Michael Sailstorfer: Masculinity and Quiet Destruction

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I recently attended the opening reception for the exhibition Michael Sailstorfer: Every Piece is a New Problem at the Contemporary Arts Center here in Cincinnati, Ohio.  This is the German Sailstorfer’s first major solo show in the United States and the CAC is the perfect place for his large-scale sculptures and installations.

Sailstorfer’s work is characterized by unusual sculptural interventions that investigate the clash between technology and nature.  I too am interested in this intersection and was pleased to see an artist taking on this theme using such a massive scale.  The most prominently displayed Sailstorfer work at the CAC is a collection of four large live trees hang upside down.  Each tree is slowly rotated on a motor so that the branches sweep the floor.  The effect is mesmerizing.  Robotic motors whir and needles bristle and break leaving traces on the concrete ground in quiet circles.  In the graceful airy space of the CAC this strange situation feels almost natural and somehow calming.

Hanging Problems

Hanging Trees

Sailstorfer’s other works include a microphone is encased in a block of concrete, picking up subtle vibrations as visitors walk by.  Many pieces simply document past events: a cabin being completely burnt down using its own wood and wood-burning stove, a young tree exploded using air pressure. and a tire mounted in such a way that as it spins it screeches, leaving a rubber mark on the wall and a burning smell in the gallery.

Sailstorfer’s art is undeniably provocative.  The CAC exhibition evokes surprise and even glee, as visitors are confronted by unlikely and curiously dramatic, almost playful situations.  But while Sailstorfer’s works are consistently memorable and powerful, there lingers an undercurrent of unsettling darkness that may not be initially recognizable.

Burning Cabin

Burning Cabin

The CAC website describes Sailstorfer’s trees as “dancers of a melancholic ballet”.  After think exhibition sunk in a little, I am now more inclined to view them as victims of execution by hanging–an inverted lynching.  There is nothing new about upside down trees.  Take Natalie Jeremijenko’s permanent installation of living upside-down trees at Mass MoCA, Tree Logic.  Jeremijenko built a system which nourishes the trees despite their unusual position, asking viewers to contemplate the possibility of naturalness as thee trees respond over time to an unexpected environment.  Sailstorfer, by contrast, slowly kills his trees using decapitation and mechanical torture.

Natalie Jeremijenko: Tree Logic, MASS MoCA

Natalie Jeremijenko: Tree Logic, MASS MoCA

This interpretation is not metaphorical–Sailstorfer’s trees are indeed, actually, slowly dying. It is possible to become so enamored with the art-ness of Sailstorfers works that the reality of these destructive acts is overlooked.  But Sailstorfer is a materialist.  The essence of his art is material; it is reasonable to take his interventions at face value.  Of course, most contemporary art installations, performances, and actions are generally presented as symbolic provocations even as they are “real”.  The problem for Sailstorfer–and indeed much contemporary art–is that he seems unable to articulate the symbolic part.

Dying trees, exploded trees, burning cabins, burnt rubber, a microphone restricted in concrete and an obsession with the idea of “expansion”–Sailstorfer is a contemporary futurist.  Like Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and friends in the Futurist manifesto from 1909, Sailstorfer sings the “love of danger, the habit of energy and rashness…” perhaps even a “contempt for women”–but does all this abstrusely.  Unlike the Futurists, who were transparent about their wholehearted embrace of destruction, machine-power and even fascism, Sailstorfer puts the responsibility on the viewer. This to me is even more unsettling.

Raketenbaum (Rocket Tree)

Raketenbaum (Rocket Tree) – Another Problem Solved

In another arena, Sailstorfer’s works could pass for entertainment or spectacle.  Fireworks, Game of Thrones, the NFL, Nascar–sports and entertainment media are awash in images of male power and violent destruction.  When pressed, however, Sailstorfer describes his art as being solely about nature, technology and art history.

Perhaps the author has died and surely the artist’s hand is missing a finger or two.  But in contemporary society ideology has never been more prominent.  For Sailstorfer–and all artists–every piece is indeed a new problem; solving them may require an element preservation, modesty, contraction, compassion and sensitivity.  How do you solve your problems?

 

Michael Sailstorfer: Every Piece is a New Problem
Now through September 14

Contemporary Arts Center
44 E. Sixth St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202

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The Dots of Color – Sound Art about Seurat

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Best with headphones.

