Monthly Archives: February 2012

“My Worlds”, and entering a brave new universe

My Worlds, 2012, Two canvases, stapled together, with loose canvas sandwiched. Oil. 14"x15"

Ah, I could go off on so many tangents tonight, but I have a bunch else to do, so I’ll keep the rambles to a minimum.

 
“My Worlds” is the latest of the new work that I have started calling “Another Compass, For Another Mountain”. These pieces started really with a few of the later pieces from “Art in Small Places”, of which there are two.
 
I really like this piece, and the direction in which it is going. I am continuing with the square format, but, with a twist. The canvas insert adds another dimension both in reality, and in the fact that I have that extra element to play with for greater spacial ambiguity. I will post more as it evolves because it certainly didn’t start out like this!
 
Other notes I would like to make here…Malynda Forcier and I are about to launch another blog which will include a multitude of features which I can barely contain myself from announcing, but it is getting close. This is kind of like playing Santa Claus!
 
The rest has to do with a real personal need now that I am doing so much reviewing of other people’s work, on blogs as well as a curator, to dig out the art history library and do a self-guided refresher course. I do not have any degree in art history or art criticism, and I am honest enough to admit that sometimes I feel that I should know more. I do have the degree in studio art, but that really is not the same.
 
I had some down-time this week with surgery and recovery, which gave me time to play with “My Worlds”, and I am considering putting these last three canvases into an “artist challenge” show next month that highlights experimental work. I just found out about that recently-funny how the cosmos works. I started this in December, I think.
 
 
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Surely I digress…

A quick post about art in very large places…

I am originally from southern California. I went to school there, too. With some rather talented people, I might add.

Recently, Jeffrey Vallance showed at the Andy Warhol Museum in New York. I remember his mini-installation pieces right outside the art building. I also remember being seriously aggravated by a graffiti piece that he and two of his friends put up in the painting studio. But, he has gone on to show internationally and I can say that I at least shared that space with his energy. We didn’t have any studio classes together.

Last week, Robert Piser opened at the James Gray Gallery in Santa Monica. Bob and I did have  a class together at Reseda High with Mr. Gill.

I won’t comment on Vallance because that’s been covered. And, having not seen Bob’s stuff up close, I am only going to make a few really general comments.

I have read a few of the comments on his Facebook page that compare Piser to a few well-known pop artists. I would disagree. I think Bob knows late 40s and 50s LA and puts it out there, better than any that I have seen. They are very derivative of that period’s advertising. And, unfortunately, that is all I can say-my 15″ monitor screen doesn’t deliver good enough imagery and…there is nothing like seeing art on the wall.

Thanks to them and to all who make art. Good job.

Liz Macchio’s work is on its way!

I have been really hesitant about picking up work online. But, I can think of worse ways!

In the days that followed Duncan’s change in whether or not he could show, I had to scramble-not something I wanted to do. I might have not picked the people and art that I did to show in my first show at the Stone Church after mine. But, Amy and Kristen, as I stated a few times before, and I will again and again, are both very, very good. My idea was crushed because I really wanted three. I could have made it work, but curation, and hanging a good show is as much an art as creating the work that goes on the walls and pedestals.

So, I was determined to get a third. I did everything aside from bribe Duncan with a lot of money to get him to change his mind. The last picture I saw on Facebook of him was taken from a hospital bed. I will admit everything from being selfish to whatever here, because when I saw that, I felt about the size of a pin-head. (From someone who is having pre-cancerous cell removal surgery next week.)

On to other remedies: (1) include myself, (2)internet, (3) local venues (4)let the show be Amy and Kristen, as I stated. Myself is always an option-not the best or preferred, unless a show is designed that way. I had gotten a few internet submissions of interest, but none that really fit. I have no time to really “pound the pavement” for artists.

I guess I play nice, because later that night I got an email from Liz Macchio. I looked at the images. I gave Duncan one last chance-like I said… I sent Liza list a few days later of what I wanted. Five days later, I started to panic, with no response from her. I had sent the list to the wrong email.

We have since worked out what she needs to frame, what she shipped today, what I will have…and this is all on an internet handshake! Can’t wait to get it! On with the show-I think all Kristen needs is a few pieces of glass!

 

The Stone Church press release: “3 Views of Country”

 

For immediate release:

The Stone Church is pleased to announce the show entitled “3 Views of Country”, which will open on March 1, and run through April 30, 2012. The opening reception is scheduled for March 11, from 5pm-7pm. The show includes work from Amy Delventhal, Kristen Dolloff, and Liz Macchio who all have quite different interpretations of country settings and related objects.

Amy Delventhal:

Amy  comes from a long line of artists, and learned to paint primarily from her family. She grew up in western Connecticut, but moved to New Hampshire in the 80s to raise her family. She has been in exhibits for over 30 years, has shown nationally, and has received a vast number of awards. She received her first portrait commission at 14. She works in watercolor, oils and pastels.

