Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May Update

Just a little context...  if you're wondering why I am doing this blog-thing, which I often ask myself, you can find out in the "My Intentions" post from January.  

Since my last post....

So, truth be known, when I added a monthly visit to NYC to my grant proposal, it was a last minute, this sounds like fun, afterthought.  I never realized that it would become such a large item on my monthly to-do list.  I've found that, as exciting and stimulating as NYC is, it takes a lot of planning and preparation to get there, and a lot of research and strategy to see the best exhibits.  I actually think I'm seeing more of NYC that when I lived there (during my art school days) and probably taking in more exhibits that the average New Yorker.  These visits have certainly pacified any romantic ideas I've had of moving there, at least for the time being.    

In lieu if NYC, April presented itself with an invitation to teach as a visiting artist in Chicago, so I added on a 3 extra days to get my art fix.  Not only did my students post a blog about a talk I gave, but they gave me some great recommendations of what to see which included...

Frank Gehry's Pritzker bandshell

Day 1 -  The Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Institute (Fab!), along with being totally wowed by the architecture!  My foggy memory of my course in "History of Modern Architecture" got a workout and I rode 'the Loop' just to take it all in. Dinner with Greek hubby Christos, at the Parthenon in Greek Town, made the day complete.      

Christos and Magdalena Abakanowicz's Agora

Day 2 - Breakfast at The Yoke, a visit to Magdalena Abakanowicz's Agora, followed by a gallery marathon in the West Loop and River North districts.  In the spirit of having a complete Chicago experience, this vegetarian even ate an authentic Chicago hot dog!

Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate

Day 3 - The Cultural Center, a second hit at both the Art Institute, a visit to Frank Gehry's Pritzker bandshell, a collision of sculpture, architecture and landscape with the Chicago skyline as it's backdrop and Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate.

Hyde students making molds

The plane barely landed and I had to hit the ground running with a day of teaching as a visiting artist at the Hyde School in Bath, Maine.  The students (I love them all!) used clay to create negative molds. Next, they poured plaster into the cavity to create a positive form, hence turning a negative into a positive. To further the challenge the students were encouraged to sculpt a personal symbol that stood for something in their life that is negative, but they are working to make positive. Example: Procrastination (negative), into Time Management (positive) = A Clock (symbol)

For May, back to NYC...

For May, I returned to the big apple.  Here are some great shows to see if you're in NYC and worth looking at online if you're not...

Exhibits Just Past...

Executive Director Wayne Atherholt with my work at the Morean Arts Center

My kinetic work was part of a exhibit Wax: Medium Meets Message show at the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The exhibit ended on May 28th but lives in internet infinity in these online reviews...

Quantum Revival at Momentum X

My work was also on view at Momentum X at the George Marshall Store Gallery in York, ME.  This is the exhibit annually features work of the AAG Grant Recipient along with that of the  finalists.  This exhibit ended on May 27th, but you can still see and read all about it here...

Exhibits Up Now...

 Switchback, encaustic, 24x36 at Bowersock Gallery

My newest works will be on exhibit at Distinctly Encaustic, Bowersock Gallery in Provincetown  from Friday, June 1st with a reception from 7 to 9pm, through June 19th.  And I currently have some new work at Arden Gallery in Boston, MA.

Traces of Motion II, encaustic, 24x24 at Arden Gallery

  Stuff Moves, the is moving to Maine! 

Tertuim Quid, click here to see them in motion

The Engine is a creative art center and in Biddeford, ME with an ambitious mission to propel the creative community.  This large, high ceiling, wide open gallery space poses a unique opportunity for me to exhibit, not only Stuff Movesmy recent body of kinetic sculptural work,  but my large kinetic installation Bardo State along with Wave Phenomena.  It will be a first to see all this work together.  

See Bardo State in motion here. 

Wave Phenomena

Hope you can come!!! 

