November 4th, 2009

The 16 hands Studio tour in Floyd Virginia is  Friday, Sat. and Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 27-29).  It is a unique opportunity to visit artist in their homes/studios.  There is a map that directs you to the studios.   Basically you ride around this lovely rural area and actually go to the artist’s homes .  This is one of this groups two annual events and the artists depend on these events as a main source of income.   Usually they do not have time to do a full studio tour because their focus is selling but they are very open to conversation.  Silvie Granatelli  is one of the artist and she also offers appreticeships.  The work is primarily functional. This is a great opportunity to talk with working artist who have a successful sales and marketing program. 

Hereis the  link: www.16hands.com

what is art?

October 24th, 2009

Tara Donovan article abstract

October 20th, 2009

The Wall Street Journal

December 24, 2008

Leisure and Arts, Section J, 1035 words

Title: Art: Magician of Man-Made Materials

Author: Lance Esplund

 This article reviews the 2008 exhibition of works by sculptor Tara Donovan at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Massachusetts. The author discusses Donovan’s transformations of common materials such as pencils, buttons or Styrofoam cups as she explores their properties of shape, texture, translucency and malleability. She then layers stacks and binds thousands, if not millions, of the same material together to create her minimalist sculptures. The author likes Donovan’s success at creating “allusions and illusions”  in her work by using multiples of a material to produce forms that resemble something else.  Donovan considers her work “site responsive” as she often re-installs or re-scales her works to fit the venue. The author describes what he calls the “ah ha” experience where the viewer is no longer engaged in the effect of the whole piece, but rather focuses on identifying the individual elements of common, everyday material. The result of this viewer experience is that the true transformation is lost and the work loses its ability to become more than the sum of its parts.

The Elsewhere Museum

October 19th, 2009


The Elsewhere Museum is located in Greensboro, NC, and is not what one would consider a typical museum. The museum is a “living museum”, it is created by artists that work from the contents of the original stock surplus store. The “museum” holds years of objects, from the former owner and collector Sylvia Gray. Objects include stock surplus fabric, clothing, and thrift store items such as toys, books, housewares, and knick- knacks

The large amount of stuff that has been collected in the store inspired Sylvia’s grandson, George Scheer, to recruit fellow artists to reorganize Sylvia’s collection after her death in 1997. As excavation of the store took form local support increased and the artist residency program expanded. And thus, the living museum was created by a collaborating community of artists.

Everyday the artists within the museum discover new objects that reflect Sylvia’s life and mind. Elsewhere combines the story of Sylvia taken form her amazing collection, with the continual creation of an art production space and museum.

Taken from the Elsewhere website, here is their description of the residencies offered:

“Elsewhere’s residency program invites emerging and established artists and scholars to create site-specific works using the plethora of objects and dynamic spaces as materials for works or as a foundation for conceptual or technological projects. Residents launch projects from within the theoretical framework of an evolving exhibition of objects and artworks across media, composing an experimental museum rethinking the premise of the collector and collection, questions of history and myth, the stasis of the art object, the role of the artist, and the relationship of process within production.”

Elsewhere offers an alternative to the typical museum and gallery space residency. For example, while artists are given complete control over their individual work for the time of their stay, all of the work created in the space stays in the space. After an artist has finished their residency, new artists collaboratively build upon others’ visions in response to the developing installation.

In the The residents are encouraged to spend one month creating in the space.  No proposals are requested.  Instead, they ask artists to draw their ideas from the space itself, its resources, and the  arrangements and organizations that interweave resource, artwork, and collaborative artistic response.

Here are some of the specifics about residency prices etc, from the site:

The Residents pay a $200 residency fee and $50 deposit to hold space upon acceptance of invitation. Residents are required to fund their own travel, although Elsewhere, as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, can assist artists with granting opportunities.  Collaborative or collective groups are encouraged to apply.  Shorter residencies and student-residencies are available.

The Archie Bray Foundation of Ceramic Arts

October 19th, 2009

The Archie Bray Foundation of Ceramic Arts is located in Helena, Montana. The artist residencies range from two months to two years. Diversity of the work is extremely important to the Archie Bray Foundation. The Foundation also offers classes to the public, and has several visiting artists periodically visit for workshops. There is very limited guidance or rules for residencies, there are no critiques or syllabi. It offers the Voulkos Fellowship, named after Peter Voulkos, who began his career there. Wayne Higby, another famous ceramist, won this fellowship in 2009. Applications are due March 1st to become a resident artist. Once accepted, artists must make their own living arrangements, but to have the finances to support themselves, they can sell their work in the Bray Galleries or the Foundation offers part-times jobs as well.

