Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kinzie Industial Corridor Artists Unite!

Hi there!

I have been getting ready for the Art walk on 10/10/09 and it is nearly here. There is a preview artist reception at Art's for Life this Friday, 10/2 at 2010 W Carroll. I will have a piece up and will be there.

Some useful links:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Professional Member of the International Sculpture Center

This is my link:

What an affirmation! ( said in the sweetest femaleTennessee accent you can imagine)

Despite the ten some odd inches of rain that poured on the city of Chattanooga while I was there, the city's good nature and dedicated sculptors produced an informative and relevant conference for all attendees. The many sculptors and the art community I met were down to earth people with the same passion in their eyes and as those I already admire in my city, Chicago. That is part of why I fit into sculpture folks, I think. At the end of the day we like to make stuff and we like to share it with other people.  I learned more insight about the Jurors for the Inside and Outside Exhibits (of which I am part) and why they chose the art they did as well as, more of their background in the field of art.

When I first met someone, I would introduce myself as dusty and they would look to my name tag and a confused expression came over their face. At first, I figured my last name threw them for a loop, as it usually does, but then I kept hearing, "Oh, you're dusty... congratulations!"I could see that many people were thinking, "Huh, I thought you were a boy..."

Often they then would ask if I was in school school. I'd respond "Yes, I finished with my BFA in 2003."
Again they are thinking, "Hmm, you look pretty young."

Oh well. After networking with various artists and others in the art scene I luckily could redeem  myself for not being what they expected through my medium of choice and the fact that I was in the exhibits.


There was a nice showing of people for this opening. It is a very cool gallery with a good energy and a nice rooftop patio for cocktails and mingling.

Upstairs I met a very nice lady sculptor who noticed my name and was like, "Hey come over here, I want to talk to you!" in a very sweet TN accent. So, I did and we chatted about art and life and at the end you would have thought she was my mother the way she was acting proud for me. "What an affirmation for you!" she said, "And you are so young! Congratulations!" She also encouraged me to go into acting if the opportunity presented itself...

At the Gallery in Redbank opening with Charles Yost and his new hat of which I am jealous. At this point, he still think I sold his trailer to someone for $500...

I was among those who exhibited in the Conference 2009 Indoor exhibit, Couple and Rising, and the Conference 2009 Outdoor exhibit, Ready to Scale. I was lucky enough to be chosen to have three total pieces on display and I guess people noticed that. In the tight knit community everyone already seemed to know who I was and that my parents were coming along to see my work. They were so sweet to ask me where they were and how their drive was going.

After the Outdoor Exhibit Opening (where the Mayor (above) of Chattanooga thanked us artists for our contributions to their public space – so nice!),  I met the one of the Jurors for the exhibit, Carol Mickett. I could see her confusion as I greeted her and thanked her for her time spent on the show and speaking at the conference. Once she realized who I was, she said, "Well, we thought you were male. But, I am glad you aren't!" She then went on to tell me her critique of my work. She was taken by how delicate my pieces were although they were made of steel. She liked the tension she saw in the overall forms. Her only real was critique was to work bigger. Which reaffirms my desire to do so.

Actually, wanna know a secret? All of the pieces I entered in the show, I actually consider maquettes and I  intend to make larger as soon as I get the right opportunity. The outside piece is called Ready to Scale for that reason.

All in all I am delighted with my trip down South. In my opinion, Tennessee never disappoints. Go visit and go look at the public art! Now let's all cross our fingers that one or more of the pieces will become part of someone's permanent collection there!

This is the plaque for my sculpture. If you squint, you can see the number to call and code for the audio tour!

This is the closest mile marker to my sculpture....just in case you are looking for it.

And finally, here are my dedicated and supportive parents who drove through crazy rain and got stuck in Nashville for two hours to come and see their daughter's Exhibits. They even brought me some beautiful roses to show their love. They are an amazing example to grow up with.

