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October 30, 2014

Employee of the Month

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 (This is a sequel of sorts to last year's Lovetts Halloween Special. If you'd like to read that one first, go ahead and click the link. Employee of the Month will be here when you get back.)

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I had that moment of wondering what the sound was, where the hell was I, what time is it, before my brain caught up. Even still, I sat up in the middle of the bed waiting for some kind of prompt.

The phone vibrated against the floor. It seemed to shake the bed. I snaked my arm between the bedside table, groping around, thinking spiders.

I found it. Jack. It was also 3:15 in the morning. I thumbed it on.

“What’s up?”

“The alarm went off at the gallery. Can you go over there?”

“Sure?”

“The Farm’s security guys have already checked out the space, and there’s no one there anymore.”

The anymore had a weight to it. Moreso than if it were said by someone who didn’t work at a place with our particular inventory.

It had been a year since the incident with Juan Medina's Blind Angel. The gallery where I work is … special. I won't call it haunted, but when paintings hang there, something happens to them. They have access to something else. Or maybe somewhere else. Last Halloween, I watched a gentleman (okay, he was kind of an ass) climb into a painting and never return. And there were screams. Lots of screams. I still had nightmares about it.

There had been many late night gallery visitors since that night, and I didn't really feel sorry for any of them. And they usually made appointments, which was more convenient.

I realized Jack was still talking. “They said front door was shattered, and they boarded it up already, but they can’t tell if anything was stolen. Just go in and look around. Check the video recorder, too. Might need to delete something.”

“Okay. I’ll call you after.”

I sat there a moment, contemplating going back to sleep. The bed was warm and the windows weren’t broken.

I sighed, stood up, and started looking around in the dark for pants.

***

Twenty minutes later I pulled into the parking lot.

A police officer stood talking to the shopping center security guy by a black-and-white cruiser, lights spinning blue and red shadows across the parking lot. The guy leaned against his truck, arms flailing in storytelling mode. I pulled in next to them, nodded through the window and got out. It was warmer than it should've been in late October, but leaves still rustled in a light breeze. At least it smelled like Fall.

“Went ahead and boarded up the door for you,” security guy said, “but I didn’t go inside. I let Officer Jansen in.”

“Thank you,” I said, and tried to look grateful. I think I smiled, no teeth, and offered my hand to Jansen. He shook it. Solid grip that matched his posture. I figured him former military.

“You the owner?”

“No. He called me.”

“Right ...” he started, then paused. I thought he suppressed a shudder. “I did not see anyone.”

I nodded and looked past him toward the gallery. The interior lights had turned off. The orange LEDs lining the front windows made the broken pieces of glass glow like cooling embers on the gallery floor and sidewalk.

“What did they break the glass with?”

“I didn’t find anything inside. Might’ve been smashed from the outside with a bat or a rock or something. Kids, maybe.”

“Did anything look torn up?”

“Not that I could see.”

“Anything unusual?”

He realized about then I was questioning him instead of the other way around. His mouth tightened in a grimace, lips vanishing. “No.”

I nodded. “Do you need anything from me?”

Ah, yes. Paperwork. I filled in the blanks, answered the questions, thanked them both for their time, then assured them I could handle the rest.

***

I pulled the car around and used the back door. The light switches were up front, so I stood in the doorway, letting my eyes adjust to the dark.

106349I stepped into the gallery and paused. I smelled cigar smoke, and heard faint notes of blues seeping out of Jeff Ham’s multi-colored Mingus portrait to my left. I looked around the rectangular part of the room, noting the odd shadows cast by the moveable walls in the gallery's center. I walked further in. Orange and white light from the front windows spilled back across the floor and walls.

I heard a distinct plink of a piano key to my right and looked up at Pamela Wilson’s The Lyric of Chimerical Solace. The piano player shifted her hips, hooped skirt rustling, and looked back at me. She played another note. I turned and headed the other way, walking the perimeter of the room.

I passed Scott French’s Nighttime Stories, the one with the nude girl with a schooner on her head riding a polar bear through someone's bedroom. Did the polar bear have red on its muzzle? The girl on its back appeared to be sleeping, the small ship tucked under her arm instead of atop her head.

