Thursday, December 13, 2007

Visual Universes

So... you're wondering what the hell has happened to Ann? But maybe not since you probably have a life. I have too much of one right now with getting ready for Xmas and trying to get enough art finished to hang at Asylum Gallery in January, plus with company coming to town. I'm sure your life is equally full too.One of the things I've recently discovered is a free-ware fractal art program called Apophysis 2.0.... I don't know the correct way to work the program, as I'm jut playing with it, the way I generally learn all software. but coming up with some wonderful results after manipulating the images in first Painter and then in Photoshop
  • I'm calling this piece Quest. it's as if there are many different visual universes out there that can be made with this fractal program and then refined. I will have at least 3 of the pieces in the show in Jan.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Radio Baja

Thanks for the comments on the work I put up here a few days ago.... and you must have noticed my ... instead of regular punctuation... it's a hold over from my days as a broadcast journalist in radio! when you're writing news scripts that only you or maybe one other person will read.... it's must easier to write in "speaking bursts" than take the time to use punctuation.
  • and I've noticed that the only way to get a space in between work chunks (that's what I call them, I don't like the word paragraph and besides it's more of a dada phrase) for ease of reading is to use bullets or numbers. But then again, I'm a newbie at this.
I was going to start a new writing project today where I would create characters from the Dear Abby columns in the morning paper and use them in short plays, but my hubby was too fast on the draw this morning and recycled the paper. Maybe tomorrow.
  • Here's the latest image I'm working on for a young couple's housewarming gift based on photos I took at their wedding and the pre-party bash at a Baja bar.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Arts & Bolts

Have you noticed a general lack of coverage in your local newspapers on not only the performing arts, but the visual arts as well? We certainly have in Sacramento. Our weekly newspaper had an arts editor change and the gal who was freelancing for them is gone. Pictured up right is Khimberly Marshall as Dido and Tube Daranouvong as Aeneas and in the photo below it's Cynthia Burdick as Hecuba, Jennifer Fong as Polyxena and Blair Leatherwood as Talthybius.
  • Had lunch today with my friend Jim Anderson so I could hear the good, bad and ugly about the show that I adapted and directed called Hecuba and Dido: Love Gone Wrong which just closed on Sunday. The few folks who saw it really enjoyed it, but we had just crappy houses. Here is what one artist who has a studio near the BPP office had to say about the show:
  • I am writing to tell you how much we enjoyed your production of Hecuba and Dido. It is possibly the best play I've seen yet in Sacramento and that is even more satisfying because it was done on a tight budget. The set was simple, clever and effective, the acting excellent, especially Hecuba and Dido who were fabulous, as well as others. the adaptation was a knock-out. Not stilted, self-conscious, trite. The melding of past and present was seamless and completely believable. This was a deeply moving experience. Thank you so much for your gift to the community. Bonnie Rollin
  • She didn't have to say anything never mind contact us to let us know that she really liked it. thanks so much Bonnie because it's folks like you for whom we knock our selves out doing theatre on shoestring budgets!
here are a few photos from the production: Jim, who is also a director and is teaching now over at Sat State, had some very salient points. But in our general discussion he mentioned that Victoria Dalkey, the visual arts reporter for the local daily, had her hours cut in half. No wonder there's not much ink devoted to the arts.
  • I have an idea for a blog that would cover the visual and performing arts scene in Sac, but don't want to do it all myself. That's why our gallery is a coop of artists, with me just doing the PR. Don't know how one could structure a blog so that several different folks could post either.... guess you'd all have the same sign in name and password....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Almost forgot to thank my friends over at blog catalog for becoming my friends. While I've been a digital artist for years now, I'm a newbie at blogging. Here take at look at these wonderful folks http://www.blogcatalog.com/user/anntracy
Hope everyone had a fantastic turkey dinner and wonderful holiday. Not only did I cook a holiday dinner for in-laws and friends (9 this year), on Sunday we struck Hecuba and Dido and I fixed a spaghetti dinner for the cast and crew (12 this time). I know it's time to take off the superwoman cape because I have a sore throat! And just when you'd think that I could take a few days off, my brain starts to work again and I realize that I need to make around 20 more art pieces for my solo show at Asylum Gallery in January! Here is one piece I think is ready.... any comments?? The show is based on photographs I've taken of electrical transformers and old factories from New York to Washington DC and out here in Northern California. This is called "Now I Even Dream of Electric Transformers"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thank God for Hillary

