Thursday, May 12, 2016

Drawing to a Close

My time in Union City is almost up. Just a few weeks left. I have greatly appreciated this opportunity and my experiences here. I can't believe it's been a year. Time has flown. I have learned so much. I will miss the roof of my apartment. I spent a lot of time on this roof talking with friends, writing, and creating art. Definitely won't miss the trains.

Moving to Union City had its challenges but they were challenges I needed. So much happened this year. I was able to move out of my parent's house and live on my own. I curated my first show. I made a new friend. Met some cool artists. I fell in love. Participated in a few group shows. I lost my best friend. Got a new car. And still, no matter what happens, I continue to create new work with the pieces. 

It's funny how much impact a place can have on your life. How little things can change the course of your life. How the unexpected can happen and open your eyes to possibilities you never imagined. How your focus can suddenly shift and the universe that is your life is altered, just like that. Moving to Union City gave me a fresh start. One that was sorely needed. It helped me create a new web, a new life for myself.

Now I am ready to move on to the next phase of my life and build a new web in what will soon be my home: Indianapolis.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Round Two of the Mirror Wing

Round two of my mirror wing went much better! Thanks to the lovely Hannah! The wing ended up a bit longer this time due to an increase in my spacing, which I like. I also took photos of the wing with my niece Alexis (who also happens to have red hair), I am still in the process of editing hers. And thinking of ways that I might combine and/or display it with the image below.

It was a bit cold during set up but I managed. I'm getting faster. And smarter. I placed the fabric on top of the tarp, laid out the larger pieces in advance, and then just pulled it out of the garage that morning. That helped. Before, I put the pieces on the tarp itself and then transferred them piece by piece onto the fabric. I won't be doing that again. This has definitely been a learning process.

The lovely Hannah was gracious enough to come a bit early to help with set up and then apparently had to sneak a few pictures of me while she waited. I was so focused on the placement of the mirrors that I didn't even notice.

As for the next step with this project...well. I'm still thinking about it, but I have a few ideas. I want to try setting it up in some kind of landscape or location this summer. When I asked my niece Alexis if she had any ideas after we were done, she surprised me when she suggested I do it on ice! Which I loved. Smart kid. Hopefully I will have some sort of method figured out by the time winter rolls around again.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Galaxy on the Roof

I set up my galaxy of camera parts on the roof again. It ended up larger this time due to an increase in my spacing. Which I liked. I will be making it even larger for the next set up as my collection of broken cameras grows.

Still deciding if it needs a figure or not. For now, I'm doing both until I decide. I haven't quite figured out what I want to say with it. Or why I thought to make a diagram of a galaxy. Perhaps because I had recently been reading A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. Or that my universe had been shaken up and I wanted to reference something larger than myself. Or the way in which photography has shaped my world.

 Here's a close up of the cameras and the pieces in various stages of being taken apart:

The next day, it snowed. Which I found interesting, but I think it was too much. Many of the smaller pieces were buried and much of the shape is lost. Still, I was happy it occurred because it allowed me to see it. Might work better if it was a light dusting of snow, but who knows if I'll get that lucky again. We shall see.

And this is probably my favorite shot so far, mostly due to its playfulness and the light and this guy. I will more than likely experiment with variations of this pose though.

Even though it was cold, I'm happy that I forced myself to set this up again. The hardest step was making myself begin. Once I did though, I found my momentum. Felt good. I'm excited to continue this project, to keep on making art, to keep on living.

Monday, November 16, 2015

On the Roof

A lot of recent events have occurred on the roof of my apartment in Union City. Some very good and some not so pleasant. Life continues to surprise me, yet despite everything that's happened or perhaps because of everything that has happened, I have to keep on living, I have to keep on making art.

Since I moved here in June, I knew I wanted to make a photograph on the roof but I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to use my growing collection of cameras in some way. And so I began last week to make an attempt without knowing exactly what I was doing.

