Sunday, December 31, 2017
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Many years ago at Summervail we heard of the YUMA symposium from Neely and Peter – however it took a few too many years for me to actually get to Yuma – and have been returning as often as possible ever since.
During my visit this year, I want to give an update on the Summervail Art Workshop Legacy Project we are working on: What - are and going …
SummerVail Art Workshop Poster
As a presenter, I will be talking briefly about where I came from and how I got inspired by the YUMA Art Symposium and of course the opportunity to present my current aerial photography. I call the series – the view from here – Marks on the Land
Stitch Over Time
I am interested in the abstract balance between the natural world and man's mark on the land. Soaring above ground, leaning out of the open side of the helicopter. Looking toward earth, directing the pilot to spin around, dip the nose, fly sideways or backwards, and even cut the engines to float downward-all to capture the right image. With a helicopter and its pilot, it's like doing a dance – the higher the flatter the perspective - creating the abstract work is my dream state.
As a landscape and ethnographic photographer, I use photography as my primary tool, along with pioneering trends in new media. Through the art of storytelling, I create memorable photographs championing environmental awareness.
My introduction to the art movement, Abstract Expressionism, came while I was a graduate student at the Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1970s. At that time, I was fortunate to assist Aaron Siskind – well known for his abstract photographic work exploring the microcosm of humanity.
Sunday, December 3, 2017
I first went to Yuma each year from 1986-89 when I was in grad school at SDSU, and when I look back at the presenters list from those years, my heart just swells. So many names of people who had such an impact on my work, on my life. The demos were super memorable: Phil Baldwin lighting his cigarette with a hot ingot he was forging, Dave Pimentel's Julia Child style demos of raising copper, Leslie Leupp taught us how to rivet, and Claire Sanford taught us to patina. The photographers always left me looking at the world in differently: I remember seeing a slide show from Jim Stone who showed pictures of landscapes with x's. (So of course I started looking for x's and made some pictures too. That's what students do, right!). David Graham showed us the extraordinary in the ordinary. I remember showing my slides for the first time to anyone ever in "Multiple Slide Abuse," sleeping in a big rented RV nicknamed the "Yumabago," and eating Moo Goo Gai Spam. The first big lecture I ever gave was at the Yuma Symposium in 1993, and I can tell you that the opportunity to present was just such an honor. It was Boris Bally and Roy's first lecture too, and I'll always remember sharing joy and nervousness with them. It was cool. It was also a career launcher. Because it was 1993, there are no facebook memories of it, no Instagram feeds that I can go back to check out, and if anyone did actually take any pictures, it is likely that those slides have become someone's fabulous crafted lampshades. Here are some pictures of the eyewear I was making at that time.
“Might Have Been a Coathanger”, 1992, steel, brass, lenses.
“Howard’s Nail”, 1991, walnut, nickel, sterling, nail.
So in my lecture this February, twenty-five years after my first one, I'll talk about my career. As an artist, I’ve cobbled together a life of part-time teaching, making art objects for others, designing eyewear for fashion industry, and running my business of being self-employed all under the name of “small artist at large” for over two decades. Photography has always been a part of it, but had been the part of my artistic practice that gets attention when I’m not too busy doing other things to earn a living. In the past five years, that has changed, with my full time commitment to making still life photographs of flora and tiny fauna.
“Other Things That May Be Happening During the Eclipse”, 2017. Dye sublimation on aluminum, 40”x56”
I’ll tell you secrets like how it is that the grasshopper is as big as a watermelon. I’ll talk about all the work I did that led me through designing, making and teaching about eyewear as a jeweler, and then how it is to change directions to a different art form, photography, with complete serious intent, as an older person. My “demo” will be more of a show and tell, showing my collection of handmade eyewear, as well as some photographs. I’m also looking forward to showing off my saw, file, and soldering skills at the appropriate moment.
Check out more about Deb Stoner at the link below. See you in February!!
Check out more about Deb Stoner at the link below. See you in February!!
Sunday, January 22, 2017
My new series of sculptures “Sailmaker” are large anagama and soda fired ceramics. They are representations of people going through passages in life. Abstracted, cocooned people traveling in vessels, the sculptures are about our secrets, the things we have within us, unseen, unheard.
I concern myself with the contrast between primitive cultures and contemporary aesthetics; and I explore man’s attempt to control nature in an entropic world.
My work is done in series. Each series is inspired by a glimpse of nature, a word in a book or maybe a nagging thought such as how can I simplify this form to it’s essence. The most amazing part of the creation of a series is the conversation between art and artist. I may begin with a specific thought and then the work starts talking to me, whispering it’s needs and guiding me through a process of growth and development that may even change the original concept and make it more profound and imperative.
See Susana's Website HERE
Susana Arias, a native of Panama, is an internationally recognized artist. Her work is in the permanent collection of museums in the United States and Latin America. Arias has lectured and taught workshops in Universities and Museums in the United States and Latin America and has participated in Symposiums in many Latin American countries.
