Monday, February 8, 2016

Back to Sweden

The cycle of collecting things that eventually end up in my art can take a long time.  In 1984, in a small town called Horndal, I helped myself to many of the free postcards offered by the Swedish Postal Service.  Over 30 years later, the last of these postcards have been cut up and reassembled.  Now they are on their way out as new mail art.  One is even going back to friends in Horndal.  I was tempted to also send one back to little post office in Horndal.  Sadly, the post office is no more.  Sweden decided to close most of its small town post offices.  When I travel around the United States and stop in a rural post office, it always is a reminder how every small post office remains an important part of the community it serves.  Not just as a provider of services, but as a gathering place where locals meet.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Purple Mail

Not entirely, but purple has been a popular color in some of the mail art that has been showing up.  Here are some of the latest pieces received:
  1. A colorful, international American-Dutch piece of mail art from some school kids in the Netherlands.
  2. Red Moon from Fleur Helsingor.
  3. Some more purple from Reid Wood in Ohio.
  4. New Year’s greetings from Adrienne Mason in Canada.
  5. And on the other side of Canada, a new piece from Kerosene.

Thank you, and if it hasn’t arrived yet, you’ll get something in your mail box soon.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Altered Reality of Picture Postcards

I have always been into postcards. I send them and enjoy receiving them.  Five years ago they started getting cut up and played a role in many pieces for the 2011 Project.  In 2012 I began using old postcards in my mixed media work in larger and larger pieces.  Postcards also lead me, accidentally, into the world of mail art (there is no going back — happily).  Last year, postcards were even the theme of a book I wrote.
Before you know it, I had an out-of-control pile of hundreds of postcards.  I like to start the year by organizing and sorting my art supplies.  With that in mind, I have gotten my remaining postcards all in order.
I had quite a few multiple copies of the same postcards.  Here is where the fun begins — cut, slice, glue, repeat.  During the last few weeks I have been sending out a new series of mail art (see above). In these picture postcards reality is seemingly reordered, a vortex appears in Birmingham, wormholes open up in redwood trees and time seems to be opening up. 

This little series is also a preview of the direction my new work is going in – it will all be for a show opening in October 2016.  Stay tuned…..

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Back in Berkeley

The Berkeley Art Museum is back.  I got a peak at the members’ preview today.  I have always been a fan and even had a fondness for the old, brutalist edifice on Bancroft.  Years of education in 70s modernist buildings can do that to you.  The new museum is a totally different experience.  The new building is simply flawless.  The firm of Diller Scofidio & Renfro did the sort of innovative, quality work that frankly is rare in the Bay Area.  You can immediately see that the space will be flexible for showing a wide range of art.  The building has been designed first and foremost to show art.   It feels spacious and the galleries flow well with at least two entrances for each room.  Even on a crowded day, the museum still felt comfortable.  There are architects who design museums then there are architects who are museum-goers and design museums.  You can tell.

The inaugural exhibit is Architecture of Life and it:
“…explores the ways that architecture—as concept, metaphor, and practice—illuminates various aspects of life experience: the nature of the self and psyche, the fundamental structures of reality, and the power of the imagination to reshape our world.”

The current show officially opens tomorrow and runs until May 29, 2016.   I am excited to have the Berkeley Art Museum back as part of my local museum rotation. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tennessee Cove

Tennessee Cove, acrylic on paper, 12”x9”, 2016

The beach is closed due to erosion and dangerous high surf, and even with a few rain showers, a Tennessee Valley hike like the one we took last Saturday is always inspiring.