Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Hatchfund

In the past couple years I have been privileged to get the opportunity to do large-scale public work with organizations in Omaha--and have had it be the best work I can think of to do. Its a rare opportunity that I do not take lightly. These have each evolved organically out of conversations where I find an aspect of the work of the organization touches a social justice nerve of mine and dovetails into the strength of the narrative work which I produce. This year is a big one for me--I have 3 projects happening with 3 different organizations (Habitat for Humanity, Justice For Our Neighbors and InCommon Community Development) all of which I feel passionately about. However, passionate Nonprofits are working as hard as they can already, stretching every dollar to make the impact of 2 or 3. Grantwriting assistance, donor cultivation and fundraising are now coming out of my studio as well. Which brings me to the project that I am currently working hard on. All That Ever Was, Always Is. I really am happy about where this project is going. Anyone who actually knows me probably has an idea how seldom I say that. Just over a year ago, I made paintings to go in all the windows of a house in North Omaha and my assistant, Peter Cales, made some benches out of material we took from the house. What people then got out of that house installation, located in North Omaha, astounded me. Neighbors who had thought it was a crack house or a den of prostitution, were moved by this surprising thing of beauty and upset that the house was to be demolished. People from all over the city came to a part of town they had been scared to travel into, and found that it sparked their imagination. Artists I deeply respect said moving things to me about the significance of what had been done. Habitat for Humanity-Omaha then gave me two homes, slated for demolition. Neighbors at 16th/Emmet. Having spent 6 months working on the first house and still hoping to sell a single painting from it, I am turning to crowdsourcing to fund the painting, construction, installation and Public engagement for it. I went live with a campaign through HATCHFUND, a crowd-sourcing platform that, like me, lives in Omaha.
Please, take a look. Donate.

 http://www.hatchfund.org/project/all_that_ever_was_always_is

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Revolve

About a year and a half ago a good friend of min, Stuart Chittenden, told me I should go out to lunch with someone that I had never met. Specifically, it was a young woman who was in the midst of doing something very interesting. Quickly, I found myself eating sushi with Jennifer Barry. Jennifer, it soon became clear, was in a period of transition. She had been an attorney, had recently had a baby and was wanting something more out of her work life. As part of figuring out what that was, she was going to have lunch with scores of people she didn't know and interview them about what they found meaningful. Suddenly, I was impressed and flattered. Now, a year and a half later Jennifer is 6 months after her launch of the result of all those lunches. Revolve, a art-leasing company advocating for the work of living artists, serving both a social mission of support for the local arts community and commercial viability. In a few months, I have already seen exposure that the past 8 years of the galleries in Omaha have not provided. Jennifer is smart, motivated and extremely hard working. Just last week, Revolve took up residence in the growing Alley-Poyner stable of associated creative businesses in the Tip Top Building. Which means that this sits outside Craig Moody's cubicle.
I'm really looking forward to more of this. for more info: http://www.revolvearts.com/Artist-Detail.cfm?ArtistsID=589&sr=1&ppage=6

Saturday, 25 January 2014

the behemoth

I have lived downtown for about 3 weeks now. This was a move that was a big deal. I was starting over in a new place, a place I would live in by myself primarily, living half with my kids here. It is a beautiful place, very close to my studio, to the places I craved to eat at more than any over the past year. Making this place a home has been super important. And I find that when things are important, I often lean on Peter Cales. To make this place a home, everything has to fit perfectly, which often means making just the thing I need.

First, it was dealing with my kids' rooms, which were a little small. Solution? Build loft beds with desks and bookcases underneath to make cozy and functional spaces that are all for them.

Now, it is building a behemoth of a dining table. I am a glutton. I love to eat. I love to entertain. I love me a dinner party. It has been at least a year and a half since I've really had one. I can't wait to. Peter salvaged a bowling alley lane last Summer. In the past couple weeks, he and I (lets be real, mostly he) have been cutting, sanding and designing a simple, elegant table made of the beautiful maple and Pine flooring. 2 inches thick and 7 feet long. Secured with plate steel.

I'm rounding up some friends to help move that. Its heavy. There are stairs.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Hells Angels Block Party

For the past couple months I have been working on the latest installment of "all that ever was, Always is", a collaboration I am doing with Habitat for Humanity. I have been collecting stories from people in the neighborhood, people I saw while taking doors and wood out of the houses at 1468 and 1470 Emmet in North Omaha. As I have about 60 windows to compose and paint, I was thrilled to get some good ideas out of people who were interested in what I was up to--namely a neighborhood block party hosted by a local chapter of the hells angels.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Chicago Project






Over the past few weeks I put up an exhibition of the work I have been doing over the past couple years at Bridgeport's Co-Prosperity Sphere. It was a big space and I put up a lot of work. I got great feedback and have left feeling pretty good about the show and those folks who made the trek to see it. Some of the work will now travel to the Hyde Park Art Center and the Southside Hub of Production.

Friday, 27 January 2012