If you are reading this post between June 28 through September 1, 2013 then you are also participating in an art exhibition. You may ask…how is that possible? Well, sitting on a white table within a gallery of the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville is a desktop computer. On that computer, my “Artist at Exit o Riverblog” is on display in a group show entitled “The Seven Borders” which is curated by Joey Yates. The exhibition features contemporary artists who either live in Kentucky or in the seven contiguous states that border the commonwealth. I will try to post more about this exhibit over the show’s run. I’m delighted by this invitation because this is the first time my blog has been featured as art in an art context. I’ve always thought this was a possibility for this blog because my art comes together here in terms of the objects I make, the pictures I take, and the words I string together to tell stories or just describe the beauty of nature.
Of course, the dialogue created by people’s comments is a part of that too. With hope, people will additionally feel they can participate by leaving a comment, however, online you will need to be a WordPress member or a blogger with an Open ID credential. This is easy and free to do. If, however, you would prefer to write a note on paper while in the museum and give it to the front desk attendant…I would be glad to include those comments in this project as well.
It’s been a busy and engaging June with projects at the river, a family trip to Washington D.C. etc… I had planned a different post for today, but after yesterday’s experiences at the river…I thought I would go out of sequence. Besides, with art, it is quite often the case that progress or forward movement is not linear, but jumps all over the place. Let’s begin again with the first image of this post…this was my outdoor studio under the willow trees at the Falls of the Ohio in early June.
I have used this spot to cache river found materials and to make my sculptures and this has been a handy base of operations for a couple of years now. This spot has weathered a few near miss floods that could have washed everything away again, but has stayed remarkably intact. Well…there were a few recent changes which form the true subject of this post and here are the pictures.
It was an already dramatic day in terms of the weather. Bright sunshine alternated between heavy, dark clouds dumping rain showers along the way. The clarity of the air and the mosquitoes were noteworthy. I did get soaked on this adventure, but as long as the camera stays dry…I’m alright with it all. Imagine my surprise upon arriving at my site to find that someone anonymously had built a structure around it! I’m used to folks going through the junk I’ve scavenged and taking or destroying whatever creations I may have left behind, but this is a first! A great deal of care was used in working with the existing site by utilizing the surrounding trees and logs as posts and beams. I wonder if this is also the work of more than one person? This is more than a flimsy lean-to where the wood is simply stacked. Some craftsmanship is evident from the knots used to hold the structure together. It might take more than one person to steady things as another does the tying? Again, more pictures to illustrate the story.
The yellow nylon line is something I had found previously and used to create the giant spider’s web featured in an earlier post. This structure has a chance to stay up for awhile…at least until someone else messes with it or the river rises again. I was absorbed with the changes and reflecting on how often I have looked at this site from an archeological perspective. It might even be fun to draw all this stuff in a scientific sort of way. Because it had rained while I was looking around, the damp ground muffled the approaching sounds of my second big surprise of the day!
I turned and looked over my shoulder as this large presence stepped over the logs and entered the studio area. He sat right down and asked, “Are you the guy that makes the Styrofoam sculptures?”
Whoa!…(I said to myself),…check out this dude with the huge head, miss-matched eyes, and pencil-thin mustache. No doubt about it…I was a bit taken aback! Regaining my composure, I replied that indeed I was that person and added that many of those creations were made in this very spot. Without every telling me his name, he replied “I thought so…I’ve been an admirer of your work for a long time now.” Knowing he was a fan set me at ease and we had a nice visit together.
“So, how do you like it?” Spreading his spindly arms around my studio, I gathered that he was the architect of these recent improvements. I told my mustachioed friend that I just love it when people play along and contribute to my Falls of the Ohio project! I could see this clearly delighted him. He asked if there were any suggestions for improvements and I replied that I had a few ideas. To begin with, it is now much more difficult to move within the space. I whacked my head a few times on wooden supports. If the structure were higher…that wouldn’t be an issue and I also wouldn’t turn into a hunchback any sooner than I have to. I also added that I missed having the big log to use as an impromptu work surface. When I stood, it was just the right height. Now, it is covered up with stacked wood. I could see from his expression that this was probably enough in suggestions for this time. I didn’t tell him that I needed to create new seating because the plank I liked using had been damaged. That’s no big deal. With the clouds ahead promising more rain, I gathered my camera, collecting bag, and walking stick and bid my new friend so long…for now. Perhaps we’ll meet again? Looking back, I saw the big guy sitting in my customary spot. As I walked over the driftwood and sand, I wondered if my next visit to this site would harbor any more surprises?