Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ArtVoices + December = Profanity?

One feature article (1,000 words) and one review:

Feature Berlin, Barcodes, and Back: An Interview with Christopher Hauck (p.11)

Review Jason Kofke: Everything Will Be OK and Ted Ullrich: The Wall
[Art House Co-op + Le Flash; October 24] (p.62)

On the Cover Lovely, anonymous people raising one hand in an unexplained gesture. I wonder what would dear Laurie Anderson say? (Or that fellow in Hal Foster's celebrated postmodern handbook?)

Sorry everyone—I broke my own rule and published a transcribed interview, instead of first translating it into a more rigorous piece of interpretive criticism. Although it's a more or less "straight up" interview, that is, one without crushed ice or even vermouth for flavor, I hope you'll at least find some value.

The title of this post refers to the use of profanity in the December cover story. In a giant, bold-face pull quote, Terrence Sanders speaks for many artists living and working in the South:
Keep in mind the context: these words are pulled from an interview and, further, an informal moment caught on tape. For me though, you could easily replace the "cover me" in Sanders' quote with "cover us."

The article mystifies me; this may be the first issue worth analyzing at length (which I may do at a later date). For now, I'll at least make my general opinion clear: Terrence Sanders' art does not appeal to me, but I respect what he's doing with ArtVoices and think that braver, more comprehensive arts coverage is what we need in this region.

We all know—thanks to Bob Dylan—that "love" is just a four-letter word. More unorthodox types, however, still insist on spelling it with an F, followed shortly by the letters U, C, and K. This is a man who loves his home. Terrence Sanders is either a high-functioning madman or an unhappily reincarnated Persian Immortal (as envisioned by Frank Miller). We hope for good things in the future.

Also in ArtVoices December: "Will Castleberry Hill Ever Become Atlanta's Version of Chelsea?" by Philip Auslander, a short history and exploration of the challenges facing the arts district.

I'm not familiar with this writer; along with other yet-to-be names, his byline continues in ArtVoices during my absence. (After the upcoming January issue, I take a break from A&E freelance until the end of this spring's legislative session.) Can anyone vouch for the guy?

And with that, Ghostmap signs off for the New Year.


::: )

*ArtVoices is a full-color monthly based in New Orleans. You can order a subscription here or, alternatively, a very inexpensive, digital subscription through Zinio for a mere $20. Consider it an effort in tree conservation. (Advertising and distribution requests should be directed to: sanders_410@hotmail.com)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two Reviews in ArtVoices November

Writing by yours truly in this month's ArtVoices. It's always nice when you get to quote Mircea Eliade in a review...

Click below to read more:

ACP Public Art: "Within Our Gates"by Bradley McCallum and Jaqueline Tarry

Zhang Dali at Kiang Gallery

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Published: Two Reviews in ArtVoices

Due to the soaring costs of fuel (and basically everything else on the planet), the latest issue ArtVoices magazine comes in limited supply and is vanishing rapidly. Solomon Projects, for instance, is already out.

To save you the frustration, I've provided my two Atlanta reviews here in facsimile:

Jody Fausett at Whitespace Gallery

Kathryn Refi at Solomon Projects

I'm in the second column. Toward the middle. ::: )

Photo by Michelle Elmore, who owns a new gallery in New Orleans. A friend once suggested that gold teeth were a symbol of the city, and, curious, Elmore decided to find as many as she could. Luv that facial hair...

ArtVoices is based in New Orleans, where big things are coming together as we speak, including the international arts shindig, Prospect.1. They're calling it a biennial, so add one more to the growing list.

(I assume each subsequent expo will be called Prospect.2, 3, 4, ad nauseam. Is that such a good idea?)

Anyone planning a trip to NOLA? It starts the weekend of Nov. 1.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Announcing a NEW BLOG

Burn Away, our new visual arts blog, launches today. The address is:

Expect good things.


::: )

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So, Who Are These "Beautiful" People ?

Trailer for Beautiful Losers, a documentary about a group of artists loosely associated with Alleged Gallery (NYC) during the 90s.

I'm just guessing, but I'm sure I saw a lot of you people at the Beautiful Losers screening at the Plaza Theatre last Thursday. You know who you are. : )

I didn't know what to expect, but I came away glad. You could feel by the energy in the room, filled with students and artists of various ages, that people identified with the artists in the film. I spend so much time trying to "bring the serious" that it's easy to forget why I started: I saw people around me creating personal, inspired art and, acknowledging a power I could never achieve, I wanted to support them in what ways I can.

