Reception for Inheritance

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:

Southern Event Regulation sweet tea
Art Show Regulation boxed wine (probably not vegan)
Husband Regulation Yuengling lager beer
Fruit jam, olive & dill, garlic, and spicy nut spreads
Chipotle, black bean, and garlic hummus
Crackers and fresh bread
Fresh fruit
BBQ pomegranate tempeh
Citrus glazed beets & sweet potato
Asparagus & heirloom tomato garlic salad
Cranberry, apple & squash quinoa
Hot black-eyed peas & kale
Sesame chard salad
Spiced pumpkin cupcakes
Maple cookies (Earth Fare)
No-bake chocolate cookies
Peanut butter rice krispy treats

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:

A beauty but a funny girl

Tantrums
Spiked coffee
Yoga
Damiana
Husband hugs
Dark chocolate
Really good dinners
Running
Singing

The tantrums actually ended a while ago once I felt more secure in the progression of the work. At first it was not working out at all, my hands felt awkward and jumpy. Virginal in the ways of graphite and watercolour. Has it really been that long since I tried to draw something in earnest? It’s at least been a couple months. And before that I was busy masturbating a sea of hundreds, thousands tiny little black lines. Fight or flight, a combination of both.


My hands and my eyes remember more now, and I can see the faces much better. Soon I’ll move onto the figures. They will have to be quick and ruthless. In my head, they remind me of figures in the work of Kara Walker, Wangechi Mutu, Fay Ku, Peregrine Honig, and my former classmate Kenna Kindig (who needs a website or something).

Installation begins after this weekend, then a week until the opening reception. I knew there were some things I wouldn’t begin until I could move into the gallery, such as the mysterious substance flowing in and out of the figures, so that’s not really a concern. It will work. If it doesn’t I will burn the whole building down. (Not really, Karlota.)

By the way: I still need some pictures of faces. Just an up close portrait with no makeup or glasses. Unless you have a lot of facial hair, in which case I can’t really use you, but thanks anyway. Photos of random people on the internet just don’t work as well.

Prayers for the wild at heart

I made two more paintings in the circus series to replace the two that have sold (the monkey and the giraffe), but then one of the new ones plus an older one (the elephant) sold so now I need to make more. Not that I’m complaining.

Self-Explanatory. Mixed media, 2011.

I focused on the tricks that the animals are made to perform because they are just as disgusting to me as the physical abuse so prevalent in circuses that include wild animals. It’s degrading. I’ve never understood the desire to kill, cage, or otherwise possess something you find beautiful. Don’t you love it or find it interesting because of what it is, and can you not see how possession changes it?

Detail from Self-Explanatory.

Sorry about the poorly shot photos. I kept forgetting to do it, and then ended up rushing. Since I’m interested in eventually producing prints, I’ll have to be more deliberate. For these two, as before, I used second hand frames from local thrift stores.

Obedience. Mixed media, 2011.

The amusing thing about all of this is that I tried a bunch of other things in an effort to earn some money, thinking that selling “public friendly” paintings or drawings could not possibly work for me. None of those other endeavors really amounted to much, or gave me the same level of satisfaction as making these paintings. If I can keep it up (EF wants me to have work there every 3-4 months), then this is certainly a viable option.

Detail of Obedience.

I’ve been thinking a lot about obedience lately. Last week I was reading about Eva Hesse and there was this phrase that really stuck out in my mind — “… haunted by obedience.” So many contemporary acts of rebellion feel forced, phony, or inauthentic. Symbols of it – like tattoos, strange hair styles, and so on – are now meaningless. Where is the real rebellion? Is that possible? Are we all haunted by obedience?

I go where I wanna go / providence

Now that they’re framed, mostly in second hand frames, I like them much more. Probably because I don’t have to worry as much about the 96 year old paper tearing or getting renegade glitter in my tea.

The paintings will go up on Friday and will remain in the Earth Fare cafe area through August. Hopefully at least a few of them will sell since that was kind of the whole point. That said, I don’t think these pieces are entirely separate from my “real” work and actually reflect on some interesting things that I had forgotten about.

One example: When I was a kid, I used to make a lot of collages. I didn’t intend for them to have socially critical meanings or set out thinking, “This will be funny”. I just made them. Later I’d look at them and think, “Oh, this is about _____” and I could see how they were a bit silly and angry all at once.

Coincidentally, I’ve been watching X-Men cartoons lately.

Things to know:

Sue Coe Lectures at ETSU:

Thursday, March 25th at 7:00 p.m. in room 112 of Brown Hall.

http://www.graphicwitness.org/coe/enter.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue_Coe

http://wiki.provisionslibrary.org/wiki/index.php/Sue_Coe

Big Mary
She Can't Catch Up, 1998.
Untitled, 2004.
Feedlot, 1991.
Dog Food, 1988.

Megan Levacy is having a  reception for her MFA thesis exhibition Eulogy at the Reece Museum from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Field Sparrow

For more information:

http://meganlevacy.com/

http://www.etsu.edu/reece/

Also, the Cherokee Carvers exhibition is still going on at the Reece Museum in another gallery if you haven’t see it yet.

Tomorrow, Friday, March 18th receptions will be held for two more graduating ETSU students Slocumb Galleries — Laken Bridges’ Manifestation and Charlie Haskins and The Rain Dogs’ A Matter of Taste. The reception will go from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Flight. Laken Bridges.

A Matter of Taste exhibition card.

In progress

I think what was suddenly so appealing about drawing when I was working on Between Two Thoughts was the momentum behind it, that it encouraged a continual push toward the edges. And I could work very intuitively. I could just pick up a piece of paper and a pen and work for hours, until I was literally falling asleep and drooling on my drawing, and then wake up and do more.

Now I’m trying to see how that translates into painting and colour, which add certain complications. Especially while trying to see this Horse.






also,

He says I look like a ninja now

Last night I moved like a ninja while someone chased me, I think it was a man. The woman who was supposed to kill me decided not to kill me after all, and we faked my death. But this man discovered that I was still alive and started hunting me again.

I was afraid of the water, as always, but I would climb out of windows and safely maneuver down to the ground. During waking hours, I am not so certain of my balance and strength. It’s tempting, though.

One of these days, I will take pictures of the work in my sketchbook and developing in my paintings. In the meantime, here are some things I have found somehow or other:

http://noelia.nituniyo.net/

http://www.christinecallahan.net/

http://www.lostateminor.com/2010/12/27/dark-dark-dark-2/

http://www.lordtonymackenzie.com/desiderata.html

http://spencercunningham.com/