Another sketchbook is on the way to the Brooklyn Art Libary for the 2017 Sketchbook Project. Three streams of consciousness merge: hybrid monsters (real, imagined and augmented), an assortment of owls (scowl owls, wise owls and stylized) hidden and tucked into unlikely compositional elements and sketches of freeform climbers traversing, ascending and building stamina. Exhibition and touring details will be announced shortly. Nightmares — monsters, owls, and bouldering will soon be on view online; until then, nine digitized sketchbooks can be viewed here.
Announcing the publication of Seeking the Nuance (second edition).
Glenn Lewis, Phyllis Schwartz, and Debra Sloan present the second edition of Seeking the Nuance with new essays, photographs and glaze recipes. In this second edition is new historical information and discussion about how the Leach/Mingei philosophy continues to influence many studio practices within the BC ceramic culture.
The 2010 edition of Seeking the Nuance was based on Glenn Lewis’s 1970s glaze recipe card files that had evolved from his early 1960s apprenticeship with Bernard Leach. One of the main outcomes of this publication is an academic research written by Alex Lambley, a doctoral candidate at the Leach Pottery in St. Ives, Cornwall.
According to Debra Sloan these recipes not only demonstrate the numerous influences imported to British Columbia, but also they convey how information is utilized, especially in the constructed and geographically sequestered cultural environment in BC. Phyllis Schwartz believes that sharing these recipes will continue conversation amongst potters as they seek to nuance these heritage recipes work within their own practices.
Seeking the Nuance will be launched at the Best of BC (Gallery of BC Ceramics, 09 March) and the Canadian Clay Symposium (Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 18 March). It will also be available for purchase at the Gallery of BC Ceramics (Granville Island, 1359 Cartwright Street) for $25. A portion of the sales goes to the Maureen Wright Scholarship Fund (Northwest Ceramics Foundation).
Artists by nature are not hard-wired to boost, promote, or sell their work. Buyers usually want to know more about the works that attract their attention and perhaps purchase. That more can be the backstory, the technique or inspiration, and it is often said that it is not the work that is sold but the story that is bought. For some artists, that conversation is difficult. In my own artist practice, all of this is the case. If I could bring that story to life in conversation, there would be no need for me to make a drawing, photograph, artist book or ceramic sculpture. I came to value (and now miss dearly) art school critiques because I learned how to speak more confidently about the backstory, techniques and inspiration in my artist practice. Having said that, this blog feels somewhat like shameless self-promotion, but it could also be a year end summary about where my work can be found, where this work can be purchased.
South Main Gallery (279 East 6th Avenue, Vancouver) now represents my work, particularly More Illuminations, featured in Vancouver’s Capture Photography Festival (2016).
Cityscapes Art Rentals (335 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver) holds a small collection of my work for rent, rent-to-own, and purchase. A selection of my work will be in the 2017 Art Rental Show (opening 12 January through 04 February 2017).
The Brooklyn Art Library (28 Frost Street, Brooklyn, NY)/ Sketchbook Project now sells high quality prints of pages from nine of my sketchbooks in their collection. Sketchbook Collection
Gifting is an art form in its own right, and in this season of gift giving, a gift of art is a double gift because it gifts the artist as well. More about my photography continues at http://www.sassamatt.com
Presented by South Main Gallery and Capture Photography Festival
Curated by Edward Peck and Phyllis Schwartz (Sassamatt Collective)
We are pleased to present exciting new and recent work by 7 international photographic artists, including 3 world premieres at South Main Gallery. The exhibition features Goga Bayat, David Ellingsen, Jim Friesen, Diana Nicholette Jeon, Edward Peck, Phyllis Schwartz and Andrew Ward.
March 31st to April 9th
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 31st /7 – 9 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, April 2nd / 2 – 4 pm
Don’t miss a chance to talk to the artists about their work on Thursday at the Opening Reception or Saturday at the Artist Talk featuring Diana Nicolette Jeon and Andrew Ward.
Seven global photographers converge in an exhibition about the rhythms and tensions in the contemporary geographical, social and psychological landscapes.
Intervals: Photography in Flux is a collection of unique and unusual digital and photographic processes that are rarely seen in one setting. The methods and techniques range from those used long before the invention of the camera to the advanced technology available to artists today. The works are presented through diverse photographic methods using encaustic, cameraless exposures, and iPhonography. Their themes thread around the deconstruction of identity, environmental issues, disposable society, speaking under oppression and the mysteries in the mundane.
