SPRING to SUMMER

This past summer I was chosen as one of 15 artists to participate in the 2014 Emerging Artist Fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, NY.  Through this program, emerging artists apply for a residency position including a stipend and use of the outdoor studio space at the park working towards a 6 month exhibition there.  For 2 months a couple of my greatest friends let me stay on their couch in Ridgewood, Queens while I built 'Moon Lasso' at Socrates.  The opportunity was one for the record books.  See the blog 'Happenings' below for some process shots.  The opening was spectacular and the feedback from everyone at Socrates and the community at large in Long Island city was great.  

After the 6 month exhibition at Socrates, 'Moon Lasso' has moved up to Salem Art Works, with a lot of help from the Socrates crew and from SAW, especially my brother Chase who works there as Sculpture Park Manager.  The move was made possible through an Emergency Grant offered by The Foundation for Contemporary Art.   It's always nice working with such experienced and skilled people, which allowed this intense endeavor to go rather smooth.   'Moon Lasso' seems to be very comfortable in its new environment.

Other work of mine is currently at the tail end of three different exhibitions.  The first is the Midpoint Exhibition at the Stamp Gallery at UMD. Here, I showed two works along side artist Jowita Wyszomirska.  I showed the work 'Oh, Brother' which was it's first time out of the studio space.  Apparently having roughly 60 gallons of combustible substances inside a student union at a University isn't allowed... who knew?  The worked lived on after some small adjustments involving the Fire Marshall.  On the other half of the Gallery is a new work titled 'Robin Hood's Bow'.  The sculpture referenced a fortress constructed of reclaimed lumber and fabricated steel, and fit perfectly into a strange corner space in the gallery.  During the opening, my brother Chase and I snuck into the space and locked ourselves inside while he gave me a stick and poke tattoo of Robin Hood's Bow.  The event was projected on the wall below the object, and now a video loop documenting the process has taken the projections place.  I was drawn to Robin Hood as a child, and would imagine my life as such a hero in the spaces my brother and I would create.  Steal from the rich and give to the needy.  Robin Hood For President.  See the video in the Sculpture Section.

The second exhibition is part of the  Hamiltonian Fellowship I'm taking place in, and it's up until Saturday May 9th at the Hamiltonian gallery at 1353 U St. NW in DC. There was a wonderful opening reception that took place on Saturday April 11th, and an artist talk with myself and Will Schneider-White (who's currently showing paintings in the front of the gallery) on Thursday Aprill 23rd.  ALSO, there's an after hours party where we can drink beer out of the hatch of my boat on Thursday the 7th from 6 - 9.  I even was able to give a private talk to about 60 Cherry Blossom Princess'.  My exhibition consists of two large scale works.  One titled 'A-L-I-C-E' which loosely references the butchering of a cow I watched when I was about ten, turns on for two minutes every hour on-the-hour.  Two large masses of raw sheep wool dance around an industrial crane-like structure.  The other titled 'Setting Sail: Gettin Outta Dodge' consists of three parts; a pontoon boat, and two videos of documentation, one showing the intense labor of love behind it's construction, and the other documenting the first time it ever kissed water.  The work exists on a fine line between utilitarian and art object, catering to the innovator as well as the blue collar boy.  You can read an....... interesting review of the exhibition here.  See the Sculpture section for video and more images of each work. (Images courtesy of Hamiltonian Gallery)

The Final exhibition I'm in currently is a Washington Sculptors Group show called Bricklayers at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia.  The application called for works about the history of this space, which is a former prison.  After some research I found a peculiar fact about the prisoners building a kiln (pictured below) on site to fire the bricks in which they built a prison around themselves with.... I found this notion pretty profound.  The work I made references a hybrid brick kiln and coffin fit for my size to comment on the idea of "digging your own grave" so to speak.  The show is up until June 28th.  

