tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:/posts OtherPeoplesPixels Blog 2018-12-05T15:11:20Z OPP tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1350564 2018-12-05T15:02:08Z 2018-12-05T15:11:20Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Emi Ozawa

This is Granny Smith, 2018. Acrylic on poplar. 52" x 52" x 13." Photo credit: Margot Geist

EMI OZAWA's skillfully crafted sculptures show thoughtful attention to line, form and color. The simplicity of her geometry—repeating circles, lines and squares—belies the complexity of her thematic concerns. In kinetic sculptures and wall-hung sculptures that change dramatically as the viewer walks past, she explores of the relationship between looking, touching and moving. Emi studied at Joshibi University of Art and Design and Tokyo School of Art. She earned her BFA in Craft/Wood at The University of the Arts (Philadelphia) and her MFA in Furniture Design at Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited widely throughout the U.S, in London and in Tokyo. In January 2018, Emi's solo show Follow The Line opened at Richard Levy Gallery. The gallery will also take her work to Art Miami in December 2018. Her work was included in the group show Parallax : A RAiR Connection Exhibition (2018) at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, alongside Featured Artist Justin Richel. In 2019, Emi will be an artist-in-residence at Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she lives and works.

OtherPeoplesPixels: You studied graphic design and furniture design. How did that inform the work you make now? 

Emi Ozawa: while I was working as a graphic designer, the feeling of wanting to create 3D objects by my hand grew. I had the idea that objects could be kinetic and interactive. The reason why I started learning woodworking was to make my sculpture steady for touching and moving. I was interested in furniture as objects that have a built-in invitation to touch and move. I also wanted to learn about wood. I love the feel and the texture of this material.

Square on Square, 2010. Acrylic on apple plywood with brass. 19.75" x 20" x 3". Photo credit : Margot Geist.

OPP: What led you away from functional objects toward visual art?

EO: From the start, I was combining my sculptural ideas into furniture. I wanted my work to be inviting. You can sit, you can open a door. Its function was secondary for me. For instance, Bird tables surface is very limited. My ‘box form’ sculptures—like Wound Up(2001) and bOX (2001)—have very small inside spaces. Each piece has very unique way of opening and closing. They needed to be explained by someone present, sometimes a piece would be displayed in a case, all of this intruded on the viewer’s full experience. Gradually I felt that I wanted my work to be independent like a painting on a wall. Viewers are invited to look and have an experience of interaction without touching. Further more, I wanted to focus on surface painting more than spending too much energy with building mechanical parts and joints.

Red Bridge, 2004. Acrylic on apple plywood with brass. 15" x 15" x 2.5". Photo credit : Mark Johnston.

OPP: In your statement, you mentioned that play is a central concern of your work. Early kinetic works like Triangle Train (2009) or See Saw 2 (2002) could be touched. What makes an interactive work a sculpture versus a toy? Does that distinction matter to you at all?

EO: Yes. This distinction matters to me, but I can’t help it if others blur the line between the two experiences. Making art which applies itself to our instinct to play is the connection I am seeking. I think a toy is for the users—user-centered. That’s why a lot of toys are made safe for certain ages, for certain development, or there is a room for how to approach the toy.

Speaking about my interactive sculpture, there is a very specific way that a viewer can interact with the piece. When it’s activated, it shows a movement or a surprise which I created to share. So it is artist-centered.

Rain on Rain, 2016. (front, left and right side views). Acrylic on poplar. 48" x 28.5" x 2." Photo credit: Margot Geist.

OPP: Your wall sculptures are very much about visual perspective. They change if you look at them from different points of view. Is this pure abstraction? Or do you think of these abstractions as metaphors?

EO: I think a lot of them are pure abstraction using color and geometry, but some are developed from my response to nature. For example, I considered rain drops falling in Rain on Rain (2016), the moon in a night sky in Once in A Blue Moon (2014) and the vivid colors I see during Summer season in One Summer Day Takes a Walk (2013). I like working with squares and circles because they are my favorite language. They tend to relate, and I use them towards what you are talking about in terms of visual perspective. 

Drifting Mist (two views), 2015. Acrylic on poplar. 15" x 15' x 1.875". Photo credit : Margot Geist.

OPP: When I first looked at works like Kaki to Yuzu (2018) and Blue Line (2017), I thought of variations on the Modernist grid and the textile grid of weaving, as well as an accumulations of ladders against the wall. Then I googled Amidakuji (2016) and had a whole new perspective. Can you explain for non-Japanese speakers? 

EO: Amidakuji is a common game of chance in Japan. You just need a pen and a paper. You draw vertical lines of participants number which could be two to however many. Then add horizontal lines in between the vertical lines, write prizes or numbers at the bottom end of the line and hide that detail. Each player can add more horizontal lines. Now the game begins. Each participant picks a line. You track the path downwards from the top. Following the line, it crosses sometime with other path but never overlap. When you reach the bottom, you find the prize. When I started drawing this idea, I thought everybody knew about it. Then soon I found out it is not common in USA. As far as the purpose of the game goes, picking the shortest straw might do something similar.

Amidakuji, 2016. Acrylic on mahogany. 54" x 46.5" x 1.25." Photo credit : Jeff Krueger

OPP: How important is it that viewers understand this reference when looking at the work?

EO: I structured these three pieces based on this game and applied this rule to color these lines. I wouldn’t be making these works without knowing Amidakuji. But it can be looked at as a sculpture without its references. Though it is not a must, I mention its inspiration because it is part of it for me, as is this work’s relation to the Modernist grid you mention. It is interesting to see similarities in Mondrian’s structure and this game.    

Five Blue Circles, 2018. Paper on board. 10" x 15" x 2.5" frame.

OPP: Many recent wall sculptures are made of paper instead of wood. Is this a new material in your practice? 

EO: I have been making paper models for 30 years. It was for my furniture, as it is now for my sculpture. From drawing to paper model to wood sculpture. . . this has been my process. Paper model-making is an important step for me to see and understand three dimensional aspects before working on a piece in actual size and material. I always enjoy working with paper just like I do with wood.

I have an upcoming residency  in 2019 at Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where there will be an opportunity for me to do some 3D lithography. Because this work will be on paper, I was looking at my paper models and drawings and started experimenting with paper towards the work as a finished art object. 

Sugar Plum, 2018. Paper, tape on board. 13" x 13" x 1.5" framed.

OPP: Can you talk about the material differences between wood and paper?

EO: Paper doesn’t have thickness like wood. Paper is foldable and flexible unlike wood. Paper is more fragile than wood. There are many differences between the two, with what you can and cannot do, yet my paper and wood pieces are alike though in different scales.

Some ideas echo in-between wood pieces and paper pieces. My newest paper pieces are inspired by my wall wood sculpture that changes its look from the different perspectives. I found it is interesting that the reverse process is happening. Adding paper to my materials, my play ground of ideas is expanding. 

To see more of Emi's work, please visit emiozawa.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist  Stacia Yeapanis.  When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations.  She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at  BOLT in Chicago.  Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018). During summer 2018, Stacia created  Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress and was an Artist-in-Residence at Facebook. She is currently preparing for a solo show titled Practice, which will open in April 2019 at Kent State Stark.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1346189 2018-11-21T18:36:30Z 2018-11-21T18:38:59Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Alicia King

Machinations, 2018. Neon (mercury), graphite on paper. 122cm x 111cm.

Interdisciplinary artist ALICIA KING explores the relationship between the human body, technology and the always-imminent Future. Some sculptural works combine the visual language of the religious reliquary with living human cells. Other text-based works, rendered both in neon and in balsa wood that mimics the form of neon, highlights the false dichotomy of nature and technology. Alicia earned her BFA in 2005, followed by her PhD in Fine Arts in 2009 at the University of Tasmania, Hobart Art School. She exhibits internationally and has been included in group shows in Germany, the United States, Japan, Vietnam and Australia. Her work is included in the Fehily Contemporary Collection and the permanent collection at The Museum of Old and New Art (Hobart, Tasmania). Alicia is preparing for two solo exhibitions in 2019 in Melbourne: Our Long Conversation with the Sun at Linden New Art and Alien Nature at C3 Contemporary Art Space. Alicia lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.

OtherPeoplesPixels: What’s the relationship between biology, technology and spirituality, as you see it?

Alicia King: The spiritual link is interesting, and it can be culturally specific. For example, Japanese culture has a history of animism that influences their approach to robotics, but I’m not sure Western culture really makes that connection. I think the technological can seem in opposition to the spiritual because we generally equate the spiritual with nature, and tech is often seen as the opposite of nature. I wouldn’t say I’m overtly interested in spirituality, but I guess I allude to those ideas through exploring subjectivity and embodiment in biological materials, the sublime and phenomenological in nature and technology. 

In a way, the reliquary pieces play upon fake miracles of technology and the idea of science as fulfilling the mythology of the future.

Slip me some skin, 2012. Glass, human tissue (donated by anonymous donor), fibroblast cells (HaCaT cell line) agar, resin, flock. Detail.

OPP: Yes, I was specifically thinking about the reliquaries like Slip Me Some Skin (2009) and Delicacies of the Dead (2009). Works like these refer to the Medieval Christian practice of memorializing dead saints by their body parts, which were intended as devotional objects that link human and God. What does it mean to create reliquaries for human cells from anonymous donors? 

AK: How we deal with bodily materials once they are outside of their host body is really varied and fascinating. When used by industry, tissue is generally anonymous, objectified and considered to be a waste product, though it has incredible financial value. The individual origins of the tissue are removed and it is used like any other raw material commodity. 

In the case of cells from anonymous sources, the use of the relic applies a sense of subjectivity to bodily material, and places focus upon the identity of the tissue through the limited information available about its origins. It’s also used to make viewers aware of how tissue is used and the ethical issues involved. There are online tissue banks where researchers purchase cells and tissue, and that tissue is sourced from individuals—it’s a pretty wild concept.

The Absence of the Void. 2009. Human tissue (the artist's cultured skin cells from tissue taken via biopsy), polyurethane, flock, acrylic. Detail.

OPP: Is it a different experience when you use tissue from your own biopsies?

AK: With my own tissue, I was exploring an experience of self and whether working with my own tissue would effect my sense of embodiment. When was a teenager I had facial surgery that changed my face significantly and ruptured my sense of feeling in sync with my body. It also got me thinking about the psychological effects of adding and subtracting from the body with the living materials of other humans and animals, and really started me on this body of research. 

The Vision Splendid, 2010. Portable bioreactor housing living human tissue (the artist's own skin cells and tissue, taken via biopsy). Installation view. 3m x 2m x 2m.

OPP: In works like The Ephemeral Flesh Project (2010) or The Vision Splendid (2010), what are the practical logistics of working with bio matter as an art material?

AK: Working with living systems (human cells and tissue) is challenging and hard to describe. It’s a really layered and subjective experience—you can’t help being aware that the material you’re working with is alive, and that it comes from a human/s body. It’s also really temperamental, you can’t control the physical or aesthetic outcome like you can with non-living materials, you have to let the material guide you, and it’s prone to illness, infection and death. It’s a very strange process. 

Psychic Nature. 2017. Cast pigmented polyurethane, airbrushed metal sheet, magnetic material. 40cm x 40cm x 30cm.

OPP: In 2009 you earned a PhD for “Transformations of the Flesh; Rupturing Embodiment through Biotechnology, an artistic exploration of relationships between biotech practices and the physical, ethical and ritual body.” Tell us about this thesis project. Was it written? What do you mean by “the physical, ethical and ritual body?”

AK: My PhD explored how artists contribute to dialogue around the influence of biotech developments on our sense of humanness. The thesis comprised a body of artwork and a 40,000 word exegesis. 

I was looking at different relationships that we have with the body in society.  Firstly, the way that bodily material is physically used in science and medicine, i.e. how it is physically processed and/or manipulated; how it’s regulated in an ethical and legal context, in relation to commodification of bodily materials, i.e. who has rights over our bodily materials, and what can be done with them. And lastly the history of ritual attitudes to the body, in the sense of the emotive and subjective relationship we have to our bodies, living and dead, through reference to the historic bodily relics. We conceptualize and deal with the body with such conflicting and irrational perspectives. And I’m continually surprised by how disinterested people seem to be about what is happening to our bodies in science and legislation. 

Natural Phenomena. 2015. Detail. Biological amulet levitating above a cast of the artist's bust. The amulet rotates as it levitates, seemingly propelled by telekinesis.

OPP: Tell us why you chose to get a PhD and how it’s affected the visual art you now make?

AK: It’s more common in Australia for artists to have PhDs. Depending on your arts practice, it can help your work to be taken more seriously. My work has always been a fairly even mix of practice and research, but it helped me access University facilities and personnel in other faculty areas for research projects that I’m not sure would’ve happened if I’d been a random artist. Australia is pretty antiquated in its attitude towards artists, so it helps to level the playing field between artists and researchers/academics.

Clone the Future. 2015. Hand-carved balsa wood. Detail.

OPP: You’ve recently been making text-based works in balsa wood —Why Die and Clone the Futureboth from 2015—and neon? What’s the relationship between the two materials and the text? Does one address your conceptual interests more effectively?

AK: I find neon really interesting as a pop-cultural signifier of hi-tech and the ‘future.’ Neon is also biological, made from glass and natural gases. It can be seen as an atmospheric microcosm, much like the Aurora Borealis gases in the atmosphere, condensed in a glass tube and activated by electricity. So for me, it really embodies the relationship between nature and tech.

Hand-carving neon text in a natural material like balsa wood adds a layer of ambiguity to it, yet at the same same time directly relates the natural with the technological. 

Language also plays an important role in cultural hierarchies. The text alludes to pop culture and biotech in order to play with some of the iconic mythologies about science and the future.


To see more of Alicia's work, please visit aliciaking.net.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist  Stacia Yeapanis.  When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations.  She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at  BOLT in Chicago.  Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018). During summer 2018, Stacia created  Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress and was an Artist-in-Residence at Facebook. She is currently preparing for a solo show titled Practice, which will open in April 2019 at Kent State Stark.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1341269 2018-11-07T17:55:37Z 2018-11-07T18:25:56Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Emily Budd

Hot Pants (from The Things We'll Carry), 2018. Cast aluminum. 21” x 2” x 18”

EMILY BUDD's cast sculptures explore the relationship between objects, humans and geologic time. Whether working in bronze, aluminum or conglomerations of concrete, plaster, paint, resin and found garbage, she reminds us that we are—right at this moment—in the process of becoming the fossils of the future. Emily earned her BFA in Sculpture at Miami University in Oxford, OH and her MFA at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. In 2018, she was an Artist-in-Residence at Recology (San Francisco), Salem Art Works (Salem, NY) and will be rounding out the year at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (Saratoga, WY). In September, she created a one-night installation at the Abandoned Railroad Station in Salem, New York titled The Exorcism of Emily Budd. Emily is currently based in the Bay Area.

OtherPeoplesPixels: What do you love about bronze as a medium and/or casting as a process? 

Emily Budd: Foundry casting techniques interest me by embodying both a traditional craft but also an evocative potential to address themes of time, loss, mimicry and fossilization in a contemporary context. I like this harmony of temporalities, and I regard the extensive process involved in getting there as a metaphor for a journey of transformation.

Water Bottles, 2017.

OPP: What role does stratification play in your work. I see it in the Water Bottles and the Artifictions

EB: I use layering to evoke geologic strata that to me, is also a creative record of time that is additive, liquid and dirty. That is how the earth and time tell their story, a diary using stratification as a language. In Artifictions and Water Bottles, I transformed garbage into imagined geologic matter, altering and stratifying it into molds made from discarded objects, as if formed eons beyond their use. 

Vulcan's Stockpile, 2018. Rebar, joint compound, graphite, plaster, concrete, paint, broken glass, caulk, epoxy, plastic, sand, grout, garbage. 42” x 18” x 34”

OPP: For the mold-making-challenged among us, can you explain lost-wax casting?

EB: Lost-wax casting is ancient but it stayed sexy. I love the exchange of liquid to solid, solid to liquid, heat and alchemy. You build a form in solid wax, and put a sturdy material around it such as a plaster or clay. Applied to heat, the plaster or clay hardens and yet the wax, like a candle, melts out in a designed escape plan. This is my favorite part of the process, and also the most anxiety-inducing because after the wax melts out, there is no sculpture. There is only a void left that the molten material can be poured into, recreating an exact copy of the original in durable metal.

OPP: What happens to the original sculptures after the metal version is made in works that use a different casting method? 

EB: That depends on the type of mold you make. In lost-wax, the wax melts out so you lose the wax form. There are variations on this process and strategies of using it in more experimental and modern ways. I have explored many different materials other than wax using the lost-wax process. I have burned out fruits and vegetables, seeds, wood, plant matter, garbage and textiles as a means to immortalize them, documenting their otherwise impermanent existence into long-lasting metal to ask deeper questions about the perception of time scales.

Cast Forward (Archway), 2018. Styrofoam, plastics, textiles and garbage cast in solid aluminum, steel rebar, plaster, iron oxide, ink. 59" x 96" x 22"

OPP: You were an Artist-in-Residence at Recology in 2018. Will you tell us about your experience at this unique residency? How did it affect your practice? 

EB: The Recology residency was really cool because you get access to the public dump and therefore anything discarded there. It makes you start looking at literally everything as a potential art material, even beyond the residency experience. I approached my trash-digging there thinking in terms of archaeology, imagining how our discarded materials will inform a future about our derived present.

Stalagmites, 2017. Aluminum. 22"-74" h, 5" -19" w/d

OPP: In Cast Forward, you shifted from bronze to cast aluminum. . . was this a practical, aesthetic or conceptual shift?

EB: Both bronze and aluminum have conceptual interest for me. Bronze is used in death memorials, grave markers, cremation urns and monuments, so it has this capability of retaining memory that is interesting to me when that is shifted. In my piece Lost Wax, I did a lost-wax burnout using a raw beehive honeycomb original to memorialize a potential future loss of bees. In Cast Forward, the aluminum, being lighter and cheaper, allowed me to realistically explore larger forms which I wouldn’t have been able to do in bronze. I also like how aluminum is newer and in a way tackier with its chrome-like reflection, like the more contemporary attitude of quick and cheap built environments. 

The Exorcism of Emily Budd, 2018. Cast iron, cast beeswax, found furniture pieces.

OPP: So what’s next? Any new directions in your studio?

EB: I’m developing a new body of work that I think will open up a lot more over the next year. I am collecting fossils and found objects and experimenting with various casting materials such as beeswax, iron and glass. I am reimagining post-apocalyptic tropes by designing artifacts that display a dissonance within our current world. Thinking out of context of time and place, I want to make objects that memorialize change and unknowability.

To see more of Emily's work, please visit emilybudd.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist  Stacia Yeapanis.  When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations.  She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at  BOLT in Chicago.  Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018). During summer 2018, Stacia created  Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress and was an Artist-in-Residence at Facebook. She is currently preparing for a solo show titled Practice, which will open in April 2019 at Kent State Stark.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1335631 2018-10-24T18:53:32Z 2018-10-24T18:56:05Z Going strong after 7 years: Lilly McElroy

Did you know the OPP blog just turned seven-years-old at the end of August 2018? In honor of our birthday and the artists we feature, we'll be sharing some blasts from the past throughout the year. In this post and over the next few weeks, we'll share new work from Featured Artists interviewed in the first year of the blog. Today's artist is Lilly McElroy.

What's new in your practice, Lilly McElroy?


A Woman Runs Through A Pastoral Setting, 2014. Video.

Lilly McElroy: This was a surprisingly difficult question to answer. While the work has evolved and looks very different, I’m still dealing with some of the same issues that I was addressing when you first interviewed me in 2010.  My projects are still about the desire for connection and control, or perhaps, more accurately, those two things are still part of the work that I’m currently making. Humor and absurdity are also still big parts of my practice. I’m most comfortable when I can get the viewer to laugh, but my projects have become more wistful and darker. Now the laugh I’m hoping to elicit is one that is tinged with sadness. For example, I just filmed The Big Game, a video of a man chasing me through the woods while he plays Gary Glitter’s Rock and Roll Part II on the trombone. The video is funny, but it is also violent.  


Hopeful Romantic, 2011. Video. Duration: 3min 59 sec.

Nature or images of nature are present in my current work. Even though I’m still interested in making work about connection and the desire for connection, I’ve stopped making social work. I’m no longer approaching strangers and asking them to participate in my projects. Instead I’m using the landscape. In 2011, I made a video called Hopeful Romantic for which I drove across the country and played Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark to the American landscape. This was the first project that didn’t involve any social interaction. I was alone for the drive and I was alone in the video. This video lead to other non-interactive works that involve the landscape. 

I Control The Sun #18, 2016. Archival Pigment Print 40" x 40."

My ongoing photo project, I Control The Sun is a series of photos of my arm jutting out into the landscape as I attempt to grasp the sun. I make a photograph every time I enter a new geographic location and have been working on the project since 2013. On their own, the photographs are beautiful and allow me to indulge in making pretty pictures. However, when you view them as a grid of images the repetition becomes obvious and that creates a sense of desperation. I’ve also spent the last year working on a project called Sanding Away A Year’s worth of Sunsets for which I printed out 365 8" x10” photographs of the same sunset, stacked them together, and have been laboriously sanding away the image of the sun by hand. I sand for an hour a day and the stack is 4” thick. The longer I work on the project, the harder it becomes to sand and the less I am able to accomplish in that hour. The project is also changing my body.  I keep having to reset the finger print id on my phone because the sand paper I’m using is scratching up my skin. The process feels ridiculous, but is producing an object that records the effects of my labor. At the end, the viewer will see a stack of photographs whose main subject has been scratched out.  

Hour 1 & Hour 100 fromSanding Away a Year's Worth of Sunsets, 2018.

So, duration, repetition and process have become components in my practice. Another change is the fact that I’ve started using objects and images both as stand-ins for my body and as characters in my work. I think I’ve missed being behind the camera. I also like the way objects bring additional meaning into work and are so easy to anthropomorphize. In Let’s Dance, a cactus riding a Roomba moves around a balloon that is tied to a rock and is being blown around by two fans. The two characters, the cactus and the balloon, dance around one another until they are both destroyed. It is both funny and heartbreaking.  


Let's Dance, 2018. Video. Duration: 4min 34sec.

The biggest shift in my practice, however, is the collaborative project that I’m currently working on with the artist Christopher Carroll. After years of helping each other film videos and make photographs, Christopher suggested that we make work together. Our project, I’m here. Now What? focuses on our relationship with and feelings of alienation from the natural world. It began with the construction of a simple stage in the woods in Maine. On the stage, we performed actions and filmed them. In a segment of the video, I treated an image of the landscape as a romantic hero and posed with it as though we were on the cover of a romance novel. In another segment, Christopher utilized a drone to explore the surrounding woods while he remained seated on the stage. The project keeps expanding. In the summer of 2017, we held a performative screening on the stage during which Christopher used a hunting tree stand to scale up a tree and play the cello. This summer, we decided to move away from the stage and explore the surrounding woods. The exploration began when we destroyed the stage with axes as seen in our video, Chop. This collaboration has helped expand my practice and opened me up to new ways of working. It allows for experimentation. I’ve never utilized drawing or mark making in my practice, but after chopping up the stage we made a gravestone rubbing of the wreckage. That act and the resulting drawing were exciting for me.

CHOP. 2018.

Read Lilly's 2010 interview.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1330774 2018-10-10T11:41:35Z 2018-10-10T11:53:33Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Jeff Krueger

Failure is an Option, 2017. Installation view.

In a nod to the legacy of Modernism, JEFF KRUEGER (@kruegerstudio) uses recurring, abstract forms. But his ceramic works and drawings do not maintain the primacy of the non-contingent art object. Whether in sculptures glazed with his own blood or objects that evoke both physics and philosophy—his works refer to real objects and issues in our very messy lives. Jeff earned his BFA, in Ceramics at the California College of Arts and Crafts, followed by his MFA in Sculpture at the University of New Mexico. His residency at Roswell Artist-in-Residence in New Mexico culminated in the solo exhibition Failure is an Option: My life with Abstractions at the Roswell Museum and Art Center. Jeff's work is represented by Gallery Fritz (Santa Fe, NM), where he will have a two-person show in April 2019. In the meantime, his work is included in the group show The Audacity of Art, opening on October 26, 2018 at Gallery Fritz. Jeff lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

OtherPeoplesPixels: You identify yourself as an “abstract social realist.” What does that mean to you?

Jeff Krueger: This is a catch all terms I use. In many instances, the work is a form of cultural study, which re-renders forms in the world, be it items designed for the body, the home, small public arenas or corporate identification. They are things as diverse as cervical caps, water pitchers, oddly curious parking lot dividers. There can be a flat footedness to the enterprise, like reading the My McDonalds ad campaign and deciding to make my own arch. The Social Realism aspect of this is the turning of the arch upside down with bottles of bleach holding up the sign, which is a reference to the city of Chicago pouring bleach into street food vendors food as a means of discouraging the practice.

Ghosts, 2017.

OPP: Talk about the abstract visual language you work with.

JK: I generate a constant stream of abstract forms, be it works which evolved out of Dadaist, Surrealist, non-objective art and other 20th Century traditions. This language is our artistic inheritance. My work involves infusing these forms with direct contact with the real, whether that is coating the objects with red blood cells, using them to present things like my DNA, store used condoms, or simply juxtaposing the forms with materials that have generally understood cultural meaning. In the newer works, it can be as simple as glazing them in such a way that the color gives the work meanings. I hope the works achieve some quality that there is an active social realist consciousness to the object. Group identity or cultural identity is for me a form of abstraction, and I am looking to render these abstractions as a vehicle for understanding the world. 

My Brother Michael Drinks from the Evangelical Water Bottle, 2017. Ink on Paper. 19"x 13"

OPP: Can you give us a specific example of that?

JK: I made a drawing of a my brother being waterboarded by what I called the Evangelical Water Bottle. It was a thought about how he had become such a devout Evangelical Christian and how our country has used waterboarding as a method of torture. I decided to make the water bottle into an object. I wanted to use the work to reconsider imagery which might reflect upon the central Christian rite of Baptism, one of these major cultural abstractions. Once you are washed, you are forever washed. Water is present, even though it is gone. The photograph with the bottle in front of a handicap parking space was a way of taking the object back to my brother, as he was one of the people that spoke before Congress in advance of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This parking spot at Bitter Lake was a direct result of Michael’s work. 

It is a poetic loop I suppose, but one I hope considers a wide scope of related subjects.  

Untitled Body with Red Interior, 2017. Ceramic with Poplar and Brass. 16" x 44" x 14"

OPP: Have you always worked with ceramics? Tell us a little about your artistic trajectory.

JK: I started working with clay in high school. I studied at 3-4 different schools as an undergraduate, and at each step I was given the direction to aim high. Viola Frey, at the California College of Arts and Crafts, was among those voices. She was pretty amazing and directly introduced the idea that art could be a form of cultural study. I have been a restless artist since then, exploring a number of media and forms, but often return to ceramic work due to its unique properties and my interest in design. I was schooled in the 80s, which can be seen as both the peek and collapse of Modernism. Minimalism and all that gospel still has meaning to me, as I think a ‘thing’ unto itself can be far more commanding than something which is primarily referencing something outside itself. Ceramics does the former very well. 

Infinity is King, 2017.

OPP: You use a lot of repeated ceramic forms that are recontextualized by color and titles. An example is Infinity is King, in which the form is a figure wearing a crown, and Infinity Tastes Like Candy, where the same form evokes cotton candy. Talk about this recontextualization.

