Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Exhibitions, Open Projects, Things I Want to Apply to

http://www.wooloo.org/open-call/entry/252511
http://www.urbanartcommission.org/open-projects
http://memphissocialists.blogspot.com/2011/01/art-in-response-call-for-entries.html
http://cac.ca.gov/mobile/artistcalls.php?id=24034
http://www.sugarloafcrafts.com/

I will definitely apply to the first three, but I would have to make pieces specifically for them. The rest cover things I would be interested in, but could not realistically transfer the work to those locations if they were to be accepted. I am also not very comfortable with having to pay thirty dollars just to have a piece installed. This list will be built upon as more opportunities become available, but for now, this is how I will get started.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Excitement!!

I finally decided to contact two of my favorite artists, painter Misato Suzuki and sculptor and performance artist, Sha Sha Higby. I acquired their email addresses on their websites. After explaining who I am (a painting student, scared by the approach of graduation) and geeking out for a sentence or two about how awesome their work is, I sought out some advice on being a professional artist out in the big, scary, non-academic world. I was so thrilled when they actually emailed me back. Both were very nice and gave the same piece of advice: just keep making art and don't stop, even if you have to set aside a little bit of time each day to do it. It was definitely intimidating to do, but I'm glad I took the initiative to get in touch with these two awesome ladies. Find out more about them here:
Sha Sha Higby http://www.shashahigby.com/Site/Sha%20Sha%20Higby.html
Misato Suzuki http://www.alittlepainter.com/

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hamlett Dobbins Artist Lecture and Talk


Last Thursday, artist and director of lectures and exhibitions at Rhodes College here in Memphis, Hamlett Dobbins, came to our Professional Practices class to give a lecture about his body of work and breaking into the art industry. He started off with his education and job and residency opportunities, adding some info about other artists along the way. Basically, we got a general overview of some tips about how we should market ourselves, good opportunities to apply for, and the importance of collaboration, which is something I feel I've been hearing a lot about recently and would like to get in on. Unfortunately, I was forced to leave toward the end of his talk due to a job meeting at the Civil Rights Museum, but I was able to stay long enough to get a feel for his presentation and what was accomplished. I found Dobbins to be an excellent public speaker and very personable, someone I would not have been intimidated to ask questions of. Though much of what was said was personal, I felt that it was relevant and necessary. It is easy enough to list a bunch of essentials for the emerging artist to know, but it is quite another thing when you see actual artists using these tips in their everyday lives and how it has made them successful. Had I been able to stay the entire time, some questions I would have asked are 1. How often do you research current exhibitions? 2. What is your stance on artist statements? Are they important? Why or why not? 3. How often should we update our websites? 4. How do you choose the artists that lecture at Rhodes College? 5. How would you describe the perfect artist lecture? 6. Has collaborating with other artists affected your style of art-making? If so, how?
Overall, very interesting talk and I'm upset I didn't get to stay...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Demonstration of the Wonders of Photoshop

Shown below are some images of my pieces that have been altered to look more clear and professional. The images to the left represent the images "Before" altering them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

6x6 Event

10 Exhibitions

1. Name: Art in the Square Delray Beach 2011
Location: Delray Beach, FL
Due Date: 9-19-2011
Type of Work: Painting, photography, sculpture, craft, drawing, ceramics, digital art
Fee: $17
Type of Call: Any artists, 4 images, juried
Sizes: did not specify

2. Name: Nature
Location: Pasadena, CA
Due Date: 9-24-11
Type of Work: Printmaking, digital art, photography, drawing, painting
Fee: $35
Type of Call: Any artists, juried
Sizes: 250KB jpegs at 72dpi

3. Name: Southern Menagerie
Location: Raleigh, NC
Due Date: 9-26-11
Type of Work: Painting
Fee: $20
Type of Call: anyone, not juried
Sizes: not specified

