Posts Tagged ‘indie’

Spring 2010 Collection at Gallery Project

Come on out to the opening on Friday if you can!  It should be a lot of fun!  Email or message me if you want a shirt to wear to the exhibition.  The info below is from Gallery Project’s website. Visit the site for hours and directions.  Hope to see you there!


Spring 2010 Collection

December 9 to January 11

Opening Reception: Friday, December 11, from 6-9pm.

Gallery Project presents the Spring 2010 Collection, a fashion exhibit showcasing artists as designers and social commentators. The annual fundraising exhibit opens at noon on Wednesday, December 9 and runs to 4pm on Sunday, January 11.  The reception is on Friday, December 11, from 6-9pm.

The 27 local, regional and national artists have created their own collection line or individual pieces specifically for the exhibition, and have made work that will be modeled on the catwalk show during the opening reception.  Artists explore the myriad influences and contexts of fashion, investigating issues such as identity and values, innovation and retrogression, trends and fads, materialism and consumption, high and low fashion, globalism and regionalism, thrift, reusing, recycling and reclaiming.

Artists and art collectives include basement6 (Jon Humphrey and Robin Coe), Jillian Brown, Betsy Brunner, Dorota Coy, Steve Coy, Bianca DePietro, Melissa Dettloff, Reed Esslinger, Jennifer Locke, Lana McKinnon, Modati (Bilal Ghalib, Sarms Jabra, Alexander Lee), Ryan Molloy, Barbara Neri, Amy Sacksteder, Gary Setzer, Bethany Shorb, Alexander Sobolev, Brooks Harris Stevens, Jim Stevens, Britten Stringwell, Jenn Stucker, Talking Squid (Taryn Boyd), Scott Tallenger and Andrew Thompson.

The exhibit is designed as a fun, interactive event.  Visitors are encouraged to come out in their finery to join the debutants, fashionistas, and designers.  A Catwalk Show starting at 7pm will highlight the opening reception.  Paparazzi will be flashing their cameras, with images available for purchase.  Visitors will be able to purchase Photo Passes so that they can photograph themselves, as they model garments and participate in interactive work.  Gallery goers are also invited to make DIY projects throughout the exhibition.

This exhibition is curated by artists Jennifer Locke, assistant professor of art at Eastern Michigan University, Steve Coy, art lecturer at The University of Michigan School of Art and Design, and Alexander Lee, a founding member of Modati, a local silk screening company.

Gallery Project is a fine art collaborative.  Its mission is to provide a venue for contemporary art that is culturally aware, individualistic, courageous, and thought provoking.  Gallery Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  It is located at 215 South Fourth Avenue in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Fall/Winter gallery hours: Tuesday through Thursday, noon-6; Friday and Saturday, noon-9; and Sunday, noon-4. The gallery is closed on Mondays.  For more information, please call 734-997-7012 or contact us through our website:

of late

I have a show coming up at Gallery Project in Ann Arbor curated by three other artists, one of whom is my good friend and colleague at EMU, Jennifer Locke.  The show is called The Spring 2010 Collection (aka Fashion Show), and thus all of the work is about issues surrounding fashion, from a more cynical look at consumer culture, to a positive look at DIY and preloved movements.  The work in my series The Beautiful Ones, falls somewhere in between these two areas.  In 2007, I made a painting that had t-shirts that people could purchase and wear–something affordable to take away from the gallery-going experience–which was akin to being able to purchase band merch at a rock show.  In short, my painting could have groupies.  The goal was to allow people to be in a sort of performative dialog with the work.  The painting is “about” this sort of indie hipster culture, and also propagates it as well.  So, I had originally conceived of making two paintings and up until recently, just had the one.  This show was the perfect opportunity to realize the other.  They are both based on small drawings I did in France in 2007.  Below are some images of the piece in progress.  Progress continues.




where I'm at now

Here are two images of the t-shirt designs (printed by VGKids), one or both of which will be sewn into the surface of the painting.  They are printed on American Apparel Classic Girl and Standard American styles in the color natural and made from organic cotton.  I have sizes ranging from small to XL in both unisex and women’s shirts.  If you’re interested in a shirt, just email me with your size, style, and design preference.  They cost $15, but there’s a free shirt for anyone who is willing to come to the opening sporting the shirt and who stays for at least a half hour.  Let me know (by commenting on this post) if you want to participate, so that I can get you a shirt before the show.  I have already hired a bunch of my students, so it should be a lot of fun!

design 1

design 2

Here’s the info for the show.