JK: It is an outcome of thinking about the same thing in different ways. I would not say I work in series, but I do think about the same topic from different perspectives, variations on a given form allow for distinctly different ways to frame the ideas in the work. 

One of the concepts that has played out in the work through the years is that of fecundity. What is human fecundity? It is sort of a pompous question, but not really. . . and I think it is an important one to ask these days. Somehow I think our faith and inquiries about the infinite are linked to our fecundity. These works came out of an interest in defining the infinite within a single object. What would that look like? I don’t know if this form is satisfying enough, but I like it. Infinity is King juxtaposes that form with a crown dotted with flesh tone blobs. I guess that is a thought about the human obsession with race which seems a rather petty obsession in the context of the genuinely infinite. Infinity Tastes like Candy is an ode to my childhood. When I was kid I was told everything that I would not eat tasted like candy. It was somewhat funny because, with exception of chocolate, I don’t recall ever liking candy.

She Will Gives Waves of Warning, 2004. Ceramic and Epoxy. 6 1/2" x 32" x 12 1/2"

OPP: And what about the repeated form used in Untitled in GrapeShe Will Give Waves of Warning (2004) and The Settlement (2000)?Does it have a real world reference?

JK: These sculptures are part of the long line of abstract forms I mentioned. I make a lot of work in both drawing and sculptural form, which does not start from knowing what or why I am making it. Generally there is no thesis I am trying to defend. Rather, I make work intuitively and then try to see what is generated in terms of emotion or language. Then I see if I can say something or ask a question via that generated language. 

After I made these, I saw the form as an abstract uterus. I wonder what this projection of a uterine form means. There is a quality to it of deriving language out of a human body part. I don’t have one of those parts but I came from one. Is that even valid to say any longer? I am not entirely sure why I feel invested, but they are beautiful. I’m aware of the pathologically patriarchal in our culture—I saw that in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings which pitted all those male characters against a flaming vulva—and I wonder if I am not doing something similar. But I don’t know if it is patriarchal to wonder about where you came from or consider the world outside oneself. There is an aspect of it which is clearly an unconscious activity, as it is most of the time when I render parts of male body in works like Doubles or Fattening Frogs for Snakes.

Juggling Our Inequity, 2017. Ceramic and Water Color. 60" x 146" x 3"

OPP: Can you talk about the relationship between ceramics and drawing in your recent show, Failure is An Option (2017)?

JK: Back in the 1980s, I worked in a preverbal, rather awkward manner. One of the more influential drawing projects that I saw back then was a collaborative book of the poet Micheal McClure, with whom I studied, and his friend Bruce Connor. At the time I was essential making blobs in both ceramics and ink drawings. In the Connor pen drawings, I saw this road to radically slowing my mark making down. There was a union of the subject and the field, meaning and content. I’ve done similar work since. I make the drawings as a matter of daily practice. Sometimes it is the bulk of my production; other times it falls to the side. Often I see forms within the drawings that I feel would be interesting objects, and so I try to render them as such. The drawing It and  ceramic wall sculpture Its Black Facsimile would be one of those attempts. Each of these an attempt to render some notion of the fecund.  

The exhibition also includes watercolors, renderings of photographs and plein air paintings I’ve done over the last few years. I take a lot of photographs as a manner of looking at the world. Many seem like they would be interesting paintings. I also am confounded by Facebook and the news, so I use these sources for imagery which make it into the watercolors. A suite such as Juggling Our Inequity combines all of this work. In that group, there is a small painting of a river in Russia that was reported to be poisoned. It was bright red due to copper, chrome and other contaminates. Then I did a small watercolor of the field behind my house in Roswell, which edges fields devoted to alfalfa production. The pairing of this bucolic scene with one of an industrial disaster seems honest, as both happened simultaneously. I surrounded the pair with a field of ceramic dollops. The chemicals in these glazes are about the same as those in the poisoned river and probably some of those in the alkaline water used to irrigate Roswell. All of it seems tied together, mutually dependent, the inequity that between the earth and how we use it.    

Baptismal for the Death Star, 2017. Ceramic. 40" x 30" x 25." Photo credit: Margot Geist

OPP: What are you working on right now? Any new directions in the studio?

JK: At the end of my Roswell residency, I finished some pieces I call sequences. These are works which again relate to the ink drawings. They are ceramic forms thrown and then assembled and hand built.  I am doing these at the same time as making more watercolors. Some of these will possibly go into a long term project that I am working on which relates to living on the Death Star. 

To see more of Jeff's work, please visit jeffskrueger.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist  Stacia Yeapanis.  When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations.  She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at  BOLT in Chicago.  Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018). During summer 2018, Stacia created  Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress and was an Artist-in-Residence at Facebook. She is currently preparing for a solo show titled Practice, which will open in April 2019 at Kent State Stark.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1325849 2018-09-26T12:10:25Z 2018-09-26T12:17:17Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Tamara Bagnell

tiny sculpture series 1, 2017. wood, fabric, rope, felt, polyfil, acrylic paint,. 5.75"h x 4"w x 4"d

TAMARA BAGNELL's soft sculptures are playful systems made of fabric, felt, wood, rope and polyfil. They teeter between abstraction and representation, and the meaning of her recurring forms—drops, vines, concentric arches, stuffed tubes—shifts as her palette does. Tamara earned her BFA in Interrelated Media from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2001. She ran a textile design and screenprinting business until 2016, when she turned to art-making full time. Her artwork has most recently been exhibited at the Durham Arts Council, in soft goods (2018) at VAE Raleigh, and The Art of a Scientist (2018) at The Rubenstein Art Center at Duke University. Tamara lives and works in Durham, North Carolina.

OtherPeoplesPixels: What does soft mean to you?

Tamara Bagnell: Soft is approachable, playful, familiar, empathetic. Soft is both malleable and resilient. Softness has an open quality, an ability to draw the viewer in. It also creates a lightness to elements of my work that if made from other materials might read as more serious, sinister, or aggressive than I intend.  

system 1, 2018. fabric, polyfil, bamboo, rope

OPP: Have you always worked in soft sculpture?

TB: My background is predominantly in screenprinting and textile print design, although I find my soft sculptures incorporate a lot of the aesthetics that drew me to screenprinting: bold blocks of color, repetition, abstraction. I also occasionally use screen and block printing to embellish the fabric I use in my pieces.  

My path as an artist is maybe a bit different than others. After receiving my BFA in 2001, I turned my focus away from making fine art and ran a more design-oriented business. During that time, I still worked with fabric and occasionally experimented with soft sculpture, but I was never happy enough with the result to exhibit my work.  It is only over the past few years that my approach to art making has really come together for me, and soft sculpture has begun to permeate my work.  

irregular animals series, 2016. wood, fabric, yarn. 12"h x 12"d x 8"w

OPP: When and why did you learn to sew?

TB: Sewing is a tradition in my family. Growing up, there was a sewing machine that lived in the dining room of my home. My mom learned how to sew from her mom, and I would watch her make me tops and dresses when I was elementary school age. I’d also tag along on trips to the fabric store and pass the time exploring all the colors and textures. I began nagging her to teach me how to use her machine when I was maybe in fifth or sixth grade. My motivation was to be able to design my own clothes, which not surprisingly turned out to be a lot harder than I anticipated. I stuck with it though and gained a modest level of expertise through decades of practice. While my interest in making clothing ultimately waned, the skills I gained through learning those techniques are something I’ve continually found new ways to tap into. People often comment when seeing my work in person about how meticulous my construction is, and I think that has a lot to do with all that experience making clothes and accessories.  

escapism, 2017. fabric, polyfil, wood, acrylic paint, pvc

OPP: Your color palette is pretty consistently neutral with accents of pink and yellow hues. What draws you to these colors?

TB: I am completely obsessed with color, and it is one of the most important parts of my process. I have a strong emotional connection to certain colors that I find difficult to describe in words. Yellow is one of those colors. Since my work is mostly abstract, I often use color as a way to nudge the viewer to interpret important elements of a piece in a particular way. A drop-like shape in beige or peach is more likely to read as flesh. Whereas if I make it blue, it becomes water, or green a leaf, red might be blood or a fruit. For me, the pinks and neutrals have a flesh-like, organic quality, representing the elemental parts of living beings. I see these elements as embodying both the physical as well as the emotional, the parts of us that are affected when we feel. 

Lately my I’ve been focused on the interconnection between humans and systems, whether natural or human-created, so there has been a lot of pink, beige, and brown. It can be a struggle though, at times, finding harmony between using color in a representational way and also making sure the color works for the piece overall. It is very important to me that each piece I make can also be appreciated on a purely aesthetic level, and color is a key component in that.

natural order, 2017. fabric, polyfil, yarn, rope, matteboard, felt, acrylic ink. 26" w x 42" l

OPP: The obvious exception is natural order (2017). That blue background changes some neutral colored forms that show up into other works by introducing the context of the sky, which makes weather systems. What led you to make that change? Is it an anomaly or a new direction?

TB: At the time I finished that piece it was an anomaly, but later on it became a point of departure. It was both an early attempt at making a wall piece and an experiment with color. In the end I wasn’t entirely happy with the result, but that piece and wide open became the inspiration for a series of more free form wall sculptures that I am working on now. system 1 and system 2 are part of that series, and I have four more that are at various stages of completion. As I progress through those pieces I have found my palette shifting, adding more blues and greens, playing with the symbolism of color and how I can utilize that to expand my language of shapes.

system 4,  2018. fabric, polyfil, cotton batting, jute. 

OPP: Do you reuse parts of your sculptures or make the same form over and over again? That pink string of “sausage links,” for example shows up in hidden (2018), system 2 (2018) and dark machines (2018).

TB: I almost always make new forms for each sculpture. Occasionally I will disassemble a less successful piece and harvest it for parts. I also have a huge bin full of cast-offs that I can pull from when working on a composition. Since it’s rare that I start out with a sculpture fully laid out in my head, I manufacture each of the elements as I’m composing, with the hope they will look the way I envision when I incorporate them into the sculpture. If not, they go in the bin and often end up in a future piece.  

collage series 1 (group arrangement), 2016. fabric, polyfil, wood, jute, plastic, acrylic paint

OPP: Can you talk about what some of the recurring forms mean to you?

TB: A lot of the reason I make and repeat certain shapes again and again is because they simply appeal to me on some intuitive level, but over time they have sorted themselves into a kind of personal language with meanings that shift depending on color or context. I see most of the recurring elements in my current work as either organic forms—existing in some vague place between internal body parts, plants, seeds, and other objects in nature—or rigid, inorganic, machine-like forms.  

Some sculptures are cryptic systems comprised of mostly organic elements. In others, organic elements are being confinedgenerated or processed by human-made objects or machines. Some of these systems appear harmonious, while others seem sinister, chaotic or adversary. This stems from my larger fascination with interconnectivity, whether it’s contemplating the incredibly complex web of the natural world or questioning the systems we create and the corresponding rules we subscribe to as a society. Exploring these ideas in soft sculpture allows me overlay those thoughts and emotions with a certain playful quirkiness that I really enjoy. That said, I’m not overly concerned that people viewing my work infer any of these things or feel any pressure to “get it.” Ultimately I want my art to feel open and approachable, something to enjoy and explore, and take as much or as little as you want from it.  

To see more of Tamara's work, please visit tamarabagnell.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist  Stacia Yeapanis.  When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations.  She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at  BOLT in Chicago.  Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018). During summer 2018, Stacia created  Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress and was an Artist-in-Residence at Facebook. She is currently preparing for a solo show titled Practice, which will open in April 2019 at Kent State Stark.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1321014 2018-09-12T14:05:41Z 2018-09-12T14:12:26Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews April Dauscha

Custody of the Tongue (veiling), 2013. 2:28 minutes

APRIL DAUSCHA's work is distinctly feminine—in the Victorian sense of the word. In photographs, videos and sculptures, she combines the visual language of the Victorian era with intimate acts of the body to explore her personal experiences of mourning, contrition and motherhood. April earned her BFA in Fashion Design at the International Academy of Design & Technology in Chicago, followed by her MFA in Fiber at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Her work is represented by Page Bond Gallery (Richmond, Virginia). In 2018, she has exhibited at Museum on the Seam (Jerusalem, Israel), the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles (San Jose, California), the Walton Arts Center (Fayetteville, Arkansas) and her work will be included in the upcoming Uneasy Beauty: Discomfort in Contemporary Adornment, which opens on October 6, 2018 at the Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton, Massachusetts). In November 2019, her show Clothed in a Mantle of Virginity will open at Furman University Gallery in Greenville, South Carolina, where she also lives.

OtherPeoplesPixels: Lacehairbustles—the materials in your work have a Victorian sensibility. How is this bygone era relevant today?

April Dauscha: I actually came to love the Victorian era by way of fashion; my background is in fashion design. This period originally peaked my interest because of the fashion rituals that were associated with mourning and loss: black veils and the story of Queen Victoria. The visual language of the Victorian era has allowed me to explore my personal experiences of mourning, loss, religion, femininity, sentimentality and motherhood. Materials like lace help create a visual vocabulary and symbols that give meaning to the work. 

Examination of Conscience, 2011. Photograph.

OPP: Why are you drawn to lace in particular?

AD: Lace is a total dichotomy. It speaks of purity and sexuality. It reveals while it also conceals.  It is humble, yet ornamentally overindulgent. In my work, I use lace as a symbol to represent the duality of body and soul, right and wrong, good and evil. The lace is always handmade and often uses a variety of needle lace techniques. The process of making lace is significant because I have always viewed the act of making as a representation of penance.

Perpetual Adoration, 2012.

OPP: I see a connection between 1970s endurance video and performance and religious ritual in your video works. How do you think about these videos as a body of work?

AD: I often use my body and handmade objects as props for fictional rituals captured through intimate, voyeuristic and documentary-style videos and photographs. The tension of using handcrafted objects often associated with women’s work and subjecting them to digital manipulation is mirrored by the duality of these beautiful and virginal objects, misappropriated in unexpected ways—ways that often lack a sense of decorum. I swing between the delicacy of handcrafting a miniature piece of needle lace to the vulgarity of  wrapping a lacemaking thread, tightly, around my own tongue; this is a symbolic gesture of confession and atonement.

Bound: Reflections of the Self, 2011. Photograph.

OPP: Tell us about Bound: Reflections of Self (2011). The title frames the figures as two parts of one person, as opposed to two figures bound together. Why is hair the binding agent?

AD: Bound: Reflections of the Self is a photographic series that investigates the idea of an alter ego. These photographs explore themes of good and evil and our inseparable relationship with the dichotomy of these conditions. In this series, my hair has come to represent an uncomfortable binding of one's self to one's alter ego, while also serving as an act of penance and self-mortification.

Engorged, 2017. Glue, milk, glass bottles.

OPP: Most recently, you’ve been making work about motherhood. The body is now present in the form of its byproducts—breast milk, a baby toenail, a dried umbilical cord. Can you talk about this shift of representing the body in photography and video to representing the byproducts of the body?

AD: My work on motherhood is very much about separation, especially the separation of two bodies. My piece, Bond, is a traveling case filled with breast pumps, rubber nipples and glass baby bottles containing glue. The work signifies a connection between breastfeeding, bottle feeding, bonding and a struggle of separation between the mother’s body and that of her child.

There is a blatant absence of child and mother in this piece. The meeting of cold, hard, man-made surfaces highlights the separation of mother and child and the necessary dilemma of substituting their bodies. The vessel is a stand-in for the mother,  the bottles for her breasts and the pump acts as child. The body of the infant struggles to function without its mother. The body of the mother struggles to function without its offspring. 

However, I am definitely still working through performance and photography as a way of documenting the body in ways that deal with my experience as mother. My piece, Weaned (a year later), is photographic evidence of the phenomenon of perpetually-lactating breasts. This photograph was taken exactly one year after I had weaned my youngest daughter off my breast, yet my body was still attempting to nourish her body despite our bodily separation. The image becomes a symbol of yearning and the slow process of weaning, both physically and mentally, that happens between mother and child—an unwelcomed separation of bodies, one still yearning to nurture the other. 

To see more of April's work, please visit aprildauscha.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist  Stacia Yeapanis.  When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations.  She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at  BOLT in Chicago.  Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018). During summer 2018, Stacia created  Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress and was an Artist-in-Residence at Facebook. She is currently preparing for a solo show titled Practice, which will open in April 2019 at Kent State Stark.


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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1316301 2018-08-29T13:43:58Z 2018-08-29T13:45:29Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Rachelle Reichert

BackwardFuture, 2017. Installation shot, Black Crown Gallery. Photo credit: Phillip Maisel.

RACHELLE REICHERT's sculptural forms are minimal and her palette is monochromatic—almost exclusively black, white and grey. These formal decisions grow directly from her material choices—graphite and salt. Underlying the seemingly-simple, formal elegance is a committed interest in the social and ecological impact of technology. Rachelle earned her BFA at Boston University, following by her MFA at Mills College (Oakland, CA). In addition to numerous solo exhibitions, she has presented her work at the California Climate Change Symposium, the State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference, the American Geophysical Union Meeting. Her work will be on view from September 9 - October 21, 2018 in the group show Unwalking the West at the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at Pacific Northwest College (Portland, Oregon). Rachelle is curatingTrace Evidence: A Cross-Cultural Dialogue on Climate Change in affiliation with Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018. The show opens at Minnesota Street Project (San Francisco) on September 5, 2018 and will be accompanied by a panel discussion sponsored by SFMOMA on September 11, 2018. Rachelle lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

OtherPeoplesPixels: Why are salt and graphite the dominant materials in your work? How do they drive your work?

Rachelle Reichert: I am interested in the familiar becoming unknown and in the complexity of seemingly ordinary things. My practice explores the connection between basic natural materials, their use by industry and technology and the resulting impact on the environment and culture. I have created work with metal, clay, natural pigments, charcoal and more. But graphite and salt have held my attention for over five years.

Graphite is a primary tool for drawing— a practice that helped develop human consciousness. Graphite was originally used by sheepherders to mark sheep. Since then, it has a history in industrialization as a lubricant to machinery and now in the lithium-ion battery found in cars and  smartphones. Graphene—graphite’s 2-D form—is enabling leaps in nanotechnology and biotech because it is an excellent superconductor. I research the life cycle of the material, from extraction to implementation and create artwork based on this research.

First Rains, 2016. Salt. 15 x 12 x 9 in each.

OPP: And salt?

RR: I started thinking about salt in 2013 in my first semester of grad school. I had an incredible professor, the late Anna Valentina Murch, who encouraged material experimentation in sculpture when I was making large graphite paintings. She helped to transform my thinking. Salt has been extracted industrially from the San Francisco Bay since the 1850s. It is an incredibly unstable mineral that is essential for human life. Like graphite, I’ve researched salt’s use in industry, such as local extraction and the repercussions shaping the San Francisco estuary. In addition I have studied salt’s role in culture, such as its use in woman-led pagan practices that were later adopted by Catholicism. My salt circles come directly from that.

Both graphite and salt are extracted all over the world. Presently, I am looking at graphite extraction in China and I recently returned from the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the largest salt flat in the world with the largest reserves of lithium.

Exhibition at Monterey Peninsula College, 2017

OPP: How do you make formal choices to support your conceptual concerns?

RR: My forms and palettes are determined by the materials themselves. I am sensitive to the textures and forms of the materials. That is where the complexity lies. These works are demanding and require close looking. Unfortunately, photographs of the works don’t communicate this well. 

OPP: How do the forms grow out of the material? It’s clear in the saltworks, but what about the hexagons, for example?

RR: The hexagons reference the crystalline structure of graphite, an allotrope of carbon. It’s the hexagonal form that allows for the superconductivity of the material. A beautiful example of form follows function.

Untitled (Hexagons 3), 2018. Graphite on panel. 50 x 24 inches (variable).

OPP: Is the sourcing of your materials important?

RR: Yes, very important. It creates the content for some works. I often harvest my own materials or when I can’t do it myself, I work with companies who do and build relationships with these companies. I often watch sights for a very long time, years usually, before I start making work. Watching includes tracking locations via satelite images and reading news, geological reports, surveys or any information I can find and visiting the locations—if I can. 

Currently, I am working on a project where I’ve been visiting locations in California impacted by forest fires and making oil paint from the charred trees. I started this in 2014 but it is just now that I am making paintings. The fires have accelerated rapidly in the time I’ve been researching. I coincidentally started making this work during the largest recorded fire in California history, the Thomas Fire in December 2017. Since then, the Mendocino Complex Fire, burning as I write this, now holds the record as the largest fire. I am creating this work as it rains ash from the sky in San Francisco and grieving, like so many others, for a California past and for those who have suffered from these fires.

Blackdragon Mine #15, 2017.

OPP: What role does satellite imagery play in your drawing practice?

RR: I use private-sourced earth imaging satellites to track locations affected by global warming. I have access to these images from a research ambassadorship. I track graphite mines with these images and salt evaporation ponds, wildfires and new sites of extraction in the American West. These images come from technology that could not exist without the raw materials that are being photographed and so I want to highlight that connection with my drawings.

OPP: Are the Black Dragon drawings examples of this? Do viewers/critics ever miss the connection and want to talk abut these as pure abstraction?

RR: Yes. The name comes from the mining group that I have been following in China. These works can function as pure abstraction or as an investigation of the images I am exploring and creating the works from. The connection is often missed, but I think that adds an interesting layer, potentially revealing the reference images in unexpected ways. Most people don’t realize that satellite images are highly edited—color corrected, cropped, composited—to look like what one would expect from a satellite image: a clear view of the land below with no clouds or blurs or camera malfunctions (remember, these images are coming from space!). The drawings are layered and space is negotiated in strange ways intentionally to reveal this. 

Blackdragon Mine #16, 2017. Graphite on prepared paper. 12 x 16 inches.

OPP: You’ve presented your artwork at the California Climate Change Symposium, the San Francisco State of the Estuary Conference, and the American Geophysical Union Meeting. Can you talk about presenting art in a scientific context?

RR: My research requires a lot of understanding into the chemical composition of my materials and how their uses impact the planet. I track pollution from extraction and man-made marks on our planet. I feel that art is an essential tool to help understand science, especially climate science. There is an urgency there and I am always seeking opportunities to intersect ideas and collaborate. 


To see more of Rachelle's work, please visit rachellereichert.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist  Stacia Yeapanis.  When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations.  She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at  BOLT in Chicago.  Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018).  Most recently, Stacia created  Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit  Work in Progress and was an Artist-in-Residence at Facebook. 

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1314170 2018-08-22T12:18:16Z 2018-08-24T13:48:13Z Going Strong for 7 Years: Justin Richel

Did you know the OPP blog turns seven-years-old at the end of August? In honor of our upcoming birthday and the artists we feature, we'll be sharing some blasts from the past. In this post and over the next few weeks, we'll share new work from Featured Artists interviewed in the first year of the blog. Today's artist is Justin Richel.

Justin at John Michael Kohler Art Center

OtherPeoplesPixels: What's new in your practice, since your interview in 2010?

Justin Richel: In 2013 I received an Arts/Industry Residency at Kohler Co. through the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, which altered the way I would think and make work there after. Since that time I have focused my efforts on a sculptural practice, shifting from painting exclusively to a multidisciplinary practice that allows for both painting and sculpture and the mixing of the two.  

Endless Column (Toast), 2017-18. Urethane plastic, acrylic. 36 x 4 x 4 inches.

A series that I am currently working on is titled Tall Order this seres takes it’s overall aesthetic from early modernism and minimalist idealisms and subverts these with a bit of pop culture, humor and a maximalist approach to detail.

Zips, 2016 - 18. Bass Wood, Gouache, acrylic, sterling silver and 23k gold leaf.

Another series titled Zips takes it’s name from the famous zip paintings by Barnett Newman. An homage to the artist but also to the object that created the paintings. Constructed from carved wood, painted with gouache and gilded with gold, silver and copper leaf, they reference the object-ness of a paint brush yet lack its functionality, resulting in an object that resists definition. It is simultaneously a brush, a sculpture, a painting, a zip, a portrait of the artist and yet none of these things by classical definition.

The Artist, Alone In A Vacuum, Gestating The World Into Being, 2015. Gouache on board. 9 1/8" x 10.25"

In 2015 I received an artist residency on Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine. This residency afforded me the necessary time to make a clean break from the paintings that I had been making during the previous 12 years. Monhegan is known for being an art colony among early modernist painters, undoubtedly for it’s rugged coast line, extreme weather and solitude. My paintings now incorporate the stigma and stereotypes surrounding the archetypal permutations of the artist and the creative process. I am particularly interested in portraying the ”shadow” of the artist, which metaphorically represents the darker underlying struggles that exist in the character of “Mankind.” In this work I draw from art history, mythology, pop culture and Jungian psychology. The paintings are composed almost exclusively from borrowed imagery combined and reconfigured to create new narrative structures that build on the past.

Endless Column, 2013. Slip cast vitreous China. 96" x 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"

In 2016, my partner Shannon Rankin and I moved from Maine to New Mexico. Shannon had received a residency from the RAiR Foundation which provided us with a house, studios and stipend for one year. We liked it so much that we decided to stay. 

I currently have some work in a show titled Parallax (A RAiR Connection Exhibition) at the Roswell Museum and Art Center in New Mexico. This three-person show features works by Emi Ozawa,  Maja Ruznic and myself, who are all partners of current or former RAiR grant recipients, and is on view through September 2, 2018. 

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1312005 2018-08-15T12:48:13Z 2018-08-15T12:49:42Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Preetika Rajgariah

SMILE, 2017. Bindis, jewels, thread on silk. 56" x 80."

Interdisciplinary artist PREETIKA RAJGARIAH uses personal biography as a jumping off point in works that "challenge perceptions of exoticism and the sociopolitical standards in Indian and American cultures." Her performative photographs and videos investigate the nature of body adornment—which can paradoxically make us blend in or stand out, depending on the crowd. She gives decorative materials—rufflessarisbindishennaglitterhair extensions—their own embodiment in sculptures and wall works, allowing the viewer to contemplate ornamentation without the body as a substrate. Preetika earned her BA in Studio Art at Trinity University in San Antonio,Texas. She completed her MFA in Painting and Sculpture in 2018 at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She was recently an artist-in-residence at ACRE and is headed to Oxbow in the fall. Her work will be included in a two-person show, opening at Roots and Culture (Chicago) in October. Preetika is currently preparing for three solo exhibitions in Texas in 2019: Tangled at Art League HoustonSari Not Sorry at Lawndale Art Center (Houston), and a currently-untitled show at Women and their Work (Austin). Preetika lives and works in Houston, Texas.

OtherPeoplesPixels: What does adornment mean to you?

Preetika Rajgariah: Adornment represents choice—the choice to adorn or not—and pushing those boundaries. 

In my culture, adornment is expected for women to elevate one's beauty or status. . . growing up with the pressure to decorate oneself or present in certain ways is something I’m interested in challenging in my life and work. 

Beauty Mask, 2018. Digital Photo.

OPP: What’s the role of exaggeration in your photographic and video works from Self

PR: I’ve often gravitated towards accumulation and repetition in my practice. More recently, I like to use my body as material to showcase this exaggeration. I’ve always been a bit of an athlete or a competitive person, so in the videos or photos, I am often in competition with myself. I am very interested in exploring my limits and defying my own expectations. So, these works explore limits and standards that are set by societies. 

How About Now?, 2017. Video performance with sindoor powder. 4:10 Excerpt from 20 minutes.

OPP: Can you talk about additive versus subtractive processes in your series of modified Saris? Is the sari a symbol—if so, of what?—or simply a familiar surface in this work?

