As part of my time with #bossbabesATX this April, I recently had the best cpnversation with their board member, Leslie Lozano, to talk about my practice and imagined purpose the last several months as I continue to navigate the world as a self-employed artist. It has been a challenge, but knowing that I have the support of an incredible community of creative women entrepreneurs has been invaluable. I treasure conversations like the one here and I hope other young artists feel encouraged to take a chance on themselves, too.
I have been a longtime fan of the badass women that operate #bossbabesATX and this month I was choses as their featured artist! #bossbabesATX is a nonprofit event production agency and collective. They produce meets, workshops, festivals and other pop-up events for self-identifying women in creative industry and the arts and I have had the pleasure of working with them before with the Chulita VInyl Club, but working with them on craftHER has been something else!
Apart from getting the opportunity to have long conversations with their team about my practice, I will also be presenting work at their upcoming craftHER Market. This annual market is a space for self-identified women to sell, showcase and share their wares, makes and goods. On April 2, 2017, they'll feature more than 90+ booths at Austin's Fair Market, produce panels covering different topics relevant to the maker community and showcase resources in the Austin community (art collectives, other art markets, etc.)
IT'S FREE + OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
WHEN: APRIL 2, 2017
11 AM TO 5 PM
I'll be doing a live Q&A with their crew at 3pm, but check out the full scoop on the #bossbabes website and while you are there take a peek at their amazingly prolific calendar of events, these women are non-stop hustle!
It is a rare treat that I get to exhibit my work in my home town of Austin and I was honored to show a few of my recently created monoprints alongide a site specific wall work at MASS Gallery as part of their spring exhibit, Extended Technique.
Long associated with improvisation and experimental modes of expression, the musical term “extended technique” refers to a variety of unorthodox approaches to playing a musical instrument. These methods elicit unfamiliar sounds and blur the distinctions between instruments.
In this three person show, the diverse methodologies of each of the artists challenge and expand the boundaries of their own mediums. Though all aesthically varied in our approach, we all three work with a musician’s spirit of free play and improvisation. It was incredibly rewarding to work alongide the curators to better understand my own association with the musical world beyond just the affection for my favorite song's lyrical qualities. Through my discussion with them I was able to more fully recognize the breadth of my extension of the painting medium and its similarities to the creative process of sonic composition and improv.
As with each group show, I am now totally smitten with new artists and the work of David X. Levine and Kaz Oshiro is pretty incredible. Can you believe the works of Levine are all done with colored pencil?!
David X Levine, Tin Can Painting, 2011, Color pencil, collage, and graphite on paper
Kaz Oshiro, Untitled Still Life, 2013, Acrylic on canvas. Photo by Joshua White JW Pictures, courtesy of Honor Fraser Gallery.
Another marriage of music and making came with the gallery's Close Encounters series. The program series encourages participating artists to devise a program designed to provide new methods of engaging the public’s curiosity and invites them to participate intellectually or physically with the exhibition space, as well as the artist’s work and concepts. For our edition, David X. Levine and I decided to expand upon our shared affection for the songs that fill our everyday to create a playlist for sharing with MASS's audience. The result was two stellar mixtapes you can hear below! All in all the show has been a breath of fresh air in my busy schedule and a welcome opportunity to play. If you are in the Austin area, the show is up now through June 4. Come visit!
Every year creatives, musicians, tech jockeys, and general all around weirdos descend on my home town of Austin, TX for a little thing called SXSW. This year I strategically scheduled an artist residency (more on that later) during this jam-packed week, but boy was I so happy to have the venerable Leigh Patterson reach out about an opportunity to interview in a special Austin focused edition of UO Studio Visit for Urban Outfitters. Recent clients and collaborations for Patterson include: synonym journal, sight unseen, alldayeveryday, remodelista and her interview questions were thoughtful, considerate and really gave me pause for self reflection.
To take a peek at just the most luminous photos of my studio taken by Austin-based photographer Katie Jameson, plus learn a little more about what I've been inspired by and what projects lay ahead follow the link here. Thank you, Leigh + Katie!