She was 2013 Santa Cruz County Artist of the Year; she received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988 for her sculpture series “Earthworks”; and some of her other awards include: 2012 Project of the Year at Beach Area Roundabout in Depot Park, Santa Cruz, Ca., Santa Cruz Archaeological Society Presidential award for “Artistic Achievement and Advancement of Archaeological Awareness” for her Public art sculpture “Finding our Past”.
Susana has a strong interest in Public Art and working with the community. Some of her projects include “Finding our Past” a bas-relief sculpture on Porter St./Bay Ave. Underpass, which won the “Environs Enhancement Award” given each year by Cal Trans to one California project. She worked with Gateway Students on a traffic circle on King Street “Light time”, a working sundial; with 150 third graders, on the tiles for the Santa Cruz Police department; and many other public and private commissions.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
A year ago, when I was writing my proposal to present at the Yuma Symposium, I had too many ideas, because I am far too passionate about metalsmithing and making in general.
I ended up narrowing it down to two possibilities: a very metalsmithy demonstration on pin back mechanisms or a presentation on the collaborative projects that I have been working on.
When I was informed that I was chosen to be a presenter, and would have an opportunity to share my collaborative research projects with the Yuma Symposium crowd, I was over the moon!
What better venue to talk about the magic of collaboration than The Yuma Arts Symposium!! The event that we will all be attending and enjoying this February is a superb example of how collaboration can inspire people and be something that is enjoyed for years. The Yuma Symposium, and the friends that started it, have motivated younger generations, and we have hit the ground running in search of building our own collaborative relationships.
Me, hard at work on my presentation.
I am happily working on my presentation, where I will share stories and artworks made during two recent collaborative partnerships: one with Leslie LePere, an illustrator who lives in Washington state, and one with Taekyeom Lee, a graphic designer and tech wizard who lives in North Carolina.
Collaborative piece from Leslie LePere and I in the kiln.
Collaborator Taekyeom Lee working with a altered 3D printer.
Some 3D printed PMC before firing.
I will also speak about the artist residency Smitten Forum, which my good friend Sara Brown and I have collaborated on for the past 4 years.
Recently I have been hitting the studio making some fresh collaborative work, and Sara and I have been finalizing Smitten Forum 2017, so I will have a lot of new things to talk about when February rolls around!
The benefits of working together can be highly energizing and inspiring on so many levels, bringing us closer and making distance dissapear! It really is a "CollaboNation."
See More of Marissa's work HERE
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
What’s in That Sausage?
Southern humorist Roy Blount, Jr. once said that asking where you got an idea is like asking “what’s in that sausage.” The list may be long and some of the ingredients are unexpected. Here is one example:
I was born in north central Iowa where the land is flat, the corn grows tall, and silos and grain elevators punctuate the skyline.
In 1960 my family moved to Huntsville, Alabama, “The Rocket City,” where the rumble of rocket engine tests was commonplace.
Just across the state or county line you can find fireworks stands like this, peddling rocketry fantasy – promising so much, but delivering so little.
Many people in the South are vegetable gardeners. I started gardening seriously at about the same time I began making furniture. I soon found that gardening opened up a channel of communication with all kinds of people who grow things, and eventually provided a visual vocabulary that I used in my work.
Have you ever noticed how much the Space Shuttle launch vehicle looks like a silo or considered the parallels between the military and agribusiness?
Can you guess how George H.W. Bush provided the final inspiration for the work below? (More at the Yuma Symposium!)
Golden Bantam Bomb, 1989, 20”x21”x9”, Oil paint on wood.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
“Overlook, Grand Canyon”
“What a great view!”
How many of us have exclaimed these four words on one or more occasions? Probably most of us. How many have stopped to think about what specific aspects of the scene we were standing in front of inspired the comment in the first place? Probably fewer. Yet chances are, there were many similar qualities in what we were each responding to. It was probably an outdoor scene. We probably were able to see a far distance with few obstructions. We were probably in an elevated position that allowed us to “survey” the landscape in front of us.
“Yosemite (After Bierstadt),” Pigmented Inkjet Print
We tend to assume that the qualities that make a scene a great view are self-evident, somehow innate to human perception. They are written into the structures that dictate so much of our interaction with the landscape, from the most popular spots at National Parks to the ubiquitous roadside “Scenic Overlook.” Despite how ingrained these views are in our collective consciousness, they are not innate, but carefully constructed and written into the landscape to engender particular ideologies that are tied up in national identity as well as a host of commercial and individual interests.
“Topographies 1,” 4 Pigmented Inkjet Prints
The landscape is ultimately one of the most politicized entities of our time. It is the backdrop against which so many narratives and other types of power struggles play out. Ultimately, these narratives become inseparable from the place itself. This intersection of narrative and place, in which the lines that designate where one ends and the other begins become obliterated with time, is at the heart of what motivates my work as an artist. What better setting than the Southwest, a part of the country steeped in these land-based narratives, to discuss this? What better place than Yuma? I look forward to seeing you all there!
See more of Colin Blakely's work HERE