The time spent was marvelous and a video is available here to see what Scrap is all about and how our members had fun creating.
Members of Pacific NW Sculptors, (PNWS) and the NW Stone Sculptors Assn., (NWSSA), will soon receive a call for an exhibition to coincide with the International Sculpture Conference. The venue is the ArtReach Gallery, located across the Portland Art Museum which is the home base for the conference. The space is large and elegant. Signage will be visible from the steps of the museum buildings and conference attendees will be aware of the exhibition.
We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to show our work a stone’s throw from the conference itself.
Thank you to the following stone sculpture event collaborators:
Dr. Sheldon Hurst, director of the ArtReach Gallery, for offering this wonderful space.
Also, to Bob Dale for making the initial inquiry and following up by arranging meetups.
Carl Nelson, president of NWSSA, for coordinating with members of his organization and going out of his way to help ours as well.
Thanks to Show Chair, Chas Martin for being at the forefront, doing the heavy lifting and no small amount of the thinking. Meeting with the above people has been a productive pleasure.
Members of both organizations are encouraged to apply. Here is a chance to have your work seen by a select audience of sculptors, collectors, gallery directors and museum curators.
Update: The call has now been released and summarized in this newsletter. See the link at the end of the article to the entry form itself. The deadline is August 17th and the call is open to members of Pacific NW Sculptors and the NW Stone Sculptors Association. Best of luck to everyone who applies and thanks again to Dr. Sheldon Hurst for the opportunity.
6 days and 6 nights filled with making art with 38 other artists… what could be better? We usually were at work by 7:30 am and continued sometimes to 11:30 and later. It was amazing to see people simply drop their egos within a couple of days and simply play with one another, creating art. There were no rules such as- how much was to be made, how to make it, how to connect with others, how many to work on a piece, how to warm up or any other rules that you could think up. We were simply there with tools and art supplies that we brought and a ton of tools and art supplies that were already there. Some had been there before, some had not, most were accomplished artists in their fields and all were ready to play. The word that comes to mind first in trying to describe it to people is – profound. It made me call to a deeper part of me and simply create more freely.
Included in the array of makers were wood turners, welders, a blacksmith, coppersmiths, jewelers, sculptors, weavers and even a couple of people that made instruments. This next year the plan is to invite even more folks. A few people traveled home each night but most stayed in tents and cabins around a place called Camp Colton in Colton, Oregon, about an hour SE of Portland. The affair is catered with amazing food and I bunked with the most wonderful people. You’d think that 3 women in a tiny cabin room would be a problem, especially with the bathroom outside in another part of the building. Nope, it was really enjoyable talking excitedly about our day when we did bump into each other there.
Below is one of the pieces that I collaborated on – I made the stand and the boat and all of the pieces including the sail are made by 9 other artists.
Perhaps the most valuable feature of a group as diverse as ours is that we’re such a diverse group. Every meeting I’ve attended has resulted in some insight, recommendation, introduction, new product idea, new connection that I had not expected from someone I had not known before. Networks like ours are rich with opportunities like that. I would love to see more members attend more meetings to expand the mix of potential intersections even further.
Another benefit of our monthly meetings is seeing the workspaces and processes of our members. I never get bored learning about how other artists think, work and manage life. It’s a juggling act we all experience. Sharing those experiences gives us more options to solve our own challenges with new ideas. There’s always someone within reach who can offer advice, support or perspective.
And that brings me to the next point. Before Isabelle and Paul moved to the Alps, they were our most dedicated volunteers. They did so many things, every month, without fail. We knew when they left it would create a large hole in our organization. And, we knew it would take some time to motivate others to take leadership. It’s starting to happen.
I was extremely pleased this past week with the effort of Alan Newberg, James Finnigan, Michele Collier, Nancy Bocek and Robert E. Gigliotti who put together this month’s epic, 12-page “Calls For Entry” list. What an incredible job these members did! The listings were thoughtfully screened from a larger set of sources than ever before. I think this monthly service is incredibly valuable. I’m glad it’s back on track. Many thanks to our team.
We’re a volunteer organization. As a member, whatever your level of commitment to PNWS, consider taking it up a notch. Maybe you can’t commit to a monthly task, but consider what you can offer. Show up at a meeting. Host a meeting. Write an article. Recruit another sculptor to join the group. Don’t underestimate the value of what you know or what you can share. Being there is, in itself, a benefit.
