Monday, October 27, 2008

Personality Exhibition and Justin Madson

Our grand opening exhibition is going to be

Personality: Exploring Real People & Imaginary Characters

I would like to show three regional artists and am hoping the artists I have in mind will be available. The one artist I have confirmed is Justin Madson, who is an illustrator and cartoonist exploring contemporary characters. He is from Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Below are a few examples of his work.


The Cold Creeps In

(appropriate for today, since there were a few snow flurries here!)

Find out more about Justin on his website, Just Mad Books.
And buy his work on Etsy.

I will be exhibiting his original illustrations, prints, artist books, and comics.

The exhibition will run May 29, 2009 - September 27, 2009
Work will also be available for sale via our online shop at that time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Website Feature: My Writing

I've added a few articles, essays, and exhibition critiques that I've written over the past couple years to the website. I have four articles up right now and will add more later. I'm an avid writer and thought I would share. Topics include Craftivism, Kyoung Ae Cho, Messages & Magic, and Art World Norms Have to Change.

Here's the link


Friday, October 24, 2008

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Banner & Website Updates

Don't you love the new banner? It was made by kieutiepie on Etsy. She does great work, inexpensive and fast!!!

I updated the website with the new look as well!
And guess what? I now have e-commerce functionality, so shortly you will be able to actually buy some of the things I've been talking so madly about. I discovered, a build-it-yourself FREE store that uses Google checkout. And if you use AdWords, they process your transactions for free too! The best thing is that I've ended up with an online store that has a decent design! It's perfect until I can afford a spiffy new website design someday.

Click here to check out my shop. There's not much in it yet though!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Our Logo!

It was really hard to find the right company to design my logo. I would have loved to pay a bigger sum of money for a logo by an independent designer, but with all the costs of renovations for the building, and the fact that I just had to install a new furnace, I had to go with a cheaper option.

Luckily, I found Logocare. I can't tell you how happy I am with their service, the design choices, and the unlimited revisions! It was a fast process and great results. I would definitely recommend their services to anybody.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the Kohler Arts Center

I drove a little over an hour this morning down to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI. Interestingly enough, it's one of the only major art centers in Wisconsin that I haven't ever visited. I was more than impressed with the level of professionalism and importance of works displayed. This is definitely my new favorite place to be.

Their main exhibition right now is Messages & Magic: 100 Years of Collage and Assemblage in American Art. Quite the criteria, I thought, especially as I read from the newsletter that the show "is an unprecedented exhibition that traces American popular culture through a century of collage and assemblage." But I was pleasantly surprised to see works by the likes of:

Peter Sarkisian and this mixed media/video work on a car door
Ray Yoshida, an icon of the Chicago art scene
Lenore Tawney, a very influential textile/collage artist & sculptor
Henry Darger
and many more amazing artists...

There was even a display of Ray Johnson works and an explanation of Mail Art, something near and dear to my heart since I am also involved in this movement.

That was only one of about five exhibits at the Kohler. Another notable exhibition is Wisconsin artist kathryn e martin's installation Flotant. It is a breathtaking experience that you have to witness. The few pictures available don't cut it.

The amount of activities available to participate in here are enormous. Classes, performance art, films, residencies, and a myriad of projects. By the time I was ready to leave, I was also ready to write out a check and support this unique art center so close to my home! But even if you don't have much money, it's great, because admission is free.

All in all a great experience and I would highly recommend visiting! The collage show runs until January 25, 2009.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Renovations: a little progress

The first thing we are doing is tearing the nasty hung ceiling down to reveal to old tin ceiling. It is in pretty rough shape, but we wanted to salvage all the tin and create a Lousie Nevelson-esque ceiling. In other words, put as much tin as we can back up, leave the copper pipes and such that would be really hard to move, and insert some sculptural elements. Then we will paint the whole thing matte black.

Of course the artists in us saved all the scrap metal for use in future projects. Good thing we have a huge basement!

Here you can see the tin ceiling as it is now.

I just had to show this fake tile and lace stapled to the wall--how funny!

Brandon hard at work--I don't know what I would do without him! I did attempt to use a couple power tools today, but it's really not my thing :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Concerning the Arts in Wisconsin

I just found an easy, FREE, way to support the arts in Wisconsin.
Click here to support the New Economy Funding Initiative. Just by signing up, even if you do not donate any money, you will help the Wisconsin Arts Board, who are actively:
  • Investing in regional economic development through the arts
  • Creating new and exciting partnerships and job opportunities based on creativity and innovation
  • Attracting and retaining innovative companies and entrepreneurs
  • Educating the 21st century workforce, through arts integration and involvement for all Wisconsin students
  • Strengthening Wisconsin's artistic and cultural infrastructure, for vibrant and livable communities in every corner of the state.
Make sure to visit the Arts Wisconsin website and have fun exploring all the links!

They also have a Business and Arts Handbook, which has some of the most informative content I have seen in a long time, aimed at convincing everyone of the importance of arts in the community!