The Fabric Workshop & Museum

October 19th, 2009

Tired of seein’ the same ole artwerk over & over agein?  I shure am.  It all made mur sense to lil’ ole me when I founded upon this here Fabric Workshop & Museum.  The FWM (as they calls it) is the only non-profit in Emerica that focuses on new work from new material.  They started this here place in 1977 with the goal to “promote design excellence in everyday objects”.  Its orgins started in exploring silkscreening on fabric.  Now, there are not limits to the experimentations that take place in this heres factory.  They gots paintin’, sculpture, architecture & designin’, conceptual & installation art, performance an’ video art!  They house residents that werk with painters & techician artists willing to teach new techniques, materials & resouces that allows residents to realize projects that would not have been otherwise possible.  They even gots themselves a musaum of over 5,500 werks made by all their past residencies.  Now all I’s gots to do is get myself a residency at this here place and I’ll be set!  Of course when I was Mary Pickford, I would have to just bat my eyelashes or cut my hair and then I’d travels to Philadelphia…

Till next time,


Sacatar Residencies

October 19th, 2009

Instituto Sacatar is located on the Island of Itaparica in the Bay of All Saints, close to Brazil, Salvador, and Bahia. Artists of all types are accepted, but you might have to make some accomodations to your studio and way of life. Sacatar includes a central house with a library, living rooms, a kitchen and five bedroom suites. You are only a few minutes from 175 meters of white sand beaches. All meals are included except on Saturday nights and all day Sundays.  Be prepared to have animals wandering around your room and the central house, including a possible frog in your toilet, but not to worry the institutes dogs are kept out of the house during meal times.

If you want to work with ceramics you are going to have to go elsewhere to fire.  You can use the wood-fired kilns at the local brickyard or make arrangements in the town of Maragogipinho two hours away to use one of over seventy wood-fired kilns located there. Work here might be more primitive but having the opportunity to work closely with locals and the choice of so many wood-fired kilns is a pretty incredible experience. Residencies last from six to twelve weeks with the majority lasting eight weeks. This is not a place to go for a tranquil get away but if you want a new experience  and culture to incorporate into your work this is the place to go.


Interdisciplinary Work at Yaddo

October 19th, 2009

One artist community that caught my eye was Yaddo, a 400-acre facility located in Saratoga Springs, New York. The admissions panel requires artists to be at a “professional level” within their chosen field, but I see no problem there–we’re all working towards that goal.

In any case. The facility is gorgeous, like something out of a Victorian novel (complete with gardens).pergola2-400

Except, you know. In New York. You get the picture.

…Look, Edgar Allen Poe visited. Well, he visited a part of the facility that was once a tavern. One time. Not that I believe in anything so illogical as the mystical creative power of place (yes, the website says that), but the history of the area is pretty cool, mystic creative juice or no.

In any case, the real kicker is that Yaddo isn’t just painters or sculptors. They accept applications in a broad range of creative fields, including film, performance art, choreography, and literature. Unfortunately, you can only apply for admission based on one category at a time, but there’s nothing to say that an artist couldn’t write while she was there. Or that she couldn’t observe or collaborate with other members of the community–in fact, Yaddo allows for collaborative applications covering two or three artists at once. Vulcan mind-meld, anyone?

Mattress Magic

October 19th, 2009



I just like the environment created in these rooms!  I wanna be a part of it!

Look at this!  It looks like something out of the Matrix!  This installation is called Ships, Chips, and the Stack of Documents by the artists Jesse Bercowetz and Matt Bua.  Man, I bet the creators of Stargate would love to see this!  I could spend a few hours in here taking in all the gadgets and switches and Hyperdrive engagers.  I don’t think there is any doubt I could steer this ship.  If no one was looking I would fly that S.O.B. right out of the Mattress Factory and straight out of Pittsburgh.  I would fly it home and land it in the park.

Seriously though, I am really getting into sculpture and the Mattress Factory is the Ritz!  The staff pretty much is tailored to follow the artists’ biddings MWAHAHAHA!  You also get per diem which totally sweet.

Yours truly,

Ken Balls

Costa Rica Artists’ Colony for Julia and David

October 19th, 2009

This artist colony offers residencies from  a few weeks to months.  It is located in Costa Rica in Central America and in the middle of a private seventeen acre rainforest. It is about  a twenty five minute drive to the capital San Jose’.  The colony was established in 1998 to honor the memory of the founder’s deceased children.  The environment is described as natural and nurturing.  It is at about 900 feet above sea level and year round temperatures average in the seventy’s.  The culture of Costa Rica is described as peace loving (excluding the drug trafficers). There are a number of museums near by ranging from Pre-Columbian to Modern Art as well as ballet, theatre and opera.  Outdoor activities include visiting volcanos, rain forest, beaches and rivers.  Healthcare is available.  As you can see this sounds more like a vacation than an artist residency.  Artist do not have to compete for residencies but simply make a reservation at an available time.  The artist pays for their time at the colony and studio space is provided.  The colony seems to offer a wonderful retreat atmosphere rather than a stimulating, idea enriching experience.