Friday, September 21, 2007

Art Amiss VII Recap

A few brief notes before I delve into my review of Art Amiss VII:

First, I will be having a reception tonight, Friday, September 21st for my latest exhibit, "Spellbound" at the Julie Wait Designs Gallery in Rogers, Arkansas from 5-8pm as part of the Rogers Twilight Art walk. I am looking forward to being there and talking with folks about my work. This exhibit will include 17 recent works, many of which debuted at the Mullins Library at the University of Arkansas earlier this summer (so if you missed that show, please come to Julie Wait Designs) there will also be several new smaller works in the exhibit as well. "Spellbound" will be up until October 19th.

I am thrilled to be showing at the Julie Wait Designs Gallery, I had the pleasure of working with them last fall and was so excited when six of my paintings were chosen by them to be placed in the President and Vice President's offices of the Legacy National Bank headquarters in Springdale. Naturally, I was pleased when they asked me to show in their gallery. So, come on out to Rogers tonight!

Second, the exhibit "Intuition" with my paintings and Helen Phillips ceramics work will be coming to a close on September 29th. So if you haven't seen it yet, please try to stop by the DDP gallery soon, and of course spread the word. I am very pleased with the response my work has received, so far six pieces have sold, but there are still many lovely pieces that are deserving of a good home or business.

Alright, now back to Art Amiss VII, the event was held last night at the Dickson Street Theatre in Fayetteville.It is so impressive to think that seven of these events have now taken place over the years and they just get better and better. Art Amiss is an impassioned event that captures all mediums of visual art as well as fashion, jewelry, music, movies, and writing-it really is a multimedia extravaganza. The $5.00 cover charge was well worth it and included a free chapbook and CD sampler of some of Fayetteville's local bands.

The event seemed to flow well, and early in the night there was great music at an easy volume to allow the art to really be viewed and nicely accentuated by the music. The artists who were near their work were easily able to be heard while discussing their process. Later in the night the volume was cranked up a notch or two and it was a fun scene.

After I looked at everything on the main floor, I dashed upstairs where the bulk of the visual art was presented, and instantly fell in love with Ginny Sims pottery. Ginny was right there with her work, very approachable and easy to talk with. I really like the solid quality of her work, along with the poetic "decals" of black and white graphics and words fused into her pottery. It was this that really made her work speak to me. There were small houses that could sit on their own, or be placed to hang on the wall. Her chic collection consisted of espresso cups and saucers, plates, salad plates, large platters, and tumblers as well as other functional items, and of course the collection of houses. I really appreciated her ascetic, the Terra cotta clay was glazed in a milky white and then sometimes colored with faint greens, peaches, or a shot of gold to accent the stark black and white images and words. The President of Art Amiss, Robin Atkinson said Ginny's work should be called "Hottery" and I concur. I will look forward to seeing more of Ginny Sims work in the future.

Another stand out for me last night was Greg Moore. His large painting of Assata Shakur caught my eye, and commanded the attention of the room even when placed high over a stairwell. Smartly the artist placed a pamphlet that included a commentary by Mos Def about Assata Shakur, so that we could understand her and learn about her plight.

Greg Moore's war resister series is equally stirring, and I am impressed that he uses his talent to also express his political views, as well as to educate the viewer. His style of painting is bold and painterly with great use of color. For me, his paintings have a slight R. Crumb quality to them that I enjoy without the exaggeration or comic quality. I wish Greg Moore only the best, and look forward to seeing more of his work out in the public eye soon.

I really enjoyed the movies viewed at Art Amiss last night, as it was held outside in the parking lot next door, just that new element gave it an exciting feeling to me, there is nothing quite like sitting outside with the moon peeking through the trees above watching short Indie films. I loved it. There was a nice mix of mystery, ironic comedy, and nostalgia ( Sarah K. Moore's beautiful films always make me want to cry and go back in time- and that is a good thing).

