Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Band Names, because Rach and I are starting a band

I don't care what anyone says, these are sweet band names that me and friends have come up with

Tokyo O'keefe
Arizona Drug Summer
The Overdraft Fees
Murphy's Law School
Chorus of Aahs
Secret and Racial
Andy Malone
The Hot Glue Guns
Everyday Language
You know what

The name we liked: Chorus of Aahs, pronounced (kor-us of oz) you know, like when the crowd goes wild. aahhhh.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Did you know about THIS community program? Have you seen it? Be involved.

UPDATES courtesy Sioux Trujillo
So where were you tonight? There was a meeting about being on the Artist Roster for CPAD, Community and Public Arts: Detroit, so that people can contact you about helping creating artwork. Um, meaning, that you would have the opportunity for people to contact you so that you could be paid to make artwork. I understand if you haven't heard that there was a meeting, but you better be more keen with what's going on because they've been giving up to 40,000 dollars to community arts projects, 6 a year.

What I kindof like the best about the program is that these artists also work with an experienced artist as a mentor for creating meaningful public art as well as paired up with an emerging artist of their choice so that that person will be even more qualified for applying for the next round and can get an idea of what they would be getting themselves into if they were interested in public art.

Even though he was the backup speaker, Mikel Bresee filled in for Sioux Trujillo and I enjoyed a lot of what he had to say (keep in mind this is paraphrased):

"Who would you call in the city of Detroit if you wanted to do a public art project? A local foundation for public works? A department of cultural affairs or a non-profit devoted to it? We don't have one. If you had 1,000,000 dollars for the public arts, do you know what I mean? There is no one. We are stepping into the void."

"Once you are listed in the Artist Roster, a city official from Southfield can scan our files and pick you out because they'll see your experience and your work listed and they'll call you up. So Folks in Korea can look at the amazing project that you did! For example people from Japan are reading an article about  Katie Craig's mural."

"We do it the opposite way, usually it starts with a funder connected to an artist then comes the project and then the location. [The way we do it] the community first figures out what their goals are, start with the people that are there and go to the community. It's about the partnerships."

"Out of nowhere these city officials tear down the abandoned building next to our project, and next thing you know greening of Detroit shows up. It's a catalyst for other organizations to tag along."

"Kresge artists get 25 grand and they get to play in the studio, if you get chosen, you'll work your butt off!"

"The best public art is generative, the same as all art" Good art moves us, so true. "Public art is really about scale and scale means money... ...money covers design fees, travel, participation in meetings, production costs, delivery, installation..."

His advice if you want to apply for the 20-30K?: "You better like to work with youth and have the desire to work with and learn from the community... ...Mix it up and be flexible."
Find more here: http://www.cpadetroit.org/

I'm not sure when CPAD's website will be up of the past projects but here are some great news tidbits about past projects (25,000 - 40,000) some of this stuff you can find on google maps!:

1. Trumpet Vines grew beautifully up a public sculpture by Vito Valdez, and for some reason the only reference to it I could find on the internet (besides being semi-unlabeled on Flickr) is here. Anyone know the school where it's located or where to find pictures of the finished installed sculpture?
UPDATE: (DIA) Detroit International Academy Located on woodward just north of east grad blvd. We are rworking hard to get C+PAD website up and running. We have a flickr page that is updated on a regular basis. http://www.flickr.com/photos/cpadetroit/

2. Realistic mural works by Lester Jordan & Wilbert Riser transformed an abandoned facility to go from drug activity to having a Jazz Festival held there A YEAR LATER!

3. Hubert Massey's work on Grand Blvd. and Warren has a plaque on the pedestal that will honor a different resident each year! The work year after year will bring the Chadsey/Condon area together to  celebrate the great people that live there! He said that it took a while to get all the right permits but it all came through!

4. Mary Laredo Herbeck made wrought iron & ceramic benches that was praised by the seniors for having a place to sit while waiting for the bus. (Wait I know that face, Anahli! Her mom promised that she'd cook for Faina and I if we ever stopped by, we still need to take her up on that offer...)

5. Chazz Miller in Brightmoore made work with the community that stops traffic! Greening of Detroit comes in, plants some stuff, they just happen to show up.

6. Soh Suzuki's work on the Glory Supermarket was a great feat of showing how the best instructors really know how to let the community make the work. It's no easy feat because most artists probably find out that they're control freaks, also there are plans to continue to expand the murals, and then another and then another... (I believe Faina Lerman has one made...)

