I will be participating in this event on Saturday. Read below for the official press release.
On Saturday, June 22nd Cambridge’s historic Foundry building (101 Rogers Street) will host “The Foundry Equation,” an art initiative and open house. Presented by local art advocates FLUX. Boston, Opus Affair, Voltage Coffee & Art, and Yes.Oui.Si., this unique event will feature both contemporary and children’s art, live music and improv performances while showcasing the potential of a neighborhood landmark.
“Art plus community equals renewal that’s The Foundry Equation. In this building lays an opportunity to unite Cambridge, Kendall Square and East Cambridge, industrial and residential, kids and adults, art and music, past and future… ” said Ilan Levy, East Cambridge resident, host of Cambridge Community Television’s “The Foundry,” and one of the event’s organizers.
In addition to residents, area businesses are excited about the possibility of a vibrant community arts space, “There’s been interest in using this space to support local artists for some time. This event is a one day solution to the Foundry Equation,” said Lucy Valena, proprietress of Voltage Coffee and Art. “It’s a chance to show all the cool stuff that could be happening in this neighborhood. People could be making really great art, regularly, in Kendall Square.” Anna Schindelar, Art Director at Voltage Coffee and Art as well as curator of the event, added: “This is our vision, our take: an art initiative with the hope of engaging the community, residents, and kids in a dialogue about what they want to see happen to this space. We’re just providing an option, a suggestion to the Foundry Equation.”
Enthusiasm among community partners underscores the strength of this option: “Having access to such a large arts space in the city opens up a world of possibilities. It would create an environment that promotes collaboration, skill sharing, and the exchange of ideas. The Foundry would be an invaluable resource for the Cambridge community,” said Liz Devlin, independent curator and founder of FLUX. Boston.
The Foundry Equation is free and open to residents, arts enthusiasts, and the community at large from 11am – 3pm on Saturday, June 22nd. For updates, information, and a full list of collaborators please visit www.thefoundryequation.org and join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #thefoundryequation.
When a new challenge catches my interest, I tend to get engulfed in it fairly quickly. Things will start out as a small side project but, before I know it, all other tasks are put on hold while I spend too much time analyzing every aspect of my new distraction. Looking at the paintings I have made in the last year or two, this pattern becomes plainly apparent. I started out making fairly loose, quick paintings playing with simple ideas. Before too long, the brush strokes started to shrink and those lose fluid strokes became the smaller and more detailed, almost pixelated patterns of my current pieces. I just couldn’t help myself, I got sucked deeped and deeped into the task of creating these pieces.
The same thing has been happening as I have had to approached promoting my shows and openings. Case in point, I have recently been tasked with organizing and promoting the annual Spring Open Studios event here in The Distillery. There is no reason this should be anything more than a simple job. But, I can’t seem to keep my mind off it. I have been talking to people about how they have approached similar events. I have been emailing blogs and newspapers trying to drum up publicity and, if I happen to succeed, I am obsessively tracking the response in traffic on the website. It has been an interesting task and, we will see this Sunday how I did. In the meantime, as an unexpected bonus of my attempts to promote Open Studios, I managed to land myself (my painting) on the cover of The Weekly Dig here in Boston. Which is a pretty fun perk.
Open Studios time at The Distillery is always a lot of fun. Unlike regular gallery openings, it really is a great time to meet other artists and talk about art. My studio will, as always, be open for visitors. Art will be hung, floors will be mopped and the beer will be flowing. To add to the fun, I have invited two of my most talented friends, Cassandra Long and Cai Veil, to hang out in the studio for the day and share their work so, there will be A LOT to see and do in studio 405. Keep reading for the official information and don’t forget to join the event on Facebook (and invite your friends!):
Every spring, the artists and craftspeople of South Boston open their doors to share their work and their studios with the community. The Distillery is a beautiful mid-nineteenth century converted rum distillery where artists have been setting up shop for more than twenty years. As a hub of creativity and the arts, The Distillery has housed some of Boston’s most talented artists and artisans. Located in the heart of South Boston, it includes two galleries, dozens of artists’ studios and live/work lofts, as well as creative small businesses. As you tour the building, you will notice that it comes alive with all of the creative energy and even the corridors serve as remarkable display spaces. As you explore the various studios, you’ll notice that each one is unique, reflecting each artist’s creative personality.