An Exhibition Catalogue will be available in the gallery and from Blurb
South Main Gallery
279 East 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1J7
The exhibition continues through Saturday, 09 April. South Main Gallery is open Tuesday – Thursday (10AM – 5:30 PM), Friday-Saturday (11AM-5:30PM) and Sunday by appointment; private viewing available (604.565.5622). An Artist Talk will be held on Saturday, 08 April (2-4 pm).
A feast of lumen prints are showcased in the newly opened Salon at A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas. Lumen, an exhibition showcasing this feast of alternative photography, includes Cathy’s Orchid, a digital print made from a handmade negative created by using a Lumen Print process. The exhibition dates are 11 March to 16 May. Two receptions will be held: 25 March and 30 April (4 – 7 pm). An exhibition catalogue available from Blurb is forthcoming.
Lumen prints are photograms made by a contact print process using organic materials that leave traces and shadows on photosensitive surfaces. These unique prints are made without a camera or darkroom enlarger. These materials transmit enzymes that interact with the surface of the paper, leaving X-ray like marks of both their shapes and interiors. Lumen prints on sheet film can be scanned and processed as digital prints. Artists experimenting with this process include Jerry Burchfield, Adam Fuss and the artists showing work in Lumen.
Mobile phones have become a notebook of sorts; they store images and fragmented memories, keep a phone call and text log, store data, track appointments and whole lot more. For a photographer, the fully loaded mobile phone is the notebook I’ve been waiting for. I can use it standing up, lying back or hunkering down without awkwardly searching for something to write with when the visual thought is in front or behind me, just about to disappear as the train is leaving the station. With a little planning, I have access to tools to work on stored images and maybe even prepare them for publication. I’m not much of a speech to text person, but I can dictate thoughts that take the shape of words or keep those words as a soundtrack. This is not to say that it replaces the coil bound artist notebook that is central to my artist practice; I have three crates of artist notebooks, and there’s no sign that that habit of visual journaling will be replaced by my mobile phone. But finally, there’s a notebook for photographers.
From time to time, I sing the praises of Aline Smithson, creator, editor and publisher of Lenscratch, photographer, writer and teacher. I read her blog daily, and it fuels my artist practice on many levels. I appreciate her seasonal calls for submissions to her theme-based blog exhibitions and look forward to visual content and editing/curating, offering a reading of these juxtaposed images that adds up to way more than the sum of the parts. A recent LENSCRATCH blog featured five pages of cellphone photography and included one of my cellphone photographs. Set among other cellphone photographs, I read my work in a new way.
Scrolling through LENSCRATCH 2015 Cellphone Exhibition, this blog emerged, and writing about my own work is always more laboured than this one. It was an inspirational series of images that illustrates how versatile the cellphone and cellphone camera can be. I am one of many who believe that technology and the economics of the cellphone camera have democratized photography, making cellphone photography a genre in its own right. While I began celebrating the notebooking opportunities of the cellphone, I end with a statement about the potential of the cellphone to make photography both immediate and contemplative, complex and spontaneous. View my Screenshot in isolation in this blog, but also view it in the context of the Lenscratch 2015 Cellphone Exhibition.
Three of my sketchbooks are on the Sketchbook Project Summer Tour. This year’s tour kicks off at the Brooklyn Art Library on Friday, 05 May and then travels to nine tour stops in North America. Sketchbook Project tours are fun: in addition to checking out and reading artist made books, there are also drawing and postcard writing activities.
On board this year are two new sketchbooks and one classic. Find your closest city, check out some sketchbooks and let me know what you think. Summer Tour Schedule
Big Wheels is a girl’s look at big wheels on roads, streets and sidewalks. It amazes me to think about how the wheel is one of six simple machines and how much complex technology is dependent on basic elements like a wheel. This book has been to Chicago, NYC, Bloomington, Ocean Shores, Iceland, Denmark and Germany. It traveled many miles to get to you.
Songs for the Accordion was inspired by the accordion book form and wanting to make a unique book that could visualize song and dance. Music threads through a landscape of colour and leaves notes to play and replay. Marks on paper were made using Procion dye, acrylic ink, charcoal, thread, acrylic medium and white glue. Of all the books made for the Sketchbook Project, this was the most difficult to send away.
My Brooklyn Childhood — a memoir has been on many Sketchbook Project Tours, including Art Basel. It is a compilation of my father’s memoirs and memory drawings. It brings together work that my father talked about but never achieved: illustrating the many stories he told. His memory drawings open a new understanding of his Brooklyn boyhood, and the Brooklyn Art Library is a fitting location for this first edition. This book is also available from Blurb
View these and my other Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbooks on line.
