Art Wall!

I’ve finished most of the work on the art wall. It’s this contraption which Ted Godwin described using in his book, “The Studio Handbook for Working Artists”. It is like a main easel for a dedicated art studio, and is made out of a sheet of 3/4″ plywood and 2x4s to provide mass and stability. Here it is with a mounted poster of H.R. Giger’s “Birth Machine” (I’m sure I’m using the image without his permission, but it’s more to show how big the wall is).
The trick was to come up with a way of mounting something on the wall without making it obtrusive, especially if using it as a photographic base for making slides. These shelf brackets worked really well for this job, and will suit my 61cm square pieces and just about anything larger. The spacing of the brackets is such that smaller pieces may need a strip of moulding glued to the bracket clips with construction adhesive, or perhaps a third bracket in the middle. I know the size of the pieces I work with, so this is fine by me.
This thing is damnably heavy, by the way. Some handles are really helpful for making minor adjustments to the positioning, and for moving it out of the way. In my case, I’ve got 4 different places to put this wall in the central loft chamber (I’m actually not sure what to call that big hole in the loft floor).
Also helpful are the heavy duty felt pads I’ve stapled to the bottom of the legs. These allow for small adjustments, but have enough friction to prevent the whole thing from sliding out and falling over. Still, I’d like to get some hooks for the top, while it’s leaning against the loft edge.

PETITION: A Living for Visual Artists

Please – add your voice to the call! Sign this petition.
Click onto the link below (“The Undersigned”) or go to the web address provided.
To: Canadian Artists, Artistes Canadiens
PETITION: A Living for Visual Artists
CARFAC and RAAV hope to significantly raise exhibition fees over the next few years.
At the same time, under the Canadian and the Quebec laws on the status of the artist, CARFAC and RAAV are pursuing artists’ rights through negotiations with presenters. Jointly, Carfac and RAAV are negotiating with the National Gallery of Canada. RAAV prepares important negotiations with Quebec presenters. These actions are extremely significant for artists and will impact on our ability to earn a reasonable income for years to come.
There is some opposition by public galleries to the fee increases. While the percentage of fee increase might seem large, these simply represent the percentages that are needed to catch up. Fees have not been increased, except for cost of living, over the past 20 years, and there was no differentiation in the fees paid by large and small galleries.
When exhibition fees became a legal right for artists nearly 20 years ago some public galleries were reluctant to pay them. Some still don’t want to pay them today. Many ask artists to waive many of the fees they are legally entitled to.
Public art galleries are public institutions operating in a public economy. Artists are part of that economy and essential to the public exhibitions they present. As the creators of the work exhibited Artists deserve to be compensated.
CARFAC and RAAV need your support in asking for fair treatment and our basic rights.
“I petition that artists in Canada deserve proper compensation for the work they present in our public art institutions. The rights that artists are demanding are basic human rights. As culture becomes more central to our social and economic well-being, artists have a right to fair compensation for the work they do and the right to decent living and working conditions.”
“I support CARFAC and RAAV in their efforts to improve the livelihood of artists through the new 2005 fee schedule and fee policy, and in their efforts to negotiate a fair deal with National Gallery of Canada and other public presenters across Canada and Québec.”
Credited to Mike MacDonald, National Spokesperson CARFAC and Yves
Louis-Seize, Président du RAAV

Taking pictures ASAP

I figured I should photograph these paintings before they go out (you know … artists and inventory, and that kind of crap), so I quickly converted my computer room into a photography studio, complete with 3200K lamps and 50% grey mat background, camera tripod, etc. I can’t say I’m particularly pleased with the photos, especially since I had them slightly skewed (hard to make a painting completely perpendicular on an executive chair). Also, the first painting was done with a heavy gloss acrylic medium, so it’s got a lot of reflective glare on it. This, despite covering the front of the lamps with white paper. The digital camera pics up a lot of glare, which is why film is preferred.
I was going to do several other paintings, but I was pressed for time, and my patience was growing thin. It’s much too crowded in here, and I was a little worried about blowing the already overloaded circuit with the extra 500W of electricity I was using.
Once the weather clears a little, I’m getting the art wall in place and moving the photo studio out of here.