4. Name: “12x12” The Small Image Show
Location: Ventura, CA
Due Date: 9-28-11
Type of Work: any
Fee: Free, unless chosen, then $10 installation fee for each piece
Type of Call: all artists over 18
Sizes: JPEG images, must be 12”x12”, no more, no less

5. Name: Art in Response
Location: Caritas Village, Memphis, TN
Due Date: 1-26-11
Type of Work: any media, should address inequality issues in the Memphis area
Fee: Free
Type of Call: Memphis artists
Sizes: any

6. Name: The Circle
Location: Alameda, CA
Due Date: 10-2-11
Type of Work: any
Fee: $40
Type of Call: juried, any artist, work must be circle themed
Sizes: not specified

7. Name: 2012 Leftovers in Laughlin
Location: Laughlin, Nevada
Due Date: 10-1-11
Type of Work: One piece per entry, Painting, Drawing, Pen and Ink, Color Pencil, Charcoal, Photography
Fee: Free
Type of Call: any artists, must post on Facebook and be festival themed
Sizes: not specified

8. Name: Sugarloaf Crafts Festival
Location: Garden State Exhibit Center, Somerset, NJ
Due Date: 9-28-11
Type of Work: all medias, 5 images
Fee: Free
Type of Call: any work to be shown in Garden State Exhibit Center, juried
Sizes: not specified

9. Name: Rocky Mountain Art Book Collection
Location: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Due Date: 12-1-2011
Type of Work: artist given blank sketch pad to decorate, all medias welcome
Fee: $25
Type of Call: anyone can participate who orders the blank sketchbook. Work to be shown collectively at exhibition
Sizes: not specified, depends on sketchpad size

10. Name: 1st Annual Juried Online Women's Art Exhibition
Location: Renegadefemme.com
Due Date: 12-31-2011
Type of Work: Open to all women worldwide who work in the following categories: Oil, Water media, Pastels, Graphite, Scratchboard, Original Printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramics, Wood, Glass, Photography, Fiber and Jewelry.
Fee: $40
Type of Call: a way to promote women in the art world, an online gallery
Sizes: not specified

Costumes

I was recently commissioned by Memphis Spay and Neuter Services to design and construct a series of fruit/veggie inspired costumes for an upcoming benefit dinner. When I agreed to do this, I was under the impression that there would be a team of helpers and that I wouldn't have to do all the work myself. Wrong... Luckily, we agreed that each server should provide a garment for me with a color and style compatible with the vegetable or fruit they would represent, which significantly decreased my stress level. Can you imagine if I had to make all 11 costumes from scratch, by myself, in a mere month?? Well, after careful planning and much time spent in the studio with needles and thread and a glue gun, I reached a finished product for each outfit. Here is a photo of the results. Special thanks to MCA student photographer, Andrew Edwards and my good friend, the lovely and stylish Evan Leggoe, who designed the make-up. She is shown here sporting the watermelon dress while I struggle to smile without grimacing at my surprise inclusion in this photo as the peapod, who could not be there that day.

Artist Statement: Revised

As I use vivid colors, patterns, textiles, and acrylic paint, I am reminded that I am decorating a two-dimensional space and so I maintain that aspect of the surface and keep the paint very flat and clean. My goal is to visually change objects and forms deemed ugly or untouchable by society to suit its standard of what beauty is, making a statement about the manner in which we decorate ourselves, covering up what is already there. The sculptural monsters convey this particular idea more strongly than my paintings. Possessing sharp clay teeth and pointed wire claws, they are decorated in such a way that they appear lovely and festive, not at all our typical inference of what monsters should be.
My paintings are more like two-dimensional representations of these sculptures, though more often the monster imagery is not included and a stronger focus on patterns and decorating is evident. It often requires several layers of paint to achieve the flatness and clean edges I enjoy and a natural de-stressing occurs with all the focus I put into handling the paint in this manner.
When a piece is going well, I am filled with a sense of relaxation and a comfortable ease with a complete lack of tension. I see these paintings as therapeutic in that I find myself becoming detached from all the stresses I feel every day and I can disappear into a place that is fun, bright, and joyous. My sculptural and painting work share similarities in that they both focus on aspects of strong ornamentation and the exploration of what beauty is and what makes something attractive to the eye.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Greely Myatt Artist Talk




