medium /// art show

i’m still jealous of cassandra smith

Beaver pelts, sequins, deer antlers, old axes, neon rope? Yep, these are the art supplies of Milwaukee based artist Cassandra Smith. All of the objects that she works with are found, and then manipulated in her own special, brightly colored, beautifully patterned way! Everything included here is part of Cassandra’s current show, titled ”Out of the Wild” that is hanging, until June 1 2013, at Sky High Gallery {curated by the uber-creative Faythe Levine}. Here is Cassandra’s description of this work:

“My work  is about manipulations and transformation. It is about exploring the ways that I can enhance and change found objects to give them something they did not have in their former life. I find a certain beauty in imposing my aesthetic, specifically color and pattern, onto natural or worn objects. I am fascinated by the dichotomy between organic and geometric shapes, the contrast between natural and synthetic. I strive to enhance these objects while respecting the inherent qualities that drew me to them in the first place.”

the fig house: an inbox update

hi! just wanted to pop in and quickly say… if you have emailed me about the fig house project, i got  your message and i’m just sorting through my inbox that is now FILLED with amazing stuff! you’ve all made my job so much easier… but also, so much harder! so. much. good. work!!!

my plan is to write everyone back, but honestly, i’m having a hard time keeping up! stay tuned, and i’ll let you know what’s going on as soon as i can : )

{Image above by: Anu Tuominen… thanks to Aaron for finding this artist’s name for me!}

big news…

Yep, a top secret project, in LA, that I can finally tell you about! It is super, crazy exciting and I am still pinching myself that I get to be part of this. Ok. Let’s start at the beginning.

So, the amazingly talented and hilarious Emily Henderson {HGTV host, and styling queen} called me awhile back about a project that she’s working on. It’s a very cool event space that will be opening in LA later this year. Sounds exciting, right? Sure, especially if you live in LA. Then she said, “…and I’d like you to be the art curator on the project”. I responded with “Sure, that sounds like a lot of fun”… but allow me to translate that to what was actually happening in my head: “WHAT?!?! HOLY #%$! ME?! YES, YES, YESSSSS!!” Yep, something like that.

It’s called The FIG HOUSE, and here’s Emily’s description of what this space will be all about:

The Fig House is going to be a space you can rent for parties, weddings, photo shoots, book signings … pretty much anything you want to. You could have a huge dinner party there, a screening of a film, premiere party, or use it to propose to your lady. It’s rented out per night, and it’s whatever you want it to be.

Now, here’s where you come in. The first group of work will be an ode to California-based artists, so if you’re from California, or you have an artist you love from California, send their links my way! Soon! Thank you, and thank you so much to Emily, and Steve Fortunato {the founder of this fabulous space} for asking me to be part of their amazing project … translation… “WHAT?!?! HOLY #%$! ME?! YES, YES, YESSSSSSSSS!!”

i’m jealous of aesthetica magazine

So, I just discovered Aesthetica, a gorgeous “Art & Culture Magazine” from the UK. It was this stunning story, in Issue 51, about American photographer Garry Winogrand {1928-1984} that got me! He spent the 1960’s capturing beautiful moments in everyday American life  - from the rich and famous, to the average stranger on the street {… if you’re as captivated by these images as I am, you can see this work in person at SFMOMA until June 2, 2013}. Now, as fantastic as these spreads are, Aesthetica is not just about black and white vintage retrospectives, oh no! It’s also full of glossy, contemporary pages as well…

Yes! Enter the work of Montreal based fashion/editorial photographers, MarquisMontes, aka Jose Enrique Montes Hernandez and Valérie Boulet, partners in work and in life. Quite a contrast to the work of Garry Winogrand, but it all finds a perfect home in this issue. Gor.Ge. Ous.

jealous at UTC

When I was in Chattanooga last week, I was invited by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, to visit the studios of some of the BFA students. Here’s what I found:

Love! I spent about 6 hours with them, and what impressed me most was how open they were – so interested in experimenting, playing around, and finding their own way. When I did my undergrad that was not encouraged – it felt very competitive, and quite frankly pretty negative – the critiques were rarely positive and seemed like a chance to bash each other, rather than encourage each other. These art students were so excited, and supportive – it was a joy to be around! And their studios, in an old carriage house on the University property, are filled with painted floors, twinkle lights, and art supplies on the floor, shelves, walls, couches, and table tops. Made me wish I was a student again… well, as long as I got to be in this program! I found these two things up on the walls of the studio, which I think summed up their refreshing attitude perfectly:

So awesome… GO UTC!

i’m jealous of “the looking glass”

Hey, San Francisco … any plans for tonight? No? Great! Go to this! This show opens tonight at Mirus Gallery {6pm – 10pm} and features 14 women* making art about women. It is quite appropriately titled, “The Looking Glass: Refraction through the Female Gaze”. These are a few of my favorite images, but there are plenty more where this came from. Ok, go have fun tonight!

