Category: Art

A Day Trip to Greensboro

Hey guys.  I know, I’ve been gone.  Work is really busy.  Like, really busy.  We have two giant events this week, and then our Spring Art Walk the weekend after this one, and I am mega-planning and organizing all of it and, yeah.  Also my entire family was here for Passover and then I went to New York City this past weekend.  AND I AM TOTALLY GOING TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT THAT.  But first, I’m going to go waaaaay back to the last Saturday in March, when Jon and I took a day trip to downtown Greensboro!

My awesome friend Heather Gordon was part of a group show at the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art.  The show closed April 1st and, of course, we waited until March 31st to go to Greensboro to see it.  Hey, at least we went!  Anyways, I’ve been living in North Carolina for over four years and I’ve never been to Greensboro, which is ridiculous because it is only an hour away.  So I figured we’d take this opportunity to explore downtown Greensboro.

We spent most of our time around Elm Street (see convenient street sign).  We got there around lunch time, so we had some lunch at Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing Co.   I had a mediocre caesar salad and Jon had some kind of a wrap but we split some home made potato chips and those things were awesome and delicious.

We then headed down to Green Hill to see the show, which was called Word Maps.  It featured the work of four artists, all of whom do things with codes and languages and what not.  Here are lots of pictures of some art and the installation, it was a gorgeous gallery so I took a lot of photos. Oh also Heather had some work based on the game Parcheesi, which I have never played, but that is why a bunch of the pictures are of games and stuff.

Okay so all of that stuff above is by Heather, who is awesome.  The stuff below is by Vicky Essig, Paul Rousso, and Merrill Shatzman, respectively.  There aren’t a lot of photos, so you can chill.

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Liberty Arts Grand Opening

I’ve posted about Third Fridays in Durham before, they are always happening events, especially down by Golden Belt.  This past Third Friday was the Liberty Arts grand re-opening.  Liberty Arts is a metal foundry and iron-working studio that was a Durham institution, until a set of violent storms last year caused its roof to collapse.  Liberty Arts decided to move from its location near Central Park to a fantastic new space in the Golden Belt facilities.  Their grand opening celebration on Friday drew a huge crowd.

A number of food trucks, including The Parlour, Pie Pushers, and Only Burger, were on hand to keep everyone fed.  The weather was unbelievably nice for mid-March, so tons of people were sitting outside.

Lots was happening inside Liberty Arts: glass blowing, metal working, and other demonstrations.  The artists also had lots of pieces hanging around to look at.

I particularly liked this big wax mold of The Last Supper, I thought it looked like a big chocolate bar.

Durham’s own Luchadoras, the group of female masked wrestlers in the Mexican Lucha Libre style, were on hand in black evening gowns and sparkly masks.  I saw a bunch of them roaming around the Golden Belt area, they weren’t there to wrestle, I think they were just enjoying a night on the town.

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Raleigh First Friday

I’m going to sidetrack from the birthday month for a minute.  Friday night I made a rare trip to downtown Raleigh to support my friend Heather, who was having a gallery opening at Flanders, a trendy and well-regarded Raleigh gallery.  I don’t often get to Raleigh, because it is a bit of a trek (30-45 minutes, depending on traffic), I frequently get lost, and one of the last times I went to Raleigh I got into a car accident.  However, every time I’m in downtown Raleigh I wish I got there more frequently.  It doesn’t have the gritty, community vibe of Durham, but it is a more urban setting and definitely has the ability to buzz.

First Friday is Raleigh’s monthly gallery night (Chapel Hill has second Friday, Durham has third Friday).  Flanders is down the street from CAM, Raleigh’s contemporary art museum, and a number of great galleries.  I’ve visited some other galleries in the past, but I spent most of this Friday on Martin Street and in the Warehouse District.

Jon and I kicked off the evening by getting dinner at The Pit, before heading over to Flanders to see Heather.  I’ve been to Flanders several times, and it is always extremely sceney.  The atmosphere is very much big-city art gallery, which I always say makes me feel not cool.  However, I knew much of the audience there that night.  So I guess I was sort of cool.