 

Seurat - Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte, 1884

Seurat – Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte, 1884

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The Color Magenta: Extra Spectral Magic

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Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton – Alchemist, Magician, Scientist, Color Theorist, Physics Genius, All-around Badass with Badass Wig

Only a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is visible to us.  Sir Isaac Newton broke the visible portion down even further as an attempt to describe all the possible colors that we see.  In third grade we learn that the visible spectrum can be remembered using Roy G. Biv–which must be the strangest mnemonic device ever created–and includes red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.  Black is the absence of light, white is the presence of all colors in the color spectrum.  There are a couple shortcomings in thinking about color in this way.

First, who really knows what indigo is?  Some have claimed that Newton organized and labeled his color spectrum to include seven colors, the holiest of numbers, in order to avoid criticism from the church.  That seems likely, given that indigo seems to occupy only a small part of the gradient compared with other hues.  Thus, many now list the visible spectrum as Roy G Bv.  But what about cyan?   And what about that bright looking color

Μagenta?

 

Magenta and cyan make up half of the four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) used to print almost all of the printed material in the world.  Furthermore, cyan and magenta are prominently represented in the additive color system that powers the computer or phone screen you are currently reading.  But magenta is nowhere to be found on the traditional grade school color wheels.  And what about Newton’s color spectrum?  Where can we place magenta on the map?

em-spectrum_human-eye

Magenta happens only with blue and red cones fire together

As it turns out, Magenta cannot be located on the spectrum because it does not exist on the visible spectrum.  Magenta does appear in nature of course, in flowers and between the two parts of a double rainbow.  But to understand why it is perceived so brightly but not in the spectrum, we need only to look to our physiology.

We have three kinds of cones in our eyes–receptors configured to receive red, green, or blue-violet light.  Ever wonder magenta and cyan are so difficult to look at for long periods of time?  Magenta, cyan and yellow appear so bright to our eyes not because they contain more light, but because to perceive those colors two sets of cones are firing at once!  Magenta is not a color exactly, it’s two colors–red and blue-violet at once–with a complete absence of green.  Got it?  One more time–magenta is only perceived psychologically when pure red and blue light mix, and green is completely absent.

Magenta & Yellow – Zinnia, Hafiz Issadeen

Of course, all colors are perceived physiologically and not necessarily “seen”–as color blindness and the extreme differences in color perception between humans and between humans and other species reveal.  If a viceroy butterfly sees millions of colors and a golden retriever sees very few, how can color be anything but a physiological phenomena?  But magenta is a special case in that it is the only color which may only be perceived as a combination of two other hues.

Color harmony is generally understood as pleasing relationships between two or more colors.  But put more scientifically, magenta is already and always a harmony, more akin to the way harmony works music–the perception of multiple wavelengths at once!

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How to embed Soundcloud files into a WordPress or Weebly site

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This is for my 4D foundations students but I thought I would share.

Embedding is a way to seamlessly insert content into your website or blog.  Embedding content makes the browsing experience easier for your site visitors, since they do not have to search and click around for your content.

Here is an example of an embedded sound file:

 

1. You may elect to share your entire Soundcloud profile (which will embed all of your Soundcloud sounds in a playlist) rather than sharing one sound file at a time.  Either way, find and click a share button:Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.23.33 AM

 

2. When the sharing window pops up, click Embed. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.25.01 AM

 

3.Under Embed, you have the option of choosing from one of two styles.  Choose the second. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.33.25 AM

 

4. Scroll to the bottom of the embed window and click more options. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.25.39 AM

 

5. In the dropdown area containing more options, you will have the ability to select and copy a string of code.  Then,

 - If you are using a Weebly site:  Copy the top HTML code beginning with <iframe (inline frame).  Then jump to step 8.
If you are using a WordPress site:  Copy the WordPress code, a special kind of code for WordPress sites. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.28.13 AM

6. Paste the code from your clipboard into the text area you normally use to compose your blog posts or pages.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.38.30 AM

7.  For a cleaner look, you may set _showartwork=true to _showartwork=false. Save draft and/or publish and viola!  You have successfully embedded sounds into your website or blog.

WEEBLY: 

8. In your Weebly dashboard, click “Embed Code” and drag it to the post area. Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 12.32.35 PM

9. Click Edit Custom HTML and paste the iframe code from the clipboard.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 12.33.08 PM

10. Publish the post or page and viola!  You have successfully embedded sounds into your website or blog.

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Selfie or Self-Portrait? Van Gogh and the Art of Sharing

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an image of the screen of an iPhone 4 running ios7 showing a configuration of boxes against a wooden surface.