Finally a US politician has come out and taken a stand on the case of that Saudi teenager rape victim who was sentenced to 200 lashes... because she and some guy were abducted! Any guesses as to who this this was? It was Hillary.... and Goddess bless her! The wimpy weasel in the white house probably didn't even know about it. He's a moron. But I fear that Hillary might not get elected because it's not only Islamic men who fear women, it's those southern men who fear females as well. OK, not all southern men and there are some women who fear her too. But I wonder if Hillary would have the cojones to break diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, unless they at least begin the process of giving women the same human rights that are afforded to men. If she would do that, then I'd vote for her!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Giving thanks

There was a recent article in the newspaper about how people who practiced gratitude were happier. I think that it's true because a positive outlook can really change my attitude. WHile there's always something in our lives that we would like to change, all you'd have to do is to compare your life as a woman with women who live in countries governed by Islamic theocracies! Maybe we don't make enough money or we're not thin or having problems with our love lives, but it's not against the law for a woman to drive a car! There is one woman in that bastion of male-centric culture, Saudi Arabia, who is fighting to get simple human rights for the women there - Wajiha Al-Huweidar. for more info check out this link: http://elnaar.blogspot.com/2007/06/saudi-womens-rights-activist-wajeha-al.html

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Come on, come see my show!

That's right... only 2 more weekends to come see the show and decide for yourself. If you're reading this and you haven't see it yet, try this link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjSC2cJT33I

Our artistic director Nick Avdienko has a future ahead of him as a video editor I think... he did a great job in editing the footage I shot last weekend. But the sound was off and I need to re-shoot on Friday.... come on by and say howdy.

New Show up at Asylum

We're exhibiting the winners of our National Juried Print Show this weekend. How I could have forgotten to mention it? Too much going on with both theatre company and gallery. Things have calmed down a bit now. The show is very interesting in that there's just about every kind of print-making on display! so have yourself an arty Saturday by going over to the gallery to see the show, then go out to dinner and come back to The Space to catch the play!

Atlanta to South Dakota to Marysville is a wide swath of the US and the art by the winners of the Asylum Gallery Juried Print Show is just as varied in technique as well as theme. You can see for yourself at the gallery located inside HQ, 1713 25th St. (25th & R Sts, behind the gray fence) in Midtown Sacramento. The show continues to December 22nd with a Second Saturday reception on December 8th from 6 to 9 pm. There are two Thursday evening receptions on December 13th and December 20th from 5:30 to 8 pm. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 pm or by appointment by calling 916-804-6095.

The winners are Dustyn Bork (Monroe, MI), Randy Clark (Brookings, SD), Dale Clifford (Atlanta, GA), Marcus Howell (Springfield, MO), David Nasater (Davis, CA), Deanna Peters (Reno, NV), Sharon Powers (Marysville, CA) and Roger Mark Walton (Savannah, GA). The work ranges from black & white photography to linocut/woodcut, intaglio and etching & aquatint. Three of the winners will be chosen at the November 10th reception to have a group show at Asylum in March 2008. Member artists Ann Tracy, Cherie Hacker, Linda Katzdorn, Terri Ramirez, William Obernesser and Marguerite Schaffron will also show new work.

Randy L. Clark was born in Salt Lake City, UT and now lives in Brookings, SD where he is a professor of graphic design at South Dakota State University. He has been making art ever since he could pick up a pencil and doesn’t remember not making art. He is active in church and community work. He received a solo show at University of Wisconsin-Madison; Union Memorial Gallery. Other selected group exhibitions include: 3rd place 2005 Print Show, Maryland Federation of Art, Baltimore MD; Museo de las Americas, Denver CO and the Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley CA.

Dale Clifford was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is currently a professor of foundation studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He joined the SCAD-Savannah faculty in 2002 and has been teaching at SCAD-Atlanta since January 2006. Clifford holds a BFA in printmaking from Miami University ,Oxford, Ohio and received an MFA in printmaking from Clemson University. From 1996-2002, Clifford was the chairperson and an assistant professor of visual communication at the American University in Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates. Clifford’s prints and drawings have been exhibited in twelve countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.

