Friday, August 30, 2013

Little Black Dress is coming!

My Little Black Dress show is about to debut!  The kickoff event is coming up next weekend at C.A.M.P. and will include a showing of the Little Black Dress photo project and impromptu style event.  The show will then travel throughout the St. Louis region through 2014.

Learn more on the blog and web page here.

Little Black Dress
solo exhibit with interactive project kickoff dress exchange & impromptu style event
3026 Cherokee St.
St. Louis, MO
Sept. 7 & 8, 2013, 1 - 4 PM
Show runs through Sept. 13; additional hours by appointment only.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

MOFA show review

I recently got a mention and was quoted in the St. Louis Beacon in response to the Missouri Fiber Artists show at the St. Louis University Museum of Art.  Feel free to check it out here.

Speaking of Fiber pulls strings in the St. Louis community
by Caroline Ludeman

Speaking of Fibers 2013
Missouri Fiber Artists
St. Louis University Museum of Art
3663 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO
Aug. - Sept. 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Some Thoughts on Real Men

The idea of manhood and what it means to be a "real man" has once again come to the forefront of debate.  Real men love babies as seen on a pro-life billboard.  Real men use (this product) is used to sell merchandise.  Real men are sensitive...  Real men hide their emotions...  And so on and so forth.

I have but one thought on this:
Real men shouldn't have to question the integrity of their manhood.

Not that we don't all have doubts or wonder about our roles, sincerity, or whether or not we'll be accepted, but no one should exploit those doubts to sell ideas and products.  That is in and of itself ingenuine, and this is supposedly about what is "real".  I try not to take my cues about what has integrity from those that have shown themselves not to, by offering some misguided idea on the surface of some deeper hidden agenda (usually selling something).

But, that said, I still question my own being constantly and find myself drawn to wanting to fit in and be "normal", yearning to be sexy despite not fitting into the cultural definition of what is hot, while in truth just wanting to be loved...  I all-too-easily fall victim to the whole "Perfection or bust" attitude.  I find it bothersome that everyone, male and female, is encouraged to feel that they have to prove themselves constantly.  Are we "real"?  Are we hot?  Are we good enough?  Are we worthy?...  So much exists solely to prey on our insecurities about ourselves and our desire for acceptance.

The whole discourse regarding manhood comes as little surprise because culturally there is more acceptance across the gender spectrum and gender lines are being redefined.  With any forward momentum and radical redefining of roles, there is often a sort of backlash throwback movement of mass-marketed cultural tropes.  This is also likely where the whole Princess movement started before being exploited as a money-making scheme and taking on a life of its own through the Disney merchandising machine.

All in all, for all that it's a struggle sometimes, I am grateful to live now, on the cusp of and amidst change, and I am trying to do what I can to be a part of that momentum by creating artwork that reexamines cultural expectations about identity and gender roles.  I will end this blog post by offering some links to amazing and provocative discussions of manhood:

Gorgeous Portraits Capture the Feminine Side of Masculinity, the Huffington Post

The Mask You Live In, documentary by Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

This Week

I am very excited about the upcoming Interpretations show at Columbia Art League, opening this Saturday.  I have long anticipated this exhibition, which pairs off artists and writers so that they may respond to one anothers' works.  Each artist submitted an artwork for a writer to respond to and vice versa, so everyone will have two works in the show, one in which their original piece was responded to and one which was a response to another.  Artists and writers were paired off by lottery and given works to respond to anonymously, so nobody has any idea how these responses play out, though I'm sure some have their suspicions about whose work they were given to work with.  I'm less savvy to this than many of the others, though, since I don't live in Columbia and so am not as well-acquainted with everyone's styles.

