my students had their first critique today. i think these folks have ceramist blood because they brought amazing food for our potluck and gave really useful and thoughtful feedback. more pics to come.
the specimens in the bird section are preserved as “study skins” and not (usually) as taxidermy specimens. the bones and organs are removed (except for the skeletal structure of the legs and wings). the wings are kept folded, the body cavity and head are stuffed with cotton and then the specimens are allowed to dry. it was out of control to see all those beautiful specimens lined up on trays. some people joked “i want them all!” i don’t know what it is about the translucent color, the old fashioned patterns. i ended up drawing an extinct flicker (relative of the wood pecker).
unfortunately i didn’t get a picture of the ostrich skeleton kalina was drawing.
st. croix apartment complex houses about 10 of uf’s mfas/recently graduated. Last night they opened their doors and invited the public into their homes to look at the art that they “live with” on a daily basis. some apartments transformed into pristine gallery spaces and some transformed altogether.
i started at the door which had the biggest crowd when i arrived. gleefully that crowd seemed to shift organically around the the complex through out the night. galen olmsted’s monolithic wooden structure covered in porcelain poops stood surrounded by kalina winska’s large ethereal paintings.
next i moved upstairs. drew avakian’s cut and reassembled, structured pots contrasted nicely with donna flanery’s soft, painterly cups and teapots. rob kolhouse’s futuristic busts held court alongside them.
back downstairs i found that varian wolf and charlie cummings, both big advocates for the florida springs, had filled their apartment with water and fish in order to allow us to experience life under the water for ourselves. luckily we were able to enjoy it without getting wet from the comfort of chairs outside, where we could observe the underwater goings on through the front windows. their projections of spring life at times presented compelling narratives that we wouldn’t otherwise be privy to.
down a ways, in jen clay’s apartment, large, long legged birds had taken over the everyday living room scene. they seemed to be jumping on everything, their blue, white and black feathers leaving a puffy trail. In the kitchen, one of clay’s “friendly unknowns” seemed to be having a fit over spilled milk and dry cereal. though clay’s apartment itself was the least changed, her creatures inhabiting the space transformed it into a wild unknown.
kate helms’ door was closed but in her absence she had placed a sculptural replica of herself, complete with overalls and a conductor’s cap. one of her works memorializing the cabbage palm was also displayed.
lastly, i visited the apartment of one of the organizers. several 2d works were hung, and when you ventured back into one of the bedrooms turned gallery you saw Jessika Normington’s light and string installation. The bright cacaphony of color and light against a fluffy white cotton clouds turned x-mess lights into firefly crackles of electricity.
after popping our heads up into the light scape some of sat on the floor and chatted. eventually the night died down. doors closed. a pie-zilla and coke showed up upstairs. good times were had by all.
unfortunately i didn’t get pics of everything but here are some pics from galen’s facebook.
nice night team st. croix!
My collaborator and I plan to intervene in this space in some way this week. It’s currently a large ashtray/garbage can with a very attractive bench attached. Our survey shows that people spend time there waiting for class to start and perhaps reading. Survey also says that nothing has been reported to grow in this space for quite some time. Some feel it would make a good garden. One soul has attempted this task planting what looks to be a small avocado tree.