Joe Hedges – #selfie – Wood, iPhone 24″ x 36″ x “20

Under the pretense that I was an artist, and that the lives of artists should be documented through self-portraiture, I began taking photos of myself around 2000.  At that time the idea of turning a camera on one’s self was still commonly seen as odd, despite (or perhaps because of) the sudden proliferation of bad MySpace mirror profile pics.  While the practice of spontaneous digital self-portraiture received an enormous boost of in 2013 due to increased usage of camera phones and image-based social media services like Instagram, many still view the practice of taking a selfie as odd or worse–vain, absurd and a reflection of the millennial generation’s self-obsession and inability to enjoy the present moment.  But what happens when an artist makes an image of herself?  Where is the line between a selfie (#selfie) and self-portraiture?

The artist has long enjoyed a special status in culture, an expectation of self-centeredness or even self-obsession.  Thanks to Van Gogh and many others, the self-portrait is connected with ideas of authorship, genius and creative struggle.  Strictly speaking, the selfie is a photograph taken with a digital camera and posted to a social network.  However, self-portraiture is inherently social in nature; through painting or photographing their own faces and bodies, artists attempt to reveal to others some aspect of their very essence or being.  What could be more social than that?

VanGogh-self-portrait-with_bandaged_ear

Does Van Gogh’s Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear from 1889 prefigure the #selfie? #vangogh #urgentcare #sucks #whatwasithinking #omg #ear #holyshit #dutchmedicalcare #artist #suffering #torturedartist #modernism #postimpressionism #gauguin #hatehim #sad #lonely #yellowhouse #arles #injured #bandaged #forlorn

Van Gogh’s famous self-portrait with a bandage on his ear is perhaps the art world’s first #selfie in that it succinctly captures the image-maker in a peculiar moment.  While the source of Van Gogh’s injury is still unclear, one thing is certain–the event involved his man-crush of the moment and fellow post-impressionist Paul Gaugin.  Perhaps, Van Gogh cut off his own ear in a fit of depression upon hearing Gaugin’s decision to leave their yellow house studio in Arles, France.  Or, was it Gaugin that sliced it off during a fencing accident?  Either way, the image is nothing if not a provocative update about Van Gogh’s status.

For centuries the words visual artist essentially meant image maker.  An image-maker was a particular kind of person and making compelling images required life-long dedication and skill.  Now that photographic and digital media technologies have become less expensive and the speed of transmission is approaching instantaneous (i.e. Instagram), nearly anyone with the means and motivation to acquire and learn to use a cell phone can become a prolific–although not necessarily adept–visual creator.  This renders the majority of self-portraits in existence anything but artistic.  Could an unending stream of images tagged #bored, #drunk, and #cleave really be Joseph Beuys’ dream of the democratization of art?

A Self-Portrait by Albrecht Dürer, 1500.

A Self-Portrait by Albrecht Dürer, 1500. #selfie #artselfie #blinging #robes #mirrorselfie #jesusstyle #pimpcoat, #fur #selfportrait #self-portrait

Since the Renaissance, the self-portrait has been a form of advertising.  We feel no shame; as artists, self-promotion is a necessary part of life, for who can survive without patrons?  Thus, the self-portrait has survived and enjoyed lasting popularity in art as a two-punch tool: a way to communicate proficiency in one’s chosen medium while maintaining appearances.  But Millennials in the twitterverse are not searching for their Medicis.  We (and I use “we” loosely as I am caught between Millennial and Gen-X stereotypes) have been voraciously consuming–or reluctantly swallowing–images our entire lives.  Why should the right and responsibility to promote and preserve one’s image be reserved for artists and corporations?  Seen in this light, the selfie is subversive:  The audience becomes the artist, the consumer becomes the producer selling herself back to the world.

For all the selfie’s alluring sociopolitical ramifications and high entertainment value, the quick digital image simply neglects to do well the things that art does well.  The selfie does not conform to the elements and principles of design.  The selfie is of a positively low-quality.  The selfie is impulsive.  But isn’t that precisely its charm?  The selfie does not apologize for its vanity nor attempt to hide its self-consciousness.  The self-portrait, on the other hand, takes itself so seriously that the posturing of artists is often comical.  After decades of living in a culture of government and corporate lying and spying, is it any wonder that Millenials distrust the idea of authenticity itself?