So, I suppose I should start learning who these "beautiful" people are...
Artists from the movie, new to me:
Aaron Rose
Barry McGee
Chris Johanson
Ed Templeton
Geoff McFetridge
Harmony Korine
Jo Jackson
Margaret Killgallen
Mike Mills
Deanna Templeton
Stephen Powers
Thomas Campbell
Cheryl Dunn
Now where do I start...?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Search for Truth . . . Promote Socialism"

Detail, Slogan 7 by Zhang Dali.

Striking the eyeballs like so many of those infamous hammers-with-iron-sickle, these ideograms form a static compositional grid. Baffled—with my face hovering a mere breath's distance from the vinyl surface—I attempted to "read" from left to right, and, quickly realizing my predictable, "amateur" error, I tried again vertically.1

But… I was still missing the point. Yes, the paintings are made of Chinese characters. (Each line spells out a slogan of Communist propaganda.) I realized, though, that the most dominant visual element here is the background void of solid black.

And this is what the full image looks like. What a sad, sad little boy... Zhang Dali opened his Slogans series at Kiang Gallery last Friday.

The color black. All other shades of value, including subdued hints of blue and brown, are contained, exclusively, within the tiny brushstrokes of Zhang Dali's lettering. What a potent statement: the figure can only be seen through the intermediary of state ideology.

We can only express our opinions with the vocabulary we're given:
And you don't have to experience the Cultural Revolution to sympathize. Just turn on the radio—the talking points repeat themselves over and over. Simply replace a single party with two.

Slogan A.4, on the other hand, has slightly more color.

The content interests me, but I'm more inclined to treat these as a study of the human mark. Names like Chuck Close come to mind. While the grave subject matter demands an unfortunately limited color palette, the meticulous labor that went into each stroke does make the in-gallery experience more meaningful than simply viewing these photographs.

I'm reminded of Jonathan's thoughts on Local Ephemera about the significance of "duplicating text by hand." I'm still chewing on the question.

So begins "My Self-Education in Beijing Artists," Part 1…

Navy/Army/Airforce by Shen Jingdong (photo taken at China Square's exhibit booth at Art Santa Fe). Click for closeups of each panel: Navy, Army, and Airforce.

Compare Zhang's disciplined sobriety to Sheng Jingdong. Like the tarnished backside of a silvered mirror, Zhang shows us the emotional reality beneath the shiny surface. His portraits are a far cry from those well-fed, beaming faces of yesteryear. But Sheng's military renderings (above) have their own subversive charm. Those deadpan, bubblegum colors can't be serious.

Is this a generational difference between artists? Or simply a stylistic choice? I have so many questions. For example…

Demolition: Time Plaza Beijing, 1999. Reminds me of Banksy's "transparent" designs on the Israeli West Bank barrier.

Why does Chinese art cost so much?

Zhang made a name for himself creating activist graffiti in Beijing. These profile silhouettes (above) marked buildings slated for demolition, drawing public attention to the effects of "progress" on the city's anatomy.

Touted as "the only graffiti artist in Beijing" during the early 90s, Zhang's pseudonym was "AK-47." The tag appears in one of the Kiang Gallery pieces, repeating like a deadly postmodern sutra over some poor child's face.

But now Zhang's framed Slogan pieces sell for $52,000 each…

Of course, everyone's favorite graffiti artist, Banksy, just broke the $500,000 mark last year. His Space Girl and Bird (above) sold for "only" 288,000 pounds, roughly $576,000. However, that still doesn't put "the Beijing trend" into perspective.

I suppose I shouldn't consider it a serendipity that, less than a month after the Beijing Olympics, ARTNews magazine's cover story this month focuses on China's art market. To illustrate some of the recent incredible leaps in value, Barbara Pollack cites the case of Zheng Fanzhi: "Five years ago his works sold for under $50,000. Today he commands prices on the primary market closer to $1 million."2

Zhang's Chinese Offspring, an installation meditating the plight of migrant labor. Click here for a detail. Zhang's range is impressive; he completed this two-year sculptural series in 2005 before moving on to other media.

I don't mean to challenge Zhang's integrity. I just don't want to live in a world where the sex appeal of "graffiti" outstrips the word's credibility. And though I can certainly see the value of individual Chinese artists, the recent lust for "anything Beijing" should be treated for what it is: a trend.