One of my sketchbooks is on the Sketchbook Project Summer Tour. The bookmobile will pull into Vancouver and park in front of Emily Carr University on Granville Island this coming Monday, 07 July (open from 1 – 5PM). Sketchbook Project tours are fun. In addition to checking out and reading artist made books, there are also drawing and postcard writing activities. If you can’t get to the Sketchbook Project in Vancouver, find your closest city, check out some sketchbooks and let me know what you think. http://www.sketchbookproject.com/sbp2014
Like some of my other sketchbooks residing in the Brooklyn Art Library, Last Trip to Surrey reaches deep into family history. It reflects the ending of a long journey of a family elder in a series of drawings about many journeys to visit and attend family meetings. It is difficult to disguise the debilitating impact of these visits, but somehow, I found a playful way to bring colour to time of fading light. This book can be viewed on line along with other books in the touring collection. http://www.sketchbookproject.com/users/queenofmidnight/artwork
Papergirl Vancouver openings Tuesday, 08 July (from 6 – 9 pm), and the exhibition will be on view until 11 July at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews). The Papergirl Rideout is 19 July, starting at 11Am, and artwork will be distributed to unsuspecting recipients along a yet to be disclosed route. More about Papergirl http://www.papergirlvancouver.com https://www.facebook.com/PapergirlVancouver
My involvement in Papergirl reflects my belief in the importance of generosity and keeping art in circulation. Often, I think about the monetary value of a work of art and the impossibility of putting a price on creativity. Papergirl makes it possible for me to live these values. There are, of course, situations where/when it is appropriate to exchange money for artwork, and yes, an art sale is sweet. It has been an honour to have been selected by Papergirl to offer Lumen Print Workshops as part of the promotion of this year’s Papergirl event. Some of the work produced in these workshops will be in the exhibition and then distributed.
My father had an amazing ability to draw from memory, and in his colourful illustrations I saw scenes of his childhood that were not in family photo albums. He also had an amazing ability to tell stories, and bed time was a huddle of children around my father turning his life into a series of adventures and close calls. He often talked about wanting to illustrate one of his favourite stories about the man someone had raked a pile of leaves only to have it undone by the wind, his variant of the Myth of Sisyphys.
A selection of stories and illustrations from my father’s Brooklyn childhood were made into Memories of My Brooklyn Childhood, a project that toured with the Sketchbook Project last year, and occasionally it is selected to join other tours. This book, retitled My Brooklyn Childhood has also been published in hardcover by Sassamatt and is available from Blurb in both Canada and the United States. Pairing these memories and drawings completes my father’s wish to illustrate his writing.
The Tree: Literal and Figurative, an exhibition curated by Alison Keenan and Phyllis Schwartz, expresses the theme of nature as experienced in forests, the built environment and as raw material for industry. The purpose of this exhibition is to show the tree as a common link in Canadian culture that provides a canopy, which spans all cultures, communities, collectives, artists, and individuals.This group exhibition presents images and impressions of the tree in a variety of media will surely evoke myriad myths and memories about the tree.
The artists from BestB4 Collective are graduates from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the University of British Columbia. The Tree is an inaugural BestB4 Collective exhibition by eight artists working in eight different media include the paintings of Alison Keenan, experimental photography by Phyllis Schwartz, drawings by Anna Ruth and Tony Chu Yin Tak, large-scale photography by Edward Peck, ceramics by Pauline Doyle, felt sculpture by Ellen Bang and installation work by Connie Sabo. The exhibition is on show at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum in Vancouver between 11 January and 17 February 2014. Exhibition Details.
BestB4 Collective is a Vancouver-based collaborative artist collective established by Alison Keenan and Phyllis Schwartz. The focus of their collaboration is an ongoing inquiry into themes of the natural and built environments, the use of public space by the private individual, contemporary dance as an art form and as public performance.
The Tree exhibition includes my recent lumen prints. In the gallery is my series of analogue lumen prints made during a recent visit to New York . New York: What Remains? shows traces and shadows of early summer foliage mostly collected near the Natural History Museum and Central Park. In the showcase windows are my recent digital prints made from handmade negatives. Illuminations is a series of forest abstractions made from kelp forest debris washed ashore at Chesterman Beach and windfall gathered in my back yard after a series of winter and early spring storms.