Tuesday, December 27, 2011

And The Idea Fund Grant Goes To...

This was my second time to apply for an Idea Fund grant. The first was in 2009, as a joint effort with Beam, Plank and Flitch, constructing 6 public wood benches made from urban harvested trees. That one missed because I think the judges thought it was to pedestrian and not art centric enough. Although sense that time Dallas has become over run by urban harvesters.
In 2011, I applied with the Automated Cordycep Project:
The Automated Cordycep Project is about playing with a narrative; it’s about combining sculpture, nature, and science, with a gorilla approach to exposing the public to a sci-fi narrative of near future disaster…
And the prize… went to somebody else. Actually 10 somebody elses. I looked over the list, and can say that on first glance, they all look like solid proposals. Each having a large friendly public component, which I think is where my project might have been lacking. Mine had public interaction, but more on the level of terrorizing large crowds with remote controlled cars infected with a parasitic fungus.
So. I’ll add this to the list of impressive art organizations that I have applied to but have not been accepted by. It is said that if you don’t get rejection notices, you’re not trying hard enough, which I do think is true, although I really do prefer the non-rejection notices.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wordpress Move Not So Fast

A few months ago I thought it was a good idea to up date my website and blog by combining them into one Wordpress theme. Now, as I look at the calender, I see that I have spent enough time on this simple conversion that I could have white washed the whole ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. AND it's still not up and running. Guess I'll need more paint to do the walls.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dallas Aurora After Glow

It's been a few days sense the Dallas Aurora event in the Dallas Arts District. People are starting to post images and videos. One of those in by my good friend Mark Birnbaum, who unbeknownst to me shot this great video of my installation. Thanks Mark!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Aurora 2011: A Thing To See And Do

Water Walls Dallas Arboretum
I have felt for a while now that I should be spending less time at the computer. All those hours logged on has left me feeling a bit like a big wooden log. So, it's up early, a balanced breakfast, walkies, perhaps a bit of yard work, and get involved with a few art events to get me out of this damn house!!!

Aurora 2011 is one such event. This year it's being held in the Dallas Arts District. 97 light and sound installations will turn the 19 block area into a night of color. The big power switch will be flipped on this Friday, October 28th at 7:30pm-12:00 midnight. Here's the Art and Seek post.

Fountain Place Park Dallas TX
I missed being part of the Aurora 2010 because I was in Italy, which I enjoyed completely and blogged about maybe a bit to much. That said, I have been waiting all year for the next Aurora event. This time I am in town, busy at my computer spicing together bits of video... So much for getting out of the house, or the walkies, or the balanced breakfast.

White Rock Lake 2 AM
I am producing 2 videos that will be projected onto the west garden wall of the Meyerson Symphony Center. Both videos are about water. One is natural footage of ponds, streams and puddles as seen in the top 2 photos above. The other video uses the same footage and manipulates it by re-filming the clips multiple times to produce color separations and distortions, as seen in these bottom 2 photos.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
This will be my first time to show any of these videos publicly. Very excited about it, and about seeing all the other installations, too!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

After the Auditions

The 3 winners of the TEDxSMU Auditions were very solid choices. Belinda Baldwin, Jasmin Brand, and Will Clarke each demonstrated a well crafted comfort with the stage and presented topics that were intriguing. Each topic could be easily be expanded into longer in depth presentations.

Sarah Hodge has posted a complete recap of the evenings presentations. Thanks Sarah for doing that. I mentally missed half of the presenters while trying to calm down from my turn under the spot light.

Here is my totally self absorbed, center of the universe recap of the evening:

From the beginning I did this for the fun, and because it was my way of showing support for TEDxSMU. I have seen how sending out a Call To Artists can result in lack luster returns in both quality and quantity. Happily in this case, TEDxSMU did end up with over 50 applicants. Dallas does have a lot of engaging topics and dynamic people.

Each of the 13 presenters approached the microphone differently. Some had that envious natural ease, some followed learned presentation techniques, some approached it as a short performance, 3 minutes on the dot. And some, well 3 minutes can be a long time.

