A few days ago, I was fortunate enough to be interviewed for City360.tv’s Art Beat segment. I got the chance to talk a little bit about my art process, show images of my recent work, and share with the viewers my upcoming shows in March. I haven’t done many video interviews but I think it went better than I expected. There is something about a camera being pointed at me that makes me nervous…
What a night! If you weren’t able to make it out to the show last Friday, that’s alright. I figured it would be neat to create a little time lapse video of the installation so you could get a ‘behind the scenes’ look at how it all came together. The installation took about 8 hours straight through. I started at around 6pm on Thursday night and worked until 3:30am Friday morning. I wouldn’t have made it without that coffee that Dan got me. Thanks Dan!
The show consisted of 53 pieces of art, 52 on this main wall. I created work that varied in materials as well as size. Because of this, I chose to display them grouped together in an installation style format. I wanted it to be visually overwhelming at first and then let the viewer take a closer look at the visual cacophony.
My work seems to be incorporating more collage and less with three dimensional found objects. This is partly because of space restraints and also the ability to work inside the house instead of out in the garage. I still try to have ‘canvases’ and frames that are unconventional too. This happens quite easily when you try to reuse instead of going to the art store to buy your materials. Anything from old cabinet doors, counter tops, kids toy toolbox, hardback book covers, etc.
I am also starting to experiment with reusing the paper from the books I’ve destroyed while excavated collage material. I end up shredding the paper and using the pulp to make paper, relief, and three dimensional objects. Not wanting to waste, I also started to use the hardback covers of the books as canvases. They are great for simple collage works of a smaller scale.
I was also able to create some larger, very busy collage works for the show. It was nice to have these balance out some of the smaller, simpler pieces. I want to experiment with even large collage pieces in the future. I try not to put myself in a creative corner that I can’t get out of.
As far as the show, I was really pleased with the turn out. A lot of folks showed up to check out my art and listen to the sounds of Echomaker. Studio 303 is a great space in the Murphy Arts Center and is the home of Audio Recon digital distribution, Pattern Hungry records, and the ever talented Echomaker. They will continue to bring more artists through there space so be sure to check out Studio 303 every First Friday.
People passing through, checking out the art.
The crowd looks on as Echomaker starts their set.
Everybody was definitely feeling the performance and I was really lucky to have them play.
Echomaker is Eric Brown (drums), Neil Cain (bass, vocals), Cory Salas (MC, beats), Dan Marquis (keys, vibraphone), and Dietrick Klooster (trombone).
Thanks again to the guys in Echomaker and to everyone who came out to support me. You made it a special night!
I’m drowning. Drowning in ‘stuff’. I am taking in found objects faster than I can use them. I hate to see things go to waste and I know I could use these items for something whether it be visual art, functional art, etc. But sometimes you have to let things go.
It was getting out of hand. My 1.5 car garage was over-flowing with scrap wood, cassette tapes, miscellaneous hardware, old windows, gallons and gallons of people’s unwanted paint,…you get the picture. I had to cut some of my losses on items I’ve had around for a while but could never find the right thing to use them for.
That’s where the scrap yard comes in. I was able to take a whole bunch of scrap metal to the scrap yard which helped a lot on space. I also recently built a table for our kitchen out of old red oak ‘horse fence’ board from a place in Zionsville. I also used up most of the cedar fencing for raised garden beds this summer and will continue to use the rest of it up this fall. We plan to expand our garden and the fence board definitely will come in handy. Good thing I saw them before my neighbor was going to take them to the trash drop off.
“Fragmented” 2010 – Scrap Elm wood
Onto these photos..This piece, “Fragmented”, is made out of scrap elm wood that originally came from an old barn. I can’t remember where the barn was located. My old employer took old barn wood and turned it into flooring, furniture, etc. These were some of the flooring scraps that he couldn’t use but of course, I sure as hell could use them.
This piece is pretty big measuring in at 58″ x 54″ and weighs just as much. It weighs so much that after my wife and I hung it up the first time, it ripped the hardware out of the wall. Luckily the piece was still intact. It was the classic ‘fly landing on an unstable stack of objects then triggering them to fall’. If that makes sense…you know, like good ol’ fashion cartoons. I was just in the middle of telling Rachel to be careful not to bump into it and just as I gently put my finger on it, “Fragmented” came crashing down. Luckily, not into more fragments than originally intended.
