“Handmade Revolution (2005) was inspired by the anti-consumerist, handmade movement that has been gaining momentum since not long before the sculpture was created. At the turn of the century, some green fringe notions became a direction for some parts of society to instigate a revaluation nationwide of traditional ideas, including personal responsibility and accomplishment. The role of manufactured goods and the homogenization of the cultural economy became suspect, and with a lack of trust or money to continually reinvest in corporate production, and lack of alternative, people began to make things for themselves. A reverse in cultural ideologies from the throw-away society to a Permaculture society, fast food to the slow food movement, mass production to artisan creation. Beer became craft for Americans, who pre-revolution had a choice of basically domestic or imported, and coffee, gas, and milk were were leaded or not. Front yard gardens and knitting with yarn trended. As sure as the Sears Catalogue affected generations, and then the the mall, now we have Etsy, and other platforms for work made by hand. The shape of Handmade Revolution was pieced together with scraps from the recycle bin and pounds of weld. The sculpture was made to champion the individual and the work that is made by hand, and to herald the efforts of artists and artisans for making it real, and for those that are still trying.”— Kara James
James is from Michigan, graduated from the School of The Art Institute and represented by Chicago Sculptors International. She makes abstracted figurative narratives in public and private scale focusing on longevity in wood, stone, metals, message, and in public consumption and digestion.
Art Park Note: “Handmade Revolution” is one of five new works from five “Downstate” Michigan artists that will be installed over the next year as part of an invitational show curated by the park’s Conservator, Brian Ferriby. The project is supported by the new Charles McGee Art Fund, designed to bring new and emerging voices to northern Michigan. The park is open every day of the year, from dawn to dusk. Suggested admission is $5 for adults, and children are always free.