Saturday, October 20, 2018

Almost Done

We had the official reception for the 2018 faculty show just a couple of days ago, and now it's almost on its way out the door.  Yesterday I had a chance to see the show one last time, as it was the day in the semester when I bring my Intro class on a tour of the whole art building (they rarely have seen such things) and this typically includes the main gallery.  This year there happens to be the faculty show there, so when I didn't get to take photos of the show on Wednesday, I knew I'd have one more chance.

(my pieces are in the two alcoves to the right in the photo below, so you can't see them here, but they are up on this blog a few weeks ago)

Got the door combination from the person in charge of the show last week, so I let myself in this morning.  There was a gallery assistant there for the afternoon show.  The exhibition used to be much bigger in the past because the department was much bigger in the past.  When I first started working there, separate shows for full time faculty (over 10) and adjuncts (over 30) and the galleries were full each time, both with art and visitors to the reception.  A few years ago the numbers had dwindled to the point where the two groups were combined into one show- I think we had a total of 13 participants this year.  As for visitors, the assistant at the desk yesterday told me that over 100 people have been recorded over the duration of the exhibition and about 30 total had shown up at some point during the reception, though not all at once.  She also expressed disappointment (as she had when the show first opened) that it was so short, feeling the art deserved a longer run.  I do know that the gallery was empty for the first month of the semester, but something else is on the schedule for next week, so it will come down by then and the organizer will store my work in her office until my next class day next week.

As for the students, on the tour they reacted most strongly to the large charcoal life drawings in the hallway on another floor (my class covered charcoal so I told them with practice they could do the same thing), and in the exhibition they particularly liked a large carved bench (furniture design had been on the tour, so I pointed out that they could take a class to learn this sort of thing for college credit).  The show is being kept up through the weekend, perhaps to take advantage of homecoming activities (which resulted in much of student and faculty parking being eliminated yesterday, although at least my usual spots weren't roped off this time and I'm always there early enough to get available spaces), and while I don't know if the gallery will be open, if it is a few more people will get to see the art.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Very Busy Day

An artist's work never ends, and today ended up being an exceptionally long day.

The change in weather may mean that the lawn mowing schedule may finally slow down, but it hasn't happened yet.  Finished this week's cutting today and drove straight to Belmar with hopes of catching our current director in the office.  A question had come up last week of whether I would be doing more woodcut classes in 2018, but it's not my call.  I'm available, and there seemed to be a hole in the building schedule that would allow it, so I left a note and an e-mail, but heard nothing.  First I need the approval of BelmarArts, then I need students, thus my visit today.  She was back from vacation today.   Gave tentative approval and said it would go up on the website.  That's the first step.

Stopped at home for a quick snack, a change of clothes, updating and printing a document, then put some gas in the car and took off.  The destination was Kean University for the official reception for the current faculty show, which does have a few of my pieces hanging in it.  The document is a handout for this week's class, and having it ready to copy today would mean not having to do it on the class day.  The timing for today's event was good, bringing me to campus in late afternoon, after the day people have started to leave, but before the evening crowd arrives, freeing up some parking spaces one hopes.  Saw a few spaces as I passed through the lot where I usually park, but when I got to the section close to my building, the place where I usually park, it was all roped off.  No reasons that I know of (no announcements about it went out), so maybe just to annoy faculty.  At the big lot on the other side of my building I discovered that the faculty spaces there had been converted to student spaces.  Luckily my permit allows me any space, and students also leave that time of day, so I found a decent accessible spot.  Went up to the 4th floor to make my copies, then came back down to the 1st for the opening.

Initially I hadn't expected that we'd have a reception, since the last time we had a faculty show the school refused to provide refreshments.  We got an e-mail last week saying that there would be a reception and refreshments would be provided, leading me to ask questions.  Turned out that the refreshments were being provided by the three remaining full time faculty, not the school.  And that refreshment table was sparse- bottles of water, cheese and crackers, grapes, a few cookies.  Luckily, there was no one there to eat anything.  I never saw more than 8 people in the gallery at any one time, and often less.  Most of the artists weren't there either.  Usually free food lures students, but not this time.  I was told that our Dean had shown up, but I've never met him and wouldn't recognize him anyway.  One of our full time faculty mentioned that we were all invited to be part of a show down at Long Beach Island in the spring, and wanted to know if I would consider participating, since I live closer to there than most faculty.  I said yes, even though it's still about an hour away.  (I had an hour drive tonight each way, so I can handle that) My woodcut student was there of course (he practically lives in the building) and we had a former student stop by.  Didn't recognize him,  but he said he had me for a class and they did woodcuts, so that had to be me.  Said he didn't particularly enjoy that project (all they had to work with were x-acto knives), and he doesn't much like printing, but he must have liked something about it, because he kept doing them.  Showed me photos on his phone of prints  and they weren't bad, so I guess I got another convert there.  With so few people around, I never got around to taking photos of the whole gallery, but maybe I'll try to get some when I'm teaching, as the show will still be up through this weekend.