This past Friday I had the distinct pleasure of taking over the @UpriseArtNYC Instagram, inundating their fine followers with pictures from a day in the life of me! It was super great to get to share my process through pictures and just in case you don't follow @UpriseArtNYC (and you should!), I am posting them up here for you to take a peek at. This winter will have be hunkered down close to my studio's space heater while I prepare for a show this coming January and adding new inventory to both Uprise and LEIF. Enjoy these pics and stay warm wherever you are!
I am over-the-moon excited to share my little corner of the world with you and to give you a peek into my studio practice here in the heart of Texas. This is where the magic happens! I’ve been in this little garage space for the past 9 years and its secluded location along a tree-lined street in East Austin suits my process perfectly.
Taking a quick spin around the place, you’ll notice my surplus of old books and magazines stacked and stored in every nook. These forgotten anthologies are usually scooped up at thrift stores and estate sales, but one or two are gifts from my sweet friends who can easily bet that I will use the heck out of them, giving their out of date pages new life through my collaged paintings.
As I snip photographic surfaces and over-saturated illustrations found inside their pages, I can’t help but clip out the silly little images that make me laugh along the way. This one was taken out of a 1967 Time Life book titled TIME and describes a very serious study on snails and magnetism.
Focusing on painting during my time as a student, I’ve always been drawn to the viscosity and material nature of paint. Pushing the pigment around and watching it react to the pressure of my hand or the texture of a certain kind of paper, never ceases to amaze me. It’s a ritual I gladly perform and include in each of my artworks.
Sandwiched between swaths of paint and found images, you’ll find pieces of brightly colored paper sourced from different corners of the world. Over the last 10 years, I’ve voraciously collected sheets and samples of all kinds, attracted mostly to those in unusual colors, ones with rough and irregular surfaces and have recently begun to start my own collection of hand-dyed papers from traditions I learned during my Arquetopia residency last year in Oaxaca.Looking over maps of memory is a current favorite of mine that I created especially for Uprise’s inventory at the most recent Affordable Art Fair NYC. For me, the repeated act of layering is a meditation on shape and form. What spurs me to keep repeating these assemblages of material are that each construction is a puzzle where color, form and texture are constantly in rotation with different results. I am particularly satisfied with how the sharp cuts of pink and nude paper transition to the more gestural application of acid green paint.
Inspiration for color and shape come from having wide-open eyes as I move throughout my daily routine. I’m can honestly say I am equally fascinated by the organic contour lines of my own hand, as I am by the bright and gleaming colors of this painted mural I pass everyday on the way to work. You never know where the vision for the next composition is going to come from! Speaking of work, most of the time the creative balance between studio time and office feels very natural and rhythmic. Making artwork, creating programming at the University of Texas’s Visual Arts Center or collaborating with my peers in our collectively run art space MASS Gallery are very similar practices. I absolutely love being a leader in the visual arts and my experience as an arts administrator gives me access to the back end of making creative projects happen through imaginative problem solving. Plus, with these guys at MASS it’s hard to not have a good time!
Being exposed to so many artists regularly, I find it impossible to not want to support them in other ways and have a burgeoning collection of paintings and objects from makers that grows each year. Here is a sweet painting by my friend Sam Sanford, a little stone and wood totem by Chantal Wnuk, a bright neon Chiaozza sculpture I picked up on my recent trip to NYC, and a lovely clay figurine by Irma García Blanco from my travels to Sta. Maria Atzompa. Collecting art is not only a joy for me, but knowing that I help sustain an artist’s practice makes it so much more awesome.
Well, there you have it! A little window into my life in Austin, TX! Thank you for all your enthusiasm and kind words, I am so happy to be a part of the Uprise Art family and look forward to all the ways I will grow with their support and encouragement. If you are ever in the Lone Star State, please come say hi! Huge THANK YOU to the incredibly talented Courtney Chavanell for her photo assist on some of these, a real gem that girl!
Nestled sweetly amongst my FRIENDSHIPS page, you will find loads of artists and partners in crime that I have had the pleasure of knowing, working with and sharing a laugh or two with...or three or four, or perhaps even almost stopped breathing because I was laughing so hard.
