Thursday, October 23, 2008

Attempting to strike a balance...

with the type of art I am in the process of creating. I have come to realize the need to make art for arts sake. The need to make art solely with the intent of creating something that is less, for a lack of a better word...heavy. By heavy, I mean that much of the work that I have been creating lately has been mentally draining. Not that I have not enjoyed making it, I certainly will continue to do it, but I need to balance it out with work that is less draining.

So....with that in mind I have been sketching out some ideas that will focus on abandoned or "vintage" playground equipment. I really like the idea of a single subject in a composition along with the use of large amounts of negative space. Just works for me visually. A few years back I did something similar using old metal lawn chairs. Any who, this idea was sparked by a photo I viewed recently by a photographer from the Kansas City area named Morgan Miller. She has a fantastic photo of a playground slide that is in front of an old drive in theatre. The composition is just perfect, except I would have cropped it a bit more. Anyway, Morgan has a photo stream on Flickr and you can find her work there.

I have also realized that I very much like color field painting. I used to think that Mark Rothko was a joke. Too simple, as if he was trying to pull the wool over our eyes. But there is much to be said about his use of color and the multiple layers he used to create such depth.

There you have it, I need to balance things out. I kind of look at it like the Sabbath. The mind needs some time to rest in order to be at its best. Although sometimes it is hard to step back, I feel it is vital and absolutely necessary for continued creative growth.

Onward and Upward.

First Co-op Meeting

Well, the first co-op meeting has come and gone. I had said in my mind, if I can get at least five people to sign on I will make a go of it. As of right now, we have seven. Pretty cool huh? And I just got a phone call this evening about another interested artist.

So far the co-op's members are Jeff Ackman-drawing and stencil design, Erin Eveland-oils and watercolor, Dags Grossman-oils, Mike Cahill-photography, Kenneth Cox-mixed media, Lynn Trone-drawing and myself-tempera and screen printing.

Another meeting will take place in a couple of weeks and we have already begun planning our first show for the first week of December. This show will be a group show that will feature work from all of the founding members. I will keep you posted!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Local Connection - An Artists' Co-op

Well, the letters have been mailed out concerning the creation of an artists' co-op here in Rushville. Here are my thoughts on what this co-op will look like. It is pretty straight forward and requires only a small time and financial commitment. Honestly, the idea of an all in one day show, reception and closing is not original to me. A recent trend with artists (especially ones who do not want to pay for gallery space) has been to re purpose their living spaces for gallery space. The idea of an artist moving all of their furniture and other items out of their apartment and using it for a gallery for an evening is a very cool idea. Wise use of resources. So here it is.

Local Connection - An Artist’s Co-op

-To foster professional, emerging and young artists by providing a space for them to show their work and gain recognition.
-To allow the public to see that the arts are alive in our community and surrounding areas.
-To encourage and support one another in the arts.
-To provide an environment where artists are able to network with other artists as well as patrons of the arts.
-To serve as an information, promotion and education resource for the visual arts and craft community.

Opportunities for Artists:
-Each artist will have the opportunity to be involved in group and individual shows.
-A web presence allowing the work of the co-op’s members to be viewed at any time.
-An opportunity to connect with prospective buyers.
-Demonstrations and Workshops.

-The co-op will sponsor a show/exhibit approximately every six weeks -opening, reception and closing all in one night.
-Each show/exhibit will feature one or two members of the co-op.
-Membership fee of $50 annually to cover costs of artists’ shows including refreshments, advertisement etc.
-All members would be invited to participate in an annual group show to be held either in the spring or fall. This show would include live music as well.

Sale of Art work:
-All sales would take place directly between the artist and the buyer. Any sales resulting from artwork displayed at a show would require the artist pay a 20% commission fee to the co-op.
-All commission fees would go directly back into the co-op to be used for co-op related expenses - i.e advertisement, food and beverage for shows, live music at the annual group show, rental space.

Submissions for Membership:
-A prospective member will submit 8-10 works via a portfolio, slides, or other samples of his/her work being approved for membership. Digital format is also acceptable. This could include images on CD or DVD. All work is juried by the current members of the co-op.

Duties of the Co-op’s Members:
-Participation in set up/take down and operation of shows.
-Being a voice for the arts within your community.
-Help with placement of advertisements - posters and in local news publications.
-Attendance and participation in monthly co-op meeting.
This outline along with a letter of invitation to an informational meeting was mailed out to 10 individuals in the Rushville area. I should know by the end of the meeting on the 21 of this month whether or not this co-op is going to take flight or quickly become grounded. I will keep you posted.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A few notes of interest.

This past week has been a bit of a strange one in the Ackman house. Our Great Dane of the last nine and a half years is no longer with us. Christy and I brought Magnus home when he was only 8 weeks old. He had developed some growths in his spleen and lower bowel that were causing problems with his ability to eat and digest food.

We had to make the tough decision to let him go. It was not fun for either of us. You know you have a special pet when your vet cries with you at his passing. When you have a dog that weighs 165 pounds roaming around the house, well lets just say he is hard to miss. Now with him gone, things are a bit out of balance.

On a brighter note, Maguns' buddy Zhang, our 4 year old Pug has kept us more than occupied. They were quite the pair. Magnus, this giant harlequin Great Dane and Zhang a 20 pound Pug. Passers by our home would always seem to get a laugh seeing them together.

I know he is only a dog, but he was part of our family. He will be greatly missed.

Plans are finally underway for an artist co-op here in the big city of Rushville, IL - pop. 3300.
I have come up with a simple, yet solid outline for the co-op. A letter along with the outline will be sent out to those I believe would be interested in becoming involved with this venture. Like I have stated before, this is something I just can't shake. I really see it as something I have to do.

Lots of new sketches for paintings. I can hardly wait to get back to working on them again. The house is almost finished, and my glass work is pretty predictable for the next few months. This means that I can start carving out some time to get back into the studio.

I will do my best to keep you posted.

Onward and Upward,