My Summer Plans!

I finally know what I'll be doing this summer!  Usually I nail down artist residency plans much earlier in the year, but it's been much more up in the air this time around.  Until now!

I am extremely pleased to announce that I was fortunate enough to be selected for one of the two spots allocated to international artists to attend a fully sponsored two-week-long residency at Cerdeira Village in Portugal in association with the 2017 "Bichos" themed Elementos à Solta (Art Meets Nature) festival.  I will be working in ceramics with 3P QuickCure Clay both in the preceding days and as well as actively at the festival.

I am also very happy to share that I have additionally been chosen to attend a two-month-long residency at Intercambiador ACART in Madrid, Spain.  I previously studied abroad in Madrid in 2007, so it's been a decade since I've last lived there.  It will be nice to return as a more well-traveled and seasoned adult.  I will probably be working with a mix of 2D and 3D aspects.

I will do the two back-to-back, starting with Cerdeira Village and then heading to Intercambiador ACART.  It will be a very busy, very productive summer!

USM Baptism Stole

Last week, University of Saint Mary President Diane Steele dropped by one of my classes to ask me or one of my students to decorate a baptism stole for one of our own esteemed colleagues who is getting baptized this Friday.

Given the seriousness of the event and the once-off support media, I chose to take the task on myself so as to make sure it was a well-executed piece.  I took pieces of some of our logos and printed them out at the proper scale, handcut them into stencils, and painted them onto each side of the stole.  I then freehand-painted somewhat stylized fire and water below the stencils.  I took my time in doing it, and it even surprised me how long it did take - around 7 hours!  But I think it turned out quite well.

More Cute Lex Photos

My crested gecko Lex has been posing up a storm lately!  Here are a couple of new snaps of her antics.  If you think she looks significantly yellower in the middle photo than the other two, you're correct - and it's not an illusion due to lighting or camera settings.  The white versions are her "fired down" state, while the yellow is a more active coloration; when she's really intensely "fired up," she can actually even reach a medium brown, but that's relatively rare for her.

Arcilia Gonzalez's Senior Art Exhibition

My student Arcilia Gonzalez is graduating this spring, and her senior exhibition is having its opening reception tomorrow!  Come to Goppert Gallery between 3-5pm on Friday, April 7th to take in Not Just Beautiful, but Alive and Breathing - or if you absolutely can't make it then, it will be up through April 21st.  Here's the press release!

Arcilia's graduation marks the fourth year that I've been teaching at USM, so hers is the first class I've seen all the way through from freshmen to graduation.  She's also been a work study student of mine, and is an interesting, good person, so I'll miss her in a number of ways.  Arcilia has another show in the region this winter, though, so I'll get to see her again after she graduates in the not too distant future.

A Photo Gallery from My LASM Exhibition Trip

I have a few more photos to share from my LASM exhibition and associated demos/events!  This was a fantastically fun trip, all thanks to the amazing Dr. John Pojman.

The Baton Rouge Ebb & Flow Festival

Dr. John Pojman and I had a demo station set up at the Ebb & Flow Festival today in Baton Rouge - a student of his joined us and we formed part of the Louisiana Art & Science Museum brigade and demonstrated the non-Newtonian fluid behavior of cornstarch plus water as well as QuickCure Clay.  We also got a chance to take in the rest of the festival, and I happened to see two friends of mine had an art booth selling their own paintings!  It was a beautiful day (I managed to get sunburnt!) and I topped it off by getting a snowcone from one of the vendors.  The festival will continue tomorrow, but our booth was a Saturday-only event.

Radio Interview with The Jim Engster Show

Dr. John Pojman and I will be guests on The Jim Engster Show today at 4:35pm CDT talking about polymers and art!  You can livestream it or listen to it later as a podcast.  This show is broadcast on six different radio stations across Louisiana.

Video Clip of LASM QCC Demo

I have a full schedule of demonstrations, lectures, and interviews for the next couple of days associated with the Polymers in Art Through the Centuries exhibition going on at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum (LASM) - the first took place earlier this evening!  An LASM public relations staff member posted livestream video to Facebook throughout the night - here's a snippet:

Lex Shedding

Usually animals who are in the process of shedding are quite shy, so I haven't seen Lex shed in quite a while (when she was a baby I saw bits of it as very juvenile crested geckos have a harder time getting their shed off).  But last night, she popped up with a superhero mask and cape of her own dead skin.

I assumed her surprisingly social behavior was a request for more humidity to aid in the detaching and easy consumption of her shed, so after taking her photo I spritzed her and watched as she ate it all within the next half hour.

Human and Animal Lives Colliding

Did you know that there's a Dead Animal Tales exhibition at the Rotterdam Natural History Museum featuring animals who came into interestingly fatal contact with humanity?  One of the latest additions is a stone marten who got electrocuted while breaching the Large Hadron Collider's substation fence.  The Guardian wrote an article on the exhibition which is worth reading in its entirety, but here's an excerpt:

The stone marten [...] joins a sparrow that was shot after it sabotaged a world record attempt by knocking over 23,000 dominoes; a hedgehog that got fatally stuck in a McDonalds McFlurry pot, and a catfish that fell victim to a group of men in the Netherlands who developed a tradition for drinking vast amounts of beer and swallowing fish from their aquarium. The catfish turned out to be armoured, and on being swallowed raised its spines. The defence did not save the fish, but it put the 28-year-old man who tried to swallow it in intensive care for a week.