I wanted this piece to look like it was floating off the wall. The way I approached doing that was having all the support ‘beams’ hidden. I used old cedar lattice from the above mentioned fence panels. It looks like a deranged labyrinth from the back. I then used scrap pieces of 2×4′s to set it off of the wall. In doing this, it creates a nice shadow and gives it the effect of floating off the wall.
I am really pleased with the way “Fragmented” turned out and it’s nice to look at that instead of an awful painting I did from 2005.
Next is a speaker I built from……you guessed it! Scrap wood! I had the speakers lying around and wanted to put them to use. They actually came from the speaker cabinet I used in “I Like My Music Well Done”. I built this new cabinet out of MDF and then glued different pieces of wood to the front. Nothing was painted or stained. Those pieces just came from different sources and I picked them out to fit a certain color palette. Now that I look back, it almost looks like a Jim Houser rip-off. I love his work and maybe his color palette was hiding somewhere in my brain and came out for this one. I have more speakers lying around so I’m sure there will be more built in the future.
This last one is a wall storage cabinet that I built recently. I can’t remember how I got this guy’s number but I ended up getting some great white oak, poplar, etc. scraps from him. The wood panel for “Built On A Basin” came from him as well. I believe it’s white oak but who knows…it could be maple for all I know. I’ve never really been good at identifying different species of tree. I found the metal at a flea market in Danville last fall. I then used old bike brake pads for the handles. As you can see, the door just slides out of a slot cut on the right side. This cabinet is 19″ x 8″ x 9″. I now have a place to store all my usb cables for my cameras, ipod, etc. It also gives me more places to put plants and photos of my awesome son J.J.
On the visual art front, I am currently working on a few pieces. They are in the very early stages. We are in the middle of remodeling our bathroom and after laying tile, there is always leftover mortar. I hate to see it just thrown in the trash so I’ve used the mortar in the latest pieces. One of them is on cement board and I think when it’s done it is going to be heavy. I might add another panel to it and make it my largest piece yet. There is something satisfying about creating art on such a large scale. Especially when most of my work is on the smaller side.
I am also getting back into circuit bending, building my own unique instruments/noise makers for J.J. and I to mess around with. I also have plans to build a super simple pinhole camera for some Polaroid film I picked up at goodwill. There seems to be so much I want to try out and experiment with. I guess it’s only a matter of time before it all happens.
Thanks for checking out this long winded blog post. I feel I had to make up for the lack of posts these past months. I plan to start adding video updates to this site as well to give you a peak into my creative space and see my works in progress. Thanks again and feel free to share the link with your friends and family. Maybe your mother’s brother’s uncle’s stepdaughter’s cat’s best friend would really enjoy my work…
Ah yes, where to start? Well, first of all I just want to say thanks to the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Be Indypendent for giving me the opportunity to share my art with people in such a large and populous venue. The Artsgarden is a truly amazing place. I wish I could live there.
Luckily, my good friend Drew Skwarcan was along for the ride all day on Friday. He helped me with loading, unloading, setting up, keeping me company, and even went the extra mile to take a ton of photos and hours upon hours of video during the event. Of course, he didn’t want the footage to go to waste so he created this super nice video not just for me but for everyone. This way everyone will get to see a glimpse into what went down at the Holiday Art Sale at the Artsgarden. Without further ado…
The day started off early. 6am early. I probably should have got more sleep that night but I had so many things I didn’t want to forget. Coffee was my life saver like always. After loading all the essentials and 70+ pieces of art into my van that barely started on that cold morning, I went to pick up Drew. We made it to the underground parking garage on time and thought it was going to be cheap to park there. Well, let me tell you something it wasn’t. $20 to park all day seems a bit steep for me but I am also famous for being frugal. Onward!
Early bird gets the worm! *
When I found out I was one of the first to arrive that allowed me to settle my nerves a little bit. I hate running around trying to get things ready at the last minute. Even though I had two hours to set up, it still seemed like that was the outcome. I did get everything set up in time though.
