I am heading back to school as a full time student.This year is the first time in 27 that I will not start the school year as a teacher. I retired July 2020 from my position as an elementary art teacher for Hudsonville Public Schools. It was a great career. It took a global pandemic for me to gain the confidence to become a full-time artist. Something I have always wanted to do. I am still heading back to school, only this time as a full-time graduate student at SCAD. I have four more classes till I complete my M.F.A. and decided to give myself the time and commit to my artwork and my studies.
I needed a reason to get dressed up once in a while so...This month I was hired by the Muskegon Museum of Art to be a substitute security guard. I get to guard the art. I am beyond thrilled about this new side gig. It will give me a reason to leave my studio and be surrounded by inspiring works of art. The commute from my living room to the studio is lovely, especially compared to my 35 min drive to and from Hudsonville every day. But I needed to have something that It will force me interact with people in the world a little bit, and I get to be around phenomenal artwork and read my art books when the museum is quiet. If you have not been to the Museum lately you will want to check it out before GLASS Treasures From The Permanent collection closes on November 29th. they are open 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. I am working Sept 8th if you want to say hi.
Things I am Reading:
You Don't Look Fat You Look Crazy by Ashley Longshore
Nature by Whitechapel Books
In the Studio: New paintings This month I finished up a few more paintings for my M.F.A. thesis show that will be held in November 2020. I have also started making these little lucky girl gnomes out of clay. You know? cause I am a lucky girl. I am not sure why I am making them but I am curious about my affection for the gnomes these days so I am going to follow this thread and see what it is about. They symbolise the mysticism of the world and stories of my great, great, grandmother of how the banshees cried for her when she died.
Zooming with Artists:
Artist Story: Signs
A few years ago, in 2002, I completed my Masters in Educational Leadership from Michigan State. Back then, I was an art teacher. I wanted to become a principal. I completed my degree and started applying for jobs. That is what you do when you finish a degree. Right? Before this time, I had gotten every job that I had ever applied. Looking back today, I am so grateful I did not get any of those jobs. I think I had 5-6 interviews I was putting a lot of effort into becoming a principal. I started painting. I think it was around 2006 or 2007. I took a few classes at Oxbow in Saugatuck Mi. I kept applying for principal jobs going to leadership training seminars. In 2015 I was sitting in a conference and women I had been sitting next to me said, "I don't know why you want to be a principal it is clear to me you are an artist. She went on to say; I have no idea why I feel compelled to tell you this. But I just had to say something to you." a few mornings later, I was driving to work, and I prayed for a sign for where I should put my energy.
As if not getting the jobs, and this woman out of the blue saying this to me, were not big enough signs. Two or three hours later, I got a call from my friend and gallerist Richard App. As it turns out, he was having a meeting about billboard signs for a project he was working on called Cool Art Hot City, promoting the arts in the city of Grand Rapids. He called to tell me they would like to use my painting on a billboard. https://www.therapidian.org/placematters-first-annual-art-outdoor-project-draws-attention-grand-rapids-local-art So sometimes the "signs" are prominent. Like as big as a billboard sign. Sometimes they are little and come from unexpected people. It is hard to believe that it was only five years ago. I am so glad I finally got the message and changed the direction of my energy. 5 years later I am now a full-time artist.
I found an artist who makes signs. This week I get to chat with Scott Froschauer on Zoom and pick out the piece of art I get to buy from him. http://scottfroschauer.com/
After a presentation in one of my grad classes with collector Steve Shane I got to thinking about my own little art collection. I first saw Scott's signs in 2018 at ArtPrize in GR I loved them and I am so excited that I am going to finally get one for myself. What signs are you grateful for in your life?
New artwork has been created mixing some of my old techniques with the new techniques that I have learned while attending Savannah College of Art and Design.SCAD I will be showing them in St Joseph Michigan at the Box Factory if all goes according to plan(well since writing this COVID had other plans) in November for my M.F.A. Final Thesis show Trauma, and Beauty an Artist’s Response. This show will now be online. I will host an online artist talk and live zoom reception.
I will also be in a group show @ Gallery Uptown in October “Fresh Faces & Familiar Favorites” withMaggie Bandstra, Summer Osborn, Teresa Gaudino, Suzanne Moynihan, Carol Schmidt, Liz Lystra and Julie Hegedus
New works created in the studio in June and July
Shows to attend in Aug.-Sept.2020:
The Muskegon Museum of Art
GLASS Treasures from the Permanent Collection, a spectacular and immersive glass experience, July 7 – November 29, 2020. The exhibition will transform the L.C. and Margaret Walker Galleries into a dynamic and vibrant display of translucent color (and sound!) with works from our incredible collection of vintage and modern glass and offer the very rare opportunity to experience the impressive entirety of the MMA’s fine art glass.
The exhibition works by the artists that defined the studio glass movement, including Dale Chihuly, Harvey Littleton, and Marvin Lipofsky will join works by today’s new masters. The exhibition will also highlight collections of vintage Tiffany and Steuben lamps and glasswork alongside pieces from the pioneering days of contemporary studio glass, to give guests an exciting glimpse into the technologies and interests that have shaped the glass movement.
June 16, 2020 – January 3, 2021
George Segal: Body Language is the first opportunity to see the artist’s sculptures side-by-side with a recent gift of prints from the Segal Foundation complemented by additional loans of a painting, pastel drawing and sculptures.
Holland Area Arts Council:
The Steve Leary Show
July 16-September 5
Steve Leary is an artist whose profession is construction. New to being an artist Steve began painting just four years ago to the delight of just about anyone who enjoys his fun, bright pop art style work. Steve grew up being a fan of the car culture art movement with it’s cartoons, graphic signs and tongue in cheek graphics. Steve is a prolific and naturally talented painter and furniture designer who honed his craft after embarking on an artists residency in Maine that let him do nothing but paint for hours every day. Steve currently lives in Dorr, MI. You can also view this one online https://www.hollandarts.org/steve-leary-show.html
All The Things
July 23-September 12th
Artist Meet & Greet July 23rd, 5:30-7:30 pm
Advanced reservations required please call (616) 396-3278 for more info.
Adam brings all the things with him (minus the kitchen sink) for this unique show. His vibrant mixed media collages focusing on color and pattern, pen and ink portraits of “people” real and imagined, collaborations with other artists, and his latest obsession- hand carved wooden spoons. Pieces old, new, and divergent. A fun showing from one of West MIchigan's most talented artists.