Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Claude show update

Claude wants to invite everyone to his very own art show, Claude: the Monster, the Myth, the Legend coming up on August 7 at Cranky Yellow. Although he participated in Crammed Organisms before, this is the first show devoted entirely to him and he's really excited about it (and just a little nervous).

Bigfoot is back in town. That is right, Claude, St. Louis’ very own hairy bi-ped is having a show!

Conceptual artist Jennifer Weigel and plush artist Laurene Franco will be with Claude for an evening of handmade art and multi-media entertainment. Claude will be debuting his Music Video Series and there will be photo opportunities for everyone to be with the 7ft. plush monster (so bring your camera). Weigel will have her original “Monsterpieces” (one of a kind collages) and drawings in different mediums. In addition, buttons, pins, tees and plush Claudes will be available for purchase. The setting is within Cranky Yellow, walls covered with original artwork, racks of vintage and unique clothing and display cases filled with quirky antiques and crafts.

Claude: The Monster, The Myth, The Legend
Friday, August 7, 2009 7 - 11 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Cranky Yellow
2847 Cherokee Street
St. Louis, MO 63118

Presented by Cranky Yellow Publishing, Jennifer Weigel, Laurene Franco and the St. Louis Craft Mafia.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Open Studios 2009

I thoroughly enjoyed Open Studios again this year. I love to see where artists work - it offers a lot of insights into not only the process of how they make their art but also into who they are, how they think and what's important to them. If showing your art is like hanging yourself on a wall naked (as my high school art teacher used to say), then showing your studio is like hanging yourself on a billboard naked. And by seeing how and where others work, we can better understand our own working habits and thus realize both benefits and drawbacks to our own working environments.

My He Said, She Said buttons that I produced for today were more successful than I imagined they would be. (Each button was printed with a quote or phrase that was said to me or someone I know or overheard in the art fair setting.) At first I was concerned that people weren't going to talk to me for fear of appearing on a button later, but as the day progressed that proved not to be the case. The buttons became a starting point for conversation, much like the nametags in my Reflections piece. And I sold a number of them as well, which was also nice because it helped pay for my materials and because people were wearing them around.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Deadline Extensions

Today I am going to rant about deadline extensions. I am amazed that I haven't devoted a blog post solely to this topic. I have touched on some of the aftermath of extending deadlines, like some effects on submissions and doing things at the last-minute (which I've blogged about twice). But I haven't devoted a post to the extension of deadlines that I am aware of.

Galleries and organizations can have very valid reasons for extending deadlines. The most common is that there weren't enough submissions. This is a difficult challenge to address because a show may not be able to go on without more submissions. Unfortunately, if the show theme was unpopular a deadline extension may not even resolve this. And some artists will not apply to shows that have been extended simply because they don't think the show is a worthwhile pursuit (if no one else submitted, it must not be worth doing).

Okay, so you had to extend a deadline for a show. That's okay - it happens to everyone from time to time. But extending a deadline doesn't examine the root cause of the lack of submissions to avoid the problem in the future. Without looking at why people didn't submit work in time, it is probable that there won't be enough response to the next call as well. Thus extending deadlines can become a habit that is difficult to break. Many organizations find themselves in such cycles from one show to the next because they still aren't getting in enough submissions. And the more frequently the organization does it, the more likely it will be necessary because more artists will procrastinate under the assumption that the deadline will be extended.

I suppose if you find yourself in a pattern of extending deadlines, then one solution is to embrace the extension and to list the deadline earlier on the first call than it needs to be so that you can extend it without pushing everything else back. However, this still doesn't resolve why there has been a repeated lack of submissions. There are other solutions and things to consider. If the call was put out enough in advance and there still aren't enough submissions, perhaps the juror could be given some space to show a collection of artworks in conjunction with the juried show or those artists who submitted on time could be contacted with the offer that they can send in more images. (This doesn't help if funding was an issue, but maybe by offering the juror a show a new payment arrangement could be made depending on the circumstance.)