Personally, I follow the school of practice, practice, practice. I practiced until all the cats ran out of the house. Then I went down to the railroad bridge and practiced some more.

Reflecting back on my performance, I can see where it lacked clarity, and where I verbally stumbled. Sense a part of me seems to enjoy this form of punishment, maybe I should seriously educate myself in the art of public annunciation. But where to start?

Monday, October 10, 2011

TEDxSMU Auditions: Time is Ticking Away

When I signed up for the TEDxSMU Auditions it was the middle of August when the Texas heat was so intense you could fry up a whole chicken on the hood of your Ford truck.

Now it's October, I have survived, I have also realized I signed up and/or volunteered for things like a man soon to die. October has become an out of my comfort zone experience. This audition being what my Dad would call a personality growing experience.

So here it the ruff draft. I'll be one of 13 people presenting a 3 minute lecture on a topic of our own choosing. 4 judges and an audience pole will decide who goes on to present an extended lecture at TEDxSMU in December. Here is the itinerary. Thank god I"m not going last, but on the other hand most of my friends are well known for running late...

Brad Ford Smith                "What People Reach For When Things Fall Apart"
Christian Genco                "Outsource Your Brain: Why Everyone Needs to Learn How to Program."
Golbahar Dadyan             "Unlocking the Creative Genius: Living the Dream Circuit"
Jon Eric Fountain              "Follow My Heels"
Will Clarke                           "Seeing Through The Haze: Why Do We Haze?"
RJ Daum                               "Wild Mustangs, Wild Life"
Short Break- music
Sean Springer                    "Making Good Product: Inspirations, Sensations and Values"
Stacy Cherones                 "Make Cafeterias Complete"
Jasmin  Brand                    "What Ike Turner & Social Media Have in Common"
Belinda Baldwin                "The Power of You"
Darren Collins                    "Disaster Relief Housing: A Clown's Perspective"

There will be a short intro of each speaker- just name and talk title.

Each speaker will only have 3 minutes. Anyone that goes over 3 minutes will be pulled off the stage, but in a fun way :)

Doors open at 6:00 and we will begin the program at 7:00. We will have one short break with live music by Kerri Arista. She will also perform at the end while we are counting ballots and the judges deliberate. A winner will be announced that night.

We strongly urge any additional guests buy their ticket online since we will only be selling tickets at the door if we don’t sell out before. Ticket link: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2042078913/mcivte

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Houston Fine Art Fair Shopping List

The Houston Fine Art Fair was like going to Whole Foods, row after row of good for you art work. Unfortunately I left the wallet containing big wades of cash at home. I posted my shopping list and a few observations on Art and Seek. (Photo- Keiko Gonzalez, Salar Galeria de Arte, Bolivia)

Next month is the Texas Contemporary Art Fair. Will it be worth another 8 hour roundtrip drive?..

Friday, September 16, 2011

Houston Fine Art Fair

Well I just can't stay away. I'm heading down to Houston for the Houston Fine Art Fair. I've posted a short blurp on Art n Seek , which I'll follow up on with photos on monday.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Walking AND Looking

Most every artist will tell you that for them making art is way more important to than selling it or even exhibiting it. That the creation of each painting, drawing or sculpture is for the moment the most important thing they are doing, and if questioned further, they will admit that when completed, that work of art will be eclipsed by the next painting, drawing or sculpture.

Like it or not, I have to admit that's my studio practice in a nut shell. I have once again spent the year focused on crafting three art projects. Three really great, pushing my boundaries, all consuming art projects. They now languish as the top layer of the art pile. I am now starting on my next really great, boundary pushing, all consuming painting, drawing, or sculpture.

I have been walking through the woods so focused on each footstep that I am completely missing the forest. That by not spending the time and energy to get the artwork exhibited I will never really see what this path has to shown me.

With this in mind, I am sending in a proposal to the Lawndale Art Center, Applying for a grant from The Idea Fund, and once again applying for the artists residency at Artpace.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Up Lifting View from Texas Museums

I just got back from the 2011 Texas Association of Museum Conference. 3 days of lectures, group discussions and workshops with 388 people that work in museums from across the state, museums like the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, as well as hundreds of smaller historic museums, historic parks, historic houses, culture centers, libraries, and foundations.

