Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving


On Thanksgiving Day, MOCA Jacksonville is offering an alternative to the post-turkey binge, pre-coma football game, “Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy.” This documentary takes as its subject, America’s most shameful episode of ethnic cleansing. Fueled by literal Gold Fever, the Indian Removal Act of 1830 sent 16,000 Native Americans on an 800 mile forced march where a quarter of the people died.


*pictured: Asa-to-yet, Native American Comanche chief, sitting w. arms crossed & gun in hand.
Photographer: Will Soule
Date taken: 1870

Monday, November 24, 2008

Change





Over at this site, change.gov, President-elect Obama is soliciting ideas for solutions to energy and the environment. Though I suspect it is less a look for answers, and more a straw poll of how Americans are thinking about enery (should we drill? use windpower? hamsters on wheels?), it seems to me to be a great opportunity for the little people to express their views.

Personally, I went on the record for :

bikes
solar power
trains
no {oil} drilling in Alaska or Florida

I know that many of you have complex, nuanced views of solutions. Go share them.

*images courtesy Life

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Collaboration


So, a few days ago I mentioned a project that I was/am working on, in that post, I asked for readers to send in their upcoming art shows. Here's why: I am working in a freelance capacity for the Times Union as a sort of art writer/commentator.

Wish me luck and accuracy!

Please send press releases et al to artnotesjax@gmail.com. I do not promise everything will make it in, however, I will look at everything sent to me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

marketing Jacksonville



Last night, at the Contemporary Conversations event at MOCA Jim Draper made a great point, he said that artists are so desperate for exposure, they take just about any deal, no matter how raw. “We just want to be wuvved,” he kidded.

Though Draper’s comment hit a mark—most recently played out in the book: Picturing Florida, From the First Coast to the Space Coast, a pay-to-play tome billed as an art historical treatise, but that would more accurately be described as a catalogue—it wasn’t the take-away message of the night. The real kicker (supported by all four panelists: Sarah Crooks Flair, James Greene, and Tonya Lee) was that artists don’t make livings in Jacksonville. Even Draper, who has known a fair amount of fiscal success said that at the height of his sales, Jacksonville only ever made up for about 20% of his income.

So now its clear, artists: take your work and go forth! Use Jacksonville for those good things about the location/weather/etc…, but place your sites outside of the city limits. That, and be prepared to teach.

After all, as someone snidely commented afterwards, “Do you really want to be known as *the* Jacksonville artist?”

*pictured: an image from artist Anri Sala’s body of work on display at MOCA North Miami (because I liked the awkward incongruity of it), and a tiny round of cheese I snagged from one of my friends at the museum. If sharing snacks is not the core of community spirit, I don’t know what is.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Neophyte failings: the fenceline




Let me begin by saying that I am not a photographer. In fact, it might be accurate to say that I am to photography what I am to surfing: I love it (especially thinking about it in the abstract), but in reality tend to step backwards off the board and end up swallowing a pint of seawater.

So this past winter when I inherited my grandfather’s camera, I enjoyed it for its aesthetic and nostalgic value, placed it on a shelf where I could enjoy it...and promptly ceased to touch it (I also tend to break things).

Then the other day I pulled it out, and curious to see if it still worked, I took it up to Ritz Camera. There, I met the nicest guy who spent about 45 minutes showing me how to work it (in an very rudimentary way).

Thus armed with new knowledge, a sunny day, and my bike, I tootled around, pulling out my light meter, adjusting the lens (the camera is entirely mechanical), and generally feeling very competent and tied to a larger tradition, one of art rather than science.

Then I got my film back.

*Ahem* it would seem that my self-important feelings of competence and aesthetic rigor were misplaced. Out of a roll of 24, 7 images came out...the others were so over/under exposed as to be unprintable. Of the 7, I can identify 3.

Though these 3 look like what they are--the artless, stumbling, trite efforts of a neophyte without even basic focusing skills--I still rather like them.

Now back to Ritz to figure out where/why I went wrong.

MOCA JAX


Usually I am pretty good at forgetting to post things in a timely manner, however, MOCA Jacksonville is hosting a conversation this Thursday at 7 p.m. that takes a look at making art, and making a living as an artist in Jacksonville.

Contemporary Conversations: Making Marks and the Marketplace

This should be interesting, my intel suggests that people won't be pulling punches. Hope to see you there for an invigorating chat.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Un Peu Insight


from the Telegraph, via Hrag Vartanian: Barak Obama’s favorite painting: Hope by George F. Watts.

A little shmaltzy for my taste...but then again, I am not the president-elect.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

For Tony A


It seems that this thing Tony over at the Urban Core is calling Bikevember fest is coming to pass.

As a staunch supporter of cycling (even as I still drive to work), I hope the evening is a blast for all those involved.

More info (and a little of Tony's rambling) here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No Boners for Mices


According to a recent Folio weekly story, marine is up in arms about Ronnie Land’s rendering of their icon. According to Folio, Marineland attorney Jill Barger sent the artist a letter accusing him of “trademark infringement and dilution.” She also took a swipe at Land’s aesthetics: “...the same dolphin with bad sculpting of lines...”