When first approaching the David Lusk gallery where sculptor and art professor Greely Myatt had his “Just Sayin’” exhibition, I was fairly impressed with the first piece I viewed next to the front door of the gallery: a round table tilted upwards with the artist’s signature image, the word balloon, carved out and hanging on the wall above the table. Inside, the show was no less lacking in large scale, thought and word balloon themed pieces. I enjoyed Myatt’s many ways of creating this overlapping imagery, especially in the colorful silkscreen print in the back room.
After a good look around the gallery, we were able to ask questions of the artist regarding his work and his professional life. While speaking with Myatt, I found him to be very approachable and straight-forward in his answers, if a little cryptic. For example, when asked which media feels more comfortable for him to work with, he answered that it would depend on the piece and didn’t fully answer the question, in my opinion. I did not feel like I took much away from the talk, but I enjoyed his advice on working hard and putting one’s best foot forward when attempting to break into the art world, that any show you have, no matter how small, is still a show. It did bother me a bit when I asked about artist statements and he talked about how unimportant they are and how he prefers not to include one in his exhibitions. I think artist statements are great and always look for one when I’m at a gallery viewing other artists’ work. To me, the work in a show can only speak for itself so much, and it is interesting to see how my initial reaction of a piece differs from what the artist was actually thinking when they made the work of art. I wish that I had pressed this matter further with Myatt because I still have a very little idea of what he wishes to express with his work. I also would have wanted to have a question/answer session with Mr. Hollingsworth about the politics of running a gallery and what is crucial for an artist to know in order to have their work shown in one.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hypothetical Statement of Intent

Lately in my work, I have been focusing on the idea of solitude and meditation in the act of carefully covering a painting surface in multitudes of repeated patterns and forms. I now wish to bring this idea into the realm of sculpture. I intend to fill the space of Rust Hall at the Memphis College of Art with a vast medley of three-dimensional abstracted forms, covering the walls as well as parts of the ceiling and floor in ways that will not obstruct the gallery lights or make it impossible for people to walk through the gallery. The forms will be constructed from pieces of painted canvas and other fibers which will be sewn and stuffed to appear round and organic, varying in size from about three inches to two feet in diameter. The color palette will consist of vivid blues and greens as well as bright reds, imitating organic coral reefs and other oceanic forms and creatures. Most of the stuffed pieces will have painted, biotic-looking images on them, though a few will be made of found fabrics with similar color choices and pattern work. My intention is to install a space that is comfortably claustrophobic, a place of escapism and harmony. In this formidable, almost encroaching installation, I hope to instill the viewer with an experience similar to the relaxation I feel while painstakingly creating my pieces. I feel that with this space, the audience will be able to interact more and feel something that might not be as accessible in my two-dimensional pieces.

Artist Statement



As I use vivid colors, patterns, textiles, and acrylic paint, I am reminded that I am decorating a space, unconcerned with displaying any depth or three-dimensionality in my painting surfaces. Rather, my goal is to visually change objects and forms deemed ugly or untouchable by society to suit its standard of what beauty is and to make a statement about the manner in which we decorate ourselves, covering up what is already there. My sculptural monsters convey this idea more strongly than my paintings. Possessing sharp clay teeth and pointed wire claws, they are decorated in such a way that they appear lovely and festive, not at all our typical inference of what monsters should be.
My painting process begins when I take various objects, trinkets, and textile designs and pick out pieces of each form, melding them together until I have settled on a satisfactory composition. I then jump into the painting, using whatever vivid colors I feel would complement each other. It often requires several layers of paint to achieve the flatness and clean edges I enjoy and a natural de-stressing occurs with all the focus I put into handling the paint in this manner. In the middle of a painting, if I feel the relationship of objects in the space is not working, I tend to block out that area by covering it in circular or organic pattern work.
When a piece is going well, I am filled with a sense of relaxation and a comfortable ease with a complete lack of tension. I see these paintings as therapeutic in that I find myself becoming detached from all the stresses I feel every day and I can disappear into a place that is fun, bright, and joyous. My sculptural and painting work share similarities in that they both focus on aspects of strong ornamentation and the exploration of what beauty is and what makes something attractive to the eye.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Artist Lecture: Jiha Moon

