Friday, January 20, 2006

We Hella WON!!!

At the encouragement (or prodding) of my Principal and Office Manager, I entered several of my students pieces of art in a show at the Pittsburg Art Collaborative (the work should be posted here by the end of next week).

I almost did not enter, but I am glad I did. My office manager is the Secretarial type, I don't think she gets the ADHD world in which I live. Non-Artists do not understand the ordeal of getting your work into a public venue, but it is usually worth the time and effort. This one really paid off, because we totally won – not that that is why we make art, but it is nice to get validation from our peers.

Last week, I pulled several pieces from the pile of stuff I had not yet returned to students and I asked several students to create stuff specifically for the show. I took all of them to my best friend Heather, who happens to work for a custom frame shop – Creative Framing in Oakland. I had her help me narrow down the choices and then she framed all of the pieces as a donation to the school. If we had to pay the bill it would be a damn lot of money that we don't have.

Last Tuesday I carted the 12 finished pieces from 9 of our students off to Pittsburg. I told all of the students about the show and each student who entered was asked to be there tonight (Friday) when the show opened. During 7th period I got a phone call telling me that one of our students won, but I was not told what she had won.

There were about 40 people in attendance at the opening. The show had about 60 works of art from 45 student artists from high school and middle school. The gentleman in charge, Martin, started the award ceremony by telling about the Pittsburg Arts Collaborative and then he talked about show and the judging process. Each judge had several stickers which they placed on the most deserving pieces.

Martin then began to hand out the awards. First, three honorable mentions – $25 to the artist – we were not in that group. It was getting exciting, that meant we placed in the top three, a much bigger deal! Next was third place – $50 to the artist and second place – $75 to the artist. It was almost over and I started to wonder if there were some other prizes, maybe more honorable mentions before announcing first place, and I started to get nervous. I looked at Heather and she looked nervous, too. Then Martin said the name of the first place artist. I looked around the room to check, but I knew she was not there and I told them so. “She’s not here? BUT THAT’S MY KID…uh…STUDENT.” I collected her prize – $100 to the artist. Even better!

By the way, Martin told me later that the winning piece had more than twice as many stickers (votes) as the second. My School RULES!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

They're back... the toilets are back.

I posted more of my toilet prints on eBay - here .

It has been a busy week. I have been working hard to get a bunch of my students artwork framed for a student show. Today was the only day to turn in the work. I worked a bunch of long hours just to get the stuff prepped and the paper work in order in addition to doing my actual job of teaching art to the kiddies – some of whom are bigger than me. My friend Heather, at Creative Framing in Oakland, worked super hard to get the artwork framed in time, got a lot of materials donated and has been invaluable in getting and keeping me organized during the shenanigans. The show opens at 5:30, this Friday night (the 20th) in Pittsburg, CA at the city hall. It will run for about 10 days.

I had the stuff for the show all ready to go and then last night about 9:00 p.m. I started to experience the most intense pain in the left side of my mouth. A toothache kept me up all night. I called in sick then called a local dentist to beg for an emergency appointment. Thankfully they took me in and fixed me up, but I have to go back on Saturday for a root-canal. That should be fun.

I had to stop by my school on my way to drop off the art work and part of my face was still numb. I stopped by my classroom on my way out to check in with the substitute and see how his day was going. There were three kids in my class that did not belong there, so I hauled them off to the class they were supposed to be in and made them admit to their teacher that they were ditching his class. Usually I am the nice easy-going teacher and I let them get away with some stuff, but I had extreme pain and very little sleep last night and I think I was just annoyed that they would treat the sub that way. They would not have tried that if I was there.

Now, it is 1:30 a.m. and I should have been asleep for the last three hours, but the Novocain has worn off and I can’t sleep. I will be sorry in four and a half hours when I have to get up.

The scattered bodies are a shot of plaster sculptures in progress.The images enter in the art show are all drawings, paintings or mosaics.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Altered Plans

My friend Mike who is a master gardener has a website on which he teaches people all about growing and propagating plants. He is amazing. Mike has plan on his site to create a potting bench. I built one this summer and it worked wonderfully, until I decided to leave my living situation and my angry ex would not let me have my potting bench.

I moved into an apartment with a garage and slowly started to reassemble my studio. My Print Press is in the other corner across from my workbench. My friend Heather who shares the studio space with me needed a table to attach her glass torch to and a safe area for any flying molten glass to fall. We were trying to avoid burning down our new work space. Heather described the table she needed and since I had already built something similar I told her about Mike’s website and his potting bench. I thought we could build the base the same way he did and modify the top to suit her needs.

I built the base in less than two hours and when she came over later that night we talked about the best way to modify the top. She also wanted to add a collapsible drawing surface. The main work area is covered with Hardy-backer (a sheet of cement used to cover walls that will have ceramic tiles attached to them) to make is fire-retardant. I will put up a picture of the attached torch soon.

You can still see Mike's table, but it is no longer a potting bench, now it will be use to make Glass beads, pendants and small sculptures. Heather's Kiln sits at the base of the Glass Bench.

Tin Can Alley - Lithograph

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Toilets for Sale...

I put a few of my toilet prints up on E-bay. All as part of my plot to take over the world thru art. Of course I hope they sell, but I am very interested in feedback. They can be found here.