Mom, "Hey Den, I want to smell those flowers up in the tree..."
Dad, "Sure, hon..."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ready-ing Ready to Scale

In order to attach Ready to Scale to the concrete pad where it will live for the next year, I had to add a little somethin'. At the base of the larger steel ring I added a little steel plate with a hole in it or the anchor bolt. I really didn't want to add much to the piece because the way the circles interact with the ground is an important part of the composition, but when scrap metal fetches a decent price, you have to have some sort of deterrent.

Mr. Calder said once, "Why buy it if you can make it?" So that is what I did. Instead of going to the hardware store and looking for a bracket that would best fit my needs. I made a bracket that would best fit my needs.

I had to trim it down to a decent size and then use my grinder to grind the metal into a curve that complements the curl of the ring I would be welding to it.

After wards o tack welded it in place and then flipped the piece over and welded it to the bottom.  There was a little bit of warpage due to joining to pieces of steel with very different gauges, but I was able bend it back with a bit of elbow grease.

After installing this piece today, I think it works just fine.
special thanks go out to Roger and Sam who were very helpful during the whole process!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gettin' ready for Chattanooga

Yesterday was  productive day as I prepared for my road trip south. I went to Hi Grade Paint on Kedzie and Elston to get the Break Through product. It was recommended to me by a sculpture buddy, Charles Yost. It was recommended to him by a blacksmith friend of his. I hope it is as good as they say because I have spent a few days driving around the city and making calls to get it. I think karma smiled on me though because Hi Grade Paint ended up calling me back when they got the product in. Now when I returned there yesterday, they didn't charge me for one of the cans I bought...they said it wasn't in inventory, yet. They will now be my paint store of choice, even though it is a bit out of my way to go there!

When I got to my studio, I put a rust inhibitor on Ready to Scale and allowed it to dry. Then I added a clear satin coating of Break Through to it. The finish looks really nice and this will protect it from Mother Nature during the year it will spend in Chattanooga along side the Tennessee River.

I also put a coating of Break Through on the inside of the main piece of pipe of my sculpture. This is easier said than done. If I was smarter, I would have done this prior to putting the sculpture together, but hindsight is 20/20. And when I built it I didn't plan on it being out or doors. I basically put cup-fulls inside the pipe an they had to carefully roll around the sculpture so that it coated the entire inside. Any sculptor veteran would have laughed at this process.  Oh well, I got the job done! Even though the inside of the pipe is not seen, I wanted to respect the concrete pad it will be sitting on for a year and do my best to inhibit the rust so it will not stain the concrete. 

After I finished up with that I went to get my trailer tail lights hooked up to my explorer and since I had all the parts, (I just didn't want to install it and do something wrong because electricity makes me nervous) the guy didn't charge me a dime and he wouldn't take a tip!

After getting about $100 of free labor/product, I did what any girl would do, I went and spent my savings on a pedicure. Good day!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pedestal sized Position and Rearranged

 Last week I made a smaller version of Position. You can see it to the left. It was cool for me to work with the same forms in a different scale. I have mentioned that working from a maquette and scaling up the work has been thought provoking for me in the last year. That holds true with this recent exercise in scaling.  This time reduced the size and it was fun being able to handle each piece myself and not have to depend on the gantry to help me out.

I can't decide if I want to paint it the same way as it is in the bigger one or maybe have it powder coated and give it to my folks. I might rub linseed oil on it. I'm letting this one circle around my brain for a bit before I decide.

Or I have been thinking of turning this column form into a series of sculptures. In a previous blog I talked about what Position meant to me. I could do one for each member of my family and keep with that theme change the position of the perpendicular ring based on their position in the family. I don't want to go overboard with this family thing, though.

I may just continue to explore the column format. This aligns with my exploration of the arch form in Curl.

Who knows? Maybe I will do both! I welcome your comments on these ideas if you have any...

This is my new studio arrangement. The angles are a bit cleaner and I am working in a rectangle now instead of a triangle. It will be fun to see if that changes anything!

I am grateful to be in studio with other artists. It is fun to be party of that creative community. Even though I rarely see the other artists, there is still a cool energy when you enter that space. If you are in town and would like to visit, just let me know!

Our studio is participating in the Kinzie Industrial Corridor Art Walk on October 10, 2009. Please stop by! I will post more information on that soon.