Dust and wind blew out of David Shingler’s palette knifed Chico Basin landscape, and I could smell the salty air from the trio of Brett Lethbridge paintings, their satin fabrics popping and snapping in the gusts. 105945

Another note from the piano echoed across the space, bouncing off the walls, and I looked back at the player. She’d stood and turned, elbows on the keys. She teased her hand across several of them and played another, eyes meeting mine. I looked away.

I kept moving, stopping in front of the door and looking at the spilled glass as the motion detector finally found me and light filled the room. The green haired child clown in Wilson’s Like Ghosts of Fish splashed water at me, and when I turned to look, winked before peering through its binoculars.

I took a deep breath. “You can come out now. The police are gone.”

I heard cardboard boxes tumble in the back of the storeroom where I had been before, and a few moments later, a tall, thin man in dirty black jeans and a stained white t-shirt, greasy hair parted to one side, stumbled out. He looked like a junkie of some sort, and I knew him, though he’d been cleaner when last we met.

“Walter. What are you doing?”

He walked toward the Piano Player, never making eye contact with me. She was where I’d last seen her, leaning against the piano, the hoops of the skirt bulging out, arms crossed under her breasts, but she was looking at me, not Walter. She arched an eyebrow. I shrugged.

“I needed to see her again.”

“I thought you had decided against that.”

“I …”

I waited.

“I changed my mind.”

I sighed, and I overdid it, so he would hear.

“Walter, you don’t get to change your mind. It’s a one-time affair.”

He turned, raced across the gallery and slammed into me, knocking me back into the wall, and held me there. I checked to make sure I hadn’t smashed into any of the paintings, then wedged my arm over and under his, pressing his chest back with my forearm.

“I changed my mind,” he hissed, face inches from mine. Up until that moment, I’d planned on talking him out of it, planned on helping the guy out. I never liked giving them over to the paintings. It made me … uncomfortable. But I’d never had a client attack me.

“Get your hands off me, Walter.” I stared him down, noting his bloodshot eyes and how his chest was heaving. All that was missing was froth coming out of his mouth. I braced my heels against the wall, and shifted my weight slightly in case he didn’t let go.

106970He released my shirt, but didn’t move. “I’m seeing her,” he said, then turned and walked toward the piano player. She looked over his shoulder at me, and then offered Walter her hand. It was uncanny. She didn’t become more real, but maintained the tone and texture of the painting, and yet there was weight and substance to her limbs. The light on her did not look right.

Walter took her hand, placed one foot on the bottom frame of the painting, and stepped up. He became oil and tone and texture. His feet pressed down on the carpet, his legs displaced the hoops of her dress. She led him from the room, out of my sight.

Nice knowing you, Walter.

***

The next half hour I kept my head down and cleaned up the mess. When I was out of excuses not to, I walked back to the piano player.

“Is he coming back?”

She smiled again. “The paperwork has been filled out. It is in the Box.”

“And the fee?”

“Taken care of.”

Right. “Thanks?”

“Would you like to visit one of the girls?”

“I would not.”

I turned and walked away, heading up the creaky wooden ramp to the front counter. Another of Wilson’s pieces, Pink Entropy, sat on the bar. The woman sat an antique black phone back in its cradle on her lap as I approached. She looked as tired as I felt. I wondered who she’d called, then laughed. The dog next to her huffed a muffled bark at me, then licked its chops.

I opened the Box, and took out the fresh set of parchment on top. The bloody signature glistened in the yellow gallery light. The red letters, which looked as though they’d been written by a frightened third-grader, read "Walter Haversham."

I dug out the lighter we used for incense and heated up the black wax stick. I dripped a puddle on the document next to Walter’s signature, then used our wrought iron LG stamp in the wax. I blew to cool it, started to put it back in the Box.

The ramp creaked and a man strode up it. The hair stood up on the back of my neck. He was not tall, nor was he short. He was textured. His body was hung with a vintage brown suit, complete with silver watch chain hanging from pocket on a red satin vest. His shoes gleamed in the dull light, as did the thick silver rings on his fingers. A black bowler had sat crooked on his head, and tufts of dirty blond hair stuck out around his ears and neck. His skin was pale, teeth bright. He smiled at me. His eyes were an almost iridescent blue.