Living in a different state? Click here for a list of state and regional arts agencies.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Exhibition Opportunity

I am very excited to announce an upcoming show:

50 States, 50 Artists, 50 Mediums

One artist or designer from each state in the USA will represent a different medium, bridging the gap between the traditional fine art world and other arts disciplines, including craft, design, architecture, performance art, etc. I am interested in these intersections and how they translate into everyday life. This show will not only represent the importance of all art disciplines, but will also stress the importance of all working artists regardless of their location.

Call For Artists:

Open to all professional artists living or working in the United States. Open to any and all mediums in the art, craft, and design communities. See below for examples of accepted mediums.

How to submit: Send a short biography (including your address & e-mail), artist statement, a few words about why you want to be in this show, 10-20 images & information (including medium, dimensions, & price), and any links to your work on line to Important: You must write “Submission for 50 Show” in the subject line of the e-mail or I will think it is spam. Attachments are fine. E-mail submissions are preferred.

Deadline for submissions: April 15, 2009. Show is scheduled for October 16, 2009 – March 8, 2010 at
The Eclipse Gallery, 507 Fourth Street (Hwy 42), Algoma, Wisconsin, 54201.

Mediums accepted, but not limited to: Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Digital, Ceramics, Mixed Media, Knitting, Jewelry, Metals, Found Object, Glass, Plastic, Photography, Crochet, Paper, Quilting, Felt, Wearables, Architecture (such as models, plans, photos), Graphic Design, Film/Time Based, Installation, Furniture, Baskets, Typography, Performance, Music, Spoken-Word, Text, Artist Books, Zines, Mail Art, Encaustic, Watercolor, Sewing, Mosaic, Graffiti, Illustration, Altered Book, Printmaking, Silk Screen, Product Design, Wallpaper, Textiles, Etc.

Any questions, feel free to e-mail me. Thanks :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Local Events: Craftivism

Craftivism: Reclaiming Craft and Creating Community opens at the Lawton Gallery (UWGB campus) tonight at 4:30. If you are anywhere near the area, you must go see it. I helped install the exhibition with a troop of people plus guest curator, Faythe Levine, a tremendously talented gallery owner from Milwaukee. I blogged about the details of the exhibition on Visual Influence, so for more info hop over there.

I was so excited when I first heard this show was coming to town, and even more so when I met Faythe and saw the inspiring artworks for this exhibition. The Craftivism and DIY culture that has been gathering speed over the past few years have directly influenced the direction for my personal artwork and what artwork I want to have shown in The Eclipse Gallery.

"To know that something is made by hand, by someone who cares that you like it, makes that object much more enjoyable." --Cinnamon Copper & Amy Carlton

Gallery director Stephen Perkins writes, "One indication of the energy of this new movement is the large number of manifestoes being issued by its participants...It's interesting to me that the world of craft has adopted a strategy from the world of avant-garde art to promote its agenda, and it further suggests that the divide between the two worlds is becoming increasingly blurred."

That is my sentiment exactly. The reason I want to have handmade design in my gallery is because I do believe that craft, design, and other forms are merging with "fine art" to become legitimatized as Art (with a capital A) in a broader sense of the word. Betsy Greer, author of Knitting for Good, writes, "Until the turn of the last century, the word "craft" was...negatively viewed in the vernacular. Long seen as trivial and somewhat crude and unnecessary thanks to technological advancements, "craft" had long lingered as an activity of the past. But thanks to the timely convergence of the quest for uniquity, frustration against consumerism and materialism, and the internet, "craft" has been rescued and empowered instead of forgotten.

Design Art relates to this--design that is so unique it is sold in galleries as art. This bridge between craft and art, design and art, architecture and art--you see it now in so many areas, even graphic design--where the typical gallery show is being expanded upon and is evolving.

Which brings me to an interview I read with Hans-Ulrich Obrist, a famous Swiss art curator and critic. He stresses that what is important about art or exhibitions is not how large they are or what type of venue they are held in, but the actual content of the show. Obrist says, "It's not through scale that art or buildings are made important." I would add to that, location either.

I am so happy that the world today is evolving away from the notion that all good art is made and shown in NYC, London, and Paris. There are artists all over the world, in every corner, creating important artwork. The goal of The Eclipse Gallery will be not only to bring more international contemporary art to Wisconsin, but to create more awareness of the many highly talented, professional Wisconsin artists. Another aspect of the gallery will be creating community, a fundamental issue of Craftivism and the handmade movement. I will have various sections where visitors to my gallery can create work, play, experiment, and most of all have fun. Much like the "laboratory" notion of Obrist.

Obrist says, "The curator is the catalyst of relations and situations....Exhibitions have to go past geographical and cultural boundaires; they must be transgenerational and interdisciplinary." A very interesting statement from a very interesting person. Do an internet search for more info about Obrist, and you can read a great interview with him here.