Getting things ready ASAP for ASAP

I just found out about the Available Space Art Project (appropriately abbreviated to ASAP) in Kitchener, and am busting my ass to get some pieces into it for Friday. It’s not a particularly glamourous show: apparently it’s a volunteer project in which artists display their artworks in vacant or disused storefront space throughout downtown Kitchener. But it’s something to put on your CV, and it’s especially useful when your CV contains nothing pertaining to acrylic painting since high school. I’ve also been looking into getting some custom shipping crates made (actually, it’s cheaper than I thought) at this place just down the street from where I work.
I still have some photographing to do, and will try to get those pictures up on the site when they’re available.

Cool hybrid installation sculptures

This is very cool, but looks strangely similar to something a friend and I were planning some years back.
mogens jacobsen – TurntablistPC
TurntablistPC is a telematic hybrid of a turntable (gramophone) and an old personal computer.
TurntablistPC is a server which third-party websites can access. A small file is hosted on the TurntablistPC. Subscribing websites place a short piece of code on their pages. This code sends information to the TurntablistPC. When somebody visits one of the subscribing websites, the TurntablistPC spins the record.
Control is remote and hidden. But output – audio – is local only (through speakers in the TurntablistPC).

River Road Gallery – Art competition

“Paint Ontario” Art Competition, Exhibition & Sale. 2006 Call for Entries for this 9th Annual Juried Show. Best in Show $2000.00, Second Place $500.00, People’s Choice & Awards of Merit.
This juried competition is for “representaional art” that celebrates the beauty of the Province of Ontario. The show is held at the Lambton Heritage Museum, South of Grand Bend and runs for three weeks. Images depicting marine themes, landscapes, architectural, figurative, historical or regional flora and fauna are encouraged for entry. For more details and an entry form, visit, email or call 519-238-6213.
Deadline for entries is Feb. 27th 2006.

City of Toronto – Call for submissions

As part of the revitalization of the City of Toronto’s waterfront, Ashbridge’s Bay Treatment Plant is undergoing a major transformation, presenting a tremendous opportunity for Toronto’s Artists.
The Culture Division is seeking to commission an Artist to work collaboratively with the selected Landscape Architect on the refurbishment of Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant, at the intersection of Lakeshore Boulevard East and Leslie Street. The budget for the art contribution to this project is $250,000.00.
The Culture Division is inviting Artists living and/or working in Toronto to submit: resume; visuals of recent, relevant work**; and Artist’s statement outlining interest in the project and experience working collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams.
**Please provide colour prints or digital images on CD listing title, date, materials and dimensions for each work. Include a stamped, self-addressed envelope for return of submission material, if desired.
Submissions must be received by February 6 2006, 5 pm.
Submissions will be reviewed by an independent selection committee convened for this project. A short list of 3-5 artists will be interviewed by the selected Landscape Architect and City staff working group. Artist interviews will take place in March 2006.
Submissions should be sent to:
Rebecca Ward
Cultural Affairs Officer – Public Art
Culture Division EDCT
9th floor, East Tower, City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Toronto ON M5H 2N2
(416) 392-4173

Henry Moore sculpture stolen

Now who would try to steal a 3 ton Henry Moore sculpture?
LONDON, England (Reuters) — British police hunted for three men on Saturday who stole a huge bronze Henry Moore sculpture worth up to 3 million pounds ($5.3 million) and a spokesman said they feared the piece would be destroyed for scrap.
Police said the 3.5 meter long (11 feet, 5.8 inches) sculpture, “A Reclining Figure,” was stolen from the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire, north of London, on Thursday night by three men who drove it away.

The definitive studio handbook

I’m reading Ted Godwin’s book, “The Studio Handbook for Working Artists”. It’s a survival manual which covers several questions the working artist might encounter — questions which aren’t covered in art school. Like me, Godwin converted his garage into a working studio, and has many helpful hints for me in my own conversion process. I’m glad I picked this book up. I’d strongly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to sell their own art.
Some of the topics he covers are: dealing with copyright issues (from a Canadian perspective as well as U.S.); making crates for shipping art; how to frame and present your art; how to deal with galleries; photographing and inventorying your works; etc. Great stuff!