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Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Billboard Art Project in Duluth, MN: some of my images projected, some not

For the Duluth Billboard Art Project, the participating artists knew the billboard would be near a forest. My idea was to use warning signs on the billboard using strange messages related to the presence of the forest: "Caution! Fairies", "Big Bad Wolf lurking", "Beware", "Wizards Crossing Ahead", "Deer in the Headlights"- or making a poetic link with the place: "No Man's Land", "Here", "Nowhere", "There", "Black Hole", "Grey Area", "Complicated Zone". Also, a few of the signs were incomprehensible ones, as if the sign was not working.I even asked the BAP if it would be possible to have the image being shown around dusk to emphasize the strangeness. 

The images could not be used because they are playing off of cautionary road signs, and replicating the visual effect is against of department of transportation regulations as it may confuse the driver. I understand their position. Several of the series I proposed to the BAP since the beginning of my participation play with ambiguity. And although I am trying to stay in a zone where my images would not be rejected, I know I am walking a fine line.

For example, when I started the series, one of the images I created was "Checkpoint Ahead" and I knew right away that this could be a problem. It is a stressful message to read on a billboard which completely resembles a warning sign. I thought working more with strange and surprising message, like "Black Hole", and not playing with a stressful content.

If I can obtain permission from the local department of transportation in one of the upcoming shows, I will re-submit the images for that particular venue. I may change them a little, I will find a way.

Here are some faux-montage (from a BAP photo) of the images as they could have appeared on the road in Duluth:

My series "Mileage to" continues
After Savannah, GA, here is the billboard in Duluth, MN, with the distances between Duluth and towns North Africa and Middle East: Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Bahrain, Syria, Tunisia, Palestine, Israel,Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon. It's interesting to see the series in another town, with the mileage slightly changing. I am finding different ways to write the names of some of the towns when I check on the maps on internet. Misurata in Libya is used as much as Misrata so I decided to use them both.

In Savannah, GA: Towns in Iraq (photo BAP)
In Duluth, MN: Towns in Iraq (photo BAP)
In Savannah, GA: Towns in Libya (photo BAP)

In Duluth: Towns in Libya  (photo BAP)

In Savannah, GA: Towns in Morocco (photo BAP)
In Duluth: Towns in Morocco (photo BAP)


In Savannah, GA: Towns in Algeria (photo BAP)

In Duluth: Towns in Algeria (photo BAP)
In Duluth: Towns in Iraq (photo BAP)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Join us for South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk + STREET MRKT September 2nd!

From the Press Release -
An eclectic evening of arts and culture in downtown San Jose's SoFA District (& beyond)!
 7pm-11pm, free & open to all ages

Anno Domini // the second coming of Art & Design - 366 South First Street

Waiting #95, oil on wood, 24" x 48", 2011

Opening Reception in galleryONE: Brett Amory White Light  solo exhibition

White Light is the next installment within Brett Amory’s Waiting series. Amory began the Waiting series in 2001 with paintings depicting commuter subjects seemingly detached from their fellow passengers and surrounding environments, inspired by the introverted culture of public transit and inhabitants of the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco.

This new group of paintings continues to capture an individual’s struggle to exist in the present moment and the continued state of detachment from one’s surrounding environment. However, this new body of work depicts an element of freedom, as the subjects strive to transcend consciousness and human existence: freedom of thought, freedom of perception, freedom to create one’s own narrative. If reality is relative and bound to the subject’s own existence and subject to the judgment of others, this work reminds us that there is a choice. While White Light exposes the limitations one faces when they are defined by their limited perceptions and the gaze of others, the viewer is reminded that there is hope for absolute freedom over our existence and essence.

On view in galleryTWO: Dimitri Drjuchin The Melting Kingdom solo exhibition  

Higher Fire Clayspace & Gallery - 499 Market Street

Higher Learning – Higher Fire presents work by emerging clay artists from SJSU’s MFA in Ceramics Program.  Participating artists include Jonathan Huang, Malia Landis, Kat MacKinnon, Demetra Messoloras, Avery Palmer, David White, and Wesley Wright. 

