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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Five weeks to go before the opening at Art Produce

I miss posting things on my blog! I am in the process of getting all the elements for the show at Art Produce Gallery together, and it seems that every moment I have is dedicated to that right now. It is a very interesting process but there are many things to do at the same time.

Kyle helped me a lot for the display case that I finally decided to build from a table we have. While looking and searching for the perfect display case, the solution was sitting on our porch. Well, the beginning of the solution, because then there are all the things that have to be done to make the table look like the display case I want. Several trips to Home Depot to find the right nails, the right wood, the right everything. And I still have a lot of work to finish it.

Then there are the objects. My friends Jean and Julia recently went to France, and while they were in Marseille, they met my mother who gave to them several precious objects that will be in the display case in the show. We could not send them through the mail and take the risk that they get lost. Also, we did not know what to put as the description of the content: "paleolithic tools, Mauritanian sand..." would have seem suspiscious. And plus it is forbidden to transport soil to the US. - although this sand is certainly completely free of any bacteria!
So there was this meeting between Julia, Jean and my mother. They did that for me, for the show here in San Diego.

Saturday night, just before Halloween, Jean gave brought me the objects. Sunday morning I unpacked them and showed them to Kyle and the children. They are here now: rocks, bifaces, stromatolites, and my father's hammer, the one he always had with him.
Nice to have these objects here.

My mother called me to know if I've got them.
Through email she sent me different short texts about the objects. Although I told her that my show will have more of a poetic approach rather than a scientific one, I think I will make good use of the texts. I have to say she is very excited about the project which makes me happy!

She sent me another series of beautiful slides through the mail, they arrived yesterday. I do not think I will use them at this point. I have already a lot of them. Getting scans from slides through ScanCafe is the cheapest way but it takes more than 4 weeks.

I finally finished mounting the series of inks on paper on wood panels. Long process. The paper is white, the handling is quite tricky. Still have to number them (there are nearly 100 of them, I do not know exactly how many I will use on the mural, I will have to decide on site). I took a picture of each of the inks, so I have to number both the inks and the photos, for archiving. The inks had to stay for at least two weeks under a heavy weight to be very flat and then I glued each of them carefully on the wood panels, finishing with a roll. And the result is very flat. I hope the contrast between the small inks on white paper on the dark paint of the mural will be interesting. On the tries I've made on Photoshop it is, so we'll see. I also like the opposition of the bold mural and the detailed drawings. I also, like at the San Diego Art Institute, used different depth for the wood panels, but I did not buy a lot of thick ones because, even on sale, they were quite expensive.

I am going to pick up the prints at Chrome tomorrow, I am very excited about this. Seven prints in total, for half the price. I found nice metal frames, on sale at Dick Blick.

I will have super small photos on the wall too (2x2"). I chose the photos of the plants and the desert within the million I have taken, ordered a few prints online, received them yesterday, glued them on foam core today. Then the cutting. They look nice, although it is very difficult to cut the foam core really straight and to get perfect squares.

Lynn Susholtz, the director of Art Produce, landed me 2 digital devices. In one I have a video, in the other one a slide show. I tried and tried to make the devices work properly: I wanted them to start directly on either the slide show or the video. It did not work. Finally I called Foci, and they told me to send the devices to L.A. and they would take care of them. And I did, I sent the devices plus my video and my photos. I was in touch with the nicest person there, who not only updated the software inside the devices, but did everything so that when I got them back, they were ready to hang - and it was a free service!
Now the devices work super nicely!

I had a credit on KodakGallery and I used it to print a booklet of photos from Africa. My idea is to print several of them and to display them on the table at Carpe Diem, the cafe next door to the gallery. In fact, people go through Carpe Diem to go to the gallery when the gallery is closed. I think it is a good idea to use that space too, I do not know yet how it will work and if it will work. But I like the idea that people can look at the booklet when they are having they coffee. Of course, I hope people will not take them away!

Because the show will open just before Christmas, I would like to have some t-shirts for sale. I designed several projects. My friend Claudia is working on the printing. Hopefully we will have a series to sell at the opening. We went together south of San Diego, almost to the Mexican border, to buy a few very nice t-shirts. If they have some success at the show, may be people could order some!

All of this takes time, including getting the things I need at a reasonable price!
I am enjoying learning in the process.

Meanwhile I still spend a lot of time with my family too. So these days I do not see a lot of shows, which is too bad, but I clearly cannot do everything!

I was happy to escape the other night to go to Art Produce for a talk about "United and Severed: That window of Time", the show installed at the gallery now. Although the theme of the show is rather haunting (based on the experiences of 3 women living with traumatic injuries), the way the artists talked about their project was uplifting and there were very good questions in the audience.

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