Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holiday: Race to get back for Christmas

Emily and I raced south yesterday morning so we could pick up Brad and head to Central Nebraska for Christmas. So far we are waiting out weather in Omaha with my family, so we've reversed our plans of visiting his side first-then mine for the time being. I'm going to enjoy family and will post again when I head back for install. Happy Holidays, stay warm, and safe travels!

Installation Day Four

Emily and I cranked out the other side of the horseshoe upstairs on Monday, putting in a late night. I'll have a bit to touch up on my return trip, but it was energizing to work while the carpet and panel of the first floor was being removed. So many staples and nails to pull- but the floor beneath looks wonderful. I could hear "This is the old basketball court? It's great to be able to see it." from passersby and the staff helping to return the floor to its previous glory. I am hoping some of the blue remains after the sanding as a remnant- it looks so sharp against the maple floor.

I already have a deep seated adoration of wood. Brad and I are so happy with the investment of refinishing our Red Oak from the Ozarks at home- just sealing it instead of staining it. We had Floor Designs ready to begin as soon as we got home for the first time from closing. I am also a huge fan of restoration and re-purposing unique features of architecture. The new wooden floor will be a beautiful backdrop to the huge doily I have planned for the lower story of the gallery. It will be great for artworks in future shows at C-SC as well.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Installation Day Two and Three

It's slow going... but we've got some intricate work in. I am just hoping the first floor will be ready when I come back in January. We are a bit off schedule due to the refinishing getting delayed. I will have to work fast to make my ambitious project happen. We stocked up yesterday on groceries- which is great since its been snowing non-stop since this morning. We will have to head home a bit early as well, as the forecast is ice pellets for our drive.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

CSC Install Day 1

Emily and I arrived right at 1 pm to meet Jen at the gallery with no real weather holdups. I was afraid we would have to head home again after getting the low down on the space and meeting some staff, because the first floor was supposed to be refinished and perhaps a bit too stinky to safely work in. The floor redo had been postponed, so we had no worries about fumes and decided to tackle upstairs. We vacuumed, moved pedestals, set lighting and started drawing upstairs. I was greatly influences by the Four Centuries of Japanese Screens at the St Louis Art Museum- especially the use of gold leaf cloud shapes to both unify and divide space. We only got about an hour of drawing in at the very end of the evening, but it's off to a good start. Local BBQ sustained us and having Emily's extra hands has been wonderful.

The friendliness of Culver Stockton College folk has already made several good memories- from a helpful battery jump, to help getting campus numbers and loan speakers (thanks so much Jeanne!), to having a real bed and shower-- when I'm used to a sleeping bag and a yoga mat and zero privacy during a long install. It's really wonderful to be able to have a mini-residency at a quaint snow-covered campus with the help of an old friend.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chance Operation Lecture

Brad earned several points by spending an additional hour in an art lecture, presented by Meredith Malone on the Kemper Art Museum's "Chance Aesthetics" exhibition. The show is really incredible- the first show at the Kemper that is nearly loaned in its entirety. The discussion Malone lead was a learning experience for me, although I was familiar with most of the artists involved, I was unaware of the connections between them.My lack of love for art biography reared its head, and made me appreciate the storytelling of an art historian. I am not as interested in the network of personalities as I am the actual artwork.

Highlights: Duchamp's "Hat Rack", Dieter Roth's "Sunset" (Friend Chris Wood made me notice this artist quite a few years ago. I couldn't help thinking about Chris's new show "Recomposition" that opened Dec 4 at Antena Gallery in Chicago. in part inspired by Roth's sausage and paper prints.), a Max Ernst decalcomania painting (from the Kemper's collection), and the video set of Gutai Group performances, Niki de Sainte-Phalle shooting at her canvases with attached everyday objects and paintbags, and Pollock.

Part of Chris Wood's Recomposition Project.

But several of the lectures from NIU given by Barbara Jaffee and a few guest lecturers, especially Hannah Hoch on Fluxus rushed back to me. There were only two others at the lecture, and I ended up being familiar with both of them. One gentleman, who came to the Material Studies artist talk at Good Citizen, even brought up my lace doilies, but not my name or recognizing me, as an example of an artist letting the audience destroy a work- and not rushing in to fix it. Brad pointed me out- and the discussion continued. I was really impressed by the educational materials at the Kemper, and plan on bringing my students there next semester if possible. The curator for Metabolic City did not show, so we looked at the exhibition I was already drawn to- I would have appreciated a walk-thru of the exhibition that didn't really capture my interest. A conversation about that exhibit would have vastly changed how much I absorbed from it.