His work was featured in the Natural Selection show at Pinnacle Gallery, Savannah, GA. His other selected shows include: 9th Annual Juried Small Works, Attleboro Arts Museum, Attleboro, MA; 18th National Drawing and Print Competitive Exhibition, College of Notre Dame of Maryland and the 41st Annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture Show, Del Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX

Marcus Howell was born in Mexico Missouri and now teaches printmaking at Missouri State University in Springfield. He has been making art most of his life but only exhibiting professionally for the past 11 years. Howell’s work has been exhibited at University of Nebraska-Lincoln American University Cairo, Egypt (November 2005) Hayden Art Center Lincoln, Nebraska (2006). His other selected shows include: Marcus Howell and Robert McCann: Paintings, Prints and Drawings Missouri State University Art Gallery Springfield, MO (September 2005); Every Picture Tells a Story International Juried Show, Jurors: Olga Stefan, Executive Director of the Chicago Artist's Coalition Charles Gniech, Exhibition Curator, Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago Northbrook Public Library Northbrook, Illinois (October 2006) and Ana 35: National All-Media Exhibition, Juror: Willem Volkersz, Holter Museum of Art, Helena, Montana (June-August 2007)

David Nasater was born in Burbank, CA and now lives in Davis. This self-taught photographer’s real interest in Photography as Art started about 10 years ago and he’s really started “getting out there” in last couple of years. His work has won an honorable mention award at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center 7th Annual Photography Exhibit “2006 – A Photo Odyssey”– Juror: Lewis Kemper. His other selected shows include: Art League of Northern California 2nd Annual Photography Exhibit “It’s Photography II”– Juror: Richard Reisman – 3rd Place; Vacaville Art League 30th Annual Vacaville Juried Art Show – Jurors: Mark Perlman and Terry Miura – Best of Show and Joyce Gordon Gallery “Glimpses in Time: A Juried Photography Exhibition in Honor of Gordon Parks” – Juror: Stephen Wirtz.

Deanna Peters hails from Reno, NV. In addition to her work as an artist, she had an 18 year career as a high school teacher. Her designs have been published in various magazines including Family Circle and she has sold carved sculptures all over the West, especially the Black Hills of South Dakota. Her awards include First Place-Pastel Painting-Nevada Artist’s Association; Third Place-Watercolor-Nevada State Fair and Honorable Mention-Watercolor-River Gallery.

Sharon Powers was born in North Carolina and now lives in Marysville. She has a BA in English, (Writing Emphasis) from the University of California at Davis and a J.D. degree from the University of Northern California. She has studied art with Sara Sealander and photography with Rick Murai and Greg Kinder at Yuba College. She has won numerous awards and honorable mentions from the Sacramento Fine Arts Center Photography Competition and Exhibit and is a member of the Viewpoint Photographic Art Center.

Roger Mark Walton was born in Dayton, Ohio and now lives in Atlanta GA. With an a MFA in Painting from Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, New York and a BFA in Painting from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, he is currently a professor at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah GA. Walton has received awards from The Elizabeth Greensheilds Foundation, The Ohio Arts Council and the Expanding Horizons Award at Wright State University. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Sherry French Gallery in New York City, the Erector Square Gallery in New Haven, the Carnegie Art Center, and the Georgetown National in Washington D.C. His artwork has been chosen for exhibitions by jurors such as Wolf Kahn, William Bailey, William Beckman, Neil Benezra, Peter Tatistcheff, and Ivan Karp.

Asylum Gallery is a contemporary gallery of artists whose work and experience span a unique circumference. Member artwork ranges from classic black & white to abstract photography, mixed media painting and traditional printmaking to work in the digital realm. While being a membership gallery, Asylum also offers exhibition space to other artists in the community with its annual International Mail Art shows (in which a portion of proceeds go to different charitable groups) and the Juried Holiday Print Shows in November and December.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Birthday

It's my brother Tom's birthday.... happy day to you!

It's Up and Running ....

The show is up and looking great. The actors and designers have worked very hard and it shows. We only got a so-so review from the local weekly, but the reviewer failed to see that Act 2 was supposed to be radically different from Act 1 - which it is. But alas, we had too much of a focus on sex in it for her tastes apparently. Actually I think we'd all be better off if there was more sex and less fighting, killing, maiming, raping and hurting. But I suppose I'm from another planet. And I must constantly remind the actors, a review is just one opinion. Many other folks really liked it at preview and opening night. Another thing she failed to mention was the great multi-culti cast we have. Out of 13 actors, I've got 6 of color! I really like it when I can work with this kind of a cast. It's good for the audiences to see it too. I'll post one of the photos next week. This week, it's BPP's big fundraising gala on Saturday....

Thursday, October 18, 2007

There's No Business Like ...