Jiha Moon is a Korean-American abstract painter whose work focuses mainly on questioning the idea of nationality and of fixed identities within each culture. She works mostly on paper, incorporating lots of collage, stamps, and stencils in addition to paint. Though her pieces have an unmistakable Korean influence in her strong gestures, mark-making, and much of her pop-culture imagery, she avoids these stigmas of fixed ideas about members of a particular nationality.
Though there was a bit of a slow start and a little microphone trouble, Moon’s lecture was very impressive to me. I felt that she was wordy at times, often digressing on many subjects, but she explained her work very well and appeared eerily comfortable on stage in front of all of us. I was especially taken with her pop-culture derived anecdotes about her family in Korea, the little cat/dog logo, and the unnatural blonde-haired, blue-eyed Asian women. However, I felt that she was very wordy at times in her assessment of each piece, and the question/answer time at the end of the lecture went a little long. I loved Moon’s imagery and chaotic, keep-looking-closer compositions and was pleased when she included detail shots of each piece. Her body of work was also impressive in that she is constantly working with this idea of fixed identities and cultural phenomena but each piece had its own quirky, specific thought of hers to go with it.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Professional Practices: Class Presentations

So last Thursday in my Professional Practices class, we were instructed to make a slide presentation of our artwork and explain the pieces to our class. I was foolish and decided to do mine first (this occurred mostly out of nerves, I think. I do not do well with public speaking...) and just as I suspected would happen, I got up there, all nice and prepared with notecards and a fine medley of images, and I rushed through the whole thing, spouting several "ums" and half-finished thoughts along the way. This meant that my presentation, which was supposed to have been ten minutes, was completed in a lovely 5 and half minute time span. Not so great, though it probably wasn't nearly as bad as I have convinced myself that it was.
The rest of the presentations went pretty well. I felt that everyone spent a lot of time choosing their pieces to talk about and most of the time, these images flowed well from idea to idea, giving the audience ample understanding of how each artist thinks and how the transitions from old pieces to newer, current work came about. It was also nice to see so many unique ideas and styles of art making arose from such a small group of people.
That being said, one thing I did notice happened with several of the speakers was that there were a lot of "ums" and "uhs" going on, a big no-no on the list of presentation rules our instructor gave us access to after the presentations had ended. I noticed I was guilty of this as well, so next time I will definitely be more conscious about it. Another flaw was the quality of many of the images that were shown. It is understandable that we are all art students and often don't have the means or time to have our artwork photographed professionally, but I think it is crucial in order to better our portfolios and to avoid unclear images in future presentations. Another awkward occurrence that happened to several students was that the slideshow program they were using had this annoying black bar going along the bottom of each image that would stay around as long as the cursor was in use. This was, for me at least, a bit of a distraction. Another thing I would say could be a problem is that while doing a presentation, if the images are fuzzy or distorted due to bad photography, it would probably be best not to point that out to the audience or apologize for it. It is an unwelcome distraction and the chances are good that the audience wasn't even thinking about how unclear the image was before. If you are not sure about the quality of an image, just don't use it. I am also guilty of the bad photo thing, but plan on going back and either photoshopping the images I have, or just take better images.
Overall, I felt that I could have talked more and not been so eager to have my presentation over and done. I also should have placed one image per slide like everyone else did rather than lumping multiple images together on a single slide. I am excited to see how everyone's presentation skills progress with what we learned from the ones we gave on Thursday.