“I’ll take that,” he said, and held out his hand.

I looked down at the document, then at the box, and felt my face heat up. I may have gulped, but I did not shiver.

I held out the paperwork. He pinched it with thumb and forefinger on his left hand, made a production of reading the pages, then folded and creased the parchment with a practiced motion. They vanished inside his jacket.

He offered me his right hand. “I don’t believe we’ve met.”

I shook it. “I don’t believe I want to.”

He didn’t let go. The skin was smooth as an infants, but cold, the shake firm, like he could crush my bones. He said, “Nonsense. You’re my employee of the month.”

“What?”

“Employee of the month.” He smiled, all teeth. “You know, that award handed out for the month's best performer? That's you. Employee of the Month."

My brain started doing math. "But we've only had … six, maybe seven this month? Aren't there warlords in Africa doing better than that?"

"It's not always about quantity, is it?"

I shut my mouth.

He reached inside his jacket with his left hand and pulled out a small silver pin, some sort of sun with a broadsword pointing down, bisecting it through the middle. He turned my right hand, which he had not yet relinquished, palm up and placed the pin in the middle of it. It was almost uncomfortably cold against my skin. He closed my fingers around it, then let go. It tingled with pain, as though I'd just hit my funny bone.

"I'm not really … comfortable with this work."

He arched an eyebrow at me, tilted his head. "Do you really believe that? Do you not think that each one of our guests gets exactly what is coming to them? Did our boy Walter not deserve his second visit?"

"That's not for me to say. I don't know about his life, what brought him here."

"Ah yes, but I do."

I stood there, eyes locked with his, afraid or unable to look away. I had nothing to say. After an uncomfortable amount of time, he nodded.

"Good! I'm glad we've come to an understanding." He fished the pocket watch out of his vest and checked the time. "I have to be off. Keep up the good work, and remember, I've got my eye on you. Let me know if you'd ever like to advance your career."

He turned and walked down the ramp, whistling to himself. I never heard any of the gallery's doors opened, but I knew I was alone in the building. I looked to examine the pin and realized it was on my shirt, though I didn't remember putting it there.

I unpinned it and left it on the counter, then locked up and went home.

______

Thanks for reading.

Onto this week's business...

The Wild Bunch is next Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, from 10am-5pm. We would love it if you would attend. 

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Also, TODAY (Today being Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014), Brett Lethbridge will be here from 4-6pm. Come visit!

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October 23, 2014

It's Still the Pig

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The secret to collecting art is simple.

You have to enjoy it. You don’t need an art degree, or a fundamental understanding of the influences Italian politics and financiers upon the artists of the Renaissance. You don’t need to understand color theory. You just have to fall in love with the art.

That’s what happened to Joe and Lisa. Their names aren’t really Joe and Lisa, I’m just not going to tell you who they really are because we care about client confidentiality. But their story needs telling, because it started with a painting of a pig. This one:

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Joe visited the gallery once by himself and saw James Johnson’s Free Range Pig. He liked it. We don’t like to talk about love at first sight, but … kinda.

“I went in three times,” says Joe. “There was this pig. I couldn’t believe the detail in it. I never talked to anyone about it. I felt like I was out of my element. But I kept going back to look at that piece. And then I brought Lisa to look at it, which was when we finally talked to Jack.

“As we were about to leave, he mentioned layaway, which I had no idea you could do.”

Joe and Lisa put money down on the pig. And then they began thinking about the pig in a different way. They were ready to start construction on a new office for their business. Joe imagined the pig hanging there, and couldn’t wait to get it out of layaway.

“We kept going back to visit it,” says Lisa. “And every time, Jack would get it out of the back so we could look at it.”

“I needed to pay it off so I could have it, you know?” says Joe.

Which he did. But the Pig created an itch to be scratched, so to speak.

“I was so pleased with the pig … I relate it to tattoos. People say once you get one, you want to get another one. I don’t have any tattoos, but I do buy art. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. I want more and more. Once we had possession of it, well, it’s hard to tell someone it’s a piece of art without hanging it on the wall with other art around it.”

They started with an art budget for the office, but that changed as the construction process took longer than planned, giving them more time to choose even more art.

They began with the idea that it all had to match, but what they liked didn’t match.

