Monday, April 6, 2015

Long Way to the Top Will Melt Your Face Off

This weekend the latest exhibit opened at the Orange County Regional History Center. Be prepared to have your faces melted off by Long Way to the Top: Hard Rock in Orlando 1977-1985.

Mixing station? Check.
Wood paneling? Check.
Hand stamp at the door? Check.
Actual license plate on actual bumper? Check.
Epic members-only jacket? Check.
Local bands? Check.
Facts you never new about Rock in Orlando? Gazillion Checks.

Don't think Orlando was a hot bed for Rock & Roll music? Oh I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over OUR GIANT WALL OF GOLD AND PLATINUM RECORDS!

Seriously, this may be one of the coolest exhibits I've ever seen and I can't take much credit for it. All I've done is handle the loan paperwork, help with condition reports, and do some framing (printmaking has made me a framing master). The big movers and shakers for this exhibit have been the Research Librarian, Adam Ware (that's Dr. Ware to you!) and the Exhibits Researcher, Emilie Arnold. They have built this exhibit from the ground up- back when we only had two photos, a poster, and a Zeta7 bumper sticker. They have put their hearts and souls into this exhibit, and it shows. It took a lot of sacrifice too. Poor Adam had to talk to some of his childhood idols for hours on end. Needless to say, it was begrudging work.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the impeccable designs of Ashley Wells: the sick logo, the posters, and even GUITAR PICKS!; and the creations of Paul Trembly: when I said mixing station I meant an actual working mixing board where YOU can mix original tracks from bands such as Molly Hatchet.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! This Friday (April 10th), Adam will be hosting a panel discussion full of staff from Bee Jay Recording Studio. It will be worth it just to see all of their faces when they step into the recreated Bee Jay control room, complete with view of the recording room. I'm predicting grown men crying. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Looking Back at ARTlando

Photo by Don Richards

ARTlando seems forever ago, and in a lot of ways it was. So why write about it now? I never had a chance to give it the reflection that an event of this magnitude really deserves. ARTlando was September 27th, two days later I started my new job as Collections Manager at the Orange County Regional History Center, seven days later was my 28th birthday, and two days after that my mom passed away.

ARTlando just got lost in the shuffle.

This was my first foray into a legitimate art festival, and six months of reflection has left me with the feeling of "Yeah, I could do that again." A day of reflection, however, left me with the feeling of "NEVER! Never again should I ever put my body through this!" I was bruised and sore and a little bloody, but it really was worth it.

Some big thanks go out to Dawn Schreiner who lent me her big fancy white tent and saved me a huge amount of up-front investment. It took me way too long to figure out how to set that tent up, and really all the credit for that goes to Kelly Gaiser and Joey Young- my impromptu set-up and tear-down crew that I egregiously overworked. The manpower needed to pull off an art festival is something I'll be giving some serious thought to before participating in another one. I'm so used to my husband being my partner in crime for art events that the addition of my daughter (and therefore the subtraction of my husband) really threw me off my game.

One big investment I did make was the Gridwall panels for displaying my framed pieces. It took Joey and I working together to get them up, but I was able to take them down by myself (with several seriously smashed fingers) and, with practice, I think I could become self-sufficient with the whole process. Once up, I was pleased (and surprised) with how sturdy they were. They also store fairly painlessly at home - something I was worried about due to our teensy tinsey house.

One of the components that set ARTlando apart was the live art making and the judging to be done on said live art project. I thought to myself "Sure, I've carved and printed a piece in one day before, let's give it the good ol' Whitney Broadaway overachieving try!" Needless to say, that did not work. I might have been able to finish my snake linocut if I wasn't busy talking to guests, selling artwork, and just not being rude in general. Might. Well, it didn't hurt to try, and I made a lot of headway into a new print. I don't think I'll miss dragging the Richeson Baby Etching Press to the next art festival I do.

One last thing that has to be mentioned: the people. The people at ARTlando were fantastic! The staff was incredibly helpful and nice (one helped out with setting up the tent which brings the total up to four people who could NOT figure that thing out!), the artists were talented and a pleasure to be around (I met so many new friends and was able to enjoy so many old ones), and the guests brought so much genuine interest and excitement to the day (many of which I'm still in contact with). I truly hope this becomes an annual event!

Me, my husband, and my daughter meeting one of the many puppies visiting ARTlando. Photo by Thuyvi Gates. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Collections Manager - Orange County Regional History Center

For the past six months I've had the pleasure to look out on this view as the new Collections Manager at the Orange County Regional History Center. It was sad leaving the UCF Library, but also very exciting to have a full time position doing something I love and working in a museum! One of the biggest perks of my new job is being so close to my own family's history. I am a fourth generation Central Floridian and my great-great-grandparents moved to Orlando in 1893. The Hanson family farm is now the site of Jones High School,  the Hanson Shoe Repair shop on Pine Street is now a speakeasy by the same name, and my Grandpa's packing house, Indian Lake Fruit Co., lives on in the citrus label collection. 
Here is a snippet from my newly updated CV to give an idea of what I'm up to over at the History Center, and no, I'm not calling people and collecting money:

"Responsible for the day-to-day management of the historical collection including completing and maintaining paperwork for donated items and loans and implementing basic conservation treatments. Monitor the environmental conditions and security of the museum’s permanent and traveling exhibits. Coordinate scheduling, delivery, and installation of museum traveling exhibits and complete condition reports. Maintain the museum collection management software database. Process and catalog collections with special emphasis on the 3-D artifacts and photograph collection. Assist in the creation and installation of exhibits. Assist in obtaining new donations and responsible for overseeing the collection management policy. Member of the Editorial Board for the quarterly publication of the Historical Society, Reflections Magazine."

