The Eve Of...

The Eve Of…: Studio-based Exhibitions

The studio as a gallery of one’s own.

The Eve Of… will be an open studio exhibition. What does that mean? A studio turned gallery? A pop-up gallery in a pop-up studio? Is it DIY or DIM (do it myself)? The exhibition is “artist-run,” in perhaps the most literal sense.

In any case, I think of self-organization as a method of actualizing my agency as an artist. I’m enamored with the idea that artists can stage exhibitions on our own terms.

In my small way, I’m proud to carry on a tradition of artists not waiting to be picked in order to share work with the public. Some examples:

Claes Oldenberg, The Store (1961, Lower Manhattan): a self-initiated installation in a studio open to the public // Source: museumofmuseum.com

Claes Oldenberg, The Store (1961, Lower Manhattan): a self-initiated installation in a studio open to the public // Source: museumofmuseum.com

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Minus Objects (1965-66, Turin): studio-based public exhibition (including some of my favorite artworks by MP) // Source: pistoletto.it // Photo: P. Bressano.

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Minus Objects (1965-66, Turin): studio-based public exhibition (including some of my favorite artworks by MP) // Source: pistoletto.it // Photo: P. Bressano.

I’d love to learn more, if you know of others.

To reiterate: what artists make—artworks—gets amplified through what artists make happen— exhibitions, events, dialogues.

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The Eve Of...

The Eve Of… Mid-August Residency Update

Self-initiating a residency is a risky proposition.

It’s taken me longer than I planned, but today I finally started moving into a larger studio for The Eve Of…. I brought over tools and a haul of lumber, and built five frames for light boxes. It was gratifying to anoint a long-awaited space with fresh sawdust.

Stack of frames and chop saw

I’m relieved to end my search. As I previously alluded, this project’s process entails a lot of uncertainty, and the biggest challenge has been finding a space. There just hasn’t been many art studio vacancies (thanks to Queens’ rising popularity). Further, few vacancies met the needs of this project—sublets were versatile enough, and larger spaces required longer terms.

Luckily, Paul Kelterborn and the Falchi Building/Jamestown want to support local arts, and have provided a temporary pop-up space at below-market rate for this project. I am so thankful to them for helping to make The Eve Of… possible.

If you associate my work with positive emotions exclusively, you might be surprised to learn that The Eve Of… delves into emotional states that aren’t upbeat. This change in direction is new, scary, and interesting for me.

I am intrigued to see that psychologist Todd Kashdan’s forthcoming book, The Upside of Your Dark Side, explores the utility of negative emotions like anger, anxiety, and sadness:

“With an appreciation of our entire psychological toolkit, we become whole—which allows us to climb the highest peaks and handle the deepest valleys.”

In The Eve Of…, I’m exploring how we experience these ‘deep valleys’ as internal, nebulous, and de-centered spaces.

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Art Competition Odds

Art Competition Odds: Climate March Design Contest

Avaaz.org received over 400 applicants’ submissions for its Climate March Design Contest. They announced two winning submissions and 18 finalists.

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Winning artists and finalists comprise about 1:20, or 5% of applicants.

Winning artists comprise about 1:200, or 0.5% of applicants.

See all Art Competition Odds.

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Art Competition Odds

Art Competition Odds: 2014 Art Moves Billboard Art Festival

The 2014 Art Moves Billboard Art Festival received 566 applications for ten exhibition spots, and one cash prize.

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Selected artists comprise about 1:56, or 1.7% of applicants.

The cash prize winner comprised 1:566, or 0.17% of applicants.

See all Art Competition Odds.

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Community

Congrats Art Moves Festival Artists

Galeria Rusz has announced this year’s artists to be included in the Art Moves Billboard Competition in Poland. Congrats to all the artists!

Special congrats to Justin A. Langlois, who also contributed to Make Things (Happen) (Check out his five provocations). (Full disclosure: I was on the jury for Art Moves. Note that the jurying was blind—I had no inkling who the artists were.)

P.S. Last month, I mouthed off about how the People’s Climate March Design Competition asked for free speculative work for their marketing campaign, and I linked to NO SPEC! Then I agreed to jury Art Moves. Why would I object to one and support another? Both call for print-ready images for reproduction in advertising spaces, and offer slim chances of remuneration. I tried to write a compare-and-contrast, but it’s probably rationalization: I’m just biased against advertising and for small artist-run organizations. That’s my nineties values for you. So NO SPEC! if you want, and decide what art competitions are right for you. (Not sure where to start? Try here.)

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The Eve Of...

The Eve Of… Residency: Preparations for a Sculpture

My palette: transparent colored vinyl. For better or worse it's only available in super bright, often fluorescent, colors.

Cut pieces for a prototype/materials test. My palette is determined by transparent colored vinyl. For better or worse, it’s mostly available in super bright (often fluorescent) colors.

Cut list for a sculpture project. It won't be as heinous as it looks (I hope).

The test worked great so I drafted a cut list for the full scale project. Working with vinyl is a lot like making a sewing pattern, and sewing is a lot like woodwork. You come up with plans and dimensions, then adjust for overlaps.

The sculpture has multiple parts, and is made by layering three different patterns 30 times, so the number of pieces needed to be cut was a lot. Excel and good old tallying came to the rescue.

The sculpture has multiple parts, and is made by layering four different patterns 30 times, so there’s a lot of pieces to be cut. I got them sorted with a spreadsheet and good old tallying.

Whew! After a day of cutting, over 500 pieces are ready for assembly. I'm feeling like I'm nearing the limits on the lifespan of my cutting mats and straight-edge ruler.

Whew! After a day of cutting, over 500 pieces are ready for assembly. My cutting mats and straight-edge ruler are a bit further along on their lifespans after today.

Early exhibition design.

A tentative exhibition design with sculptures represented in vinyl scraps. Even with digital tools, there’s nothing like moving scaled cutouts around a floor plan. (I learned how from my dad, when I was around seven. We were about to move houses, and he had drawn floorplans in ballpoint pen on graph paper, indicating closets with a charming coat hanger icon. We cut out tiny rectangles to stand for pieces of furniture, and tested out arrangements.)

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The Eve Of... Christine Wong Yap, September 2014, Queens, NY.

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