What else is going on?  I'm looking into buying a 1990 Diesel F-250 with no bed and only 60,000 miles.  From May 14th to the 27th I'll be back out at Franconia Sculpture Park assisting Foon Sham on a new sculpture to be exhibited there.  I'm real excited to see some familiar faces there, this excited.   Right after that is the postponed date for my solo exhibition at Hillyer Arts Space at 9 Hillyer Ct NW in DC.  My exhibition will feature one large interactive installation and is up from June 5th to the 27th with an opening reception on the 5th.  Here's a sneak peak of the work, more to come soon.

After that (and in between) I'll be assisting UMD Professor of Painting Patrick Craig on some steel armatures for new sculptures.  I will possibly (and hopefully) be helping out with Salem Art Work's busy summer programs in July and August, all the while searching for a camper on craigslist.  I'll be using the tail end of summer to prepare for another solo exhibition at Visarts in Rockville, MD which exhibits from September 2nd to October 4th with an opening reception on Friday September 4th. Stay in touch.  BOOM!

LABOR

HAPPY GOD DAMN NEW YEAR.  100 year old oak tree, cut down by NYSEG last year on the farm -> HEAT THE FARM HOUSE.  Cut, move, beer, cut, split, pile, beer, load, move, stack, beer, season, move, and burn... with beer.... in that order.  CHEERS!

WORK

Below are some images from "new. now.", the first exhibition of a two year fellowship program at the Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC.  I am pleased to be taking part in the fellowship program with the 5 other 1st year fellows, and the 10 others.  Following the opening I gave a talk about my work in the show, train tracks, automated jobs taking over, and danger along with Naoko Wowsugi, who told some of the most interesting stories ever, both during and after her talk.  The images below are of Lighthouse Keeper, The Great Divide; Halfway Up Mt. Frederica, and "WheelBarrow", modeled (within Inches) after the first ever marketed and sold wheelbarrow called The Henderson Barrow.  The sculpture is made of patina'd fabricated steel, rough-sawn lumber, and dry-wall.  It deals with old and new labor, function, and interaction.  My next show at the gallery is in April.

Also, currently open in The Art Gallery at the University of Maryland is a great show curated by artist Nate Larson, titled; Double Back: Photographic Reflexivity... The show "features a group of artists using photographic processes to implicate the method of representation in the production of an art object".  The entire show is very well crafted and selected.... One work I would like to put further attention to is by artist William Lamson titled A line Describing the Sun. In undergrad, we used to bring in an example of a contemporary work of sculpture when we met on Fridays to project and talk about as a class (I now do this with my undergrad students as well).  Once I brought in this work after it blowing my mind having stumbled upon it, to soon after forever forget about it.  It was pretty astonishing to all at once remember how fucking good the work is, who it was by, and that I used it years ago to share with a class... all while stumbling upon it again in person in a gallery above my current studio... Wild.  

In other news; I am working towards the April Hamiltonian show, as well as the March Midpoint show at the STAMP gallery on campus, while having a little time to explore new stuff in my studio like motors, sheep's wool, diesel fuel, and clarified butter.  There's an Iron Pour coming up here on December 6th.... anyone interested?

Happenings

Been a while, here's what's up.  Here I am halfway through the Emerging Artist Fellowship at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, NYC.  Been here for a month now and time is flying.  I am at a good spot in my process, and feel there is more than enough time to finish up for install.  The work is an interactive 12' x 12' x 24' arch -bridge with a 15' tall fabricated street light on top.  The wood is reclaimed and purchased from M Fine Lumber, old beams from a 100 year old building in Manhattan.  Below is a slideshow of process images while working at the park.  Everyone involved with Socrates and the EAF program is super kind and being able to work there is an honor.  Time is different here in the city....  I guess that's why the term "New York Minute" exists.  I am staying in Ridgewood, Queens thanks to my good friends Dan, Riley, and Brian.  I sleep in a hammock in their rad back yard when I can and get eaten by mosquitos.  OR I sleep on their couch next to a new (much needed) fan I bought at Rite-Aid down the street.  I am eating well... when I can,  and driving the half hour trip to LIC, or riding my bike that I bought in upstate New York from a strange old man I found on craigslist with a new cadillac that got ruined by hail.  I am getting much better at pool and drinking plenty of coffee, water, and beer (usually in that order).  I hang out with Dizzy the black lab at home, and a herd of cats (cleverly named by Lars of Socrates) at the park.  The park is on the east river and hosts some killer sunsets.  I have been reminded here and there how small the world is through meeting people that know people I know, which is endearing in a way.  My hands are stained and blistered which is also endearing somehow.  If you are in NYC between September and March, please visit the park to see my work as well as the 14 other talents of the EAF'14 program.  The opening is September 7th.  

