-Finally putting a post about this up (only a month later...sorry y'all)! The Try Me Gallery houses the private art collection of Pam and Bill Royall, and was named for the former inhabitant of the gallery building, the Try-Me Bottling Company. Pieces ranged from standard paintings to glass sculptures to whole-room installations designed like an office.
My favorite two pieces were the Kehinde Wiley piece pictured above and a piece that had combs on the wall with bristles gradually disappearing from the combs the further down the wall they got (since I didn't remember the artist's name and I literally combed - no pun intended - the gallery website for the piece with no success, it's not pictured). I absolutely love Kehinde Wiley's work; I love his style and his pieces always fill me with such awe. The comb piece, while not something I have ever tried, was really intriguing because I had never seen anything like it before. While I am not planning on using combs in my art anytime soon, it did inspire an installation that will be featured with my senior show - process posts for that will come in next week at the earliest.
Well, here it is (partly): my final project of the year! (My final art project of high school, actually - I keep having moments like this all the time now and the impact hasn't diminished yet!) The plan so far is to have the flowers go from yellow to white to purple, to represent my transition from childish innocence to a more complete version of myself. The progression of the flowers themselves (from left to right) will match this transition; the flower meanings represent my emotional journey of overcoming hardship to find peace with moving past the whole situation. As such, the painting will be called FREE. I can't wait to finish it and have it go up at the senior show at the end of the month!
I could not find his actual website but this interview is very detailed and includes an informal CV
It's (almost) finished! (The only thing I have left to do is fill in the words on the blue patch with yellow so they're actually visible.) I seem to have started an unfortunate trend in which I have to go back and fix things in literally every piece I make, but for now it's on display as it is. The piece came out of wanting to use colors and words to describe my chaotic emotional state (I promise Q4 Project #1 will be the last piece I post about on here about my February). I wrote a free-verse poem and carved it into various layers of paint. The full poem is here since some of the words are covered up in the painting:
I yearn for the days when life made sense
But hear me, Petrichor
No more rain shall fall for you
Because I still have sense
And I still love myself
I chose black, red, yellow, green, and blue paint because I figured those colors were bold enough to stand out from each other. What ended up happening was that the green barely stood out from the black, but the yellow was much bolder than I realized it would be, so because of the way I carved the words, they were visible on all the colors except for blue. I need to go back and put yellow paint over the words in the blue to balance out the unexpectedly bold yellow, but otherwise all is well. It will either be called Petrichor (the name I used for the person for which the painting was made - seriously, I feel a little like I'm in middle school and calling my crushes stupid code nicknames all over again every time I think about that) or Pebrero (if Google is to be believed, the Tagalog word for February), but I still have to decide. (Or I could just do both.) My Q4 project will follow the series SHAME and ENOUGH started, rather than this theme, but I would not be opposed to doing something like this again in the future.
Last week, we watched a Lunchtime Lecture (my last one...wow that's actually really sad) given by John Freyer. His main motivation behind his art is getting to interact with an audience, and his current project, 50/50, is inspired by his experience as someone who recovered from substance abuse. The sub-projects of 50/50, including Free Hot Coffee, Free Ice Water, and Free Hot Supper, all invite people (specifically young people recovering from substance abuse) to have conversations with each other while enjoying a cup of hot coffee or ice water, a hot meal, etc. He works especially with collegiate recovery programs in order to further his goal of helping formerly addicted young people through their recovery.
I found the lecture very engaging, especially when he passed the coffee grinders around and we all got to turn the handle a few times. (This is technically off-topic, but: I normally hate both the taste and smell of coffee no matter what amount of cream and sugar goes into it, but the coffee we got to grind up, which was a special mixture he created with the opinions of people who participated in his art projects, smelled great.) I loved hearing about how he was so driven to help communities all over the place, and how much he was motivated by interacting with people. Compared to his, my work is very individualized (I like making my work by myself, even if it can be applied to others, and I really don't have the energy to interact with people all the time like he does), but I love the depths to which it (and he) goes to help people. I would love to do that - help people - with my own work, but I wouldn't even know where to start except by actually interacting with lots of people (what a fun paradox that is).
On the 20th (of last month...yikes this is late), we heard from Sasha Waters Freyer, who makes short films and documentaries. After getting a BFA in photography and an MFA in documentaries in film, she joined the faculty of the University of Iowa to teach filmmaking. She has collaborated with other filmmakers for her documentaries, but her short films are done more personally. While she is a slow filmmaker and editor (by her own measurements), she allows herself to be very experimental with her shorter films.
Even though I have never had a desire to go into filmmaking, I thought her talk was fairly interesting. I was especially interested in the financial aspect - if she is as slow a filmmaker and editor as she says she is, and the stipends she gets are wildly varied, how does she make any money from making films? Or, more to the point, how would one support oneself by making films this way? I suppose that point really isn't what the lecture was about, but the question still exists in my mind. I did like that she told us the use of majoring in art, as I had never really considered the skills you learn from being an art major - greater independence and working both solo and with other people (that last one especially is one I could use more skill with myself). Again, I have no plans to major in art, but this information is still useful to know. In my own work, while I don't plan to incorporate film into my paintings anytime soon, I ought to allow myself more room to experiment the way she does.
No pictures (they all got deleted for some reason), but two months ago we went to the Visual Arts Center to see what I considered to be a fairly unique exhibition. It was put on by three women - Emmy Bright, Jessica Heikes, and Leigh Suggs - who, although they all lived apart, were close friends, and had joined forces to showcase their art in a shared space. I loved that they shared such a connection, and I think this would be a nice thing to do someday (although I don't think that will actually happen).
In terms of the art itself, I was drawn to the ones with patterns and/or words. Three of the pieces I drew were three pieces in a series that consisted of striped squares with geometric shapes on top, and one piece I didn't draw but liked anyway included the words "THINGS AS IF THEY WERE OTHERWISE". I enjoyed these the most because they reminded me the most of my own work. At the time, I had been meaning to put text into my work, and since then I have made two pieces ("Shame" and "Enough") that include text and I am working on a third (not in the same series, but my home project will have text as well).
It's finished! I love it even more than I loved Shame when I was done with it (although, as with Shame, I have to add dropped shadows). The rainbow of flowers makes me so happy; I didn't even plan that part until I started trying to figure out where to place the flowers and realized I had a full rainbow, counting the green of the stems, but I love it. For my next project, I may continue with this theme, but I have to figure out the word and I have to figure out what flowers to do. Here's hoping I come up with something soon (or at least before I have to come back from break)!
Note: I could not find her website or her official CV but I did find a long list of her credentials that seemed to be her CV despite not being titled as a CV