One such favorite of mine is Ariel Evans, a PhD Candidate in Art History at The University of Texas and editor of Pastelegram magazine based out of Austin, TX. Though started in central Texas, the online and print publication is concerned with issues globally and historically through the exploration of archives and the artistic process—all while having a killer sense of humor. If you thought Art Historians were no fun, let the team behind Pastelegram prove you wrong. Below you'll find a few of my best-loved projects, but I highly urge you to exhaust their cleverly built website for all kinds of treasures!
Pastelegram’s title comes from a list of possible car names by the poet Marianne Moore. The auto that Ford later christened the “Edsel” might have been called “Bullet Cloisoné,” “Varsity Stroke,” “Utopian Turtletop,” “Thunder Crester” or “ Pastelegram” (among other possibilities). As the name for an art magazine, it intentionally withholds meaning: there is a story but it is one that you must find in the archive of someone else.
Essentially, Pastelegram is a method for examining contemporary visual work, a method that involves looking at the varied sources that affected the work’s ultimate creation. It is reading around a work by looking at its archive rather than reading an authority’s interpretation about the work.
We publish a print annual and an array of internet projects. Through our experimental and innovative format, we encourage serious engagements with living artists and art writers from diverse audiences. Pastelegram’s focus is artists’ archives, which we explore through commissioning new works from living art workers (for either print or online publication) as well as maintaining several online collections of artistic working materials, such as sketches, architectural renderings and book collections.
ONLINE ISSUE 6
This is a partial record of the closet in Chuck Ramirez’ home office in San Antonio, Texas, which also functioned as a studio until his untimely death in 2010. In it, the artist stored artwork, keepsakes and snapshots dating back to his high school years. Ramirez’ home is now a living archive, and the site of the Casa Chuck Arts Residency, an international invitational program for curators and writers.The images in this group are unedited, downloaded directly from my phone, and selected from an archive of over 3000 such photographs taken during the course of slightly over two years.
Pretty little spread in Austin, TX publication, Tribeza, matching my contribution to the annual fundraiser at The Contemporary Austin with a bright and buttery outfit to die for. If you are in Austin tonight, come and add to your art collection with about a zillion sweet 5 x 7 inch works to choose from. All available for the incredibly affordable price of $150. A fun excuse to put on that volcanic ensemble and shmooze!
It was only a matter of time before the sweetheart behind Austin's Paper Party and I would partner up!
Paper Party offers a delightful collection of stationery, supplies for the best party ever, gifts and ART, all lovingly selected with an eye for color and pop. Paper Party was started by Glade Hensel, the cardmaker and blogger behind Glademade and opened as a pop-up shop inside Domy Books Austin, TX in September of 2012, and February through July 2013 was a part of the Rosewood Collective. Paper Party is currently online only with a small selection of goodies at Busy Being this month.
Glade Hensel surrounded by paper hearts! image via
Thrilled to partner with Glade, I hit the studio and created all new work finally busting out the beautiful hand dyed paper I made in Oaxaca. They are all little lovely gems and I hope they make their way to someone nice (even it's just you!) this holiday season. BONUS since Paper Party is mostly online, they are having a special CYBER MONDAY sale where everything is 10% off, including my works. Just use the code MONDAY and get yourself a sweet steal!
Finally, my day has come to partner with the wonderful ladies from the Austin-based company, GirlsGuild. Started in 2012 after the founders Cheyenne Weaver and Diana Griffin met as students, Girls Guild began as a service that offers apprenticeships for girls, by girls. They connect girls and women with artists and makers to build a supportive, collaborative community and after having multiple friends partner with them, I was honored when they approached me this summer.
GirlsGuild defines apprenticeship as more hands-on than a “mentorship”, and more supportive than an “internship”. In an apprenticeship, a maker works one-on-one with a girl interested in learning the skills of her art. It's about getting real world experience of a maker's work and lifestyle, and building some serious skills in a particular area of making.