Hung around past 6 pm, hoping the Parkway would clear a bit.  Whatever may have happened, there was still plenty of traffic heading south when I left.  But the day was not over yet.  At home I got on the computer to take care of one more thing- my former student Mary had been to a talk at an arts center in Burlington and thinks it would be a great place to have some woodcut classes, and gave our contact information to the other.  I waited a few days to see if the Burlington contact was going to write me first, but it hadn't happened yet.  So tonight a quick e-mail to introduce myself and what I can offer.  Mary mentioned that the place had received a large donation of print equipment and had no  one who knew how to use it, two things that may go together.  (my two colleges have disposed of much printmaking equipment in recent years, severe cuts or elimination, and with no classes, it's hard to learn printmaking)

So pretty much this whole post is a giant to be continued.  What happens with the Belmar class, with a potential Burlington class, the show in LBI, images of the Kean gallery- all is wait and see.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Lots of Errands

Lots to do every day, and today was no exception.  In the morning alone I had mowed the lawn, moved stuff to the basement (finding some things I had wanted in the process), and visited recycling. Art stuff started in the afternoon.

Got an e-mail a few days ago from someone at BelmarArts, saying that they were working on the new website and wanted to know if I had class information to put up.  Since there is no class yet, no, but maybe I should get one going.  So I talked to the office there, found some information, came up with a plan.

Next up to Ocean Grove to see if I had any mail.  My visitor to the Studio last week had asked in an e-mail about an address to send something to, and rather than give her my home address, I gave her the mailing address of the place she had been to already.  I dropped by the building today and sure enough I had some mail.  (we all have mailboxes there, but this was the first occasion I had a reason to expect something) What had been sent was a small woodcut print.

The image of a brayer had been a prize of a sort from an event at PCNJ, a place I haven't been for years but I know quite well.

I spent part of the evening writing e-mails to all these people, replying to things I had gotten from them over the past few days.  We are expecting a big rain tomorrow, which may make it a good day to deal with all this stuff some more.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Time for a Fun Pak

Had a birthday recently, which brought me back to an old tradition that has roots in my college days.

At my undergraduate college, we had a convenience store near the campus, easy to walk to, called the  Tinee Giant.  It is part of a chain in that part of the country.  I always assumed that they were connected to the Giant supermarket chain, but I don't know for sure if that is true or not.  Anyway, a typical convenience store, selling bags of chips, candy, snack cakes, some groceries, lots of beverages  (as a senior I remember buying a 6 pack of malt liquor there for me and a friend to share with a professor at the end of the semester), self serve hot dogs and condiments (50 cents), and other stuff.  A rack near the front window had an assortment of "fun-paks" as they were called- small bagged with a cardboard header, dime store quality items, or things you might win with a visit's worth of tickets from a boardwalk game.  I remember one called "candy and water weapons" which had really cheap candy, and something almost like a water pistol (unlike the ones I knew, this had no trigger, just soft plastic gun shape that could hold some water, and you squeezed the whole thing to get water to shoot out the nozzle), some very cheap amusements.

One of my art school buddies was my friend Dave (the malt liquor friend above) and we adopted a form of the "Fun-Pak" for ourselves, often sending each other birthday gifts of stuff we made or picked up for free (artist post cards, etc).  Got one from Dave a few days ago.

Being a comic book artist, often the content of his packages is comics related.  This time it included a complication of recent short comic strips, a preview issue of an upcoming graphic novel about the Georgetown Steam Plant (funded by the city of Seattle), stickers, and a t-shirt that he helped design for a convention in Hot Springs, Arkansas (who'd have thought he's have a connection there?), plus a card.  Got it Friday, had time over the weekend to finally read everything. Fun, as expected.