Only 40 artists and 40 writers were selected to create 80 works between them, and I was accepted as both an artist and as a writer, which is a great honor.  So I will have two artworks on display as well as two poems.  The artwork I first submitted is my Traces Left piece, as seen at Framations earlier this year.  I chose this work because it begs more questions than it answers and is just a little creepy, causing one to wonder what happened.  I cannot wait to see what someone writes in response.  The Artwork I created in response to another writer's work Is the World Binary or Not? is my assemblage, She Wasn't Sure If Her Universe Was Expanding or Contracting.

artists & writers respond to one anothers' works
Columbia Art League
207 S. Ninth St.
Columbia, MO
Aug. - Oct. 2013
Reception: Saturday, Aug.24, 6 - 8 PM

And I recently found out that there will be a publication from the exhibition so that artwork and writing may be documented and presented together.  I cannot wait to see it!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

This Week

This week I will be participating in Venus Envy with a preview book of photographs from my Little Black Dress show to help promote the kickoff solo show & event down the street at CAMP coming up less than a month later on Sept. 7 & 8.

Venus Envy
2720 Cherokee
St. Louis, MO
Aug. 16 & 17, 2013
Friday, Aug. 16: VIP preview 5:30, doors open: 7 - 12
Sat., Aug. 17: 7 - 12
$15 per night, $25 both nights, $50 VIP preview and both nights
Performance schedule available on the website.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Visionary, Idiot Savant or Sage

I haven't ranted in awhile, but I'm becoming more and more annoyed by the application of education as qualifying criteria in art.  Perhaps I'm just bitter because I've often found myself in limbo due to this, especially when seeking solo endeavors.  I have a BFA so I'm not a self-taught "idiot savant" whose talent and creativity supposedly developed free from outside influence, as if incubated and blossoming forth solely from within my soul.  And I don't have an advanced degree so I'm not a "sage" whose focus and dedication has proven my devotion to my art and the study of it.  But I think that art should speak for itself, and that a person should be judged by the merits of their actual work more than where they went to school or didn't. 

I won't deny that higher education can teach focus, hone technical skills and really encourage artists to delve into why they do what they do.  Nor will I ignore the effects of higher education in influencing less strong-willed and/or self-aware students to adapt to program preferences and adopt their professors' principles and styles to strive for acceptance, fit in and get better grades.  But that isn't always the case either way, and focusing on elevating the "idiot savant" or "sage" is limiting and perpetuates stereotypes associated with art and higher education in both directions.

Truly visionaries exist in all range of artists, from the untrained to the scholarly.  Being a visionary has less to do with what letters an artist has or doesn't have behind their name and more to do with how they present themselves in action.  It's more about having the courage to go out on a limb despite being misunderstood and even sometimes villified, and often doing so in isolation, persevering through rejection to chase a dream that no one else understands.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

This Week

I am excited to be doing some performance / interactive art this week.  Friday night, during the reception for It's Raining Cats & Dogs, I will be Dread Pirate Queen Miss Kitty in an interactive performance fundraiser piece entitled Buried Treasure!  Please drop by and check it out.  The show is free to attend and the reception benefits Dr. Doug's Vet-Pet Rescue, with the exhibition opening, an adoption event, silent auction, live entertainment by Kevin Renick & Ted Moniak, and my performance.

It's Raining Cats & Dogs
guest performance
Soulard Art Market
2028 S. 12th St.
St. Louis, MO
Aug. 9, 2013, 7 - 10 PM

I will also be doing an interactive variant of my LOST piece for She Speaks Art at the Factory this Saturday.   The show, organized by Angelia Young, features works by St. Louis women artists about art, creativity and making art while visioning equal placement for men and women in the arts both locally and beyond.  For those planning to attend, please note there will be a $5 cover charge at the door.

She Speaks Art
organized by Angelia Young
the Factory
1128 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO
Aug. 10, 2013
7 PM - 1 AM

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Art of the Week: Plein Air Vignettes

Some of my miniature plein air paintings measuring 2" x 2" - 3" x 3" are on display at Webster House Galleries for Hot Town, Summer in the City, so please feel free to check them out.  I was able to preview the show today since I'll be out of town tomorrow for the receptions in Cape Girardeau, and there's a lot of fun artwork.

Hot Town, Summer in the City
Webster House Galleries
7522 & 7526 Big Bend
Webster Groves, MO
Aug. - Sept. 2013
Reception: Friday, Aug. 2