{*Artists in the show: Kimberly Brooks, Sandra Chevrier, Naja Conrad-Hansen, Mercedes Helnwein, Alexandra Levasseur, Jen Mann, Sari Maxfield, Alyssa Monks, Jennifer Nehrbass, Casey O’Connell, Claire Pestaille, Rachel Walker, Janelle Wisehart and Christine Wu // Work shown above 1) Claire Pestaille  2) Mercedes Helnwein  3) Alexandra Levasseur}

jealous in chattanooga

In one week from today, I’ll be at the opening of Beautifully Boring, a show that I’m curating at Tanner Hill Gallery in Chattanooga, TN. Beautifully Boring was a totally make-believe show that I put together a few years ago… look to the right in my ‘jealously curated’ section. Yep, there it is. Anyway, Tanner Hill contacted me and asked if I’d like hang a smaller version of it for real, and I said YES! Here is my curatorial statement:

There are beautiful things that we experience every day, but don’t really see. Buildings you pass while rushing to work, an old coffee mug on your desk, the cozy chair that you flop into when you get home from a busy day. Most people would never consider these things special enough to be artistic subject matter, but this collection of work is just that. Everyday things that your eye most likely skips right over. We need to take the time to slow down, and study the lovely objects and places that surround us… whether we realize they’re there, or not! All of them have a story to tell, and I think you’ll find that ‘boring’ really can be beautiful.

There are four fantastic artists involved {Holly Farrell, Leah Giberson, Samantha French, Mark Bradley Shoup}, and I am so excited to see all of their paintings hanging together. It’s going to be beautiful. And boring. Here’s a tiny sneak peek at a few of the pieces in the show:

Sigh. Lovely.

{ps. If you happen to go to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I’ll be doing studio tours all day Thursday Feb 7th, and I’ll be speaking at the University from 5:30 – 6:30pm on Thursday night…. and, of course, I’ll be at the opening on Friday night too! Oh, and I’ll have a few exciting guests with me!}

i’m jealous of stefan sagmeister

I’m just back from Alt Summit, but instead of doing a recap post, I have to write about this! Stefan Sagmeister probably needs no introduction, but just in case… he’s an Austrian born, New York based designer. As a designer myself, I’ve admired him for years, and at Alt I got to hear him speak. He talked about the in’s and out’s of happiness – it was fascinating, and to be completely candid, life-changing for me. He, and his “filming accomplice”, David Hillman Curtis {shown with Stefan, above} worked together to make a beautiful film, called The Happy Film. We only got to see 12 minutes of it {it will be shown in film festivals later this year}, but what we saw was amazing! The idea is that “in the course of a year, Sagmeister will experiment with various practices that are widely touted as increasing one’s happiness: meditation, cognitive therapy, and pharmaceuticals.” It was so interesting, touching, inspiring, and don’t even get me started on the typography!

I think that this film is going to be a huge hit, and I truly hope that:

……………………………………… but wait, there’s more ………………………………………..

i’m jealous of stefan sagmeister … part II

So, it’s not quite enough that he’s made this beautiful film, but he has also transformed his happiness research into an interactive art/design exhibition, quite appropriately called The Happy Show. It just left Philadelphia, and is now in Toronto at The Design Exchange {until March 3, 2013}… and I believe LA and Paris are up next. Charts that show happiness when it comes to marital status, free candies {Stefan’s favorites}, gum balls that let you rate your own happiness, and a lovely white stationery bike that reveals an illuminated message as you exercise… all perfectly designed, of course. Have a look:

Brilliant! You know what else is brilliant? This:

Yep! Not even the overly harsh lighting can take away the happiness I felt meeting, talking, and getting a smooch from Stefan Sagmeister!

{The Happy Show credits: CREATIVE DIRECTION: Stefan Sagmeister // ART DIRECTION & DESIGN: Jessica Walsh // DESIGN: Verena Michelitsch, Jordan Amer, Simon Egli, Martin Gnadt}

i’m jealous of cathy daley

Gah! So simple, so amazing! Damn, I wish I thought of that! You know who did?  Toronto based artist Cathy Daley. If you happen to be in LA in January, you can see some of her new work {oil pastel drawings, on vellum} at Edward Cella Art + Architecture. The show opens on January 5th, and runs until February 23 2013. Here’s a lovely little sneak peek:

i’m jealous of herb williams

So, you’ve all seen this, right?

Of course you have! This installation {made of crayons!!!} is titled “Wildfire” and was all over the interweb awhile back. The artist responsible for this beautiful work … American artist Herb Williams. Now, his crayon-assembling talent doesn’t end there. He also made these:

Bunnies and lions, oh my! And now you can see some of his newest work. He has a show that opens this Saturday, December 1st at The Rymer Gallery in Nashville. What can you expect? A giant tree made of crayons? Yep:

The show is titled Call of the Wild, and will run until January 26, 2013.