“But Jack said, ‘I don’t know if you want it to match,’” says Lisa. With that in mind, they followed their instincts and interests, choosing pieces that spoke to them. Those choices colored the interior design for the rest of the office space.

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“The art influenced the type and quality of the furniture we bought,” says Joe. Instead of ordering from a catalogue, they had custom cubicles, made of recycled wood, burlap and steel, created locally. Almost all of the office doors are from old barns and slide open instead of swing. All of the wood is “recovered,” a fancy way of saying “reused.”

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Joe’s office, in particular, reflects the eclectic aesthetic of the office. His desk is tall and bean shaped, covered entirely in what appears to be airplane aluminum. There’s a lamp hanging from the ceiling by his great grandfather’s log chain. The lamp is from India. The chairs are leather and metal, pairing new and old. An enormous painting of a bullfighter by Timur Akhriev hangs perpendicular to a large flat screen HDTV. These are the motifs for the rest of the office.

The space has had a noticeable, positive effect on their employees.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to work in a building that looks this way,” says Joe. “People are happier. They are proud of their workspace. We have everything.”

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“It makes our employees happy,” says Lisa. “They’ll visit on the weekend, which is unusual. And if they have a relative in town, they want to bring them by to give them the tour.”

“We told our employees what we were doing along the way, but I don’t think they understood until they saw it,” says Joe. “I think everyone was shocked at how it all came together.”

“That’s where Jack and the guys at Gilley electric came in,” says Lisa. “They showed us how to make it all work."

As of now, there are more than 20 pieces of original art scattered about their offices. But do Joe and Lisa consider themselves art collectors?

“I don’t even know what that means,” says Joe. “I don’t know a lot about art. And you don’t have to. You just choose what you like.

“We try to keep it weird.”

As they’ve brought in new art, their favorites have vacillated. Lisa likes the three Brett Lethbridge pieces and their arrangement in the hall outside her office, but if pressed, she’ll tell you she likes Jeff Ham’s Woody Guthrie painting best.

“There was a lot of anticipation for that one for me,” she says.

For Joe, “It’s still the Pig.”

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In Other News

Though he missed the show, he's still coming to visit. Brett Lethbridge will be here next Thursday from 4-6pm hanging out. He'll be happy to chat with you about his work or life in general. How often to you just get to hang out with an Australian-by-way-of-South Africa lawyer-turned-artist? 

Oh, we'll be here, too.

Almost Showtime

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The show is just two weeks away, gang. We are stoked (that's an industry technical term). We have images for (I think) all the pieces that'll be present. Paul sent us a lot to look at and I'm not sure how much of it is actually making the trip, but there are at least two installation-size pieces that'll get your attention.

K sent out her newsletter this week, and had this to say:

November, 1988, I married my Hubby in Muskogee, OK. Our honeymoon? We spent it at an art show in Tulsa, OK.

Fast forward to Nov. 2014. How are we spending our anniversary? We'll be at an art show in Tulsa, OK.

Join us at Lovetts Gallery , 6528 E. 51st ST, Tulsa, OK 74145, in the Farm Shopping Center on November 8, 2014, 10am - 5pm. 

The show, "The Wild Bunch,"  features me, Paul Rhymer  and Robert Caldwell. The three of us will be at the gallery creating our artwork.

I think she's got it covered, pretty much. 

We'll see you next week. 

October 16, 2014

Making a List

We keep a stack of sheets on a clipboard in the backroom. Three of them, actually, but the one we’re concerned with at the moment has “Receiving” at the top.

Each sheet has a ton of little boxes, blanks for things like basic info about a piece of art, and whether or not it’s been added to our database, uploaded to the web, had its pictures formatted, etc. It’s how we keep up with our inventory.

Yes, we still use paper. There hasn’t been a more efficient solution. Yet.

Right now, there are a lot of white boxes. A ton of new work has shown up the last two weeks and we’re playing catch-up. Just looking, there is new stuff from Merlin Cohen, Jody Lyle, Ann Hanson, John Knotts, Patrick Dean Hubbell, Natalie Featherston, Dr. Stephen Wood, Jane Osti, James Bud Smith, Mark Bettis, Whitney Forsyth, Rebecca Latham and Karen Latham. That’s almost two pages of blank white boxes. Lots of work to do. No, they’re not on the website yet.