Heather’s work is being shown as part of a group show, called Codework.  All the following photos were taken by me, on my iPhone, so apologies for the graininess.

Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!

All the works in the show dealt with language, communication, and interpretation.  Since I have known Heather, she has been interested in codes and language.  This work is from her newest series, which takes locations that we frequent in our daily lives (the above is a parking lot, but she’s also done cubicles and funeral homes) and maps them out in an abstract but still understandable manner (I hope I got that right Heather!)

Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!
Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!
Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!

The above two works are some of Heather’s binary works.  She takes text, oftentimes famous, and converts it into ASC-II (I think, this is all very tech-speak!) which she then converts into binary, which she uses to make these amazing, hypnotic, vortex-y pieces.  I love them.  As you can tell, Heather’s work is incredibly thought out and very cerebral, you can learn more by checking out her website.

I was also loving Peter Oakley‘s carved-marble sculptures of every day objects.

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The End of 2011

Heeeeeey friends.  How’ve you been?  Did you have a good holiday season?  I did, because I spent it with people I enjoy and also because my kitchen has gotten a few upgrades, namely this grill pan which I shamefully have not yet used y’all.  Operation get back to clean eating, however, starts on Sunday so I imagine the grill pan will come into play.  Also, speaking of clean eating, have you seen this great little Mark Bittman post where he gives lots of yummy, veggie-based, clean recipes?  Those will be delicious, especially since I am full steam ahead clean eating because I am going to a wedding in late January and I want to look bangin’.

So I’ve been acclimating to my new job, which I still like although this week, as you can imagine, was mega-slow.  I am resolving to go into 2012 with lots of optimism and enthusiasm, especially because I went into 2011 with a general sense of doom and a feeling of failure in regards to my career search.  New job, new attitude, old cliches!

This will be a sort of scattered-about, catch-up post since I have been VANISHED IN JOB LAND (sorry y’all).  I’ve been meaning to post about this trip I took home to Sarasota way back in November, but it clearly isn’t going to happen.  Instead I’ll just post a few pictures of the Siesta Key Crystal Classic, an international sand sculpture competition that was taking place the weekend I was in town.  If any of you watch Sand Masters, most of those folks were present.  The sculptures were only partially done when I saw them, but they were still 100% amazing.  Here are a few of my favorites:

If you look closely you can see a skull between the teeth, inside the fish.
This one was titled "The Five Senses."

So that’s awesome right?  PS if you didn’t already know, Siesta Key is an awesome beach in Sarasota that currently holds the #1 spot on Dr. Beach’s Best Beaches in America list.  Siesta is famous for its white, pure sand that has the consistency of sugar.  The beach is also incredibly wide.  It is an unbelievably beautiful spot.

Anyways, RESOLUTIONS!  Do y’all have any?  Mine are pretty vague:  MORE VEGETABLES, MORE BLOGGING, MORE SLEEP (I really need 8 hours guys I have to stop lying to myself), MORE GRATITUDE, LESS WHINING.   I think that about covers it.  What about you?

While you ponder your goals for next year, here are a few items with which I have been 100% obsessed lately:

1) Sand Cats.  I didn’t know these guys existed.  They are tiny, adorable cats that live in deserts in North Africa.  They are THE BEST and I want one so much y’all.

LOOK AT HOW CUTE THAT IS LOOK LOOK LOOK.

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Work of Art, Episode 10: The Big Show

Guysssssss we’ve reached the end!  Our group of fourteen has been whittled to three: Sara J. Young Sun, and Kymia (who I want to win).  Last week the final five were sent to a picturesque little town in the Hudson River Valley and they had to select a townsperson and do a portrait.  Kymia won with her whimsical portrait of an antique-shop owning couple, and Young Sun came in second with his meta-portrait of an artist.  Lola, Dusty, and Sara J. were in the bottom.  Sara J. squeaked by with her portrait of an older firefighter, while Lola was eliminated for her portrait that wasn’t really a portrait at all and Dusty was sent home because of his candy-constructed and candy-colored portrait of a little girl.  That was falling apart.  Anyways, I totally agree with the final three (although I wish Michelle had stuck around, sigh) and I am super thrilled that Lola is out, I couldn’t stand her.  As you probably realized.