1 I don't speak or read Chinese. Fortunately, technology amplifies my normal powers of deduction. The repetitions in Slogan 7 seem to indicate horizontal orientation. Slogan 13, judging by the placement of key words 社会主义 (Socialism) and 十七大 (the shortened name of the 17th National Congress), reads vertically, although from the bottom to the top instead of what you'd expect. The choices vary according to aesthetic. Correct me if I'm wrong…

2 Pollack's article is an excellent resource, especially for the illustrations in the print edition. It saves me the trouble. : )

Monday, September 15, 2008

McCloud Speaks at Agnes Scott

From Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud (1993). ISBN# 006097625X.

15 years ago, Scott McCloud introduced Understanding Comics, a comic book about comic books that, in an easy-to-digest form, discussed the medium with a smattering of art history and theory and, above all, a desire for stories with something more than just explosions and bad dialog.

McCloud's clever little diagram, for example, is a pretty original innovation. Plus I'm young enough to admit: reading McCloud in the 90s "got me into" René Magritte's Treachery of Images.

McCloud lectures on "A Medium in Transition" tomorrow night, 7:30PM, at Agnes Scott.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My What Big Eyes You… Have?

Eudora Welty Suit for My Cat, Toby—part of Linda Hall's show, The Beast in Me, at Young Blood Gallery. Now, just a little closer, dearie…

While Linda Hall's cat-costume monstrosities make me smile, her 2D works effectively ruin the experience. Her watercolors attempt a kind of children's book aesthetic that, while playful, feels forced and more than a little didactic.

Here's an excerpt in Hall's defense, written to accompany the show's signature costume, We Are What We Endanger (below):
Assuming the bear identity is my playful yet poignant way of forcing empathy… not unlike ancient rituals where a human assumes the spirit of the animal by wearing its skin. Here the viewer is invited to complicate entering the body of the Florida Black Bear, inhabiting its spirit, its power, and its plight. [emphasis mine.]
So… animals connect us? Sorry: somewhere between Hall's bird of prey and its aerial buffet of rodent-and-snake, I got completely lost.

The Black Bear homage, on the other hand, makes more sense. Its ragged textures and big, watery eyes suggest the neglect and malnourishment of a vagabond. As the artist intended, the bear looks pathetic.

But does it hold up to the craftsmanship of, say, the Center for Puppetry Arts? And, although the bear is fun, I wonder if its cartoon features hold it back, anesthetizing its inspirational power. The poles are contradictory—a "beast within" should have teeth, right?

Overall, I liked the "costumes" fashioned after Nick Cave, Eudora Welty, and, especially, Toby's Bird Watching Suit with its raised textures and play of gold-on-cream. But the watercolors really do suffer. The mounting, for instance, is dismal.

Effective naiveté certainly has its examples. I'm sure Linda Hall is a fan of Kiki Smith's folk tale series (e.g., Untitled, 2007 and Lying with the Wolf, 2001). Smith isn't my favorite, but her stab at the genre rings with a little more truth.

We Are What We Endanger. Sorry for the poor photo quality, but you get the idea.


Monday, September 08, 2008

"What We Endanger..."

Linda Hall, Bird Watching Suit for My Cat, Toby.

Conjuring Change.

Nick Cave Suit for My Cat, Toby.

Crow Stomach.

Animals Connect Us.

The Beast in Me
Young Blood Gallery
9.6.08 - 9.28.08


Friday, September 05, 2008

I'm told

that Japanese gardens were once called shima (島), a word that means "island," rather than the common word used for "garden" today.

Portland's Japanese Garden. You can view the webgallery here.

Languages change and spread, as if commanded to frustrate their physical containers—on the atlas and in our clumsy vocal cords. Fortunately, translations are still possible.

Try typing "japanese garden" into Google: Portland is actually the top hit. Although firmly locked within the continental US, the landscaping is faithful to the wabi-sabi aesthetic originated over on "that island."

Things I like:
1. This rock garden
2. This lion statue, also known as Mr. Grumpy
3. This contemporary sculpture by Jun Kaneko.
Context changes everything. Though these ordinary, Crayola hues usually put me to sleep, the contrast of bright-pastel-on-earth makes for a surprising seamlessness between old and new. The glass is just a little translucent.

Can we have more art outside?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Upper Playground

Deadly Towers 1, 2 & 3 (acrylic) and Asteroids (multi-media installation) by E*Roc. Click here for artist statement. I'm reminded of 1) Matt Relkin's towers and 2) Bean Summer's recent installation at MINT...

