Beginning with a few bands and some art at PROJEXx Studio & Gallery (109 W Walnut St) and ending at Mecca (117 Spring St) with more music! This event is free and open to the public, though donations would definitely be appreciated. Couch change, loose bills, whatever. Bring it. (By the way, I don’t get any of the money. I just want to encourage support of local venues.)
In case you can’t read that tiny text at the top, the event is Saturday, April 13th at 8 PM.
I will have some drawings (honestly not sure how many or which drawings yet) up in the show, and I’m glad that I can be part of this because I have really enjoyed PROJEXx and its on-again, off-again affair with Johnson City. It has exposed me to people and things happening in this town that I was completely oblivious to previously. For that, I am really grateful.
Two weeks later, I am ready to sit down and share a bit about me and Liz Layton‘s exhibition Moderna Blondin, especially the reception, during which time the performance took place.
I did not expect that peculiar, miraculous thing that happens sometimes with painting, drawing or sculpture, where you surprise yourself and “what this is about” expands exponentially right before your eyes. This may be because I have no experience with theatre, and on account of there being lines and such, assume that there is little room for surprise. We had a loose script, we rehearsed, and everyone involved was capable and committed.
Perhaps I am giving too much away here, but I believe that what made the performance was actually what I didn’t plan and couldn’t expect. I did not, for example, plan for a drum circle to be in the gallery prior to the performance, right next to the installation. I did not expect people to not realize I was a real person underneath the dark purple fabric. And I definitely didn’t plan to mimic my episodes, periods of time when I am disoriented, dizzy, etc.
That’s what makes it exciting for me, all the things I did not expect. I am grateful for the interaction that I had with the audience, even in moments of discomfort. When people debated what my gender was under the fabric, when someone dared another to “punch it in the face”, when a child asked someone, “Do you want to see the person?”, or when people became alarmed at realizing I was sitting there, able to hear their conversations — all of it was really fascinating. Even the drum circle, which I was admittedly not thrilled about, played an important role.
And thankfully, I’m not the only one who felt that fascination and impact. Really. Thank you.
Speaking of, I’d like to thank our performers — Katharine Hache, Jennifer Culp, and Myranda Kreyenbuhl-Porterfield. Each one performed perfectly, despite not being paid (though a “thank you” brunch is in order), and they really brought themselves to their roles whole-heartedly. I appreciate that a great deal.
I’d also like to thank Liz for working with me because without her work and her presence, I’m not sure I would have thought of doing this on my own. She an illuminator, both literally and figuratively.
More pictures are available at my Flickr account, as usual. Also, Liz has prints from the show’s work in her Etsy shop. (Kate Bush!) I’m planning to put together a zine with images of the work in the show, artist statements, short essay(s), and hopefully an interview. So, that’s on the way.
The exhibition — including our paintings and the installation — will be up in Nelson Fine Art Center until the end of March.
My intentions are always good in the beginning with occasional moments of rejuvenation, but then I fall flat the moment I am distracted by something shiny or tired of my own endless spewing of words, words, words. For someone that has such a shaky relationship with words, I am terribly verbose.
Explanations aside, I’d like to move onto something (hopefully) more interesting: my work in progress.
Aside from writing articles, I’ve also been putting together a proposal for a group exhibition and working on an upcoming exhibition with Liz Layton. And by “upcoming”, I mean in a little less than three weeks.
Moderna Blondin is an exhibition of work by Liz Layton and Jaime Santos-Prowse containing paintings, installation, and performance. This new work is inspired by “The Magician’s Cape”, a Swedish fairy tale written by Anna Wahlenberg with John Bauer’s illustrations. It’s also inspired by Manichaeism, Ingmar Bergman’s “The Virgin Spring“, Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides“, the obsession and idolatry of adolescence, and glittery sparkling things.
The opening reception will take place on Friday, March 1st (First Friday), 7 – 9 PM at Nelson Fine Art Center in downtown Johnson City. The performance art piece begins promptly at 7:30 PM. Live music before & after art performance (bands TBA).
The reception will be catered with sweets and treats. Prints of the artists’ original art work will also be available for sale at this time. The paintings and installation will remain in the gallery until the end of March (specific date TBA). The reception is free and open to the public, though the artists and musicians would greatly appreciate donations.
There’s still a lot of work to do. Cue sudden stress baking. Chocolate chip coconut or blueberry anise scones, anyone? How about tomato rosemary? Cranberry orange?
By the end of the month, I may very well bake every variation of scone imaginable. My pants agree with my husband, that this is perhaps an unhealthy development. I’ve recently acquired three new literary / art magazines so maybe I can make myself read in the tub the next I feel an overwhelming desire to bake.
I’m not sure how one gauges the success of a reception. Is it how many people show up? How many people compliment you? How much art is purchased? How many people suggest another exhibition or commission that probably won’t come to fruition? I don’t know.
A lot of people showed up, a lot of people responded positively to the work, a lot of people loved the food, and one person bought a print. Good, I think. I worked a bit harder to promote the show and to allow other people to promote it for me. A couple people mentioned reading about it in the paper to Robert.
Thanks to my grandparents, mom, mother-in-law, and some friends the food for the reception was everything I hoped it would be — good, seasonal, and substantial vegan food for people who aren’t used to eating vegan food. I’m glad I decided to shoot for having too much food because people ate pretty much all of it. There was very little left for us to take home by the end of the night. We had:
It was all delicious. And I might have forgotten something or things. We managed to find some compostable plates and silverware, plus recyclable plastic cups so there ended up being one trash bag, one recycling bag, and two compost bags. I’m pretty pleased with hosting an event that was at least semi-responsible.
Instead of a guestbook, I decided to paint a rectangle on the wall and let people fill it with their comments. More like an open forum or a discussion board than a guestbook. People were a bit shy about it, but with some encouragement by the end of the night there were several comments, some of which were especially thought-provoking or validating. (And who doesn’t love feeling validated?) It seems like most people came to me directly to tell me what they think.
We ended up staying in the gallery until 11:30 because people kept coming in, and I was as proud of myself for talking to so many strangers as I was for putting together the whole damn show. Especially on three hours of sleep. More images from the reception are available at my Flickr account. I’ll take some good photos of the work itself soon. Until then, here are a few more images from the reception:
I sent an exhibition proposal for December or later, but there was an opening in October, so despite not having the work done yet I decided to take it.
The show will be called Inheritance and it addresses the conflicts and ethics of various animal rights issues, such as factory farming and animal testing by the cosmetics industry. It combines drawing, painting, and installation. The original proposal needed to be simplified a bit for the sake of time and money, but the changes actually seem to work better (at least in my mind) than before. They’re a bit more dynamic. I’m really excited and nervous about it.
The local animal rights group might help me with the food at the reception. Fingers crossed. It’d be really great if the reception could be the combined effort of many individuals, especially on the local level. The reception will be entirely vegan, although I’ve heard that some people only go to art shows for cheese. Hm.
The past week and a half has been almost continually about collecting images: faces, bruises, skin irritation, nude females, mastitis, etc. My cats really like to be in the reference photos. Maybe I should just paint my cats. A whole show dedicated to my future as a cat lady.
(By the way, the two “poses” above are not going to be included. I just thought they were good representations of my cats’ individual style for getting in the way. Because I know how much you care about my darling cats.)