That means you’re going to be eating a whole lot of eye candy very soon.

Most of our new art comes in via shipment. Unwrapping it is not unlike the holidays. Until we actually see the art in person, we don’t actually know what we’re getting. Even better is when the artist delivers the art in person.

That happened three or four times last week.

Merlin was the first visit. He showed up with 11 pieces and told us we are officially his only gallery, which is awesome. 

He toted them in from his car and set them on our counter one by one. There were a variety of shapes and sizes, a palette of different colored stones. Some of the carvings I hadn’t seen before, and I like them a lot.

Very cool stuff.

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Showings

Next year, we’re trying a couple new things. I’ve hinted about them, I think, on the book of faces and posted their dates on the newsletter, but we’re officially letting the cat out of the bag. In 2015, we’re hosting two invitational “concept” shows. The artists have already been invited and they are working on their submissions.

Next June (6/20/2015!), we’re hosting The Lollipop Guild, which is a miniatures show. That means each submission can be no smaller than 5” x 5”, no larger than 12” x 12”. We have more than 70 artists participating, some of whom we do not currently represent, so their work will be new to you.

You can imagine we’re pretty excited.

On October 24, 2015, we’ll open The Birds, which is loosely inspired by the classic film. We started off wanting to do a birds show, but I’d begun naming our events after movies. We threw those two ideas in the mental blender and the Hitchcockian theme emerged.

We’re not saying that each piece is going to have a bird in it, or that anything is going to be a scene from the film itself. It’s more of an “inspired by the film” situation, and how they’re inspired is up to the artists.

We have no idea what we’re going to get … except in one case.

Never let it be said Natalie Featherston is a procrastinator. We received her two pieces for The Birds this week, a year early, and they are awesome. I’m going to be using them to promote the show from here on out. I’ll give you a peek at one, but not both.

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We’re actually hoping to give these a forever home and get some more from her, because you can never have enough Natalie paintings. Amiright?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the show we have coming up in three weeks. I wouldn’t want you to forget about it. Here, again, is the pertinent info for The Wild Bunch:

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Show opens at 10am and all three artists will be creating and hanging out until 5pm. 

We’ll see you in the gallery. 

October 10, 2014

About to Get Wild

We are almost exactly one-month from the opening of The Wild Bunch, which stars K. Henderson, Robert Caldwell and Paul Rhymer. I mentioned it last week at the end of the blog, but you know how it is. Maybe you didn’t see last week’s blog.

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Here is the showlowdown:

Wildlife. Wild paintings. Wild sculpture. Wild art.

On November 8, 2014, 10am to 5pm, that’s what you can expect from Paul Rhymer, K. Henderson and Robert Caldwell. We’re calling them … The Wild Bunch, and they are the next exhibition from Lovetts Gallery.

Paul Rhymer spent 25 years at the Smithsonian as a taxidermist and uses that experience to create bronze sculptures that capture the living essence of the animals.

“Twenty five years doing taxidermy and model making really prepared me well as a wildlife sculptor,” says Rhymer. “Being exposed to an incredible diversity of specimens and curatorial knowledge gave me a wealth of experiences. I still do some taxidermy to keep up with anatomy and reference for my sculpture.”

He’ll be pouring molten bronze the day of the show, probably in nothing more protective than jeans and hiking boots. The first will be at 11am, the second at 2pm.

You want wild? K Henderson lives off the grid in Weed, New Mexico (population: 86). She spends her time soaking up the wilderness and creating paintings of whatever she feels like, from biscuits to antique toys to Native American portraits.

Henderson is much lauded and collected. She has some renown in at least three completely different art circles. You’d compare her to a best-selling author who’s achieved success using three different pen names.

Henderson is from Tulsa, and always looks forward to her trips back to see her friends and family. (We think that includes us ... )

Robert Caldwell always loved the outdoors, exulting in his adventures as a Boy Scout. It was only natural he merged that passion with another – drawing.

Caldwell draws inspiration from North American and African wildlife. He’s made several trips to the Continent the past few years, and the artwork he’s produced as a result is among the best of his career.