What: The 2010 Collection (Fashion Show)

Where:  Gallery Project, 215 South Fourth Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

When: Opening Friday December 11, 2009, 6-9 p.m. Show runs from Dec 9 – Jan 11.

Gallery hours are:

Fall/Winter hours:

Tue -Thu, noon-6

Fri -Saturday, noon-9

Sun, noon to 4


I have been noticing a lot of crystals, skulls and mirrors in art and design in the last few years.  It appears to be a “thing.”  I readily embrace this “thing” and have even busted out a skull or three in my recent work.  There’s a very The Dark Crystal / The Never Ending Story aesthetic to a lot of this work which can probably be explained by the fact that many of the artists embracing it are of the generation that likely grew up with those movies and other like films, books, programs (media in general)  ingrained into our consciousness.

While some incidents of crystalskullmirror I’m seeing are mediocre (one can apparently make abominably cliché work with mirrors, for example) I find myself gravitating toward a lot of this work.  If this post makes it seem like I am lumping artists using these motifs into the same aesthetic category, then please take a look at some of my favorite folks in this realm and judge for yourself.

I am a huge fan of the work of Will Yackulic.  He shows with two galleries I really like: Jeff Bailey in New York and Gregory Lind in San Francisco.  He uses ink and gouache (two media I like to work with) and, somehow, a typewriter to make these stunning two-dimensional otherworlds.

Bearings & Ballast, 2009, ink, gouache and typewriter on paper, 30 x 22.25

Bearings & Ballast, 2009, ink, gouache and typewriter on paper, 30" x 22.25"

Aspects & Allowances, 2008 ink, gouache, watercolor and typewriter on paper, 22 x 17.75 inches

Aspects & Allowances, 2008 ink, gouache, watercolor and typewriter on paper, 22 x 17.75 inches

Invocation 5th, 2008, gouache, watercolor and typewriter on paper, 10.625 x 8.5

Invocation 5th, 2008, gouache, watercolor and typewriter on paper, 10.625" x 8.5"

Then there’s the work of David Altmejd, whose work Mark and I first came across in the 2007 Venice Biennale, where he put together a fantastic, nay, phenomenal exhibition for the Canadian pavilion.  He uses mirrors A  LOT, but SO much better than anyone else out there using mirrors to do similar things.  They are just one aspect of the insane worlds he creates, which also include:  taxidermied birds,*  giants, genitals, both flora and fauna, fur, body parts, and YOU because there are so many mirrors in his work, that you inevitably become part of the work.  I could barely photograph it without getting myself in a shot.  Like this:

The Index, exhibition at the Canadian pavilion

The Index, exhibition at the Canadian pavilion

Note please that I am not a professional photographer and that there are way sweeter images of his work online.  See? But I thought it would be neat to post some photos I took while experiencing the exhibition.

The Index, exhibition at the Canadian pavilion

The Index, exhibition at the Canadian pavilion

a mirrored giant monster with Lee Press-On Nails (TM)

a mirrored giant monster with Lee Press-On Nails (TM)

We like him so much, in fact, that we just ordered two monographs on him.  One is the catalog for this exhibition, and the other is this lovely book:

For example of this crystal mirror phenomenon in contemporary media, someone caught indie pop lady Mirah fiddling with these mirror pyramids and put the photo in the liner notes of her latest album.


Skulls.  Lots of skulls.  When in Europe, whenever I saw a skull in contemporary art, I photographed it.  Here are the results of my self-assigned scavenger hunt:

skull in a gallery window in Venice (as a bonus, it even has a skull tree growing from it)

skull in a gallery window in Venice (as a bonus, it even has a skull tree growing from it)

butterfly skull in a gallery in Venice

butterfly skull in a gallery in Venice

glass skull on glass bones by Jan Fabre at the exhibition Glasstress in Venice

glass skull on glass bones by Jan Fabre at the exhibition Glasstress in Venice

ceramic vessel by Miquel Barceló, representing the Venice pavilion at the Biennale

ceramic vessel by Miquel Barceló, representing the Spanish pavilion at the Biennale

skull in a drawing by Jef Geys, representing the Belgian pavilion

skull in a drawing by Jef Geys, representing the Belgian pavilion

And now, my own contribution:

still life I composed out of a postcard and an eraser from the Pinault Collection gift shop

still life I composed out of a postcard and an eraser from the Pinault Collection gift shop

I am so enamored of people’s fascination with skulls (just go on The Selby and see how many skulls you can count in people’s homes alone), that I was making portraits of skulls in Budapest, remember? I’ll get back to those soon I think.

