Tuesday, May 24, 2005

In the beginning was me... mowing the lawn...

Today, while mowing the lawn, I was mulling over a few things: I had re-watched the documentaries Superstar and How to Draw a Bunny about Andy Warhol and Ray Johnson respectively; I had just reread an issue of Factsheet 5 that was focused on renegade, outsider, and D. I. Y. art, particularly zines and mail art; and I was thinking about a conversation a friend of mine and I had just had a few days ago about trying to get a gallery showing for some of my art work... The main emphasis of this conversation centered around how there are only a few places in town that show art: The Broadway Gallery and the Longview Public Library being the two main venues we discussed, and that the types of things that I do (small, strange, rough, not very commercial) do not really fit in with the local spirit, the local mind set...

So, how am I going to “show” any of my stuff... And I really do enjoy sharing what I’ve done (created-written-found-assembled-recorded-photographed... whatever...) with people.... even people who I don’t know, who might not understand what I’m doing or why I’m doing it... I like to have fun, and fun is easier to have with other people...

Then I thought, well, what if I just come up with some kind of “mobile” art gallery... All I’d really need to do was go to a hardware store or even a thrift store and find a couple wooden, badminton, or tent poles, some cheap blankets or sheets, and a spool of twine. The I take the poles, sheets, and twine up to the lake or drive to the beach, plunk the poles in the ground, run some twine between the poles, drape the sheets over the twine, and pin my art right to the sheets. I suddenly have a mobile art gallery that I could pack just about anywhere, easily, and set up in just a few minutes.

I do have some concerns with this: Will I be ticketed or even arrested for “unlawful display of artwork” or some other weird charge, or, perhaps, just be told to take everything down and go home? Is there some kind of permit I would need to display things in this manner? I wouldn’t be trying to sell anything, so would that make it ok? Would I get in trouble if I printed up flyers, pamphlets, zines, or other literature or artwork and handed it out at my display?

But, these concerns are not enough to dampen my excitement at the idea, and since I’ve been looking into mail art, artist trading cards, and other interesting modern art forms, I thought it might be fun to send out a call for contributions to my “mobile art show” through the IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), and a couple of different mail art sites, maybe email a few artists in particular (even contact people like Noah in Portland, K Records in Olympia, artists that I can find contact info for in Juxtapose or some other sources, etc, etc...), and see if anyone wants to contribute.

I can set up a new blog for the project, explain on the blog what the point is (I need to write a very clear, concise, and specific “mission statement” that explains everything: the lack of local venues for noncommercial art forms; the mobility of the project and my relatively close proximity to Olympia, Portland, Washington State University at Vancouver, Seaside, Long Beach, and the lake here, all places where the “exhibit” might travel; the informational and educational nature of the project: To make people aware of these types of art forms and art networks; and, more than anything else, to have fun sharing art with the world), and maybe create a new email address for people to contact me at, and see if anyone responds. Meanwhile, I could write to teachers at Lower Columbia College, WSU Vancouver, and maybe some of the local galleries and the library, and see if they can help, either by suggesting or contacting artists, telling me better methods of displaying materials, helping with legal issues, organization, and bureaucratic steps necessary to make this project come to life.

The whole idea of this project is to get the art work outside in the open air, and in front of the potential audience that will already be out visiting the parks at the lake. If I advertise my intended “showings” (with flyers, online at the blog, through email, in the Daily News or other local papers, and whatever other ways I can think of) I might even be able to draw a crowd... But this whole advertising thing won’t be possible if I can’t figure out how to get a permit to legally “show” my exhibition... Perhaps, if I can contact Noah or another person in Portland, someone in Olympia (maybe K Records, Dave at Vision? Nary!, or maybe someone at Evergreen College), get some information from somebody at WSUV (Carol, Wendy, Pavithra, Pamela... somebody has to know how to go about getting a day’s worth of exhibition time on the lawn...) I can get some show time without having to pay for a permit... Maybe I’ll be able to get assistance here in town to do a showing as well, but I’m not going to hold my breath here... Wherever I end up hosting the show (in town or out of town, maybe even at a private residence if I can find someone willing... Shaun???? Probably not, but maybe...) I’m sure it’s going to be fun...

1 Comments:

Blogger epf said...

I LOVE your idea of mobile art! Some varieties that I'm aware of include the Bookmobile Libre out of Canada. They use an old airstream trailer as their museum for an amazing selection of artist books and travel much of North America letting people see for free (although donations for gas are never turned down, of course). And then there are a couple of women (0ne in the UK and one in USA) who display mail art on their shopping trolleys...

I also love that you were mowing your lawn. Want my address so you can come do mine?

1:13 AM  

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