Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Amalgamation: an art show in four weeks

This is my best angle :]

Putting on an art show is a lot of funky work. When I saw Wes’ art show in March, I got so pumped to do the same thing that my britches blew clean off. My lovely teammate Amelia is a talented artist and so is my roommate and good friend, Chris Harjo. I figured, why not take all of our stuff, find some place to host and then watch people watch us. Sounds fun and not that complicated, right? Well, that’s true. It is fun and it’s not really that complicated. It’s just a lot of work.

Sometimes work is getting beer for the band and a sandwich for a homeless guy.  The homeless guy wasn't around when we left the store, so we're not saints or anything.

I tried to make it more work initially because I figured something so high energy took A+ effort; so I gathered everyone who was able to into my living room to talk game plan. I have a big fuckoff huge slate chalkboard in my living room. Sometimes it makes me feel like a big man to draw all over it, so a brainstorming session was a really fun thing to put on it. There were a lot of grand ideas (35 mannequins) that would never, ever go anywhere. I kept all those ideas close to my weird heart and will try them all anyway. I love brainstorming.

Jake Fowler and Taylor Leigh Riedinger. Yeah, they're always that adorable.

Wes got us a place to hang, with Jake Fowler’s ‘The Art House’ on 15th between Harvard and Lewis. Jake does some great work himself (which was on display too), and was a cool guy to meet. We drew up a bunch of weird and random posters, and Wes was kind enough to hang them. Promotion here, scuffle there, really expensive trips to craft shops with old women looking at you funny. At the time we were executing all this, I was still working on the biggest piece I was going to display. 

I hung the stupid thing before I finished it. THAT'S procrastinating.  
Amelia was likewise working her projects at the TU printshop, Chris Harjo was still cranking out piece after piece. This man seriously drew daily in a fervor at random times, soaking his brain in street art on youtube and crafting tiny little subliminal messages with micron into Bristol. Over and over and over again.

Wes and Chris. They're both looking at their next big idea. You better run like hell.
 Amelia carved linoleum, watercolored, collaged and sewed (her piece ‘Watershed’ has thread crisscrossing in it) I remember watching her do homework while waiting for watercolor to dry, then going right back to watercolor again. Awesome artworking, teammate! She is hardcore. 

Watershed. The spine and fins are sewn and it looks really boss up close.

Wes had his business pretty together, this cat did an art show on his own in Stillwater, while helping us and participating in our art show. Can’t really miss the meta on that one, he gets the multitasking award and also he drinks a ton of coffee so I’m sure that helps. He also got his friend Jonathan Eckstein to pitch in his photography for the show. This guy has some precise photography that you need to check out. 

This is Jonathan in his natural environment: taking a picture of you.

Chris Mantle ended up showing with us as well. I’m still fuzzy on how that happened, but it was really cool and his work/ice cream was greatly appreciated. Wes got us a great band, Hymn and I who did a fantastic job. My friend Jes Lenee’ showed up and decided to sing on the spot with Chris Mantle. Amelia got her friend, Lucas Forsythe to bring some of his awesome pottery by. He brought some illustrations too, but by the time everything began to get momentum there wasn’t any place to hang them. This sucks, because there were some really great ones in there. Next show we do he will get some space for sure. We had a fun group show up and everyone looked like they were having a great time.

Chris Mantle and Jes Lenee' impromptu jam

Amelia and I. It was a very long day. 

This was my first time for participating and helping organize an event like this. It’s a very organic thing. You put in a structure and then things just kind of do what they want. I got to help plant a seed of artwork and then some stuff just grew and I didn’t have any control over it. It was sweet and everything I wanted it to be, I highly suggest that individuals motivated to just do something should try it, because the only thing you have to do is keep plugging away. Everyone who came did their part and it inspired me to give it my all, too. Some one even brought their kid and he kept touching one of my paintings and really acted interested in it and it was maybe one of my top 5 coolest moments ever. He was just smiling and playing with it, he probably dug that thing more than anyone else who looked at it! It ruled! I can't wait to do something like this again. 

I’ll stop yammering since we’re to the warm fuzzy part and leave you with a link to some pictures I snapped at the show. Most of the pictures displayed were taken by either Jonathan, Jake or myself. Thanks to everyone who helped and came to see it! Keep watching for the next event!

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Blogger Amelia Williamson said...

Whew! Long post!

I'm also really glad we did this, finals season (for me and Lucas, at least) and all! I'm really interested in how people interact with art, so seeing it real-time was amazing.

I really appreciated all who came out. We hope for more (official gallery-fueled) amalgamations in the future. And the work is still up, should you want to pay a visit.

May 10, 2011 at 10:54 PM  

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