Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Work

I am pleased to announce that I have been asked to create another suit for "The Paper Runway," a touring exhibition coordinated by the American Museum of Papermaking at Georgia Tech. I was one of 38 international artists selected, and the tour will begin in Santiago, Chile and end in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Seen in this post is a new piece I am calling, "American Way 1", which is created from blue, red and turned over scratch tickets.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Just in a day

I take a walk though my neighborhood in Pawtucket every evening. I live near a Rite Aid pharmacy and a convenience store that sell scratch tickets and various other lotteries. This is where I get the majority of my scratch tickets. Not by buying, but finding them on the street. I am just posting what a typical find can be. Friday night is always a big night and holiday weekends usually are,too.

When someone seems to win from these scratch tickets, they go right out and spend again on many more. In last weekend's find, in one pile on the sidewalk and street, along with a Dunkin Donuts unfinished coffee: 5 diferent kinds of $1 tickets; 3 varieties of $2 tickets; 2 $5 tickets; 1 $10 ticket. This totaled to 45 separate tickets totaling $70 in gambling losses. Whoever bought this pile of tickets probably won some money and recouped some losses. The whole area looked very frenzied! I mostly find them here and there, as if someone is walking and scratching at the same time.

I'm off for a walk now to see what I missed last night....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

How the project began

I am an artist who creates sculpture and textile art from everyday remnants. If I had not gone to art school, my other dream job would have been an anthropologist or archeologist,though it seems I have become one of Suburbia and City Life with my collections. My husband Erik Gould is the same way and finds inspiration in trash, abandoned shopping carts and couches which he photographs, along with abandoned buildings. On my walks in the last two years I started to see lottery scratch cards everywhere.

Scratch cards have a very colorful, primal palette and I started to pick them up and put them in envelopes, waiting for a project to hit me. I also started to wonder what the people were like who just threw them out of the window. Did they not want a partner to see that they had blown money away literally? Were they mad at themselves and did not want to see the evidence? I often found five at at time, some of them $10.00 apiece. A quick fix gone awry, or was it the fix of gambling itself that mattered?

I created a man's suit from over 1,000 scratch tickets thrown from car windows, found on sidewalks and in yards and bushes, some given to me by friends. It is made up of over $3,500 in gambling losses and was featured in the "Providence Art Windows" on Westminster Street in Providence in the Fall of 2007. It was also featured at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in "Recycled Runway."

I have a larger project where I need your help. I am creating a large, sculptural map of the United States and I need cards from each state where lottery cards are sold. I will list everyone who donates the cards in a future booklet on the project. If you are interested in helping me in my endeavor, please e-mail me at and I will send you a self-addressed stamped envelope to fill with found scratch cards.

Thank you in advance for your support! I look forward to seeing where the cards come from!

Rebecca Siemering