Between the sessions a lot of the coffee talk was about the resent cuts to the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Texas Historical Commission, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife. That said, the overall atmosphere of the conference was upbeat, with sessions focusing on Do it yourself public relations, Developing partnerships and Resource building. A Yes this sucks, and it's going to continue to suck, so let's make the best of it attitude prevailed. I for one, came away invigorated by the commoratery and the positive problem solving attitudes.

Next year, the TAM conference with be in San Antonio, March 27-30th. I'll be participating as part of an Art Conservation roundtable. More on that next March.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Planning How to be Strategic in my Planning

Usually my posts are kind of a light hearted ramblings, but this 3 day Creative Capital Professional Development Program at Arthouse kind of knocked my for a slow loop. Most of the info was standard business planning stuff infused with a fine art perspective. And the other 24 artists were a joy to meet and interact with. The 5 instructors were insightful, approachable, and vocal with their opinions. All good stuff.

But now I am back in Dallas, rewriting my notes and working on the Strategic Planning Workbook... and I realize that I don't know what the fuck I'm doing. I know kind of what I should be doing, but mostly I just blow in the wind like a tumbleweed, hoping to get snagged by a barbed wire fence with a nice view.

I'm going to approach The MAC or the Dallas Contemporary to see if they would apply to have Creative Capital come to Dallas. Having a local group of artists to meet with and work though this with would be wonderful.

At any rate, I'm doing my homework now. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Little Fungus For A Good Cause

I should have posted this sculpture before the Art Conspiracy's fundraiser happened... Well I'm doing it now.... This is Cordycep Flamingo. He was part of the Better Gnomes and Gardens auction put on by Art Conspiracy.

He is your average pink flamingo except he is suffering from a cordycep fungus. This type of parasitic fungus mostly infects bugs, like grasshoppers and ants, slowly driving them insane and turning their bodies into stalagmite covered husks. It looks like a horrific way to die. I would love to see this happen to a few of the fire ant in my front yard.

I created this sculpture in hopes that placing it in your yard or garden it will act like a scarecrow, and scare the holly crape out of all the fire ants.

By the way, a few of my friends did point out that items at fundraiser tend to sell better if they are based on humor or cutely puppies, and not horror show fungi. But like the commercial says Who doesn't like to kill fire ants? And I am pleased to say that it did sell for a nice amount.

To see some great photos of cordycep covered bugs, as well as lots of great pictures of Normal bugs and fungus, check out Kim Fliming's Flickr site.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Workshop in Strategic Planning for Artists

The people at Creative Capital call it a Professional Development Core Weekend Workshop, PDCWW for short. It is a "Crash course in self-management, strategic planing, fundraising and promotion. Based on a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum..." Those of you who are regular perusers of my abombitallizations of grammer, know that I do love orderly things and planning, but the closest I ever come to Rigorous, is babbling on and on and on, (case in point)

How every, when I read more about this workshop, I saw it as an opportunity to focus on some of my weaker points... in a healthy constructive sort of way, as opposed to the binge induced rants that me and my fellow artists normally indulge in.

So I applied for 1 of the 24 spots, sending 10 slides, a CV, and a short artist's statement. I am happy to say that I was selected, AND I got a Creative Capital Subsidy Grant as well!

Sorry, that's getting very close to blowing my own horn, but I am very excited about this workshop. Hopes are high that I will learn a lot about modern professional art practices, and connect with a new group of artists to interact with.

The workshop is being held at the Arthouse in Austin, hence the oldish photo of me standing next to the Arthouse placard.

Hey! have you signed up to get the Brad Ford Smith Blog delivered straight to your email box?!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Putting on a Polish

On the bottom row are the 3 bronze sculptures I have been working on in the last wax casting class at CAC. They are polished up, patinated and to all purposes they are finished. They are about 2 inches long, and fit very comfortably in the hand. A friend said they feel like worry stones or hand candy. Perhaps I'll carry them around in my pocket, and when someone asks what I do I can hand them one and say "This, only bigger."