There were many other wonderful artists presenting work last night, and unfortunately I can't mention them all. I was impressed with the overall quality and quantity of the work, and enjoyed the evening. It was full of energy and excitement. I think Art Amiss is an amazing event, and everyone that participated, should feel really proud. The fashion show was fun, the music was great, movies enjoyed and art was being sold- Congratulations to all involved. Thank you for the energy, spunk, and spark you consistently bring to Fayetteville's art scene.

See my painting "Lovely Upheaval" at the DDP gallery
7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5
and by appointment.

"Intuition" Works by Megan Chapman and Helen Phillips
August 15- September 29 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Interpol - No I In Threesome

A simple dose of beauty and inspiration.

Now read the post below about creating a sense of community and identity for artists in our town and give me your two cents on how it can be done in the comments! Thanks.

Friday, September 14, 2007

All fired up...

Today, I was driving home and a more obscure Clash song, "Ivan meets GI Joe" from their album Sandinista came on the radio, and I was overjoyed. It isn't one of my favorite songs but it still got me excited and then I starting to wonder why I felt that way.

First, the song is catchy. Second, the Clash will always be towards the top of my list. Third, the song is not the usual fodder for the college radio station, as the track is from an album from 1980. The real reason behind my that listening to that song on the radio gives me a sense of identity and community.

Okay... so what am I talking about?

There are artists in my town and probably your town too who are searching for a sense of identity and community, and they are having a hard time finding it. I live in a nice town, with a University, an arts center, a few galleries, and occasionally, many art events. Culture is touted as a amenity here. We have the Arts festival, Art Market, Art Amiss, BFA & MFA students, professional artists, gallery owners, a few arts collectives, and art lovers all here in this nice little melting pot, but somehow we aren't always melting.

Over the years, there have been meetings of the minds, ideas for studio spaces, and valiant attempts at promoting the arts and culture in this town. Some of us get involved when we can, and some complain about what is not here and yet do nothing. Some of us do both. Then, some of us are on the fringe and don't know about the meetings, or the groups that are trying to do something. Some of us keep our mouths shut as not to offend.

Well, I say enough! There has got to be a grass roots way to get us out of our homes, studios, sometimes cliquish events, and get us together in the same room talking about what we really need and want for ourselves and each other as artists.

I am talking about getting together for fun and community. Of course, not all groups of people are going to get along. Unfortunately, some people are going to think someone doesn't belong in the mix. Labels will be thrown around- crafts, quilts, pottery, fine art, abstract, installation, amateur, - there will be no pleasing all for sure. We all have our styles and our personalities. I still think we need to know one another and be aware of each other's work and aspirations.

My ultimate desire, is that I can keep doing what I am doing, making, showing, selling, and talking about art. However, I want to do that with a vibrant community of artists, talking together, sharing our successes and failures, obstacles, and desires. I want to be a part of an inclusive and connected group of proactive artists.

Anyone want to get together and talk about making art? This means you!

See "Subterranean" at the DDP gallery
7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5
and by appointment.

"Intuition" Works by Megan Chapman and Helen Phillips
August 15- September 29 2007

Friday, September 7, 2007

Art Festival Roundup

The visual arts part of the festival has come and gone. Last weekend was a huge success for all involved. Congratulations to all the organizers, artists, gallery owners, sponsors, and volunteers.

I just wanted to do a quick weekend round up as I promised. Don't miss this weekend's Art festival offerings which will be geared towards theatre , dance, writing, and music.

First off, the Art Festival in the Town Center seems to get better and better. All the booths were good and filled with excited and knowledgeable artists ready to chat. Several of the booths stood out in my mind. I have to say again that Ben Strawn is my hero - basically selling out his booth, almost immediately. His work is fantastic, and his set up was lovely- I wish him nothing but more success and prosperity, his work is phenomenal.