It started off kind of messy. At first, I wanted it messy. But as I stared at it, I felt as if it needed some kind of order (and I'd had enough chaos recently). Nice thing about this roof, I was able to leave it up for a while as I continued to think about it. Here's what I thought of the next day:

Of course, the next day after I finished setting it up, the wind picked up and started moving some of the pieces. I was able to get a few shots but soon gave up after getting frustrated by having to move the pieces back. So I took it down. Not ready to lose any pieces quite yet.

I hope that I'll be able to do a second round before it gets too cold. Although it might be interesting with some snow. Or frost.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Fiercest Light

My first curated art show The Fiercest Light for the Union City Arts Festival went well. It was moved to the Arts Depot and was combined with their college juried art show judged by Hector Perez. Which I was grateful for because I didn't have to work with the artist space that doesn't have electricity yet. Hopefully it will soon, it's a work in progress.

I enjoyed the role as curator and going through the process of putting a show together. I definitely plan on doing more shows in the future.

Flowers for Freedom by Vicki Vardaman

The title for the show The Fiercest Light came from the quote that started this blog, simply replace red with art:

"Art is the most joyful and dreadful thing in the physical universe; it is the fiercest note, it is the highest light, it is the place where the walls of this world of ours wear the thinnest and something beyond burns through." -G.K. Chesterton

I chose the title because I wanted something that was strong, something that reflected how I felt about art, its strength and its fierceness.

I also ended up in the local newspaper because I was awarded Best of Show for Transitory (below) and won $500 thanks to The 209, a local consignment store and supporter of the arts in Union City. Which came at a very good time and helped fund my recent trip to Louisville for the SPE Midwest Regional Conference.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Working on Things

I am excited and preparing for my first curated show, "The Fiercest Light" which is happening during the Union City Arts Festival on September 11-12. The opening reception will be Friday, September 11 from 5-9 pm. It's going to be in Afterimage Studios (still in the process of creating a sign, and yes, I named it!) and it will be the first show in the artist studio as part of my residency. Already have a few submissions and can't wait to see more. Deadline to submit is August 24!
I'm the boss and you're my bitch by Hannah Backer

"The Fiercest Light" will also feature video projections around town Friday evening, thanks to the help of my lovely video professor Maura Jasper. I'm hoping to do one as well if I can manage it. We shall see.

 In the meantime, here are a few images from my job as a lab tech at the Union City Wastewater Treatment Plant:

There's a snake in the one on the right above, can you see it?

I'm taking pictures of what I do (and lots of spider webs) and posting them to Instagram as a challenge to see if I can make art about a sewage treatment plant. Already have a few ideas involving specimen bottles now (I blame Jacinda's influence).

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Settling in and a show

I've been adjusting to Union City. Not bad for a small town. Except for the trains, which are constant and loud and make it difficult to sleep at night. Hopefully I'll get used to them soon. I've been staying busy and making things.

I started my job for the city. I'm working as the lab tech at the sewage treatment plant, which isn't as terrible as it sounds. Surprisingly. I'll admit, I was worried at first. But I get to drive a golf cart around like a grandma, gather water samples, and then do a bunch of tests in the lab. Apparently I have a knack for lab work. Must be my love for the dark room. At least I have time to make art and don't have to pay rent. Can't beat that.

Here's the studio space. Still pretty raw space right now. A lot of things have been up in the air with this program, but I have plans to use this space as a temporary gallery and curate a group show for the Union City Arts Festival on September 11-12.

Speaking of shows, I just installed my ongoing project, Doubts at the Central Public Library in Madison, WI this past Friday. A bit of a drive, but everything went smoothly. For the most part. Except for driving through Chicago. I'm so glad it's up and out of the way. It will be on display until September 25th.

There was also some awesome work on the other floors by artists Jeremy Wineberg and Luke Johnson.  I love the library and all that they're doing with art. And Madison is pretty nice. I wouldn't mind living there. Planning on spending more time there when I go back to pick up my work.