A couple months ago I described some of my clay sculpting tools, a fork, a baseball bat, a stone with a sharp edge. Tools can also be a word or an idea, or a whole system of ideas, anything that can be used to affect change. The tools of this essay are vague abstractions grounded by physical elements of process. And presently featuring an orange plastic bowl, about 17” diameter and one inch thick all around.
It’s very rounded because this bowl was part of a sphere that was once a float for a fisherman’s net. I found this orange plastic bowl buried in sand on the beach of Ft. Stevens park by Astoria and hauled it home. It’s surprisingly heavy at over ten pounds. I’m going to pause, because there was a time when I did not know what this thing really could do. That was a time of unknowing, but keen recognition that this orange bowl seemed to have Potential written all over it. Like being handing a big puzzle piece that is connected to a huge new view of the world. Finding this orange hunk of plastic was like a wardrobe that leads to Narnia or hearing at a planning meeting for International Sculpture day that an empty storefront adjacent to the CAVE might be available for art installation.
There were a few moments in the middle of International Sculpture day within the bustle of other artists setting up demonstrations and Vancouver residents walking into the PNWS event. I was there, in the middle of an installation that I co-created with Amber Metz (AKA Aim Axon) called Meditation and Manipulation playing with one of the 200+ bamboo sticks that I brought into the CAVE Adjacent space over the month leading up to the event. I stood there observing yet another wondrous property of an orange plastic bowl, a piece of found object art that I now call the haFast forms a cone with my hand at the apex and I’m in that state of discovery and surrender to wonder spontaneously conjured, hyper-present, ready and willing, at the axis of crafting reality and it occurs to me, “The quality of this moment is the thing I want to share”.
Art Installation by Aim Axon
The senses, how enticing, visceral, our primal instincts… unnourished. The Belly was created to awaken our healthy and innate urges within ourselves, within nature itself. A 20 minute sensory experience crafted to open doors, unlocking the tight control that represses and denies the very essence of who we are and the Earth we live on.
Into the chaotic jungle, through angles of bamboo, near the mind altering glows, enter The Belly. Feet undressed, pass through the veil, greeted by one glowing light. The ground soft, inviting a seat ~ lay ~ crawl ~ stretch. Look around, Earth is hiding in the darkness. Trees, flowers, scents of rosemary, lavender, and lemon. The sky has an underground feeling, wet and mountainous. Come closer to the light, see your reflection. Put your skin in the Earth and Water…touch your body…the elements so wonderful, so giving, have you forgotten?
It wasn’t who she thought she knew, but who they used to beExcerpt from the poem written by Jessica Stroia
She whispered to the wind at night, preserving bits of memory…
Vibrating sound surrounds, undulating in emotional spectrum: fear, anger, repression, hunger, sexuality, ecstasy, sensuality, gentleness, unknowing, meditation, renewal. All here, seeping and pouring through our souls like the streams and rushes of Water.
As experiencers came out of The Belly with mud on their faces and a curious look in their eye, many greeted me with warm hugs. Some expressed they had feelings of being in the womb, being deep within and tending to the core. Being in a mystical and sacred place, similar to a sweat lodge. Being close to Earth’s weaving roots…
This journey has been so fruitful and fulfilling. Thank you all who interacted and took a moment to feel.
Musical appearances by:
• Nature – Spirit, Fire, Air, Water, Earth, the Crow and native birds
• Amber Metz (Aim Axon) – Composition and recording, female vocals, planetary patterns, bamboo, tingsha bells, chimes, xylophone, Tibetan singing bowls, wood drumming, rainstick, gong, whistles, effects
• Dave Gonzo – Dejembe drumming, bamboo, Rick Gregg’s bells
• Matt Weiers – Clarinet, flute, xylophone
• Chayo Wilson – Tibetan singing bowl, bells, xylophone
• Andy Kennedy – Male throat singing
Listen in a quiet and dark space at » www.aimaxon.bandcamp.com
Special thanks to:
The elements for nourishing our very existence, allowing us to feel the senses and experience this stay on Earth.
Andy Kennedy for stoking the fire to this conscious experiment, for being an intriguing collaborator and a whimsically supporting hand. Andy, thank you for creating the engaging jungle atmosphere outside The Belly room, which encouraged the audience to touch – play – wonder – let go.