Images tagged #selfie and posted to instagram within the last few minutes:

The bad selfie (and most are bad) could be seen as a reflection of the distrust of propaganda (as evidenced by the hashtag “nofilter”): a willingness to put oneself on display without the handling, designing, research and development, testing, photoshoping, retouching, reshooting, retooling, editing and censoring, all the artifice of bureaucracy.  The artist too, unfortunately, has no choice but to self-censor, selecting and editing ad nauseam, having lived forever with an unforgiving, internal overlord, possessed by the specter of art history and bent on getting things just right.  Just maybe, the less a selfie resembles a self-portrait, the closer the image is to truth.   For to create art is to lie.  To represent is to misrepresent, and to create a self-portrait is to, well, #filter.

Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait (Dedicated to Paul Gauguin), September, 1888

Vincent van Gogh Self-Portrait (Dedicated to Paul Gauguin), September, 1888

Van Gogh was indeed an interpreter (not a truth teller) but his willingness to interpret, to stretch, to bend and color made him a master and a great innovator of modern art.  His paintings are some of the most moving works of all time, in any media; in the strokes you feel his presence, his suffering, his joy, his life.  This connection with future viewers, forged by a willingness to overshare, secured his legacy.  Most people will never attempt to become great painters or photographers.  But our desire to share our sadness and madness and joy and everything between through images with any available technology is a reflection of our humanness.  Unfortunately, a quick look at the latest selfies in my feed reveals that society at large still has a great deal of catching up to do–the artist has been sharing for a long, long time.

_____________________________________________________________

For a continued exploration of this topic in a fun way, I created an Instagram account dedicated to self-portraits of artists.  Follow me on your cell phone or browse the images so far at instagram.com/artselfie.

Art Self artselfie selfie

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Pinterest and Postmodernism

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An Embalmed Cat

An Embalmed Cat

I was looking at Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp’s pinboards today and was reminded of a passage in Foucault’ The Order of Things.  The fact that the French thinker Foucault popped into my head while looking at images of “Things that Look Like the Death Star” is sad.  But it is also evidence that his text The Order of Things is intensely relevant, and, that somewhere during grad school I crossed a line and am now as much of a nerdy intellectual as I am artist and rock musician.  Anyway, check out this list of classifications for animals from an ancient Chinese encyclopedia (presumably) and consider how closely this idea of order and organization resemble our contemporary Pinterest boards:

(from Foucault, The Order of Things)

This passage quotes a ‘certain Chinese encyclopaedia’ in which it is written that ‘animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (1) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off” look like flies’. In the wonderment of this taxonomy, the thing we apprehend in one great leap, the thing that, by means of the fable, is demonstrated as the exotic charm of another system of thought, is the limitation of our own, the stark impossibility of thinking that.

Evan Sharp's Pinboards

But is this system of organization such a stark impossibility today?  Mr. Sharp’s Pinboards are typical in that each board groups images by personal, often invented, organizing principles. Granted, Pinterest pins are classified images, not “actual” things.  But images as signs or symbols are essentially objects or ideas themselves, especially now that our “real” lives are so completely interconnected to our “virtual” lives online.  I just pinned an image of buffalo looking like ants and another of an embalmed cat.  I could keep going.  But what does it mean?  Foucault, again:

That passage from Borges kept me laughing a long time, though not without a certain uneasiness that I found hard to shake off. Perhaps be­cause there arose in its wake the suspicion that there is a worse kind of disorder than that of the incongruous, the linking together of things that are inappropriate; I mean the disorder in which fragments of a large number of possible orders glitter separately in the dimension, without law or geometry, of the heteroclite; and that word should be taken in its most literal, etymological sense: in such a state, things are ‘laid’, ‘placed’, ‘arranged’ in sites so very different from one another that it is impossible.

A Frenzied Wolf Snarling

A Frenzied Wolf Snarling

If I told you I did some additional research and that there is no evidence that the original passage came from a Chinese encyclopedia but was instead from a story by author Jorge Luis Borges would it change the meaning?  (I think not)  I can accept the quote as hyperbole and the idea remains as potent.  Foucault’s uneasiness with such seemingly irrational ideas of order has given way to an online celebration of new ways of organizing and seeing.  Now I’m gonna get back to drinking coffee and pining some things to my own boards, possible orders, glittering separately in the dimension of the internet.

