Friday, June 25, 2010

Lucky Weiner

While the NadaDada art show was going on last weekend up in Reno, I decided that I would raffle off an iconic print - Chad Jumps the El Cortez being Pursued by a Mythical Winged Coyote.  Thanks to all the folks who entered and we chose a winner on Sunday.... drum roll please ....

It's Steve Keenen of Reno, NV!  Congrats Steve, you are getting the 3rd print in the 25 print limited series.  It always feels so good when I know that a piece of my art has found a good home.  Thanks Steve!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Scarey to the Sublime

I've always described the art out at the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Dessert of Nevada as ranging from the sacred to the profane and you an pretty much say the same thing about NadaDada Motel, the instant arts festival in downtown Reno where you rent a room and put your work up and wait for the public to come on by.  Matter of fact, I describe NadaDada as being like Burning Man but with flush toilets - always gets a laugh!

One friend who came to see the art at the three motels in Reno that were included in the event said that some of it pushed her past her comfort level, but maybe she needed that.  This event is just perfect for installation work, which many of the rooms held.  I'm going to be posting to my Flickr site with my few photos of the event - click HERE.

Thanks to all my wonderful NadaDada friends up in Reno - next year I'll share a room so that I can go look at everyone else's stuff.   This year it wasn't an option.  Had many, many people through the room, some even buying some work!  A big shout out to those that did buy work, thanks so much for giving my work a good home!

Here is the light box piece that I made for this year.  I'll be making a limited edition series of prints for it, but the piece has sold.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Meanwhile over at Strega Bar...

After closing up my room at the El Ray (330 N Arlington Ave, rm 15), I wandered over to the Strega Bar (310 S Arlington, south of the river walk area) to see what was up over there. Found some wonderful work by SK James, by Andrea & Ricardo Olvera and Dianna Sion pictured here.

She's a "giantic" talent which you will realize after seeing her work that also appeared at the LA PlayLand show a few months back.  She's also got some killer cool T-shirts and dresses for sale down there and you can also get that cool coloring book that has one of my images in it for only $10 - with 50% of the proceeds going to Aids charities.

And then there's my friend Trelaine who is making a delicious career for herself out of artistic uses of MEAT - bacon in this case.  Think of a very twisted version of my little pony or whatever the hell that toy for girls was called back in the 80s I think.

It's a very mixed media sculpture also incorporating wigs and marabou and animal skulls.  The following photos shows it better.

OK... I know I don't do exciting things with meat, but I like to think I do somewhat interesting things with photography and pushing those pixels around... so do stop by the El Ray where you will also find other wonderful photographers, artists and installations.

Monday, June 14, 2010

NadaDada Motel in Reno!

Sacramento artist Ann Tracy will exhibit new work at Reno's NadaDada Motel, an artist-created arts festival June 17th to the 20th at the The El Ray Motel (330 Arlington @ 4th) in room 15 from 4 to 9 pm on Thursday & Friday, June 17th  and 18th and from 2 to 8 pm on Saturday, June 19th.  Her exhibit closes with a special “Don’t Make me Take it Down the Hill” sale on Sunday at 10:30 am. 

Tracy joins almost 100 other artists (including Woodland photographer George Streng) who will be showing their work at the other motels along Arlington in downtown Reno: the Town House Motorlodge, Star of Reno, Keno 1 and 2, Lido, In Town, Super 8, Strega Bar, Oxbow Press.   Entertainment will be at 9:30 pm at the El Cortez hotel’s Trocadero Lounge, 239 West 2nd Street on Friday night.  Saturday night entertainment will be at the Strega Bar, 310 South Arlington Avenue at 9:30 where several prominent Reno artists, including Dianna Sion and Trelaine Lewis, will also be showing their work.  Bicycle ricksaws are expected to be on hand accepting donations and transporting the public from location to location. Aside from admission for shows at the Trocadero, it's all FREE!

Tracy will be showing new work in her Motel Variations series as well as a new addition to her Power series (juried into the 2010 American Art Collectors book) and a developing body of work (Potency of Memory) in which she creates the digital imagery on her computer, prints it on special transfer substrates then applies it to gallery wrapped canvas and finally paints into the canvas with acrylics.  The new Motel Variation pieces, including one for a 25” square lightbox printed on Duratrans, is influenced by her recent trip to Italy (Venitian painter Bellini’s Madona with Red Angels) as well as the work of  Carl Jung (shadow self) and “The Origin of Satan” by Elaine Pagels.

“Artists are taking action and they simply get a room, make a show”, said one of the NadaDada organizers Chad Sorg.   “The concept is simple and the do-it-yourself attitude of these self-starters has brought a creative pride to downtown Reno as well as direct revenue to local small businesses and artisans. As revenue for public art funding dwindles, Reno City Councilman Dave Aiazzi praises NadaDada Motel as a positive example of self-initiated action.”

There is expected to be a wide variety of art from painting and sculpture to video and photography to neon, installation, performance and jewelry, as well as new and uncategorized media. For artists to open motel rooms to the public, the exhibitions have been a more personal way to connect with an audience. Each room is an independent art show.  An additional event featuring printmakers will be happening at Oxbow Press at 2035 Dickerson Road, "Naughty; Taboo; Just Plain Wrong", a print portfolio exchange.