KALEID Gallery - 88 South Fourth Street (at San Fernando)
 Opening Reception for feature artists Leslie Ann Rice and Sara Tomasello

Image by Leslie Ann Rice

Circus Act by Leslie Ann Rice
A mutt-ley crew of characters explore the circus of popular culture, touching upon the freakish tendencies of human nature.

Image by Sara Tomasello

Looking through the Glass by Sara Tomasello
Through her paintings, Sara Tomasello builds on themes of intimacy and the unity of opposites.  Her characters are symbols for the light and dark aspects of human nature. Using a vibrant color palette and inspired by universal mythological themes, Sara portrays the emotional impact of the world she sees and experiences it in her acrylic paintings. There is a story behind each piece and it begins; Once upon time. Viewers are invited to look through the glass that Sara views the world and reflect on your own experiences of the world. 

MACLA - 510 South First Street

Photgraphy by Victor Cartagena

Join MACLA for an extraordinary evening of art and performance:
In MACLA’s Gallery: A Body Parted: Shrapnel of Present Time Un Cuerpo Partido: Esquirlas de Tiempo Presente Utopia/Nightmare: The American Dream Utopia/Pesadilla: El Sueño Americano Exhibition by Victor Cartagena with sound elements by David Molina. 

Join us for the opening reception, artist talk and micro-performance by Secos y Mojados.

Phantom Galleries - art exhibitions in vacant storefronts and alternative spaces

Detail of the installation
66 South First Street: Defragmentation 66 
An installation by Michele Guieu
Defragmentation 66 is an adaptation of the last installation I’ve made in San Diego: Defragmentation: Rearranging Bits and Pieces of Memory. It is an ongoing project and the occasion to reflect on bits and pieces of my memories, as I am recalling/documenting them. The project originated when I was about to leave San Diego after living there for 6 years. I thought about the different times I’ve left a place in my life. Defragmentation 66 is the first installation I am showing in San Jose since I’ve moved and it represents a link between the two towns – and beyond. The installation is on a smaller scale but uses some essential elements featured in the first version of the show: an ensemble of paintings, a painted background and videos. The videos in “Defragmentation 66” are new memories and were taken here, in the bay area. The address number where the show is held, 66, is an interesting symbol in my life: the first time I came to the US, that’s the road I travelled on.

386 South First Street: Street Swag Photo Booth photos by Abe Menor at SubZERO Festival.

95 So. Market Street: 
"Folie à Deux Family Tree": Monotypes and Glass Statues by Curt Schauer

In this exhibit, Curt traces the origins and family history of the Folie a Deux series. From the image on the original sign in Tokyo that inspired the figurative images and the early acrylic ink monotype studies, digital drawings and oil based monotypes to the final five piece monotype series and blown glass statues that defined Curt’s work from 2008 to today. Folie a Deux explores the duality of extremes and conflict in human nature and between the art and the viewer in figurative and expressionist styles. Not satisfied with a single medium to express his vision,

Curt furthered the duality theme by recreating the series in colorful 3D blown glass with hand etched graal images. This is the first exhibit to display the family tree in life (glass) and in portrait (monotypes) and displays the use of color, light, movement and dimenssion in Curt’s art.

San Jose Jazz at Eulipia Restaurant - 374 South First Street

The Jazz Mafia for San Jose Jazz
A creative force on the Bay Area music scene for more than a decade, the loose-knit band of Jazz cats, MCs, arrangers and composers known collectively as The Jazz Mafia is one of the most powerful assemblies of virtuosic performers on the West Coast. Launching some of the Bay Area’s most innovative and stylistically expansive ensembles, these musicians contribute their varied talents to a cross-cultural mix of new beats and melodies, Hip-Hop, Funk and R&B. The Jazz Mafia Horns have recorded in the studio with Carlos Santana and backed artists such as Zion-I, KRS One, and Thomas Dolby. Other bands in the JM pantheon include the incredible Realistic Orchestra, Supertaster w/ Joe Bagale, Brass Mafia, Jazz Mafia Trio, Spaceheater, and the Shotgun Wedding Quintet, one of the hits on the Jazz Beyond Stage at this year's San Jose Jazz Summer Fest. 