PR: The sari represents familiarity and nostalgia while simultaneously embodying the exotic. It is a material that evokes memories of the place I was born, but it also signifies a culture that I sometimes feel extremely removed from.

Typically, impulse and intuition lead the decisions I make in my practice. I MAKE first and foremost, no matter the medium I am using. In the two dimensional sari pieces, I make formal decisions of addition or subtraction depending on each particular sari and the story that inspires the piece (yes, there’s usually a autobiographical narrative that informs each of my works). 

What we keep, what we leave, 2017. Sari with pyrography. 55" x 90."

OPP: Both material and process play a big role in your work. Are you more driven by one or the other? 

PR: Both material and process are crucial to the content of the work. More often, I am drawn to material first, as it is extremely narrative driven, and then process comes in as my way of problem-solving. Coming from a painting background, I treat material similarly to paint. Formally, it is a large part of the beauty in my work. The materials I use in my work now—textiles, powders, henna—go way back for me. They are all materials that surrounded me daily while growing up. In this sense, I feel much more connected to my art and my work now than when it existed as just paintings. My processes—stitching, tearing, pouring, bleaching—are ways of handling of these materials that complicate, dismantle and re-purpose.

Climax, Migrating Identities, 2015. Watercolor on paper. 51" x 1.2'

OPP: I love the migration paintings. They teeter between abstraction and representation, and the marks remind me of thumbprints. Can you talk about the shift from these representations of the movement of groups of people to focusing in on the individual in recent work?

PR: In recent years, as I have unpacked my own upbringing and personal life, the work has honed in on the individual as well. The migration paintings are directly related to my three dimensional sculptures—the aunties. I had wanted to make three dimensional versions of the paintings for quite sometime, and as I became interested in fabric and textile, experimenting with the new material lead me to create free standing, hollow sculptures made entirely from scraps of traditional silks - often saris that belonged to the women in my family. 

Hairy auntie, 2017. 25" x 60."

OPP: Who are the aunties in Soft Bodies? Are these soft sculptures memorials to your real aunties?

PR: No, the aunties are not specific to any real people, but they do embody a certain spirit so to speak. They are mash-ups of many dualities I experience: Indian/American, traditional/modern, masculine/feminine, past/present, hard/soft, etc. As I created these amorphous bodies, the narrative around their being came into existence. They are bold, resistant and a bit othered. They represent facets of my own personality as a bit of an othered woman in the American and Indian societies that I navigate, while also being stand ins for a tribe of aunties I wish I had had in my life growing up.

To see more of Preetika's work, please visit prajgariah.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist  Stacia Yeapanis.  When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations.  She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at  BOLT in Chicago.  Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018).  Most recently, Stacia created  Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit  Work in Progress and was an Artist-in-Residence at Facebook. 

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1310249 2018-08-08T13:16:21Z 2018-08-08T13:17:22Z Going Strong for 7 Years: Adam Ekberg

Did you know the OPP blog turns seven-years-old at the end of August? In honor of our upcoming birthday and the artists we feature, we'll be sharing some blasts from the past. In this post and over the next few weeks, we'll share new work from Featured Artists interviewed in the first year of the blog. First up: Adam Ekberg!

Lawn Chair Catapult, 2017. Archival pigment print.

What's new in your practice, Adam Ekberg?

My new studio is in an old barn in New Jersey I restored over the last few years. In the barn is a small room with a chair and table near a window that looks out over a wooded area. This is where I go and make drawings of actions that I want to see occur in the world. After I make the sketches, I write notes about how to make a particular action exist at least long enough for me to photograph it. The studio walls are pinned with sketches, which only come down once the final photograph is made- the replacement of the sketch with a small print always feels like a small victory.

Beer Bottles, Banana, Cocktail Umbrellas, Disco Ball and Bic Lighter, 2017. Archival pigment print.

While my working process involves a lot of experimentation, I have become increasingly uncompromising in any deviation between the initial sketch and the final photograph. It is like a completely ridiculous game I have concocted with very specific parameters--you wouldn't believe what is entailed to catapult a lawn chair on the plains of the Midwest!

Roller Skates and Aerosol Containers, 2017. Archival pigment print.

Coming up this fall, I will have images on view in the Maine Center for Contemporary Art Biennial and in the upcoming exhibition Groundings at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. I am also at work on images for a large upcoming solo-exhibition so I am a bit of an art-monk at the moment. Recent solo-exhibitions include those at ClampArt, New York, De Soto Gallery, Los Angeles, Platform Gallery, Seattle and Capsule Gallery, Houston. My work is featured in the upcoming publication The Focal Press Companion to the Constructed Image in Contemporary Photography, and my monograph, The Life of Small Things, was published in late 2015.

Candles, Mirrors and Laser, 2014. Archival pigment print.

Read Adam's 2010 interview.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1308405 2018-08-01T16:22:49Z 2018-08-06T16:10:34Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Montana Torrey

Bagnasciuga, 2017. Folded collagraph. 28.5" x 6" x 10.5" total piece is 29 feet.

During the midnight sun months in Iceland, MONTANA TORREY painted the sunset daily on her window. She hung gauzy ghosts of American Private Property signs In a Finland forest, where Everyman's Law rules. In Venice, she looked to the horizontal line of algae growth along the sides of the canals as a document of the difference between wet and dry. In each case, landscape is a lens that magnify the dualities inherent in particular sites. Montana earned a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a MFA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Headlands Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Catwalk Institute, and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, among others. Recent Exhibitions include shows at Hotel Art Fair (Bangkok, Thailand), the Subhashok Arts Centre (Bangkok, Thailand) and SAC Gallery and Lab (Chiang Mai, Thailand). Montana currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where she is a Visiting Lecturer at Chiang Mai University.

OtherPeoplesPixels: According to your website, your work “employs the landscape as a metaphorical tool to investigate sites of opposition.” What kinds of oppositions? Can you give us some examples?

Montana Torrey: My work is a response to particular sites, either through direct physical engagement with the landscape or by using metaphorical elements of the landscape contained within architecture. The sites of oppositions are an arrangement that I create as a way of recontextualizing and understanding place. I do this by structuring a dialogue between the site, material, and an idea.

I approach the site by questioning its dualities: public/private; absence/presence; tangible/intangible; fear/comfort; freedom/containment; heaviness/ weightlessness, etc. My most recent work, Floodplain (126), re-imagines an ancient flooded ruin in Chiang Mai, Thailand through the dualities of absence/presence, past/presence, heaviness/weightlessness. This work embodied the temporal past and present of the ruin, suggested the flood waters through the piece’s movement, and transformed the seemingly inherent weight of brick by making them from paper and creating the illusion of weightlessness.

I have used oppositional structures to create and form a new experience of place and understanding of the site in its relation to the present.

Division of Labor, 2015. Hand-sewn silk organza. 30 feet.

OPP: Can you talk about the various barriers—both literal and metaphoric—in your work?

MT: The use of barriers, borders and fences started when I was in graduate school. Much of my work then was about public and private space and the psychological factors that determine what we deem as protective/protected space within the American psychic landscape. This was the beginning of my interest in literal divisions of the landscape and how we divide, manipulate and control space to further convey these ideas. At that time, I was looking at a lot of historical American landscape paintings—such as those of the Hudson River School—that were celebrating the vastness of the landscape as a form of propaganda to promote westward expansion and Manifest Destiny, which in turn resulted in the exploitation and further division of the landscape into private property.

Morning Light Barrier, 2016. Hand-painted silk organza. Variable dimensions.

OPP: What about the light barriers?

MT: I created the sewn “light barriers” for several exhibitions at the Catwalk Institute in Catskill, NY as a response to the work of Frederic Church. With these pieces, I was re-inserting elements of Church’s skies back into the landscape, inverting the horizon and imprisoning shafts of light. So, my first sewn light barriers were a reference to Church and others’ use of the horizon as a representation of the future, a collective future of the land beyond. However, when my pieces were inserted into the landscape they functioned as barriers, by creating physically blocks and restricting the suggestion of the infinite.

From there I began using the horizon more and more, working with the horizontal and vertical elements of dusk and dawn and experimenting with these pieces in relation to architecture.

We Buy Gold, 2011. Tarpaulin.

OPP: You’ve been to numerous residencies in European countries—Iceland, Finland and Italy, to name a few. It seems that many of your projects in these countries refer back to the American landscape by inserting what is missing. Is this a planned agenda or an intuitive response?

MT: Each site is tangible, present. One of the ways I approach my practice is by searching for an absence or ways of evoking absence through presence. I am interested in the formation of spatial perception and how spatial perception can be culturally defined. So, when I am working in a new country, I seek to insert my own spatial understanding of the landscape into that place. It is a form of place-making, rooted in memory, and cultural conditioning about the landscape. I try to collapse the distance of my own past and my immediate present in space.

On one hand, it is a calculated way of working, but within this, I allow for the experiential. I like to remain open to how my ideas will evolve and be informed by new places and cultures that help to shape the development of my work.

Permanent Sunset, 2012. Paint on window. Skagaströnd, Iceland.

OPP: What does your practice look like when you aren’t at residencies?

MT: Because I create installations about place, my work is always in flux and requires the continual investigation of materials and research, through both conceptual and academic development. Much of my work is informed by architecture and nature, so this is an endless and peripatetic investigation. Moving through space and observing the ways in which we understand the landscape through movement is very much a part of my research: when I live in the U.S., I am constantly driving and searching for architectural forms or sites to use within my work, but also making note of time and distance. I am seeking to create more of a phenomenological experience within my current installations, so finding ways of understanding a more embodied experience is critical.

Much of my practice takes place outside of the studio, in the field or in the library, and my studio is much more of a laboratory for the testing of materials, but the work all comes together in the installation.

Floodplain (126), 2018. 126 folded collagraphs. 3.5 x 3.5 meters.

OPP: What’s a collagraph? How does this process support your conceptual concerns in Bagnasciuga (2017) and Floodplain (126) (2018)?

MT: A collagraph is a basic printmaking technique in which the plate can be created with very inexpensive materials such as cardboard, glue, gesso. I started using this technique last year (2017) when I was a fellow at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy. I found that collagraphs gave me the ability to create a wide variety of textures and to mimic the water line on the Istrian stone for my piece, Bagnasciuga. I began to make installations out of 3-dimensional collagraphs.

Both Bagnasciuga and Floodplain (126) explore the intersection between water, the built environment and the physical vulnerabilities of these structures through climate change. I intentionally used paper for these works because it helped to convey vulnerability via a shift in materiality from stone or brick to a fragile material. The paper also created another conceptual dichotomy; the illusion of weightlessness. Both of these installations move with the gentle swaying of water. Bagnasciuga moves back and forth like the rocking of the vaporetto or a dock as you move throughout the city, and Floodplain (126) moves like debris floating on the surface of water. Again, the experience of movement through space is critical to the function of both of these pieces, as I tried to evoke the feelings of floating, shifting, swaying, gliding, drowning and rising to the surface of water as the viewer moves around and through these works.

Portable Widow's Walk, Bird Island Lookout, 2008. Handcut canvas/ acrylic paint.

OPP: Where to next? 

MT: I am currently living and working in Chiang Mai, Thailand as a Visiting Lecturer in the Painting Department at Chiang Mai University. I’ve been in Thailand for the past eight months, having originally come here as an artist-in-residence with the Subhashok Arts Centre in Bangkok, but subsequently secured a position as a guest lecturer. For now, I plan to stay here for the foreseeable future, possibly with an intermittent break pursue a Ph.D. 

It is important to me to find alternative and affordable ways of creating an art-practice and to seek teaching experiences outside of the U.S., given the current political and financial climate for the arts. While I believe in art as an essential element of resistance, the responsibility of maintaining an arts practice in my home country, where funding for the arts is being slashed and the cost of living continues to rise, was becoming unsustainable for me. Furthermore, being in Southeast Asia has given me a deeper understanding of how dynamic and ever-changing the global art world is. My work will always reflect my experience growing up in the U.S., but I want to find more and more ways of connecting that experience to the rest of the world. 

To see more of Montana's work, please visit montanatorrey.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist  Stacia Yeapanis.  When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations.  She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at  BOLT in Chicago.  Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018).  Most recently, Stacia created  Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit  Work in Progress and was an Artist-in-Residence at Facebook. 

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1306229 2018-07-25T12:49:48Z 2018-07-25T13:07:06Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Amanda Burnham

Neighborhood Watch (installation detail), 2016. Acrylic, flashe, paper, cardboard, and LEDs. 5 vignettes, each approx. 10 x 10 x 5.'

AMANDA BURNHAM's immersive, collage installations are dense with vernacular signage, brick walls and and trash cans. She pieces hundreds of gestural drawings of the surrounding city together, deliberately confusing three-dimensional space.  Instead of a realistic rendering of what a city looks like, she captures the frenetic energy of city architecture. Amanda earned her BA in Visual and Environmental Studies, at  Harvard University and her MFA in Painting and Printmaking at Yale University. Her long and varied exhibition record includes recent solo shows at University of Baltimore (2017), Elon University in North Carolina (2017), Arlington Art Center in Virginia (2016) and Dittmar Gallery at Northwestern University in Chicago (2014). Her work is included in the permanent collections of National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC) and the New York Public Library, as well as various private collections. Amanda just completed the Antenna Projects Artist Book Residency in New Orleans, and her solo show Amanda Burnham: In Situ will open at Gershman Gallery in Philadelphia on September 6. Amanda lives and works in Baltimore.

OtherPeoplesPixels: Your drawings and installations are all about cities. What’s your favorite city in the world?

Amanda Burnham: There are many cities that I love, but I'm going to go with Baltimore—not only because I live here, but because of its rich, diverse architectural vernacular, history, neighborhoods, and challenges. It inspired the direction of the installation work I have been making for the last decade.

Better Waverly, 2014. Paint and paper. 

OPP: Tell us about the first installation?

AB: The first installation I made was for a show at the Julio Gallery at Loyola University in Baltimore in 2008. I'd been asked by the curator to show a group of the plein air cityscape drawings I'd been consumed with making at that point. I'd made hundreds of these small observational drawings of different sites during my first full year in the city. It started as a way of getting to know my new surroundings. I'd begun to feel the limitations of working at a small scale, from a fixed perspective. I increasingly felt that it wasn't the best way to capture the energy and activity of the city as I came to know it while sitting for many hours drawing it. I asked the curator if she would be open to me creating an installation for the show to accompany my drawings, and, thankfully she was. Looking at back at the resulting work (which, at the time I was very proud of, and which was very freeing for me), I'm struck by how minimal and reserved it is. But it changed the direction of my practice entirely.

Edmondson Avenue, 2009. Ink on paper. 9 x 12."

OPP: Earlier drawings are more realistic renderings of city landscapes, but it seems like you have been drawing in a more illustrative, comic style lately, especially in the installations. What led to this shift?

AB: Lately I've been interested in broadening the parameters of my work, so that it is less defined by a visual shorthand that references the built environments of urban spaces. I want it to be more inclusive of imagery that also suggests all the activity that occurs within those spaces. What really draws me to cities, anyway, is the events that happen when our living circumstances are not isolated and homogenous and the way they enable people to collect/collide/interact. 

The somewhat comic stylistic approach of my drawings allows me to incorporate ideas which are less literal and strictly visually descriptive. I like that a comic style, given its bold, graphic qualities, allows me to formally weave together imagery from a lot of really different places—objective, inventive or visionary, metaphoric, etc.

In the Weeds (detail), 2016. Acrylic, flashe, and paper. 10 x 72.'

OPP: Tell us about the process of creating these drawing installations? Are they site-specific? What determines the imagery?

AB: They are always site-specific in the sense that they are constructed almost entirely within the space they will be shown, and are therefore sensitive to the physical peculiarities of whatever that space is. They are often site-specific in the sense that I choose to enfold imagery discovered in the surrounding area to some degree. I've done this in very subtle ways, and I've also built entire pieces that were meant to evoke a specific city (as with RFP in Baltimore). 

I start by looking at the space and by collecting imagery from which to make drawings. I walk around the neighborhood, take pictures and make sketches. Using my sketchbook, I establish parameters for the piece, ideas I want to address or imagery I want to incorporate and roughly how I will engage the space. I sketch out broad compositional outlines for shape on the wall, where I want collage layers to be massed, palette, whether there will be sculptural components or embedded lighting. 

I'll spend the weeks leading up to making a piece preparing raw materials for collage. I roll out drawing paper in my studio, prepare it with color (watered down acrylic, usually), and make hundreds of quick gestural drawings with black acrylic. When I put the piece together in the space, I take anywhere from a day or two to several weeks. Everything is orchestrated very extemporaneously within the parameters I've set. I use different widths of black or colored masking tape and light duty staples to attach pieces to the wall, and sometimes paint directly on the wall, as well.  The final pieces are the result of many layers of collage build up. 

High Winds, 2011. mixed media

OPP: You mentioned RFP, which was a unique installation in that it involved audience participation. What does RFP stand for?

AB: RFP stands for Request for Proposals. Its a term commonly used in city planning for the development of a parcel of land. I wanted to evoke this common usage because Baltimore—like most older, formerly industrial cities—has a fraught and lengthy history with issues surrounding planning. There are neighborhoods with legacies of exclusion borne by restrictive covenants and red-lining, division and isolation of formerly thriving neighborhoods via poorly considered large scale building projects (like highways), disinvestment and civic neglect of neighborhoods (frequently along racial lines), gentrification that prices long term residents out of their homes and established communities. A commonality to all these dynamics is how bound up they are in bureaucratic and political structures that can seem far from the reach or control of the individual citizens that they impact. 

RFP was motivated by an idealistic desire to propose a city democratically shaped in every way by the people who actually live there; it was a request for proposals from the residents of Baltimore.

RFP, 2015. Paper, paint, cardboard, tape, lumber, lights. 2015

OPP: How did the installation evolve?

AB: The piece as it opened on day one was like my other work in its use of paper and collage installation. All of the drawings were recognizably Baltimore; different neighborhoods were woven together throughout the space, commingled without reference to literal geography.

I wanted the piece to feel very welcoming. The piece was orchestrated in a large ground floor former department store space with huge, plate glass windows in front. It was located on West Baltimore Street, an area of the city which a lot of different people traverse for a lot of different reasons every day. In addition to having numerous hand drawn OPEN signs (like the neon ones you see in bodegas) and a sandwich board inviting people in from the sidewalk, I designed the piece so that it would be maximally visible from outside. It stretched all the way to the front so there wasn't any apparent barrier to entry (like the imposing desks that sit at the front of most galleries). All of this was meant to be a reflective backdrop, and the centerpiece of the installation was a big table full of drawing supplies and some loose prompts inviting thought about Baltimore: "I feel the most like I belong here when...", "This city needs...", "My neighborhood is..." etc. 

Visitors were invited to add their writings and drawings to the existing backdrop. During the time the piece was up, more and more of these amassed, so that by the time it came down it was covered with hundreds of contributions, ranging from reminisces, to suggestions, to manifestos, to actual images altering the preexisting ones. 

RFP, 2015. Paper, paint, cardboard, tape, lumber, lights. 

OPP: Was there anything frustrating about depending on the public to complete the work? What was satisfying about it?

AB: Not in this case. We had a large volume of visitors due to the visibility from the sidewalk and the high traffic in the area. The piece was set up so that it would be clear to someone that contributing was the idea without having to ask. The paper on the table was color keyed to the backdrop, in addition to the rolls of tape and drawing supplies were visual cues, and this seemed to work (though I was on hand every day to greet people and answer questions if they had them, too.) There was some initial anxiety that it wouldn't work, or that I'd have to edit contributions (i.e. if someone posted something abusive or hateful), but wonderfully, there was no need. 

Since I was there everyday, I met a lot of people over the course of the piece's life. As satisfying as it was to see (and be surprised by!) the range of physical additions to the piece, the most satisfying was that the piece became a way for me and other visitors to talk to people we might never have met otherwise.  

To see more of Amanda's work, please visit amandaburnham.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018). Most recently, Stacia created Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1303820 2018-07-17T12:04:48Z 2018-07-18T13:30:15Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Isak Applin

He Was a Friend of Mine, 2016. Oil on canvas. 36" x 48"

ISAK APPLIN's painted vignettes often depict quiet moments that point to the internal experiences of their subjects. A man chops wood while remembering a betrayal. Solitary figures stroll through the forest in contemplation. Although there is occasional drama—sometimes a man is knifed outside a bar. Regardless, these works balance site with story. His attention to color and texture demands that viewrs take the environments as seriously as the action. Isak earned his BFA in Painting at Maine College of Art and his MFA in Painting and Drawing at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His numerous solo shows include: Dark Holler (Chicago, 2006) at Contemporary Art Workshop, Six More Miles (Chicago, 2008) at Roots and CultureChocorua(Ontario, 2013) at Evans Contemporary, and Now Chicago (Sydney, Australia, 2014) at The Hughes Gallery. Around the Mountain Again, a two-person show also featuring the work of Featured Artist Carl Baratta opened at The New Standard Gallery (Sydney, Australia) in early 2018. He is currently at the Stephen Pace House Residency in Stonington Maine. Isak also runs Titan and Weald, a private press specializing in chapbooks, fine press books and relief prints. Isak lives in Queens, New York.

OtherPeoplesPixels: What’s your relationship to the woods?

Isak Applin: I see the forest as a place of mystery and change.

I grew up in the woods of the Taconic Mountains on border of Massachusetts and New York State. In the 19th century, lumber mills, small factories and sheep farms deforested much of the region. As these industries waned during the mid 20th century a rich forest quickly grew back. And yet traces of the old way of life remained: logging roads, building foundations, stonewalls, mysterious piles of rocks and weathered fence posts were scattered throughout the woods. I witnessed the tail end of this transformation as a child; even then I found it awe-inspiring, disconcerting and sublime.

As a child and teenager, the forest was also a stage for adventure—it was my African jungle, Sherwood Forest and Siberian taiga. Later it was the place for one’s first kiss and precious hours of freedom from school and parents. 

The inhabitants of this forested area were also equally fascinating. During the 1970s, the area was settled by Whole Earth Catalog inspired hippies, Vietnam Vets seeking solace and New Yorkers who had always dreamed of owning a horse. It was also a place of big dreams and spectacular and frightening failures. Within a few miles of my house there was a thriving Sufi commune, a huge Indian style Peace Pagoda built entirely by volunteers and a failed nudist colony—it had descended into violent, drug-ridden chaos. I’ve always been extremely fascinated and moved by my neighbors’ eccentric and epic lives. 

The Letter II, 2014. Oil on canvas. 30" x 30"

OPP: How you think about the woods when painting?

IA: Many of the paintings attempt to capture the sentiments I described above. They are simply an edited depiction of that landscape or the story set in that landscape. I have always been a collector of stories and situations I find moving, strange and unique. Sometimes, often years after the event, I feel the need to make a painting of one of these stories in an attempt to record and share it. And this is how much of my work is generated: I hear a story or experience something, find myself reflecting on it, and at some point decide that this event needs to be shared with the rest of the world. 

Forked Lake, 2017. Watercolor and gouache on paper. 12" x 9"

OPP: What’s your relationship to landscape painting?

IA: My relationship to landscape paintings is that of a magpie to its nest; I’ll steal from any tradition if it helps me convey the spirit of the story or place I’m depicting! In general, the compositions are largely influenced by Medieval Sienese paintings, Persian and Indian miniatures and various Chinese paintings. Early and mid 20th century European and American modernists often inform my color choices and paint handling. Lately I’ve been under the spell of Monica Poole and Gwenda Morgan, wood engravers from Britain that created marvelously inventive landscape prints.

His Last Night in Randazzo, 2017. Watercolor and gouache on paper. 19" x 14"

OPP: His Last Night in Randazzo (2018) and Goodbye Jay (2017) have a cinematic quality, in the sense that the scenes floating around the central figure indicate something other than what’s happening in the present moment. I keep flipping back and forth between thinking they are the near future, the distant past or a complete fantasy in the heads of the figures in the bottom of the the paintings. Thoughts?

IA: Both paintings are inspired by true events, and both depict several different points of time within one composition. The events are fragments, and they do not necessarily come together to form a coherent narrative. In these paintings I hope to capture what it feels like to hear the stories (or the storyteller) that I’m working with, rather than transcribe these events into a linear narrative.  

Goodbye Jay is a memorial painting, albeit a light-hearted one, depicting events from the life of a friend who was a sailor on research vessels in the Arctic and the South Seas. He lived in a comic book world of maritime violence and South Seas romance. His Last Night in Randazzo is a little less straightforward. I used the space to the left of the tree in the center as a container for vignettes depicting an acquaintance’s escape from Sicily and his flight to Detroit. To the right of this tree is a couple walking down a path in the present day--they are the ones that have to live under the weight of the events on the left.

Fantasy is sparingly added to these compositions, I only include fictional events in the paintings if I feel that it will enhance or clarify the feeling that I’m trying to convey.

Spring '96, 2013. Oil on canvas. 30" x 30"

OPP: Can you talk about the recurring themes of being chased, watched or stalked?

IA: The chase themed paintings began in 2012. A friend and I were cycling along a wooded path on a drizzling November afternoon, and we were suddenly chased by an incredibly fast deranged man wearing a cape of burlap sacks. Around this same time everyone in my apartment building was unexpectedly evicted. I started making some drawings of being chased while cycling, and the chase theme became an allegory for forced flight.

The “watching” paintings are about longing, loss and the quixotic behavior of scorned lovers. Like the other paintings, these are based on true events from the distant past that have haunted and moved me. I never really set out to make a painting about being stalked, but I can see how some of the compositions could inspire that interpretation.

Dennis and Marilyn, 2016. Oil on canvas. 30" x 30"

OPP: Tell us about the process of making collaborative prints with Carl Baratta and Oli Watt?

IA: This series started in 2007. One of our primary goals is to create a collaborative piece where the viewer can’t see each artist’s hand. Put another way, we hope that no one will be able to look at a piece and suspect that I drew the bottom, Carl drew the top and the middle looks like something from one of Oli’s prints. To achieve this, we try to draw in each other’s style, we often take turns carving different parts of the wood block, and we generally make all decisions collectively.

Old Woman Spring Road I, 2016. Collaboration with Carl Baratta, woodcut on paper. 9" x 12"

OPP: Did this collaboration teach you anything about your solo practice?

IA: For a long time, the collaborative work was a place where I (we) explored fantastic and mythological themes that were absent from, or didn’t seem to fit into, my personal work. The collaborative prints were a vessel for passages from the epic of Gilgamesh, invented deities and the depiction of other worlds—content that seemed at odds with my paintings set in the contemporary world. To my surprise, in 2014 the apparitions, ghosts and angels from the collaborative prints started creeping into the personal work, enriching it in a way that I could never have anticipated.

To see more of Isak's work, please visit isakapplin.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018). Most recently, Stacia created Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1301903 2018-07-10T21:49:44Z 2018-07-11T13:42:18Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Florine Demosthene

Releasing the Truth, 2018. Mix media on canvas. 32 x 48 inches.

The female figure in FLORINE DEMOSTHENE's mixed media work hovers in a gauzy, blue and gray haze. In some works, she sprouts whole other versions of herself from her back. In others, she lovingly carries herself in her arms or on her shoulders, as a parent carries a child. This figure represents our relationship with ourselves. She is both a physical body and a symbol of the spirit. Florine earned her BFA at Parsons the New School for Design and her MFA at Hunter College. She had had solo exhibitions at Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts (St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands), Gallery MOMO (Capetown and Johannesburg, South Africa), Semaphore Gallery (Neuchâtel, Switzerland) and Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana). She has received grants from Arts Moves Africa and Joan Mitchell Foundation. Florine resides between New York, Accra and Johannesburg, although she's spending 2018 in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a 2018 Tulsa Art Fellow.