Final setup. Almost two hours of work. **
After a couple different figurations and adding a table, I finally had enough room for all my art. You never can be too prepared I guess. I was very pleased with the layout. I was able to hang a few larger works in the back. This along with the smaller works showed viewers that my work varies in size as much as the materials do. I enjoy this. I don’t want to be a ‘one-trick dog’ as they say. Who says that? I don’t know…
Close up of assorted works. *
I made a lot of smaller works specifically for this show. My goal was to create original yet affordable artwork. This was the great time for people to pick up last minute Holiday gifts or start a personal art collection. It is very important to me to keep my work evolving while still making it affordable to people. There are some artist’s work who I love but I unfortunately can’t even buy one of their prints let alone an original. I guess it all comes down to the fact that ‘affordable’ seems to be a pretty subjective word these days.
Conversing with friend and fellow artist, Phil Cardenas. *
Not only was I able to meet new people at the sale but a lot of my friends and family took the time to swing by. I cannot tell you how much this little act means to me. It is so easy to stay inside (especially with the cold weather and all…) but these people took the time out of their day to see me and my art. Awesome stuff right there! So thanks to all my friends and family who came out to see my booth! You guys are super supportive and are a positive force that keeps me doing what do. I want to make sure that you know I appreciate it.
View from my booth. **
But, I wasn’t the only one at the sale! There were 20+ talented and creative people putting their work out there for the world to see. I admire that. It takes a lot of hard work and proverbial balls to do an event like this so kudos to all the artists who participated. I sure hope they had as much fun as I did.
Second story view. *
Isn’t this space remarkable? I can’t say enough about it. I still want to live there. I need to get out more and just wander around the city like I used to back in High School, camera in hand. The Holiday Art Sale was another event that shows just how much talent Indianapolis has to offer. I hope to see all forms of art succeed and flourish in the future. We need to be a cornerstone of creativity in the Midwest. Let’s make it happen Indy!
Close up of the custom magnets made from old coasters. *
I had a lot of fun creating these magnets. I was strolling through Goodwill (one of my favorite pastimes) when I saw a stack of old coasters. I knew right away I could use them. I was already toying around with the idea of creating custom magnets and these fit my idea perfectly. I thought it would be a great and inexpensive way to add art to the kitchen. Magnets aren’t pricey and some art shouldn’t be either. So why not combine the two? I focused on juxtaposing collage images and word phrases in a comical yet sometimes troubling manner. I enjoyed them and seeing as I sold a few, I know others did as well.
Speaking with people about recycling opportunities around Indy. *
Another component to my booth was having free information about recycling available for people. Not only do I try to recycle through means of my art but in every day life as well. I also feel some individuals don’t recycle because they don’t know where or what to recycle. Knowledge is power. No one is perfect when it comes to their carbon footprint but we should at least all try to not be so wasteful. My friend Corrina hooked me up with the printed information that was available. Thanks Corrina! You can learn more about recycling opportunities and how to make a difference at the Indiana Recycling Coalition’s website.
End of the day. Last chance to pick up something! *
After a slower mid-afternoon session, the masses hit the Artsgarden with full force. Friends, family, and even some people I met at Oranje back in September came out just to see my work. It was so great! I am glad we ended the night off strong. I can’t say enough about the success that was the Holiday Art Sale. So after a long day, we packed up and headed out. Did I mention the price of parking?…..eh, anyways. Then it was off to Wendy’s for a well needed late night snack. Does four double stacks and a frosty count as a snack?
Joy's House | Joy’s House is a safe and loving community devoted to safety, comfort and care
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful | Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc. unites people to build community and transform public spaces through aesthetic and environmental improvement
Made For Each Other | Engages neighbors in the planning, creating and celebration community-building projects — bridging gaps between art, artists, art institutions and other large institutions and residents of Indianapolis as a way to creatively improve the quality of life f
People for Urban Progress | Indianapolis-based 501c3 non-profit organization that promotes and advances public transit, environmental awareness, and urban design
Second Story | Helps kids in the Indianapolis area form positive attitudes about creative writing and improve their skills as writers.
Drew Skwarcan | My long-time friend and also the mastermind behind this awesome website
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