Well, at least he'll get to go home and see his daughter.
RIP GDB.

This week: FINALE.  The final three have three months to make art exhibits and then they will BATTLE IT OUT in the ARENA OF ART and guyssss I am so excited!  I hope you are too!

9:00:  YAY!  FINALE!  China says the artists have $75,000 and three months to make a giant exhibit to wow the judges.  Each artist gets a little bio, starting with Young Sun.  We see a montage of him on the show, and all the money he won, and his tendency toward politics.  Bill Powers tells Young to leave the P.C. stuff behind when he returns.

9:01:  Sara J. is next.  She started strong, and then she had a breakdown in the childhood piece, and then she did better again!  Yay!  Jerry tells her not to be afraid of anything.

9:02:  Kymia is nervous and anxious and emotional and I really hope she wins!  Yay!  The three artists pack up and leave the loft.  They wish each other luck and say farewell–well, sort of, Young gets in a cab to go to the airport but Sara J. and Kymia live in NYC so, you know, they aren’t going anywhere.  And CHINA’S STUPID DRESS FOR THE LAST TIME Y’ALL.

9:03:  Two months pass.  Simon drives a Fiat (duh) through Chicago to visit Young Sun.  Simon sees Young’s apartment and meet’s his mother and boyfriend, Mark, who is a stock analyst.  Mark says that Young is his “long term investment,” ha.

9:04:  Aw, Young’s mom has been battling cancer and her husband passed away recently, and she’s been sad, but she is happy now because Young is doing so well!  And now we’re at show and tell!  Young Sun brings out his childhood art to show Simon.  Adorable.  Young and Simon then head off to Young’s studio to see his work.

9:05:  Young has found himself a beautiful studio–and thank the lord it is summer in Chicago.  Young has been doing photos with this structural piece, moving the piece around and taking pictures of it in various locations.  Simon calls it dry and boring and man, I totally agree!  Wow.  also, Young’s growing this totally ironic mullet, wow.  Maybe it isn’t ironic?

9:06:  in the meantime, Simon is drawn to some shirts hanging on the wall.  They belong to Young’s late father and he has set up sort of an unintentional shrine to his father and it is WAY BETTER than the weird moving structure photo project.  Simon suggests that Young should us that emotionalism and connection in his exhibit.

9:07:  Young states that he thinks the judges are expecting something really fantastic from him (duh) and he doesn’t want to disappoint them.  Simon returns to Manhattan to visit Kymia.  We meet Kymia’s boyfriend, Devin; they met at a Turkish restaurant.  They live in a nice apartment…but it is Devin’s parents’ apartment so, that makes me feel a little better, ha.

9:08:  Kymia is of course freaking out but her boyfriend is trying to make her feel better.  Good man.  Kymia shows some family photos; her mother was gorgeous wowzers.  She shows some pictures of a lake where her family used to jet ski; her father died in a jet skiing accident on said lake, and Kymia was there, that’s a bummer.  Kymia and Simon head out to her studio to see her work.

9:09:  Kymia has a cute little studio and she is doing some multi-media 2-d drawing-lookign pieces with afterlives and ghosts.  She also has some creepy 3-D ghost figures that i find sort of lovely and eerie and whimsical and man I love Kymia so much.  Kymia plans to have fifteen works in the show and has finished seven.

9:10:  Simon likes some of her works but hates her sculptures.  He even calls one of them, this girl with diamond eyes, horrendous.  WOW.  That’s harsh.  Kymia of course freaks out and starts crying.  The editors are really loving the tears this season, aren’t they.

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