In my last posting I mentioned the risk of losing all your hard work during that .05 seconds of pouring bronze. Well, the first 2 items on the second row are a good example. I mislabeled the flasks, so when I poured this flask I didn't have enough bronze to fully cast the sculptures. GRRR

The black shapes are paper cut outs of the sculptures yet to be poured. We have one more class this session. We'll be spending the whole time casting. Our teacher, Rebecca Swann is a highly skilled jewelerist and a well of knowledge.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Playing With Hot Molten Metal

In last weeks lost wax casting class at the Creative Arts Center I invested 3 small wax sculptures. This week it's time to pour hot molten metal!
The wax sculptures have been melted out of the investment leaving behind a hollow space inside the very, very hot flask.

Now it's time to  slip on flame proof gloves and welding goggles, pull out the torch, and melt some bronze. This takes about 5 minutes.

Once the molten bronze starts to swirl around in the crucible it's time to pour. Note the orange stream of bronze going into the flask. Hot, Hot, Hot.

It's in there, and it should have filled ALL the hollow areas... Let us pray... In lost wax casting you can work hours and hours on the wax sculpture, just to loose everything in that .05 seconds of poring.

And here they are! 3 small almost perfect bronze sculptures!!! There are a few nubs and surface burps that will be removed when I take off the casting sprues. Then, well then we move on to polishing. This is not a quick process.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lost Wax Casting: Sprues of Hope

It's called sprueing; attaching wax sticks (the red stuff) to the wax sculptures (the purple stuff), then mounting the sculptures onto a mold base(the black stuff). Next the steel tubes you see in the background, slide into the bases and are filled with investment (high temperature plaster). The wax will be burned out leaving a hollow area that the metal, in this case bronze will be poured into.

Technically, I think I followed all the rules of lost wax casting, but during the pouring all you can do is hope for the best. I'll be pouring/casting next week, so stay tuned to find out if they turn out to be beautiful sculptures or monstrous blobs?!

You can follow this project as well as all the other stuff going on in and around the studio by subscribing at Brad Ford Smith Blog.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Small Scale Sculptures

I started a Lost Wax Casting class at the Creative Arts Center last Thursday. As you can see Stanley, the art critic is letting me know which of my wax sculptures needs more work. Eventually the wax sculptures will be cast in bronze and become part of a wall mounted installation.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sparkles the Bling Bling Birthday Cow

About 18 years ago there was a city wide public sculpture project in Chicago where all the artists were given life sized fiberglass cows to do artistic things to. As you can imagine they did just about anything you can imagine to those cows. It was a very big success.

The city of Dallas followed suite a few years later, except they used a fiberglass Pegasus. Personally I think the Pegasi supplied to the artists were over designed, with to much pre-built in creator, so most of the Pegasi I saw were not very good. Some of them can still be seen around town 10 years later. I was actually asked to do a conservation assessment on one. It was such a bad mix of badly mixed mediums that I pronounced it lame and suggested they shoot it.

Anyway, I started thinking about all of this because I spent today making a 2394 rhinestone incrusted bovine as a birthday present for a dear friend. She's having one of those landmark birthdays, the kind that includes a big California blow out built around a cowgirl theme.

I was kind of surprised to find that when my socially sophisticated friend moved to LA, she started cultivating her very, very slight association with cow culture into a Texas Cowgirl gone LA mystic.

Happy Birthday Cowgirl! Don't take your spurs off until the saloons close up and your horse falls asleep.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Behind The People Behind The Video Camera

One of the benefits of blogging for Art and Seek is the access it affords to people, places, and events. That's also one of the reasons I first got into doing art conservation. I get to handle and explore artwork that gives me a special understand of how the artist works. Of course with the blogging I don't get quite so physical.

One of the first events around the Dallas Art Fair was a press interview with the artist Jim Lambie, who is presently showing at the Goss-Michael Foundation. You may recall his colorful tape installation at the DMA a few years back.

The folks from Art This Week were there as well. And that is really what this post is about. Art This Week has been producing video interviews of artists and curators sense May 2009. Their latest interview with Jim was their 100th video posting!!! Congratulations ATW!