Photos by Sara Padgett: Watermelons, Miami, FL and Multitubes, Savannah, GA. Artist statement here. Those colors are exquisite. Padgett, an Arkansas native, confirms the sensation that Portland is also a "town of transplants."

Upper Playground is a design studio based in San Francisco. They also run two art galleries: Fifty 24SF and Fifty 24PDX. Kudos to Mike Germon for pointing the way.

I visited their Portland, OR, location this summer, and although I've delayed the photos for some time, I'm proud that I was able to attribute the artist to each and every work. It was a rare show for the space; instead of showcasing "established" talent from the California art scene, Seven was exclusively dedicated to rising artists in Portland. Fifth and Couch posted some photos of the opening here.

Feel free to browse the Picasa webgallery here

Comments appreciated!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Archeology of Omission

Group Seven collaborative show at Whitespace Gallery. The burns on this mammoth-sized abstract indicate some seriously intense heat. (Photos by Ben Grad. You can view a larger selection at Ben's Picasa site here.)

Group Seven is the local branch of The Imagillaboration Project, a nationwide network of sculptors collaborating through the exquisite corpse method first championed by André Breton and other French Surrealists.

The premise is simple: each sculptor creates a "seed," which, as it rotates between artists, evolves in a process of growth, dissection, and reassembly. Although some variations of the game are "blind," each participant here must consciously react to the additions made by the previous artist. Here's an example by Group Six, a peer group based in Ohio and Michigan.

Rather than a traditional, single-perspective review, I thought it would be appropriate to respond as a collective. In the spirit of the exquisite corpse, I'm joined by fellow bloggers:
Susannah Darrow (Il Faut Cultiver Notre Jardin)


Ben Grad (Proclaim It Lost)
The discussion below follows a similarly themed format; each writer picks one sculpture and begins a description, an inspirational "seed," to be continued by the other two.

Julia's Seed, collaborative sculpture.

Ben: An iron filing bezoar perches atop an etched limestone pillar, itself balanced between the four legs of something like an inverted stool. There's an urge to describe the individual components of these structures—to ascribe an artist to each favorite material, structural element, or technique.

Susannah: In this desire to connect each material with a personalized identity, Group Seven’s exquisite corpse has proven itself quite successful. A personification of each artist can be seen in every scrap and oddity. Though this individualism within the sculpture has far from compromised the overall unity of the piece. Every rusted leg compliments the smoother, polished sphere that crowns the sculpture. The dreadlock-like tendrils mirror back at the rusted supports. No material is unconsidered and no placement arbitrary.

Jeremy: Although it might be interesting to play detective and link each component to a specific “author,” it would be a little exhausting. I’d rather not distract myself from appreciating the piece as a complete experience. With that said, I do see a kind of vague individualism. Although that sliver of wood—jutting like a slice of carrot alongside the central limestone column—is a very minor addition, it adds a bit of unexpected contrast. Compared to the outright eclecticism of Patrick’s Seed, Julia’s Seed achieves a very tasteful moderation between anonymous experimentation and editorial control. While I love Patrick’s Seed, with its little train cars and graffiti, there’s a greater cohesion here between each part.

Matt's Seed, a kinetic, collaborative sculpture. If you can find images no. 17 and 18, you can create your own "animation" by clicking back and forth.

Susannah: There is a temptation to describe this work in the same sentiment as one would discuss items with a sense of childhood nostalgia. Each element of the sculpture has been worn-in considerably from playmate to playmate and assigned roles previously unimagined.

Jeremy: Nostalgia, perhaps… for sandbox games? I’m reminded of twig bridges over moats guarding towers of cold, red clay. Playing in dirt was always much more personal and interactive than pushing paper as an adult. Of course, sound effects were also important back then. I can almost hear this “mouse trap” growl and chomp and salivate (bluurrahhg!) for more. Its “mouth” is lined with ear plugs—which, as you pull the handle down—graze against a sculpted ear, perhaps allowing the monster to hear itself tasting itself.

Ben: Fetishes of “childhood nostalgia”… It's a fun image, but I find myself a bit left behind on this sculptural nostalgia train. This piece still has a core form, unlike Kate's Seed (below), which is a different sculpture each time its angle of orbit is shifted. In the hierarchy of nostalgia, Kate's Seed is Play-Doh, while Matt's Seed occupies the same position as action figures or three-wheeled bicycles.

