Sunday, June 07, 2020

Keeping Busy

Haven't had much to write about lately, but art still keeps going on. Using the Studio is more of a challenge.  Over the past week, from coast to coast, there have been thousands of scheduled protests of racial policies, and it should be no surprise that some have occurred in Asbury Park.  Like most of them, these were completely peaceful, but for each occasion, the building felt it best to shut everything down and prepare for the worst. (we tenants were allowed to come in, but I saw no reason to do so when the work I was doing could be done at home).  Monday's march was scheduled to include the train station, just a few blocks away.  Other than a huge buildup of traffic, no consequence for our building.  There was another one scheduled for Friday, other side of town.  Haven't heard of any problems, so I'll assume no news is good news.

So far I haven't done any work directly related to the political unrest, or racial situation.  Mostly because it's not a topic I usually deal with and so far I have nothing to say.  If I did, there would be a print.  For now I am just monitoring the situation, keeping my eyes and ears open, just like for everything else.  I did a sketchbook drawing from the news, Donald Trump looking very uncomfortable standing in front of a church, holding up a bible. where it came from he didn't know.  It struck me as a potentially iconic image, so I figured record it now, in case I find a use for it later.  If I do, you'll see it here.

Got an interesting email this week from my supervisor at the university.  Seems that one of the galleries on campus is organizing a covid 19 themed show.  Strictly online- fill out a form, attach an image, and if accepted it will be viewable on the website.  It's open to students and staff, so they are hoping if we gave an assignment that dealt with the topic, we can encourage our students to submit some pieces to the show.  I don't like to give such specific assignments, but I had a few students use it as a subject in pieces they did.  Not surprising with so many people trapped at home the past few months.   Since the only way for me to see student work this semester was photographs, so I know they exist, but it's not my place to send them.  In those cases, I forwarded the original email (which includes links back to the gallery page) to those students, and even attached the images if they didn't have one handy.  The class is long over and I can't force them to apply or offer them a reason to do or not do it.  As for me, I have some appropriate work, but I won't be applying. I see a big issue in their disclaimer, where they claim that any submission automatically becomes their property to use any way they want. I don't imagine many professional artists agreeing to that, and as a printmaker I can't. These works are part of editions, many copies produced, and I can't give away rights to all those other copies.  I may wish to sell them, exhibit them, or put them in other collections, and this gallery is saying that they would be the only place to decide that in the future.  When a real collection (museum, etc) sends such a form requesting I turn over all rights to them, I cross out that part and write a polite note explaining why such a thing can never happen.  So far this has always been accepted.

Got an interesting request today from my college friend Jenny.  She has purchased a number of works over the years, come to some shows, and visited this area, which I think may be as much about the opportunity to eat pizza as it is to see me or the art.  Still, I think it's good to listen when she contacts me.  Today's contact relates to the current pandemic.  One effect of this is a run on jigsaw puzzles- I've seen reports from both manufacturers and stores.  A lot of people stuck at home have found jigsaw puzzles to be a good way to use time.  (when we both lived in the Italian House, there was often a large one going on a spare table, for anyone in the house who wanted to work on it) Her inquiry was over whether I had high resolution photos of some of the larger prints, things she sees as potentially interesting puzzles, and whether I would consider such a thing. She's open to paying for such a thing.  I had never thought of this before, but it could be a new career opportunity.  For now what I will do is send there the largest size files I have for each piece.  I have no idea how large a file is needed in this case- mine are all shot for the internet, where smaller file sizes are beneficial. I'll let her do that research and let me know.  She also asked about a visit to here.  I'm always happy to see her, but with all the restaurants closed down, and the summer crowd expected to show up soon, that may have to be put off for a while.


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