Friday, October 28, 2011

Gallery Ideas, Part III (plain ole studio)

I'm skipping over Part II ideas, but may post them later, for kicks. Here's Part I posted yesterday. As much as the studio space itself inspires these other ideas, I really need to focus more intimately and more individually. This is how I connect to the world, and others, in a meaningful way - as an artist partially ignoring that world, and others. It took me a very long time to accept that personal artistic exploration has meaning, and that at its very core this activity is generous in spirit. 

I feel oppressed by the municipal/corporate interests that have been guiding our local arts since around 2000. While there is much more going on, and some money being invested in local arts and artists, it creates a whirlwind environment of highly social, but disconnected participation. It's being done to promote an identity, which is fine, but I wish they would have gone for "world-class" architecture, rather than art.

I don't really need to add my gimmicky ideas to that pool. We have plenty of entrepreneurial art activity planners. It's difficult for me to ignore the space's gallery potential, and I may occasionally clear it out for the occasional Swivel Gallery Show (the space is perfect for placing a single swivel chair in the middle of the room and hanging one work on each wall, or one person's work on each wall).

This is a long-winded way to say I'm going to scale everything back down to using this space as a studio, at least for now.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gallery Ideas, Part I

I've rented a small space at the Circle City Industrial Compex. It's perfectly intimate, tucked away a bit, no windows, and a nice size for a small gallery. It's been a huge struggle to ignore this space and focus on getting other things done. I've only been in there once since I received my keys, but the ideas are flowing, some good, some whacky. Posting publicly will help me sort out the diff.

Exhibition ideas:
Unstable Art Show - I've been sculpting paint skins while they're still moving (wet), which almost sounds cruel. I'd like to have an invitational one-night only show using in-flux materials. This could be in winter so we'd have the whole snow/ice possibility. It could involve stacking materials. Pretty much anything fragile or ephemeral, as long as it's not fumey or food related. For the exhibition I'd cover the floor in plastic and possibly even display some things in tubs. 

Documented-only shows - I'd like to have a strong online representation and had even considered having the gallery officially be an online gallery, which happened to have a bricks-n-mortar space in Indpls. The space would serve almost as a set for the online activities, and would also be a sort of tourist attraction (at least in concept) for the "real" activities which occurs online....a sort of Precious Moments Chapel for you to pay homage to ;-) , full of momentos (for sale) of online conceptual moments of note. Document-only shows would play into this idea in that I would put up shows in the space, but only present a documentation of them. Not a new idea by any means, but it's still interesting to consider just how and what one could do with it.

Artists You Don't Know - I'd change the title, but this would be either one show or a series of shows featuring local Indiana artists who are making really intriguing and independent work, but who are not really on the radar.

It's Not Gonna Happen - (or Proposals for the Unlikely) -It's a much more positive idea than how it sounds. This will likely be a proposal show, where artists submit very informal representations of projects that simply will not happen, mainly because of context. That same inappropriate context is what makes the idea so fascinating though. For instance, I was making proposals for an area high school, and when I saw the natatorium being contructed, an image popped into my head and I couldn't shake it. Their mascot is a panther. I visualized this image of a panther where the huge scale and the cropped (swimming) shape made it impossible to read correctly on first glance. It actually looks like a loch nest monster or something inexplicable. That moment when you realise it's a panther would be so amazing.....Still, the idea falls so far outside of the norm, as school mascots go.....It's not gonna happen. I may keep this show limited to decorative painting projects, but public art projects are also a great place for "not gonna happen" ideas.

Fantasy Art Finds - (Needs better title) This could be either a proposal show or a theme show for new work. What art would you most want someone else to have made? This really is different from what art you as an artist would like to make, I think. The context could be narrowed. I've always liked to imagine my dream thrift store painting finds. What would I most want to find in a thrift store, or similar place, that some other person had taken the time to make?

Paintings for a Mobile Home - I first had this idea back when I actually lived in a trailer. As campy as the idea is, I was seeking a framework that would encourage sincerity. I've always wanted to keep one foot firmly planted in a non-academic, provincial place of art appreciation. It seems important to always consider what I'd be doing and how I'd be thinking if I were unaware of current art considerations. What paintings would I make if they were intended to be hung in a mobile home? It's almost impossible to conceive without irony, but fascinating to do so. I'm not sure if this would be an invitational show, or just a group I'd do.

I rarely feel inspired by others' theme show ideas, and I am a little chagrined at how much I'm going there myself. Next thing you know, I'll be pushing spectacle art events....

Iron-Artist Assemblage Competition - Timed assemblage of provided materials. Could also have a blind collaboration, where artists work in sequence on one piece. This was actually a side-idea to Sculpt My Yard Offerings - which was originally simply Sculpt My Dumped Tires. I bring in stuff that's been dumped in my yard, you or I make something from it. I though about somehow inviting others to make surreptitious yard offerings that I would try to distinguish from the naturally occurring dumpings. It would be an interesting head-trip, but is just way too insular in scope, even if it's made into a display of some sort.

The Strontium Show - Fun with phosphorescent paint.

I'll end the exhibition ideas here. Gallery Ideas, Part II will be ideas for funding the gallery, and also ideas for setting up the space itself.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October News Brief

I'm preparing for a large series of paintings, where I plan on working within certain parameters. I plan on keeping a fairly consistent palette and work within a theme, and I'll be working with a surface that I don't plan on mucking up a lot, maybe just gentle scraping back. I'm going to treat it as a challenge to not rebel, but to find innovation and adventure from within this predetermined working structure. I may need to have a second group going, where anything can happen, just for sanity's sake.

I talked to two different people outside, while wearing this cicada shell on my lapel. Neither person mentioned it, and I continued to wear it for several hours inside the house. Then caught a glimpse in the mirror and it startled me.

I'm once again starting up the touchup service. I moved my sample making setup outside because of the fumes. Then I spent several hours online researching other, less toxic materials. The mosquitos are almost gone now and it will be nice to spend time outside again. This was an amazingly long satisfying summer, and now I feel like winter will be just a blip. It's usually the reverse.

I finally harvested my fancy carrots. They ended up being shaded by the tomato plants and were a tad dwarfed. I did go ahead and eat a few. They were excellent.

Myrna's continuing to be an absolute delight.

Felix and Sheila inherited a sleeping blanket. It crinkles, they like it.

Alan on the drop cloth pile. I better move those.

I will be leasing studio space starting in November at the Circle City Industrial Complex, home of Wug Laku and friends. I'm getting excited about some exhibition ideas I have for the space. More to come....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Against The Tide" - Online Exhibition and Book

Sharon Butler of Two Coats of Paint has posted an online exhibition, featuring a great line-up of artists. An exhibition book is also available here. The show includes Mary Addison Hackett's amazing painting "Two Oceans Full of Love", and work by many other exciting artists. I am really blown away by Magnolia Laurie's work.