  Stuff Moves
The Engine, Biddeford, Maine

June 15th - July 21
Reception June 15th, 5-7
Artist Talk, June 15th at 6:30
Biddeford Art Walk, June 29 5-8 (non stop art walk talk, yikes!)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kirsten Reynolds Interview

One of my intentions with blogging is to give insight into the impact the Artist Advancement Grant has had on past recipients.  This month's profile features Kirsten Reynolds, the 2007 recipient of the AAG. 

Kirsten Reynolds in her studio

How would you describe your work?

I create site-specific installations and sculpture that explore the interconnections between architecture, language and the body.  Using gestures of clownish absurdity, my work raises questions about their essential nature to reconsider them as processes, rather than objects, in the act of becoming. 

Architectural structures and biomorphic sculptures, poised in a moment between perpetual construction and imminent collapse, form a theatrical tableau  The viewer can enter the installations, becoming a participant in an irresolvable narrative.  Vivid colors and patterns, inspired by Japanese origami paper designs, cover the installation’s panels and floorboards.  The materials and methods of construction seem obvious yet elude conclusions.  While appearing solid, the wood, bricks and panels that are actually made of foam boards that I individually paint with faux wood grain finishes and silkscreen print with pattern.  The tacks, mops, rags and black drips cluttering the space around the architectural structures, are also exaggerated reproductions, and as such, absurd functional failures.

Full view of "The Former Mistake" at the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH

What was your grant proposal?

I wrote the grant proposal with short and long-term goals in mind.  In the immediate, I had become a new mother and was searching for ways to advance my art practice while adjusting to the schedule constraints of being a primary caretaker. Because creating the stock materials (the printed and painted foam boards) for my installation projects is very time consuming, I felt it would be a tremendous benefit to hire an assistant who could do most of the production work.  I hoped this would enable me to make the most of my studio time by working to increase the visibility of my work, developing proposals for new installations, meeting with curators and arts professionals, commissioning a portfolio website and visiting galleries. I also allocated a portion of my grant budget to cover the cost of part-time daycare so I could depend on a regular schedule for my work.  

Did you stick with your grant proposal or did you make adjustments to your plan?

Overall, I did stick with my plan.  Due to the fortunate and unexpected invitations to create installations for the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln MA and the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH, that same year, I spent more in production mode than I originally planned, even with the help of an assistant!

Entrance to "The Former Mistake" at the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH

What kind of impact did receiving the AAG have on you and your work?

Due to the support of the AAG, I was able to greatly expand the scale and scope of my work, providing a new benchmark for future projects. Outsourcing some of the installation’s production by working with an assistant became an invaluable opportunity to learn how to manage large-scale projects – an essential skill for my work to grow and be exhibited in a variety of venues.  Now, when I prepare proposals, I can confidently conceptualize and organize the project, beginning with the scale model of the installation to planning the production and installation schedules, budgets, shipping etc.    

Detail of "The Former Mistake"

How has your work developed in the years since receiving the AAG?

I have continued to create large-scale installations, while also diversifying my work to include silkscreen prints based on the architectural scale models of the installations.  Using the photographs of the models as a template, I translate the original installation proposal into a graphic design that juxtaposes architectural forms, pattern and implied movement in new ways.  The final designs often reference a mixture between the Baroque sensibility, 20th century constructivism and Japanese Kawaii (or contemporary aesthetic of cuteness).  
Detail of "The Other Last Moment" at the Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Buffalo, NY

Do you continue to apply for other grants and have you received any? 

Since the AAG, I have received the Artist Resource Trust Grant, from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, as well as a full fellowship to attend the Vermont Studio Center Residency.  

What are you working on now?

I completed a new installation for the exhibit, “Home Sweet Home,” on view at the Montserrat College Gallery of Art from November 2011 to January 2012, weeks before I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, named Elsa! She is now 4 months old and I’m returning to my studio to continue work on the silkscreen prints. 

To view more work visit http://www.kirstenreynolds.com/