7. Donald Calloway's work is on a methadone clinic but you wouldn't know it! (Also Ben Wright is mentioned in this article! I worked with him when he attended a workshop at MOCAD with Jamel Shabazz)

8. Talking Fence by Design 99 is still in the works but so far it's inspired landscape artists from Germany to deck out the garden, U of M is buying up three of the homes across the street to be turned into green houses. Just try to keep up. I personally really enjoyed hearing Johannes Matthiessen (landscape artist from Austria) talk about the project, he's very inspirational and wise, if I call correctly, I may have asked annoying questions that kindof put off Mitch at the time. There's a cool photo somewhere of Wiley Macdowell working w/ Mitch Cope too...

9. Speaking of organizations that start to have bigger an bigger opportunities hopping on like a snowball effect, Faina Lerman and Graem Whyte's Calimera Park idea may be expanding into a line item that is going to be voted on to give the project a boost in the hundreds of thousands. Including orchards and something else... and their crazy-cool-ripple-land-art thing. See item number 86.

10. There's a photo mosaic of Cesar Chavez going up somewhere in Southwest... anyone have any more specific info?
UPDATE: Its going up on LA SED on Vernor this spring. Lisa Luevanos is the artist. SWAN is hosting a meeting in southwest detroit. COMPAS Center for the Performing Arts, 8701 Vernor at Lawndale Saturday, January 23, 2010, 11:30am

11. Another bench but in Clark Park as well as a bandstand are going to be mosacially tiled. Anyone know who's doing it... Something mentioned the Luevanoses (it was going by pretty quick, I couldn't jot down all the projects and the people who did them... eep)
UPDATE: it’s already installed on Vernor across from cafe con leche. She held workshops at Patton Park all summer that were free and open to the public. People came and made tiles for the bench. Patton Park art studio was closed and it was the first time the kilns were used.!! Right now they have alot more tiles and are thinking of ways they can be used in the community. Maybe tiling around the bench....

12. What! It's soooo bright, Katie Craig's mural on the north end got some press from Washington Post, but also I heard that she's managing a studio on the first floor after she got permission to do the large work from the same people that own the Russell Industrial Center.
UPDATE: Katie is still working out the mural. There is a whole horizontal component that will made of layer plexi-glass. She has some small scale demos of the project in the studio. Go check it out. Katie worked with young people all summer at Vanguard and the arts place. She is also turned the space itself into a community space. She is planning a fundraiser to help pay for heat in the building for a few months. Info below:

On Saturday January 30, 2009 North End Studios, located in the cavernous shell of what was once the largest insurance agency in Detroit, will host a fundraiser for the space. It is a project run collectively by a small group of artists and musicians to provide studio space and community arts center to the impoverished area.

The fundraiser will be a dance party with the dubious and topical theme of "air traffic disasterz." The event will be kicked off with a live performance by the eccentric nerd-rockers Kirtybird [myspace.com/kurtybirdboogeymen]. The beats will be provided by Tour Detroit DJs Steven Robert, Erno the Infrerno, and Joe Vargas and accompanied with videography by projectionist Anthony Cholag [anthonysdrivein.com].
Admission for the event is $5 at the door and donations to support North End Studios will be accepted throughout the evening. North End Studios is located at 2937 East Grand Boulevard, Detroit. Doors are at 9 PM.

13. Juan-Carlos Hern (who was talked about as skipping school to work under Diego Rivera to help make the mural in the DIA) with Nivek Monet to do the side of Prince Valley's Market on Mich. Avenue.

14. Larry Halbert did a 13' piece out of the same marble that adorns the DIA, here's a video of the unveiling.  But there's also an official dedication ceremony to take place on June 5th.

Wait, that's 14... 6 artists each year... uh... I mis-counted somewhere. Actually, the thing that kept popping into my head was that after everything was said, "e-mail Sioux Trujillo at strujillo@collegeforcreativestudies.edu" followed it. I don't envy being her e-mail inbox right now, because I'm totally going to e-mail her again to get involved.

UPDATE: Actually there is even more project that were not mentioned like when you were at he meeting did you notice the bricolage when you came through the door. That is also a C+PAD project. Also we worked with community and a designer to create light pole banners for each neighborhood. They are up in all the N’hoods now.

Here are some facts about the C+PAD

2 Neighborhood Organizations have contributed financially

to the projects totaling 20,000.00 so far

19 public artworks will be created.

31 artists are creating the neighborhood public artworks

63 Youth Mentors are being engaged and given a stipend

153 youth in all were involved in the projects

190 meetings took place across the six neighborhoods

specifically in implementing the projects

16 public programs were held

(lectures, banner unveilings, events related to the projects)

9 articles and radio and tv spots occurred

Banner projects: 100 designs were created. 690 banners

were installed; 6 CCS students and one professional

graphic artist were involved

Artists received 148,833.00 in payment to create public


artists spent 122,727.00 in supplies, equipment, and

expertise in local businesses.

