May 4th and 5th

Spectrum: 3.5 hours

Intermedia: 3 hours

Today was my last day at Spectrum; it was sad. I wonder if I'll ever see Genie again..?

I did more of the same today at Intermedia. But, instead of working on publicity for Intermedia I worked on it for the upcoming Q-Stage culmination performance being held there. Some of the organizers and artists were there. We talked about intent and laughed casually. I liked helping, even if all I was doing was preparing programs for the show.



April 27th and 28th

Spectrum: 3.5 hours

Intermedia: 3 hours

 I held my Animating Drawing workshop at Spectrum ArtWorks today. I think it went really well. The experience in seeing all the artists , my peers, working on a single piece together was amazing. Everyone acted accordingly in sequence one after another drawing and reacting to the page before them. It was an incredible culmination to see animated. It has been a joy being part of this studio; I'm going to miss it. Maybe I'll just show up for open studio hours now that Abbie filled the internship position here.

Intermedia held more of the same kind of labor tasks. It feels good to help. It's like I tell Audrey, "There's no task too small or too large here. It all counts."

Speaking of Audrey, she wasn't here today because she's working in New York. Instead Wendy held interim position for her.

April 20th and 21st

Spectrum: 3.5 hours

Intermedia: 3 hours

Today was a workday at Spectrum. Everyone was extremely busy preparing their submissions for the Impossible Things show coming up.

Genie was there, working on three canvases as usual, as well as my friend I bought the art from. It turns out that he's not even a core member of the group; he just shows for open studio time. I really hope that he takes consideration in joining when the next vote happens.

At Intermedia I did more of the same kind of work I've described earlier. There is a big fundraising event coming up so after cleaning and maintaining order I worked on publicity materials. I like Intermedia and think I'll stay on; they are a large encompassing organization and everyday I get closer to the members committed to it.

April 6th and 7th

Spectrum: 3hours 30min

Intermedia: 2 hours 30 min

Genie was in the studio at Spectrum on April 6th! It was so good to see her; she's been busy working for the Impossible Things show being sponsored by Spectrum ArtWorks. We discussed the progress of her triptych and talk about art and function. I always feel strange offering any advise to working artists because I am happy just working in studios like the one associated with resource.

In fact, I've decided to make that my main focus; it is my goal to establish a community center without boundaries. I'm not interested in the gallery anymore. It seems trite and selfish to me now. I want to help bring art to those who may otherwise not be exposed to it. But beyond that I want to provide a safe place for human beings to express or just get off the street for awhile. We as people need to be acknowledged; we're not alone and I want to be one individual who says, "I see you, and you is all you need to be."

On April 7th I worked at Intermedia. My day began with the same tasks but later took on a more personally satisfying role as I began to disassemble the old show and install the new show Me(me) a youth exhibition by local young artists. This involved painting many pedestals and spaces a bright teal. I don't exactly understand the color choice but it seems to fit the theme quite well. This experience was very fulfilling. Though I didn't get to meet any of the artists involved I saw their work and was very impressed. There is even a young photographer from MCAD in the show. I think I met her at the beginning of winter; she had shot me while I drew on the skylights of the first floor studios beside the outside the lounge area.


March 30 and 31

Spectrum: 3hrs 30min

Intermedia: 2hours 30min

Abby my classmate and fellow Teaching Artist resident had her class today (March 30) at Spectrum ArtWorks. She taught a class on using found objects as an art medium. Abby had found a box of tiles in the studio's storage facility and took it upon herself to have the group create their own interpretations. There were lots of people there I had never met before and the results were amazing; everyone has such an originality inside themselves.

My job that day was simply to help facilitate the activities and help make sure everyone had what they needed. In my spare time I worked on my own tile amongst the group. It felt great to belong to something greater than the self. 

Each tile is now on display in the main community room of the Resource building. I think they've found an excellent temporary home.

On March 31st I worked again at Intermedia. The day began the same; I cleaned the floors, wiped the tables, and then I processed rental applications used for the space. Intermedia is an interesting gallery; a large part of their work is to provide space for other organization to house events. The papers I had processed were for the music department of the U of M to hold an open dialogue with the local rapper Brother Ali. It's truly amazing the broad amount of events that run through there.