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Artworks ArtCars

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ArtWorks ArtCars Buick LeSabre

A few weeks ago, working with the non-profit Artworks Cincinnati I led a group of apprentices in transforming a 1998 Buick LeSabre from an old boring car into a driveable work of art! We painted the car over the course of a weekend during Midpoint Music Festival, working alongside several other teams and cars.  The car was stripped and primed at John Hall Body shop in Northside.

The client was my own mother.  Oddly enough I did not know that she had submitted her car and she did not know that I was a project manager for ArtCars!  After learning that she entered her car it seemed only fitting that I work with her.  I created three designs from which my mom would select a favorite.  She wanted something that would evoke some flower child hippie magic.  I knew I wanted something bright, relatively simple, and non-representational and didn’t want to use flowers.  So I thought about ways to do happy and celebratory without being too obviously retro or derivative.  So instead of the 60′s I started out by looking at 1950′s magazine ads, and added some intense contemporary tetradic color.  Like my mother, I think it’s pretty unique, adventurous, and lovable!  She is thrilled.

Thanks to David Heyburn for organizing Artcars this year, Artworks for inviting me back as a lead artist and project manager, and the  amazing and talented apprentices Dontriel Nuckols, Alex Sunderman, Previn Beal, Taylor Helms, and Paige Roberts!

Check out some in-progress photos and the results below, and if you’re in the Trenton Ohio area, keep an eye out for Mrs. Hedges.

 

 

 

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Big Bone Lick and the Birth of Extinction

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At Big Bone Lick State Park looking at Bison

At Big Bone Lick State Park looking at Bison

Big Bone Lick: The Cradle of American Paleontology

Big Bone Lick: The Cradle of American Paleontology

Did you know the concept of extinction was born in Kentucky? Before unearthing these huge mysterious fossils of unnamed mammals, no westerner had seriously contemplated the idea of extinction. The concept did not jive well with the deist views of our founding fathers–Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and others imagined the universe as kind of a large clock or watch set in motion by God. That this same god would create a creature and then allow ever single member of that particular species to die seemed strange and even unbelievable. This was an America before dinosaur bones had been discovered, before the endangered species list, and just before my ancestors began shooting buffalo from westbound trains for fun.

Letters from Jefferson and others reveal a deep personal interest in these bones from Kentucky, bones which eventually turned out to be new species like the Mastodon, Wolly Mammoth and Jefferson Sloth.  These discoveries turned the world of science upside down and gave rise to paleontology, the science of prehistoric life. That these early Americans were forced to accept evidence over ideology (a skill that seems to be lost on many contemporary thinkers) makes for a great narrative. To read these letters and get a first hand account of this story, including some great Native American myths about where the bones came from, I highly recommend the book Big Bone Lick, by Stanley Heeden.

How did Kentucky go from the birthplace of American paleontology to a hotbed of fundamentalism?  Now there is even a theme park devoted to debunking hundreds of years of science in the name of religion.  It seems to me like Kentucky could benefit from a 1600 square foot mural about natural history!

Last weekend, after a long week of painting mastodon bones as part of an outdoor mural in Covington, KY, I took my girlfriend to the state park to see the site of these discoveries.  It’s a great park with some great hiking trails.  And as you might expect, yes they do have some big bones on display!  These bones below are from bison.  The mastodon skull was simply too cool to be captured in a photograph.  You’ll have to visit yourself!

DSC_0314

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Mural Progress, Kentucky Natural History

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Colors!

Colors!

A floating reference

A floating reference

We are making good progress on the Artworks mural in Covington, KY!  The mural is a celebration of Kentucky’s rich natural history.  My thesis work at the University of Cincinnati was largely about the connections between art, the natural world and the human hand.  This mural project has been a great opportunity to continue those interests in a more straightforward way.

Artworks summer programs are thankfully designed not only to employ teens but to provide opportunities for enrichment.  To prepare for the project and get everyone interested in the subjects of our mural I organized several field trips.