What else?  I made it up to Salem Art Works to see my brother and many friends, hang out on "For Euler", a work there by Mark di Suvero (seen above), see family, and play a small show in a small barn with a mother bird in the rafters who didn't like it so much.  My exhibition at the Hillyer Arts Space in D.C  that was scheduled for the month of August has unfortunately been postponed due to construction... more on that when I know.  ALSO, I am honored and pleased to announce that I will be participating in the Hamiltonian Fellowship in .   #ARTISFUN

D.C http://www.hamiltonianartists.org/artists/ 

Awesome Foundation- In Lieu of Longing

The Awesome Foundation "distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants to projects and their creators. The money is pooled together from the coffers of ten or so self-organizing “micro-trustees” and given upfront in cash, check, or gold doubloons."   http://www.awesomefoundation.org/en

I learned of this organization through a friend some time back and it has been on my mind ever since.  I was waiting for the right project to write up an application.  In the upcoming month of August, I have a solo exhibition at the Hilyer Arts Space in Washington D.C.  My rough plan as of now is to transform the space given for the exhibition into a peculiar sensory environment.  My work as of late continues to explore interaction, and "new media" aspects as well.  I have become particularly interested in how I can achieve interaction, and I am learning that it doesn't have to be physical, and in fact, some times it may be better that the connection is emotional, or mental.  The plan for the Hilyer gallery space is to construct walls out of rough-sawn (perhaps barn) lumber, inlay a dirt floor, and suspend a blue-tarped ceiling, bulging with water about to spill through.  The idea comes from being inside a hay wagon that has been covered to protect it from the rain.  The way the light shines through the tarp is wildly surreal, and this environment speaks to my childhood growing up on the farm.  For material that signifies this type of environment, I have used various techniques and specific wood to make it believable.  A lot of the lumber is bought second-hand or reclaimed from a former construction project.   I have also become rather skilled in making new wood look old... which in retrospect seems pretty silly, but it works.  And after all, we're problem solvers, right?  The possibility of tearing down an old barn structure and using the lumber for a new project has always excited me, and seems all-too appropriate.  One of the nicest effects of the reclaimed lumber is the history it holds in its looks, its integrity, and even its smell.  With regards to making rules to follow through the process as a sculptor...  the rules here would be:

     1.  Find a barn through a farmer, or on craigslist to take down for the cost of labor and clean up of the area.

     2.  The barn must have its own character, and character comes with age.  Meaning that I am not looking for an OSB/2x4 shed.

     3.  If possible, camp there for a day or two (or however long it takes), and work your ass off, carefully deconstructing the building to save as much material as possible.

     4.  Intensely document the process and make a blog post about the experiment here, following with a finished work of sculpture.  (Remember Ten Sculptures In Ten Days)?  http://tensculpturesintendays.blogspot.com/

      5.  Do it alone.

      6.  The finished sculpture can only be made out of materials from this barn structure... down to the last screw and grain of dirt.

Why am I asking for money?  I have slowly but surely been collecting tools as a sculptor and constantly expanding my tool library.  Taking down a barn calls for some specific tools, most of which I have.  Over the winter months I built a cap and rack system for my truck (almost entirely out of materials from the dumpster at the university theatre).  The rack has made it worlds easier to go on rogue missions to collect materials.  