For future shows to avoid or to better understand these issues, submission fees can be lowered, prospectuses provided sooner (if they went out late), reminders sent out (if prospectuses were provided too far in advance), and the show hyped up through a wider or different variety of sources. It also helps to be aware of what else is going on at the same time so that you know what other calls have gone out and whether or not they are similar to your own. Sometimes it's easy to oversaturate if there are a bunch of similar calls out at once and artists are picking and choosing which ones to respond to.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oh, Poo!

Claude wants to make it known before his show that he doesn't like being referred to as "poo" or a "turd" (for all that he admires Mr. Hankey and doesn't have anything against poo). He may put on a good front, but he is secretly seething when he hears people shout out, "That turd has teeth!" He is a Bigfoot not poop, and he revels in being big, brown and lumpy and sees nothing wrong with that at all.

This Week

This week I am participating in the 4th annual Open Studios tour sponsored by the Contemporary. I will be in the alternative space in the Motorworks Building on Sunday, since my studio is outside of the city limits. I will be bringing a new institutional critique piece about art fairs and art markets since the alternative space provides more that atmosphere than a true studio visit. Please feel free to check it out.

Open Studios
Contemporary Art Museum
Alternative Space at the Motorworks Building
462 Whittier Street, St. Louis, MO
Open Studios: July 25 & 26, 2009 by region
the Motorworks Building will be open July 26, 10 - 4

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Claude Makes Some New Friends

He also made some new friends. As he said, "what could be better than relaxing at a scenic overlook with a bottle of wine and surrounded by gorgeous women?"

Claude Enjoys the View

While at Les Bourgeois Vineyards, Claude enjoyed the breathtaking view of the Missouri River.

Claude Goes to Les Bourgeois Vineyards

Yesterday, Claude & I went to Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport, MO for the Collectors' Series release party. We enjoyed the Vignoles-Traminette, the sweet white wine that my painting was chosen for.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


As part of Innovations in Textiles 8, a blog has been created in which artists involved in fiber shows during September are invited to answer questions about themselves and their processes. Since I am participating in Common Threads, the collaborative fiber/glass fusion show at Third Degree Glass Factory, I was invited to do so. Please feel free to check out my responses. You should check out what other artists have had to say as well - it has been very interesting, enlightening and even inspirational.


Also, for those of you who have been wondering what all I am up to and have going on at any given time, I'd like to point out that I maintain a list of Current & Upcoming Shows here on the blog to the left. Shows are organized top to bottom, with the current shows on top and the others ordered by date.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Domo Goes to Woodstock 2

While we were in Woodstock, we checked out Horses of a Different Color which benefits Main Stay Therapeutic Riding. Domo especially liked Circus by Sandie Bacon.
Thank you to my mom Judy Weigel for taking these pictures.

Domo and Bill Murray Stepped Here

Yesterday, I went with my family to Woodstock, Illinois, where Groundhog Day was filmed. Claude stayed home for fear that he might get stuck in a time loop, but Domo came because "DOMO FEAR NOTHING!"

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wine Label Release Party

I'd mentioned a long time ago about my painting being selected for a wine label. Well now it's almost time for the release party. Please feel free to come and check out the new Collector's Series wines and artworks. I am very honored to have been selected and to have my Missouri Magic painting featured.

Les Bourgeois Vineyards
14020 West Highway BB
Rocheport, MO
Saturday, July 18, 2 - 7 PM at the Bistro

I will be taking my plein air supplies and painting on site during the event when I get a chance.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Claude Celebrates My Birthday

Claude & I went to my dad's in Centralia, IL to celebrate my birthday. Thank you so much Jason & Michele for the wonderful birthday cake. I love that you incorporated a grapevine motif with the Les Bourgeois wine label release party coming up.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Claude Goes to Fritz's

Claude also went with us to Fritz's Frozen Custard for my birthday. We had a mint turbo smoothie.

Claude Is a Fireman

Claude enjoyed the kiddie rides at South County Mall today. He especially liked the fire engine and the ice cream van, but he wouldn't fit in the ice cream van.