Kate's Seed, another kinetic collaboration.

All three: The kinetic sculpture humbly awaits human hands to send it rolling it into “orbit.” The materials list (bicycle wheels, a banana seat, iron, a kick stand, slate, bronze) is an archeology of omission.1

Layers of editing have reduced what would have been any cyclist’s wet iron dream into an earthbound satellite, circumscribed by the chakram of Zena, Warrior Princess… …translated into a A 2D companion piece, overlooks the fallen sculpture: bubbles of paper are surrounded by faint halos of rust—a copy of cut-out circle patterns on the satellite's inner connecting arm. A bar code sticker peels off the end of the 2x4 which stabs through Kate's Seed. Is that bar code yet another satellite? Should we be talking about the human condition now?

Let's skip all that babble. It's a stretch to describe Kate's Seed as a “wheel-within-a-wheel” nesting doll depiction of humanity. Instead, we should be sticking with what's both apparent and obviously intentioned in this piece: kinetics
, in all senses of the word. Every instance of positive and negative space within the sculpture describes anterior movements by its creators. The rust-embossed paper bubbles on a nearby wall seem to exist—by some fate—in parallel with the Swiss-cheese holes in the metal below. The remnants of age and destruction on the charred wood and the decrepit metals speak to past interactions unseen by the viewer. The wheel becomes both a demarcation for each part, intended to function within its boundaries, as well as the portal for transporting the sculpture outside of its allotted space. The transformation of each element in the structure allows Kate’s Seed to function more effectively than many of the other pieces. In such a minimal sculpture, the suggestion of outside forces leaves the viewer wanting to see the banana seat and the kick stand that have stayed behind the scenes.

1 The text formatting above indicates each writer's "voice":
Jeremy = plain text,
Ben = underlined, and
Susannah = italics
For my seed, I invited the other writers to delete, destroy, and edit the entry that came before. Although words can't replicate the effect of wood and metal, I hoped the overlapping text would approximate the collision of different sculptural styles and materials.

Group Seven closes this Saturday, Aug. 30,
with a special artist talk,
2PM, Whitespace Gallery.

Companion piece to Kate's Seed. The contours here are an actual impression of the sculpture (click for detail here).


Monday, August 25, 2008

Thoughts on Joe Biden?

I found this "gem" on Peach Pundit this morning. Michelangelo would be proud.

Economist.com calls Barack Obama's choice of VP a "sign of weakness." It's an interesting perspective, and they qualify their position carefully, but I don't think it makes a lot of sense.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Details: Group Seven

Group Seven:
An "exquisite corpse" by eight local sculptors.
Whitespace Gallery
8.15.08 – 8.30.08


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lincoln Looks On, Approvingly

Mixed-media by Aaron Hequembourg. (For much more thorough, and colorful, Folk Fest coverage, check out Sparring K9. She's a fun gal; her sidebar has a list of favorite "female bad-asses.")

Although I was admittedly less enthusiastic about this year's Folk Fest, I do have two show favorites I'd like to share.

1. Aaron Hequembourg

This sort of craftsmanship does not translate faithfully into photography. Textures immediately attack the retina, drawing you in closer, where the mystery of Hequembourg's subjects hold the gaze captive like pale, slinking phantoms on some ancient plantation balcony.

Found object and mixed-media.

Combining painting with engraving, Hequembourg has been known to—literally—use pieces of his own home to create art. The history of the image also makes a difference; the artist can typically recall each source. From photographs documenting that influential New Deal institution, the W.P.A., to century-old family albums, each piece seems all the more personal.

Women of the Democratic Party Handle Poisonous Snakes, Republican Women Don't by Steve Shepard.

2. And then there was Steve Shepard.

Shepard lives and works in Ocean Springs, MS, a town on the Gulf Coast just outside of Biloxi. Each and every piece he exhibited was political and, moreover, loudly and unashamedly Left-wing. An interesting departure from what's in the art history books...

The border around this one says:
Elvis, Lincoln, Moses, and the Devil join crayfish and alligators as recurring characters. The works express outrage following Hurricane Katrina, an environmental awareness connected to the bayou and its way of life, and illustrations, like the above, that state simply and unequivocally: George W. Bush is a terrible president.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Crowd-surfing Magicians

Digital print by Bean Summer.

