Week 47 of 48

December 27, 2010

One week left in 2010 and then it’s on to 2011! Dura Mater is finished and photographed, my new website is live, and graduate applications are coming to a close in the next couple weeks. Onward and upward! So this week, I’ll just provide a link to the new website, with the new work, for the new year. Enjoy!

new website! for the new year!

I intended to write an anniversary blog entry in a more timely manner, or have a party, or otherwise find some way to commemorate this momentous occasion but kept forgetting about it! A year ago, last March 6th I believe, was my last day of work as an exhibit designer. Normally that wouldn’t mean much other than looking for a new job, but for me it meant an unprecedented commitment to art making. I know I’ve said this before, but just to remind you (especially you, Errol!), I loved a lot about my design job and miss a lot of the wonderful people I worked with back then. Quitting was really about the art making, not about the job per se, which is why it feels important to acknowledge it. I mean… seriously! Look at what has happened in only a year! I’ve given up nearly everything recognizable about my life at that time and fully embraced something completely different. Or at least done my best to fully embrace it—I’ve been better at it at certain times than others. Quite a rollercoaster the last year has been, and it just keeps chugging along! Anyways, let’s see if I can put together a little before and after…

A year ago, I was here…

Boston! With Matt!

Doing this…

Toxic things in my apartment

Now, a year later…

Alone, in studio, Northern Vermont, March...

Crazy, I know… You are astounded.  Of course, the benefit back then was I had money. I should have bought a camera, knowing mine would die now… Which brings me to appeal number two for anyone out there who might have a spare camera lying around. It’s really hard to write a weekly blog or document process or time based artwork when you don’t have a camera. The situation is getting a little desperate… I’ve been borrowing the studio center’s camera but it is a pretty sad little thing (probably donated when someone else got a new one) and I’m going to have to bite the bullet and come up with another solution soon. Ideas anyone?

Lastly, I will close this little anniversary entry with some eye candy. Hahaha, I am so clever (sorry, really weird mood—new crew of residents arrived today and I think the turnover is making me a little crazy…)

More successful hollow casts...

Diamond-like

De-Installation

February 23, 2009

It was time to take down and pack up the piece yesterday afternoon.  De-installation is always sort of a bittersweet moment; nice to be done with it (until the next time!) but also sad since it was so much work and it will never live again in the exact same way.  Onwards and upwards I guess!  Next time it will evolve into something different–I don’t know what or when or how yet, but I’m sure it will on its own terms.  By now it absolutely has the ability to stand on its own, I’m here to just give it some direction every now and then but it is its own entity;  I can only be so controlling and obsessive…

Again I forgot my camera, but I did borrow one from the Arsenal to take a final set of shots in its birth context and a few of the sorting and packing process.  Hopefully I’ll get those soon and be able to post a few here. 

I am hoping to be much better about keeping this blog relatively consistent.  Entries will probably rise as a particular project draws to a close or enters a space, but outside of those fluctuations, it would be great to use this as a means of documenting my processes on any and all projects in as continuous a way as possible.  It’s been six weeks since I wrote something–I know this because the show was 6 weeks and my previous post was written the day after the opening–and I’d like to really work on posting entries more consistently.  My excuse in recent weeks is job troubles and those are about to change pretty dramatically so… we’ll see what my new schedule allows.  I handed in my resignation today with the intention of focusing my time and energies on art making instead of design.  Given the current state of the economy (yes, I’m aware we are in a recession), this was a pretty difficult decision to make, but I’ve been feeling the need to make this change for a long time and handing in my resignation will be the quickest and easiest way to begin changing the way I work in a forcibly proactive way.  It was also an incredibly difficult decision on a personal level; I love my boss and we have a really great design team so it’s very sad to have to say goodbye.  But I’m also ridiculously psyched for the change and I can’t wait to see how everything will play out.  I don’t have anything else lined up, and while this is terrifying since I have no savings to live off of and a laundry list of monthly student loans to pay, I’m also very excited by the limitless possibilities this allows.  I really don’t know what will be next!  But I do know it’s a step in the right direction.  I’ve thought about it enough over the last six weeks (and really, the last 6 months) to know this is something I HAVE to do, and why not during a recession?  Artists have a tendency to be poor during the best of times so will it really make a big difference?  I’m not quitting the day job in order to live off of selling art, so in that sense the recession won’t affect me in my new role as starving artist at all.  And it has the added benefit of giving someone else who probably really wants and needs my job an opportuniy where there wasn’t one before.  Granted, I’m not doing this for un-selfish reasons, it just so happens that someone who will appreciate the job more will get to take my place.

To make sure this really was what I wanted, I wrote a sort of memoir/essay about the thought process behind this decision.  It was as much about convincing myself as it is about convincing other doubters, so if you have any interest in reading it, let me know and I’ll send it on to you.  I try to avoid writing extremely personal, self-reflective, self-indulgent entries here (although lets be honest, blogs are pretty self-indulgent) unless it’s directly related to a project I’m working on.  While this is related to my overall process, I’m not sure it’s necessary to subject everyone to it, so just drop me a note if you’re interested in hearing my reasoning for this seemingly insane move.