OtherPeoplesPixels: How do you see the relationship between the mind and the body, the internal and the external?

Florine Demosthene: The works are about the relationship we have with ourselves. . . the different parts of ourselves and how we are engaged in this continual battle. I have been investigating the duality between mind, body, emotion, spirit and essence through this series of works. I have not quite formulated a solid understanding of these components and how they interconnect. It's like I have gone down this rabbit hole that keeps getting deeper and more nebulous. 

Disappear Into Myself 3, 2013. Ink, charcoal, graphite and oil bar on polypropylene. 9 x 12 inches.

OPP: It seems like you are really talking about a spiritual path of inquiry. How does art-making aid in that path? Can you share any insights or observations you have?

FD: Making art in integral to my path of self-awareness and discovery. It allows me to create a cocoon around myself where I can delve deeper into my psyche. It has been an intriguing journey. I find when I allow my anger to rise to the surface, I make leap and bounds in my art work. I don't want to be in a perpetual state of rage, but it does serve as a catalyst for me to push past my boundaries.

Illumination #11, 2018. Collage on paper. 11 x 14 inches.

OPP: Are these works self-portraits?

FD: I don't necessarily see the works as self-portraits but rather an exploration of ideas. I reference myself, particularly my body, because it is readily available and I can easily manipulate it in the way that I want. 

OPP: Can you talk about Mind Chatter and The Story I Tell Myself? Is the secondary figure a burden to the first? Or simply an integral part that the main figure must nurture and carry through life?

FD: Those two works are addressing the shadow aspects of who we are and what exactly constitutes our personal narratives. I find that we fear the darkness within ourselves and shy away from addressing that truth within us. With those two works, I was searching for how to unburden this aspect within us.

Meta, 2018. Mix media on wood panel. 40 x 52 inches.

OPP: Blue lines seem to operate differently in different works. In Meta, they grow from the fingertips and remind me of Freddy Krueger’s knife glove. In Wounds #2, they seem more like blood dripping and in Wounds #7, they shackle the feet. How do you think about the blue in these works?

FD: Firstly the large areas of blues and black are glitter. The blue glitter lines are a continuation of the yellow beams that I was using in a previous series. These lines represent energetic communication or a sort of higher consciousness.

There has been this question that has been gnawing at me for quite some time: If we are only using like 10% of our brain capacity, then what would it look like if we say use 55%-100% of our minds? 

In the quest to find answers to this question, I have come to the understanding that it is not about our brains, but rather our connection to our soul/essence/spirit...that spark that ignites the life within us. If we could gain full access to this spark, then we can propel the brain (and how it functions) to level unimaginable. The thing is, we are so disconnected from this aspect of ourselves. In these works (the ones with the radiating lines) I'm attempting to bridge that gap between mind and spirit. . . to somehow build a connection to allow for direct communication.

To Come Undone, 2018. Mix media on wood panel. 52 x 120 inches.

OPP: In earlier works, the figure feels trapped in the backgrounds because there is more visual noise and, in some cases, actual locations with buildings and furniture. But in more recent works, the figure seems to be floating in an empty, abstract space. Can you talk about this change?

FD: The simplified background was just a natural progression of the work. In earlier works, I was concerned quite a bit with the figure/ground relationship. As the series developed, it became more and more about the body—and what's within the body—and less about the space in which the figure resides. This gradual shift helped me to hone in a bit more on what I wanted to convey with these drawings and paintings.

Meta-Two, 2018.  Collage on canvas. 36i x 48 inches.

OPP: In 2018, you won the Tulsa Fellowship, which offers an unrestricted award and brings artists from elsewhere to Tulsa for a year. Tell us about the experience. What has it been like to relocate? And what are you working on?

FD: I have been out of the USA for four years, so I had to mentally adjust for this fellowship. Thus far, the fellowship program has been surprising (in a good way) and it is allowing me to have some much needed time to regroup. I plan on continuing this series as well as possibly incorporation 3D and digital works. . . but we shall see how that goes. 

To see more of Florine's work, please visit florinedemosthene.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018). Most recently, Stacia created Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1300093 2018-07-05T13:06:48Z 2018-07-05T13:13:03Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Susan Klein

Small Sculptures, 2017. Oil on ceramic and epoxy clay.

SUSAN KLEIN's work weaves in and out of an irreverence for the sacred and a reverence for the banal. Her sculptures and drawings are playful, colorful and humorous. . . and they take themselves seriously. They are complex explorations of ambiguous forms—urns, gravestones, altars, severed fingers—that evoke the human devotional impulse. Susan earned her BFA in Studio Art at University of New Hampshire, followed by her MFA in Painting at University of Oregon. In June 2018, she was an artist-in-residence at the Wassaic Project in Wassaic, New York, and she will be spending July at theInternational Studio and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn. She is the curator of Nighttime For Strangers, which features the work of Skye GilkersonHeather Merckle, and Holly Veselka, at the NARS Foundation in Brooklyn. The show opens this Friday on July 6 and runs through July 27. Her upcoming solo show Susan Klein: New Work opens on September 6, 2018 at the Sumter County Gallery of Art in South Carolina. Susan's work in represented by The Southern. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

OtherPeoplesPixels: How do you define the Sacred?

Susan Klein: I think of the sacred as that which is imbued with a specific religious or spiritual significance. This can be an object or living being that is revered and often held as directly connected to a god or gods. I am interested in the arbitrary manner that objects can be consecrated and made sacred. An ordinary object can be transformed into a thing that carries power, weight and spirituality. It can act as the connection between this world and another.  

Offering, 2017. Oil and acrylic on ceramic stoneware. 84 x 84 x 6 inches.

OPP: Can you talk about that recurring form which is sometimes a severed finger, sometimes a gravestone, sometimes a monument?

SK: This form references a pattern on an Etruscan artifact. I have played with it many times in painting, drawing and sculpture. I like how it can shift between a finger, figure, phallus and monument. It is a form that symbolizes creation, touch and commemoration. 

It is interesting that you mention it as a severed finger! The violence associated with that connects the form to Shadow Things (2014-2015), a body of work that directly relates to cemeteries, urns, grave markers and funerary ornament. I was thinking about how these markers or holders of the dead are used to commemorate and bridge the living and the dead. Mausoleum and the related works grew out of visits to museums to see artifacts (Roman and Egyptian funerary artifacts to name a few) and out of my experience in Berlin’s Weissensee Cemetery, the second largest Jewish cemetery in Europe that miraculously survived WWII. Many Jews hid in the mausoleums there, but I think most were found and killed. Despite this history—or maybe because of it—it is an amazingly beautiful place. Humans have a way of turning death into something beautiful. Through religion, commemoration, decoration and the use of the sacred object or altars we find ways to grapple with that which we do not understand. 

Three Rainbows, 2017. Oil on canvas and wood. 60 x 48 inches.

OPP: What role does humor play in your work?

SK: Humor is a counter to the heaviness in life. It is a way we can process and manage emotions, trauma and current events. For me, it is also a way to prevent work from becoming literal, heavy-handed, overly simplified and a one-liner. It keeps complexity in the work, and that mirrors the human psyche.  

The finger form is as funny as it is serious. I often use shapes or imagery that shift from serious to playful, venerated to irreverent. This slippage is important to me, and one of the main reasons I am currently working with the ubiquitous symbol of the rainbow. It is used in religion, new age spirituality, emojis, stickers, etc. I think it is funny to use a cliched image in "serious," formal work. There are so many associations we have with the rainbow as a symbol. Rainbows are very seductive and silly in reproduction (but a real rainbow is always beautiful). It is fun to play with those associations, to personify and glorify this image. Plus, how can I resist a good color gradient? 

Landed, 2018. Oil on ceramic stoneware. 18 x 14 x 7 inches.

OPP: It seems like you began in drawing and painting and moved into sculpture. Is that the case? What led you toward sculpture?

SK: In graduate school, I cut up drawings and made three-dimensional structures out of them. I would use these structures as stand-alone sculptures and as still life subjects for paintings. I also began using small foam and spilled paint sculptures as subjects. This process continued after school for many years. Later, I pulled forms from paintings and made them into sculpture. There has been a continuous back and forth, although I had about three years or so where I focused entirely on painting. A collaborative exhibition in Berlin in 2015 brought sculpture back into my practice. I incorporated the furniture in the exhibition space into my work. That certainly changed things! In some ways, straight painting and image making never satisfied me. I continuously was thinking of the painting as object, so moving into sculpture made perfect sense. Strangely, much of the art I admire most are very quiet paintings, like Giorgio Morandiand Édouard Vuillard. Although Betty Woodman and Jessica Stockholder rock my world. 

Looped, 2018. Oil on ceramic stoneware. 15 x 9 x 9.75 inches.

OPP: When did ceramics first enter your tool kit?

SK: In 2016 I began making forms out of Sculpey, epoxy resin and air dry clay as a way to solve an architectural issue with a cement piece. These forms and materials clicked, so I made more and more. A year ago, I had the opportunity to participate in the artist in residence program at Otis College of Art and Design. They have a ceramics studio and an amazing ceramics tech there, so it was the perfect time to experiment with clay. I loved it immediately! Instead of glazing, I fire the clay and oil paint it.  This keeps the work firmly connected to painting and allows me to work with a process that more spontaneous than glazing. I also love how the oil paint takes to the fired surface. It is very buttery and satisfying!

OPP: Talk about your choice to present artist statements in the form of audio and video that doesn’t tell us much at all. You could have no statement at all, as many artists do. Are you a contrarian? Or genuinely mystified by writing an artist statement?

SK: Ha! I have "proper" artist statements that I use for applications, exhibitions, and whatnot, but I like resisting language on the website. I think the work creates its own language and presents that to the viewer. I am not so interested in layering verbal/written language on top of that. Although I am an academic, I have a small problem with the academicizing of visual art.  Artist statements are a direct result of the proliferation of the MFA and the professionalization of the field. . . so yes, maybe I am a bit contrarian! But I also like that image and sound can exist as a statement or descriptor of the work. There is something pre-lingual in my work and in my experience words can obfuscate, confuse and miscommunicate as often as not. One must be a very good writer to illuminate the world.

Peach Diamond Reverence, 2016. Foam, paint, glitter, resin, clay. 12.5 x 11 x 9 Inches.

OPP: What’s frustrating about how viewers respond to your work?

SK: For some reason, I dislike the word whimsical being applied to my work. I don't know why! Maybe because it makes me think of cuteness. My work incorporates play, humor and improvisation, but it is also rigorous. Whimsy feels a bit fluffy. 

OPP: What’s satisfying? 

SK: It is satisfying when viewers really engage with the work. When they spend the time to get lost in it a little, when they start to react the dark side as well as the light. I do like to see people having fun with my work as well! My art idol is Elizabeth Murray, who created work that embodies many things at once. It is playful, humorous, rigorous, serious. 

To see more of Susan's work, please visit susankleinart.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018). Most recently, Stacia created Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1297632 2018-06-27T18:44:29Z 2018-06-27T19:57:35Z What exactly is a Fellowship?

Fellowships, unlike residencies, do not usually provide space—although there are some exceptions. Fellowships are unrestricted, larger chunks of money awarded based on merit. Fellowships usually have some kind of limitation in regards to subject matter, geography, medium or identity. This follows along with the idea that a fellowship is in pursuit of some joint goal. 

Please note, some of the fellowships below DO NOT have current open calls. Funding for fellowships may change from year to year. But it is a good idea to get on the mailing lists for any fellowship that you are eligible for.

KRESGE ARTIST FELLOWSHIPS for emerging and established metro Detroit artists

Deadline: January each year

Artists receive $25,000 awards and professional practice opportunities. 

Fellowships recognize creative vision and commitment to excellence within a wide range of artistic disciplines, including artists who have been academically trained, self-taught artists, and artists whose art forms have been passed down through cultural heritage.

GILDA AWARDS are $5,000 prizes for emerging artists, named in honor of artist, CCS professor, and 2009 Kresge Artist Fellow Gilda Snowden (1954–2014).

Fellowships and Gilda Awards are no-strings-attached awards, meaning artists may spend the money on any aspect of their creative practice or life (i.e. making new work, renting or purchasing studio space, travel, general living expenses, etc.).

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JEROME FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIP for residents of Minnesota or one of the five boroughs of New York City

Deadline: Applications for the 2019-2020 program are closed. The next application cycle opens in 2020.

Artists receive $20,000 per year for two consecutive years, making the total cash award $40,000 over the two-year period. In addition to the cash award, each Fellow will receive $10,000 of production funds to award to a nonprofit(s) that contracts (or is already contracted) with the Fellow during the two-year period.

The new Artist Fellowship program that offers flexible, two-year grants to support the creative development of early-career generative artists in the state of Minnesota and the five boroughs of New York City. Artists may apply individually or together with other members of ongoing collectives or ensembles.

The Foundation recognizes that the term “emerging” means different things to different people. In preparation for this program, we received over 1400 artist surveys with wildly different definitions of “emerging.” Some people said that, in this country, all artists are always emerging, and some people gave specific criteria for identifying the markers between emerging artists versus mid-career or established artists.

The Foundation’s goal is to serve a spectrum of artists typically in their 3rd to 15th year of creative practice, post-student status (if applicable). This spectrum is framed by artists with some track record of creating and presenting full work (not beginning artists), and artists who are NOT at a point in their careers where they receive consistent development and production opportunities and significant recognition, awards, and acclaim (not mid-career or established artists).

The Jerome Foundation makes a distinction between generative artists (those artists responsible for artistic control in generating entirely new work, including writers, choreographers, film directors, visual artists, composers, playwrights, etc.) and interpretive artists (those who interpret or execute the work created by others, including actors, editors, dramaturgs, singers, dancers, musicians, designers, etc.). The Foundation recognizes that some artists do both generative and interpretive work. Nevertheless, the Fellowship program supports only those artists with a significant history of generative work.

The Foundation will make 10 grants in each of six categories:

  • Dance
  • Literature (fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry)
  • Media—including Film, Video and Digital Production (documentary, narrative, animation, or experimental) and New Media (artistic work that is computational and distributed digitally, in the form of websites, mobile apps, virtual worlds, computer games, human-computer interface or interactive computer installations)
  • Music
  • Theater, Performance and Spoken Word
  • Visual arts

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A BLADE OF GRASS FELLOWSHIP for socially-engaged art

Deadline: September

Artists receive $20,000 in minimally restricted support.

We look at the process and relationships of socially engaged art projects. We see the aesthetic qualities of socially engaged art in how alliances are formed and maintained, the way disparate stakeholder groups are coordinated, how power dynamics are navigated, and how bridges are built between many different types of people within a socially engaged art project.

We create content that illuminates and deepens understanding of these relationships. A primary goal of ABOG is to make the “invisible” parts of socially engaged art visible. We do this through documentary films and field research that are artist-led, and are grounded in the perspective of project participants, as well as publications, web content, and public programming.

We also use this focus on process and relationships to advocate for a more expanded sense of what art is, how artists can work in communities, and how art might be integrated into everyday life. Our field research, documentary films, and other content serve as the basis for curriculum, toolkits, and consulting that enable more artists to work in partnership with non-artist stakeholders.

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NATIVE ARTS AND CULTURE FOUNDATION REGIONAL ARTIST FELLOWSHIP

Deadline: deadlines change as money becomes available; sign up for the mailing list to be alerted when there is an open call.

At its heart, the Artist Fellowship initiative is built around the fact that in order for any artist to succeed creatively, they need time, space, and financial support to cultivate their creative process, improve their craft, explore new concepts and, for some, take risks that they might not have had the capacity to take otherwise. Native artists in particular struggle with a lack of equal opportunity in the arts and culture sector, reflected in the mere 0.2% of all national arts funding which reaches them each year. By offering Fellowships, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation proactively strengthens the ecosystem of support for Native artists, enabling them to generate more artistic work, live sustainable lives, and contribute to their communities.

Goals of the Artist Fellowship Initiative:

~Power the artistic growth and magnify the voices of Native artists through the development of new works or completing projects in motion

~Increase recognition and visibility for Native artists in national and international arenas

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TULSA ARTIST FELLOWSHIP

Deadline: March 1, 2019.

Artists receive an unrestricted award of $20,000 for visual and literary artists for one year. In addition to the unrestricted award, TAF provides free housing, studio space to visual artists and co-working space to literary artists in the heart of Tulsa’s vibrant arts and entertainment district.

Given the unique cultural and historical landscape of Tulsa, designated fellowship spots will be reserved for Alaska Native, Native American and Native Hawaiian artists.

Fellowships are merit-based, not project grants, with a one-year term. Artists at any stage of their careers are encouraged to apply.

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ARTIST FELLOWSHIP AT MUSEUM OF ARTS AND DESIGN

Deadline: Applications for the February—July 2019 session will become available in August 2018

Artists receive a stipend of $15,000 and work 40 hours per week in their studios.

Fellowship selection follows the selection process outlined in The Artist Studios overview, but instead of artists being assigned one day each week to work, fellows work forty hours per week and receive a stipend of $15,000. A total of fifteen of the forty hours the Fellow is at work in the Museum must be open hours, during which the public has access to the Fellow’s studio. Additionally, fellows are given extra professional development opportunities including regular meetings with museum staff and outside professionals in addition to being able to participate in workshops and meet regularly with a mentor in their creative field.

Applicants must be thirty years or younger at the start of their fellowship, no exceptions (artists will be asked to submit paperwork to prove their legal age). Fellows must also identify racially and/or culturally with a historically underrepresented community, demonstrate the need for financial assistance to advance their artistic careers, and be residents of New York City.

Successful applicants have a mature body of work that reveals a mastery of techniques, methods, processes and/or materials, as well as demonstrates developed concepts, ideas, and/or themes. Proposals need to address a clear direction or question for pursuit in applicant’s work and take into account the public-facing nature of the program (we highly recommend applicants visit the museum and talk to current residents). Successful applicants also have an artistic practice that aligns with the mission of the museum to celebrate creative processes through which materials are crafted into works that enhance contemporary life. Key attributes for practices that align with the museum’s mission are: Innovation that drives 21st century creative production, the highest level of skill and workmanship, and an emphasis on cross-disciplinary approaches to production.

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MCKNIGHT FELLOWSHIP for ceramic artists living in Minnesota

Deadline: May 25

Artists receive $25,000.

In its 21st year of programming, the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Ceramic Artists will support outstanding Minnesota ceramic artists who have already proven their abilities and are at a career stage that is beyond emerging. Fellowship support may be pursued for, but is not limited to: experimenting with new techniques and materials, purchasing materials and equipment, collaborating with other artists, and pursuing education, exhibition, or travel opportunities. The McKnight Fellowship recipients will be featured in a workshop and an exhibition with a corresponding catalogue at the end of their grant year. 

This program is made possible by the generous support of The McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis, MN. It is administered by the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis.

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THE EFROYMSON CONTEMPORARY ARTS FELLOWSHIP for Midwestern installation, sculpture and new media artists

Deadline: Applications are not currently being accepted. If you would like to have your name added to our distribution list to be notified about any future Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship opportunities, please send an email to Mary Johnson at maryj@cicf.org.

Artists receive $25,000. It has distributed $1,000,000 to 50 contemporary Midwestern visual artists since its inception.

The Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship program was established in 2004 to reward creativity and to encourage emerging and established individual artists by supporting their artistic development while increasing awareness of contemporary art in the Midwest.

Fellowship categories are restricted to Installation, Sculpture, and New Media. Selection criteria includes the following:

  • Quality and skill
  • Creativity and uniqueness
  • Commitment to developing the work
  • Impact the award will have on the artist’s career

To be eligible, artists must:

  • Be age 25 or older
  • Be a resident of either Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, or Wisconsin
  • Commit to residing in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, or Wisconsin for the duration of the fellowship

Fellows are chosen by a five-member selection committee through a blind selection process.

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RAUSCHENBERG FOUNDATION ARTIST AS ACTIVIST FELLOWSHIPS

Deadline: No current open call; sign up for mailing list

Artists receive up to $100,000 over two years, along with access to opportunities for professional advancement.

In 2015 we received more than 600 applications from 42 states, spanning a range of artistic genres and areas of thematic focus. The pool of applicants were narrowed to six fellows with the help of 30 field experts from across the U.S. This inaugural cohort tackled a range of timely issues—from climate change to caste-based sexual violence.

After the inaugural round of fellowship applications, the foundation decided to narrow the focus of future open calls by inviting projects addressing a specific issue or theme. The issue area is subject to change. The 2016 and 2017 cohorts of Artist as Activist Fellows are addressing racial justice through the lens of mass incarceration.

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HEMERA FOUNDATION TENDING SPACE FELLOWSHIP for artists with a contemplative practice

Deadline: rolling; apply here 

Artists receive financial support to attend one meditation retreat per year at one of our partner retreat centers (see below for a list of our partner centers)

The Tending Space Fellowship (TSF) program for Artists was developed with the view that art has the capacity to infuse the experience of everyday life with awareness. The aim of the program is to nurture the creative practice of seeing things as they are, to cultivate that awareness, and to live and create from this insight. To accomplish this, we provide financial support for artists to experience the immersive, contemplative environment of a meditation retreat. Qualified applicants will be full-time artists—visual, performing artists, writers, and multi-disciplinary artists—whose professions directly relate to their artmaking practice. This can include those who teach their artistic discipline, whether privately or with an organization, or in any type of school, as well as many others.

TSF are available for full-time artists with a sincere desire for the experiences of extended meditation practice to inform and influence their creative expression in the world.

Applicants will apply directly to the center holding the retreat they would like to attend. Artists who have never attended a residential meditation retreat longer than two nights will be provided with 100% funding for the retreat of their choice. Artists who have attended at least one meditation retreat longer than two nights will be offered 50% funding, with need-based support available beyond that. The program is open to domestic and international applicants, as well as groups of artists.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1295706 2018-06-20T11:45:51Z 2018-07-11T19:16:19Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Toni Gentilli

9" x 12." Copper liquor, iron liquor, oak gall ink, India ink, ash, charcoal, and graphite on paper. 2016.

TONI GENTILLI combines "anachronistic materials, techniques, and philosophies" in her work that includes a range of photographic processes, drawing and painting. In photography that highlights the mediating lens through which humans view nature and drawings made with wildcrafted pigments, her work investigates the relationship between nature, emerging technologies and human awareness. After 15 years as an anthropologist, Toni went on to earn her MFA in Photography at San Francisco Art Institute in 2013. In 2015, she was an Artist-in-Residence at Chalk Hill Artist Residency and the Lucid Art Foundation. Her work has been shown at Berkeley Art CenterThe Compound Gallery (Oakland, CA), The Lodge (Phoenix, AZ), and the Center for Fine Art Photography (Fort Collins, CO), among others. Toni works as the Residency Program Manager at the Santa Fe Art Institute. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

OtherPeoplesPixels: You’ve constructed various apparatuses, including the Vignette-a-scope, that use the iPhone camera to photograph nature. These are reminiscent of the large-format cameras used in early landscape photography. Is showing the camera paramount to understanding the meaning of the photographic imagery? 

Toni Gentilli: In the two series The Thing Itself and Eye of the Beholder, I explore the history of landscape photography and contemplate the roles various framing devices play in our engagement with the natural world, both in the past and in a contemporary context. I consider the iPhone as Claude Glass and the Vignette-a-scope both as artworks themselves and sculptural props that are as integral to the projects as the photographs I create with them. 

To be clear, neither the iPhone as Claude Glass nor the Vignette-a-scope are the actual camera I used to take the images. In The Thing Itself, I use a DSLR to photograph reflections of landscapes in an iPhone, and in Eye of the Beholder, I use an iPhone to take pictures through the Vignette-a-scope. 

Annulohypoxylon thouarsianum

OPP: What is being documented in the works made with the Vignette-a-scope?

TG: In these resulting photographs, a portion of the apparatus acts as an analog framing device that assumes the role of digital cell phone filters. The imagery includes a survey of native and invasive flora in a particular geographic region, in this case, Sonoma County in northern California. By including aspects of the apparatuses together with the scenes captured in and through them, I am referencing how photographs are always mediated by the cultural lenses we impose on them, whether they are taken for scientific, artistic, or personal use.

from The Thing Itself

OPP: What is a Claude Glass? Talk us through the iPhone connection in The Thing Itself (iPhone as Claude Glass).

TG: A Claude Glass is a mid to late eighteenth and early nineteenth century device that changed roles in the hands of its users over the years. Initially, a Claude Glass was a piece of polished, typically convex, black glass often surrounded by velvet and set in a wood or metal case, about the size of an iPhone. Usually oval or rectangular in shape, they were employed by landscape painters to view reflections of natural scenes in such a way that the images took on a sepia hue reminiscent of the moody tonal modulations in Claude Lorraine paintings from the mid to late seventeenth century. 

The Bourgeoisie further popularized this nostalgia for the aesthetics of the preceding generation during the era of The Grand Tour. This was a time when young, male aristocrats would take a year or more hiatus after completing their academic studies at university to travel through Europe and the Mediterranean and appropriate the art, architecture, culture, and biological specimens of foreign places so as to build their cabinets of curiosity and cultivate their “worldliness.” While on their Grand Tours, these young men would visit The Seven Wonders of the World, famous Greco-Roman ruins, and grandiose natural attractions, to bear witness to their magnificence, and boast that they had stood in the shadows of greatness. Whilst at these locations, they would often view the splendors of nature and human ingenuity through a Claude Glass; literally turning their backs on the scenes themselves to look at the reflections in their handheld devices instead. This level of abstraction and mediated / indirect engagement with the world reminds me so much of how people today use cell phones to document that they were there, rather than having a meaningful and direct / visceral experience of place. Additionally, the penchant to transform images from the present into something reminiscent of times past, a practice that is at least three centuries old, also calls to mind digital cell phone filters made to mimic older analog photographic techniques like Polaroids. 

Chlorophyll print from hand-drawn negative on nasturtium leaf. 2013

OPP: I love the chlorophyll prints from on nasturtium leaves from 2013. I imagine these no longer exist. It’s interesting to think that the image is made as the leaf is dying. What role does impermanence play in your practice?

TG: The chlorophyll prints from the Transplant series were made as part of a collaborative installation called, Indicator Species with environmental photographer Marie-Luise Klotz. I transferred a stylized rendering of the Islets of Langerhans, the cell bodies in the pancreas that produce insulin, onto the nasturtium leaves with hand drawn negatives. They were intended to be ephemeral pieces, purposefully imbued with a life cycle of their own, to speak to the fragility and ephemerality of all living things. Impermanence, decay, and transformation are intrinsic to the human experience and everything in the natural world. 

I am interested in incorporating these elements into my art to reflect on my personal experience with chronic disease. Plants as both material and content in my work often serve as analogs for my body’s inability to synthesize sugar—I'm a Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetic—and also to call upon the possibility of healing through herbalism, alchemy, and reconnecting to nature in my art and life. Plants have this extraordinary power to synthesize sugar—life-giving energy—from sunlight and water. These also happen to be key elements in many of the historic and experimental photographic processes I use.

Poppy, Coreopsis, Madder Root, iron, ash, charcoal, bronze ink, watercolor pencil, blood, sugar, and insulin on cotton rag paper. 2015

OPP: What led to the Allelopathic Talismans?