Unfortunately this honor falls on an interview with Jim, who is no Clark Gable when it comes to sophisticated silver screen personas.

Lauren Kennedy interviewed Jim, while Caroline Belanger snapped some pics, and Richard Serrano filmed the action. Hard to believe Richard shoots all the videos on a camera the size of a deck of playing cards. I don't know much about ATW. They appear to be a young, bootstrap organization that doesn't let the limitations of equipment and funding prevent them from pumping out one video after another, 8 in the just the last 30 days. Admittedly, the end product may not be up to the evening news standards, yet. But who knows, given some time and some cash, and Jerome Weeks may have some serious cultural coverage competition. Then it's onto tackle Art 21.

I've added them to my Links Page because ATW has a DIY attitude that is just what the Dallas art scene needs to see more of.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Posting About The Art Fairs In Dallas On Art and Seek

This is a quick post. Still have more art to see before it's all gone. I've been posting about the Dallas Art Fair and the Suite Art Fair on Art and Seek.net. Here's the link to all those pages, plus my older posts on art go by.

 I'll be blogging more about the art fairs on my blog soon.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Eyeball Exercise Coming Soon At The Dallas Art Fair

The Dallas Art Fair opens to the public next Friday! I've been really jonesing for this event. This is the third year of the DAF. Each time it gets a little bigger with a few more galleries signing up. Plus there is the Suite Art Fair being held over at the Belmont Hotel. (I'll be stretching the corneas there as well)

The beautiful people at Art and Seek are once again indulging my rambling prose, so keep an eye out there for my latest misspellings. I'll post links here on my blog to any posts I make there.

Tonight, I'm doing some warm up exercises at the local art gallery openings.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Loading The Kiln At CAC

The sculptures from the workshop I led at the Creative Arts Center are finally dry enough to load into the kiln. Glo Coalson has been teaching me the delicate art of firing large lumps of solid clay, AKA sculpture.

Looking down into the kiln, it kind of looks like a relaxing day at the spa, except the girls in this sauna are going to get unbelievable hot.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Playing In The Mud At The Dallas Arboretum

Being involved with the Creative Arts Center has opened up several unexpected opportunities to push my studio centric self out into the public eye. The latest example was at the Dallas Arboretum's annual art fair, ArtScope. It focuses on artisans like potters, wood turners and glass fusing-ists(?) About 100 artisan booths nestled among the blooming trees and flowers.

Anyway, DA asked CAC to send over a few art teachers to do art demonstrations, so here I am standing under the trees working on a clay bas-relief sculpture of the cafe gardens. 

I was out there for about 4 hours. I don't think the sculpture is the best I have done, but it was fun talking about making art, having my photo taken a lot, and handing out little balls of clay to all the kids.  A casual observer might think they were watching a sun burned Van Gogh feeding dirt to young children...

Next week it's off to North Park Mall for some speed sculpting at ARTsPARK.

Friday, March 4, 2011

When The Workshop Is Over

When the last person left the workshop at the Creative Arts Center, all I could think about was locking up, blowing the clay dust out of my nose and quenching my very dry throat with a glass of wine. I was exhausted.

In this workshop, we sculpted in clay from a live model. It's kind of like a figure drawing class except working in clay instead of charcoal and paper.

Because this was a free workshop, the participants felt that they had nothing to lose by take a chance on something new, which was the whole idea behind offering the workshop, although I was hoping it would draw a bigger crown from outside the CAC umbrella.

Here is the class room break down: 10 people signed up for the workshop, 2 of which didn't make it to class. Of the 8 attendees, 6 people had taken other classes at CAC, but no one had ever taken a figure sculpting class before. 6 had never worked from a live model, 6 had never worked with clay in any form, and 1 person was surprised to see a nude person standing in the middle of the room.

We worked from the same pose for the whole 3 hours. I was really happy to see how each person kept working and reworking their sculpture, dramatically changing it to refine the form as they began to really see what was in front of them.