First, we made a trip to the beautifully redesigned Mary Ann Mongan Covington Library just across the street from the mural site at 502 Scott Blvd.  I organized something of a scavenger hunt/learning rampage, encouraging the apprentices to explore a variety of topics including: the challenges of public art (as illustrated by the popular story of Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc), the life cycles and roles of viceroy butterflies and honeybees, and the mastodon bones unearthed at Big Bone Lick State Park in the beginning years of America.  Also, what is a Dunkleosteus?  I have always been interested in synthesizing a lot of information and making connections between seemingly disparate topics.

A couple days after the library trip we went to the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal to visit the natural history museum.  We paid particularly close attention to the ice age exhibit, which is simply fantastic.  Our mural includes a mastodon skeleton, an early American symbol of power and mystery and one of my favorite creatures!  I also included a Brachiopod, the Kentucky state fossil.  These fossils are millions of years old, from a time this area was covered in ocean.  They should be a familiar sight, if you have ever looked closely at a river rock.

Since then it has been many days of sweating in the sun and drawing, painting, and having fun.  I met the most amazing group of teenagers.  It is kind of sad wrapping this project up these next couple weeks.  Stay tuned for photos of the final result!

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Downtown Covington KY Mural Live Web Feed

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Artworks Covington Mural Apprentices

Top to bottom left to right: Apprentices Alexandra Weibel, Scott Sanker, Teaching Artist Jasmine Akers, Apprentices Previn Beal, A.J. Newberry, and Evelynn Meyer.

I am now the project manager and lead artist of an even larger, more visible Artworks summer mural project!  Artworks is a Cincinnati non-profit that “empowers and inspires the creative community to transform our everyday environments through employment, apprenticeships, education, community partnerships, and civic engagement,” although they are mostly known for their murals.  This summer, my mural is one of about ten being painted in the Cincinnati area.

After a long saga involving an uncooperative Dayton Kentucky City Council, we have moved upstream.  I am now working in the Artworks Signcity of Covington, Kentucky, with fellow Cincinnati teaching artist Jasmine Akers and now seven apprentices, amazing young artists from the Cincinnati area Evelynn Meyer
, Scott Sanker
, William Moore
, AJ Newberry, Previn Beal
, Alexandra Weibel
, and Marvin Gay Lee Jr.  We are painting 11 panels on two sides of the Kerry Toyota Collision center at 24 E 5th St, Covington, KY 41011.  Marc Camardo and staff have been amazing.  If their willingness to help a rag tag group of artists is any indication of their commitment to customer service, I would say this must be the best collision repair center in the world.  Additionally, this is the cleanest building I have ever seen, which is a miracle when I consider how many greasy cars come in and out of their every year.

When we aren’t baking in the sun on Scott Blvd. between 4th and 5th Street, we are in our studio space, generously donated by the Covington Artisan’s Enterprise Center.  Cate Yellig and Natalie Bowers were instrumental in saving this project and bringing it to Covington.  So many people fought so hard to keep this boat afloat.  While the last month or so has admittedly been frustrating with so many stops and starts, the fact that we have begun an even bigger and better mural project in such a positive environment is a testament to the power of art.  That may seem dramatic, but if you could see what I have seen–people crying, yelling, laughing–all about the possibility of painting, you would recognize.  Plato knew it.  City Councils know it.  Art is power and a simple image can be transformative.

Covington Artworks Swagger

Covington Artworks Swagger

Unfortunately this block in Covington still has many vacant store fronts and unsavory happenings.  However, Covington is going through a renaissance and the mural is perfectly positioned and timed to make a meaningful contribution.  Our site is just up the street from the historic Roebling bridge, across the street from a newly remodeled Kenton County Public Library, and less than a block from the Gateway Community and Technical College.  When we are finished with the mural the entire block will look much different.  Our goal is to give the people of the neighborhood something positive, something colorful, something that will inspire young people to dream and wonder.

To see the mural unfold check this live feed!  The folks across the street at the PPS group were excited about this project and graciously offered to film it, feed it, and time lapse it later.  Check out this link to see the wall live, right now:  http://www.theppsgroup.com/ppstv/.  We are working near the camera right now (autoposting this blog!).  We will wave to you Monday through Friday at exactly noon.  Our work day is 9am-2pm.


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  • Welcome!

    Welcome to my website. I am an artist, art educator and singer-songwriter living in Cincinnati, OH. My work is wide ranging in both media and content. I am interested in the space between old mysterious objects, the natural world, and contemporary technology. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, feedback, or art emergencies. Thank you for visiting.

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