TG: Allelopathy is a biochemical defense mechanism that plants employ to enhance their survival by either having beneficial or negative effects on other plants and organisms in their environment. During a particularly challenging period (health-wise), I turned to my art for catharsis. And ever since then, I have been striving to foster greater integration between my life and creative practice. From this deeply personal, intuitive and vulnerable state, the Allelopathic Talisman series emerged. It is the first project in which I veered away from photography as the method/subject of my work, although, the project has its roots in experimentation with anthotypes, a “photographic process” invented by Sir John Frederick William Herschel in the 1840s. Anthotypes are created by transferring images onto paper coated with “photographic emulsions” made from flower petals or leaves, with either negatives or objects set on top of the paper, which is then put out into the sun to fade, rather than produce a photochemical reaction. 

At some point during this period of experimentation, I abandoned using negatives or even making photograms, and started to draw and paint with the plant-based pigments I was making. It was a revelation for me really, an almost divine moment in which the methods and materials I had been working with for several years opened up my consciousness to the synergy they had with my embodied experience as a Type 1 diabetic, alongside my intellectual and artistic pursuits engaging the history of photography, UV light-sensitive chemistry, Natural Philosophy, Alchemy, photosynthesis, and modern biosciences. 

Hollyhocks, poppy, iron, ash, graphite, chalk, mica, insulin, and blood on cotton rag paper. 2015

OPP: What goes into your pigments?

TG: I incorporate wildcrafted pigments I make from foraged plants with medicinal properties, along with the two kinds of synthetic insulin and antifungal medicine I take, various forms of sugar and mold. I also add earth elements such as mica, graphite, charcoal, ash, chalk and ochre. The process of making each piece really evolves over several days and weeks, including the time I am out on the land gathering raw materials, and then in the studio laboriously processing the elemental components by hand into workable materials. 

The pieces I create with these wildcrafted pigments are talismans intended to evoke healing. The forms include mandalas, spirals and the infinity symbol, as well as organs, fascia, cells, and even the shape of the cavity in my left lung created by the Coccidioides (a microscopic fungal spore that lives in the arid soils of the Southwest and causes what is commonly called Valley Fever) which took up residence there over 8 years ago during the end of my 15-year-long career as an archaeologist.

from Morphological Analysis of 24 Nodules of Brook's Creek Obsidian, A Naturally Occurring Black Glass of Volcanic Origin

OPP: Morphological Analysis of 24 Nodules of Brook's Creek Obsidian, A Naturally Occurring Black Glass of Volcanic Origin and LCD, point to archeological methods. Why is drawing more appropriate than photography for the content of these projects?

TG: The LCD works are actually mixed media pieces comprised largely of pigments I made from dissolved metals such as copper which are used in the production of liquid crystal display screens. The form is based on an iPhone 7 and the content is both a demystification and wonderment at the technology so many people use to capture mundane imagery with smart phones. 

I chose to draw found nodules of obsidian, natural black volcanic glass, to render the details of each rock in a way that photography just cannot capture. The practice of drawing stone tools is something I honed in the 15 years I worked as an archaeologist and I felt compelled to return to. The drawings are a meditation on the focused observation of details; a practice I feel in many ways has been eroded by the oversaturation of images we are subject to through social media and digital technology, particularly the use of cell phone cameras. The black glass is a reference to the ubiquitous screens on which such imagery is captured and viewed.

6" x 4" Graphite on paper. 2015

OPP: What are you up to these days, in your practice and your life?

TG: Since relocating from California to New Mexico and taking on the full time position as Residency Program Manager at the Santa Fe Art Institute, much of my focus has been on my role as an arts administrator and curator (i.e. supporting other artists). But outside of that work, I have been spending a lot of time wildcrafting pigments from native and invasive plant species found throughout the Middle Rio Grande Valley and establishing my home pigment, herb, and vegetable gardens. 

I am working towards a holistic, self-sustainable practice that integrates my reverence for plants, including 22 years of eating a plant-based diet, with herbalism, and crafting all of my own all natural art materials from what grows in my yard. Right now I am fumbling through hand making my own paper from the many mulberry trees and other invasive species such as Russian Elm and Tamarisk (Salt Cedar) that are prolific in this part of New Mexico. 

To see more of Toni's work, please visit tonigentilli.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017) and Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018). Most recently, Stacia created Renunciation Reliquary as a one-night installation for Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1293769 2018-06-13T20:28:09Z 2018-06-13T20:31:12Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Kaitlynn Redell

not her(e) (couch), 2016. Digital c-print.

KAITLYNN REDELL's work often begins with photographs, both found and made. Photography's history is steeped in the myth of pure and accurate representation of reality, making it a perfect medium to explore the errors we make when define humans only by their bodies. By cutting into, drawing on and collaging photographic imagery, she explores the relationship between the identities we choose and the ones forced upon us by others. Kaitlynn received her BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2009 and her MFA from Parsons the New School for Design in 2013. She has participated in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally. Her work has been seen most recently in Labors: An Exhibition Exploring the Complexities of Motherhood at Pearl Conard Gallery, Ohio State University in Mansfield, Ohio and the 32nd Biennial of Graphic Arts: Birth as Criterion in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Kaitlynn has been an Parent Artist Resident with her daughter at Popps PackingIn addition to her solo work, she is one half of Redell & Jimenez, an ongoing collaboration with artist Sara Jimenez. They have been Artists-in-Residence at the Wassaic Project and Yaddo. Kaitlynn lives and works in Los Angeles.

OtherPeoplesPixels: Your work addresses “inbetweeness and how ‘unidentifiable’ bodies—that do not identify with standard categories—negotiate identity.” Generally speaking, how do you think about the relationship between identity and the body?

Kaitlynn Redell: This is such a complex question.  I think what is most important to distinguish is the difference between the identities we choose for ourselves versus the identities that are placed upon us by others. I think we are lucky to live in a moment when that distinction is becoming more widely acknowledged. Unfortunately, however, I think the identities that are most commonly placed upon us are directly tied to the body and unfortunately are often used as a way to categorize and control.

Alternate (1), 2011. Cut laser print. 11" x 17."

OPP: Do you always, sometimes or never use your own body/image in the work to address your conceptual concerns? Why or why not?

KR: My work always comes from the personal, so it often makes sense to use my body/image as a direct medium. Sometimes it is more obscured than other times. I am very conscious of the generalized connotations the image of my body has on the work, so how and when I use my body directly correlates to how aware I want the viewer to be to their own assumptions of my identity.

Supporting as Herself (Civic Duty), 2013. Graphite on Duralar.

OPP: Can you talk about the role of hair in Supporting As Herself? I see figures obscured—almost mummified—by their own hair.

KR: Supporting As Herself explores how film stills of Anna May Wong, the 1920s Chinese American actress, carry a sense of historical weight and serve as a contested foundation for my own understanding of identity. The manipulated representation of her public image, the stereotypical roles she played and my proximity to her birthplace—Chinatown, Los Angeles—have created an aura that haunts me to the core. I see Wong as a lynch pin for what it means to be both simultaneously American and foreign. . . to be “othered.”

In my series Supporting as Herself, I use photographs of Wong as a starting point. Through performative mimicking, photography, collage and drawing I explore the ways in which Wong presented/performed race and gender. I created a series of figurative collages and drawings using publicity stills of Wong and images of myself mimicking her poses as reference material. I am interested in how my figurative collages/drawings reference Wong’s image as a starting point, but become amorphous bodies engaged in their own language. The drawing sections done in graphite reference hair, fabric, muscle or some sort of tightly bound covering.  This rendering is meticulous and realistic, but unclear as to if it is hair, muscle or some other sort of fiber. Ultimately, I am interested in how these shape-shifting figures begin to create their own histories, of their own accord.

not her(e) (table), 2017. Digital c-print.

OPP: Your most recent series Not Her(e) gets at the complicated emotions involved in motherhood. These photographs point to the loss of identity and the subsuming of self into the role of mother. Can you talk about the process of making these photographs?

KR: When my daughter was first born, I had a really hard time transitioning my studio practice. My time was so fragmented and when I did get in the studio (aka my dining room table at the time), I felt like I was totally lost and didn’t know what to make. I thought about Mierle Laderman Ukeles’ Maintenance Manifesto every, single day. 

So, I began to change my ways of working to fit my new routine, both conceptually and materially. I was looking at a lot of Victorian Hidden Mother portraiture and thinking about how much of becoming a parent is about being loving and supportive and well as being invisible. And not only how emotional, but physical it was to become this support. I started thinking about and making drawings for this body of work when my daughter was a month old. We shot our first image when she was three months and the last when she was almost two years old. I started making “furniture costumes” for every piece of furniture I used to take care of my kid. And then I would inhabit these costumes and become a part of the support.

Counterbalance, 2012. Collaboration with Sara Jimenez. Single channel video. 0:54 min, loop.

OPP: What does it mean to have a “bi-coastal” collaborative practice with artist Sara Jimenez?

KR: Sara and I started collaborating in 2012 in graduate school at Parsons in New York. She still lives there, but I moved back to LA the summer after graduation. Our collaboration has always been project-based, and we have continued to work in this manner even though we are not in the same city. We apply collaboratively to residencies as well as spend short, intense periods of time together starting and completing projects. We also spend a lot of time planning over video chat. Most recently we attended the Yaddo residency in upstate New York together and will be curating an exhibition here in LA in 2019. The exhibition will include works by artists who explore poetic gestures of the body as an evolving site of communication, language, history and myth, via collaborative based projects. Specifically we are interested in how the process of collaboration activates a space for collective negotiation of our physical and psychic embodiment of identity.

OPP: How has this collaboration influenced or affected your solo practice?

KR: Collaborating with Sara has always been a part of my “mature” art career, so it absolutely affects my solo practice. When you collaborate, you constantly have to discuss every detail with another person and can't just get lost in your own head. So it has really helped me to verbalize my process both physically and conceptually. Before we started collaborating, our solo practices came from very similar conceptual places—which is a big reason why our collaboration has always felt so natural—but were somewhat different in terms of discipline. I come from a drawing, papercutting, painting, textiles/fashion background and Sara from a performance, video and sculpture background. We both had this history of body movement (Sara with dance and me with gymnastics) and I think performing collaboratively with her really allowed me to access that physical space again.

Domestic Air, Space, 2017. Cut digital c-print and balsa wood. 19 x 19 x 5 inches.

OPP: What are you working on right now?

KR: Aside from the curatorial project with Sara, I’m also working on a series of drawings, collages and paper-cut photographs about my great Auntie Hilda Yen. She’s actually my mother’s Aunt, but in Chinese culture the term “Auntie” is kind of all-encompassing for female relatives and close family friends that aren’t your mother or grandmother. I never had the opportunity to meet Hilda, but I am interested in the fluidity of memory and the influx nature of personal and collective histories, which has brought me to researching her. Hilda was one of the first female, Chinese aviators (beginning in the 1930s) and was a member of the League of Nations and the World Women’s Party for Equal Rights. 

I’m interested in the sort of historical and personal mythology that has been built around her and how women like her are so often left out of “commonly known” history. As I’ve gotten deeper into the research she’s become more and more fascinating to me in terms of how she’s been represented (or not) as a historical figure. Equally there is this whole other side in relation to my family’s personal memories of her. I’m interested in the kind of dovetailing between my mother and uncle’s fragmented memories of her and the glimpses of her “historical” representation in newspaper articles and League of Nations documents. A lot of the documentation is so representative of the racial and gender biases of the time period; I’m interested in how that narrative frames the information provided and only tells a fragment of the story. I think that one—unnervingly contemporary—quote from Hilda’s 1935 address to the League of Nations sums up how I interpret her mythology: “Give your women legal equality willingly and in good spirit, or have it taken from you.”

To see more of Kaitlynn's work, please visit kaitlynnredell.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center. Where Do We Go From Here? just closed at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois). In conjunction with this improvised installation, Stacia invited eight OPP artists—Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite, Brent Fogt, Melinda Thorpe Gordon, Jaclyn Jacunski, Jenny Kendler, Meg Leary,  Geoffry Smalley and Erin Washington—to respond to the text "Where Do We Go From Here?" Each artist approached the question from a different angle, emphasizing that both the We and the Here are not the same for each of us. For Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress, Stacia will create a one-night installation that solicits the help of benefit attendees.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1291635 2018-06-07T13:04:59Z 2018-06-07T14:03:32Z Unique Residencies with Very Specific Agendas

LOOKING FOR AN EXTREMELY SECLUDED RETREAT?

Montello Foundation Artist Retreat —Montello, Nevada

Deadline: current deadline has passed; check back in January
Application Fee: $15
Residency Fee: none
Length: 2 weeks
Stipend: no
Food: no meals provided
Family Members/Pets: Sure, no problem, bring them along, but the maximum number of occupants at any given time is 4. And please bring your own blankets for your hairy friends. The Foundation will expect that you will cleanup after your pets and that any damage to the building will be repaired and/or the foundation compensated.

Montello Foundation is a foundation dedicated to support artists who foster our understanding of nature, its fragility, and our need to protect it. The idea behind the retreat is that you are in this amazing desert landscape by yourself.  It's all yours, and you are part of all what is around you. There is no direct interaction with other humans, no staff or other artists, you don't have to be social or not, decide whether you go to your room or chat all night. You focus on being social using your art you work on while you are there, or do sketches to work on it afterwards, or you can just relax from working and spend two week in the hammock. (We are sure you will have at least one great thought and will act upon it afterwards.) Your social responsibility is with the audience of your work, not the immediate humans around you. What's important is to get the message out: Nature is a fragile thing and we have to take care of it. So, no meals are provided, but you will have a fine little kitchen with a fridge.*

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ARE YOU A NATIVE OR FIRST NATIONS ARTIST?

Institute of American Indian Arts A-I-R — Santa Fe, New Mexico

Deadline: March 28, 2018
Application Fee: none
Residency Fee: none
Length: 3-8 weeks
Stipend: $2250 for a three-week residency; $3000 for four-week residency; $4500 for a six-week residency; $6000 for the eight-week Sculpture and Foundry Residency
Food: yes

The IAIA Artist-in-Residence (A-i-R) Program hosts artists for variable-length residencies taking place on the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the Academic year. Each A-i-R program provides opportunities for Native and First Nations artists to travel to the IAIA campus in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for a meaningful period of art-making and interaction with IAIA students, staff and faculty, and the Santa Fe arts community. Applicants whose work engages with cultural traditions through materials, techniques and subject matter are particularly encouraged to apply.

Housing, meal plan for one person on campus, and $200 budget for gas during residency, studio space on campus, $500 materials budget, and airfare to and from IAIA and reimbursement for a rental car, or mileage reimbursement for artists driving a personal vehicle to travel for the residency.

Opening and closing receptions, public workshops and demonstrations, classroom visits, critique sessions with students, and events hosted by other organizations in Santa Fe. There are four types of residencies available: Studio, Sculpture and Foundry, NEA and Sunrise Springs Residencies.

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH MASTER ARTISTS (INCLUDING WRITERS, COMPOSERS AND VISUAL ARTISTS) IN AN INTERDISCIPLINARY ENVIRONMENT?

Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist Residency — New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Deadline: deadline for each session is different; view schedule
Application Fee: $25
Residency Fee: $900; financial aid available if accepted
Length: 3 week
Stipend: none
Food: 3 meals a day Monday-Friday; Meals are not provided on the weekends, however, ACA arranges transportation to the market twice a week and the kitchen facilities are available 24/7.

Atlantic Center for the Arts is an innovative nonprofit artists-in-residence program that provides artists with an opportunity to work and collaborate with some of the world’s masters in the visual, literary, and performing arts. Since the program began in 1982, over 3500 artists have been served from the US and around the world.

The three week Residency Program brings together three “Master Artists” from different disciplines, such as the visual arts (painting, sculpture, photography, film/video, and multimedia), architecture, music (composition and performance), literature, choreography, dance, performance art, and theater. Each Master Artist determines the requirements and basic structure of their residency, and through an online application process, they each select eight “Associate Artists” to participate in the three-week program. The essence of the program is to provide a collegial environment for artists of all disciplines where they can engage in meaningful interaction and stimulating discussions, while pursuing individual or group projects. It is an ideal setting for the exchange of ideas, the inspiration for new work, and the cross-fertilization of disciplines. The programs can include formal classes, discussions, individual meetings, individual and group critiques, collaboration, and studio time. The award-winning Leeper Studio Complex provides residents with resources such as a painting studio, sculpture studio, digital media studio, dance studio, music/recording studio, writers’ studio, black box theatre and library.

Associate Artists are provided with a private room with a full-size bed, bathroom with shower, small refrigerator, and desk space with a view of the natural vegetation.

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ARE YOU CONCERNED WITH THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART and CONSCIOUSNESS?

Lucid Art Foundation — Inverness, California

Deadline: mid-November of each year
Application Fee: $40
Residency Fee: none
Length: 3 weeks
Stipend: none
Food: Lunch provided on weekends; nearest grocery store is 3.8 miles away, so a car is necessary.

The goal of the Lucid Art Residency Program is to provide artists with a serene, retreat-like natural environment for creative exploration and inquiry into arts and consciousness. The mission of the Lucid Art Foundation is to explore the phenomena of the inner worlds and deep levels of consciousness through visual arts, spontaneous painting, writings, and other means to make visible the otherwise invisible, creating an inclusive way of seeing that is in harmony with the natural world of which we are a part.

The Lucid Art Foundation encourages exploration of nonrepresentational art through multimedia, conceptual, ecological, and interdisciplinary approaches. During the three-week residency, artists will have the opportunity to explore the practice of lucid art, with special emphasis on the integration of art, process, and inner awareness. Through this practice, a deeper foundation is created that fosters individual artistic growth and development, as well as the understanding of the artist's role in society.

The residency provides a space to live in (the former studio of the late writer Jacqueline Johnson) and a 650-square-foot art studio called “the Ark.” The Ark was built in 1960 and was a former studio of painter Gordon Onslow Ford and mixed media artist Fariba Bogzaran. The large studio pictured above has a wood burning fireplace, restroom, sink, high ceilings with upper loft, wood walls, skylights, and a private deck off the sliding glass patio doors.The cottage has Wi-Fi, a bedroom, a living room, 2 bathrooms, wood burning stove, continuous wooden deck, and a full kitchen stocked with necessary cooking utensils. Parking and laundry facilities are on-site. There is also a print shop with a Sturges press available for use by artists who are experienced printmakers. Only water based mediums may be used on the press.*

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IS YOUR WORK SITE-RESPONSIVE? 
ARE YOU INSPIRED BY UNDERUSED SPACES? 
DO YOU LIKE TO GET OUT OF THE WHITE CUBE?

THE BIRDSELL PROJECT —South Bend, Indiana

Deadline: April 10th
Application Fee: $25
Residency Fee: none
Length: 6-9 weeks in the summer
Stipend: $500 for materials
Food: none

The Birdsell Project seeks to revitalize underutilized spaces by opening them to artists and the community in South Bend, a rust-belt city in northern Indiana. The Birdsell Project creates community space that reflects upon South Bend’s history, celebrates current artistic endeavors, and experiments with future methods of merging art and community.

The Birdsell Project Residency Program invites artists to create work in underutilized buildings around downtown South Bend. Artists participating in the residency will create site-specific installations that respond to the spaces they are working in, allowing artists and the public new ways to contemplate and understand these spaces. The program offers a collaborative environment for participating artists as well as engages them with the community at large.

The 2018 summer residency will culminate in a show in a century-old production facility that once housed a dry-cleaners—the location changes each year.

Artists will have access to the installation space and separate work space throughout the residency. Artists are encouraged to use the installation space as their primary studio space, so that the work can truly respond to and be integrated with the building. The residency provides access to some tools. Residents will be housed in a home within a 20 minute walk of downtown. We encourage a cooperative living environment and artists are expected to contribute to the maintenance of the house and communal work spaces. Local artists are not required to live in Birdsell Project accommodations.

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ARE YOU A LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANS or QUEER IDENTIFYING EMERGING ARTIST?

Fire Island Artist Residency — Fire Island, New York

Deadline: March 25, annually 
Application Fee: $45 
Residency Fee: none 
Length: July 21 - August 16 
Stipend: stipend for food

Fire Island Artist Residency (FIAR) is an organization founded in 2011 which brings lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer identifying emerging artists to Fire Island, a place long-steeped in LGBTQ history, to create, commune, and contribute to the location's rich artistic history.

FIAR provides free live/work space to five selected artist residents who work, research, relax, and immerse themselves in the Fire Island community, during which time they are visited by a handful of renowned visiting artists, curators, and art professionals who commune with residents through intimate visits, dinners, and discussions, providing support and feedback. The greater Fire Island community as well as visitors from New York and Long Island are invited to attend free public lectures by these esteemed guests. This has been made possible through a partnership with Arts Project Cherry Grove. FIAR occupies rented beach house properties which are modestly converted into live/work spaces which include outdoor space for artist working with materials requiring ventilation as well as a small selection of hand tools such as drills.

In this way, FIAR hopes to bring both new creative perspectives and prestigious art professionals together in this extraordinary location to foster the creation—and preservation—of queer art-making in contemporary art.*

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ARE YOU PART OF A COLLABORATIVE OR A COLLECTIVE?

Drop Forge & Tool’s Creative Residencies — Hudson, New York

Deadline: Jan 15 (for summer), May 15 (for fall) and September 15 (for winter) 
Application Fee: $10 
Residency Fee: $175 per person per week, with discounts offered for collaborative groups of 4 or more. We reserve a few spaces each residency period for artists or collaborative groups who do not have funding and cannot afford the fee. 
Length: a few days to 3 weeks 
Stipend: none 
Food: basic breakfast supplies and one dinner per week with the directors

Our emphasis is on collaborative process and new work development. We prioritize residency applications as follows: 1) Collaborative Group: A group of two or more artists looking for residency time for concentrated collaborative work on the same project. 2) Co-working Group: A group of two or more artists who are would like to share residency time and space together, but are not necessarily collaborating on the same project. 3)Individual Artist: One artist willing to share the residency space with one or many other artists.

We can accommodate 7-12 artists at a time—or more, if you’re good friends! Residents are responsible for taking everyday care of the residency space, doing basic household chores (like dishes, cleaning and taking out the trash), and helping with seasonal work like snow shoveling or gardening where needed.

For artists who would like an opportunity to show their work-in-progress to a friendly, supportive community, we can host a performance, open studio, or other type of showing, either in the DF&T space, or with a local partner. In the past, we’ve had theater performances, house concerts, book release parties, open readings, small gallery viewings and open studios.*

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DO YOU WORK IN A CRAFT MEDIUM? WANT A REALLY LOOOOOOONG RESIDENCY?

Penland School of Crafts — Penland, North Carolina

Deadline: January 15th
Application Fee: $25
Residency Fee: Rent: $187.50 per month Utilities: $150-$200 per month
Length: 3 years
Stipend: none
Food: Meals are provided when the school is in session, approximately March-April, June-August, and mid-September-mid-November

Penland's resident artists are full-time, self-supporting artists who spend three years living and working in the Penland School of Crafts community. The program is designed for artists who are at some pivotal moment in their career—the residency is an opportunity for them to test ideas and make choices that will have a lasting effect on their work and their lives. Resident artists may use the time to develop their studio practice, to work out the practicalities of making a living, to push technical and conceptual boundaries, or to explore entirely new directions in their work.

The primary expectation of resident artists is that they engage intently with their work. They are also expected to have an open door policy, welcoming students, instructors, and the public to their studios, both informally and formally through the resident open house that is part of each Penland session. Pets, spouses and children allowed.

Education at Penland is built around intense, total-immersion workshops. The resident artist program enriches the workshop program in a variety of ways: students are inspired by the work and the work spaces of the resident artists, who serve as models for the kind of commitment required for sustained artistic production. And, with seven or eight participants at any given time, the program provides diverse examples of ways to make a life in craft.

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*Text taken directly from residency websites.


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OPP
tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1289074 2018-05-30T12:12:54Z 2018-06-07T13:21:49Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Hoesy Corona

Alien Nation, 2017. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

HOESY CORONA takes a multimedia approach to art-making. His complex performance works, which involve movement, costume, light and sound, balance alienation with celebration. His sculptural works explore the role of scapegoating in maintaining cultural dominance. Concerned with a queerness, immigration and climate change, he explores the many forms of marginalization in North American society. Hoesy earned his BFA at The Maryland Institute College of Art in 2009 and is currently a MAT candiate. He has exhibited at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Walters Art Museum and The Peale Museum, among numerous others. In 2017, he received an Andy Warhol Foundation Grit Fund Grant and, in 2016, a Ruby’s Project Grant in Visual Arts. He is a 2017-2018 Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow, as well as an Artist-in Residence at the Fillmore School Studio in Washington, D.C. Hoesy lives and works in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland.

OtherPeoplesPixels: Costumes that obscure the identity of the wearer feature prominently in your performance work, especially The Nobodies (2009-present). Who are The Nobodies?

Hoesy Corona: The Nobodies are no one and everyone at once. In this series I consider what it means to be a disenfranchised member of society in North America by embodying the abstract concept of nobody, nothing all of a sudden becomes individualized, becomes body and eyes, becomes no one. I started this series after reading The Labyrinth of Solitude by Octavio Paz in which he describes the fraught psyches in the relationship between Mexico and The United States in detail. As a Mexican immigrant artist living in the U.S. for most of my life, I consider the paradox of the simultaneous visibility and invisibility of the immigrant in the U.S. In this series I invite audience members to participate in the act of nobodying, an operation that consists of making somebody into nobody. 

Nobodies Gala, 2016.

OPP: Can you talk about the materials you use to construct the wearable sculptures?

HC: I use a variety of familiar everyday materials to construct these wearable sculptures. When I started the series in 2009, I was working as a florist and was drawn to discarded floral packaging materials—cellophane, ribbons, mylar, silk florals, and mesh nettings—and collected them obsessively. Once I had amassed a substantial amount of stuff, I then transformed the materials into other-worldly colorful wearable sculptures that accompanied a live performance. I no longer work as a florist, but I am still interested in using different types of plastics as well as wigs, silk flowers, lights, clear film, and adhesive vinyls to construct new Nobodies

OPP: What kinds of movements do the Nobodies perform in public spaces?

HC: The movements in the Nobodies are very subtle and sculptural. Oftentimes, viewers don’t realize that the  sculptures are being animated by real people. The slow movements invite the audience members to pause as they consider the situation before them. In public spaces these performances are particularly poignant as the unsuspecting viewers encounter the Nobodies in their natural setting. 

Scapegoat Monument, 2014.

OPP: The Scapegoats show up both as static sculptures—some life sized and some tiny—and performance characters. Do you see one iteration as more successful than the other? How do they work differently on the audience?

HC: I often intertwine the archetype of the scapegoat as a way to have us visualize the strategic selection of somebody, made into nobody, for the supposed wellbeing of the group. The sculptural forms don’t always involve a live performance, but are still performative in their context. In Scapegoat Thrones, for instance, I use found chair structures as the base of each sculpture and ask audience members to consider the cost of the comfort that is afforded to them in the world. So while there is no live performance involved, the audience can still imagine themselves in relation to the chair forms. Most recently during a residency at Ox-Bow School of Art, I worked in the ceramic studio to construct miniature Scapegoat Idols that can be handled by audience members. My hope is that one day each person in the US will have their own Scapegoat Idol that they can use to liberate themselves from negative feelings of blame and shame.

Scapegoat Idol, 2016

OPP: Tell us about Alien Nation (2017) at the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington D.C. 

HC: Alien Nation, curated by Victoria Reis at The Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, was my most ambitious site specific performance to date. It included with 24 performers and two musicians. This mysterious and surprising shadow casting performance originated in response to the unique circular architecture of the museum. I knew I wanted to do something of a global scale that implicated a broad audience and included as many people as possible, so I conceived the idea of climate induced migration as a very real issue of our time that needs to be voiced. 

