Hey everyone. It's been a while so I just though I'd update you on what's up around my studio. I'm having a show at my place in mid-August (date to be determined), and am honored to have been asked to participate in Season's on St. Croix's 10th anniversary show for the month of Oct. Also, it's amazingly 50 on 50th's 50th anniversary this November, and I'll be in that show on Sat Nov 6th.
For the show at my place this year I'm inviting some artist friends of mine to participate, and will be taking up a few posts to introduce them to you. First up are Gene Olson & Chris Wilson. These guys have been working artists their whole lives. I bet they have literally forgotten more than most people have ever learned between the two of them. This is Gene showing a friend of mine his bronze casting forge. His shop is FULL of wonders-- like the 300 lb anvil and giant press (?) in the foreground.
If you've ever been to the Phipps in Hudson, that's his cool copper woven metal piece up on the wall in the entrance. His specialty is metal work of every kind.
Chris is into all kinds of art. She does sculptures, jewelry, paintings, drawings, and these cool Chinese calligraphy type paintings using a long brush you do standing up with your canvas on the floor. (Sorry, I'm quite sure this type of art has a specific name, but I was too under the spell of their artwork permeating every nook and cranny to ask what it is called.) Here she is, giant paint brush propped behind her, in her "arm" chair, by her "foot" stool. Get it? (click pic for a better look.)
These guys are so creative and open and just cool people. It's such a pleasure to know them. Their lives absolutely BRIM with art exploding all around them. It's literally their life.
Visiting their place is part like going to some crazy fun house, part like visiting a museum's storeroom, and part like the world's biggest toybox (if you are an artist.)
This is a floor they made using some of Chris's etched slate tiles. You may have seen these in museum shops all over the country.
This is what I mean that they just do whatever they feel like artistically-- This is a door going into one of their work areas. It's their door-- not something they did to sell or anything. Hardly anyone but them and their friends (and now you guys) will ever see it, but how cool is this door people? Very cool.
I'm guessing this is one of Chris's bronzes, just laying in the sun on one of their decks.
Here she's demo-ing her uber brush. I'm not sure if she paints these while they're up on the ceiling, or if that's just where they wind-up.
This one is called "Peas and Harmony." Get it? They both have great senses of humor. I saw one sculpture that had some text buried inside that said, "Eternal happiness-- 30 day free trial."
This was one of the many wonders in Gene's inner sanctum. His shop is so crammed with equipment and art projects it's rather maze-like, but this got my attention right away. It's a tiger, made of copper, using a technique he specializes in (although, to be fair, he's an expert in many many metal working techniques) called "repousé."
Here is an area he plastered with photographic studies of cats, large and small, to plan out his sculpture. He's just making it because he feels like it. It's not a commission. Year of the Tiger-- haven't you heard?
They are also the proud owners of some very primo rust. You KNOW how I feel about that!
I have no idea what they'll be showing at my place, and I'm sure at this point they don't either, but I can guarantee it will be interesting.
They are considering, maybe, setting up some workshops at their place. I'm telling you, whatever they decide to teach it would be well worth it, even just to go soak in their knowledge and creative vibes. I took a welding workshop from Gene once and it was tips galore! Stuff they didn't tell me in welding school.
If anyone has any interest in this, I'm sure some comments would go a long way to encourage them in this direction. (Comment it up folks!)
I'll be posting more in the coming months. You wouldn't believe how many cool artist I know who've agreed to be in the show.