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Call Me Master, Acknowledgements

Jedi Master, Yoda

Master

I did it!  I have received the terminal fine arts degree, the Master of Fine Arts.  I entered the program at UC primarily because I was interested in teaching college art courses.  While I did learn about teaching (and have found opportunities to teach courses at the University of Cincinnati, Miami Hamilton, and Northern Kentucky University), I learned a lot more about being an artist.  I am now much more confident about who I am as a visual artist and I understand what I am drawn to and why.  But the ultimate proof that I have a graduate degree is my ability to write or talk at great length about things no one has ever heard of or are remotely interested in.  Ha!

Truthfully, the best thing about the MFA program was being surrounded by so many people who are as passionate about creating as I am.  I never really had that before in my life.  Now we will all retreat back into our dark corners and studios.  I hope I can still find some support in these people online or in real life, and I am looking forward to following the careers and lives of my inspiring creative peers.  Please visit the websites of my friends and amazing artists:

Fazilat Soukhakian, Jiemei Lin, Yuan Liao, Corrina Mehiel, Greg Swiger, Nicole Trimble, Siavash Yansori, Christy Wittmer, Sharareh Khosravani, Mollie Sheridan, Carrie Grubb, Katherine Tepe, John Cairns, Paul Rodgers, Tyler Hamilton, Max Manning, Jennifer Nunley, Jennifer Wenker, Dan Leonard, Curtis Goldstein, Christopher Mullins, Jacob Lynn, Amanda Checco, Elizabeth Herren, David Armacost, Jessica Robinette, Saeide Karimi, Emily Moores, Jio Bae, Allison Rae Smith, Megan Meyers, Tilley Stone, Nick Scrimenti, Randall Slocum, M. Michael Smith and I know I’m forgetting some people.  Thank you guys.

Please also check out the work of the members of my amazing thesis committee Charles Woodman, Kimberly Burleigh, and Dr. Tracy TeslowJane Alden Stevens also offered invaluable guidance and inspiration throughout the last couple years.

Well I guess that was a little dramatic but now I have a compilation of links so I can check up on everyone!

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New Paintings

The show at DAAP was a success.  I will try and find some photos of the reception.  Here are some images of the paintings, as well as installation shots from the exhibition in 840 Gallery at the Department of Art Architecture and Planning at the University of Cincinnati last week.  the paintings look so much smaller in these photos!  maybe the camera adds ten pounds to people but it subtracts a few feet from paintings.

It was so nice to see the paintings in a clean space with good light after living with them in my cramped and often messy studio for months.  I was especially pleased with the way the colors read in this space.  i received a great deal of valuable criticism and praise.  i feel pretty satisfied with this small series; i am considering ways i can expand and push things from here.  i am also working on an internet project that relates to these paintings; i hope to launch that in the next couple weeks.

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Hoarders: An Exhibition of Paintings

Joe Hedges and Nick Scrimenti, two artists in the University of Cincinnati’s MFA program, have created two separate bodies of paintings that overlap both thematically and stylistically. Many of Scrimenti‘s paintings are inspired by his stint working a summer job cleaning up the messes of deceased hoarders; Hedges has long had an interest in nostalgia and collecting, as manifested in his compositions of configurations of vintage boxes. Both artists are concerned with the ways humans relate, collect, and reconfigure manufactured objects.  Both artists paint with an intense interest in surface quality, layering, and the unexpected mark.

Please consider coming to DAAP next week to see some paintings by myself as well as some paintings by a fellow UC MFA candidate Nick Scrimenti.  Nick and I share an interest in the physical properties of paint and the surface of a painting.  His current paintings are partially inspired by a former summer job cleaning up the messes of deceased hoarders.  My current paintings deal with information storage.

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college degrees, brand-building, justifications, cereals

Holy crap I have a new website! And a place to blog again. I hope you are well. It has been a long while since I have written. Let’s catch up!

I have graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Studio Arts with an Emphasis in Painting. I have been accepted into the graduate program at the University of Cincinnati to pursue a Masters of Fine Art. That begins in the fall.

With some extra time on my hands the last few months I created this website for my solo music, and a website for my visual art. I am working on a new jfk site as well.  My old website became outdated both in terms of content and web accessibility. In the process of creating the new site I went back and dug out some extremely old blogs (from before the word blog existed, as i like to say) from the early July For Kings days.  Unfortunately I lost some photos for some posts in 2005 and 2006. But all the text is intact. If you are long-time fan (or former band member, for that matter) it is entertaining reading. Some of the writing is rather bland but it does at the very least, say what happened. Which at the time was all an “online journal” was supposed to do. I guess now a blog is supposed to be interesting. Ha!  i have created a category called Favorites for entries that were intentionally or accidentally interesting to read.

We played a July For Kings show in Dayton, OH at McGuffy’s last week with Smalltown Sleeper that confirmed our deepest suspicions–we still have fans!  and lots of them!  we were overjoyed by the turnout and really encouraged.  it had been a while since we had played with JFK (and longer since we had promoted much).  the timing is perfect as well, since I have written a more guitar-oriented, driving July for Kings album. I have demos that I am really excited about and continue to record but no, sorry, you cannot hear them as i am singing in a half-assed falsetto so as not to disturb my neighbors.  We will begin recording the masters in the next few weeks, and i will do some real singing and possibly even some throat-ripping screaming, which i have not done on an album in a very long while. I will write more about that as it unfolds. It is still early–we are expecting at least four or five months until you can hear anything–but I am excited about doing something more rocking, coming off my solo album Alchemy.  Alchemy was well-received but probably would not be described as hard rocking.  increasingly, jfk and my solo adventures are different entities, and that is very fun for me since i must constantly create, and i can’t make the same kind of pie every day because i may have adhd or add or aaaaaahhhh i want a gourmet ice cream sandwich!  wowow okay.

also, i have found that there is little tolerance for variety when it comes to artists.  we have come to see creators like companies.  artists build brands the same way corporations do, and don’t stray from their brand much (see shepherd fairey).  if you are a rock band, you have a stylistic thing and do it over and over.  if you are a visual artist, you make the same kind of painting over and over.  there are some exceptions to the rule (Picasso, Radiohead), but many times the people who have gotten away with this have done so because their entire schtick has been eclecticism.  since i am no radiohead or picasso, it is easiest to divide my life into different categories or brands, which has been a good way to direct my energy.  right now it is Alt-Rock Frontman, Prog-Electro-Folk Singer-Songwriter, and painter.  any pursuit i get into is going to have its own set of rules, so it is easiest to kind of keep those lines drawn.  i am not sure why i started writing this.  i guess i spend a lot of time justifying myself, which is what happens when you go to art school.  see how i just justified the reason i was justifying myself?!  after i get my masters degree, i probably won’t be able to think or create at all!  i will be in a paralyzing coma that alternates between self-doubt, self-justification, and fear.  i hope though, that i will have Mom’s Best Naturals Mallow-Oats cereal, my favorite new cereal.

Speaking of cereal, I only have one really great story since the last time I wrote a blog, and it has nothing to do with cereal.  the story takes place at the Alchemy full-band show in the historic ballroom at the Southgate House.  I will post it after this.  it seems that life is just not as interesting as it was when i was trekking all over europe during the summer.  but it would be a shame to exclude this one story, even if the telling is belated, as it contains suspense, American history, deception, philosophy and more.  all of that wrapped up in less than sixty seconds of my life.  yes, really!  the sixty seconds i was a magician.

That is the update for now.  xoxox

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