Polaroid: Past & Present

I knew that I wouldn't be able to go to the opening reception, so I stopped by the Polaroid: Past & Present show today. For all that the show is exhibited in the alternative space of Union Avenue Christian Church's Gretchen Brigham Gallery and hallway, many artworks have been included and it was fun to see the extensive exploration of media and techniques depicted.

The exhibition offers an extensive glimpse into what local artists have done within the context of the media. A diverse range of approaches has been included. Several pieces offer fusions of multiple media simultaneously, including Jeane Vogel's intimate views of nature incorporating both drawing and photography, Connie Lambert's vibrant figurative works utilizing printmaking, drawing and Polaroid emulsion, and Joanne Kluba's beautifully articulated haiku prints which explore both travel and the natural world. Several artists sought to fuse older and newer techniques by reworking the Polaroid images in a newer format or incorporating them into the digital process, as seen in Marianne Pepper's Mykonos series. And still others took a different approach, like Todd Thomas creating collages of multiple Polaroid images and Barbara Zucker incorporating multiple Polaroid emulsions of images from the natural world.

There are also some recurring themes that help to connect the show (even beyond the focus on the Polaroid). The effect is well-suited to a delicate exploration of the natural world and many artists utilize this sensibility. And the context and history of the Polaroid lends itself to travel-based themes, so this is also an underlying current through much of the work. Jane Linders' photographs of vintage motel signs hearken back to the road trip along historic Route 66. And several of Dallas Moses' humorous glimpses of the world visit the idea of the road trip as well, as in "I Wanted Mustard", an image of the world's largest catsup bottle, or "Jesus Loves Billboards" of a JESUS billboard alongside the highway. A sense of travel to various exotic, faraway places is also conveyed, as in Kay Wood's Egypt triptychs of Polaroid emulsions on papyrus, Marion Noll's views of Venice, and Susan Hacker Stang's visions of Florence (of which she has published a book).

So it was wonderful to see the theme of the Polaroid revisited and to see how different artists approach the media. I would recommend attending the opening reception if you can do so, or at least viewing the show sometime while it's up. There's a lot to absorb and some wonderful surprises and I'm glad that I was able to see it today.

Polaroid: Past & Present
Arts Group of Union Avenue
Union Avenue Christian Church
733 Union Blvd.
St. Louis, MO
July 5 - Aug. 2, 2009
reception July 12, 12 - 2 PM

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Putting Out Feelers

I have spoken previously about simultaneous submissions and the necessity to keep track of what you've proposed where so to avoid double bookings or conflicts. I am revisiting the theme today because it's been awhile and because I wanted to explore it from a different standpoint: the exhibition proposal.

So you've gotten a group of artists together and curated a show, written up a proposal and are seeking a venue. Or maybe you have just gotten a show packet together for a solo show. You just sent it off to the best-suited venue you could think of, and now you're playing the waiting game. Well, I have news for you - you may be waiting a long, long time, especially if there was no set date by which applicants would hear back.

Waiting to hear back regarding show proposals is excruciating. Few cold proposals get into galleries and many institutions take a long time to review submissions. As a result, submission materials can quickly become outdated while you are waiting to find out whether or not you were accepted. Rather than hounding the gallery constantly and lessening your chances of getting in, it is best to know their submission policy beforehand. Many galleries accept simultaneous submissions, which means you can send your packet off to multiple places for consideration.

Here are a few important tips to remember when submitting show packets simultaneously:

- Ask questions before you send anything - it will help you to follow directions and guidelines. It is especially important to ask questions if policies aren't clearly spelled out beforehand or if there are no real deadlines and proposals are reviewed on an ongoing basis. And it can help because you can open up the lines of communication early in the process, which is a real boon if you need to contact the institution later regarding the status of your submission. Please note: this is not near so crucial or recommended when following a written prospectus and may even be a hindrance because you can come across as a bother or as inattentive if you ask about things that were clearly spelled out. (I always feel like an idiot when I realize that I asked a question that I already knew the answer to.) That doesn't mean you shouldn't ever ask anything when you have a prospectus, just make absolutely sure that you aren't asking about something that was outlined in it unless you need further clarification.