 

One specific tool that I have been searching for quite some time now is a trailer.  Not only will this job require a trailer, but many, many more jobs in the future will as well.  The image in my mind is to drive up in this truck with the bed-cap full of tools, pulling a trailer to a dilapidated barn on a sunny Friday morning that has turned gray over the years and smells of wet hay inside.  Pull out a stereo and put on some T. Rex and unload my tools.  Make a plan of attack.  Take pictures and video.  Eat lunch from a cooler with food and beers.  Piss in the bushes.  Work like a dog.  Prepare some dinner.  Sleep in my truck bed.  Wake up, make some coffee, and repeat.  Bring the materials back to my studio.  Write an intensive blog post about the experience including:

-What I ate

-What I listened to

-What I saw

-What I thought happened there in the past

-What I dreamt of

-What I struggled with

-And what made me do this

Then:  Make a sculpture about all of this...

 

Cheers

 

 

A Year In Review

Most of my preliminary sketches are done on a piece of newsprint. They are tacked to my studio wall for reference while I build, and also so I have somewhere to write something down before I get distracted and forget. (easier than one would think) And that's just what they are, a means of remembering, really.  The drawings are very quick gestures, and are typically only done so that I can record possible dimensions and materials.  This form of "sketching" is much more beneficial to my practice in the writing.  Bullets of information, possibilities, things to think about, what the fuck I am trying to say... all usually ending with a question mark.  I always have been very interested in drawings of artists like Christo and Robert Stackhouse,  and am recently thinking about drawings of finished sculptures as an after-fact of the work.  

Every time I went through a box of screws I would peel the box open and write down a rule... or a guideline, or something along those thoughts... the first thing that comes to mind.  These are not all of the screw boxes I went through, usually when I run out of screws it is in the middle of when I am using screws... meaning that I need them, and it makes me stressed that I have to go to the hardware store to get more screws, hence why I would forget to write a rule down.  So these are simply the boxes in which I remembered to do so.  They are taped up, hiding around my studio, and I suddenly found them quite charming.  

Where Do Ideas Come From?

Thinking Chair

3.5' x 3' x 3'.  Chair, fabricated steel, shirt pocket, sunglasses, hard-hat, job-site headphones, beer, and inspiration.

Where do ideas come from?  With all of the distractions in life and the world at large, sometimes you simply need to sit and tune out.... listen to music, drink beer(s), and think.  The Thinking Chair is a new sculpture constructed for my studio.  It is equipped with a cup-holder fit for beers of all sizes, an idea helmet with job-site headphones to filter out any noise, and a pocket with thinking glasses.  Ideas come from everywhere: things that are inexplainable, the past, the future, the things that make you nostalgic that you've never seen before.  This chair is a place to think about all of that.  Cheers.

The Un-Named Mountain

Below are some process shots behind the making of The Un-Named Mountain.  This is one of those sculptures that took the construction of another rather large tool to finish building the sculpture itself.  In order to get the sculpture hung I needed a gantry.  I also wanted a gantry for my studio, BUT I also wanted it to be portable (for installs), AND it needed to be rated for a lot of weight.  I ended building a 14 ft wide crane on casters.  It is adjustable in height from 8 ft to 16 ft high via cable winches and hand-made pulleys (took some time to design).  It is NOT painted safety orange yet but it will be soon.  I will post more about it in the near future.  Is it easier for me to like this object than my sculpture??.... maybe.  It is brutally elegant in its function, and when I ask myself "why did I make this" the answer comes right to mind AND it's the same every time.... quite unlike when I ask that to myself about sculptures.  Maybe that's a good thing.  Many-a-beer were drank looking at this sculpture in its various states of completion (or disaster of a mess) in my studio after a long day of work wondering over my beer if the work I did was right.  On to the next thing....    Be sure to check the video and images out under the SCULPTURE section.

Log Work.

A few of the steps behind turning raw tree logs into sized lumber.  This work is done for Sculptor Foon Sham.  The process involves finding wood (which is harder than my upstate NY friends would think in the metro D.C area), chain-sawing them into movable lengths, moving them to the studio, ripping them again with the chainsaw, sizing them with the bandsaw, and finishing them to a flat workable surface with the planer, then finally shipping them off to Foon for construction in his studio.  Art Is Fun.

