Saturday, March 24, 2012

Resume Normal Programming.

The week ended with a cool down, and rain. It's still gloriously warm for this time of year and I'll take any time I can get, being outside in a park; but this just feels a bit more appropriate. Like many Michiganders, I can't help but feel we will pay for those 70's and 80's days in March with some other TBD weather misfortunes. It's only a matter of time...course if you look for the negative, you will surely find it.

In any case, I transferred a drawing onto a woodblock a couple weeks ago, but couldn't bring myself to spend time in front of the basement workbench, when there was a premature Summer to be had. But today? Beautiful certainly, but not luring me to go lay down in the grass somewhere. So, armed with the first bowl of coffee, I did some initial carving on another Cakeasaurus design. A lovely way to start out a Saturday! After an unusual 6 weeks or so, it felt like a nice return to normalcy.
 After that, I checked out the 30x30 event at the Ann Arbor Art Center and I'm so glad I went! It was my first attendance and it definitely made me want to return, if not try to participate next year. The basic gist: 30 artists make 30 works of art in 30 days and they're all on sale for $40 each. Super? Super! I totally missed the driving altruistic part, in my need for stimulation: the proceeds go to the Art Center's Art for Kids program. I felt a little bashful that this had totally passed me by -- but I inadvertently did my best. So.

The offerings were pretty varied, the exhibit spaces were bustling and signs everywhere intoned: "If you remove an item from the wall, you are expected to purchase it." The latter part struck me as bit brusque, but I saw the wisdom in it soon enough when the hoarding part of me kicked in, wanting to amass my favorites prior to actual decision making. There would have been little art hoarding piles nestled in all the room corners and resentments would definitely have run high.

So I wound up circling several times and falling into conversation with various art acquaintances -- a lovely way to spend Saturday afternoon. Anastassia Fulmer had a nice wall of prints fused to plywood boards, including a cagey looking pigeon and a contorted rabbit who sported nice classic woodblock lines. She's a senior at UofM's School of Art & Design and will be featured in the senior show opening on April 13th, though I'm a little unclear which building will house it.

The always entertaining Jason Gibner was there with his happy-making paintings, which will certainly sell out by tomorrow's show. Ryan Weiss, who made that great house piece for "Reclaimed" in Wyandotte was close to selling out when I came through, as were Stephanie Salamone's screenprints.


Meanwhile, I had quite a time deciding between bowls and vases by local ceramicist and bartender Mark Ehrman. I really liked some of the darker glazes and designs created by tape resist, but this pastelly one pulled ahead in a surprise win.

Calming shades, nice variations and speckles

Trio of troublemakers. Robot vase by Douglas Spalding in background
...and wacky clay figures by Diane Hawkey. The more I look at them, the more they grow on me.
Stop looking at us like that. We don't need any trouble here. Actual acorn as beret: niiiiiiiice.

Sweetly satisfying. Small painting on gessoboard by Darlene Mowatt.
If you're local, this event's continues tomorrow from noon-5. Though many of us have already scooped the lot of you. Mwahaha.

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