March 23rd/24th

March 23rd/24th

Spectrum: 3hrs 30min

Intermedia: 2hrs 30min

On Monday the 23rd I was in the Lighthouse studio. Genie was not in the studio again. I’m not sure if I should be worried or not because her output keeps building in her workspace. The additions she's made were not present but a new painting was. I assume it will be part of her work with religious iconography.

However, I did curate a gallery for her ever-growing amount of paintings in the meeting room on the second. Jes and I made a lot decisions regarding what should go where while hanging her work in such a non-compromising space but now twelve of Genie’s pieces adorn its walls. I hope I represented her appropriately.  

The collage artist did attend though; we’ll call him “Ned.”  Ned’s presence meant I was able to purchase his work. I can’t express how much this pleases me. (In order to accomplish this Jes, Ned, and I agreed to have the transaction occur outside the institution to avoid any bureaucratic interference.) I've positioned it as the header for this blog. Perhaps now a connection can be made between my words and the work. The piece is the first in Ned's catalog that implemented the two-piece collage technique I had described earlier. 

In my honest opinion, Ned is one of the most naturally talented individuals I have ever encountered. He is very soft spoken and his reasoning often ends in statements like “… that’s just what it wanted.” He’s a natural.

 Ned really opened up to me; he wanted to know how he could sell his work. All I could only offer him the same advice I have been given before; applying for exhibition space, grants, art fairs, events, independent transactions, etc… What I provided in addition to an answer to his question was a conversation about the intent versus purpose of what we are doing as artists. There are no answers here, only feelings. Together though we reconfirmed that there isn’t very many options for people like us.

On March 24th I began at Intermedia. I’m not sure what to say about my work there yet. It ranges from helping with administration details such as census data collection, cleaning, and promotion to helping with the installation and de-installation of current and past shows. My time there is very rewarding given that it provides me with a broad understanding of what it is to run a community exhibition space.

March 16th

Spectrum: 3hrs 30min

Neither Genie nor the collage artist attended today...

This means no companion journeys down hypothetical mazes. Nor did I acquire a new piece for my collection.

Instead, there was only Genie's new canvas leaning against the others in her workspace. She's taken on new direction:

Together the three paintings explore different structures, the right uses various hard edges with an emphasis on triangular shapes. As the imagery moves toward the centerpiece it begins to round out into the painting I had previously described. The newest addition on the left is much more plain. Though the image seems like a simple landscape at first glance its complexity is indulged upon through the addition of the other two canvases.

The whole triptych reads from left to right. Like a book our eye easily accepts the introduction; we glide into the whole with little effort. We even feel welcomed into Genie’s realm. This is a deceptive gesture on her part though and speaks well to her character. As we read through the work the information becomes condensed and less literal. Image and mark are less specific and depend very much on symbolic interpretation through color. The maze turns in on us as we reach the end. Soon we are trapped in the psyche of the creator and embrace the draw of Genie’s intent.

March 9th

Spectrum: 3hrs 30min

A deal had been agreed upon between the collage artist and myself that day. He settled to offer it to me for a meager $10.00 and I immediately agreed. Later I felt guilty so I offered double and a trade of work. Now it's only a matter of paperwork before I own it. Meanwhile, the piece just hangs in its same awkward positioning across from where I sit..

There is one person I haven't mentioned this whole time. She and I have really hit it off since the first day I settled into the Lighthouse Studio. For the sake of privacy I will refer to her as "Genie."

Genie is an elderly lady, she's snarky, educated, impersonally devout. I love her.

She sits each day working on three canvases at a time and talks. Often she'll talk about old jobs she had or make off hand jokes about anything as simple as her soda to the objectification of god.

Encompassing Genie's broad work of drawings and paintings of religious iconography, sketches of friends and moments is another more expressionistic side approach. One which involves a series of motions and analysis. The product results in a literal maze of various shapes and color transitions between representational architecture. She is currently working on a triptych using this very technique for the core member's seasonal show. The theme is "Impossible Things" and she's never explored the triptych before.  

Working with her on these paintings is a trip with little intention but endless progress. We communicate through associations as she steers me away from the basement. Colors bleed into one another like fire into water. Hard edges made by permanent forge brick patterns that stabilize the pieces.

When we decided the dual works she was working on could be benefited with an additional canvas she took a turn on me I wasn't expecting. The side which seemed to fit best to the reverse of the other canvas was placed on the other side. This undoubtedly created new complications. Genie addressed them with ease. 

She is a shocking display of sheer will.   