- Make sure that the gallery information is correct and appropriate to the submission you are sending out. It doesn't reflect well on you or your proposal to be sent to the wrong person or to be addressed to the wrong place. I typically make sure to adapt everything to whatever guidelines each individual gallery has specified. I always double- and triple-check a proposal (and not all at once so I can look at it fresh) for accuracy and to make certain to avoid these kinds of embarrassing and hard-to-bounce-back-from errors. It helps to have someone else proof-read your work as well. Remember it takes time to read proposals too, so if you are attentive to the institution's specifications and invest time and thought in your proposal, it is more likely to be read and not immediately filed in the trashcan or sent back.

- Promptly tell any other galleries where you have submissions outstanding if you've been accepted elsewhere or make certain that the gallery that accepted you is aware that you are waiting to hear back from another institution and may not be showing there. This really helps in regards to not overextending yourself and double-booking your work. It is also courteous to those who are planning out their schedules to keep them informed of any changes so that you don't "burn near so many bridges" and may be considered again later on for a future endeavor.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Claude Goes to Bobby's

What better way to celebrate July 4 than with blueberry cobbler frozen custard? Claude satiated his sweet tooth yet one more time at Bobby's Frozen Custard.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Claude Goes to Bonne Terre Mine

Claude & I went to Bonne Terre Mine today. He considered taking a tour, until he found out there might be scuba divers... Claude is terrified of scuba divers. He decided not to come and waited while Chuck & I took the tour. I guess it was a good call, since there were a couple of divers gearing up and filling their compressed air tanks and I don't think Claude would have been able to handle it.

Claude wants to thank everyone for supporting him on Facebook - he didn't realize he had so many friends! He is very happy to be so loved - it gives him a warm fuzzy feeling (or maybe that's just him).

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Claude Goes to My Just Desserts

Today Claude and I went to My Just Desserts in Alton, Illinois where we tried the strawberry pie. Thank you Marsha Heck for taking our photo.

Claude is on Facebook! He is seeking friends, so please support him.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On Reviewing Art

I just wrote my first real art review per se (beyond school and this blog), on "Cultivated Works: Victoria McAlister & Jen McKnight" at Three Sinks Gallery in Webster Groves, for the Art Saint Louis blog.

I have a new-found appreciation for the review process. It was challenging to articulate what I was visually absorbing since I am not used to doing so (especially not now after getting out of school). I am accustomed to writing about my own art, but I found it much more difficult to do so about another artist's work because I am not privvy to every step of the process, every development of the concept, every idea that was thrown away, every influence, what was eaten for breakfast, and all of that internal understanding...

Nonetheless, writing a review was a wonderful learning experience in really seeing art because it forced me to further develop my responses and then convey them. I typically go to art shows to show my support, see what other artists are doing, take in art and ideas, network and as a leisure activity. As a result my reactions are often based on emotional sensitivities and responses, as so many people's immediate reactions are. (When pressed I can typically offer up more of a response than the clicheed "I just like it" or "it just doesn't do anything for me" because I can voice why or why not I am drawn to something, but I am rarely pressed in this regard.)

With so much to see and so little free time to do so, I don't often afford myself time to really absorb other artists' works, something I find even more challenging in the reception setting with its inherent distractions and social interactions. So it was nice to spend the time necessary to do just that. I think I may try to make a habit of writing about others' work, to further hone my skills as a viewer and to give myself permission to take the time for further study.

This Week

Elizabeth & Craig Thomas invited me to participate in Feminine Perspective II at the Black Door Gallery in Cape Girardeau, MO and I am excited to display my Victoria's Lament piece in this group show celebrating women artists.

Feminine Perspective II
Black Door Gallery
124 S. Spanish
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
July 2009
reception Friday July 3, 5 - 9 PM in conjunction with First Friday