That reminds me, I need to get amakin’, as I am yet again a contributing artist to my friend Krista Peel‘s Calendar Project.  This time the theme is Art Museum, for which I have to create a mini model of a museum.  It can be ANYTHING I want it to be, can be made of any material, and, (blessedly) does not have to be in the least functional.  So, which will it be: Crystals, Skulls, or Mirrors?  I suppose we’ll see…

* Taxidermy is another “thing” in art right now altogether.  Perhaps I’ll tackle that stuffed, lifeless beast in a future post.


I was fortunate to guest blog about none other than… rings (of course!) on my friend Lauren’s blog Dear Golden.  She also has a top notch etsy shop by the same name through which she proffers vintage wares, and I am guilty of taking home a lot of the bounty.  I suppose I could have composed the same post for this blog, but I haven’t really written about fashion much here, and since her blog is geared toward it, specifically vintage fashion from all eras, we thought the guest blog would be a fun idea.

Lauren and I like a lot of the same kinds of vintage clothing, though her scope is much larger than mine.  Her tastes never fail to inspire me.

We have been thrifting buddies for awhile now.  I think the reason I like thifting so much is getting so much for so little.  Thifting allows one to find seemingly unique items, often in very good or excellent condition, for a low price.  I really like purchasing previously owned pieces that have a history, and in doing so, I am not encouraging the manufacture of new goods, or so I tell myself.  I know I am not alone in this practice (which, if you’re not careful can border on obsession).  And it’s not just clothing that I find in this way, but also house stuff.  We have a thoroughly thrifted house.  What isn’t thrifted is often from craigslist, garage sales, or antique stores.

Of course, buying from Dear Golden means that I am buying thrifted items, but it’s even better because I am getting hand-selected, often carefully mended clothing, about which Lauren knows the historical context.  And I’m supporting a friend too.  I model for her from time-to-time and am happy when she sends me home with “payment” in an especially cool skirt I modeled that day, or a pair of shoes.


Apparently a lot can happen in a 36-hour whirlwind trip to Toronto.  We left late Friday morning and returned to Ypsi by 11 p.m. the next night.  The occasion was our friend Simon’s visit to see us this weekend.  He had never been to Toronto and since it’s such a vegan-friendly place, we decided to go and eat everything in sight.  I was lax in my picture taking on Saturday, but I did snap some photos Friday night.

Mark enjoying an avocado mint smoothie at the Calico Cafe

Mark enjoying an avocado mint smoothie at the Calico Cafe

tags and flowers

tags and flowers

night spinning

night spinning

house crying a rainbow

house crying a rainbow

art in a storefront window

art in a storefront window

In 36 hours we hit up Calico Cafe where we et up beautiful appetizers, dinners, and even had a smoothie, Get Real Cafe for a fantastic vegan brunch of waffles, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, and a tofu scramble plate for champions, Buddha’s Vegetarian Food for GIANT portions of Hong Kong style veggie food that Mark will still be eating for lunches the next few weeks, and Fresh for take-away salads, a chocolate chunk cookie, a divine date bar and smoothies!  Oh the smoothies!  I had a Shamrock shake made out of mint, banana, rice milk, matcha tea, and agave nectar- oh man!

We rode bikes everywhere, which was very handy.  We stopped in an art supply shop, a couple of galleries and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA).  We consumed vinyl and wearable sundries at local Toronto shops: Soundscapes and Rotate This for records and cds and Preloved for reconstructed shorts, shirts and skirts. We also stopped into 69 Vintage, where for once I managed to keep from buying something.  I do have a stunner of a coat from there procured on a previous trip, however.

Not bad for 36 hours eh?

Shadow Art Fair Video

Shadow photo

This excellent fellow Mike Ambs condensed the entire 12-hours of Shadow Art Fair into a four minute video (for fun!) which really captures the day quite well.  Here’s the link to view it.

Indie in Ypsi: Shadow Art Fair (part 2: the people and the place!)

So, that last post would have gotten out of hand if I had included everything I want to write and show, so I decided to break it into two posts.  And now for part 2!  This year’s poster and t-shirt were designed  by the amazing and talented Melissa Dettloff (aka Mad Dog) who just happens to be my friend and studiomate.  The shirts and posters were printed by the ubiquitous VG Kids.

Mad Dog

She's clearly pleased her design was chosen.

Here’s a quick look around the fair: Shadow Art Fair in progress

head in the Corner

people shoppin

checkin out the wares

the mervelous Amelia and her new lavender-scented skunk friend

the mervelous Amelia and her new lavender-scented skunk friend

A couple of booths I’d like to feature:

Sarah Bradstreet, working it at the Broad Street booth

Sarah Bradstreet, working it at the Broad Street booth

the lovely Maria working the Swipple! booth

the lovely Maria working the Swipple! booth



Their booth debuted a sleek new design this year for maximum art viewing (and therefore purchasing).