March 2nd

I did not work at the studio this week. I have fallen behind in my school work and decided to take the day to catch up as much as possible.

February 16 and 23rd

Spectrum - Jes Reyes - 7 hours 

The studio was not open on the 16th, but because things have been going so well Jes accredited me time for that day.

It was another great day on the 23rd though. The artist working on the triptych wasn't there so I couldn't get permission to document the painting I mentioned prior. I did document some other work though; this inspired a conversation between Jes and I about rights to privacy and publicity. Before I can post anything I have to acquire various permissions through both artist and institution. This all makes sense; it can be a touchy situation at times when admiration is at stake.

These same rules apply to purchasing art. I mention this because I am in a current negotiation with one core member of the group about a particular piece he has finished. In the duration of time I have been working with him he has reached a breakthrough in his style and I want the first product of this accomplishment.

The artist works in collage. His source material comes from advertisements from the 50s and 60s, which tend to be predominantly painted works that have been reprinted. They have a charming yet haunting aesthetic. The piece I seek, more to the point the breakthrough I wish to attain is composed of two cut outs. The image is a photo from the audience's point of view of hands holding an antique roll-a-dial phone laid on top of a black and white print of a battle at sea. I have never seen such an excellent example of method meeting style. It is comparable to a one stroke painting; in a sense he made one move and the work was done.

I really hope we can make a trade.

Feb. 9

Spectrum: 3hrs 30min

On this date I spent the whole of my residency time on the studio floor at Spectrum. The environment was extremely inviting. It was an open studio day so a large amount of people came through. Each for their own purposes came to practice or express.

I talked to one member who's painting has dazzled me since my first introduction to the studio. The piece is composed of two main mid-tones, blue and yellow. It had an impasto gesture to it yet the image was composed of two overlaying rectangles. The center was bare except a light drawing on a sheet of sketchbook paper.

It turns out the work is a triptych in the process. She intends to use the piece to apply for a grant. She told me the inspiration for the paintings was the entrance to a treatment facility. When she asked me for advice on the project's direction I offered various aesthetic viewpoints. Ultimately though I could end only on the note that I loved it as it was.

Week 2 – February 2nd

Spectrum: 3 hours 45 min 

My first official day at Spectrum. It went really well. I met Christi, the co-coordinator of the program. She's a well rounded artist and has some amazing work to offer the world. I can't wait to pick her brain while I shadow next week.

I also met a few members and core members of the organization. Each artist carries their own talents to the group. I truly believe we will all prove to be an invaluable asset to one another.

The artist's studio is associated with Spectrum though it is ran by Resource, a chemical and mental health facility. It is Resource's mission is to help those in need support themselves and get back on their feet.

The studio helps provide a working space for artists who have been diagnosed with certain mental disorders, such as depression or schizophrenia. One clause of the organization is that each participant is a working artist. It is Spectrum's intent to encourage member's to continue within their career by finding exhibition space and support them through the application process. Though the mental benefits exist the act is not art therapy; it is expression. The group seeks to diffuse the the stigmas of mental disease not encourage them with labeling.     

Week 1 – Januar 30 and Feb 2

S. High: 2hrs

Spectrum: 3hrs 30min

Today I begin my first official day with Spectrum. I will be meeting with Samantha Sleeman, the director there. I'm a little anxious but think the feeling is just anticipation.

Additionally, I had my interview at Minneapolis South High School on Friday the 30th of January. It went really well! I met Delainia Haug, Laura Lanik, and Nadja Reubenova. Each teaches and runs different portions of the semester long program. We discovered that the timing between each of my residencies conflicted but decided I could postpone beginning before April. Luckily this date falls on the Mayday Parade portion of their course. This is exciting news; I've been wanting to be involved with this since I moved to the Powderhorn area.

There is a meeting on February 10th and the 14th. I think I'll attend them.

Week 1 – January 18

Spectrum -  2 hours

I had my interview with Jes Reyes, the art coordinator at Spectrum. We both seem equally excited to get started. I'll begin on Feb 2nd at 1:00pm; there I'll meet Samantha Sleeman and receive a full introduction into the program.

I was also lucky enough to see some of the core members' work and found out that one member was interested in exploring sculptural aspects in their work. This really attracts me for some reason.

On the 31st I will have an interview at South High where I'll meet the full staff and hear about the H-Art class I'll be participating in. Each project I've heard about thus far holds so much potential.