Also within the jungle, Craig Dorety for lending his hallucination chamber and Joseph Cartino for his indigenous dangling decor.
Chayo Wilson for her spiritual guidance and all around kindness and support.
Matt Weiers for sharing audio knowledge and lending his recording equipment and handsomely crafted singing bowls.
Dave Gonzo for harnessing the essential and primal animalistic forces.
Jessica Stroia for her surreal poetry, elegant flower reef and veil decor.
Terri Elioff for her excellent seamstress skills that made the ground oh so comfortable.
Jennifer Corio and Art at the Cave gallery for making the use of this space possible.
And of course, to the Pacific NW Sculptors who donated materials and for their artistic encouragement.
The International Sculpture Center, (the publishers of Sculpture Magazine), some 4 years ago suggested that there be an International Sculpture Day. Not surprisingly sculptors and sculpture organizations around the country thought this was a good idea.
This is our third year of participation. It is a thing we look forward to all year. Much effort goes into preparations and not enough can be said about the volunteers who put it together.
This year the event was held at The Cave gallery in Vancouver WA. The gallery mounted a juried show of member’s works for the month of April 2018 with an opening on Friday, April 6th. International Sculpture Day was celebrated on Saturday the 21st. On that day three artists gave talks, demonstrations of welding and ceramic construction were outside and the vacant storefront next door was transformed into a space for immersive and interactive installations. Janet Julian provided acoustic music on a vintage Gibson guitar.
Demonstrations were provided by Dave Gonzo, (welding), and Chayo Wilson, (ceramics). Also featured in that area were additional works by those two artists which included a rather remarkable spider fire pit by Dave. Note the glass eyes glowing from the fire within.
Immersive Works were set up in the vacant storefront next door. Just to the left of the doorframe a 3D printer provided by Proto Pasta of Vancouver was busy squirting out tiny gnomes. The floor, walls and ceiling were festooned with assorted segments of bamboo. Some pieces were meant to be rearranged as one saw fit. Curious items were here and there. Further up a passage was a box fixed to the wall. In it were a number of LEDs strobing in unison. A knob on the side of the box could control the frequency. One inserts one’s head into the box and then manipulates the knob to create the most desirable hallucinations. Not anything like flying monkeys but rather interesting moiré type patterns of dots. Those subject to seizures were clearly warned away. Flying monkeys have never hurt anyone by the way.
The Belly was just on the other side of the corridor. That was small darkened space lit by a salt lamp, the floor covered with pillows and a soundscape coming from hidden speakers. Artist Talks were introduced by Jennifer Corio in the main gallery. She talked about International Sculpture Day and our participation in it for the past 3 years. George Heath the current president of PNWS introduced the organization and talked of its purposes and goals. Three artists then spoke for about 15 minutes each. Sue Westfall Quast described how her art developed and intersected with life over time. Craig Dorety, a light sculptor, spoke about how the peculiarities of LED lights could be utilized creatively and further how such lighting can interact with the mind. The strobing chamber mentioned in Immersive Works paragraph was one of Craig’s pieces. Chas Martin spoke of creating a piece so as to control the space around it and using that space to elicit a response from the viewer. He also described how his current work developed from line into sculpture.
The Portland Winter Light Festival is going as I write this. Last year we chickened out due to rain. This year we did not. The Max line is not far from here and there is a stop right in the center of the activity. The Portland Opera was singing on the Portland Spirit boat. Light displays were setup between the Portland Opera building , OMSI and east to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. The festival is all about messing with light. It has it coming after all. The first thing we saw were counter rotating circles of steel, lit from behind with various symmetric patterns plasma cut into them. Variations in the patterns caused some surprising moiré patterns to occur. Glass globes that hummed deeply when stroked were being happily caressed. At the rail museum 25 or so circular fluorescents bonged at various tones when one passed underneath. People were crashing into each other there. A large tesla coil was throwing 15 inch bolts, (1,140,000 volts to do that), also at the rail museum. There the locomotives were lit beautifully. Nothing like a steam locomotive lit from within to generate a sense of romantic awe. There were at least two places where people could play with large amounts of sudden flame.
Remember that scene in the Wizard of Oz where the wizard is on the screen and huge flames suddenly roar? You could do that for yourself. There was a line.