Jul 6, 2016
I am working in the A.I.R. Studio for the month of July.
I am making work inspired by the history and culture of Paducah.
I need your help.
Please come inside and talk to me about Paducah.
The open hours are Monday – Saturday 2 – 7 PM and whenever the “Open” sign is out.
Come in, head down the hallway to the studio, and let’s talk. I want to learn about Paducah and bring that information to life in my work.
I’ll be posting information on facebook and instagram using #tellmeaboutpaducah.
I also have a daily projection story every night. The ongoing story is taped onto the studio windows and each night’s projection will be on from dusk until around midnight.
You can follow along with my adventures in Paducah on my website / blog
Step inside and let’s talk!
Jul 6, 2016
My first day in Paducah, I wanted to get started on things.
Based on a conversation I had with some of my new neighbors as I was unloading after a long 8.5 hour drive (that the GPS promised me would only take 6.5 hours), I realized that the neighborhood knew this space was used by visiting artists but there wasn't a good or easy way to introduce myself to the community. So I decided that the first installation would be a series of night-time projections on the inside wall of the front part of the space to introduce myself and my work to the community. Thus started my "Daily Projections" project.
Each night, I create a new transparency in a series of transparencies and project it on the wall. I'm taping the series of previous days' transparencies on the front windows so people who have missed a day can catch up on the story.
I'll post snapshops of each day's "page" on my facebook and instagram pages.
So, feel free to follow along as the story evolves.
Jul 6, 2016
I arrived in Paducah on July 1 for a month-long residency at A.I.R. Studio at 621 Madison St, part of the Lower Town arts district of Paducah.
I proposed and came prepared to focus on installation art part of my art practice during this residency. I came in with some seeds of ideas but no preconceived ideas of what I was going to create here. I find exploring an area and feeding off the vibe, spirit, history, and culture to fuel my installations leads to more exciting and inspired work.
Researching Paducah from afar had so many seeds to explore.
Its history and connections with the expansion west of the US, its neutral role in the Civil War.
Personally, the fact my family has a long history of living along the Ohio River offered potential to explore. And in doing research, there is a connection between Paducah, KY and Ypsilanti, MI (the city where I live) as part of the history of the "Hillbilly Highway" - the I-75/US-23 roads connecting Appalachia with Detroit as the workers migrated from Appalachia to Detroit and surrounding areas in the early 1900s to work in the automotive industry. One person I talked to mentioned there was a bus that ran from Ypsilanti to Paducah on Friday afternoons to bring the men home from the car plants and the aircraft bomber plant for the weekend and drive them back on Sundays.
Paducah offers such a rich and fertile history, cuturally and personally, to dig into and explore for installations.
I'm looking forward to digging in fast and deep to create.
In packing up the truck with supplies for the residency, I had a tough time limiting myself. One, the drive was too long to think, "I can always drive back and get more stuff if I need." This was a once here and once back kind of trip so I had to be selective about what I thought I'd need and what I thought I'd work on while here. If you've seen my studio space and know how I work on multiple projects at once, this was a challenge for me to try to stay focused.
I embrace that challenge. One month isn't very long to dig in, create, and then pack up.
On Sunday, I went to the Maiden Alley Cinema in Paducah to see "Miles Ahead", Don Cheadle's movie about Miles Davis. The reviews fo the movie were mixed and the interview he did with Rolling Stone all gave me pause. But it seemed like a movie I wanted to see in a theater. And I'm glad I did. The movie was interesting in a good way. I'm not all that familar with Davis' music as I've never taken the time to study it. And I know the movie is a fictionalized story of the years that Davis stopped making music. As a creative, the "what happens when you run out of things to say" is a giant ledge you don't look forward to standing on. Cheadle's idea of making a movie about a movie that Davis would have wanted to be a lead in is actually pretty entertaining. And if I'm correct, it would seem that the "modern day" scenes were filmed digitally but the flashback scenes were filmed on film. Which if is true, was a subtle technic that was genius.
Anyway, Miles Ahead. If you have a chance to see it. Go, but go with the idea of being entertained. It's not a documentary. It's a different kind of story than you've seen before.
And when you're in Paducah, make sure to check out the Maiden Alley Cinema for movies or concerts. It's a great, intimate venue.
Oct 19, 2015
I sit at Panera for my internet fix and blogging time. The blog tool I'm using for now doesn't allow for easy updating and blogging, which may be a good thing.
I'm a few weeks away from the end of my residency and pondering the transitions coming down the pike. It's been a flurishy few weeks of transitions. Making trips to help celebrate the retirement of someone making the transition from working to playing and a ICU visits as another transitions to an unknown (but promising) transition after an unexpected event. So it's hard to get too wrapped up in the end of my residency and that transitions that it will bring, or I hope it will bring.
I guess that's the thing I'm pondering. The things I've done and not done during my residency and what habits I will maintain and sustain when I return to my regular studio space. And what changes I will be making in that space and activity when I return.
The last four months haven't really been as much an artist in residency as a relocation of my studio and practice to a new place. In reading books about the creative process and such, a lot of creatives (artists, writers, etc) make regular excursions away from their normal studio space, often maintaining a cabin somewhere where they go for a few months each year to fuel their creative fires and energy and this experience has been more akin to that than a focused artist in residency, primarily because of the duration.
I prepare myself for beginning to pack up things in my space I haven't used or am done using and the dismantling of the space to move out and move on.
I need to make a list of the things I want to retain from the changes that have happened to me over the last four months. The removal of the distractions that tainted my creative practice and energy before this experience will be key.
A quick note: last weekend the Mayflower Arts Center hosted two Hallowizard Parties, their 3rd annual. I created 40 light up wands from twigs and branches from the ivy that once covered the walls of the Mayflower and created a character of an absent minded wizard that led the party participants through various adventures and projects. I've been pondering installations and been keen to dig into one lately. The opportunity to be part of a team creating an experience was great fun and only whetted my desire to make a large, complex story-laden installation.
New adventures await me as October turns to November. Including cooking up some installation ideas, going through the various works and projects I've made the last few months, and doing some teaching at a local Unversity.
Keeping the pump primed. The virtual t-shirt I'll be wearing the next few weeks and months.