Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
I helped Bill Price out with an enameling workshop, so I got to learn, too. It is so easy and I love it. I wish I had time to do more for the christmas bazaar, but here are some necklaces I made. Sorry for the shoddy picture quality. I've done some fun stuff in metals, I just haven't photographed it yet, I'll make sure to get on that.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
For my second interview, I decided to talk to Lester Merriweather again. Because both Amanda and I approached him, Lester suggested we meet in person at a coffee shop. I wasn’t sure if I should have pre-prepared questions, so I spent a couple days thinking about the subjects I would want to discuss, as I figured it would be casual and could be more of a discussion rather than an interview since he seemed so laid back. Amanda typed up questions, so it was a good balance whenever one of us was thinking or writing, the other would ask a question.
I was mainly interested in why he chose to stay in Memphis and what he thinks about Memphis in the realm of the art world. Lester is from Memphis, went away for undergrad and then returned and ultimately stayed in order to stay closely connected with his family. I was glad to hear he shared my opinion of New York. A lot of artists see living in New York as the ultimate goal, but it is unnecessary. It is great to visit, Lester does often, but there is no need to pay exorbitant rent for a tiny apartment in a city that has far more artists than the galleries can accommodate. Lester said that Memphis is great because it is affordable, even to get a separate studio space, and the art community is fairly small so it is easy to get acquainted. There is a shortage of galleries and good spaces to show, however, and so he mainly shows out of town.
I also asked how exactly he stays in contact with the people he meets at shows or residencies. I didn’t know if this meant personal emails or what, but Lester said he mainly sends out show announcements. He finds physically mailing show cards works better since it is more tangible and people sift through email quickly. Sending out fliers shows your development and reminds them of you and your art. We also discussed how he has changed mediums and Lester said that it is important to not just make something beautiful, you need to engage the viewer and always be developing your work. So when you send out those fliers people should be excited to see your new work.
I was a bit nervous about meeting in person, I though I might be awkward or something, but having Amanda there in the same situation was helpful, and Lester isn’t that intimidating. I will definitely try to do more in-person talks in the future.
Last Thursday night I attended the art opening that coincided with Indie Memphis at Playhouse on the Square. There were mainly video pieces, some were projected a block down the road onto the windows of the empty Yosemite Sam’s building and there were others in one of the ballet studios. I really liked the videos projected on the abandoned building; Michael Perry (Peery?) also did a sound piece in the upper floor with the windows open so you could see him playing. He was kind of creepy looking up there all alone, but it was a good addition and made it more enjoyable for the viewer who had to stand in the chilling wind to watch. My main qualm with the videos outside was that the location was a bit awkward for getting foot traffic actually wanting to view the piece. The videos were all very different, and good from what I could tell, though I found it hard to concentrate while I was so cold. The videos inside were definitely more comfortable to view, there were strange chairs made of tires and Adam Farmer had some tunes playing. I find that I’m not a huge fan of video work in general (sorry Dwayne) I want them to move linearly because it is a video, but they rarely do, or I just tire of it before the film is over because I spy something across the room that I would rather look at. Pitiful, I know, but I surely can’t be the only one like this. The 2D work that was outside the ballet studio I found to be rather awkward. I don’t know how it was chosen, but there were only a few pieces and they weren’t thematically related in any way. I also just didn’t find them to be of the same caliber of the video work.
Derrick Dent, a talented alum, also has a small show up at Caritas Village. I am very familiar with his work having pretty much lived with him for a year, and I always love seeing his process and finished work. He has a couple sketchbooks up which put me to shame, and a number of illustration projects, which he shows the start to finish process of. I think it is up for a month, go by and take a look, and check out his blog, too.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I grew up in Tallahassee, Florida with my single mother. She has always fostered my creativity; we always had an art room in our house in which I could do anything I wanted. My mother also taught me to sew, as she is a costume designer. I had a childhood filled with friends and parties. I was free to roam as I wished, whether in a neighborhood or nature, depending on where we were living. I have always enjoyed Florida and the accessibility of nature, we often went on camping trips or day trips to the beach, or canoeing on a river, and I still do. There was never really another interest I was as enthusiastic about as art, and so it was natural that I decided to study art in College. Moving to Memphis was disconcerting for me, I was away from my friends and the landscape I was accustomed to. My art began to focus on my longing for home, though I have now grown to like Memphis.
In the next year or so I would like to gain experience outside of the academic setting. Ideally this would mean getting a residency, but if not, than I will try to find a job, preferably to do with something I am interested in. Maybe in a local handmade goods shop or a museum, and/or interning.
After or even during grad school, so potentially in the next 3-6 years I want to have a career. This will probably be dictated by whatever I decide to pursue in school, or I guess whatever I find. Another career possibility I m interested in is having a small business selling handmade craft and art, this would be something I would probably need to partner with someone, or another business to be feasible.
In the next 5ish years I would like to try living out of the country, or at least to travel more, maybe I will look for a grad school out of country.
About a year or two after I am done with grad school I would like to have found a place to settle down, before that though, I would like to live in multiple places and possibly explore the US more to figure out where I would want to live.
I realize that some of these might overlap, and thus my timeline might not be realistic but I think I can accomplish all of these if I can just make my mind about what I want.
I attended Carrie Mae Weems’ lecture at MCA this week. I think it is funny how many more people go to certain lectures just because the person is supposedly more famous. Anyways, it was nice to see a good turn out. I hadn’t seen much of Weems’ work previously except the Snow White piece we saw in Art History, and then what was shown on the Art 21 video. She is a passionate speaker, she has one of those voices that draws you in and makes it seem like she truly means everything she says. Her work is similar, though I wish she had shown more. Weems spent a lot of time on her project against violence in her hometown. I didn’t find it that exciting because I feel that many cities and/or neighborhood groups have done extremely similar things, this time it is just an artist doing it. And the signs didn’t look any different than similar ones I’ve seen in terms of aesthetics, and the message was similar, too. Getting involved in the community is great, but I didn’t think it should be in the same category as her other works which show much more ingenuity. I wish she had talked more about her ideologies and how she represents them in her art. They are fairly obvious but I would have liked to hear her speak about them, and how she came to these conclusions and how she does research. Maybe because she is pretty well known and has done a lot of lectures she assumes we already knew all about it. Hopefully that wasn’t the case since that would be rather self-important. Anyways, it was a decent lecture, but not the best. And I couldn’t believe only one question was asked! My question would have needed a whole other lecture.