It was another unfortunate incident that spurred Moeliker to establish the exhibition in the first place. In 1995, a male duck flew into the glass facade of the museum and died on impact, a fate that did not deter another male duck from raping the corpse for 75 minutes. The incident ruffled feathers in the community but earned Moeliker a much-coveted IgNobel prize when he published his observations . “I was the one and only witness,” Moeliker said. “I’m a trained biologist but what I saw was completely new to me.”

The gay necrophiliac duck sex act is elaborated on here, if you're compelled - as I was - to read more about it.  Apparently there may or may not have been a similar case witnessed between two American squirrels.

Animals in Art Exhibition at A Different Path Gallery

And here's another exhibition I'm showing work in - it's the Animals in Art national exhibition juried by Lori Skoog and Katherine Weston at A Different Path Gallery in Brockport, New York.  Three of my pieces will be on display: Perfect Form, Echo, and Littoral Layers

The show opens with a reception this Friday (tomorrow!), March 10th, from 7-9pm and will be on exhibit through April 1, 2017.  The gallery is located at 27 Market Street, Brockport, NY 14420.

Polymers in Art Through the Centuries Exhibition at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum

My collaboration with Dr. John Pojman and his company 3P (Pojman Polymer Products) has led to my exhibiting in this amazing show!  Polymers in Art Through the Centuries is a fantastically interesting exhibition held at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum (LASM) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Polymers in Art Through the Centuries opened today!  Its show dates are March 4 - June 4, 2017, and it is held in the Soupçon Gallery in the LASM.  For information about the LASM hours of operation and cost of admission (though please note that there are a number of free admission days), please check this link out.

I will be demonstrating 3P QuickCure Clay and discussing my work with the sculptural and relief medium along with Dr. John Pojman onsite at the LASM during their Art After Hours: The Substance of Art event on Thursday, March 30, 2017 from 5:30 - 7:30pm.  Other artists including Monica Zeringue, violist and composer Christian Frederickson, and local dance company Of Moving Colors will be contributing to the evening as well, and A Work in Process: Paintings by Gustave Blache III and It’s Academic: A Hands-On Art Experience will also be open for viewing.  Complimentary wine and appetizers are included with admission, which is $7.50 for adults, $5.50 for college students with ID, and free for members.

Amaryllis Minerva

By the time I reached the discounted post-Christmas sale in Concordia's Walmart, there was a lone Amaryllis bucket/bulb left.  I picked it up, potted it up, and lo and behold: Amaryllis Minerva in all her glory!  If I keep the bulb planted and happy through early fall and then depot and store it, I should be able to keep it for next year's winter flowers!

My New Mixed Media Relief of a Sloth

This is either finished or close to finished - I have a tendency to tweak works slightly for a number of days after the piece is "done."  

I'm naming it the closest English translation of the sloth's name: Pilgrim (Peregrina).

Pilgrim is 3P QuickCure Clay and acrylic on a 6x12" basswood panel.

Pilgrim.jpg

Growing My Own Oyster Mushrooms

My good friend John Pojman sent me this box of grow-it-yourself oyster-mushroom-spore-inoculated sawdust for Christmas!  (I know, I should probably have posted this back then, but it's not a time-dependent post since they're growable year-round, so I just let this post kick around my drafts section while other more pressing posts went up, and then I just forgot about it for a while!)  I am always excited to have the opportunity to grow my own mushrooms from these type of kits as they make it super simple to do.   Here's what you can look forward to if you want to do this yourself!

A Sneak Peek at My In-Progress Sloth Bas Relief

As I've mentioned before, I'm teaching an extra course this semester - Honors Seminar: Interdisciplinary Art.  The course is structured into a few different sections, with the first exploring my own interdisciplinary interests (science and art, particularly involving the fields of ecology, biology, anatomy, botany, and my collaborative work in chemistry with Dr. John Pojman developing 3P QuickCure Clay).  

For this segment, the students must use QCC and make at least one piece of artwork that explores the fields listed above that are interdisciplinary interests of mine.  Since it's such a personal-to-me assignment, I decided I'd join in on the project.  I'd considered doing a sloth for a while - I met and got to directly interact with one named Peregrina in Peru during my 2014 residency there - but I didn't want the piece to be too cutesy so I kept dismissing the subject matter until I felt ready to tackle it with a somewhat more complex take on the animal.   I decided the time is now, mostly due to finding this elongated panel (its dimensions are 6x12") which felt like a perfect match to the gangly nature of the sloth.  

I plan to paint it, so the end piece will look considerably different than this, but here's a sneak peek at the relief work before adding any paint.