Come meet the artists and check out what’s new in the local arts scene during South Boston Open Studios on Sunday, June 2nd from noon to 6pm.
I like to make big paintings. I like to have plenty of room to work. I like to be able to include a lot of texture and chaos while still painting realistically. I like to incorporate the smallest of details without feeling cramped. Also, big paintings just look impressive on the wall. If you are reading this, those statements are probably not news to you. However, big paintings take a lot of time, money, and energy to create. Big paintings are expensive. Big paintings need to go places with big walls.
The most common thing people say to me when they see my paintings–more often than mentioning the nudity, more often than questioning the strange use of text or bright colors–is the paintings are just too big for their walls. Open studios weekend is coming up at The Distillery (June 2nd) and I expect to be told that my paintings are too large… a lot.
So, I am making a regular sized painting. Here it is after a couple afternoons of work.
And, next to a big painting for scale.
Next up will be a sunbather in similar scale so, for everyone who asked for smaller paintings, here is your chance.
At my house, we often joke about how our favorite news anchors feel like another member of the family. These are people we have never met but, they talk to (at?) us every morning and we enjoy their (virtual) presence in the house. Just like any other member of the family, we grow and change with them, we notice if they are sick, and when we don’t get to watch for a few days, we miss them. I know we are not alone feeling this way but it is worth mentioning because I have noticed that I experience a very similar feeling when I am working on paintings.
Right now I am working on this, rather large, piece:
My friend Cassandra was good enough to model for the painting. She is a pretty interesting girl who normally spends her time hanging with famous (infamous?) Bostonians, doing the sort of cartoons that seem to be rough drafts for comedy performances, and creating her own paintings. Despite all these great qualities, and the fact that we have generally enjoyed each others company, we don’t really manage to see each other all that often. Now, normally this would not really be note worthy. Everyone’s life is busy and most people probably have a handful of friends they love the idea of seeing more often but don’t actually manage to visit. However, in this case, I have just spent a couple of weeks closely studying and painting an image of this person. Strangely, this has left me feeling like I have spent the last week or two hanging around with the real Cassandra. Just like the newscasters, who I have never met, spending this time with Cassandras image has left me feeling closer to someone, who I rarely see.
Beyond the, sort of silly, feeling of bonding with someone I have not actually seen, realizing this has helped reveal some other trends in my work. I have found myself struggling more than usual with the last few paintings and I was having trouble figuring out the problem. Suddenly it is making more sense and I have discovered a few things about my process.
The first thing I do when paint in a portrait, or figure is the eyes. I like the start off by establishing that this piece of wood will soon be “human”. Once I can look a piece in the eyes, it becomes easier to figure out how to approach the rest of the image. Two of the pieces I have been struggling with were figures that were not facing the viewer. I was unable to look the image in the eyes and establish that connection. It sounds so strange to say that out loud but, it seems to make a big difference when I am actually in the studio working.
I also started to see a pattern developing when it comes to the models in my most successful pieces. Most of the people that have modeled for my paintings have been friends of mine. This makes sense when you are trying to establish yourself as an artist and money and deadlines are tight. Friends are willing to show up at odd times and work help out for free. I have discovered that having a personal connection with the model offers another advantage. I am going to be spending weeks or months working on a painting. Since, in some strange way, it feels like I am spending this time with a real person, it had better be someone I want to hang around for that long.
The curious things that happen when you spend too much time in the studio.
I know that was sort of a long strange post for a Monday morning but, let me know what you thought. If you liked it, I will do more longer posts.
Also, if you want to see a painting that I struggled with (but ultimately, became a good piece) head over to Sloane Merrill Gallery on Charles street and see my latest sunbather piece. It will be hanging in the Back to Back show for another week or two only. The weather is great, the gallery is beautiful, and Charles street oozes Boston charm so, take a walk and enjoy Spring.
