further than chicago

yaaaay for new art! I got a couple new pieces the other day from Geoffry Holstad. I first saw his work in our collection at GVSU. They were a purchase from his BFA show last fall. I have been in love with these drawings since I first laid eyes on them and now I have a couple of my own. Check out his upcoming advernture as he and his girlfriend travel the Transamerica Trail out to Oregon on their FURTHER THAN CHICAGO trip.


i've probably watched more movies in the past couple months than i have in the past 3 years. does it matter that i have a new flat screen tv? maybe. is it a great form of escapism? sure. is it a nice way to detox and procrastinate? yes.
here's a few favorites from the past couple weeks

Rosemary's Baby (1968) - Mia Farrow, Ruth Gordon
Love, love, loved it! I want the Gothic New York Apartment all decorated in yellow and Mia's clothes, except for the nightgowns. I have a hard time imagining how this was received when the movie first appeared. I t was fascinating to watch the relationship dynamics of men and women in the sixties. It holds your attention without violence (minus the kitchen knife) and gore and has an eerie sense of humor throughout the movie was great.

Savage Grace (2007) - Julianne Moore
I picked the jacket up several times at the movie store and finally rented it a couple weeks ago.
I was not prepared for what this move offered. Based on the true story of the relationship between Barbara Daly and her son Antony. Barbara marries above her class to Brooks Baekeland, heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune. It begins in the 1940's, newly married and with their first and only child Anthony. Anthony becomes estranged from his father, who sees him as a failure (because he's queer) and as he matures he becomes increasingly close to his lonely mother. sex, dysfunction, incest, and murder. I was mesmerized the entire movie wondering what would happen next and exhausted when it ended.

Examined Life (2009)
Filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today’s most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas. Featuring Cornel West, Avital Ronell, Peter Singer, Kwarne Anthony Appiah, Martha Nussbaum, Michael Hardt,Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler and Sunaura Taylor. Singer talks about the ethics of consumption, Zizek questions current beliefs about the environment while sifting through a garbage dump, and while driving through Manhattan, Cornel West compares philosophy to jazz and blues, reminding us how intense and invigorating a life of the mind can be.

The Reader (2008) - Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes
It's a coincidence that I rented this the same weekend that the Holocaust Museum opened in Chicago. Post WWII Germany, it tells the story of Michael Berg, a German lawyer who as a teenager in the late 1950s had an affair with an older woman, Hanna Schmitz, who then disappeared only to resurface years later as one of the defendants in a war crimes trial stemming from her actions as a concentration camp guard late in the war. Some very compelling relationship dynamics and imagery of Auschwitcz near the Polish town Oswiecim. When I visited Poland I opted out of making the trek for fear of being too emotionally impacted. My trip was very intense and difficult for a multitude of reasons, but I now regret having passed up the opportunity. I remember there being much criticism about the film for treating horrific subjects artistically, but I had gut reactions, cried, and felt the complexities of the character's choices and their abusive relationship.


me, jess witte, and kim strom
below: kim feasting on Shawn Stucky's edible exhibition statement

I saw this show on opening night and it just closed a couple weeks ago. You'd think 2 months would have given me plenty of time to mention it, but I've been so overwhelmed lately and still feel like I'm playing catch up. For a Limited Time Only featured work created to deliberately decay, disintegrate, or otherwise disappear during its short run. My friend Jess Witte was one of the featured artist so I made the trip up to Highland Park Art Center.
Jess installed birdseed doilies both in the gallery and outdoors around the bases of tress. Over time the seeds outdoor will disappear from wind, rain, and as birds and squirrels forage. The seeds indoors become held at the mercy of a misguided visitor's foot or are purposefully removed to create new patterns or some were seen removing seeds and stockpiling them in other corners of the gallery. None of the work has an existence beyond this show. The act, the documentation, the memory of the experience is what remains. I know a lot of the time I get caught up in the objectness of a work of art, but I've always been smitten with artists who explore ephemeral art. Being present at the reception and being a part of that given moment when everything is as intended and original, was the type of event I wish happened more frequently.