San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles - 520 South First Street

Crosses (Stone Mason’s Puzzle), From the collection of Roderick Kiracofe, Photo by Sharon Risedorph 

The Scrap ART exhibit showcases historical quilts drawn from the Museum’s and private collections and ‘scrappy’ contemporary works. 
Scrap ART
 examines the historical precedent and aesthetic of the scrap quilt and its modern-day descendants.
Just as quilters have long been inspired to make beautiful pieces from available scraps, the throwaways of daily life have inspired a new generation of ecologically-minded artists to combine creative reuse with old-fashioned thrift in works using material as varied as books, jeans, zippers, plastic, buttons and teabags. 
Scrap ART
 celebrates the reinterpretation of materials by artists both historical and contemporary in works that reflect the cultures and values of their makers.
For more details:

Join us for a Recycled Fashion Trunk Show featuring the work of Darcy Fowkes, and a scrap art demonstration by Jane Emery, who will make unique fanciful “Aunt Jane’s Creations” – such as spirit dolls and animal figures!

SLG Art Boutiki & Gallery - 577 South Market Street

Art by Bea Adams.

The Art of the Zombie Apocalypse.
Survivors of the zombie invasion from earlier in the week can come out and see the art they left behind. A group of artists will leave their own impressions of the walking dead.  Also featuring live music!

Works San José - 365 South Market Street

In Primer paso (First Step), artists from Oaxaca, Mexico and San José, confront revolutionary aspects of artistic, personal, and cultural emancipation. In multiple media and site-specific installation, Julio Cesar, César Chávez, Mario Guzman, Eder Luna, and Ylan Luna simultaneously reflect the shadow of despair while lighting the way toward hope and awareness.

Caffé Frascati - 315 South First Street

First Fridays is Caffe Frascati's Opera Night! with all your favorite arias and duets performed live by some of the bay Areas finest opera singers. 8-10pm.

Downtown Yoga Shala - 450 South First Street

 Join us after Candlelight Yoga (6-7:30pm) as we open our doors to welcome art patrons and the downtown community to the South FIRST FRIDAYS art walk. Our featured artist is Robertino R. Ragazza, featuring his new exhibition, Memorias de mis viajes (memories of my travels).

…..Memories of my travels (Memorias de mis viajes) is a collection of images which gives me fond memories and recollections of all the places I've traveled. When photographing, I like to capture just bit and pieces, not the full scale view, mainly focusing on the usage of high and low key lightings within the frame. In photographing these pieces, they create an assemblage, painting a complete picture of who I am.  All photographs are hand-printed Selenium-toned Silver Gelatin. 

Good Karma Vegan Café - 37 South First Street

The Peculiar Pageant: New paintings and installation by Lacey Bryant
Theatrically posed and surrounded by lush, illusory environments, the subjects of Lacey's newest works are like pictures in a storybook written in an unknown language.  The images are somewhat familiar but certain elements remains foreign.  Like a hazy dream of an imagined childhood long forgotten, the images strive to make you feel as if you just might have been there once, maybe.  As is common in Lacey's work, there is a subtle tension between beautiful and unsettling elements.  This contrast creates a sense of mystery and invites the viewer to construct their own interpretation of the scenes.  In the safety of a world poised between reality and imagination where common symbols mingle with strange ones, Lacey's characters expose their fears, doubts, despairs and longings.

METRO Photo Exhibit - 550 South First Street

Join us for the Metro Photo Exhibit seek party destroy Photography by Albert Bracamonte III.

Pho69 - 321 South First Street

Collection of Light  A new series by LAuruS Myth
LAuruS Myth work is based on patterns found in nature that have lead to patterns used in modern technology. Not only do these symbols relate to each other visually, but they also function as patterns that guide flows of energy throughout machines and plant life. Connecting and converting this energy into the power that lies within human life and purpose, fuels her motives and creative inspiration. Her hope is to capture the essence of vibration through the repetition of organic and geometric shapes.

"A plethora of environmental vibrations transform through colors to expose the core joy of my work as I attempt to bridge my own concepts of power. One source of power is sold as a commodity, and the other is simply generated within living organisms. Sources to support our human needs, such as solar, wind, biomass, and nuclear, are found externally in our environment, and I believe are also indistinguishable from our oneness and inner light. The balance between these two realms brings us closer to our collective achievements for energy. I believe that finding ways to converge the ideas of art and science, nature and technology, and “us” as the environment is the purpose of my current work. The interweaving of nature-spaces and microprocessor components in my paintings create a colorful kaleidoscope of this fusion of a world we live in."

