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
As I prepare and plan for each day's Daily Projection, I know I need to start moving the focus to the installation part of my residency now that I've introduced myself to the community via the projections and meeting people. It has been interesting in talking to folks and mentioning I'm the artist in residence at the A.I.R. Studio and I'm doing nightly projections, how many of them have seen the projections and stopped to read them.
One of the many books I am reading is Amanda Palmer's "The Art of Asking". I've never been fond of asking for help as I have that mid-west work ethic of "if you want it done, do it yourself" and "don't bother people" (over-simplifying things a bit for the sake of blogging), but Palmer's book has inspired me to ask people for help when I need it. I used what I've learned from that book in getting the exhibit for my students' work in Michigan and when I needed help for the frames and matting, and help getting the work finished and delivered to the gallery since I was going to be out of town. And you know what? I asked for help, and people helped. And now 13 students have 38 images hanging in a gallery in Michigan ready for an opening reception on Friday.
I decided and discovered I can't do this Paducah installation come together in less than a month without some help and input from the community, so I'm asking for help.
Last night's (Tuesday, July 5th) Daily Projection set the stage for me asking for help.
Tonight's projection, I'm letting them know how they can help.
I'm going to start to have daily open hours where the community can come into the studio and #tellmeaboutpaducah. I'm hoping to gather stories, history, rumors (not about people, but about ghosts, speculation on historical events, etc), where to eat, where to visit, what to see while I'm here, etc that I can somehow use to pull together ideas for a mural I'll be constructing on the studio wall.
I'm planning on having an open door/open studio time of 2 - 7 PM Monday-Saturday, and by appointment (ie, if the lights are on and the closed sign is up, knock on the door and let me know you're here. Let's talk. I may work while we talk, integrating the conversation into the mural or I may sit down with you and have a conversation.
I'll be using the hashtag of #tellmeaboutpaducah on facebook and instagram throughout the month to post about progress of what's growing in the studio.
Plus the #dailyprojectionspaducah will be used to continue posting the daily projections as that story evolves.
So, Paducah come by A.I.R. Studion at 621 Madison St and #tellmeaboutpaducah
Jul 6, 2016
As I've settled into the space and getting things set up, I decided it was time to start branching out and exploring Lower Town. First stop was the David Carson exhibit at the Paducah School of Art and Design.
I've been a fan of Carson's work since I first started my creative journey 13 years ago. His work had fallen off my radar over the last few years and I was excited to get a chance to see his work in person (vs online and in books) and the gallery is in easy walking distance of the A.I.R. Studio.
It was a great inspiration for me to see his work. Even though is work is partially based on collage and photographs, and those aren't the focii of my time and work while here, I still walked away inspired and seeds and nuggets of ideas for other projects.
I then stopped by a few of the galleries in Lower Town and meeting some of the local artists to discuss art, Paducah, business, etc. Paducah's Artist Relocation Program is such a great idea and a wonderful way to inject and support an artist community.
I really enjoyed meeting Michael and Victoria Terra and chatting with Michael about art, the world, Paducah, and so much more. You should check them out if you're in town or at any of the art fairs they are part of.
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.
Jul 6, 2016
So, there have been blog entries since March's review of Zootopia but apparently I somehow didn't upload them correctly. Missing content is simply missing. But a quick run down of things since March.
I taught Alternative Processes class at a local community college. The semester was condensed into 7 1/2 weeks. The students got the same amount of class time and lab time as they would in a normal 10 or 15 week semester, but we just got all that lab time in a shorter period of time. I think that was beneficial to everyone. It gave us two days a week, 4 hours a day, working in the labs which gave them the ability to stay aggressive with their work. I'll consider this format again if I get to teach the class again. And I was able to get an exhibition of the work they created at a local gallery. The whole thing came to be in a short period of time and I'm grateful to 22 North Gallery for trusting us to get work together on short notice and to the faculty at staff at Washtenaw Community College for supporting this opportunity for the students to have their work seen in a gallery setting and learn a little about what is involved in making work for galleries.
I have work up in the Ann Arbor Art Center's Real American exhibit.
I'm currently doing an artist in residence at A.I.R Studio in Paducah, KY. My focus is on site-specific installation art creating work based on the history and culture of Paducah. But if you're reading this, you've probably already been through the blog posts covering my time in Paducah.