OPP: The piece was viewable from the inside and from the outside. . . how were the viewing experiences different?

HC: Although the museum was open late and visitors had the opportunity to sneak a peek of the performers on the second floor rotunda, most of the 1,200 audience members were patiently waiting outside around the fountain for the performance to begin as intended. Once outside, audience members saw 24 climate-immigrants backlit with purple light creating mysterious and surprising shadows in each of the 24 windows on the second floor rotunda. The 24 performers wore what I call “climate ponchos,” which included head gear that obscured the performers faces, an approach I chose because of the mystery and anonymity it afforded. Always silent these figures created subtle, sculptural movements in various locations that were complemented by live drumming juxtaposed with natural foley sounds that included ice-cracking, loons, and running water.  Slowly over the course of the performance the Climate-Immigrants started to descend downstairs and continued on their journey through the sea of bodies.

The clear wearable climate ponchos were adorned with images that depicted the archetype of the Traveler, with the people depicted wearing backpacks, carrying suitcases, wearing hats and some holding children. They were all on their way somewhere, in one direction a lot of the times. This simple showing of people in movement, in transition, resonates with a world-wide issue and echoed the reality of the viewers as they themselves traversed space to witness the performance. 

Alien Nation, 2017. Video documentation of performance.

OPP: In the Fall of 2017, you began a Fellowship at the Halcyon Arts Lab. Tell us bit about the program and your experience. How did it change your work?

HC: Halcyon Arts Lab is a fully funded, nine-month, international incubator that nurtures socially engaged artists in Washington D.C. I was lucky enough to be selected as one of 8 fellows for the inaugural cohort 2017-2018 to continue my work on Alien Nation. The program includes a range of professional development opportunities as well as tons of studio visits from renowned arts professionals. In addition, I am being mentored by Alberto Fierro Garza, Director of The Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington D.C. and mentoring a young artist myself. In the short seven months that I’ve been here, my practice has strengthen by leaps and bounds, I suspect this has everything to do with the nurturing environment the fellowship provides. I encourage all socially engaged artists to keep an eye on this fellowship and consider applying in the years to come! 

To see more of Hoesy's work, please visit hoesycorona.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center. Where Do We Go From Here? just closed at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois). In conjunction with this improvised installation, Stacia invited eight OPP artists—Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite, Brent Fogt, Melinda Thorpe Gordon, Jaclyn Jacunski, Jenny Kendler, Meg Leary,  Geoffry Smalley and Erin Washington—to respond to the text "Where Do We Go From Here?" Each artist approached the question from a different angle, emphasizing that both the We and the Here are not the same for each of us. For Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress, Stacia will create a one-night installation that solicits the help of benefit attendees.

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OPP
tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1286649 2018-05-23T13:07:26Z 2018-05-30T13:59:53Z A Sampling of Media-Specific Residencies

Lawrence Arts Center 
Location: Lawrence, Kansas 
Deadline: April 15 
Application Fee: $35 
Residency Fee: none 
Length: 1 year (August 1 - July 31) 
Stipend: $1000 per month 
Food: none

Ceramics and Printmaking Artist-in-Residency programs are designed to provide a creative environment for emerging artists and to broaden the center’s students and faculty awareness of new approaches and techniques. These year-long residencies begin on August 1 and end on July 31. The ideal candidates should have an MFA in ceramics and printmaking, respectively, and be self-directed and able to work independently. Preference is given to candidates who have demonstrated artistic excellence as well as interest in experimentation and innovative techniques. The resident will be provided studio space, a private bedroom in a shared housing facility, a monthly stipend of $1,000, and 24 hour access to all studios, including print, ceramics, drawing and painting, metal, photography, and digital media. These 12-month residencies provide a multi-faceted experience that includes teaching, community outreach, interaction with other artists, and studio care, and culminate in an exhibition of new work. Click here for facilities.

Project-based Residencies also available:
The goal of project-based residences at the Lawrence Arts Center is to help support, sustain, and foster growth in the arts and artists by providing material support for development of special projects, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary works, helping local artists to create works competitive on a national scale. Selected artists receive a stipend for their project, use of studio space at Arts Center during established times, and up to 8 hours of private instruction in any studio space or medium. Selected artists will receive a stipend of up to $300 per project, use of studio space at Arts Center established times, and up to 8 hours of private instruction in any studio space or medium. Housing will be provided, and the duration of the project based residency is 2 weeks – 4 months.

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Lux Art Center 
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska 
Deadline: April 1 
Application Fee: $15 
Residency Fee: none 
Length: 1 year (beginning in August) 
Stipend: $80 per month for supplies; Residents have priority for paid teaching opportunities including community art classes for youth and adults. Residents with an MFA or BFA in painting, metals or ceramics may have the opportunity to teach college art classes for Doane College-Lincoln campus, held at the LUX.  
Housing: none

LUX Center for the Arts is a non-profit arts center that has been serving the Lincoln community for 40 years.  LUX Center for the Arts began its residency program in 2003 to provide emerging artists with opportunities to hone their studio skills and gain an appreciation for teaching public art classes for youth and adults.  Residencies are offered in ceramics, painting, drawing, mixed media, fibers, and metals. These opportunities are tailored to artists who have an appreciation for community both at the LUX and within the larger context of Lincoln. Three positions available: two for ceramics, and one for painting, drawing, metals, fibers, or mixed media. Artists with more than one area of expertise and a strong desire to teach are preferred. This residency can be extended an additional year if both the LUX and the artist agree. 

All residents are offered exclusive representation in the sales gallery for the duration of their residency. Residents of a year or longer are also given a solo exhibition during one of the final months of their residency. There are also one large and one small experimental gallery where residents can try their hand at curating group exhibitions as well as students and community shows. 

90 sq. ft. - 140 sq. ft. private studios are provided for each resident. Studio assignments are based on seniority and size of artwork. Additional workspace is available in our larger teaching studios as needed. All residents have access to equipment regardless of artistic discipline. Training on other equipment can be provided if needed.

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Lower East Side Printshop 
Location: New York, New York 
Deadline: March 1, 2018
Application Fee: none 
Residency Fee: none 
Length: 1 year (April 1 - October 1) 
Stipend: $1000 
Food and Lodging: none

The Keyholder Residency Program offers emerging artists free 24-hour access to printmaking facilities to develop new work and foster their artistic careers. Keyholders work independently, in a productive atmosphere alongside other contemporary artists. Artists from all disciplines are eligible to apply; print-making skills are not required, but some familiarity with the medium is recommended. Basic instruction in printmaking techniques is available for new Keyholders. Technical assistance is not included in the program, but is available at additional cost.

Participation is competitive. Applications are evaluated by a rotating committee of artists, critics, curators, and art professionals based on the quality of submitted artwork. A total of 8 artists are awarded the residency annually. Artists based in the New York City area and without access to a studio space are encouraged to apply.

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Kala Art Institute 
Location: Berkeley, California 
Deadline: May 18 
Application Fee: $30 
Stipend: $3,000 for Fellows 
Length: 1-6 months 
Food and Lodging: none

For over 30 years, Kala Art Institute has annually awarded artists time, space, and financial support for their work through the Kala Fellowship award. The Kala Fellowship award is an international competition open to artists from the U.S. and around the world. Artists producing innovative work in all mediums including printmaking, digital media, installation art, social practice, photography, and book arts are encouraged to apply. Fellowship Awards are given based on conceptual creativity, originality, and artistic excellence as well as technical knowledge. Please note that this is a studio residency only; housing is not included. Artists are responsible for finding their own housing.

In 2018, Kala will award six artists a $3,000 stipend, unlimited access to Kala’s facilities for up to six months, one Kala class, and a culminating show in the Kala Gallery. The award is geared towards supporting artists in completing specific projects or bodies of work that would benefit from Kala’s specialized equipment in printmaking and digital media.

Non-fellowship AIR
Artists working in various printmaking techniques, photo-processes, book arts and digital media including video production can apply to become an Artist-in-Residence. Residency applications are accepted online three times per year. Artists who apply for a residency should be familiar with at least one of the media offered at Kala. Considerations for acceptance are conceptual creativity and technical knowledge. Resident artists receive year-round 24-hour access to the printmaking workshop and/or electronic media center, individual storage space, possible exposure on Kala’s website and in other exhibitions at Kala or outside exhibition spaces, and participation in a vital, international artistic community. Artists also receive a 20% discount on classes and private tutoring offered by Kala.

Parent Artist Residency
We recognize that each artist-family has its own set of challenges when seeking a residency program. Families with multiple children of varying ages have different needs than families with older, more independent children. By offering a flexible residency experience in addition to our standard residency programs, we hope to create multiple entry points for artists to create artwork amidst the ever-evolving and diverse demands of family life. The Parent Artist Residency Program at Kala is generously supported by Sustainable Arts Foundation. In 2017, Kala offered a fifth round of Parent Artist Residency Awards to seven recipients. Each parent artist awardee will create an individual residency plan with up to $1000 worth of services that cover the residency, classes, Camp Kala for their children, or consulting with Kala staff about professional development opportunities.

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Spudnik Press Cooperative 
Location: Chicago, Illinois 
Deadline: April 1 
Application Fee: none 
Stipend: $250 to $900 
Length: 1-6 weeks (June 1, 2018 – August 31, 2018) 
Food and Lodging: none

The Spudnik Press Cooperative Residency Program provides mid-career to established artists one to six weeks of full studio access and the support necessary for the production of new print-based artwork. The Residency Program supports a broad range of artists, including those working outside of the discipline of printmaking and in communities beyond Chicago. Each residency will be modified to adapt to the interests and needs of the individual artist.

The Resident Artists also play an integral role in the Spudnik Press community, bringing new perspectives, experiences and resources as they partake in a variety of public programs and professional opportunities throughout the duration of their residency. These activities vary from one artist to the next and may entail participating in artist talks, private events, and critiques, teaching master workshops, or presenting an exhibition.

Stipends offered to each resident artist will vary based on the duration of the residency, travel distance or travel costs, and estimated time commitment to community-based activities such as teaching, guest speaking, and providing studio visits. 

For the first time, our Residency Program is now open to national and international artists.  However, the program is dedicated to supporting at least one local artist each year. Please note that this is a studio residency only; housing is not included. Artists are responsible for finding their own housing.*

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Harvest Works 
Location: New York, New York 
Deadline: the 2018 deadline has passed; check back in January 2019 
Application Fee: $5 
Stipend: $2,000 artist fee; up to $3000 more for for TEAM lab activities including research and development, sound and image production, programming and prototyping
Length: 11 months 
Food and Lodging: none

The Harvestworks New Works Residency is a national program that offers American artists and legal US residents commissions of up to $5000 to make a new work in our Technology, Engineering, Art and Music (TEAM) lab.  Each artist receives up to a $2000 artist fee with the balance of the award used for TEAM lab activities including research and development, sound and image production, programming and prototyping. The artist works with a team comprised of Harvestworks’ Project Manager and consultants, technicians or instructors. The proposed projects should explore new aesthetic premises and push the boundaries of conventional art forms and media.

Special Initiatives: The Harvestworks Creative Residency Program in Emerging Technology will commission artists using emerging technology such as biosensors, immersive audio and video, virtual and augmented reality, camera and eye tracking systems, data sonification or visualization, mobile, new computer interfaces and controllers and new ways to engage with social media and communities.

Composers are encouraged to apply to explore new technology for space and spatialization of sound in contemporary music.

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Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center 
Location: Troy, New York 
Deadline: rolling, at least nine months before your desired residency 
Application Fee: none 
Stipend: none 
Length: depends on project 
Housing: EMPAC may support residencies with accommodation in the EMPAC artist residency housing, a building with four apartments. 
Facilities and equipment: click here

We encourage applications for a wide range of projects from a diversity of artists, composers, directors, choreographers, and performers of different cultural and geographic backgrounds. We are open to proposals for all phases of a project, from initial concept to full production. If EMPAC is interested in supporting the project, subsequent meetings will be conducted with the curatorial and production teams to discuss content, technology, budget, timeline and overall resources. A project proposal may be adapted and updated based on the outcome of theses conversations.

We will provide on-campus accommodations and the technical infrastructure and staff to fulfill the project goals. Applicants must secure funding for travel, materials and fees associated with their project.

Our mission is to foster the development of new technologies for project-based needs, leverage recent scientific and engineering research directions within the scope of the creative process, and optimally use the complex infrastructure and resources. While there will be work produced at EMPAC that does not utilize “high-tech tools,” EMPAC especially encourages projects which take advantage of EMPAC’s unique capacities and infrastructure.

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Pulp & Deckle — Portland, Oregon 
Deadline: The application period for 2018 residencies is closed. Please check back in fall for the 2019 application. 
Application Fee: none 
Stipend: $250 
Length: 1 month (between May and August) 
Food and Lodging: none

The c3: Papermaking Residency was established in 2014 to engage artists with little or no experience in hand papermaking, and offer them an opportunity to learn the craft and stretch the limitations of what the medium can do. Provided with instruction, guidance and technical assistance from a professional papermaker/artist at our studio, residents create and exhibit new work outside their usual area of practice.

Each year, four artists are selected for intensive month long residencies during which they work in our studio. Lead papermaker, Jenn Woodward provides guidance for residents to help realize their individual projects. She also educates and assists residents with all equipment use, fiber preparation, cleaning, and any other studio needs. Upon completion of the year-long studio residency, a group exhibition is held at c3:initiative or a partnering location.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1283718 2018-05-15T12:12:26Z 2018-06-07T13:12:32Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Mikey Kelly

Be Love Now v1.0 17.084. Acrylic on linen. 60" diameter x 1-1/2" depth. 2017.

MIKEY KELLY (@mikeykellystudio) explores the spiritual undertones of abstract painting. Line is his primary mark, and his meticulous methods yield surprising, vibrating networks of color. Mikey earned his BFA at University of Oregon and his MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work is included in the permanent collections at the Cranbrook Museum of Art, the Frankl Foundation for Art and the Neiman Marcus Corporate Collection, and he has been an Artist-in-Residence at Kala Art Institute (Berkeley) and at Lucid Art Foundation (Inverness, CA). He's represented by Chandra Cerrito Contemporary(Oakland), where he has had two solo shows. His work is on view until May 20, 2018 in the Lucid Art Foundation Annual Artist Show at GRO in Point Reyes, California and in Proto_Pop at Dab Art in Ventura, California. Mikey lives and works in Napa, California, where he recently completed the Painted Poem Mural

OtherPeoplesPixels: In your statement, you say, “The paintings truly need to be seen in person to fully experience them.” What am I missing as a viewer who’s only seen your work online?

Mikey Kelly: Changing tonalities and perspectives can’t be caught by the single image capture of a camera and need an advanced brain and the higher resolution of the human eye to truly experience these effects. When one gets closer to the paintings colors begin to separate and what you may have thought was a blue was actuality your eye mixing two or even three different colors to make that blue. There are also times when the canvases seem to bow or stretch visually as one moves around the pieces. These paintings test the viewer’s visual, neural and perceptual plasticity.

Embattlements 13.218.1. Mild steel, powder coat. 26"H x 21"W x 4"D. 2013

OPP: You used to work in powder-coated steel (2011-2014). I see a formal connection between your current systems-based paintings and the line variations in the steel sculpture. Are the processes at all similar despite the difference in media?

MK: All my work starts with a line. Formally they begin at the same place, but the sculpture work is much older than the drawings and paintings. The sculptures did dramatically inform the drawing and painting from their beginning, as I was familiar with playing with lines and the patterns that overlaying subsequent lines create. The process of making work changed dramatically a few years ago when I moved from the sculptural realm to the two-dimensional.

Mantra (Om Namah Shivaya) 17.016. Acrylic on linen. 24"H x 24"W x 1-1/2"D. 2017.

OPP: Can you describe your algorithmic process for making paintings? 

MK: My process starts with an analog program using encryption methods developed for secretly passing information that can convert language into numbers. This is a generative way of designing paintings that leaves the outcome unknown. I start with a base 26 variation of a Vigenere cipher that allows me to convert language into numbers. The result is a string of numbers that I then use to calculate the angle of each series of lines. I end up with an algorithm that directs the line spacing, angle, line width and color in a predetermined sequence before I ever start painting. This means that I work with no preconceived idea of what the final piece will look like. Each series of lines results in color shifting and new interference patterns each step of the way.

Buddha 16.264. Acrylic on Linen. 11"H x 11"W x 1-1/2"D. 2016

OPP: How do you get such straight lines?

MK: The painting process starts with the construction of a scale outside the boundaries of the canvas. This allows me to use a straight edge to maintain the same angle across the canvas as each line is painted. I use a pin striping tool that was developed in the early 1900s—it is essentially a syringe with a wheel at the end. This tool allows me to paint consistent straight lines of the same width without variation.

OPP: What can the paintings do that the sculptures could not? And vice versa? 

MK: While both are quite formal, the paintings feel more like true expression of myself. Sculptures on the one hand allow space, distance, volume, light and shadow into play. This creates a lot of variables that a two-dimensional painting can never encompass. But the paintings have allowed me to incorporate outside interests into the design and underlying structure of the work. This is why I have been exploring ways of combining the two so I can incorporate what I love in both into one piece.

P.O.S., Acrylic on goatskin, wood and deer lacing, 62”H x 42”W x 1-1/2D.” 2018.

OPP: Recently, you’ve shifted away from the conventional rectangle to the circle and even stretched goat skin. What’s led you to this format change? Are these anomalies or an entirely new direction?

MK: This is definitely a new direction that the work is heading in. Working the way I do, I find that using a shape other than a square or rectangle allows for more freedom and a less confined feeling to the painting. This came about from working on a few murals and installations that I completed in the past year.

I have been working towards the goal of making more dimensional paintings that incorporate many different techniques and materials. I plan on incorporating more leather, steel and neon into my work in the near future. I find the flat surface of a painting to be confining and would like to see how warping or stretching the canvas or leather over other shapes will influence the viewing of the work.

The Happiness Project, 2018. StARTup Art Fair LA, Acrylic on Cardboard, 96”H x 192”W x 192”D.

OPP: Tell us about the Happiness Project.

MK: The idea was to make an installation that felt like the positive energy that was in the paintings. The Happiness Project started while I was preparing for StARTup Art Fair LA and was trying to figure out how I could transform a hotel room into a full immersive experience. I decided the way to accomplish this would be to fill the entire room by lining every square inch of the walls with painted cardboard panels. I began by taking two word positive affirmations, running them through my analog program and then painting the resulting angles on cardboard shipping pads. Over 30 panels were cut and fit around all the furniture, light switches and outlets.

After the initial installation, I had the opportunity to install the panels again this time at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary. For this iteration I decided to further cut the panels down and to also rotate them creating more complexity to the installation as the lines now ran both vertically and horizontally and the joints became more complex and varied.

The third iteration was as a Special Project Artist at StARTup Art Fair SF.  This installation became the backdrop for their panel discussion series and broadcast on Facebook live. This most recent version included much smaller pieces while still playing with the complexity of the previous version.

16.058. Acrylic on Paper. 40"H x 26"W. 2016

OPP: What does the phrase “spirituality hacking” mean to you?

MK: I started looking at different forms of religion and certain religious movements during a time I attended a series of events at the Rubin Museum in New York City. Most religious belief systems seem to have a short cut to attaining enlightenment or a closeness with God. Saying a certain prayer, doing a certain form of meditation or the spinning of a prayer wheel are all ways to cheating the system in a sense.

So this Idea of “spirituality hacking” became an element that I started incorporating in my work. I began by using the analog program I developed, which enabled me to take a prayer or mantra and to use it as the input. This then gave me a series of numbers that I could use as direction to paint from. This also led to incorporating rotations of the canvas during the painting process to create a painting as a representation of a spinning prayer wheel.

Mantra (Om Ami Dewa Hrih) 17.040. Acrylic on linen. 12"H x 12"W x 1-1/2"D. 2017.

OPP: But it sounds like the precise complexity of your process isn’t really a short cut at all. Perhaps the focus and flow of the studio is the direct path to enlightenment. . .

MK:  Although there are elements of my work that have a very spiritual jump off point, I feel like the work truly needs to be viewed as an abstract piece of art first and foremost. Throughout art history spirituality has played a very specific role. When abstraction began in painting, that role did not diminish; it just went unspoken. I have chosen to be vocal about the influences of spirituality in my practice. But if I am not there or if the wall label doesn’t tell you, then the work simply becomes a painting to be judged on its formal qualities.

Many people think that making this work must be meditational. Making these paintings means making the same type of mark thousands and thousands of times. Muscle memory aside, if I just leave the present for a moment while painting, I will make a mistake. It can be very stressful and physical. I endure the struggle because the end result contains such an amazing vibratory power. I hope the work brings joy and physical beauty into the lives of others and maybe helps them find a direct path to enlightenment.

See more of Mikey's work at mikeykelly.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center. Where Do We Go From Here? just closed at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois). In conjunction with this improvised installation, Stacia invited eight OPP artists—Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite, Brent Fogt, Melinda Thorpe Gordon, Jaclyn Jacunski, Jenny Kendler, Meg Leary,  Geoffry Smalley and Erin Washington—to respond to the text "Where Do We Go From Here?" Each artist approached the question from a different angle, emphasizing that both the We and the Here are not the same for each of us. For Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress, Stacia will create a one-night installation that solicits the help of benefit attendees.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1281727 2018-05-09T12:43:40Z 2018-05-09T13:02:48Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Nahúm Flores

Double Vision, 2011. Mixed media on canvas.

NAHUM FLORES (@nahum_a_flores) explores human emotion in drawing, painting and ceramics. His human figures and faces, often rendered in simple black lines, are profoundly expressive of the emotions associated with despair, loss, paranoia, dislocation and alienation, but they are not devoid of hope. The barren landscapes from which the characters emerge reflect Nahúm's personal experiences growing up in Honduras, surrounded by social upheaval and war, as well as his emigration from Honduras at the age of 14. Nahúm earned his BFA in Drawing and Painting at Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto. He exhibits internationally with group shows in Canada, Honduras, United States, El Salvador, Mexico, Croatia, Guatemala and Costa Rica. His solo exhibitions include Los Herederos at Museum of National Identity (Honduras, 2016) and Inheritors at Articsók Gallery (Toronto, 2014). Nahúm has been the recipient of a Pollock–Krasner Foundation Grant (2012), a Toronto Arts Council Mid-career Project Grant (2014) and a Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant (2016). He is one-third of Z’Otz Collective, a collaboration with artists Ilyana Martinez and Erik Jerezano. Together they created Greeting Silence (2017) at Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George British Columbia. Nahúm lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

OtherPeoplesPixels: The figures in your work are simply drawn, but evoke complicated human emotions. How does your drawing style contribute to the emotional intensity? 

Nahúm Flores: Over a long time, I have been making ink drawings in small sketchbooks in a diary-like manner and in mixed media on canvas and wood panels where I fuse drawing and matter. In my drawings, I work quickly from one to the next, spontaneously filling sketchbooks with minute line depictions that are simple or naïve in nature, but evoke issues from a subconscious level. Little figures or characters appear on the surfaces animated by their surrounding environments. Some of them are in dialogue with one another. Some seduce me to respond viscerally to them with phrases that I write. Others mock the viewer and blur out words.

I find great freedom and comfort working in this impromptu fashion because I feel I establish a genuine communication with myself. It is like a mirror reflecting images of memory, which surfaces as a poetic language of drawing and matter. The merging characters are sometimes funny and other times somber, showing both a dark and soft side of humanity. The landscapes they inhabit are barren and reference my personal history growing up in Honduras.

Untitled drawing

OPP: The figures are often really elongated or crouched down. Can you talk about these exaggerations?

NF: The process in which I work gives birth to characters in sequences. These characters dialogue with each other and linger in undefined spaces. They are characters of shifting identities that lure my imagination with ideas, interpretations and questions. Honduras is a country with both Indigenous and Catholic beliefs, and a lot of hybrid customs make their way into my work. The myth of the Cadejo is one I remember hearing the most when I was a kid. The Cadejo is a spirit that resembles a dog. There is a good one that is white and an evil one that is black. The Cadejo would appear to people at night, and it would transform from small to a big animal according to the curiosity of the viewer. They would visit houses in search of charcoal to eat in the bonfires. They loathed piloncillo (powdered brown sugar). The evil one would get you lost and make you crazy. This duality of good and bad is a theme that continually surfaces in my work. I see it as a metaphor of life. The dichotomy in my work is rooted in my beliefs, upbringing, and life experience.

from series Shaped by the Journey, 2013. Mixed media on flattened pop-cans.

OPP: Tell us about the drawings on found garbage like sardine cans and crushed soda cans.

NF: My ongoing series Dwellings (sardine cans) and Shaped by the Journey (soda cans) consists of drawings on objects I picked up from the streets. These discarded cans contain environments and history; they are symbols of waste. The drawings comment on some of the conditions of im/migration: disorientation, alienation, displacement, dehumanization, hope and adaptation. 

As a child in Honduras, I was influenced by, the social, economic, historical and environmental issues that shaped Central America in the 70s and 80s during the Cold War. Our everyday lives were affected by fear, paranoia, violence, poverty and war propaganda. I left my country of origin on my own at the age of 14, determined to find a better life, and experienced a challenging and incredible odyssey. I spent some years in Mexico and in the USA undocumented. This experience as a migrant drives me to reflect it through my work. 

A dwelling or home is associated with permanence, stability and a sense of place, often lacking in many migrants’ lives. In these drawings set within the objects, characters or dwellers peek out of their homes wearing mask-like faces. They appear to conceal their true nature.

In the series, Shaped by the Journey I use beverage cans that have endured hardship (e.g. being squashed by cars). I animate their beat-up discarded forms with characters that reveal multiple emotions. With tender irony and humor, my goal is to communicate a sense of containment and intimacy with these objects.

Clouds in the House, mixed media on canvas, 2017

OPP: The large paintings seem more about place and artifact than about the figure or human emotion. I’m thinking about Stones of LightPuddlesWindows of Wonder (all 2011), as well as In the Distance (2013). Can you talk about these works?

NF: A lot of my work is about memory and history. Memory of places, journeys, time, music, foods, books and people. When I work in large formats, I employ layers over layer of water-based and organic materials. The juxtaposition of these layers of materials mirrors terrains that denote history and buried pasts that yields to new realities and way of interpretation. The works you mention remind me of travels in Mesoamerica and Mexico to pre-Columbian archeological sites, such as Copan, Teotihuacan, Xochicalco. I am mesmerized by ancient Mesoamerican mythologies. When I travel to this region I feel their powerful presence. 

Stones of Light, 2011. Mixed media on canvas. 24" × 30."

OPP: I love the terracotta sculptures that are conglomerations of animals and humans all mashed together. The rendering of the animals and faces is certainly reminicent of Mesoamerican art. When did you first start working in ceramics? What does this new avenue add to your work that wasn't there before?

NF: I started working in ceramics in 2007. I find the material flexible and it allows me to explore with different visual elements. It also connects me to memories of childhood. When I was a child, I played with clay with my cousins in my village. We created characters from our imagination. Those characters would form part of our game worlds. 

Terracotta

OPP: Is working in 3D changing the way you make drawings?

NF: One of the amazing things with clay is that it allows you to draw, to play with volume, to add and subtract, to play with different spaces. Working in 3D teaches me different alternatives to do drawings, using different tools, but it also connects me to pre-Hispanic people, to the animistic elements of their culture.