And then there was the food!  This vegan was pleased as punch about Jennifer Albaum’s Chips and Cheeeze which rocked to a sold-out audience.  Thankfully, you can find the recipe over at her blog Scumpdilly.

Jennifer serving ups Chips and Cheeeze!  We had ours with lotso jalapenos...

Jennifer serving ups Chips and Cheeeze! We had ours with lotso jalapenos...

Mark Maynard was also signing people up for his Cycle Powered Cinema project.  Mark (my man) has volunteered to help out.  MM was posting to his blog live during  the SAF, which is pretty funny.  There’s even a bathroom video interview with Ryan Groendyk, one of the meisters in charge of the Shadow Brew which sadly got all drunk up before we made it back for our second visit for the day.  I hear it was pretty amazing and…”weird” (hey, that’s Ryan’s own description).

As twilight fell, Manhole rocked some Chuck E. Cheese-style limbo action outside under a glorious sky.

Manhole and beer drinkin


I hope you had fun!  (I know I did)

Indie in Ypsi: Shadow Art Fair (part 1: the loot!)

So like a carnival sweeping through town, the Shadow Art Fair descends on Ypsilanti, Michigan twice yearly.  The summer SAF in July always has an especially festive air, as there are longer daylight hours (as opposed to the December SAF) in which to enjoy it and the opportunity to spill into the Corner Brewery‘s outdoor beer garden after supporting local and regional craftsters, artists, and creative peoples.  So, of course “supporting” means buying up a bunch of stuff, and if one is going to “go consumer”, the SAF is the place to do it.  I go a little bit nuts each time I go, buying gifts for others, but mostly for our home…and for me.  I deserve it, right?  So, this post is about the spoils I plundered this time around and is an opportunity to give a shout-out to those artists who caught my eye long enough to catch me digging into my wallet.  Props to Mark for picking out cool stuff with me and being patient with my spendy self.Shadow SpoilsFrom left to right, the ceramic pieces of Christina DeAngleo are so lovely we bought four exquisite little shot glasses and one stein with a bug drawn onto it.  Never underestimate the importance of a large mug for holding lotsa steaming hot droughts come  the cold Michigan winter.  The earrings are handmade by the b-line, a jewelry designer who uses mostly polymer clay, but I snapped up these beaded little brassy bluebells.  The t-shirt is by Great Lakes Shirts.  Mark got one last year and this year, it was my turn.  Now I can pay tribute to the more watery parts of these northern mid-western states of ours.  The painting is by Jason Wright.  Mark and I have wanted one of his pieces for a long time now, and finally have brought one home.  Jason runs Swipple!, an online and often actual art exhibition space where he features artists from all over, but especially regional artists and sometimes outsider artists.  Jason also works closely with Michigan prisons.  He works to get the inmates’ artwork seen and has curated several successful exhibitions of prison art.

Whenever we bring home new stuff, the cats get into investigatory mode.  Ramona wanted to be sure that I feature a close-up of some of the stuffz:P1020198

P1020210Wobbly Bob doesn’t care about the stuff, he just likes the paper it’s wrapped in.  He favors hunkering down in a little nest of it.

After speaking to a bunch of people at our vegan brunch yesterday (more on that later), it was agreed that a highlight of the fair was the booth of Broad Street: “jewelry for the eco-fabulous.”  And man is it ever!  I bought an amazing chainmail neckercheif creation off the neck of some poor girl who was trying it on, but karmicly, another girl snatched a necklace out from under me a little later, so the universe is working as it should.  If you ever see Sarah Bradstreet selling her wares, be sure to snap up what you want early on, because it gets gone!  Here’s a photo of me modeling the first item I bought:P1020172

Two more sellers deserve some props.  Sally England of SED (Sally England Design) had a really eclectic booth with faux bois printed plush logs, felt Michael Jackson portraits and these amazing golden t-rexes, one of which had to come home and join the menagerie in the kitchen window box:

P1020298The other artist is is Lori Brown, who as Morninglori, makes up wonderful stories about imaginary beings and makes them come to life in her sculpted and plush creations.  We bought some as gifts, so I can only show the tippity tip of an ear so’s not to blow any surprises, but if you visit her etsy site, you’ll get the idea.

Morninglori!Now that we’ve indulged me by reveling in my post consumer bliss, next up: the people and place of the Shadow Art Fair.  I haven’t even mentioned the Chips and Cheeeze yet!