Having had my share of mentors and interns, I have always been interested in the alternate realm of education through the hands-on ability of trail and error. Over coffee and messy breakfast tacos, Cheyenne, Diana and I talked for hours about what an apprenticeship would look like for me and we decided to try and roll the collectively run art space I am a member of into the mix. Thankfully the team at MASS loved the idea and BAM! we put together a wish list for a dream apprentice to help MASS develop some ambitious plans! Since going live a few days ago, we have a small group of girls interested and I am excited to begin the interview process. Starting January 2014 and going through April, I will check back in on how its going, however I can honestly say that the past work that GirlsGuild has done is amazing and I can't wait to report our story as it unfolds.
Photo by Adrienne Breaux
I just had a delightful studio visit with one of my favorite Austin photographers, Elizabeth Chiles. We discussed many things from Lavender Vanilla donuts to why not going to art openings won't kill you but forcing yourself to go to one just might. It was a wonderful Sunday morning and ended in a terrific artwork exchange where we both walked away with a new piece to add to our collection. It also reminded me of how important having conversations in your studio can be. It is a space not unlike your living room, intimate and snug, and the topic surely starts out about artwork and studio practice, but can equally end up being about any number of things. Sometimes the pressure to perform as an artist can stifle honest and easy dialogue, but I can say for now I have been very lucky to have eager and curious visitors open to answers like "I'm actually not quite sure why I did that." For instance, over the summer I visited with Adrienne Breaux from CultureMap Austin and we had a great interaction diving into the history of why I began making art and what kind of artwork I am interested in making now. It was a great article and even months later, I am struck by how spot on some of her observations were. After this weekend's visit I believe I am hooked and now want to host impromptu tea parties at my studio just to see what kind of tête-à-tête I can experience!
It is no surprise that my love for music bleeds into my day job. Last summer I created an auditory adventure for the University of Texas at Austin's Visual Arts Center called VAC Boombox. Created as a fun way for our visitors to learn about our creative collaborators during the months of hiatus, the VAC releases a new mix of Summer jams every Monday till we reopen in the Fall. This one is from the Austin-based sound and new media collective The Church of the Friendly Ghost and is especially apropos for today's celebration of Andy Warhol. Such a treat!
Couldn't-be-sweeter Chelsea Fullerton of Go Forth Creative was featured in the first ever issue of Bungalow magazine and she is looking good! I first met Chelsea when she popped over to my studio to pick out artwork for her soon-to-be home, but I had been a longtime fan of her design work as Go Forth Creative and the collaborative work she does with a group of artists and creative thinkers called The Ruby. I was incredibly flattered to have her interested in my work and especially tickled to see within the glossy pages of Bungalow the small work she picked out gracefully placed amongst her fantastic collection of books and vintage cameras. The feature is fantastic and I am excited to see more from Bungalow's perspective on "Texas urban living"!
Believe it or not, I am going to try my hand at doing performative work with MASS Gallery for its upcoming exhibition, Public Access.
MASS Gallery is pleased to present Public Access, an installation and performance exhibition that will re-imagine the white-walled gallery as an anonymous public access television studio. A site-specific installation built in the gallery will include such archetypal public access spaces as: a kitchen/cooking set, a living room set, a talk show set, and a green screen, as well as a technical control room with video and audio equipment running previously captured footage. The transformation of the gallery into a complex of television film sets will occur through the coordinated effort of a number of installation artist teams. Using canvas backdrops, digital scenery, cardboard, found furniture, and artist-created objects, the spaces in the gallery will exist somewhere between sculpture, drawing and plausible sets.
My contribution will be a cooking show with my dog, Azalea, and I have been having a great time building a cardboard set for me and my pup to inhabit for the program. The inspiration for the show came from this wacky YouTube gem, Cooking with Dog. Take a peek it's pretty silly. I film this weekend, so wish us luck!
I just went to the launch party of an old friend Jessica Blake's jewelry line, Polaris at the ever wondorous shop Parts & Labour. Her and her sweetheart, William, run Son of a Sailor and their nimble fingers make delicate and poppy necklaces, earrings and bracelets. I must say I am smitten and the only trouble now is deciding which one!