Washington Post Review

Here is a well written review highlighting the current exhibition at the Arlington Arts Center.  Check it out.  Art Is Fun

http://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/museums/art-review-csa-forty-years-of-community-sourced-art/2014/02/27/c737b7ea-9a84-11e3-b931-0204122c514b_story.html

The Space Between

The Space Between is a new exhibition featuring artists; Lauren Shea Little, Lauren Frances Evans, and Robert Hackett. In the contemporary world of art exhibitions, context is of paramount importance. A work can be unveiled and responded to in a vastly different way depending upon the way it interacts with the rest of the surrounding works. Artists and curators alike strive to find a balance in a group exhibition to allow the works to engage one another. A commonality is proposed in The Space Between through the boundary existing in both two and three dimensions that each artist dwells (especially in these work examples). Although the specific habitat that each individual accompanies in this realm differs from one another, a powerful relationship is created from wall to wall in the gallery space. The works offer a strong sense of process in their finished result, which allows the viewer to seamlessly transition into the next work on the wall.

The mystery behind the processes each artist deploys for the works here acts as the grabbing force. Each piece is enthralling in their aesthetics, and further-more compelling in the discovery of their making. Lauren Little's series titled Recursive offers three ghostly deteriorating reproductions of the same shape involving a continuum process driven by the sound of her own pulse. Rob Hackett's Constructed Spaces 1 presents a paper mounted object exploring spacial confusion allowing the viewer to recede into space while at the same time seeing the inverse affect... truly speaking to the area between dimensions. Lauren Evan's Collage 1 describes a strangely animate and alarming shape made from meticulously cut skin-tone magazine clippings rendered as though tactile and three dimensional. The viewer is drawn in and out to explore this hybrid ground of excitement and confusion. Each work through it's unique process speaks to a new place of dimension in its interaction with the viewer. ART IS FUN

The Work, in order.

-Lauren Shea Little

1. Recursive  2013, pigment on dura-lar, gum bichromate print, sound source: pulse

2-4. Protracta Lingua  2013 gum bichromate print, sound source: tongue surface

-Robert Hackett

5. Constructed Surfaces 1  2013

6.  Constructed Surfaces 2  2013

-Lauren Frances Evans

7. Collage on 7x10" paper 2012

8. Collage on 7x10" paper 2012

9. Collage on 11x14" paper 2012

Far And Away at The Arlington Arts Center

Recently installed a sculpture at the Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, VA, for the opening of the exhibition CSA; 40 Years of Community-Sourced Art.  The exhibition includes Ken Ashton, Martha Jackson Jarvis, J.J. McCracken, Nikki Painter, Alex Podesta, Soledad Salamé, Erik Thor Sandberg, Foon Sham, Tariq Tucker, and Dane Winkler, with curator: Laura Roulet.  The opening is on Saturday January 25th From 6-9 p.m at 3550 Wilson Blvd. Arlington VA 22201 Metro: Orange Line: Virginia Square.  The show is up until April 13th, with gallery hours wed-fri 1-7 and sat-sun 12-5.

The install was quick and painless... just the way I like it.  Thanks to a friend Casey for lending me a trailer and his assistance for the day, and for drinking beers and eating pizza with me down the road after the work day.  

Far And Away

6.5' x 20' x 10'

Rough-sawn poplar, pine lumber, fabricated steel, epoxy resin on vinyl tile, and steel fencing.

Far And Away contrasts a familiar nostalgic environment from my past with an opposing space of the same function.  An entrance to a barn is seamlessly juxtaposed with a revolving door entrance to a corporate building.  Although a barn gate and a revolving door serve the same purpose, the settings on the other side are worlds apart.  This idea speaks on behalf of the notion of home and home-away-from-home, as well as interaction and functionality in art.

Studio Shots

 A selection of images from the studio over the past few months to kick off the new blog.  In the future I plan to continue to frequently post in-progress shots, images of things I find worthy enough to share, and updates about events and things of the like.  CHEERS!