Last week I wrote a post that I was going to call “I’m Part of the Problem,” but I held off on uploading it.

If you saw me a couple weeks ago, you may have been on the receiving end of my rants about the Big Red and Shiny fundraiser. It went something like this: the only time we get more than a post or two every couple months is when they want more money. Why would anyone start an art magazine if they don’t actually want to write about art?

Now, I honestly respect what the people at Big Red and Shiny are trying to do and I would hope that at least a couple of them would consider me a friend, so I wanted to write something that took my rant somewhere a little more useful. I wanted to write a post about how the Boston art scene was “all bark, no bite” and resurrecting an art magazine when you don’t actually want to write about art on a regular basis was the epitome of that. I wanted to write about that and call some people out… including myself.

For a long time, I have been thinking about putting together a show of portraiture. Not just a show of portraits, but a show that shines a little light on ways that people are using the general concept of portraiture for something more than simply documenting faces. I am sure a lot of you have heard me toss this idea around, maybe I even asked you if you might be interested in participating, but the reality is, I wasn’t sure it was going anywhere. I think you see where the post is headed; just like everyone else, I had a solid idea, and idea that I was passionate about but…. You know I need to be in the studio, I’ve got bills to pay, I am not a curator. Just another scared puppy, all bark, no bite. I am part of the problem. You get it.

Before I uploaded this post, I decided to sit on it for a while. First off, is it really a good idea to call out one of the few organizations that might actually review a show of my work? More importantly, I was not really ready to admit that I was going to give up on my portraiture show.

Sometimes a few days cooling off period makes all the difference. In this case, I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and try to make the show actually happen. Actually… that is not entirely true, someone else has decided to put their money where my mouth is.

While I was taking a weekend off, enjoying fall in Maine, I got an email from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation explaining that they were going to give me a second grant. The proposal I sent them consisted of two parts. First and foremost, I laid out my current text message portrait painting project. This series has not even found its final form yet, but it has already gotten a lot of interest. The grant is a huge vote of confidence and means that it will happen faster, with less compromises. Second, I proposed the portrait show, not only bring together some artists working in a field I am passionate about, but also as a way to frame this new series of painting within the world.

So, now I find myself in this position, all dressed up and nowhere to go. I have an idea for the show (that I will elaborate on soon), I have money to make it happen, I even have some really good artists on board, I just don’t have a space (yet).

"Self-Portrait as Insomniac" by Karen Kaapcke

Cover image is “Self-Portrait as Insomniac” by Karen Kaapcke, who planted the seeds in my mind that inspired this (potential) show.

For those that were not make it out to The Distillery for open studios last weekend, here is a great little pictorial tour of the highlights posted by our friend Liz at

If anyone else came through and managed to get some good pictures, be sure to send them my way!

Generally I have been hesitant to loan paintings out for display in restaurants around town although, it seems like a pretty popular/easy exhibition option in Boston… or maybe it is restaurants around Boston that have been hesitant to hang freaky portraits and morbid nudes? Either way, Voltage is different. Not only is is an awesome coffee shop, it also has a great exhibition space. Pieces actually look good hung and have enough space to command attention. So when Liz of asked me to participate in a show that she was organizing there, I jumped at the chance. It also didn’t hurt that Liz collected such a great group of artists for me to share the walls with. Check out the facebook event page for the opening reception, and keep reading after the image for more details and a complete list of participating artists.

“What better way to kick off the return of fall than with a crash course contemporary art lesson on the who’s who of upcoming Boston visual artists. Come to Voltage Coffee & Art on Friday September 9th for the opening of FLUX. Offline, a brick and mortar curation by digital art reviewer/sweetheart Elizabeth Devlin.

Step away from the glow of the computer screen, get gussied and slough off the work week at the opening reception, Friday September 9th, 7:00-10:00pm for an evening of art, libations, grub, tunes, and delightful conversation.”

Participating Artists Include:

Autumn Ahn

Brian Daly

Corey Corcoran

Elizabeth Grammaticas

Jakob Fioole

Jennifer Lewis

Jessica Liggero

Kenji Nakayama

Nick Ward

Polly Becker