The works included in this show are oil landscapes and pastel horse portraits. Her work is the most realistic of the group, with hints of Impressionism primarily in the pastels. She depicts the White Mountains and area rivers like someone who has hiked many of the trails, and she has. She had quit  working in oils, which were her medium as a child, and has returned to them as recently as her primary medium for landscape.

Birches, Amy Delventhal

Kristen Dolloff:

Kristen grew up in New Hampshire, and graduated Cum Laude in Studio Art with a BA from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts in 2006. Her show experience already includes a featured artist spot at The Emporium in So. Berwick, ME in 2007, and she was included in the “Thirty Under 30” show last year in Exeter, NH.

The works included in “3 Views of Country” are silkscreens and relief prints, and are scenes and iconographic symbols stripped down to basic shapes.  An excerpt of her statement:  Exploring iconic imagery, I sometimes call attention to the dichotomy between cultural storybook ideas of the farm and actual conditions, while other times I celebrate the simplicity and beauty that can be found when one works with the land. My work is very personal, yet I feel it is relevant in wider cultural sense.

Erosion, Kristen Dolloff

 Liz Macchio:

Liz hails from Long Island, New York. She garnered her BA in Art, from the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY in 1986. Liz, like Amy, has done a tremendous amount of commission work.  She was recently included in a group show at C1 Gallery in Patchogue, NY.

The work represented here is in oils and pastels. The pastels are more Impressionistic than the oils and all are much looser than Amy’s.  In her statement, she reflects that she wants her work to be a personal interpretation, and draw her viewer in.

Red Falls, Liz Macchio

 Curator’s statement:

I challenged myself with this first show after mine at the Stone Church to bring together three very different artists treating the theme of landscape. These are not the original three that I had in mind, as Duncan McKee has an advanced case of bone cancer and is undergoing very rigorous treatment. He has a few other priorities, to say the least, and decided to not show.

Amy and Kristen cover polar opposite sensibilities, and briefly I considered using just them. Liz contacted me about the online “call for art”, and I was delighted. Though I will not have as many of her pieces as the other two, her work will act as the “bridge” I was hoping for, and is solid also in its own right.

As I initially said, I am really hoping to increase the diversity of what is shown in the area. This show fulfills that, and I hope to continue to stick to that principle.

All inquiries about sales will be handled by me, since none of the artists are really local. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, or regarding submissions at dahurst555@metrocast.net

 

The upcoming show at the Stone Church

This post was originally written for a blog that I share with Malynda Forcier called “Connect the Dots Art Exchange”. Please feel free to visit it, as well: connectthedotsartexchange/wordpress/com

Since Malynda owns a venue in a small place and I curate one, I think it’s apropo to actually discuss the trials of all that here. It isn’t always easy. And, sales is only a portion. Malynda deals with product mix, and I deal with the getting good artists into a venue that is not regarded as an art venue. I hope art dealers on all levels will also feel free to jump in with comments and suggestions. We can all learn from everyone’s experience. And, artists: the same holds true here, too.

The upcoming show at the Stone Church had it’s conception as I was getting ready to hang mine there. Three artists with very diverse backgrounds and very diverse art, but dealing with landscape-related themes. Sounded easy enough…and I even know people to fill that bill.

Not so fast, buddy. I approached Amy Delventhal who is like a sister, and the response was what I expected. When, where, and how do I get it there. (I picked up a fabulous assortment this last weekend). I then asked Kristen Dolloff, a co-worker who is emerging and has a tremendous amount of young talent. Done. I did a studio visit almost two weeks ago, and picked work for the show. Duncan McKee was my third. Anything but easy. His cancer is a real detriment to him showing, or doing much, for that matter.  So, my #3 wasn’t as secure as I had hoped.

Since I took over the Stone Church curatorial duty, I have run a number of “artist calls” and gotten responses. Some good and some not, but it is fun to come home from my day gig, and look at what has been submitted. Liz Macchio was one such submission-or at least inquiry-and we have communicated and she will be contributing 5 pieces to the “3 Views of Country” show. She hails from New York, and I have never seen this work “live and in person”. We are both taking a gamble.

I am writing the draft for the press release. I have never written a press release for more than just my own work or a larger number of artists, so this is a challenge. Designing the invitation was a trick, too, because the work is so different, and I had to be extremely careful to balance the images. But, so far, it is all looking like the fight was worth it.

And, the Gatehouse Gallery and the Stone Church are the first active participants in the physical art exchange portion of Connect the Dots. The Creative Center in Newmarket is also quite interested in rotating and displaying work with us. We are not limited to any geographic locale, as Malynda stated. We are hoping this becomes a bit more than a few venues. And, why not international?

When the final publishable piece for the press release is done, I will post it here, too. I am very excited to share this work with as many as I can.

“Art in Small Places” in a new small place!

The work is moving north. Well, some of it-the rest will also visit Tamworth in April.

Work at the Gatehouse Gallery, Tamworth, NH

And, much is going on with the Tamworth connection. Malynda will be showing at the Stone Church in May, and as the curator, I am very excited to have her work grace those walls.