Seeing, THAT is the first step to working from the figure. Seeing what you are really seeing and not working from what you think you know. It's hard, and it takes work and concentration to override your brains' constant insistence that it knows all the answers.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Out Of The Loop Fringe Festival Opening Night

It was a great turn out for the Out Of The Loop Fringe Festival opening night party, and art exhibition. I walked in and shook a few hands before making my way up stairs to where the food and apparently most of the local theatre critics were hanging out. Anne Bothwell from Art And Seek introduced me to Mark Lowry from Theatre Jones. We then proceeded to recount dramatic tails of live theatre from seasons past.

Eventually I realized how late it was getting, and that I had not taken a single photo. So here are 2 from the blurry dozen that I took.

Fortunately the WaterTower blog has posted a very nice photo of CJ Miller and I standing with the Producing Artistic Director Terry Martin.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sketchbook Project 2011 Hits The Road

The reports are that the opening for the Arthouse Co-op Sketchbook Project 2011 at the Brooklyn Art Library was a big success.  There were over 28000 artist signed up to create a 40 page moleskin sketchbook. I don't have the final numbers yet, but if even half for the artists followed through on this project, that's still 14000 sketchbooks. Arthouse Co-op has created a web page for each of the participating artists. Here's the link to my page, which also has links to some of the artists that I like. There is also a very nice Arthouse Co-op blog too.

But the project doesn't stop there! The small staff at Arthouse Co-op are now boxing up all the sketchbooks and shelves into a moving van, and taking the project on a 9 stop tour across the United States, which includs a stop at the Austin Museum Of Art, March 12 (During the SXSW Festival) in Austin TX.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Getting Ready For The Thursday Night Workshop

With the workshop just 24 hours away, I spent some time in the clay sculpture studio at CAC looking over supplies and thinking about how to pose the model we will be working from.

Glo Coalson was there teaching a make up class because of the snow storm a few weeks ago.  We had a great conversation about figure sculpture, and hit upon the idea of the two of us hosting a sculpture restoration workshop some time this summer.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Workshop, The Expressive Figure in Clay

I was going to send out a notice about the free figurative clay workshop that I am leading at the Creative Arts Center, but it has already filled up. YEAH! Thank god. My nerves hate spending time in limbo. Give me the stress of deadlines, due dates and real problems any day. Worrying about things like missing a airplane flight or if an art class is going to make or not, drives me crazy!

Anyway, if sculpting from the figure sounds interesting to you, the Spring classes at CAC start on March 7th. Still plenty of time to register. I'll be teaching The Expressive Figure in Clay on Thursday nights and possibly Thursday mornings, too. 

Here's the class description:

The Expressive Figure In Clay
During this live model sculpting class, students will explore expressive ways of capturing the figure in clay. The basics of human proportion, sculptural form and the physicality of clay will be highlighted, but the focus on the class will be creating a personal artistic voice. We will explore slow and rapid ways of describing the figure in clay, from drawing on slabs to bas relief to free standing sculptures. This class is open to all skill levels. First day of class, bring any sort of tools or utensils that can manipulate or poke clay. 

Thursdays, March 10- April 12th 6:30 -9:30 pm
And possibly Thursday mornings 9:30am- 12:30pm

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hanging Up Out Of The Loop

Spent Saturday morning with CJ Miller hanging up artwork for Out Of The Loop at the WaterTower Theatre.  CJ is showing large scale paintings on canvas, and I am showing works on paper and some new sculpture.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In The Studio - Out Of The Loop

There is nothing like having a dead line to encourage spending quality time in the studio. The stimulus this time is an exhibition with CJ Miller as part of the Out Of The Loop Fringe Festival. This festival is held at the WaterTower Theatre. Here's a short snip of PR:

March 3-13, 2011
For the past nine years, WaterTower Theatre’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival has wowed audiences with an exciting and unmatched artistic lineup. Featuring some of the best acts in theatre, music, dance and art from around the region, OOTL continues to bring all three spaces of the Addison Theatre Centre alive with exciting, contemporary work.
Out of the Loop Festival Passes are on sale now. Call the box office for more information.