Pho69 also features live contemporary music on First Fridays. Come check out local bands performing favorite covers and original music.

Psycho Donuts - 288 South Second Street

 Psycho Donuts in downtown San Jose is a quirky donut shop and art gallery. The gallery displays top local artists and has an ongoing exhibit featuring the work of John Renzel, Lacey Bryant, Nicolas Caesar, Murphy Adams, Christine Benjamin, Michael Foley, Michael Borja, Carlos Villez, Eric Joyner, Laura Callin Bennett, Michelle Waters, and John Hageman..

South First Billiards Club & Lounge - 420 South First Street

Efren Alvarez' Separación/Deportados (Separation/Deported).

In the exhibition Reflejos de Nuestras Raíces, a group of San Francisco Bay Area artists of Mexican roots who vary in socio-economic background, age, language, nationality, and race, exhibit their artwork in representation of one of the many cultures that together define America’s diverse population. 
Artists: Efrén Alvarez, Dario Cruz, Tulio Flores, Itzul Gutierrez, Elizabeth Jiménez Montelongo, Ylan Luna, Kimy Martinez, and Mireya Villanueva

Come to South First Billiards on Friday, September 2, 2011 for a night of open-mike and affordable art!  You can sign up for open-mike to read poetry, share your own, sing, play an instrument, or just express yourself! Local artists will be selling artwork at affordable prices: 2-D artwork for $100 and under, 3-D artwork for $300 and under, jewelry and crafts for $50 and under. The Art Slam is an event to accompany the current exhibition Reflejos de Nuestras Raíces.

5-9pm ALL AGES. 9pm-close 21+

TechShopSJ - 300 South Second Street

Made At TechShop
A collection of various projects made at TechShop from TechShop members.

Art Ark - 1035 South Sixth Street

 forest time is an exhibition of new paintings and mixed-media drawings by Christine Canepa. The work employs imagery from the animal world as a means of exploring ideas proposed in contemporary physics regarding the existence of multiple dimensions, or a “multiverse”. Canepa uses imagery of dens, nests, and burrows, and various endangered species to explore ideas around endings, loss, and the speculative potential of parallel worlds. The work plays with traditional distinctions between abstract and representational imagery, and historic conventions of landscape painting.

 On South First Street between San Carlos & San Salvador streets
7-11pm, free & open to all ages
(Please note: these times are tentative and may be subject to change.)
7:30-8:10 PM John Staedler
8:30-9:15 PM Ghost and the City
9:45-10:45 PM San Francesca
with STREET MRKT’s Emcee “Mighty” Mike McGee

Ai & Ai
Al Preciado
Andre Hart
Bugs & Monsters
Crossroads Trading Co.
David Mejia
EAZ & Sugar Skulls by Jodi
Emo Gonzales
Flora & Fauna
Force 129
Francisco Franco 
Gianfranco Paolozzi
Haley Goodlett
Joe Perea
Ike Greca
iMiNUSD Track Boutique
Ivan Gonzales
Jarod Oliva
Josh Marcotte & Kerfufle
Keith Bunnel
Korrupt Clothing Label
Linda Ritter
Lost Village
Luna Park Chalk Fest
Michael Foley
Mike Borja
Out of Print Vintage
The Rabbit Hole
Sandi Billingsley
Shannon Amidon
Tech Shop
The Usuals

For full listing of events and information: please visit or call 408-271-5155                

Media Sponsor:  Metro Newspapers

Enjoy FREE PEDICAB RIDES between art venues courtesy of South FIRST FRIDAYS and Eco City Cycles!

This event is produced by Two Fish Design with additional support provided by the San Jose Downtown Association,  the San Jose Redevelopment Agency and 1st ACT Silicon Valley.

Two Fish Design
366 South First Street
San Jose, CA 95113
T: 408.271.5151  F: 408-271-5152
Tweet me: @Astrogirl