Once again, I participated in the Annual Artisan's Show and Sale in downtown Leavenworth this past weekend! The Show and Sale was held on November 9th and 10th at First City Photo. The artist reception was held on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. and the show continued on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here is a photo of my reproductions sale table!
Whew, sorry for the slight delay in posting. Madrid is super hot (I'll tell you more when I actually journal about it) and it saps your desire to be productive, so I am currently channeling most of my energy into studio productivity and attempting to brave the outdoors! Anyway, here are the final photos from Cerdeira Village and the Elementos à Solta festival!
Here are a handful of photos of my overall exhibition space in the Cerdeira Village Elementos à Solta festival. I already published individual piece images in my earlier posts, but here you can see some combined installation shots.
Starting on Wednesday through Friday, artists piled into the shared house Julia and I were staying in so that they could set up for the festival (which officially began on Thursday but really truly started on Friday). In the end, I think we housed more than 16 people in the house, and 7 in our room! It was really packed and we had to take shifts in the kitchen. The festival, called Elementos à Solta (Art Meets Nature), took place throughout the village from Thursday through Sunday and involved ceramics as well as fiber arts, wooden pieces, motion-sensing installations, and more. There were additionally workshops for art novices in the mornings and scheduled theatre and music performances in the evening. I really enjoyed a stage performance by eight ceramic artists; it was the first theatre piece I've seen that was really nevertheless as much a studio art performance piece.
Many of the displaying artists come to the festival every year (and this was the festival's twelfth year) so they all knew each other very well, but they were also extremely welcoming to Julia and me. I found a mix of Spanish and English tends to be decently understood by most Portuguese speakers, which was helpful. We were provided meals during the festival (usually on the residencies I attend you make your own food) and the cooks very kindly made vegetarian fare available each time, which I found very thoughtful.
The festival wound down on Sunday, and Julia left early that afternoon (her installation will remain up until nature has its way with it - perhaps through the winter!) after we finished our scheduled artist presentation. I grew very close to Julia during our time there, and it was very sad to have her leave. It also meant my own time to leave was drawing near; I had decided to take a bus from Coimbra to Madrid the following morning. I had planned to try to use a sort-of legitimized hitchhiking (car-sharing) service, but no one was making the trip the day I needed to go. I then considered flying, but within-Europe flights don't provide any free checked or carry-on luggage beyond a small bag, and I have two big suitcases with me so it would have been too costly. The bus was only a few hours longer and was significantly cheaper.
Packing my sculptures took about two hours; I actually packed them about three times trying to get the packing materials to support and protect the pieces. I have no idea if the sculptures' fragile branches will be in fragments by the time they reach the US; I tried my best, though! I needed to mail them from Portugal because since I had two suitcases and a backpack already, I didn't have the hands to also carry a large box along. On Monday morning, Nuno and I went to the post office and mailed my box out (fingers crossed!) before he dropped me off at the bus station. The trip from Coimbra to Madrid was thankfully uneventful, and the bus driver of the second bus (we had to change buses very early into the trip to connect with the Spanish line) stopped several times such that we could avoid using the bus toilet - I was very appreciative of that! We did stop at the Spanish border and police came aboard and checked passports; I was a little surprised about this because one of my international students said the borders are not really controlled for ground traffic between EU countries.
When I woke up for my first morning in Cerdeira Village, I was still a little tired and quite sneezy - I thought I would escape from my Kansas allergies but there are apparently still plenty of plants I'm allergic to in Portugal! I soon shook it off, though, and Julia and I made breakfast and started to get to know each other. Next I went to set up my studio space; the atelier is downstairs and next door from the residency housing. I took over two small pottery tables and a bigger workshop table and began working on my first piece.
When I proposed my project for this very competitive residency, I took note of how ceramics-oriented the website was and my proposal was to make some fully 3D pieces out of QCC since of late I've been doing only relief work with QCC. For my first sculpture, I decided I would create a slider turtle with branches growing atop its back supporting a nest. I picked a turtle for a few reasons - 1) I'd sculpted two turtles a few years ago out of QCC but never felt I fully resolved their form and wanted to improve upon that work; 2) there is a multicultural myth that the world is supported on the back of a great turtle; 3) I hadn't seen very many animals in Portugal yet given that I'd only been there a couple days, but I had seen at least two different species of slider (red-eared and yellow-bellied) at the Estufa Fria in Lisbon.