I’ve been meaning to “blog” about the process of getting Hecuba & Dido: Love Gone Wrong from the page to the stage since the first day of rehearsal back in September, but good intentions aren’t always productive. So even if it is late in the game, I’m going to start now.

When I first had the idea to adapt Charles Mee’s Trojan Women 2.0, I knew that the war in Iraq and the situation of women in Afghanistan would figure into it. Other sources which also influenced me in the adaptation were the book “Women, Power and the Biology of Peace” by Judith Hand and the many books by Deborah Tannen, including “You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation.” I also asked the actors to anonymously “feed back” to me on questions dealing with war, men and women.

As I was writing, I was also thinking of actresses who could play the major roles of Hecuba and Dido. Before the casting process began, I contacted the two actresses who I had worked with before who I thought would be perfect for the parts: Khimberly Marshall and Cynthia Burdick. Then I thought that I would have to have a very strong actor to play the pivotal part of Talthybius, so I contacted Blair Leatherwood, who’s been working with BPP for the past few years, to make sure that he was available.

Yes, sometimes part of the decision to do a show depends upon who is available. Right after I finished the final draft, I began to think about the other important roles in this ensemble show and contacted the members of STE (Sacramento Theatre Experiment, our sister company) and offered them roles which I thought were suited to them. That left me with several roles for which we needed actors. So we announced auditions and I felt blessed that we were able to finish casting the show after that one night!

When the cast first met and we sat in a circle and read the play for the first time, I asked the cast to tell me what their conflicts were with the rehearsal schedule. Numerous people had conflicts on numerous dates, so I realized that we had to adjust the schedule and that there were going to be rehearsal at which I would not have the full cast. Funny how work and life gets in the way.

We were not going to be able to rehearse in the theatre until about 3 weeks before we opened, so I had to “block” (tell actors where to move on stage during certain lines) the show in the tiny rehearsal room. I realized that once we were in the theatre, things would have to “adjust” again and told the actors to expect that. But I felt it was important to give them some basic blocking as many actors need to know where they are on stage before they can really memorize their lines.

And so rehearsals began and went surprisingly smoothly. Almost too smoothly, I knew from my experience of directing many shows over the years with BPP and other theatre companies. So as I told our artistic director Nick Avdienko (who is also composing original music and designing the sound for the show) I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

When we were about three and a half weeks into rehearsal, the shoe dropped with a heavy thud as I received a phone call from one of the actors who said he had to drop the show. Since we had only another 3 weeks before we opened, I immediately sent out an “emergency casting call” to fill the spot. Luckily I found an actor that evening so we were able to rehearse with him in the part and not have my assistant director play the role. Unfortunately our new actor had some conflicts too. So that meant another few weeks of having rehearsals where we didn’t have all the actors.

But since we have an immensely talented group of people, the hard work of getting away from holding the script and working out the physicality of the show is becoming a reality at this stage in the process.

The next two weeks hold many challenges for us. Actors need to give up their security blankets, I mean scripts and receive line prompts. Our technicians need to see the show several times so that when we get into the process of setting light and sound cues they’ll know the show. Our set is being constructed as I type this and our lighting designer, who has already read the script, will be coming to rehearsals. Our costume designer has already taken measurements of the cast and is working on the costumes. Sometimes being a director is almost like being a coach, making sure that everyone is working together as a team. I sometimes call theatre my team sport!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sardonic Photomontage at Asylum in October

The next show at Asylum Gallery, located inside HQ, 1713 25th St. (25th & R Sts) in Midtown Sacramento is new work by Terri Ramirez from October 6th to November 4th. There is a Second Saturday reception scheduled for October 13th from 6 to 9 pm. Gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 pm or by appointment by calling 916-804-6095.

Ramirez’ new work is photomontage the old school way, without using Photoshop. Photomontage is the process (and result) of making a composite photograph by cutting and joining a number of other photographs. Her work ironically comments on current culture.

With an MFA in painting from Western Michigan University and a BA from UC-Davis, she has received awards from the Placer County Fair in Roseville and the Georgetown Art Exhibit in El Dorado County. Her work has been shown at 20th Street Gallery and Matrix Gallery in Sacramento, as well as the Auburn Art Gallery and the Auburn Art Walk in Auburn as well as at the Gallery in Georgetown as well as in several galleries and exhibits in Michigan.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Welcome

I know that news releases about Asylum Gallery will be posted here and probably any shows that I'm involved with at Beyond the Proscenium and probably musings on art, culture and outrages.