View of the collection at our offsite storage facility

Monday, May 5, 2014

Star Book Binding Workshop

Last month I had the pleasure of teaching a workshop at Art & History Museums - Maitland on my favorite type of binding: the star book. I've been looking forward to this for so long and I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about it. Luckily, I had a fantastic group of students that were full of creativity (as always)! Star books are so versatile so it was a joy to see everyone's ideas blossom and start to push the structure to its full potential.

A star book has multiple layers that almost turns each section into it's own tunnel book. For this reason it can be a little intimidating, but aside from it's unwieldy nature during binding it is actually very simple to make. Unlike my previous workshops, it's not a book that can really be bound blank. Well... I suppose you could make a blank star book, but it kind of defeats the purpose of the structure. So, this is the first time I've incorporated content production into my workshop and I definitely did not divvy out enough time for it! We all stayed about two hours after the workshop ended, but I think everyone had fun and I know everyone got to finish their books. Next time around, this will be an all day event! In the meantime, enjoy all of these star books made by the students:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Artists' Book Cornucopia V at the Abecedarian Gallery

Abecedarian Gallery in Denver, Colorado opens its fifth juried Artists' Book Cornucopia exhibit this Friday (April 18th), and I'm pleased to announce that "To Whom it May Concern" will be in it! This is especially exciting and validating since it was not accepted into Unfolding Images in September. This book really is stunning, and I can say that because it is owed heavily to Sandra Varry's photographs that make up the content. Finding a book cloth that matched so beautifully didn't hurt either.

If you are looking at these photos and thinking "Gosh darn those look nice, I don't think I've seen these before," that's because they are and you haven't! A big thanks to Jon Findell at UCF's Faculty Multi-Media Center who allowed me the use of his camera and photo studio as well as helped me set up and guide me through the photo shoot. I would not consider my self a photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but Sandra has moved away to bigger and better things so I had to stumble through it. These photos would look much worse if it weren't for Jon and for years of helping Sandra photograph our collection material.

Abecedarian Gallery already has the entries up in their online store. Click here to check it out and get a sneak peek at the other entries as well as first dibs on buying a copy!

Bonus fact nugget: Do you think Abecedarian Gallery sounds strangely like the beginning of the alphabet? It's no coincidence: Merriam-Webster defines the adjective form as "of or relating to the alphabet". Quite fitting for a gallery specializing in contemporary book arts.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Classes at Art & History Museums - Maitland

It's finally happening. Not Your Mama's Print Class, that Molly Chism and I envisioned in 2011, is finally running as a bonafide nine week class at Art & History Museums - Maitland. Unfortunately, Molly moved away to bigger and better things in California, so she is not here to see this momentous occasion. But her spirit lives on in our class!

We meet on Sunday's 2pm-4pm starting April 13th for nine weeks (with the exception of Easter). We will delve much further into relief printmaking than previous workshops would allow. I plan on getting into techniques such as registration with multiple colors, Chine-colle, and printing an edition. Students will also be given the freedom to choose the relief material they would like to work in. I can't wait to see what images will be created- and what kind of knarly dumpster wood people find to carve on! If you would like to be one of those students, you can sign up here.

I am also teaching The Book As Art as another nine week course. I can't make up my mind which class I am more excited about. This class will meet every Wednesday 7pm-9pm starting April 9th. We'll be discussing the history of Book Arts and taking a critical eye to the medium as a whole. The end of the nine weeks will culminate in the production of an Artists' Book inspired by the Artist's Book Ideation Cards by Barbara Tetenbaum and Julie Chen. These cards are not only terribly fun, but are also extremely helpful in building parameters for a book project and enabling creativity to spark. You are running out of time to sign up for this class, but you can register on the website here.

I can't wait to meet all my students and start posting more updates about their work!

UPDATE 4/13/14: Sadly, I may have jinxed the Not Your Mama's Print Class with my earlier enthusiasm. Several students had to drop out leaving us with not enough to run the class. However, it will return! By Grabthar's Hammer, you shall be avenged!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Twitter Art Exhibit: Orlando

The Twitter Art Exhibit comes to Orlando and the Grand Opening tonight, Thursday, March 20th, at 6:00pm at CityArts Factory. This international event was founded in 2010 by David Sandum in Norway and the proceeds from every year are given to a selected charity. This year the Twitter Art Exhibit is benefiting the Special Needs Classes at the Center for Contemporary Dance.

My entry will be hanging up there along with over 600 other postcard sized works of original art from around the world. All the artwork will be for sale at $35 a piece and that money is going straight into the hands of the charity because everyone who is making this event happen is volunteering- like me! Not only do I have art in the show, but I am also working like mad to create an exhibition catalog that will be available on blurb containing everyone's art. EVERYONE'S ART! That's over 600 images I'm plugging into InDesign! Another great philosophy behind this exhibit is that everyone is equal; no one is getting special treatment because they are famous, everyone's art is the same price, and brand new artists have a change to exhibit next to seasoned professionals.

I've been working with the fantastic Robin Maria Pedrero who is curating the exhibit, and I can't wait to see how she has handled the presentation of such a massive amount of art.