The past couple of days I have been delighted to experience some of the recent work by a couple of close friends and fellow artists. Friday night I visited Aisle Gallery, an interesting space in the same building as The Carl Solway Gallery (Aisle does not have a website, but Solway’s is worth a peek). On display was recent collaborative installation and video work by my good pal Lisa Siders and Artist Denise Burge. This Feeling of Nature is a show that features two videos plus sculptural and found objects that tie together the videos through the long space. Lisa and Denise have worked together before as part of the Dozens Project and I love seeing what videos they come up with. They are always familiar in a way, yet other-worldly at the same time. There is definite magic in their work and in the worlds portrayed by the videos.
In this particular installation, a line of lit-up white on white objects ran the length of the room between the two videos. The objects were from the homes, studios and collections of both artists and were a feast for the eyes. More of their work can be viewed later in the summer in Michigan at DeVos Art Museum in Marquette. As usual, when these two get together, something great is bound to be created! Congratulations to both on a job well done.
Last night my sister Darcy and I went to a concert at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton, Ohio. We were tired and dusty after a fun day of picnicking and softball at our little brother’s graduation party (Congratulations Little Dew!!!!) but we tidied ourselves up and went because our girlfriend Kim Taylor was playing with her new-ish band. As usual, it was worth the effort. Kim’s music has been an inspiration to me for years and her more recent material is as earthy and real as ever. Kim is never one to rest on her laurels and so is rather prolific in her songwriting. I never tire of hearing new work, or hanging out over a whiskey before the show!
Today the fam and I drove out to Batesville, Indiana to visit Pete and Marlene who operate The Stone Studio. We plan to get our new soapstone kitchen countertops from them and so we wanted to have a look in person at what soapstone has to offer. It is a beautiful substance that becomes more so with age and patina, a quality I really like.
I find that much of my creative efforts these days are being poured into the domestic end of my life versus the “Real Work” side of things. I struggle with what this means. Are the creative work and decisions I make to contribute to a “beautiful” home of less value than a “beautiful” piece of art work that might find it’s way into a gallery? Are 2 hours spent in the garden worth less than 2 hours at the wax table? These are questions that often plague my mind when I allow them space. But I am leaning toward the idea that any movement toward a creative act, whether it be to arrange a bowl of flowers or print a stack of handmade cards to sell, is a worthwhile move. In some small way, both things are artful and make the world a better place.
Meanwhile, my dogs don’t allow me to get too wrapped up in philosophical thinking. They have been busy lately supplementing their doggie diets with cicadas who are back in our area (though not nearly in the same numbers as a few years ago). Yet another talented friend of mine, Jeff Smith, took this picture of one of the little buggers when they were here last time. Frankly, I can’t see the culinary appeal.