 This DIY artists' movement began in 2007 when six artists joined forces in Reno, not so much to be radical–as the artists from their Dada namesake would have had it–but simply to create an opportunity to exhibit their work and to offer the same to others. The artist/organizers worked with the management of historic Hotel El Cortez in downtown Reno and artists flocked to the event to rent their own rooms and open their doors to the public–over 1200 people came to that first year's event! The number of artists involved during the course of the first 3 years has risen from 6 to 300. NadaDada adherents are from the disciplines of visual art, music, poetry, performance and combinations of such.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sicily and OSF Reviews

Before I post my reviews of the shows we saw up in Ashland at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, I thought I had better get those photos of Sicily up on the Flickr site.  Mission accomplished, please click HERE.  We had a marvleous time at Mimmo's house and enjoyed his marvelous hospitality as well as that of his friends, who prepared two of the best dinners - Thank you Luisa, Massimo, AnnaMaria, Tomas, Mimmo and Mimmo's sister, whose name I don't want to mangle here.  We also took a trip to the ancient city of Erice, which is like a Camelot in the mists.  That's JK at the castle gates.  It was closed unfortunately,

Because we took that time and prevailed upon JK's sister and brother to help look after their dad, Al, while we were traveling in Italy, our "time out"s will be short trips, like our sojourn to  Ashland to see a couple of shows at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  It's a 4.5 hour drive (when old leadfoot here is at the wheel) but we break it up and take turns driving. 

How do communities and people heal?  That is the central question addressed in Lisa Kron's Well, which is just ending its run (June 18th) at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR.  Kron, a native of East Lansing, Michigan, is best known for her one-woman shows which have garnered her praise and awards from New York to San Francisco. 

As you take your seat in the theare, there is a cosy living room set up with a recliner upon which dozes Kron's Mom, upstage.  Downstage we see a couple of metal  chairs and a few tables which have a vaguely antiseptic feel, as contrasted to the upstage area.  

The playwright is the central character in this self-described "meta-theatrical exploration of not just how her mother was able to heal an interracial community in East  Lansing, but not herself", but of the larger issues of how and why some people heal and others do not.  Throughtout the play the Kron character asserts that this isn't about her mother strictly, which of course makes one think she protesteth too much.

Kron has crafted scenes which reflect both the humor and the angst of growng up in the 60's in an interracial community mixed with scenes of her at an allergy clinic in Chicago, along with scenes where her mother butts in to correct her and make asides to the audience.  Kron also breaks the fourth wall to speak directly to the audience which is ironic that it's described in the program as an avant guarde theatrical technique because it's a well worn modus operandi from Shakespeare's time!

But make no mistake, this is not your typical "well-made" play narrative.  The structure loops around and comes back with the actors breaking character and beginning to play themselves.  But within this loosey-goosey framework we  begin to sense the seeds of truth.  And we laught at the humor of the mother-daughter relationship, which seemed to closely mirror the universal relationship between mother and daughter.

Director James Edmondson did a wonderful job bringing out the comedy as well as the pathos in this piece of theatre.  Acting standouts include Terri MaMahon as Lisa, Dee Maaske as her mother Ann and K.Y. Vogt in numerous roles.

Sometimes it's a risk seeing the first night of a preview, but not so with Twelfth Night playing at the outdoor Elizabethan Stage (also known as the Allen Pavilion) until October 8th.  Director Darko Tresnjak, who is new to OSF this year, has set the comedy in the late 18th Century, cuing off Orsino's line "If music be the food  of love, play on." - which reminded him of Mozart and the passions of that period typified by "Liaisons Dangerous".

While the costuming and many of the props hewed closly to this conceit, the set by David Zinn was a bit more problematic.  Instead of using the traditional design of  the Elizabethan, he constructed this towering struture that resembled something you might find at a skateboard park, which was covered in green astro turf.  It had a top section that could be unfolded to create a window space.  Linda Cho's costumes were both beautiful and playful while Jane Cox's lighting added the mood for each scene.

But those are the only distractions to a solid and laugh filled production of the Bard's tale of mistaken identity, misplaced love and revenge upon certain Puritanical ideals.  You could tell these actors were hungering for an  audience.  They played the play full bore with great physicality which illustrated the bawdy language, much to the delight of the busloads of high school age kids at the show.

We got solid performances from Kanajuan Bentley as Orsino and Miriam A. Laube as Olivia and the rest of the cast.  The most spectacular performance was Michael Elich as an almost Brechtian Feste, Olivia's fool.   Other standouts in the cast were Brooke Parks as Viola and Christopher Liam Moore as Malvolio.

I highly recommend both Well and Twelfth Night as being definately worth not only the ticket price, but the drive up to Ashland (4.5 hrs).  If you're looking for a place to stay, I can also recommend the Peerless Hotel, which is listed in the book "1,000 Places to See Before You Die".  The charming Victorian hotel has five guestrooms and two suites.  It has been lovelingly restored with art and antiques ranging from Victorian times to the 1920s.  The staff is gracious and kind and the restaurant next door is a sure winner with it's sophsiticated small plate menu and wine list.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Big Shout Out

is going to Sacramento Talent Magazine for using my digital painting "Atlanta After the Tornado" for their front cover!   They also have a little feature on me on pages 12 & 13.  You can check it out HERE.

I'm in Ashland right now, having just seen Lisa Kron's hysterical yet bittersweet and honest theatrical exploration called "Well".  I'll be posting a review of it a little later, but it's a very good show about making a show and using the personal to connect to the universal. 

We're staying at the Peerless Hotel about 5 blocks from the theatres.  It's an amazing time warp back to the Victorian age that is artistically so very well done.  Included in the room rate is a splendid breakfast cooked up by the innkeeper himself - fresh fruit, home-made muffins, smoked pork loin slices and a lemon and poppy seed waffle that I just finish even though it was great.

Looking forward to seeing "12th Night" preview at the outdoor Elizabethan Theatre tonight and then back to Sac tomorrow.