In the past year, Robert published a book about drawing, Draw Realistic Animals: Wildlife, Pets and Morewhich is available from all the major online book retailers. He will have copies available during the show.

Quoth the Raven

We’ve got a raven theme going, for a lot of reasons. First, we like them. If you did a little bit of research on ravens, they would blow you mind. They use tools. They visit their parents. They remember things forever and they use language. Then there’s this: 

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I don’t know about you, but when I was in 8th grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Smith, made us memorize The Raven in its entirety. And then we had to recite it aloud in front of the class. In spite of that, I still love that poem.

Guy Hobbs, one of our new artists, painted this particular piece. It is not a poster. It is not a photo of a raven with some words photoshopped onto it. Guy painted the bird and applied the calligraphy by hand. And it is stunning.

Guy is a … well, he lives in Canada, but he’s British. He had always had a love for both art and wildlife, and when his wife suggested he combine these things to make his personal superpower …  I’ll just let him say it:

It amazes me that it took so long for me to marry my love for wildlife with my passion for art. Obviously it takes far smarter people than me to make such profound connections (in this case my wife), but once made it changed my world.

I have had an interest in both drawing and painting my whole life and when the suggestion was made to focus on wildlife I decided to go 'back to the drawing board' quite literally.

Since then I have been developing a technique that combines layers of acrylic paint, coloured  (editor’s note: see, British!) pencil and transparent acrylic inks, a process that really allows me to capture the subtleties and intricacies of nature.

My highest priority when portraying a subject is to capture its consciousness. My subjects are engaged with their world, watching things beyond the confines of a frame - often regarding the viewer directly - or something out of frame. This is important to me, birds and animals are seldom random or vague, they are focused on their world with real intensity. It is this intensity I want to capture. When you encounter a wild thing in its own habitat there is a moment where you regard it and it regards you and the rest of the world just becomes background. That is a very real and special connection and one I want to share through my art.

Let that serve as your introduction to Guy, Lovetts fans. His work is on display in the gallery. You know what to do.

Behind the Screens

We have a lot of original art by a lot of amazing artists, but you know that.

Most of that art is on our walls, but there’s not room for all of it. We rotate it all the time, but the truth is there’s art that, at any given time, is not hanging in the gallery.

The solution to that conundrum has always been our giant monitor on the front counter. From there, we can access all of any given artist’s work in our database and display it. As with all computer screens, you can’t replicate the experience of seeing a piece of art in person, but it was better than nothing.

We’ve been using the monitor a lot, like to the point where we view it is vital to the Lovetts Gallery experience. Keeping that in mind, this happened this week:

Jack: “Do you think we need a bigger monitor on the front counter?”

Me: (something like…) “It couldn’t hurt.”

Jack: “I wonder if we could find one with our points.”

Me: (Holy crap, businesses rack up the credit card points) “That would be cool.”

He dug into the points, and we had enough. Then we found the monitor.

Now when you come in and want to peruse our digital image gallery, you’ll be doing it on a bright 42” high-def television.  Made me super TV jealous. I bought a 42” hdtv seven years ago. It weighs more than twice as much, the picture isn’t as good and it cost four times as much as this one.

Anyway, the new monitor is awesome.

If you haven’t been in in awhile, we’ve made a lot of gallery improvements: The walls received a new interior paint job; we installed LED lights in the front windows that look awesome at night (and can change colors to suit our mood); we created new front-window covers that look better from the parking lot with the added bonuses of blocking out more light inside (which makes it easier to present the art) and displaying some of our artist’s work in larger-than-life sizes. Present are: Jeff Ham, Timothy Nimmo, Brett Lethbridge, Timur Akhriev, K. Henderson, Claudia Patrick, Natalie Featherston, Ben Cobb, Ann Hanson, David Shingler, Scott French and Chad Awalt.

Two More Things

Brett Lethbridge missed the show last month (because sometimes, travel plans do not work out), but he'll be here the afternoon before Halloween. If you'd like to come visit Brett and talk with him about his work, he'll be entertaining guests from 4-6pm, Oct. 30, 2014.

In closing, I’ll just leave this here, and we’ll see you next week:

YoungGunsBlog

October 02, 2014

Art Gallery Madness!!!

