Sunday, January 31, 2010

Make Space: Installation meet up at La Reunion TX

Old road almost swallowed up by privet

A good portion of the artists for this years Make Space: Installation met up at La Reunion Tx to scout out locations and inspirations for their installation projects. It was thick with slippery mud but other wise a very nice day.

Sarah Jane introduced me to Shreyas Krishnan, who describes himself as an ecologist with an interest in how invasive plants effect the natural evolution of amphibians and retiles. Of course I was very happy to hear about the invasive plant interest. I am hoping to include some of his knowledge in the documentation on the Privet Sculpture Project.

Two of the other artists, Anne Albagli and Nicle Cullum Horn are using privet in some form in their installations, so I'll be posting about some of their experiences here, too.

SculptCAD Rapid Artists role call

Here are the links to the artists that are involved in the SculpCAD Rapid Artist Program being sponsored by SculpCAD. Nancy selected a group of artists that work in a wide range of styles, mediums and disciplines to see what artists would do with a 3-D computer sculpting tool that is normally used by draftsmen to design medical implants and consumer good like tennis shoes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

More Local Privet Problems

Seems like as soon as I submitted my Privet Sculpture proposal to La Reunion privet started coming out of my ears.

Lots of people like Shreyas Krishnan and organizations like the Texas Master Naturalists are very passionate about privet. Shreyas sent in this link to an article in the Dallas Morning News about the problems of removing privet from the Great Trinity Forest, (video by Scott Miller) Texas is actually creating a map that tracks the spread of privet across Texas.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Duck made in the world of SculptCad

We had our first SculptCad Rapid Artists meeting today. We all introduced ourselves and commented on how our first tutorial projects were going, Note the duck pictured above. I'll post the links to all the participating artists in the next post.

On site with Make Space: Installation

Drove out to meet up with Sarah Jane Semrad and some of the other artists that are part of the La Reunion TX Make Space: Installation. The La Re Volunteers have been working had this past year to clear out new trails and spaces. I wish I had known, I could have collected a lot of privet.

Anyway here is the list of artist in this years show:
Anne Albagli, Oliver Bradley/David Blood, Sandra Groomer, Nicole Cullum Horn, Scott Horn, Kevin Obergon, Brad Ford Smith.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Privet Gone Wild at La Reunion TX

I am one of the artists in the 2010 La Reunion TX Make Space: Installation. My project is to make an architectural sculpture using privet. Privet is a plant from Asia. As you can see in the photo, it is a very aggressive and is quickly overtaking the Dallas Metroplex. Just about any creek or flood zone you look into you will see privet growing, acres and acres of privet. In this project I will be testing the viability of using the privet as a green and renewable building material.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Frist Day as a ScultpCAD Rapid Artist

Had My first chance to play with the Free Form 3 D computer sculpting program today. Mostly just poking holes and making cheese doodles. I can see that this program has a lot of similarities to the tools found in Adobe Photoshop. But it seems a bit more user friendly. Then add the Phantom desktop carving tool which is a pencil like mouse that simulates the feel of carving into real material.

Next week I'll start using the tutorial to help me learn the program. I can see

Proposal for La Reunion Tx, Making Space: Installation

Privet: A non-native gone wild

During the time that I have spent at the La Reunion property it has always struck me how much the non-native shrubbery called privet has taken over the landscape. This plant, originally from Asia is very aggressive and hardy. It is used widely in the DFW metroplex as a decorative bush around houses and commercial builds. Unfortunately a single privet bush will produce 1000s of berries each year. These berries are often washed into the city’s storm drains which empty into the local creeks and streams. The result is that most of the creek banks and flood zones in the DFW area are now overgrown with privet. Once a privet bush is established, simply cutting it down cannot kill it. The root ball is like a Hydra, it will send up several new braches for each one that is cut off, totally replacing the old growth within a few short months. Privet is pushing out the native plants that native animals, birds and insects feed upon. This is creating vast areas of monocultures that only support other aggressive plants like poison ivy and insects like mosquitoes

Privet: An experiment in repurposing

The branches of privet are very long and thin, but also surprisingly strong. In this way privet resembles plants like the ocotillo, cane and bamboo, all fast growing plants that are widely used as building materials. Based on these natural characteristics, a team of artists will “harvest” privet branches from the La Reunion property and use them to construct a sculpture. This sculpture will be of a design and scale that calls explores the architectural validity of using privet as a building material. Documentation and photos will be taken throughout the project. After 12 months the sculpture will be dismantled, at which time documentation will focus on the condition of the sculpture and the structural stability of the privet.

If this field test proves that privet can be used as stable building material, it could turn the urban privet plague into a valid source for sustainable and green building materials

Thursday, January 14, 2010

David Bates at Dunn and Brown Contemporary

This was originally posted on Art and Seek in January 2010, but it seems to have been lost when they reformatted.

I stopped in at Dunn and Brown Contemporary to see the new show by David Bates, Themes and Variation. Of the 24 paintings on view only 3 are not of flowers. So it's safe to say that this is a show of floral still lives. It is not breaking any new ground in the world of painting, in fact it is looking backwards into the history of painting, one of the things that David Bates does with skill and passion.

There are strong connections with the stone solid flowers of Marsden Hartley, Picasso's late decorative work, and Manet's paintings of cut flowers. All artists that demonstrate an obvious love for the medium of oil painting.

From this platform of art historical connections David Bates launches into a series of paintings that are thick with paint, rich with deep color, and bold with mark making. When all combined, this show of Themes and Variations is a strong must see for those who love oil paint.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dallas Museum of Art Photo Meet-Up

Hooked up with the DMA Meet-up to take photos around the museum. The group was small this time around, but we had a great time talking about posting work on the DMA Flickr site, managing our Flickr accounts, and I found out about The Art of Photography Podcast.
Then we pulled out our cameras and hit the museum for about 20 minutes, finishing up back in the media lab for some fresh photo show and tell. So it was a pretty straight foreword event this time around, but in the past they worked with pinhole cameras and even played with blue screens. Both of which Nicole Leigh said they would probably do again in the future.