Sunday, February 26, 2006

New Cultural Arts Center Opening in West Seattle

Friday night, my partner and I attended the opening of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle. We were invited by my friend Charly, who along with husband, has formed a performing arts troupe: "The Cabiri". Among their many talents, they do 'aerial dance' (trapeze), stiltwalking, fire-eating and fire juggling, and are a very talented group. Their performances are interpretations of myths and legends. On Friday, they performed an aerial dance piece - and did a fantastic job (as always).

The arts center is housed in a refurbished school -the building probably dates back to 1900's. It's a handsome brick 3-story building. The upper 2 floors are artist live-in studios. Some of those were open to tours - but only one that we went in was inhabited. The studios are the old classrooms, with old chalkboards left intact, as well as other unique architectural features: coat racks (the primary-school variety, with iron hooks about 3 feet up from the floor), closets, and gorgeous clear-story windows, that are bi-fold and open in. The windows extend from about waist-high up near the top of the loft-style ceilings. The main floor houses a theater, a dance studio, a workshop, media room, and classrooms, all of which are available for hourly or daily rental by the public. It is a testimony to the place the arts have in Seattle.

I wish we had a arts center like this in my neighborhood!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Gallery Show - Commissions Question

Okay - so now I am really STOKED (as my son would say)!!! I have been asked by the owner of the Artworks Gallery in Bozeman, MT to participate in their June show. She saw some of my work when I was there last June teaching the maskmaking workshop I did at the Bear Canyon Arts school, and has been trying to track me down through my artist friends there. I am super excited about doing a show - of my masks - which will mean making a bunch of new pieces (as I only have 3 masks on hand that aren't spoken for). The owner wanted 25-30 pieces, since my masks are miniatures (ranging from 3" high by 3" wide to about 24" inches high by 12" wide). BUT since I have a full-time job, and can only realistically complete about 3-4 masks per month, I proposed I could provide 15 pieces for the show. Genise is cool with that.

I have only dealt with one gallery that was not an artist-run co-op. The other experience I had was in Port Townsend, WA - and left a sour taste in my mouth for galleries. I guess my real dilemma is related to what Elise was talking about in her blog - pricing and the art market. If the gallery wants 60% commission, and my selling price is $200.00 - that makes the gallery price for the piece $320.00. And then I'm thinking: if someone would buy this piece for $320, why am I dealing with a gallery? Of course I realise they are paying for the advertising, and have an established clientele, and all the rent and overhead, and the opening reception. So it's not like they're doing nothing. Plus - this is the first time I've ever had a gallery approach me to do a show. And it would be great exposure! And don't get me wrong - the Artworks folks sound very nice, and one of the art school business partners has his work in the gallery.

Whew! Okay - I'll stop now. It's not like me to get all discombobulated. I'm a Virgo after all. Grounded, earthy. I'm analytical. I research, research, research, contemplate, then make decisions. And I've already said yes - we just have the details to work out. And I've already started the masks. I have drawings for 7 pieces, and have roughed out 2 of them. I'll post pics soon! And after spending most of President's Day working on the masks, I have band-aids on three fingers - both thumbs and my ring finger! I was so excited to get to work carving, and my knives were so nice and sharp... at this rate, I'd better buy stock in Johnson & Johnson!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Also over the last weekend, I heard from my artist friend, Vicki, who lives in Bozeman, MT. She and her business partners have a a one-room-schoolhouse art school up in Bear Canyon. Last year, I went there and taught a 2-day maskmaking workshop - which was a blast! So - they want me to come back again this spring! I am really 'stoked' about it (as my son would say). Vicki's friend Steel sent us 3 boxes of cottonwood bark from the West side of Kodiak Island, where his fishing camp is located. He gathered this driftwood in short time. I had never seen such huge pieces of bark - and I've been gathering and carving it for over 15 years. The students turned out great work, and a good time was had by all.

Teaching is fun, and inspiring in a different sort of way than taking a workshop is. I enjoy sharing my knowledge, and working with people. Plus, I got to meet some cool new people, and visit with my friend, and see some beautiful country! Cowboy up! (that is so not me!)

Forgot to mention in my last post - that while in Fremont, we visited the famed Fremont Troll who lives under the Fremont Bridge. Another couple was there taking their photos with the Troll, and they graciously offered to snap ours. Awww!


It's been a while since I promised to post these pics - and since I've posted. Last weekend was so gorgeous here in Rain City, that we just couldn't resist getting out and about. My partner and I went into Seattle on Saturday, and bought some tools at TSI, a local jewellry-making supply store that's been an institution for close to 30 years. It is going out of business at the end of the month :{ Since we were in the neighborhood, we parked and walked around the Fremont area, a fun artsy/alternative place. It is sandwiched along the boat canal between Seattle U. and the U. of Washington. There are fun shops, and we had a great time, and ate lunch at Costa's Opa, a Greek restaurant.

Here is "Secrets" the finished doll I made for my friend Charly. She opens to reveal her Secret interior (which isn't too visible in this pic) - a collage from an Erte print, of a mermaid riding a seahorse.

Sunday was gorgeous again - and we took a trip to the quaint little town of Sumner, with a row of antique shops along its one-block long main street. Then, as promised, my sweetie drove us to Tacoma so I could take some photos along the waterfront and of the industrial area. There is a beautiful old fireboat along the waterfront, up out of the water and on display next to the old firestation. I got some good close-up shots of the red & black hull, lined with rivets. Also some shots of the portholes, door, and rust-stained cleats on the deck, and close-ups of the 3 big screws.

Now the week has turned cold (for Seattle) - temps plunging to the 20's at night, and the weatherman is threatening it will get into the teens this weekend. It's been sunny, but crisp in the day. Just when all the flowering plums and crabapples thought it was safe to bloom!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Progression of Things

Haven't posted for a bit because I was busy trying to finish a few projects. Then I had to pack up and mail the box to my son, and some belated birthday gifts to my mother as well. Then, I started working on a birthday gift for my co-worker and friend, Charly, who turned 30 Feb. 3. I didn't get the piece done by Friday, but worked on it all last weekend, finishing it up on Sunday.
Here is "Secrets" in progress, the doll I made for Charly:

Her body is an Altoids tin, spray-painted black. Her arms & legs are copper tubing, her fingers, toes & hair are copper wire. Her head, hands & feet are from a cool piece of copper sheet I found on the beach, with a beautiful natural patina already on it.

Below are a couple of the heart pieces I was working on, but sorta dropped to do the other, afore-mentioned projects. They are wood with mixed media.

And here is my neglected Porthos, totally disgusted with me for hiding in the garage all day and evening, and not giving him any attention. Since I was working with metal that made sharpy shavings, and fumes from spray paint, and a hot soldering iron and torch, the garage -- err, hem -- my 'studio' is strictly verbotten to him while I'm working.

Friday, February 03, 2006

What kind of art am I?

Thanks to fellow blogger Greg, I took this Quizilla qizzie thing, and here are the results - shockingly identical to Greg's! (Makes me wonder if anyone gets any other result?)
You are "Primavera". This painting is all

about you. You love Love in all

it's many shapes and sizes. You like to look

on the bright side...and if there is no

bright side you'll just make on up! ...look


Yourself as Art.
brought to you by Quizilla

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