It’s been an overwhelming month in studio. I saw a lot of art this month, worked on several tangential projects that eroded my time, and tried to keep pushing things forward. Here’s how the month went:
Seeing Some Art
The month began with a bang! I saw a TJ Templeton’s show at the Smalter Gallery on First Friday. The mixed media paintings were wonderful. A few days later, I found myself soaking up my art, this time in New York City. At the top of my list was the Robert Colescott exhibition hanging at the New Museum. Funny, crass and smart, this exhibition was a standout retrospective of his career. I also stumbled into the Hughie Lee-Smith exhibition that was on display on the lower east side. His surreal paintings were a quiet, somber reprieve in the heart of the city.
A Mural Proposal
When I got back to Kansas City after my short trip, I had to present a mural proposal to the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, along with the other artists presenting their ideas. Mine was a last minute entry, coming up with something to fit the convoluted theme. The theme was nearly indecipherable – ‘An International Flight through the Northeast Gardens of the World’. My concept was to show off any city and neighborhood’s greatest strength – its people.
The Northeast filled with such a varied population, I wanted something to appeal to the refugee’s in Northeast KC. My concept was simple, I divided the composition up into six pieces ,representing the largest ethnic groups and refugees that call Northeast KC home. I sketched out the landscapes from Mexico, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Burma and Vietnam and combined the horizon as one continuous through-put. With a few recognizable buildings or landmarks in each, the bottom of each section was filled the flora from each country as well.
It wasn’t chosen for any of the murals by the business owners. This saved me the logistical nightmare of painting a mural during one of my busiest parts of the year. It was a nice exercise and forced me to get out there a bit.
I’m helping a friend out by making some t-shirts for his bar. I’m fairly well versed with the silkscreen process, but it has been a minute. The entire process so far has felt like I was baking a cake after forgetting the recipe and trying to figure it all out on the fly.
My friend asked for a second design mid-week, and I retraced all my steps. But as I worked through the process, all the little tricks I’d forgotten started coming back to me, albeit a day late. I ordered a couple extra things to make the silkscreen process go a bit smoother and precise. Overall, it was a bit of frustration brought on by my own stubbornness, but things are going well now. All the new equipment and silkscreens will also allow me to work on some of my own prints through the rest of the year.
Music of the month
Yes, I live in Kansas City, but that’s not why I love this song. The uncertainty of an ex lover’s visit is left perfectly open ended.