Moral to the story is, now that the show is over and I’m quitting my job, I will hopefully be diving head first into the next big project in the next month and will continue to write with more regularity.  Unemployment, here I come!

Never Enough

December 4, 2008

As if juggling the day job of exhibit design with the creation of this installation for the Arsenal wasn’t enough, I have also been asked to design graphics for windows in downtown Boston!  A new Melting Pot restraunt was recently opened in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel on Arlington St. and the marketing agency in charge of decorating the windows has asked me to act as designer and project manager.  I am so thrilled by the new opportunity, but wow, could the timing be any crazier?  Outside of my 40 hours at EG and 3 hours a week assisting Nancy Selvage, I was basically spending every moment I could in the ceramic studio building the elements necessary for the Arsenal show.  Now I’m throwing window styling into the mix!  But how could I say no?  I think it will be a really fun project and of course there is the potential that it will turn into a regular job as they are considering changing out the graphics seasonally and would need me to design and install something new each time.  Thankfully the project isn’t too huge.  It’s about 24 windows, but they are all flat–no space for 3D work or visual merchandising–so we’ve been discussing custom cut vinyl with a holiday theme.  It’s a bit late to go all out with a Christmas theme (although it’s looking like they are hoping to still have the graphics up before the holidays) so I’ll probably do some concepts with a wintery theme and maybe a couple “Christmas” elements that can be changed out really easily after the holiday passes.  So exciting! 

Since I haven’t been able to make the time to write a proper entry about the installation yet, I’m going to start here by posting some photos of both venues–the Arsenal Center for the Arts and the Melting Pot windows.  Hopefully I will be able to post some entries about the process of working with the porcelain in the next few days since that is well under way by now, and eventually more information about the new windows project!

The approach to the Center for the Arts

The approach to the Center for the Arts

The interior of the Arsenal, looking up the stairs at a crazy sail installation

The interior of the Arsenal, looking up the stairs at a crazy sail installation

Another view looking at the primary stairwell towards the exit/entry

Another view looking at the primary stairwell towards the exit/entry

Having discussed the location of the installation with curator Dina Deitsch only in e-mails, I’m still not exactly sure where or how my piece will be incorporated into this space, but it will be located somewhere within this central space.  I’m hoping we can work out something where it will still be “cloud-like” but maybe in a vertical format connecting the multiple floors together where the sails are hanging now.  Hopefully we’ll sort this out soon since there are only a couple weeks until the install and I still haven’t built any of the hardware yet!  I’ve been waiting for them to respond with a time to meet up to discuss exactly how this will work since I can’t build any of the hardware until I know where it’s going!

And lastly, a few shots I took this morning of the Melting Pot/Boston Plaza Hotel windows.  They seem so empty!  A perfect blank slate upon which I can go crazy…

First set of windows on Arlington St.

First set of windows on Arlington St.

Second set of Arlington St. windows

Second set of Arlington St. windows

Last three smaller sets of windows

Last three smaller sets of windows

(im)possible

November 21, 2008

I like when people say they don’t know if something is possible, when what they really mean is they don’t want to do it.

My Website!

August 20, 2007

Check out my brand spanking new website!  www.msarmsdesign.com

So while this isn’t directly related to the Paper Jungle project, I just wanted to let everyone know that I now have a real website in addition to this blog.  For now, the website is meant to give an overview of some of the work I’ve been doing over the last 4+ years.  Eventually it may be expanded to include other things as my interests and opportunities grow and change, but for now you’ll find a main Projects section that shows a few larger, more in depth projects and an Explorations section with quicker studies and experiments.  Now that I’ve finally graduated, I’ll be moving up to Boston within the next couple weeks to continue to pursue my art and design goals in a slightly bigger city than Providence.  I’m in the process of looking for work, although I’m still not sure I’ve decided what exactly I’m looking for!  So we’ll see what happens.  In any event, you should check out the website and if you’re looking to hire someone, check out the resume that’s posted on the homepage as well.  In the meantime, here’s a few of those transitional Paper Jungle photos that I promised a long time ago.  Thanks to everyone who has been watching this project from the beginning, and to those who are just now checking in.  It’s been a great process to go through and tons of fun.  As always, feel free to contact me anytime with thoughts, opinions, questions or concerns!

View from Outside Reflection of Winter Tree  A couple taken on a cold day in March, about a month after the opening from outside in the sculpture garden, looking in.

Still Some Left  There’s still quite a bit left inside, but lots has come down at this point and paper liters the floors.

The Entrance Detritus Wet Leaves and Dry Flowers These were taken about 2 months after the opening.  The entire central column has been destroyed.  Piles of flowers and plant forms fill the corners and center of the floor.  A rainy April day outside with fallen leaves from the previous autumn looking a lot like fallen flowers.

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