 The next Stone Church show is also starting to take shape. I visited Amy Delventhal in Bethlehem prior to my stop in Tamworth, and selected 10 pieces, two pastels and 8 oils for the upcoming show, “3 Views of Country”. Liz Macchio has come through for me, and is shipping five pieces up from Long Island. And, Kristen Dolloff, always efficient, had me over for the studio visit/selection more than a week ago and I have everything I need for her for PR. Since she is a workmate and local, getting her work will be easy. Eclectic to say the least-but having put the invitation together, it should be one of those shows that makes you say “Huh?” It’s going to work really well because the work is so different.

So, life in the art world for me feels really good and dynamic. And, there is so much more in the works right now! Stay tuned!

 

 

 

The beginnings of a good “art in small places” week-end

Ms Renda Littlefield, Newmarket Creativity Center, Newmarket, NH, opening reception. 2/10/2012
Ms Renda Littlefield, Newmarket Creativity Center, Newmarket, opening reception. 2/10/12

This is what I am seeing…everywhere….and it is so cool.  A space, which was once thought of as strictly an office space, etc, has now become that… plus art, yoga, and poetry.

 
I was invited to this opening because I curate the Stone Church. I was so glad to meet this artist as we share views on quite a bit of what is happening locally as well as where it should go.  Renda’s work crosses many fields, but most of the obvious are expressonist. She is shown here at a table with huge syringes filled with devices and things, like cell phones which are considered as addicting as cocaine or nicotine.
I was most drawn to her work that can be hung-some is very 3-D.
 
The show is, as it is billed, eclectic.  Other works, like those of Susan Luca,  are beautiful, small, and traditional. There are also some surreal treatments of photography.
 
As this is the end of a long week, I will follow up with the poetry reading  and information…

A quick update

I can’t really call this a “daily”. I have been capable of my 9-5, and then coming home to find dinner and bed. No art. Just the flu. Tonight is feeling like it may provide energy enough for a few paint strokes and a load of laundry.

In the meantime, I am waiting for bios for the artists for the next Stone Church show, and sent the Gatehouse one for me. As all of he above comes together, it will be posted, as well. The press release and various listings will have to be written for the Stone Church on Sunday.

daily post-I’m actually keeping up with this, and getting organized

One of the most inconvenient parts of melding all of my present lives together is the amount of dates that it is absolutely crucial that I remember, nevermind, not over-book. I have witnessed first-hand another gallery director/owner schedule two shows of her work to hang simultaneously. The second venue scrambled, and she helped them fill the space with another artist a few days later. Not something I want to do.

But, I admit that I was guilty of a similar faux pas yesterday. The Stone Church and I have agreed that the March show would be the last to run for two months. I scheduled another one for April yesterday, and one that I think will be really important for all involved. When I realized that this morning, I had to act very quickly, admit my mistake, reset the schedule. It worked, but I did have a “white knuckle” moment. So, the next show will continue to be the last before we switch to the month-to-month schedule. Malynda Forcier will hang in May. I have an illustrators’ show in the works for June.

But, back to the working woman who is an artist and curator, on the side-I bought a great big, industrial desk calendar that now sits under my laptop. And, to add amusement to the narrative, said working woman/artist/curator uses her coffee table as her desk. But, hey, I can decorate with the best, but I tend  to go for function first-and my easel is directly to the left of the couch. I also visited Staples for a few other newly needed items. I am finally filing business cards. I have a “big girl” business card carrier instead of a plastic bag now, too. Ooo, how professional.

The most important thing that I accomplished today though was joining the Kittery Art Association. An easy feat, and a mere $35. But, it doubles my art’s seacoast exposure, and gives me access to another pool of artists. And, what a beautiful space!

I am hoping to check into the Gatehouse gallery to see if she has new images posted yet, and if she does, I will share in tomorrow’s “daily”.

 

Daily post-waiting for the gesso to dry

A really good studio day-so good, I passed on the last opening at the Wyatt Art Studio which I had really planned to make. I am going to try to make it over there tomorrow.

As the gesso dries…the only reason why I am not painting. Pieces in progress:

Another Compass, Another Mountain #4. Oil on two canvases, with a loose piece of canvas in between.
Another Compass, Another Mountain #3, oil on canvas, mixed medium
Untitled-I know I gave this a title, but it is evolving, and that is going to change.

So, excuse the glare. Since, none of these are finished, I am more concerned that people see the direction that I am going and when they are done, the pieces will certainly get better presentation.

 
I have a had a really amazing day and #4 looked nothing like this earlier, and I am sure it will become more like #3.
 
The gesso still isn’t dry!
 
I stretched a 16″x16″ canvas a few nights ago with the help of my cat (NOT-she likes to lie on any fabric including canvas) that I am planning to use for a variation of what I am working with #4.
And, that’s the canvas that I am waiting for.
 
Obviously, more to come. I think it’s ready.