I generally hate doing multiple posts in a row about the same show but, this time it is a little different. Sloane Merrill Gallery is one of a small handful of new, commercial galleries that have popped up in Boston recently. Now, while we are no New York, Boston has a pretty solid scene of underground performance spaces and alternative art venues. In other words, there is no shortage of places for artists to hang out on the weekend or try out new ideas. When it comes to making actual sales, it is a different story. There are very few commercial galleries in town so, the emergence of three (I think?) new ones this season is pretty uplifting. That said, obviously times are still shaky for galleries everywhere and many around here seem to have responded by taking less risks and being sticking closer to their proven artists (not that I blame them).
With that in mind I am truly excited that Sloane Merrill Gallery has stepped a little outside the traditional commercial gallery comfort zone and partnered with the, more community based, Boston Figurative Artists Center for this show. They put their reputation on the line and did a lot of extra work (I sat in on some of the jury process and there was a considerable amount of entries to sort through) to allow more local artists and talented amateurs to hang in the gallery with their regular roster of artists. Mixing a juried component into the regularly scheduled show is a pretty interesting way to get people excited about a new space and a great way for a gallery to give a little back to the Boston arts community.
Come out this Friday (the 12th) for the opening reception or, for the next month or so during normal gallery hours to check out the show. I have not seen everything hung yet but, what I have seen looks great. Let the people that run the gallery know that their efforts are appreciated and if you can, maybe even buy a painting. I assume you will know my piece when you see the biggest, brightest thing in the gallery.
I just completed a new piece for a show at Sloane Merrill Gallery. The show opens next Friday, April 12th and there will be an opening reception at the gallery from 6:30-9:00pm. Check out the new piece and then see the official announcement below for more details on the show.
The collaborative exhibition highlights the figure as an important subject in our modern world — one that is both beautiful and a struggle to capture. The theme of the show marries the often sacred and sensual use of the human back to represent form with the more abstract concept of what it means to be “back to back”. The participating figurative artists explored this theme in oils and their visual experiences will be shared at the exhibition opening.
Back to Back has two distinct components — one half is an invitational and the other is juried. Invitational artists include: Damon Lehrer, Jon Nix, Leo Mancini-Hresko, Nick Ward, Rick Berry, Tony Apesos, Gene Dorgan, Paul Goodnight, Brett Gamache, Jim Burke, Freda Nemirovsky, Britt Snyder, Ann Hirsch, Tom Grady, Janet Monafo, Paul Rahilly, & Kelly Carmody.
More information at: http://sloanemerrillgallery.com/exhibitions/2013/1/29/back-to-back
Join the event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/146883525483652/
There have been a few good preview posts written about my show, which opens up this Thursday, at The Distillery Gallery.
Check out the links below and then, come on out to The Distillery this Thursday for the opening reception. After that the show will be up through Feb 28th.
Been posting daily progress shots of my current portrait in progress on tumblr:
I have taken a bit of a break on this one to finish up work for upcoming shows but, I will be back on it soon. I have big plans for this piece so, follow along and see it come to life.
It has been a busy winter in my studio, I have been working on a new piece to send out to the From Motion To Stillness
show in Chicago, I have a few secret projects in the works and coming up first, a solo show at The Distillery Gallery.
The show will feature all my new paintings and, a few of my favorite older pieces. Opening on Thursday, January 24th so, come on out to the party, enjoy a cold Narragansett Beer and see the paintings.
Join the event page on Facebook:
Read the official press release below.
Originally from a small town near Portland, Oregon, Ward has been a resident of The Distillery since 2007. The artist was awarded an Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant for painting in 2012, allowing him more time to focus on a growing body of work featuring portraits of everyday people from his life as models. Although quite realistic from afar, Ward’s paintings deliberately avoid being traditional “realism”. By allowing unfinished abstraction to exist in areas needing less attention while intentionally highlighting natural human flaws, especially in skin tone, the often large-format pieces offer a counterpoint to the retouched beauty we are offered everyday in our media consumption.
Please join us for an opening reception with the artist on January 24th, from 7-9pm at The Distillery Gallery, 516 East 2nd Street, Boston.