I started the sculpture by carving a rough approximation of the shell out of styrofoam. This was mostly to save on clay usage - I can only carry one bucket of it at a time due to the size and weight it occupies in my luggage, so I want to be smart in how I use it up - but also helps with the weight of the piece, which is important because I will have to ship my artworks back to the US and weight sharply increases the shipping costs.
Then I applied QCC in a relatively thin layer around the styrofoam and began to shape and detail it (hacking out bits of styrofoam as well if I needed to). The shell took a lot longer than I thought it would to really shape properly; I did not finish it the first day.
I continued work the second and third days on the turtle. After finally detailing the shell, I moved on to the head and feet. I did them all separately so I could be very considered in my markmaking, and finally I assembled all the pieces and added a tail and other final detailing by the end of the third day. I had planned to make the branches and nest out of the QCC as well, but I became enchanted by the local lichens that grow on the trees here and ended up pushing real branches into the turtle's back before curing the whole piece.
Afterwards, I did add a nest and two eggs made out of QCC into the branches.
On the fourth and fifth days, I painted the turtle, nest, and eggs white. I had got it into my head to reference the azulejos tiles so common to Portugal in the painting of the sculpture; the starting point was turning the natural light tan of the clay the bright white of the glazed tiles. I had only brought one type of paint with me - my Golden OPEN Acrylics - which are great for normal painting needs but are really poor as a base coat due to their long dry time. Here in Cerdeira Village, they seem to dry even slower - in fact, barely at all - and I ended up just going ahead and painting the turtle shell with an azulejos-inspired, painted-turtle-shell-based design on the sixth day here despite the shell still being faintly wet. I also painted the eggs with a small decorative motif seen in the corners of some azulejos tiles. The turtle and eggs took almost a week to dry, but aided by my eventual realization that I needed to put them outside in the sun to assist, they were handle-able by the time I needed to install them in their exhibition space the morning of June 2.
So here's the piece! I haven't measured it yet, nor titled it (I've got some ideas mulling), but that will come. It is a mixed media ceramic sculpture including 3P QuickCure Clay, acrylic, and found branches and lichens.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
I recently participated in a art sale on November 11-12 in downtown Leavenworth's First City Photo & Frames. I had a stand at this artist-run event last year as well, but this year I had even more of a selection available for sale. The greeting cards were particularly popular! I have plans to expand my reproduction sales to my website, so stay tuned...
If you're in or passing through Boston this Friday, consider stopping by the Boston Children's Museum for the reception for the All Things Animals! exhibition I'm participating in (two of my paintings are on display). The reception runs from 6-8pm on Friday, October 21st. Here's some more info directly from the museum itself:
We hope you can join us to celebrate! Due to museum policy, we unfortunately cannot provide food and beverages at the reception. Museum admission is only $1.00 after 5:00pm on Fridays, so bring the family! Adults attending without kids, be sure to bring your IDs- as part of the museum's "Unaccompanied Adult" policy, they ask that you leave a photo ID at the Admissions desk for safety reasons while visiting. To get to the gallery, you can take the stairs or elevator to the second floor. Once you reach the second floor, take a right and follow the hallway to the Keva exhibit. In Keva, continue right, which will lead you straight into the gallery. Here is a link to the museum’s floor plan, just in case you would prefer a visual: http://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/visit/floor-plan.
Here are the Spring 2016 Student Art Exhibition photos! We invited local artist Beth Snider to be our guest judge in handing out Miller Awards, so you can see her presenting those in a couple photos. 44 students exhibited in the show (which ran from April 29 through May 5). Classes I taught that were represented include Typography, Printmaking, Painting I & III, and Advanced Studios in Mixed Media and Tattoo Design.
If you're not attending the University of Saint Mary's SpireFest this Saturday, you should consider visiting the Sierra Club's 2016 Annual Fundraiser! For the second year in a row, I've donated artwork - this year I donated an aluminum print, a matted paper print, and three packaged greeting cards - for their silent auction. I raised $300 last year through my donation of an original drawing on panel, so I'm interested to see what the reproductions bundle will go for!
Every year, the University of Saint Mary holds an event called SpireFest which is aimed at raising money for student scholarships. There's a silent auction, student performances and entertainment, food and drink, and even dancing. This year, I've donated a signed, matted print and five greeting cards as an artwork bundle, so keep your fingers crossed it gets some good bids! I'll be there for the third year in a row, so if you're interested in keeping me company, check out this flyer - but hurry, as SpireFest is this Saturday...