Other booths that really caught my eye - Cindy Arsaga with her beautiful encaustic paintings - some pieces had such deep rich colors, her work gave me a sense that autumn is indeed coming. I am loving the colored circles that are now floating on the surface of her work, it is a pleasing design element. Speaking of encaustic work, James Kunzelmann's work was also great, and I overheard the artist telling people about the encaustic process as well, which is always helpful. People love information about the different art forms, and mediums. I am particularly fond of his gold fish paintings. I love how the fish fill the square in the middle of the piece and then are usually "framed" out by a lovely color. The texture is always nice in his pieces as well. Don House, is always a hometown favorite, the work he exhibited this year made with a 35mm range finder camera, and printed with the full frame negative seemed filled with a new energy and excitement. I really enjoyed his work. Don Nibert's pottery was glorious and the bases of found metal that he puts together are a beautiful way to present his work. Trent Tally's work is always incredible, and I hope he remains a staple of the festival. Haley Duke provided some freshness, funk, and kick to this year's festival. I think people really enjoyed her booth and the pure creative force she brings with her. Keith Miller was another kick to the festival with his large scale mysterious drawings, I am glad that he did well at the festival as well as winning an award for best 2 -D. I had to go back a couple of different times to the Art Festival to take it all in, and I think that is what is nice about offering the festival on two days, so you don't have to absorb it all in one day. I look forward to seeing next year's festival offerings...

The mill district offerings were a nice selection of whimsy, handmade goods, high art, and music and fun. It was getting hot by the time I made my way there, but I think the people who ventured out to see the artists were richly rewarded. Stand outs for me there were Doug Randall's beautiful paintings, and Tonya Tubbs magnet dolls. It was my first time to go into the Little Mountain Bindery/The New design studio and that was a treat- all the lovely papers on display and sale. I wish them all much success, as they do provide much needed supplies, and classes. Then it was on to the Art Experience where JoAnn Kaminsky's work was on display.
That was a nice respite, to sink down in a couch and just be calm and surrounded by all JoAnn's puppets, masks, and other art work. The Art Experience is a very comfortable place to be.
Then we moved on down the road to Hank Kaminsky's large studio, and talked with him about his new work, and his process. If you have never seen his studio or really talked with him about the process involved in his work, I highly recommend it. I appreciate his work in a whole new way now, and am amazed at his talent and dedication to his art.

I also enjoyed checking in with the DDP gallery, to see if the crowds were making their way to the gallery as well. We had some steady traffic on Saturday and not quite as much on Sunday, but we had many people to talk with about mine and Helen Phillips' work, so that was a thrill.
The exhibit will be up until Sept 29, so be sure not to miss it and tell your friends...

Saturday night was all about the third installment of Art Market. It was in the Parrish hall of the St. Paul's Church, the location was great, just a quick walk down the street from the DDP gallery/square and we were there. I wasn't sure how they would be able to turn the huge space into a gallery, but they did it. They had designed freestanding walls with lights on top that were beautifully constructed and added a nice architectural element to the space. All the artists had plenty of space to show their work, and no one got a bad spot, so that was impressive.
The selection of work was good, several works stood out to me, I loved Justin Bondi's aluminum sculpture, and they way it was presented was perfect. Matthew Lyman's alphabet series was a huge hit, with its smart design sense and color scheme. He paints the letters of the alphabet on the backs of old books and other common objects, with an illustration to go along with the letter.
Beth Post's paintings also stood out, as they were impeccably painted, with arms and legs of the subject hanging out of the frame while painted birds flew around causing distress for the subject.
Art Market seemed to be as successful as ever, I will be interested to see where the next show will be held and what talent will be called up for the next installment. It is a great idea, and I look forward to many more Art Market events.

So that does it. Again congratulations to everyone who participated, organized, volunteered, and sponsored these art events. It was a successful weekend. Here's to many more successful events, shows, galleries, and opportunities for artists. Imagine if we had events like this all the time...

See " Within Your Reach " pictured above, by Megan Chapman at the DDP gallery
located at 7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5 and by appointment,

"Intuition" Works by Megan Chapman and Helen Phillips
August 15- September 29 2007