Monday, December 1, 2014

Real World Time Chunk Spent

Click, Connect, Sign up, Subscribe, Like, Friend, Follow, Applaud. Send...

I have spent the last several chunks of real world time working on some of the blogs I help manage;
BFS Art Blog, The World Of Nomadic Fungi Blog, Studio Six Art Conservation Blog, and the NTAAC Blog (North Texas Association for Art Conservation). There was also the related Facebook Pages, Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr links that required a little tickling as well.

This was all because Google pretty much stopped updating Feedburner the subscription management program for Blogspot. Google also does not fully support it's Google Friend Connect sign up program anymore either. There is also the Networked Blogs sign up program for Facebook that has become like hunting rabbits. You never know when or how the posts will show up on your Facebook page.

Anyway, I'll stop bellyaching about programing issues as it is as interesting as listening to people talk about their dreams.

Enjoy the above photo of Stanley and I hanging out in the studio.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Bee Line To Your Mail Box

Here is a sad photo of a bee's nest inside a tree that has been cut down. I do hope the man with the chain saw got a sting or two for his troubles.

This is also a test posting to see if the new BFS Art Blog MailChimp subscription program is functioning correctly.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blame The Lag Time On The Mushrooms

Brad Ford Smith Blog
Being a long time blog reader and blogger I have read this sad phrase a number of times Sorry so long between posts... It's usually the last post you ever see on that blog.

Well, here I am writing that phrase in a way that looks like a commentary on blogging. But in fact it has been a long time, and I do feel bad about the long lag time. I have over a dozen posts waiting as drafts. Some just needing a good proofreading before posting.

So what has me so distracted? Well, about a year ago I started working with the Nomadic Fungi Institute as their archivist. I know, a hopeless dyslexic as an archivist? Just shows how desperate they are for any kind of help.

Anyway, I have become more involved with NFI than I would have ever thought. There is so much work to be done, and it seems the more that gets done the more there is to do. But I do believe strongly in what NFI is working towards so all the time and effort feels good. It feels important.

NFI has a blog that I hope you will visit. It is filled with photos, lab reports and even a few interviews. If you read any posts with lots of grammatical mayhem then you'll know its one I wrote.

There is also an NFI Facebook page and an Istagram feed. Here are the links to each.
Nomadic Fungi Institute Facebook
Nomadic Fungi Institute Instagram

Okay, let me get back to proofreading...

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tricks With Tostadas

If you ever find yourself bored to death while sitting in a Mexican restaurant try grabbing some tostadas and make a hip contemporary sculpture...

Actually this post is a test. Looks like my last two posts were never sent out via subscribers. Hopefully it was a fluke and this post will proceed with flying colors.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Morning Light

Artists Studio

Starting the weekend with a cup of coffee in the studio. So many fun things to play with.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fun With Snow Globes

Having some fun in the studio playing with snow globes. They seem pretty start forward at first but then you have to think about what materials you are using, and will they hold up to being submerged in water from now until the end of time.

For my snow globes I made small glazed ceramic sculptures that I epoxied to the inside lids of varies jars I've been collection over the last few months.

One of the key differences between a good snow globe and a less than satisfactory snow globe is the air trapped inside of the jar. If there is an air bubble at the top, you have a substandard snow globe.

The best way to prevent this bubble is to submerge all the parts in a bucket of water while putting the snow globe together. I was amazed at all the Youtube videos that skipped this detail. In fact I was amazed at all the videos that simply guaranteed the end product would be all round crappy.

In the photo above you will notice the green algae. This is due to the fact that I used egg shells instead of plastic confetti for my snow. Egg shell and mother of peal where common in Victorian snow globes, but the Victorians also tended to use oil instead of water... I did boil the egg shell first, but there was still enough proteins left to grow a very nice microcosm. Perhaps next time I'll add a few sea monkeys.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dallas Art Fair Promo Code for Professionals

Dallas Culture map
The Dallas Art Fair starts this week! There are lots of great events at the art fair and all around the city all week long.

The Dallas Art Fair is the one show that brings hip, contemporary art galleries directly to Dallas. It should not be missed! AND for the Second year in a row Dallas Culture Map is sponsoring free day passes to all professionals. I am assuming you are all professionals of some sort.

So, follow this link, copy the promo code and past it in at the Dallas Art Fair ticket page.

See you at the art fair,

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Zona Moca Art Fair Mexico City

Mexico City Art Fairs
I am a nut for art fairs. For me, art fairs are the best way to see firsthand the artwork that is driving the cultural head lines. So when American Airlines ran a ridiculously low airfare to Mexico City that coincided with the Zona Maco Mexico Art Contemporaneo I booked it.

Living north of the Texas/Mexico wall I soon found that information about Zona Maco was very limited. Most of it was in spanish, a language that I don't speak, read or understand unless it addresses the topic of food.

The Zona Maco website has an english version that includes most of the basic information but fell short on full functionality. But I was able to gleam that over its ten years of operation it has become quite big with galleries from all over the world exhibiting a wide spectrum of artistic styles and price points.