218 neighborhood people and 32 different organizations

participated in the projects (site and artist selection, creation,

organizing dedications) 46 partner organizations

participated in the projects

Aaron Timlin was mentioned as someone brought up the legitimacy of Graffiti as art for the CAID's work with the Dequindre Cut, as well as some other organizations doing good things like Kresge Arts in Detroit.
UPDATE: When the riverfront first started to talk about how graffitti and the Cut were interrelated they came to C+PAD

And as always, members of the audience were so filled with optimistic spirit that many had kind words to say to the Skillman Foundation, CCS, Kresge and everyone else involved. After spending the day watching over the Neighborhood Project and listening to volunteer's memories of Detroit at the DIA it has been a very good day. BTW I have brought in some of my own books for the public to peruse through, if you think you might have a good book to lend that has to deal with art/education/the public sphere or anything of the like, let me know and you can add to this amazing temporary library.

I love that tonight I'm thinking of things that are bigger than myself, like trying to put artist webpages up for local artists' favorite artists or having every art space in Detroit to have a comprehensive listing so that you can see what the space looks like, the kind of work that it shows and how you can contact them about having your work there... I met an energetic guy named Rodney who may be helping me with that very big project so I'm so grateful to think that in thinking positive thoughts about getting a collaborator, one showed up, someone who just wanted to volunteer to help out the arts.

Oh and by the way, if you're not listed here, e-mail me.

(Addendum: But when all is said and done, I believe that change in Detroit won't necessarily happen because we stop clinging to the auto industry and change to a creative industry with the arts funding to model after artsy places renewed like Pittsburgh/Berlin, but I think that shrinking the city proper first and then having the rest turning into farms and then investing again in the schools will really be what turns this city around. But! Not to put a damper on the power of arts, it still has a powerful role as it will be the catalyst that begins that processssss!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

My work in print and how the year will break down.

I am featured in Studio Visit Magazine's 7th edition. I have 3 for sale for $15 and they are also on sale at your nearest generic corporate bookstore as well as Re:View Contemporary gallery.

3 upcoming shows (1 curated show in April, 2 shows in September)

January: I'm trying hard to keep myself from applying to any art shows, but I'm submitting work for the Kresge Foundation's Art in the Office Program: an arts on loan program that lasts until the end of the year. I'm also in a very experimental mode. Playing with a cnc router, silicon molds, small scale wood sculptures, laser-cutting, clear resins and  and but not in one piece...

February: Going to Hawaii from a kick-ass bartering trade, a 4' x 8' painting for a free trip for me and Rachel to Hawaii. Also I will be attempting to visit some schools, and will be figuring out the logistics for art about the Detroit Public Schools... I also want to have put up people's work on thedetroiter.com before I leave.

March: Possibly going to Hong Kong? Will the Sugar Hill Residency be underway? Recording the next He-Bops album? We'll See...

April: "currently untitled" - A group show curated by Cedric Tai at the Ladybug Gallery in Southwest Detroit. Featuring work by Adrian Hatfield, Megan Heeres, Isaac Richard, Janine Surma, Justin Marshall, Ian Swanson and probably me.

May: My birthday and I will be doing an artist demonstration at the DIA on the 16th, which I also believe is the day that Nick Cave is speaking!

June - July -August: Yay summer, hopefully I'll either be teaching a summer class or working on a community project, we'll see.

September: Solo show at Re:View gallery! Two person art installation w/ Ian Swanson at Starkweather Art Center in Romeo,  MI

October: Um... making a sweet halloween costume?

November: Deciding on grad school.

December: Applying to grad school!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sometimes I don't know what to do about art

Some days it's more fun to make art like a sculptor,
Sometimes I think I was meant to be a performance artist,
Somedays I just stare at intaglio etchings and wish I was a printmaker,
Some days I miss being a ceramicist
Sometimes I just want to learn from fiber artists and have the hours flow by,
Someday I want to teach painting,
Sometimes I just want to make interactive kinetic artwork with an innovative group of geeks,
Some days I wish I knew more poets,
Sometimes I wonder if I'd ever be able to compose a song to be performed by an entire symphony orchestra
Some days I feel like I'm coming up with impossible conceptual art,
Sometimes I feel like I'm just an updated form of abstract expressionism,
Some days I just want to work with lead or resin without having to worry about safety,
Sometimes I wish I could write as neat as an architect and draw like one too,
Some days I am really jealous of directors because millions of people see the message they want to put out into the world,
Sometimes I want to be part of a well-respected graphic design firm that gets to only do large scale fun creative projects
Some days I get a little bit closer to making the art I really want to make.