Though Land declined to comment, Screen Arts Gallery owner, Rob DiPiazza, did not, “It’s not like we took Micky Mouse and put a boner on him,” he was quoted as (unsurprisingly) saying.

For the full story, click on the above image that Mark George was kind enough to forward on to me.

Incidentally, Land’s show at the Gallery at Screen Arts opens December 5 and runs through January 31.

228 West King Street, St. Augustine.

Rare


I rarely post images of my work here because usually all I see are the flaws.

But this one I am fairly ok with.

Plus, I finally got a new camera. Now I just need to remember to take it with me...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Something in the Works...



Hi there, today I am posting a request for upcoming and ongoing art/music/cultural events. Currently I am working on a project that will act as a sort of edited aggregation of cultural events that are of interest to the community. I can make no absolute promises of inclusion in the new project, but I welcome submissions.

For consideration, please send events to artnotesjax@gmail.com.

I will be clearer about the project when I am at liberty to do so. Thank you for your help!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Remembering Glamour







Getting ready for the Blaze Ball’s afterparty on Saturday evening, I couldn’t decide between two equally acceptable little black dresses: everything else would remain the same (heels, necklace, wrap, etc). One wass a slightly architectural a-line dress, the other: gathered and slightly Greek (with a wisp of Heidi).

The Blaze Ball (and the accompanying afterparty: NiteOwl) is the bi-annual museum fundraiser. Produced by MAC (MOCA Art Council), the council retained the services of art director Natalie McCray to reinvent the museum. McCray has previously designed a Cummer Ball and many private events.

The transformation of an entire building, for just one night is a monumental task that requires a kind of legendary vision. When I spoke to McCray about the way she approached the museum, she said that she could picture the finished project in her head. Setting the stage with a kind of Miami-meets-MoMA vibe, she was able to create a space wherein everyone felt beautiful…because McCray believes that if you feel beautiful you are.

At this point, in the spirit of transparency, it probably bears mentioning that Natalie is one of my best friends, and the reason I got to attend the party. Throughout the planning process, she’s been sharing with me some of her ideas for the event, but even though I was privy to some of her explicit ideas; her attention to detail, and ability to transform the mundane into the magical with everyday materials, sourced here in Jacksonville, I could not imagine the transformation that took place. McCray took full advantage of what--to others--might’ve been obstacles and made a monument to the fleeting, ephemeral nature of beauty. To use the old meaning of the word: McCray cast a glamour over the night.

Sorry if this post seems a little gushy…you might be able to guess that not only did I go, but, I had a great time. The only drawback? The music was less progressive than one might expect at an event like this… “Play that Funky Music White Boy.” C’mon now.

And to answer that all-important question that still lingers, I went with the architectural option.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

public sculpture




On the way to the office yesterday, I stopped by the Cummer to check out the new sculpture, The Sea of the Ear Rings, a kinetic sculpture. Installed on the front lawn of the museum, the bright red, minimal piece is in complete opposition to the conservative fa├žade. In this opposition, it recalls the open-air sculpture parks of Britain often housed on private land (like Henry Moore’s).

The kinetic aspect of the sculpture comes in to play at the nexus of the two rings: the upper ring slowly raises and lowers in almost barely noticeable increments. The slowed motion is at once hallucinatory and soothing; and, accomplished through the slow redistribution of a 1,000 pound weight.

Created by artist Takashi Soga, the sculpture was a gift to the Cummer by Dudley D. Johnson in memory of his son Dudley D. Johnson, Jr. Little information was available online about Dudley Johson (Jr or Sr), save that Sr gives fairly generously to NYC charities.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008



...it isn't just that we (as Americans) have lived up to our promise, it that we have done that thing that makes us uniquely American...we have chosen risk over safety, listened to our hearts and done the thing we thought right and true. We are willing to give a first-term senator a try...because though less experienced, he captured and embodies the American dream.

It's not a dream of 2.5 kids and a suburban house (though he falls into that demographic) it is the dream of a better, brighter future with a young vigorous leader at the helm. We are taking the chance on Obama and with him. And though I don't doubt he will stumble here and there, I do not think he will fall.

Yes we did.

Monday, November 3, 2008

then






I obsessively began looking for other cool racks.

Noob


I am pretty new to biking...well, that is to say I am new as an adult to it. As a kid, we were a one car family, so that often left my mother, brother and I getting around town on our bikes (luckily we lived in a very walkable/ridable city).

But after moving down here, I gradually became one of those people who hops in the car to go less than five blocks. Now, though I still find myself using my car much more than I should, I often scoot around the neighborhood on my bike, and occasionally venture Downtown...sometimes the beach on two wheels (that is to say I throw my bike in my car, park at a friend's and bike around the beach...much easier than finding parking--and it makes everything an adventure).

So when I ran across this article that talks about how some cities are commissioning artists to craft bike racks, it was heartening. I think it is a great idea that doesn't just encourage bike usage, but also creates a new forum for public art. I believe that a part of creating a healthy city is encouraging the citizenry to be more healthful; and, that doesn't need to mean more time logged at the gym, it can be a community-wide initiative, supported with/by tangible reminders that support a car free-er society.

The sea monster pictured above is one of my favorites.