Thursday, October 1, 2009

Good Grief!

Can't believe I missed a day of posting, but yesterday was jam-packed.  I'm gonna take you on a tour of the art I saw yesterday afternoon and wrap it up with a shot of our community ArtTree. No need to fasten your seatbelts, I'm sure you'll be frozen to your seats with the following great art!

I finally got back to the venue that I was having such a hard time finding open.   This piece is quite small - maybe 15" but it doesn't need to be a millimeter bigger to convince you!

This one  also caught my eye and camera - and it's for you 2D readers out there.

The workmanship on this is incredible and reminded my of my John Taye class and his extraordinary carvings.   The photo is a bit blurry, but the duck on the back of the bird dog made me think of my old Brittany Spaniel, Hendrix, who, if he ever got close enough to a bird, would've introduced himself and asked to become friends on facebook!

Here's another wonderful one by the same artist:

Trees are a popular subject, that's for sure.  If you could look closely at these tree stumps,
 you would see that the artist painted small eyes, eyebrows and eyelashes all over the  white bark.

Being an old packaging rep, I recorgnized this overhead piece as corroplast -  plastic corrugated.  I think the artist must have heated it to distort it.  The photo doesn't do it justice, but the venue was a perfect match.

We interrupt this program to bring you a special advertisement.

Grand Rapids is a mecca of furniture design and one could do an endless blog just on the furniture companies and designers here.  But the big name in furniture is Steelcase, who is the industry leader in office furniture.  There are about a half of dozen venues around town where Steelcase is showcasing their latest indoor/outdoor line.   Following is a fuzzy indoor shot. (My camera seems to have a life of its own in changing its own settings)  Then another outdoor venue where the image is more clear so you can see the furniture.   Wouldn't you just love to see these pieces all in and around Boise town?

Now, back to our regular programming.

I loved the concept in this piece.  This is being shown in an old factory space that has been converted to Monroe Community Church.   The artist statement talks about how art changed once  the Protestants arrived on the scene.  You know, moving from the elaborate Italian Renaissance focus on Catholicism, Christ, Saints, Popes, etc to the "humble" still life.  The artist painted a still life on pieces that can be moved around in the frame like those little plastic  moveable number puzzles that spill out of toy vending machines.  I really wanted to move the pieces, but wasn't sure if I should.

This community church is a very special space.   With some very thoughtful art, with most of the focus on how people express their faith and Christianity.  I was very moved by the setting - rich dark crimson  and white walls, black ceiling, cement floors, and a semicircle of black chairs in the  spartan sanctuary.  For someone that keeps dodging the idea of organized religion off and on, I felt like this could be a place I'd feel really comfortable.

One of the stunning pieces in this venue referred to the artist's relationship with migrant workers and the work is an homage to the backbreaking, yet seldom acknowledged work they perform to provide us with fruits, vegetables and services that we often take for granted.  The piece, I will admit, was quite confusing to me, and I will post a rather poor and incomplete photo.   Copper pillows with images of farmworkers on the top surfaces are suspended from fiber wrapped lines hanging from what appears to be crosses.  Below the suspended pillows are intensely colored balls of  red wool placed in woven copper containers.  The balls of wool are so rich with color you could barely take your eyes off them.

Here's a woodcut of a woman in a hospital gown reaching for Christ.  This is a space that people come to for healing.  I'm posting this print for all the printmakers out there.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen as many prints as I'd hoped, but there are probably at least 800 pieces I still have yet to see in this wonderful world called ArtPrize.  Wishful thinking is projecting at least 200 of the yet to be seen work are prints!

This next one is made completely out of recycled materials.  The top starts with wood reminiscent of the crown of thorns made from a piece of Ikea furniture along with a dumpster piece of plastic.   The copper tubing was hanging out in the artist's garage.  Beneath the suspended copper pipe is a small basket full of smooth, white stones.   I'm not familiar with the Book of Revelations, but I was told there is a line in this Book that speaks of receiving a white stone with a new name and a promise of hope for the broken.

One last  Monroe Community Church painting for the 2D people in the room.

Now back to the BrassWorks Building. This piece is one you absolutely have to click on to get the full picture.  The piece  called Raspberries is made out of clay and I can see I cropped it a bit awkwardly.  I think she found the perfect wall to hang it.

I'll end for now with a picture of the Community Tree we did at San Chez last night.  I did my best to cut out a tree with a trunk turning into a fork of branches. (San Chez's logo).  The San Chez tree logo also speaks of their commitment to being Green and Sustainable, something everyone here really admires about them along with their extraordinary menu offerings.   Anyway, we provided an exacto knife - only one, though, because I wasn't exactly  sure how well exactos and sangria mix.  People were invited to cut a leaf into the panel, leaving the stem attached, and sign their name.  It was surprising to see how many people waited in line to do it! Well, Earle did provide some lovely complimentary trays of spanish cheese and meats (tapas) not far from the cutting table.  But from the looks of the tree at the end of the night and the fact that the tapas were gone before the cutting was completed, I'd say a good time was had by all.

They'll be announcing the top ten ArtPrize artists at 6 PM EST.  I'm still in my J's working on this blog, while scores of people are in the center of town checking out the top 25 and waiting for the announcement.  I better get a wiggle on.