shelves- take 2

yaaayyyy! shelves went up on friday and when i returned home today they were still securely fastened to the wall!
most of the art is off the ground and now i just need to play around with arranging. which art to hang, which art to lean, and what type of containers i want to put under the bottom shelf for my boxes of pictures. i didn't have time for an IKEA run this weekend, but it will give me some time to peruse the catalog and figure out some organization ideas before i head back to chicago in a couple weeks.


shelves - take 1

well, i finally decided to try my hand at hanging shelves. this room was in sad shape at one point with two different country blue wallpaper designs and a chair rail, which made this tiny bedroom seem minuscule. the walls were in need of repair after the wallpaper came down. there were so many cracks and the surface quality was poor so we had the walls skim coated and then i painted everything. the walls are so nice and smooth now that i've had a hard time forcing myself to pound or drill holes into them. i've had some IKEA Lacks shelves sitting in the room for several months now and it's finally gotten to the point where i'm tired of having my artwork on the floor, leaned up against the walls. we have plaster and lathe walls, which are quite difficult to work with. i've had my share experiences with crumbling plaster from too hard of a nail tap. finding studs is also a difficult task with plaster and lathe because a stud finder is not useful, however i recently found a great secret on instructables website using a magnet to find studs. didn't matter for this project because the metal bracket that gets screwed to the wall has predetermined holes. now that i have one shelf up, i'm stuck again. i'm still playing around with the spacing between the shelves, but hopefully by weeks end i'll just make a decision and put the rest og the shelves up.



this weekend my list of to do's felt quite overwhelming and i get to a certain point where my coping mechanism goes from procrastinating to completely shutting done and feeling immobilized. i decided to not fight it and instead did very little. i drank coffee, read, and looked out my studio window a lot. I've been toggling between a few books... In|Different Spaces: Place and Memory in Visual Culture, Memory Quest, and Housekeeping. i spent the most time with Housekeeping this weekend. first, because it was the easiest read for my half-working brain and second, because i could escape into the book whereas the other two have me examining my own world. Marilynne Robinson was given the PEN/Hemingway Award for this, her first novel. I haven't pleasure read in so long that i think i've forgotten what it is i like to read. i do know that her writing sticks with me. i can already think of words that have lodged into the recessed crevices of my memory. 'It was a discomfort that was not to be relieved, like an itch in an amputated limb' or (this one i lifted out of the book to do it justice) 'And she would feel that sharp loneliness she had felt every long evening since she was a child. It was the kind of loneliness that made clocks seem slow and loud and made voices sound like voices across water. '
i think her writing is quite beautiful and the storyline is something that resonates with me.... the impermanence of people and things in our lives.
birdseed doily by jess witte

Material Afterlife

for the last week i've been running on 13 hour days. my day job and then my volunteer work on the Visual Art Curatorial Committee at UICA at night and weekends. I've been a part of a subcommittee who developed a prospectus for a jury show titled 'Material Afterlife'. The exhibit explores the growing relevance of artwork that examines environmental degradation, consumerism, personal value, and frugality, as well as celebrates the significance of recycling, sustainable methods, and thrift-store culture as medium and subject matter for artists. After a lot of hard work, the show came together quite well and the opening was well attended this past Good Friday. here's a stream of photos from the opening.
Material Afterlife Group Exhibition

Doug Russel, Entangled Worlds in the Race Street Gallery

in|different spaces

i haven't posted in awhile, are you surprised? i'm inconsistent that way. i've been in a bit of a funk lately. the end of the first year, post grad school, is coming to a close. for the first time, in a long time, i'm not where i thought i'd be in my life. i am under-utilized in my job and my art is suffering. do i hold tight for a couple years and be content with a poor paying job in a field i actually received my degree in while focusing efforts on my art or do i cross over into the unknown and begin a prospective job whose description has yet to be defined and has exciting potential? did i mention the prospective job would also carve out a studio space for me, not that i need a space outside my house, but its tempting.