With 59 performances in 10 days you can see that OOTL focuses on live performances, with Chris and I simply adding a bit of color to the lobby walls. Last year, OOTL drew 4000 people, so even though it is a short run, there's a lot of eyeballs mingling around in the lobby.

The photo is of a few plaster sculptures I have been working on. I'll have 5 of them finished up for the show.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Italy, Viewing a Masterpiece: Survey #4

A trip to Italy can easily become a check list of MUST SEE historic buildings and masterpieces. That said, Rome definitely has masterpieces that will feed your soul if you allow yourself to spend quality time with them.

On top of all the Must See Lists is the Sistine Chapel and its ceiling by Michelangelo. The Sistine Chapel gets over 10,000 visitors everyday. It takes 12 full time museum guards to manage the crowd flow, and to remind these people that the Sistine Chapel is a house of worship, so be respectful, be quite, don't talk on your cell phones, or take photos. (I would absolutely hate to have that job)

You enter the chapel by a small nondescript side door. The first impression is seeing a mass of people all looking up. Then your eyes move upward and there it is... and then you stumble off the stairs that you didn't notice because you were looking up.

I could go on and on about the impact of seeing this masterpiece, but there is already plenty of that on the internet. So, I am skipping to later that day, around 4:30, when we went back for a highly recommended second look. There was only 15 people in the chapel!!! There was actually setting available! We hung out for about an hour and a half, soaking up as much as possible. Quietly pointing out the beautiful details to each other.

One question did come up, What exactly were Adam and Eve doing just before the snake in the tree interrupted them?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sketchbook Project 2011

This is the front cover of the sketchbook I sent to The Sketchbook Project 2011. SBP 2011 is an exhibit of moleskine sketchbooks sent to the Arthouse Co-op at the Brooklyn Art Library. The project includes 28835 artists in 94 countries. Starting this summer, SBP 2011 will tour 8 different cities. Stopping at the Austin Museum of Art in March.

To see more images from my sketchbook check out my Flickr site.

For more info on the project check out the Arthouse Co-op blog.

Monday, January 31, 2011

OGOP goes onto Flickr Site

OGOP Hatchie Moe, originally uploaded by Brad Ford Smith.
Downloading images of my printmaking project OGOP onto my Flicker site. These prints were made using 60 grit sand paper as the print block.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

There's Trouble In The Wires, Issues With Blog Delivery Using Google Friend Connect

I have been blogging for over 2 years now. Soon I'll be posting my 150th blog post! My blog is admittedly, very much a Brad Centric point of view. I write about my experiences in the art world, and about the art that makes me think.

Several people are now following my blog using various follow apps. And that's really what this posting is all about. I have found that the Google Friend Connect app has BIG issues with delivering posts to the people who have signed up using that formate. Over half of the "Members" have never received one blog post.

So, I am going to stop using the Google Friend Connect just as soon as I contact all of my followers who are using that app. Please note that this is a very popular Follow app. So, if you are a blogger you should check your follow feed. And if you are one of those wonderful people that has signed up to follow a blog, double check to see if you are getting all the posts that blog is sending out.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Oh How the Arts Move Us Around and Around

It quickly becomes obvious how fluid the arts are when you start sending out Press Releases. Having gone through this process quite a few times, I have come to expect the "Failed To Deliver" E-mail responses. News papers, magazines, and online editorials have become a turnstile of writers and editors. Culture centers trade out employees as if they were sports teams.

I updated my contact list back in September while sending out Press Releases for the SculptCAD Rapid Artists show. It is now 4 months later, and I am doing the PR thing for the sculpture class I am teaching at the Creative Arts Center.

This time around, the Failed To Deliver E-mail responses reminded me of how many galleries are simply gone, and how many friends have moved on to other lines of work because of the continued downsizing of News Papers, Radio, TV, Museums, Non-profits, Schools, Historic Agencies, Government Supported Organizations...

It all makes me very concerned for the future of our culture and the long term loss of history.

So, I would like to send out a big THANK YOU to all the Cultural and Historic centric people out there that have worked so hard to promote and support the inspired side of human nature.

All the Best to each of you in 2011!