The art fair was laid out in three zones contemporary art, modern art and design. These zones were not hard set and it was a pleasure to see how they conversed with each other. It was interesting too that sunday appeared to be family day, with large groups of parents, kids, grandmothers, aunts and uncles long lines at the food stands.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Material Art Fair Mexico City 2014

Material Art Fair
Seeing the Material Art Fair was a case of being at the right spot at the right time. I was in Mexico City because American Airlines was running an airfare that was so cheap I couldn't find any excuse not to fly down to see the Museo Soumaya and the Museo Jumex. Plus there was the super sized Zona Maco Art Fair (more on all that in the next post)

Brad Ford Smith Blog
Over breakfast at Casa Comtesse I noticed a listing in the local paper for the Material Art Fair, and it was going on just down the street from where I was staying!

This was the first year of the Material Art Fair with just forty galleries in attendance. The focus of the fair was on "Emerging Practices"(!?)  A little over half of the galleries came from outside of Mexico. Several exhibitors were actually artists co-ops such as the Neter, which isn't so much a gallery as a group of artists that are committed to promoting their artwork by promoting the gallery. These groups work together, pulling from the groups resources to build bigger and better events, exhibits, opportunities, and artwork. These groups with their can do attitude added a lot to the optimistic atmosphere of the art fair.

Material Art Fair
The Neter used customized pizza boxes to create portfolios that included limited edition prints by twelve of their artists. Very nice work at a very reasonable price.

Material Art Fair Mexico City
Printed Matter Inc.
This art fair was more about making new discoveries than perusing the walls for well known signatures. The galleries represented mostly under recognized artists, in fact I would say that the galleries themselves were mostly under recognized. That element infused the art fair with an air of excitement, optimism and rebellion that the bigger, blue chip art fairs are too mature/tainted to generate.

Ricardo Paniagua
I was very surprised and happy to see Dallas represented by artist Ricardo Paniagua at the DAI Gallery...

Material Art Fair
Kevin Jacobs Director of the Oliver Francis Gallery
And Dallas's own emerging practice gallery, the Oliver Francis Gallery . 

Over all, the Material Art Fair was a great opportunity to see how artists, co-ops, and galleries are approaching the art market with new alternatives in the hopes of making big waves. Hopefully next year MAF will make a bigger splash by spending more time on promoting the art fair, and perhaps finding a better location than the fourth floor of the Hilton.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wols At The Menil Collection

Wols Brad Ford Smith
I first saw Wols artwork at the Barnes Foundation in 2009, three small watercolors nestled amongst the vast collection of Post Impressionist masterpieces. I noted his name in my sketch book but never followed up on him.

This past fall I flew up to Philadelphia to see the Barns Foundation in its new home, and there were those three little scribbles on torn out book pages. Again I noted down his name. When I got back to Dallas I saw that the Menil Collection in Houston was having a Wols retrospective. And so, after a few false starts I made the three and a half hour road trip from Dallas to Houston.

Was it worth the drive? Yes!

Wols (1913- 1951) is one of those artists who made a great impact while he was alive, and in Europe he maintained a high profile after his death. But he quickly disappeared from the annuals of art history as seen from the American vantage point. Talking with the book buyer at the Menil Book Store I learned that there are only two books on Wols written in english, one being the must have Wols Retrospective catalogue published by the Menil Collection.

Wols retrospective
I am a sucker for artists such as Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Hans Bellmer, and Joan Miro. Artists who function on that edge of subconscious abstraction and the exploration of lush materials.

Wols Works on paper
This retrospective of Wols artwork is like finding new chapters to your favorite book. It brings a new perspective to art history, and makes you question how much Wols was influenced by his comrades and how much they were influenced by him.

I don't know much about Wols' life other than a few intriguing hints of drama such as being imprisoned in France with Max Ernst and Hans Bellmer for 19 months, dieing of food poisoning, and that his wife continued to create and sell his paints long after he was dead. Sounds like this catalogue is going to be a good read.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

An Introduction To The World Of Nomadic Fungi

Director of the Nomadic Fungi Institute
Dr B.F. Smith PhD
A few weeks ago I was hiking around Dinosaur Valley State Park, enjoying the cool weather and comparing my shoe size with those of various dinosaurs. Around lunch time as I sat on the river bank, a group of Webelos Scouts walked by being led by a tour guide. But this wasn't your normal park ranger, this man was dressed in a charcoal gray, pin stripped, wool suit, with matching fedora. His gray beard and horn rimmed glasses gave him the air of someone of knowledge. I couldn't help but easdrop on his lecture...

He rambled on about the size and weight of the various dinosaurs, and their eventual extension. That's when he slipped off topic and began to talk about the eventual extension of the human race, and how  Nomadic Fungi were sure to play a big part in our demise. The kids started to get a bit freaked out. I was like WTF is he talking about!?

Later in the day, after having my fill of dinosaur tracks, mosquitoes and chiggers, I headed back to the car. As I was tossing my backpack and muddy shoes in the trunk I noticed the wool suited tour guide was unlocking the car next to me.

I just had to ask, What was that killer fungus thing all about?

He introduced himself as Dr. B.F. Smith PhD. He's the director of the Nomadic Fungi Institute, and that the "killer fungus" is a modern mutation known as Nomadic Fungi. It is a parasitic fungus that attaches itself to automobiles and feeds upon the various components. The spores of this fungus are spread on the wind, and if not addressed this fungus has the capacity of decimating the transportation network that our society is built upon.

...Two weeks later, I 've started my new job as the "Archivist" at the Nomadic Fungi Institute.