After a few days of guerilla reconnaissance, I managed to track down a handful of the artist-musicians participating in MINT's second mixtape show. Tales of grunge and turntable shenanigans in Pine Magazine:

ReMIXT: A Nonprofit Cross-Pollination

Mixtapes still have a universal appeal. A design piece in itself, the cassette casing immediately recalls the days of Autobots versus Decepticons, and the sound “quality” has a characteristic texture. It's ironic that the aesthetics of retro—with its synthesizers and gritty recording techniques—serve to remind us that we live in a technological age. [Click for full text.]
reMIXT marks the beginning of gallery's second year in its current space off John Wesley Dobbs. For more info on reMIXT, check out MINT's website.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Taking Up Serpents

Taking Up Serpents, Speaking In Tongues, Singing God's Praises, 2003, by Jim Shores. It's in the High Museum's permanent collection.

Some Cabbagetown people recently urged me to check out something called "Black Castle". It's a community, or rather a hippie enclave, located in Stone Mountain. I'm sure it's fun. But it got me thinking about home—an unincorporated town in northern Mississippi—and about life in the country.

That's why I'm interested in seeing Folk Fest this year. Believe it or not, I'm a little bored of the repetition here "inside the perimeter."

Shores, Penelope Anne Nickels.

As a preview, here's an email interview with sculptor Jim Shores from September, 2007, after last year's festival:
Me: You spend a great deal of time searching for materials. How many hours would you say you spend assembling parts for a sculpture versus time spent actually piecing it together? Do you work mostly during the day or do you work at night as well?

Shores: I couldn't put a time frame on the searching. A sculpture could involve an object found 5-10 years ago, combined with things found last week or yesterday. I have my own mini junkyard which I keep adding to every few days. If I'm in need of inspiration all I need to do is walk around my piles of junk and there is usually something that "speaks" to me.

Depending on the piece, a sculpture could take a few hours to make or there could be many days involved. I tend to work in the afternoons on in to the evenings. But when the creative juices are flowing or a deadline is approaching, the time of day or night becomes a non-factor - I just keep going to make it happen.
Me:You hesitate to call your serpent handlers either male or female, and your angel sculptures are also ambiguous. Is there a reason? Also, the phrase "taking up serpents" reminds me of something from Sunday School. What inspired those images?

Shores: I may personally think of one of these pieces as male or female, but I'd rather have the viewer bring their own outlook to the piece, which makes it personal for them.

The bible reference you're thinking of is from the Book of Mark, Chapter 16, verses 17 & 18. Verse 17 - And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; Verse 18 - They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

I was inspired to make my Snake Handlers in two ways. I've seen TV documentaries on the subject and read a book titled Salvation On Sand Mountain. The book offered fantastic insights from the perspective of a reporter doing research on the subject who crossed the "journalistic line" and became part of the story. I find it amazing that there are folks in this world that have such strong beliefs and faith. So strong that they will drink poison and handle poisonous snakes, believing that their faith in God will protect them.
Me: You've described yourself as a self-taught artist. To your credit, you've developed some skill working with steel. Have you ever worked with metal professionally, or could you say that you have gained some of your skills "on the job?"

Shores: Thank you, Jeremy. No I had never worked with metal professionally, until my hobby of making things out of junk became my profession. My skills in this area are still limited. I don't use torches or plasma cutters and no bending or hammering machines. Most of my work is held together with nuts and bolts. Some pieces are riveted, wired or use epoxy putty.

My tools consist of hand tools and power tools like - drills, circular saws. jig saws. grinders and dremel tools. I did teach myself how to weld, which I employ occasionally. From the assembly aspect, so much of what I create, anybody could do. Fortunately for me I have an artistic sensibility that lets me see potential, where other's see an object that's outlived it's intended purpose or they don't see what that object could become.
Shores, Garden Angel.
Me: You have a very "down to earth" presence about you. Is there anything specific about your work or your experience as an artist that you find especially humbling?

Shores: The artwork seems to come naturally to me and I feel blessed to have whatever limited ability I do have in this area. What I find humbling is when others appreciate it. I don't know if I'll ever shake the thoughts I had from 20 years ago when friends and acquaintances saw my work and suggested I show it to art galleries. I would appreciate their comments but think it's just a bunch of junk I've put together, nobody in the "art world" is going to be interested in this. Eventually I stepped out to see if there was interest and to my surprise there was. For the last 11 years I've been working full-time as an artist. I find it to be a joy and a privilege to make a living at something I love doing.
You can go to Folk Fest on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.