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Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft’

riverblog on computer monitor, The Seven Borders, KMAC, Aug. 2013 As promised, here is a post about the “The 7 Borders, Mapping Kentucky’s Regional Identity” exhibition at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville.  My “Artist at Exit 0 Riverblog” has been a part of this show which opened on June 29 and runs through September 1.  I’m honored to have been asked by KMAC and curator Joey Yates to participate especially since this is the first time my blogging activities have appeared in an art context.  My display in the museum included a few small Styrofoam artifacts, a computer monitor on a table with chairs, a box for handwritten comments, and a label on the wall.  Not quite your typical art offering.  If, however, you think of the computer as a keyhole that you can peer through to a different reality…then you get transported to the world of the Artist at Exit 0 at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.  At your fingertips are over 360 posts and more than 3500 images and my own peculiar blend of fact and fiction.  Many of you who follow this blog have been nice enough to leave recent comments and I wonder if you realized that you were participating in this exhibition too?  At the end of this post, I will add the comments that visitors left for me in the little box so that they can be a part of this exhibition record as well.  For now, I would like to share some other images of the works that are (were) a part of this exhibition. The 7 Borders, installation view, Aug. 2013 Eighteen artists are participating in this exhibition.  A few of the artists either currently live in Kentucky or are originally from here.  The majority of the artists, however, live in the seven contiguous states that border the commonwealth, hence “The 7 Borders”.  In the above image, works by Rashid Johnson are on the wall, while Brian McCutcheon’s whimsically modified cooking grill entitled “Trailer Queen II” rests on the floor. The 7 Borders, gallery view, Aug. 2013 The exhibition is a survey of contemporary works produced in a geographical area that is often hard to define.  At various times, Kentucky has been considered by Americans to be the frontier west, the Midwest, or the most northern of the southern states.  The fact this region has been historically hard to place is attractive to me.  For a professional artist, one downside is that the nearest art market of any size is in Chicago.  Many of the artworks in “The 7 Borders” reference issues born of local conditions and landscapes and gain a certain power by not being made for strictly commercial reasons.  The exhibit’s curator wrote: “Each of the artists represented is witness to varying views of the region focusing on personal history and collective experience.”  In the gallery shot above are paintings by Claire Sherman, a photo series by Guy Mendes, and a unique chest of drawers that looks like a stacked firewood entitled “Facecord” by Mark Moskovitz. "The River" by Andrew Douglas Underwood, The 7 Borders, KMAC, Aug. 2013 This mixed media work is entitled “The River” and the artist is Andrew Douglas Underwood who originally is from Louisville.  Personally, I relate to Underwood’s piece because it weaves together metaphors and history relating to people’s long association with the Ohio River.  This work effectively combines photography, embroidery, and found objects. "Pre-Fab(ulous) Environments", Leticia Bajuyo, at KMAC Leticia Bajuyo’s “Pre-Fab(ulous) Environments” is an installation piece located on the museum’s second floor.  Her multimedia piece with its blue Styrofoam installation house and suburban floor map complete with Happy Meal-styled folding cardboard houses reference contemporary suburban neighborhoods. "Roan Mountain Matrix", Denise Burge, The 7 Borders, KMAC This is an image of “Roan Mountain Matrix” by Denise Burge who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Her large fabric and thread works quote traditional Appalachian quilting while alluding to changes occurring to the land and its people through contemporary processes like mountain top coal removal. "Bog Taan", Joel McDonald, at KMAC, Aug. 2013 Joel McDonald’s “Bog Taan” is a tour-de-force mixed media drawing on 26 sheets of watercolor paper.  This is a large, obsessively detailed work that touches upon the artist’s social views as told through the context of his Germantown neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky.  McDonald has a deep understanding and appreciation for 20th Century illustration.  You could look at this artwork for a long time and keep finding images within it.

To conclude this post, I would like to include the comments left by gallery visitors upon engaging my blog in the gallery.  Some of the comments are by children who participated in summer camp programs organized by the museum.

BLOG COMMENTS

“Love this – so fun!

I once saw a duck taking a nap on a submerged & upside down shopping cart on the L-ville side of the OR (Ohio River)”

“The Joe Arbor set was sweet. Poignant. – you should do stop action animation.”

“Love the triker! and the deer-Styrobuck! and the spider-and Pip and the fish-”

“It’s beautiful, I love it! – famous artist”

“Looks like garbage to me!”

“Be cooler if it was metal”

“Some really remarkable & moving works!  Really enjoyed 7 borders.”                       Lou Knowles…Forest Hills, New York

“I like it!  Keep up the good work!”

“So Playful!  What a blast.  Thank you.”

“I like it!”

“Very interesting, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Love the blue nose man”

“dirty + whimsical like crawling through a broken greenhouse in the backyard + making toys as a child”  Lilly Ettinger

“Love it!” “???” “Fabulous: fun, imaginative & thought provoking…Thank you”                                     Mary from Wisconsin

“Quirky & original.  Brought a smile to my face”  K. Woodard (art teacher UK)

“I like the very last peice.  I think personally it looks like here is a passage in between the trunk and the roots”

” I agree we did not make enough “to do” about the beginning of manned flight.  I wouldn’t be here enjoying our work without a flight by plane.  Also like your reminder to “follow your dreams”  Kay Gorman (Maryland)

“Love them!  Priddy Cool!”

“This is very suspicious and cool to see what people throw in the river”

“Ummmm!”

“Love the birds…they are alive.”  Adrian (New Zealand)

“It looks like two snowman”

“I think this was awsome”

“Love the recycling, cute and clever.  Loved to take the time to see the whole-plus the blog.- Just a passer-by, Aug. ’13”

“Fab Al – Love where you went with this – Always happy too see your dementia”  Paul and Sandy Sasso………..these folks are old college friends of mine

“They look like Big, Dirty, Marshmallows”

“You are awesome”

THIS WAS THE LAST OF THE COMMENTS LEFT AT THE EXHIBITION.  NEXT TIME…SEE YOU FROM THE RIVER!

 

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Wet studio under the willows, Falls of the Ohio, early June 2013

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.

Improved outdoor studio space, June 2013

Improved outdoor studio space, Falls, June 2013

Improved studio area, Falls, June 2013

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.

knots used to hold structure together, June 2013

knots used on wood structure, June 2013

knots and wood, June 2013

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!

Figure with large head, June 2013

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?”

Big Figure with Pencil-thin mustache, Falls, June 2013

Big figure with pencil-thin mustache, June 2013

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.

Big Figure with pencil thin mustache, Falls, June 2013

Portrait of the Figure with the Big Head and Pencil-thin Mustache, Falls, June 2013

“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?

The Big Guy with Pencil-thin Mustache at the studio, Falls of the Ohio, June 2013

 

 

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