There has been a lot going on around here. We’ve had a show. We’ve added a bunch of new artists. We’ve moved walls and added crazy LED lights to the front windows. It’s been art gallery madness!!!

I never use exclamation points. I don’t like them. I think they’re lazy writing. You should be able to tell if I’m excited about something by the words, not the punctuation.

But that’s getting off track.

We have added a lot of really amazing artists and artwork in the past couple of months. Pamela Wilson, Jane Radstrom, Kirsten Le, Guy Hobbs, Patrick & Patty Elliott, Josh George, Lindsey Kustusch. We’ve gotten fantastic new work from Timothy Nimmo, Julie Bender (an old acquaintance back in the gallery again), Anthony GonzalezAnthony Adcock, Terry Cooke Hall, and Timur Akhriev. That’s not even including the new work from Virtuosity, which featured Brett Lethbridge, Juan Medina, Terry Donahue and Ron Gerton.

When I write it out like that, it seems like a lot. And it is, which is good. There is a lot to see and talk about. We’re not going to cover all of it this week. Gotta dole it out slowly, so we’ll start with a couple of introductions …

Pamela Wilson

Pamela is one of Jack’s favorite painters. Ever. We’ve finally gotten the opportunity to bring some of her work into the gallery, and it all began with an invitation to participate in one of our shows next year, The Lollipop Guild (more details to come!).

When you view one of her works, you’ll most likely be struck by two thoughts: a) holy cow, that is amazing and b) holy cow, that is … odd.

Pamela endeavors to paint the world of dreams. They can be whimsical and foreboding at the same time. They can seem strange. They are provocative. They are a little sexy and a little scary. But your take on it is what you get. Don’t ask her to explain to you why the woman with the pink hair is wearing a scuba mask. Pamela thinks telling you is cheating. Art is up to interpretation. Interpret, already.

 Okay, sometimes she tells.

Her painting, From Stillborn Shadows, features a woman with a stuffed Canadian goose belted to her head. That one came out of two things. First, Pamela wanted to visually create a link to flying dreams. Second, the day of the reference photo shoot, the model walked around with the goose stuffed under her arm and seemed at any moment like she might fall on the uneven ground. Pamela suggested she belt the goose to her head.

Viola.

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We just this week received The Lyric of Chimerical Solace. It is an amazing piece of art. I’m not going to put the pic in here for you to see because, well, the pic is so tiny by comparison. The Lyric of Chimerical Solace is impressive in real life. And you can’t digitally replicate the experience of seeing it in person.

She’s working on a new series involving children, and then there’s this thing with cake.

Photo

Stay tuned.

Lindsey Kustusch

I have not been following Lindsey’s work for a long time, but it’s definitely a love at first sight kind of situation. I mean, look at this painting:

  Lindsey Kustusch_Momentary Stillness_20x28

I’ve always been drawn to ravens, for whatever reason. And this … this blows my mind. I love the texture, colors, subject, composition. Pretty much a perfect painting for me.

Lindsey paints a variety of subject matter – urban scenes, animals, and wide open spaces. Actually, painting might not be the right term for what she does. Yes, she uses paint. But she rarely uses brushes, opting for palette knives and implements of her own creation. She builds her works layer by layer, often beginning with an abstract composition before adding in elements of the real.

She’s, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, like nothing we have in the gallery.

Her work isn’t here yet, but it’s on the way. You’ll have to come in to see the other one, and then there’s more to follow.

No Mas

Annnnd okay, we’ll stop there. Need to save some for next week and there’s some housekeeping to do.

First, we have a show coming up in five weeks: 

Wildbunch

Paul, Robert and K are three of our most popular artists, and they have a lot of surprises in store for you. The day of the show, you’ll be able to see Robert draw, K paint, and Paul play with molten metal in the parking lot in his tennis shoes.

That goes down November 8, 2014. Make plans now and we’ll see you here.

Before we go, one last thing. We have several students (and instructors) from the Ani Art Academy Waichulis participating in The Lollipop Guild (June 20, 2015) and The Birds (Oct. 24, 2015). You should check out their site. There's a lot of spectacular art on display.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m planning on another Gallery-themed Halloween story this year. If you missed last year’s, here ‘tis.

See you next week.