Greeting Silence, work in-situ by Z'otz* Collective at Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George B.C.

OPP: Tell us about Z’Otz Collective.

NF: Z’otz* Collective is group of artists formed in 2004 by Ilyana MartinezErik Jerezano and me. We all have Latin American backgrounds. I first met Ilyana in 1999 at Ontario College of Art and Design University, and I met Erik in 2001 in Toronto. We use to belong to other collectives but for the purpose of exhibiting together. We meet weekly to collaborate on multi-media works, which include drawing, painting, collage, sculpture and site-specific drawing installations. 

Z’otz* is characterized by a collaborative spirit and the playfulness of our subject matter. Our quirky and often outrageous images use humor to explore ideas of transition, displacement, containment and evolution. We use multiple media to create works that denote a variety of visual elements. We implement a system of rotation, where everyone works at the same time but on different pieces. Our drawings are reigned by an intuitive drive as we spontaneously respond to each other’s marks. This allows us to exchange ideas and to observe the transformation of the work. We are interested in chance as a starting point, to establish a link between our individual subconscious. We play a game of riddles and improvisation where the only rule is that there are no rules. We have always been enamoured by characters of fables and popular tales from our heritage, that have the possibility of becoming something else and transforming into another body. Our fascination with these beings is multilayered; we often reflect upon the wonder of these transitional states. Mutation and transformation are key subject. . . a line can be a road to a fantastic universe where a snake becomes a monkey and a box a vehicle to catch dreams. Our work connotes the dynamism of the natural world and a close spiritual link to animals associated with many Indigenous Mesoamerican cultures. 

To see more of Nahúm's work, please visit nahumflores.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indiana 2017). Her most recent installation Where Do We Go From Here? just closed at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois). In conjunction with this improvised installation, Stacia invited eight OPP artists—Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite, Brent Fogt, Melinda Thorpe Gordon, Jaclyn Jacunski, Jenny Kendler, Meg Leary,  Geoffry Smalley and Erin Washington—to respond to the text "Where Do We Go From Here?" Each artist approached the question from a different angle, emphasizing that both the We and the Here are not the same for each of us. For Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress, Stacia will create a one-night installation that solicits the help of benefit attendees.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1279492 2018-05-02T12:52:50Z 2018-08-15T16:50:25Z Family-friendly Residencies

Momm and Popp Residency at Popps Packing — Detroit /Hamtramck, Michigan

Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but we typically schedule residencies 4-6 months in advance.
Application Fee: none
Residency Fee: $1000/ month
Length: 1-2 months; occasional 2 week residencies on a case by case basis
Stipend: none
Food: none

The Momm and Popp family residency, launched in 2016, invites parent artists into our unique arts ecosystem, to explore hybrid forms of life and work, in which children can become an intrinsic part of the workspace and creative experience.With the help of neighbors, local artists and past residents, we have been reimagining the various underused spaces that surround us into an artistic hub, creating a platform for local and visiting artists to explore installations, architectural interventions, and research based projects while also stabilizing our neighborhood.  Artists who participate in our program are generally interested in the unique context of Detroit and the many layered narratives that exist here. 

Families are housed in the Guest House (GH), a single family house across the street from Popps Packing and adjacent to our expansive green spaces and different workshop spaces. The (GH) is equipped with all the basics for small children (baby gates, playpen, crib, stroller, toys and books) and Popps staff can help coordinate childcare when needed. Artists have access to the Popps workshop (includes table saw, compound miter saw, oxy/acetylene torch, drill press, bench grinder, belt/disc sander, various other power and hand tools),  our gardens, and the Popps Mobile Sauna.  We provide bikes for guests to use during their stay. (Public transportation is questionable in Detroit, so we recommend a rental car, or in the warmer months, a bicycle).

Popps Packing offers artists many different environments to work in. In addition to the communal studios, we offer the various structures and empty lots around the Popps compound as sites for exploration. The abundance of land, raw materials and structures around Popps give artists many opportunities to realize ambitious site specific projects that could not be accomplished in a traditional studio environment.  

In addition to the housing, studios and facilities offered here at Popps, we also connect residents to our large network of local artists, resources, and organizational and institutional partners through informal gatherings, open studios, exhibitions and performances.

Popps requires that resident artists put in 10 hours per month to pitch in and help around the compound: general cleaning, building and grounds maintenance, building renovation projects, publications, p.r. and administrative assistance are some of the areas we always need help with*

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The Virtual Artist Residency at Millay Colony Residency — Austerlitz, New York

Deadline:  October 1 or March 1st
Application Fee: $37
Residency Fee: none
Length: just weekends for 1 month
Stipend: $1000
Food: Our chef cooks healthy delicious dinners and also provides food for residents to cook their own day-time meals.

The Millay Colony is an artists residency program in Upstate New York. We welcome 6-7 visual artists, writers and composers each month between April and November. We offer a number of flexible residency formats. all including a private bedroom and studio as well as all meals. We welcome artists of all ages, from all cultures and communities, and in all stages of their career. We offer ample time to work in a gorgeous atmosphere, organizing everything an artist needs for maximum productivity.

The Millay Colony will award one Virtual Residency each year. This residency is specifically for working artists and/or artists with children who could benefit from the support of a residency in modified form. The ‘Virtual Resident’ can participate in one of The Millay Colony’s month-long residency on weekends or no less than four total days during that month at the colony and will receive a stipend of $1,000 to assist in securing time off/childcare/art supplies or other resources necessary to the making of new work.*

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The Wassaic Family Residency — Wassaic, New York

Deadline: June 19th
Application Fee: $25
Residency Fee: $900 per month
Length: 1-8 weeks
Stipend: We may provide up to $300 per month in additional financial assistance based on artist need. Artists receiving financial assistance will be expected to donate  2 – 8 hours of their time per week working with our staff, depending on the level of assistance received.
Food: none

We recognize that artists who have families often opt-out of peer community building for practical reasons: residencies don’t often take children, events happen late at night, childcare is expensive.  Bowie, Jeff and Eve (Wassaic co-founders) have kids; they’re all artists.  They have families that they want to be with and not away from.  And they ALSO want to connect with other artist peer groups and build community.  While we can’t solve all these problems at once (yet!), we have solved the first one:  we now offer Family Residencies from November – April from 1 to 8 weeks in length.

Each Family will be provided with a private house complete with a kitchen, living room, dining room, bathroom, and three bedrooms. Artists will receive an adaptable raw studio space in the historic Maxon Mills. All studios are roughly 100 square feet. Artists will have 24 hour access to their studio and accommodations. Residents are required to bring everything they need for their creative practice. Each studio is provided with a table, chair and limited lighting. We do not provide any art materials.

We do not provide childcare for you child/children. They are expected to be under your care, the care of your spouse/partner, or a hired professional at all times over the course of your stay. We can, however, provide you with recommendations for babysitters and fun activities, like the Millbrook Zoo!*

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Marble House Project — Dorset, Vermont

Deadline: Applications are closed for the 2018 Season.  Please check back in early October, for the 2019 Season.
Application Fee: $30 
Residency Fee: none 
Length: 16 days (July 16th - August 1st) 
Stipend: none 
Food: Lunch is also provided so that the parent artists have more time to work uninterrupted in their studios. The staff at MHP also helps prepare dinner meals for the families.

MHP has one family friendly residency in 2018 that occurs from July 16th until August 1st.. This residency is for 16 days instead of 23.and is designed specifically for artist parents with children.   We understand that there are many parents who cannot or will not leave their children for a length of time and we realize that there are not many residencies that will allow children.  Marble House Project provides art and ecology programming and other physical and enriching activities for the children, weekdays, from 9 till 3pm. Lunch is also provided so that the parent artists have more time to work uninterrupted in their studios. The staff at MHP also helps prepare dinner meals for the families. 

Each family is provided one or two bedrooms depending on the age of the child and the needs of the parent.  Programming for the children is for 4yrs and older. If you are applying for this residency with a child who is younger than four you or your spouse may need to be responsible for the child’s care. If accepted, the family friendly residency is free to the artist and their child or children ages 17 and under. If you bring a partner or spouse who is not an accepted artist, there is a $200 fee to help defray the additional food costs. In addition, you will need to pay $100 upon contract signing as a place holder. This $100 is fully refundable at the end of the residency. Watch a video about this residency session.*

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The Luminary — St. Louis, Missouri 

Image courtesy of Brett Bloom and Bonnie Fortune Bloom

Deadline: July 31, 2018 
Application Fee: $25 
Residency Fee: none 
Length: 1-6 weeks 
Stipend: $500 + childcare stipend
Food: none

As a leading artist-run and artist-centric space, The Luminary supports exceptional ideas and initiatives by providing dedicated time, considered collaborations and a supportive working environment. The program is open to all artists, curators and critics, but uniquely supports the research, development and presentation of work that utilizes innovative forms and unconventional structures such as alternative spaces and economies, publications and writing, archives, collaborations, artist-led projects and experimental institutional practices.

Thanks to the support of the Sustainable Arts Foundation, we offer a dedicated residency for artists, critics and curators with children. While we are always supportive of proposals from artist parents, these select residencies will come with additional financial support, assistance with childcare, and a personalized environment for the unique needs of families. The Luminary, directed by parent-artists, offers an honorarium, childcare stipend, and a private family apartment during a dedicated summer session for parent-artists.

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Art Farm — Marquette, Nebraska

Deadline: passed; 2019 residency applications will open on Nov 1, 2018
Application Fee: $15
Residency Fee: none
Length: 2 weeks to 5 months
Stipend: none
Food: generally no. During the growing season, produce is available from an organic garden and if the chickens cooperate, there are eggs

Art Farm supports families/partners with up to two children by offering approximately 2000 square feet of studio and living space consisting of kitchen, bath, sitting and dining, two second floor private bedrooms and a fourth floor master bedroom with panoramic views of the countryside. The studio is on the third floor.

Art Farm’s mission is to support artistic vision, which may be impractical, obscure, and independent of commercial recognition—where failing is no less welcomed than succeeding. To offer artists, writers, performers, and others: studios, time, and resources for pursuing their range of expression, for experimenting, for developing projects, but most of all, for distilling the promise and potential of their creative enterprise, while working and living in a rural environment.

Art Farm's physical presence is in its buildings and land. More elusive to describe is the ambiance—the subtle influence of the environment's impact on time and space. The sun and stars measure your time, not clock and calendar. Space is shaped by proximity to sound and silence. The sky: your eyes: your ears will fill with the sound and shapes of an incredible number of birds and bugs. And, like it or not, the weather will be your collaborator in all undertakings.

Artists are expected to donate one piece of artwork to Art Farm’s collection. Everyone gives 12 hours assistance based on their skills, knowledge or interest to Art Farm each week in helping to run, build, or in some way improve the residency experience for those who will follow.*

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Caldera Arts Center — Sisters, Oregon

Deadline: March 15th for the following winter
Application Fee: $35 for individuals; $75 for collaborations; if this fee is a barrier, please call
Residency Fee: none
Length: 3.5 weeks (January-March)
Stipend: Depending on funding, stipends may be available for residents. We do not require a separate application for stipends and will let finalists for residencies know if funding is available.
Food: One shared dinner each week. Residents provide all other meals for themselves.

Every winter from January through March, creative individuals, collaborations, and performing ensembles are awarded the gift of time and space at our beautiful Arts Center in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains near Sisters, Oregon. Residencies are open to US-based and international artists in any discipline, as well as creative thinkers in culinary arts, design, and the sciences. Artists at any stage of their careers who are not current students are eligible. 

Residencies are also available for parent artists who would like to bring their children and another caretaker. Children and caretaker can come and go as needed. Artists-in-residence stay at Caldera for the entire duration of the residency. Families are assigned a private a-frame cabin with 3 or 4 beds and (if requested) a separate studio.Caldera has two pack and plays, two high chairs, baby gates and outlet covers for families to use in their cabin and/or studio. Winter in the mountains provides lots of opportunity for outdoor fun for children (sledding, snowshoeing, building forts, etc.). Caldera does not provide or arrange childcare, but there are providers that serve our area.

Residents are provided a private cabin with sleeping loft, living room/work area, kitchenette, bathroom with shower, and a porch overlooking Link Creek or with a view of Blue Lake. Wireless internet is available in all cabins. There is little to no cell phone service. Cabin kitchens have a coffee pot, two-burner stove, microwave, small refrigerator, dishes, and pots and pans. Residents also have access to a full commercial kitchen in the Hearth Building. Cabins are heated by electric heat and most include wood stoves (with wood provided).

Visual artists work in one of Caldera’s two studios. Campbell Studio is a semi-private space that holds two studios for visual artists of all kinds. One side of Campbell Studio has two kilns, drying shelves, a work table, sink and counter; the other side has large walls, a work table, a large and small sink and counters. Studio B has large walls, a sink, counter, work table, a darkroom with related equipment, and an etching press. Both studios include natural light and large loft spaces above the main floor.

Caldera has identified the following as priorities for our Artists in Residence Program, and selection is made with these in mind: (1) Supporting artists of color: Caldera’s AiR cohorts will be made up of at minimum 50% artists of color. (2) Supporting community-engaged work and teaching artists: Caldera prioritizes supporting artists who wish to engage with our youth and broader community through teaching or other activities. (3) Supporting parent artists: Caldera is one of the few residencies that allows parent artists to attend with their children and an additional caretaker. (4) Supporting geographic diversity: Caldera values geographic diversity in our AiR cohorts – i.e. rural and urban, artists from both inside and outside Oregon, and international artists.*

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Previously highlighted residencies that are family-friendly:

The McColl Center — Charlotte, North Carolina

Partners and children of artists-in-residence may stay in the provided condominium during the residency term. However, partners will not be allowed to use McColl Center workspaces, facilities, equipment, or materials. Artist couples must apply individually; if both are accepted, each will be offered a studio. Pets are not allowed in the condominiums or studios. Exceptions may be made for registered service pets.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1276965 2018-04-25T22:16:39Z 2018-04-26T12:20:47Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Amy Babinec

Golden Rule Mine (Glass), 2016. Acrylic on panel. 12 x 16 in.

AMY BABINEC's (@amybabinecdrawings, paintings and plaster casts are driven by the recovery of memory. Informed by her educational background in Archeology, she emphasizes the fragment and the excavated object as poetic stand-ins for all that is lost. Amy earned her BFA in Painting and Drawing at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in Visual Art from University of Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include Remnants (2015) at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois and Underlayer (2012) at Morton College Gallery in Cicero, Illinois. Amy's upcoming solo show Golden Rule opens at Riverside Arts Center’s FlexSpace (Riverside, Illinois) on June 2, 2018 and runs through July 7, 2018. The opening reception is on Sunday, June 3 from 3-6 pm. Amy lives and works in Evanston, Illinois.

OtherPeoplesPixels: Generally speaking, how do fragments relate to the whole in your work?

Amy Babinec: My work uses fragmentation as a metaphor for memory and the failure of memory. So many of my memories are fragmentary, particularly of my childhood. Images such as a wallpaper pattern, a book cover, and the smooth texture of a rock, conjure up a host of memories of my family, and a reminder of their loss over the years. Objects isolated from their environments can become artifacts, evidence and mementos. Subtracting context leaves the object open to fantasy and speculation. These fragments embody the nostalgia and longing I have for family relationships for those who have passed on. The objects become substitutes for keepsakes and stories from my own family. 

Reenactment 14, 2009. Oil on canvas. 24 x 18 inches.

OPP: In your 2017 artist statement, you say,"By combining elements of archaeology, personal history, and fiction, I set up an opposition between abstraction and figuration, past and present.” And I see this very much in the series Reenactment (2009-2010). Can you talk about this body of work in relation to this statement?

AB: I created the Reenactment paintings in graduate school at the University of Chicago. As an instructor of a beginning painting class, I found stacks of paintings that college students had discarded after the class ended. Many of the paintings were abstract, thus presenting an opportunity to use them as a free-association prompt. I selected and cropped the abandoned student paintings that had compositions, spatial relationships, or colors that reminded me of a place, person, or situation from my early life in Belleville, Illinois, the town in southern Illinois where I grew up. For example, a vivid orange geometric abstractioncould be turned into the orange brick cul-de-sac behind my elementary school. I intervened in the paintings with the minimum I needed to do in order to visualize that memory. The resulting paintings remain abstractions, but with my memories (the figuration) embedded within it.

Wildwood Mine, 2015. Plaster, 4 15/16 x 4 5/16 x 3/4 inches.

OPP: When did you first start making work based on artifacts found in abandoned coal mines?

AB: I started my research into this topic in 2009 when my parents discovered cracks in their basement foundation in their house in southern Illinois. The cracks were caused by subsidence, or the collapse of coal mines under the surface. Unfortunately, the area under their house, and most of the town, was undercut by underground coal mines which had been operated by individual owners or small companies from the late 1800s to the 1950s. Buildings and roads on the surface could prove unstable because of hidden processes under the earth and could cave in at any time. I was struck by the metaphorical possibilities of that phenomenon, that events in the past could affect the present, sometimes suddenly and drastically.

I used Illinois State Geological Survey maps, Google Earth maps and historical records, and triangulated the location of mines, then drove out to find them. These sites were largely on private land. Many had been completely erased from the surface, but some had pits, coal and slag piles, railroad tracks, and other evidence of the coal industry. I discovered that many of the abandoned mines had been used as a trash dump for domestic items such as plates and cups from the 1880s to the 1960s. As part of my studio practice, I visit the abandoned mine sites throughout the year, conduct surveys and digs and bring artifacts and documentation back to my studio in Evanston, Illinois.

Hill Mine Grid 3, 2013. Acrylic. 30 x 30 inches.

OPP: You work in a variety of drawing and painting media, as well as cast plaster. How do you make choices about which fragments should be painted in watercolor or oil versus cast in plaster? Does the object dictate this?

AB: I am a materials and techniques nerd. I enjoy the process of experimentation (most of the time!) to find the technique that fits the idea. In the Subsidence project, I have used a variety of materials to interpret the data I have found. I document the mine sites through drawings, video, and photography, and collect personally resonant objects to bring back to my studio. My focus on particular facets of this process leads to the media that will reflect my investigation.

Abandoned, Golden Rule Mine, Lenzburg, Illinois, 2017. Watercolor, colored pencil, and charcoal on paper. 11 1/4 x 15 inches. 

OPP: In both Golden Rule and Remnants, the found objects are isolated from their original context in backgrounds of (almost) black or white. Is this an erasure of the sites that inspire your work? Why or why not?

AB: My background includes a masters degree in Art History and Archaeology at the University of Maryland and twenty years’ experience as a museum professional. I use archaeology as a touchstone throughout much of my work. The white background evokes the practice of archaeological illustration of objects uncovered at a dig, and the photographic documentation of objects in a museum. I also use the square format as a reference to an archeologist’s grid. I often show objects in a meditative, quiet manner echoing the precision of archaeological drawings. I repeat certain objects, such as a spoon, to provide a sense of scale, following the archaeological practice of including a ruler or penny in photographs of finds.

Unlike an archaeologist, I am selective about what I collect at a site and represent in my work. Recently I have been most drawn to domestic artifacts dating from my grandparents’ generation in the early to mid-twentieth century. For example, a small triangle of colorful glazed ceramic, which had been broken off from a figurine of a house, takes on further resonance for me. I feel the pathos of this object, once highly valued by someone, but now abandoned by its owner to be buried in the dirt and be subjected to the elements. 

To see more of Amy's work, please visit amybabinec.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indiana 2017). Her most recent installation Where Do We Go From Here? just closed at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois). In conjunction with this improvised installation, Stacia invited eight OPP artists—Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite, Brent Fogt, Melinda Thorpe Gordon, Jaclyn Jacunski, Jenny Kendler, Meg Leary,  Geoffry Smalley and Erin Washington—to respond to the text "Where Do We Go From Here?" Each artist approached the question from a different angle, emphasizing that both the We and the Here are not the same for each of us. For Chicago Artist Coalition's annual benefit Work in Progress, Stacia will create a one-night installation that solicits the help of benefit attendees.

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1274171 2018-04-18T12:36:25Z 2018-04-18T20:50:55Z Residencies with a Cause: Social Justice

The art residencies in this week's post each support artists whose work addresses social justice. In some cases, the entire organization is devoted to social justice. In others, residencies that accept all kinds of artists make an intentional space for artists working at the intersection of art and social justice. We also highlight two fellowships.

WITHERS RESIDENCIES AT CROSSTOWN ARTS — Memphis, Tennessee

Deadline: July 15, 2018
Application Fee: $10 (applicants may apply for an economic hardship waiver)
Length: 20 days - 3 months
Stipend: $1000 stipend for each artist.
Food: Meals are provided six days a week at the Crosstown Arts cafe which is open to the public. Breakfast and lunch are taken at the resident's choosing; dinners are communal. All meals are plant-based and feature seasonal and organic ingredients.

The multidisciplinary artist residency program at Crosstown Arts in Memphis, Tennessee, offers residencies for visiting and Memphis-based visual and performing artists working in any creative discipline as well as musicians, filmmakers, and writers in all genres. Withers Residents, in particular, are individual artists of color working in any discipline who ambitiously addresses the intersection of race and social inequality in their work.

All residencies include a private studio workspace with meals provided six days a week. Live/work residencies also include a private bedroom/bathroom next to a common living area and a shared kitchen for all residents. A family housing option is available, as well as accessible housing for residents with disabilities. All residencies are offered at no cost to participants, who are responsible to cover their own studio materials and travel expenses to and from Memphis.

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SANTA FE ART INSTITUTE THEMATIC RESIDENCY— Santa Fe, New Mexico

Deadline: The 2018 deadline has passed. SFAI typically announces the annual theme and open call for applications in early October with the deadline to submit in early February. These dates are subject to change. 
Application Fee: $35 
Residency Fee: a refundable $150 security deposit is required 
Length: 1-3 months 
Food: We provide basic foodstuffs (such as, olive oil, bread, cereal, peanut butter jelly/jam, coffee and tea), however residents are responsible for all other groceries and preparing their own meals.

The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) is a hub for creative engagement and social change. At SFAI, we are artists, innovative thinkers, and engaged citizens. We cultivate creative leadership and invest in community, culture, and place to re-imagine a more equitable world.

We fulfill our mission through our artist residency and fellowship programs, workshops and trainings, community projects, and events. Much of our programming relates to an annual theme, which is focuses on relevant social issues such as Equal JusticeWater Rights, and Immigration / Emigration. The 2018-2019 theme is Truth and Reconciliation.

SFAI sponsors more than 80 residencies and fellowships per year for creative practitioners from all over the world, and offers visionary, social justice theme-focused programming that addresses pertinent questions facing diverse regional and global communities.

As part of our sponsored international thematic residency program, SFAI offers, at no cost to residents, a furnished private room and bath; communal kitchen, dining room, lounge and laundry facilities; semi-private studio, common work spaces, gallery/event space and art library; wireless internet, breakfast foods and bicycles. SFAI does not have specialized facilities, but provides basic tools and a membership to MAKE Santa Fe.

The month of July is reserved expressly for our Family Residency, which provides living and working space for parent-artists, their spouses/partners, and children.  All parent-artists interested in attending the Family Residency must apply for and be accepted into the thematic residency program.*

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THE LAUNDROMAT PROJECT: CREATE CHANGE RESIDENCY— New York, New York

Havanna Fisher Newby, Harlem Motion, 2016. © Marisol Diaz, 2016

Deadline: passed; check back at the end of 2018 
Application Fee: none 
Residency Fee: none 
Length: 6 months 
Stipend: $7500 in honoraria and up to $2500 in production funding

The Laundromat Project offers residencies for artists interested in developing and mounting a socially-engaged, socially-relevant, and participatory public art project in their local laundromat and/or other community public spaces. This opportunity is intended to move artists from a conventional public art model of simply placing static art objects in public spaces to one that emphasizes the ways art and artists can serve as catalysts for social action, problem-solving, and relationship building in their own communities.

The Laundromat Project supports up to five Create Change residencies for 6 months a year. The residency is for artists and makers of all disciplines, including cultural producers, community organizers of color living in or deeply invested in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, and Hunts Point / Longwood, our three anchor neighborhoods. This residency is designed to deepen the community engagement practice by participating in our intensive workshop series while developing and mounting a socially-engaged and participatory public art project in their local laundromat and/or other community public spaces. This is an ideal opportunity for artists in the early to mid stages of their careers that have experience doing socially-engaged art.

Also Available: The Create Change Fellowship Program is for up to 15 artists and makers of all disciplines including, cultural producers, and community organizers residing in New York City or near, who may not necessarily have experience doing socially-engaged creative projects. The Fellowship offers an intensive learning environment on how to do community-based work better and to deepen their creative practice. The fellowship takes place at our learning spaces in our three anchor neighborhoods: Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, and Hunts Point / Longwood.

The Fellowship runs from April to October. Participation in the program requires a significant time commitment of roughly 200 hours. Thanks to the generosity of the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Andrew Mellon Foundation the Create Change Fellowship is free of charge. However, upon acceptance into the program, participants will be required to put down a refundable deposit of $100 that will be returned upon successful completion of the program. The Fellowship does not include a stipend*

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EMMANUEL COLLEGE ARTIST RESIDENCY — Boston, Massachusetts

Deadline: February 1 
Application Fee: none 
Residency Fee: none 
Length: 8 weeks (June - August) 
Stipend: $1000 dollars and reimbursement for travel and visa up to an additional $1000 
Food: none

The Emmanuel College Art Department offers an eight-week artists residency to four artists each summer. The residency supports a diverse group of artists, providing time and space for established and emerging artists to develop their work. However, the Art Department specifically aims to award a residency to one individual from each of the four categories: ceramics, photography, printmaking and social justice. Fostering creative and artistic excellence, the residency also plays an important role in advancing the visual arts on the Emmanuel campus, providing an important educational program on contemporary art accessible to students, staff, and faculty.

Lodging is provided in the college dorms, with access to a small kitchen. Residents have access to communal college studio facilities with ample space sharing - ceramics, wood shop, print shop, darkroom, design lab and drawing studio. Emmanuel will host a closing exhibition for all resident artists to participate in and show the larger community the end result of your work.

Artist Responsibilities: •Artist must agree to give a presentation during the 2018/19 academic year - two artists may be invited back based on teaching needs •Artists must devote 3 hours to Emmanuel’s summer art history course, Contemporary Art and Artistic Practice, discussing their own process. •Artists will donate one piece to Emmanuel College at the end of the residency*

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BLUE MOUNTAIN CENTER — Blue Mountain Lake, New York

Deadline: Our next application period will open November 1, 2018 for the 2019 season.
Application Fee: $25
Residency Fee: none
Length: 4 weeks
Stipend: In 2017 generous BMC alumni and the Adirondack Foundation established a Resident Support Fund to provide financial assistance to 2018 applicants who require additional resources to participate in BMC's Residency program and meet criteria specified by donors. Upon acceptance to a Residency, qualified applicants will be invited to request funding if needed. One applicant will be awarded the Boren Chertkov Residency for Labor and Justice.
Food: Yes

Blue Mountain Center, founded in 1982, provides support for writers, artists, and activists. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the center also serves as a resource for culturally-based progressive movement building. We expand and deepen conversations among cultural workers and support projects that emerge from these dialogues.

During the summer and early fall, BMC offers three month-long residency sessions. These sessions are open to creative and non-fiction writers, activists, and artists of all disciplines—including composers, filmmakers, and visual artists. Applications are reviewed by accomplished authors and artists. They are particularly interested in fine work that evinces social and ecological concern and is aimed at a general audience.

