upon your age, there were forty to a street, twenty on each side. I would wake up in the morning to see William Penn atop City Hall from my bedroom window everyday. I dressed and walked to public school with my friends. It was a comforting routine. Good citizenship was mandatory and everyone knew everyone else on your street, so you always behaved (until you got out of sight.)
Then, as you got older, you ‘hung out’ at the hoagie shop, went to dances and out for pizza. You many even walk to the drug store for a milkshake with friends after school. Yep, that was home to me then and, to my mind, it still is. You can see Nancy’s website here.
Helena was born in Doylestown, Pa., lived and traveled all over the world, and now lives back in Doylestown, Pa.
To me, home is where my husband, Bob, and I are. We have different tastes in food, music and TV shows, but always have our coffee together first thing in the morning. When we travel, we take our favorite mugs and ground coffee with us, to make it feel like home.
About Helena: Helena is a professional artist, who works in pastel and oils and exhibits in the Philadelphia area. She attended the Philadelphia College of Art. You can see Helena’s website here.
Cindy Fabbioli lived most of her life in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.
I was considering calling this piece the kitchen sink because that is about the only item that is missing in my house. To me, home can be any dwelling that is filled with love, warmth, security and plenty. Home should allow true comfort with the freedom to express yourself, and the support and encouragement needed to become your best self. My interpretation is a mosaic of mundane household bits displayed in a haphazard manner. Elements of mechanical, personal, arty, educational, electronic, domestic, analytic, monetary, creative, botanical, industrial, measurement, pharmaceutical, earthy, superstitious, gaming, decorative and utile natures have been included to illustrate the chaotic order of life and my home. I have always kind of prided myself on having whatever anyone ever needs…
About Cindy: I have lived in Mount Laurel, New Jersey for much of my life. I have very fortunate to have grown up in a very happy and unusual household. Our house was always open to anyone and everyone and was always an informal place to gather for family and friends.
Allison Wooley was born in Cleveland, Ohio and currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
When thinking about what home means to me, I thought of all the various places I lived or traveled to and made my home. I began thinking of that saying “home is where the heart is”. Being born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and then spending 17 years in Philadelphia, and visiting my sister in Wisconsin on a regular basis, I thought of the many places I call home. Whether it’s family, friends or coworkers, I have managed to make a home in various cities. I even call the Dagara Music center in Ghana my family because we made such lasting relationships. I collaged my piece using maps and photos and included a heart in the center.
Shonah Brown was born in Charlotte, NC and currently resides in Mooresville, NC
Home to me means so many things. Home is where I grew up. Home is my safe place where I have raised my family. Home is at my church. Home is LOVE. It’s hard to paint all that love. So I choose my North Carolina to call home. I grew up with Lake Norman in my back yard, before it was popular. I am a “LOCAL”, not many of us around here. My children grew up on a boat on Lake Norman and beautiful Lake James about an hour west in the foot hills of Carolina. One more hour west is the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Some of my fondest memories growing up are hiking these mountains. Shinning Rock was always my favorite. It is in the Pisgah National Forest and a day hike will take you to these huge white quarts boulders that you can climb up on and see some awesomeness that God has made. Travel east to the North Carolina coast and find the Outer banks and light houses. Cape Lookout near Harper’s Island, brings back good memories of fishing with my Dad. North Carolina is a great place to call home.
About Shonah: My name is Shonah Brown and I was born in Charlotte, NC and I live 20 miles north in Mooresville, NC. I enjoy painting large backdrops for Christian Groups and Church plays and VBS (vacation bible school). Some have been 16 feet tall and one was 120 feet long for The Last Supper. These can be folded up and reused. I also paint murals on church walls and homes.
For this particular post, it is best to read the commentary from Mark first, then view his video which is posted after his comments.
Mark Young lives and works in Chester County, PA, to the northwest of Philadelphia and was born and raised in Delaware County, just to the southwest of the city.
I have served as a United Methodist pastor for thirty years, which influences how I have tried to express what “home” means, since I get to see how that answer changes for people over their lifetimes as well as having become aware that the answer would be fluid for myself as well.
Because it seems to me that the meaning of home changes with a person’s age, I made a mobile. I tried to take pictures but ended up with the video that I submitted.
As a child, home is the world, or at least the center of it. When you grow too large for those constraints, it’s the place to move from. Later in life a house or a home is more of a refuge at the end of the day. Finally, when it becomes physically impossible to remain (as it does for many people), “home” or “the house” becomes more of a memory.
I live in the downtown core of a busy city in a neighbourhood filled with apartment buildings. During the day, I only see lines and grids and blank windows – people and their homes are shrouded in anonymity. But at night, through lighted windows, I can sometimes see the warmth of family life and community around me. Although many of us spend our days in the noise and bustle of the city, we have the pleasure of coming home, which to me, is a place of serenity and light.
About Diana: I started drawing to quiet my mind a couple of years ago and found that I liked it. I share some of my explorations with drawing and painting on my blog: https://asmuchcake.com/