Blue Mountain Center also hosts several weekend conversations during the spring and fall months each year. They bring together individuals to talk about pressing social problems such as civil liberties, environmental health and safety, peace, and economic justice.

Guest rooms are simple and comfortable. Residents are lodged in individual bedroom/studies in the Main House or the Grey Cottage.

Please note that cell phones are prohibited at Blue Mountain Center. We've found that cell phones and the constant connectivity they entail conflict with our mission and detract from the experience of being here. We have a phone booth with unlimited long distance calling available for resident use. There is no Wi-Fi.*

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Fellowships, unlike residencies, generally do not provide space. Fellowships usually include unrestricted, larger chunks of money awarded based on merit. Fellowships usually have some kind of limitation in regards to subject matter, geography, medium or identity. This follows along with the idea that a fellowship is in pursuit of some joint goal. Halcyon Art Labs is an exception, as it is a unique model, a hybrid residency/fellowship. (More on Fellowships in a later post!)

HALCYON ARTS LAB — Washington, D.C. 

Deadline: April 4
Application Fee: none
Stipend: A competitive financial scholarship to support living and material costs
Length: September 10, 2018 - June 28, 2019
Housing: Nine months of off-site residential accommodation (eligible for non-D.C. residents only)

At the intersection of art and social change, this nine-month residential fellowship is designed to provide support and resources to emerging artists working on projects which address issues of social justice, civic engagement, and community building. Arts Lab fellows strive to hone their practices and grow as leaders in their respective fields. Adapting the well-honed methodology of the Halcyon model, Halcyon Arts Lab fosters creativity through a supportive environment of space, access, and community. The program accepts six national and international fellows as well as two Washington, DC-based artists in each cohort. 

Halcyon is committed to the vibrant community of artists living in Washington, DC. We see tangible value in supporting artists whose projects may require ongoing community relationships that last beyond the nine-month residency. For that reason, Halcyon has chosen to allocate two of the eight fellowships to DC-resident artists.<

Halcyon Arts Lab Fellows have access to the following: Dedicated studio space; a program of classes, artist talks, studio visits, civic engagement opportunities, and critiques; mentorship and critique from an experienced arts professional in the fellow’s field; opportunity to mentor DC high school students to provide guidance and inspiration in developing the next generation of socially-engaged artists; collaboration and networking with fellow artists, social entrepreneurs and our program partner organizations in Washington, D.C.*

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A BLADE OF GRASS FELLOWSHIP

Deadline: September
Stipend: Artists receive $20,000 in minimally restricted support.

We look at the process and relationships of socially engaged art projects.

We see the aesthetic qualities of socially engaged art in how alliances are formed and maintained, the way disparate stakeholder groups are coordinated, how power dynamics are navigated, and how bridges are built between many different types of people within a socially engaged art project.

We create content that illuminates and deepens understanding of these relationships. A primary goal of ABOG is to make the “invisible” parts of socially engaged art visible. We do this through documentary films and field research that are artist-led, and are grounded in the perspective of project participants, as well as publications, web content, and public programming.

We also use this focus on process and relationships to advocate for a more expanded sense of what art is, how artists can work in communities, and how art might be integrated into everyday life. Our field research, documentary films, and other content serve as the basis for curriculum, toolkits, and consulting that enable more artists to work in partnership with non-artist stakeholders.*

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NEXT UP: Family-friendly Residencies

*Please note: italicized text is taken directly from the informational websites of the residencies.


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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1271423 2018-04-11T15:33:43Z 2018-04-11T15:36:35Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Hector Arce-Espasas

Dancers (Metallic), 2015. Fruits, Flowers and Porcelain. Dimensions Variable.

HECTOR ARCE-ESPASAS explores the relationship between desire and exploitation by employing the loaded symbols of tropical paradise in paintings, ceramics, and screenprints. Hector earned his BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA at Hunter College in New York. He has had solo exhibitions at Taymour Grahne (2016) in New York, Evelyn Yard (2015) in London, and Luce Gallery (2014) in Turin, Italy. In 2016, he was named one of 10 Exceptional Milennials to Watch by artnet.com. Hector lives and works in New York. 

OtherPeoplesPixels: Can you talk about the myth of the Tropical Paradise and how you use it/subvert it in your work?

Hector Arce-Espasas: Throughout the history of mankind, different cultures, in their pursuit of the ideal, have invested symbolic meaning into objects and elements of their environment. In the process of exteriorizing inner quests, these objects have become sensuous representations, i.e. symbols that express intangible truths or states. A symbol corresponds to a precise time in history and it transcends history to become universal in its function as an image. Universality of the symbolic image enables the transformation and adaptation of the symbol by different cultures, but this process also carries numerous misconceptions, misappropriations and colonial fantasies.

The idea of the Tropical Paradise is the present day transmutation of the ancient historical myth of the Garden of Paradise. The concept of Paradise as a garden is found in most eastern cultures: a secure, everlasting place in which Man can transcend his frail human condition. In biblical terms the notion of Paradise became associated with the Garden of Eden. Its earthly representation became a walled garden with dominant water features and planted with date palm trees. In western societies, this idyllic garden idea was often associated with the Latin term Locus Amoenus, a pleasant place which in time became a poetic convention for a description of an idyllic setting where a romantic encounter could occur or which belies an impending threat. 

The transformation of the eastern idea of the Garden of Paradise into the western version of Eden as Paradise combined with the notion of the Locus Amoenus became the seeds for the creation of the new Tropical Paradise: an exotic, idyllic place with palm trees by the sea. Unlike its theological version, this Paradise is within easy reach, ready to be appropriated, consumed exploited and spoiled. In present times, commercial media and the advertisement industry have successfully reconfigured some of the Paradise images, within different contexts, transforming their traditional meanings, adapting them and making them trans-cultural, with far more reaching and readily consumable results.

Untitled (red) Clay Paintings, 2014. Stoneware and Acrylic on Linen. 60" x 72"

OPP: Palm trees and pineapples are recurring images in your work. Are these symbols stand ins for Tropical Paradise?

HAE: All the compositional elements from this garden are transfigured and transubstantiated to recreate the new Paradise. The river becomes the sea. The coconut palm tree, brought from the Pacific Islands by the Europeans to the coasts of West Africa and the islands of the Caribbean, replaces the date palm tree as the official iconic image for this new exotic landscape. The insertion of the pineapple as the attainable, sensuous new fruit of this Tropical Paradise emerges. My images visually demonstrate how easy the association and transition from the date palm tree to the pineapple might have occurred; thus becoming the fruit associated with the coconut palm tree. 

No, these are not paintings they are Pineapple Decor, 2015. Acrylic on Canvas. 60" x 79"

OPP: Can you talk about the abstract screen print works? I have a sense that this is representational imagery, but blown up so large that its referent disappears?

HAE: Some of the work deals with the deconstruction and recombination of images of the pineapple, in order to demystify its meaning as a fruit representative of the Tropics. The images lure and repel while playing with the idea of the pineapple as the easily attainable commercial fruit of the Tropical Paradise. This idea is extended metaphorically in regard to having viewers question their expectations of a Tropical Paradise in itself: at what cost, to their own reality or to that of the place to stand for their fantasies.

Still of Paradise (Purple Shade of Light), 2017. Acrylic on Canvas. 24" x 29"

OPP: You’ve recently shifted into more painterly representations, whereas in the past, the palm tress have been more graphic and reproduced through printmaking processes, which connects them to mass produced media. What led to this shift?

HAE: After a few years of working with printmaking, I wanted to take a shift from the mechanical to the hand-made process without loosing the elements that I was working from. The paintings that I did in the past are created by photographing palm tree leaves then zooming in to create an abstraction. Then the images were made into transparency that get exposed into a screen. The end result is painting with acrylic and the use of large format screen-printing. I use a similar process with the derriere paintings. First a model derriere wearing jeans gets directly painted, later she makes a mono print using her derriere in the canvas leaving the in prints by her moves (similar to Yves Klein). Later these are photographed and altered using the same method as the palm tree paintings.

Dancers (White), 2016. Fruits, Flowers and Porcelain. Dimensions Variable.

OPP: It’s really jarring to see the body—well, the hips and ass, in particular—as a vessel for serving fruit. How does this work speak to exploitation of the Caribbean world?

HAE: My intention is to leave interpretation open to the viewer. Sometimes I like to ignite dislike, discomfort, disagreements with the elements I choose. A good example is the derriere sculptures. Its an image we constantly see exploited, usually direct in the Latin culture. As once the pineapple or this idea of the tropical paradise was a coveted and luring concept, in today’s culture it is the derriere. My last installation of the sculptures, named Ode to Paradise was made into a pyramid like stage/shape with a lot of tropical foliage on the top with the idea of empowering the figure, which I feel is what our culture has greatly done.

To see more of Hector's work, please visit hectorarceespasas.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indiana 2017). Her solo installation Where Do We Go From Here? is on view at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois) through April 20, 2018. In conjunction with this improvised installation, Stacia invited eight OPP artists—Kathryn Trumbull Fimreite, Brent Fogt, Melinda Thorpe Gordon, Jaclyn Jacunski, Jenny Kendler, Meg Leary,  Geoffry Smalley and Erin Washington—to respond to the text Where Do We Go From Here? Each artist approached the question from a different angle, emphasizing that both the We and the Here are not the same for each of us. 

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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1268815 2018-04-04T12:22:10Z 2018-04-04T12:28:07Z Residencies with a Cause: The Environment
Here at OPP, we know that you'd rather spend your time in the studio, not researching ways to get more time in the studio. Today we're highlighting residencies in the U.S. that are oriented towards environmental concerns and a more intimate relationship with nature. Keep in mind, this list is by no means exhaustive. It's really just the tip of the iceberg. In two weeks, we'll highlight residencies with an orientation towards social justice. 

Recycled Artist in Residence — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Deadline: 2018 call has closed. 2019 applications will open in Fall 2018
Fee: none
Funding: none
Application fee: July 1st- 30th:  $15; August 1st- 31st: $20; September 1st- 30th: $25
Length: standard residency is 1-3 months; the Biggie Shortie is 2-4 weekends

Situated inside a construction and demolition waste recycling company in northeast Philadelphia, RAIR offers artists studio space and access to more than 350 tons of materials per day. Since 2010, RAIR has provided a unique platform for artists to work at the intersection of art, industry and sustainability, while producing content that challenges perceptions of waste culture.

THE STANDARD RESIDENCY: a longer, more traditional studio based program. Standard residents are given access to waste materials and a studio space. THE BIGGIE SHORTIE: a shorter, more project based residency. Big project in a short amount of time. The flexible nature of Biggie Shorties allow for projects to be customized to fit each residency. This residency includes partial access to shop and studio as well as full access to outdoor installation/workspace, but does not a private studio.*

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Recology — San Francisco, California

Deadline: Applications are accepted June 1 – September 1
Application Fee: $20
Residency Fee: none; artists also receive a stipend
Length: 4 months
Stipend: $1200 a month

The Artist in Residence (AIR) Program at Recology San Francisco is a unique art and education program that provides Bay Area artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and a large studio space at the Recology San Francisco Transfer Station. By supporting artists who work with recycled materials, Recology hopes to encourage people to conserve natural resources and promote new ways of thinking about art and the environment.

At this time, we accept applications from local, career-level, professional artists. Students currently enrolled at any university, college, or other educational institution will not be considered. We also do not accept applications from artists who reside a driving distance of more than one hour from San Francisco.

During their residencies, artists have scavenging privileges and 24-hour access to the company’s well-equipped art studio. Artists speak to elementary school classes and adult tour groups about the experience of working with recycled materials. At the conclusion of their residency, Recology hosts a two-day public exhibition and reception for the artists featuring the artwork made during their residency. When the residency ends, artists contribute artwork to the program’s permanent collection and these pieces continue to be shown in off-site exhibitions that promote recycling and reuse.

Recology AIR Programs now operate in three other cities (the above stats are only for San Francisco): Portland, Seattle, and Astoria. GLEAN in Portland is a collaboration between Recology, crackedpots, an environmental arts organization, and Metro, the regional government that manages the Portland metropolitan area’s garbage and recycling system. In Astoria, the Coastal Oregon Artist Residency (COAR), is a collaboration between Recology and Astoria Visual Arts.*

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Signal Fire — based in Portland, Oregon

Deadline: January 2019
Application Fee: none
Residency Fee: Sliding scale ($150-300); two full fellowships available
Length: 1 week

Signal Fire was started in 2008 by activist Amy Harwood and artist Ryan Pierce. Both wanted to find a way to bring their communities closer to foster more collaboration. As avid backpackers, they imagined small groups traveling together into threatened wildlands, discussing ways to shift the dominant views of land in the American West. They gathered together a group of friends for dinner to ask for input, and Signal Fire was born.

Signal Fire builds the cultural value of the natural world by connecting artists to our remaining wild places. We believe in artists as agents of change. Our projects foster resilience, creative energy, and interdisciplinary collaboration. We advocate for land justice and the protection of threatened land and water. 

Signal Fire provides opportunities for artists and creative agitators to engage with our remaining wildlands. Our projects foster self-resilience, creative energy, and interdisciplinary collaboration. We utilize public lands to advocate for equitable access, and protection of, wild and open places.

Three ways to participate:
Residencies: are self-directed, with Signal Fire staff nearby to provide safety, support, and optional day hikes. Residencies are our least physically demanding programs. Participants are selected through competitive, juried application, based on quality of work and written statements. Our finalists tend to be established or emerging professional artists.
Retreats: are group experiences, backpacking, canoeing, and camping together in wild places. Signal Fire guides provide instruction on backcountry safety, low impact camping techniques, and short activities to invite perception of the landscape and invite creative breakthroughs. These trips can be ephysically and socially demanding and rewarding. We curate a reader to provide entry points for discussion, but all non-essential activities are optional. Participants are selected through competitive, juried application, based on quality of work and written statements. Our finalists tend to be established or emerging professional artists.
Wide Open Studios: is our one-of-a-kind arts and ecology field institute. These trips are curriculum-rich, with projects, readings and discussions happening throughout the trip. They offer immersion education intended to catalyze creative discovery and personal transformation, and can be both physically and socially demanding. Wide Open Studios participants are selected by Instructors based on assembling a diverse and unique cohort. We generally get a mix of current students (both graduate and undergraduate, art students and otherwise), non-students, and working artists.*

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A Studio in the Woods: Adaptation Residencies— New Orleans, Louisiana

Deadline: April 16, 2018
Application Fee: $15
Residency Fee: none
Length: 6 weeks
Stipend: $2000 as a stipend and $2000 towards materials
Food: yes

New Orleans and the region are frequently invoked as one of the areas most vulnerable to the effects of environmental change. Our highly manipulated landscape can be seen as a microcosm of the global environment, manifesting both the challenges and possibilities inherent in the ways humans interact with urban and natural ecosystems. With nearly half of the world’s population living within 40 miles of a coastline with rising seas, the concerns of Southern Louisiana resonate globally. Adaptations Residencies invite artists to examine how climate driven adaptations - large and small, historic and contemporary, cultural and scientific - are shaping our future. Adaptations Residencies will provide artists with time, space, scholarship and staff support to foster critical thinking and creation of new works. The call is open to artists of all disciplines who have demonstrated an established dialogue with environmental and culturally related issues and a commitment to seeking and plumbing new depths. We ask artists to describe in detail how the region will affect their work, to propose a public component to their residency and to suggest ways in which they will engage with the local community.

ASITW provides full room and board including food, utilities for living and studio space to selected residents. Residents are expected to cover personal living expenses, additional materials and supplies, and any other expenses relating to the cost of producing work incurred while in the program. Travel and shipping expenses to and from ASITW for the residency are also the responsibility of the artist.*

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Sitka Center: Artist and Ecologist Residency — Otis, Oregon

Deadline: April 17, 2018 for Fall 2018-Spring 2019
Application Fee: $15
Residency Fee: none
Length: WE OFFER A VARIETY OF RESIDENCY LENGTHS BUT ENCOURAGE APPLICANTS WHO CAN PARTICIPATE FOR A FULL 3.5 MONTHS
Stipend: none
Food: none

Tucked in the forest near Cascade Head, Sitka is an ideal location to withdraw from the distraction of daily life, finding the solitude needed to push through creative boundaries and chase artistic pursuits. We revere this practice. Our intention is to offer residencies of three and one half months with living spaces and studios that enhance this experience. The Sitka Center hosts approximately 14-20 residents each year. Some residents are emerging voices while others are mature professionals who are internationally recognized in their disciplines. Residents come from across the U.S. and (to date) seventeen nations.

The Sitka Center also offers four specialized residencies: the Howard L. McKee Ecology Residencythe Recorder Residencythe Jordan Schnitzer Printmaking Residency (for non-printmakers) and the Artist at Sea Residency.*

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Wormfarm Institute—Reedsburg, Wisconsin

Wormfarm Institute Resident Artists 2017

Deadline: rolling, but our primary review period is January through February and selected applicants will be notified in mid-March
Application Fee: none
Residency Fee: none
Length: 1-5 months
Stipend: none
Food: Fresh farm produce from our 4 acre garden that artists help to grow is provided. We also provide many staples such as rice, pasta, flour, grains, dry beans, oils, spices and occasional bonus items from friends and neighbors. Residents can expect to purchase their own supplemental foodstuffs.

We look for artists and writers with an interest in sustainable systems and our place in the natural world. The Wormfarm Residency season runs from May through Oct and we can host up to three artists at a time, with residencies running from one to five months. The most successful Residencies usually last a minimum of two months, but we will consider shorter stays.

Each artist is provided with accommodations, use of our evolving facility and time and space to create. In exchange, we ask each to participate in farm operations for 15 hours per week and to share the results of their creative efforts with the local community.

The 40-acre farm is located in the unglaciated region of south central Wisconsin about an hour drive north of Madison. The surrounding land consists of rolling hills and thousands of acres of beautiful woods and farmland. 

Each artist is provided with a private, screened-in studio space in the barn. The barn also has large open common areas as well as a stage. There is a ceramics area that includes electric kilns and kick wheel. A variety of outbuildings may serve as work space depending on artist’s needs. There are also woods, pasture and gardens for those interested in environmental projects. We share the land with a variety of animals: cows, chickens, a dog, and barn cats.

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Rocky Neck Art Colony Environmental Installation Art — Gloucester, Massachussettes

Deadline: February 10th
Application Fee: $35
Residency Fee: none
Length: 1 month
Stipend: none
Food: none

Newly established in 2017, this program is an effort to bring art out of the studio and make it both visible and accessible to the public. We encourage the creation of site-specific installations that engage the public and draw attention to questions and challenges posed by environmental policies, politics, and/or social change. Through our partnerships with local non-profits and community programs, artists are asked to respond creatively to the concerns of the greater Gloucester/Cape Ann Community.

Information on this year’s Environmental Installation Artist’s topic and our partner, Ocean Alliance www.whale.org. The Committee places exceptional value on the year-round work performed by the Alliance. Their continuing efforts to protect existing whale populations while educating the public about the fragility of our oceans resonates with the entire world.

One gifted artist will be awarded a month-long residency term which includes a waterfront live-work studio space and access to a rich cultural community. Residents chosen are requested to host an opening and closing talk to engage with our community.*

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Willowtail Residency— Mancos, Colorado

Deadline: February 20, June 05, August 20 
Application Fee: $25 
Residency Fee: Artists can apply for full or partial fellowships to cover cost of program. 
Length: 1-3 weeks 
Stipend: none 
Food: Breakfast items are provided (homemade bread, cherry/raspberry jam, organic juice, butter, cream, milk, eggs, fruit, fresh ground coffee, tea, homemade granola, fruit, olive oil and spices). Residents are responsible for other food/meals.

Willowtail Springs Nature Preserve and Education Center provides a backdrop where The Arts and Nature can integrate. Within the vast beauty supporting the intimacy of this unique setting, the Nature Preserve and the Education Center has been structured to sustain into perpetuity the availability of a special experience to work without distractions.

Residents: You bring your projects, curiosity, knowledge, talents and pioneering thought.  We provide the place and the space to explore. We offer you time to stretch your talents, in an extremely special adventure. Each resident is required to deliver a community offering within one calendar year of their residency. Whether this takes the form of a lecture, presentation, demonstration, teaching, slideshow of work, exhibition in the local community, is up to the resident.

Participants will have a choice of one of three available living spaces, all with wifi, fireplaces, fully equipped kitchens, and outdoor decks overlooking the lake.We can accommodate painting, drawing, photography, mixed media, sculpture, performance art, film making, composers, songwriters and practicing musicians. The Working Studio space is 600 sq. ft, and can hold up to three people per day for self directed work. It is a separate building nestled in the gardens next to the Lakehouse and looks out to the lake, gardens and small pool with fountain.*

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NEXT UP: Residencies with a Cause: Social Justice
*Please note: italicized text is taken directly from the informational websites of the residencies.


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tag:blog.otherpeoplespixels.com,2013:Post/1266112 2018-03-28T12:55:14Z 2018-04-29T16:21:24Z OtherPeoplesPixels Interviews Zoe Hawk

Dreaming As The Summers Die, 2017. Oil on aluminum.

ZOE HAWK's allegorical paintings and drawings are populated by adolescent girls in knee-socks and and Peter Pan collared dresses. Matronly women in veiled funeral garb sometimes stand guard, representing an oppressive and depressing future. These paintings point to a dominant narrative of idealized American girlhood and the nuances of  navigating inherited gender expectations. In these paintings, growing up female is an unfolding process of resisting and participating, subverting and submitting. Zoe earned her BFA in Studio Art from Missouri State University and her MFA in Painting from the University of Iowa. Her work has been included in exhibitions both in the United States and abroad, and reproduced in publications such as New American PaintingsThe Oxford American, and ArtMaze Mag (London). She has attended artist residencies in Belgium, Norway, and the United States. Her latest residency experience was at the Doha Fire Station in Qatar, which culminated in group exhibitions both in Doha and Berlin. Her work was recently included in the current issue of Create! Magazine. Zoe lives and works in Doha, Qatar.

OtherPeoplesPixels: Do you think of your paintings as allegories? If so, for what?

Zoe Hawk: I do see them as allegorical. Ultimately my work is about the experience of girlhood, the transition to womanhood, and ways we learn our roles in society. The paintings are like stage sets, or dollhouses—little social microcosms where various stories can play out. All of the poses, facial expressions, colors and scenes are carefully chosen to represent different aspects of the girlhood experience. Many of the decisions are made to function as metaphors, and I often include references to classic stories, films, games, folk songs, etc. I want the narratives to seem sweet and familiar, like a story in a children’s book, but at the same time cause a bit of unease in the viewer, as if something is not quite right. 

In Her Willows, 2017. Oil on aluminum. 17.5" x 23"

OPP: Can you talk about the difference between girls and women in your work?

ZH: Most of the girls in my paintings are at the transitional age of adolescence, when the realization hits that womanhood won’t be all excitement and romance, but that there will be violence, fear and unrealistic expectations to bear. This is where my depiction of the veiled women in black funeral dresses comes from. They are mourning the death of their childhood freedom and innocence. But from the point of view of the young girls, the women are something mysterious and unknown, both alluring and foreboding. Often the women are confining the girls, trying to rein in their wild energy, or looming over them with a watchful eye. Other times they are leading them by the hand towards the inevitable.

Aqua Culture, 2016. 11 x 16.5"

OPP: Very few of your paintings feature girls alone. This Way Over Obstacle (2016), Aqua Culture (2016) and Dream Home (2014) really stand out. In each case, the solitary girl is totally focused on something that has nothing to do with the group. How are these girls different from the rest? 

ZH: The girls in groups are learning how to navigate their social environments. They sometimes work in tandem, like a flock of birds, while other times there is frustration, rebellion and contention between them. The solitary girls are more about introspection and curiosity—showing that girls have scientific minds, deep inner lives, and a sense of self that maybe conflicts with social expectations. Aqua Culture is about an intense moment of awe, wonder and a dark realization about the future. The girl in Dream Home is engaged in an act of curiosity, peeling back the artifice of her environment, exposing darkness, while symbols of domestic perfection are looming over her. I think the isolation of the figures feels much more stark and dramatic when seen in contrast to the group images. It becomes less about interactions and more about the potency of one singular action, and about the impact of the surrounding environment. 

Cry, Sally, Cry, 2014. Oil on aluminum. 15 x 17"

OPP: Tell us about the clothing in your paintings. Lots of white knee socks, white collars, skirts and dresses. I don’t think a single pair of pants. They seem like school girls, but not contemporary teenagers.

ZH: The clothing the girls wear represents different modes of feminine identity: the uniforms are a metaphor for socialization, institutional power and conformity, while the floral patterned dresses and white bridal/baptismal dresses represent femininity, purity and innocence. I like to reference clothing from the 1930s through the 1960s—like the white collars and pastel dresses—because to me it is the epitome of American idealized girlhood, and represents the gender ideals that are still woven into the fabric of contemporary culture. I think imagery from the past functions well as a stand-in for the current social climate, because it allows distance from our daily lived experience. And as much as the paintings are a critique of these gendered constructions, I acknowledge my own pleasure that I take in these things—the childhood joy I felt as a girl in a puffy, pink dress—and the internal conflict I feel as a result. 

Waterway, 2015. Oil on aluminum. 16.75 x 18.5"

OPP: I think about these paintings as about the conflict between wanting to belong and wanting to assert individuality. Sometimes the girls fall in line and sometimes they rebel. To what degree do these characters have choice in the matter?

ZH: I think adolescence is so interesting because of this conflict between the desire to fit in and a need to rebel. I want that tension to add to the overall sense of uneasiness in the paintings. I often like to paint the girls’ faces and actions in a way that expresses their curiosity, sadness, fear and frustration, in spite of the rigid idealism of their clothing. The question of choice is interesting, because I think we are all a product of environment, upbringing and circumstances. But I love the idea that some of these girls can break free. 

Rite of Passage, 2014. Oil on aluminum. 16.5 x 19"

OPP: I agree about each of us being a product of our environments, upbringing and circumstances. So how does that fact relate to the dominant cultural narrative of “idealized American girlhood,” which seems to be predominantly white, middle class and suburban? How do we deal today with this inherited—and limiting—storyline about how girls should be?

ZH: Yes, I definitely see that idealized narrative as a misrepresentation of the broader girlhood experience, and something that has been an oppressive force for many. It certainly differs from my own experience growing up, but it is a narrative that I consumed along with most other girls because it was the only one offered by the mainstream. For me, the discovery of alternative female voices in books, music, comics and art was essential. I think diverse options are more accessible to girls now, thanks to the Internet and social media, but we still have far to go. Representation is important, so I think we need to amplify the creative voices of women—especially women of color, trans women, immigrant women, and others who have traditionally been denied a place at the table—in order to culturally redefine what it means to be a girl. 

To see more of Zoe's work, please visit zoehawk.com.

Featured Artist Interviews are conducted by Chicago-based artist Stacia Yeapanis. When she’s not writing for OPP, Stacia explores the relationship between repetition, desire and impermanence in cross-stitch embroideries, remix video, collage and impermanent installations. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where received her MFA in 2006 Stacia was a 2011-2012 Artist-in-Residence at BOLT in Chicago. Her solo exhibitions include shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), the Annex Gallery at Lillstreet Art Center (Chicago 2014), The Stolbun Collection (Chicago 2017) and Indianapolis Art Center (Indiana 2017). In March 2018, her solo installation Where Do We Go From Here? will open at Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois). In conjunction, the atrium will exhibit two-dimensional artwork by artists who were invited by Stacia to make new work also titled  Where Do We Go From Here?

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