Monday, August 1, 2016

Antipodes Project Exhibition in Washington, D.C.

The Antipodes Project is a surreal collaborative drawing project started by Washington D.C. artist Ben Tolman in 2006. Thus far, three projects have been completed and a fourth is close to fruition. All four of these projects were done with 005 and 01 micron pens on 11 X 14 inch pieces of Bristol paper (panels). The individual panels were put together to create large pieces. Thus far, 37 very talented artists from around the world have contributed to the project, and we are still looking for more artists to contribute.
The project essentially evolved from the collaborative Exquisite Corpse Club, a surreal drawing club, of which numerous artists including Ben and me created surreal collaborations. Ben's first Antipodes Project, "Novus Natura" was a collaboration between him and Lars Peterson composed of nine 11 X 14 inch panels to form a 33 X 42 piece. 
"Novus Natura". 
33 X 42 inches, twelve 11 X 14 panels,  2006.
 Ben Tolman and Lars Peterson. 
Happy with the results, Ben invited others to participate in more collaborations. I, along with several other artists, contributed to the group fairly early on with various bits of pen drawings. At some point about five years ago, the project seemed to be headed for extinction. Ben was overwhelmed with his creating his own art and the task of trying to get artists to return art. Because I had already done a lot, and because I thought the project was a great idea, which tied into things I wanted to do anyway, I pestered him about continuing the project. Eventually, Ben asked if I wanted to take it over for a while. So, in 2014, Ben sent me several 11 X 14 inch panels, six of which were fully completed and six of which were partially completed. I had worked on many of those 12 panels already, so this made sense that I take over this particular project. At that time, this was to be a 16 panel drawing. I started a FaceBook page for the group, and as we posted progress shots, interest begin to build. Suddenly, the 16 panel project became a 20 panel project! I tied panels together as best as I could from work done by 17 artists from around the world. The eventual project (project 3) I called "Kilroy was Here." Just after finishing this, I hosted an international exhibition at Mississippi State University featuring the works of various surreal artists from Portugal and the USA (LUSO American Surrealism Now). This seemed like the perfect time to showcase this spectacular collaborative drawing that was 44 X 70 inches (bigger framed). Wow! The response from viewers was overwhelming! 
"Kilroy was Here". 
44 X 70 inches, twenty 11 x 14 inch panels, 2006-2016.
Contributors: Ben Tolman, Joe MacGown, Joseph H. MacGown, Julianne MacGown, Ryan Thornburg, Otto Rapp, Marnie Pitts, Pizo Meyer, Zachary Nolin, Chloe Marsters, Jay Garfinkle, Marcel Bakker, Paulo Cunha, Alexander Bostic, Deborah Valentine, Gil Perry, and Lars Peterson.
Meanwhile, Ben was now reinvigorated! He grabbed some artists to help complete the second project entitled " A Transitional Moment", which was finished up in late 2015 just before "Kilroy was Here" was completed. 
"A Transitional Moment".  
33 X 56 inches, twelve 11 X 14 panels,  2006-2015.
Contributors:  Ben Tolman, David Mack, Greg Kanteres, Ryan Thornburg, Rens Ink, Rick Bach, Durga, Theo Ellsworth, Cayung Siagian, Reinhard Schmid, and  Marnie Pitts. 
The fourth project is currently in progress and is entitled "The Myth."  Ben has mostly been guiding this project, although I have worked on four panels and solicited artists to contribute as well. 
"The Myth" (in progress). 
66 x 42 inches, eighteen 11 X 14 panels,  2006-2016. 
Contributors:  Ben Tolman, Joe MacGown, Maura Holden, Kris Kuksi, Jon Bienart, Kuba Ambrose,  Gil Perry, Rodney Gee, Phil Rubinov Jacobson, Yainderidoo, Ryan Thornburg, Chloe Marsters, Durga, Marnie Pitts, Sal Hunter, Rens Ink, Marcel Bakker, Ben Tolman, Danielle Caners, Zachary Nolin, Matthew Sergison-main, Janelle, McKain, Hector Pineda, Alex Bostic. 
These four projects, along with individual works by some of the artists involved, are currently on display through August 29, 2016 at The Fridge Gallery in Washington D.C. The opening reception was held on 29 July 2016. Although I was not able to make it to the reception, it apparently went well. In fact, the awesome art magazine Juxtapoz even had a writeup about it on their web site. Scott Stead and Jonny Goldstein did a live feed video of the show. The next day, Whitehot Magazine published a lengthy online story about the show and the Project. 
The Antipodes Project is garnering some great national and international attention. This is wonderful, although not surprising with the caliber of artists contributing! 
When the show at the Fridge comes down, I will be taking over the project for a while as Ben will be arting in Germany. This joker is rolling! Future plans include finishing the fourth project, then its wide open. I would like to incorporate color in some future works and a variety of sizes and formats. I would love to have some musicians come together to create collaborative surreal experimental music to tie into this project to be played at shows and to be available online. Video collaborations would be great as well. Certainly, we should produce a book of the artwork, prints of panels, etc. I will be looking for volunteers to assist in these new aspects of the projects as well as gallery directors to host these incredible pieces.

So far, the following 37 artists have contributed something to the three finished projects and the fourth unfinished one!  Numbers after each name indicates which project the artist worked on. Project 1 - "Novus Natura", Project 2 - "A Transitional Moment", Project 3 - "Kilroy was Here", and Project 4 - "The Myth". 
Ben Tolman (1-4), Joe A. MacGown (3,4), Lars Peterson (1,3), Joseph H. MacGown (3), Julianne MacGown (3), Chloe Marsters (3,4), Marnie Pitts (2, 3,4), Otto Rapp (3), Paulo Cunha (3), Pizo Meyer (3,4), Ryan Thornburg (2,3,4), Zachary Nolin (3,4), Reinhard Schmid (2), Cayung Siagan (2), Kris Kuksi (4), Maura Holden (4), Jon Beinart (4), Kuba Ambrose (4), Gil Perry (3,4), Rodney Gee (4), Phil Rubinov Jacobson (4), Yainderidoo (4),Durga (2, 4), Sal Hunter (4), Rens Ink (2, 4), David Mack (2), Greg Kanteres (2), Rick Bach (2), Theo Ellsworth (2), Marcel Bakker (3,4), Alexander Bostic (3,4), Deborah Valentine (3), Danielle Caners (4), H├ęctor Pineda (4), Matthew Sergison-main (4), Janelle McKain (4), and Jay Garfinkle (3).

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wittle Pix, Infant Photography, now available at Chalet Arts, Starkville, MS

My good friends and amazing supporters at Chalet Arts of Starkville, MS will now be able to provide beautiful photographs of babies at their store for parents. Owner Mark Wood, his wife Lorie, and daughter Loren, and the rest of the team at the store came up with the the "Wittle Pix" concept. Chalet Arts specializes in great quality printing and framing. Additionally, they have an exceptional photographer on staff in Hunter Hart. By combining these components together, they can provide a "photo to print to mat and frame" service at one location. Instead of having to buy a special package package of prints, Chalet Arts will be able to specifically tailor prints to the customers' satisfaction. Customers could buy print standard 5x7's, 8x10's, and other typical sized photo prints on glossy photo paper if they desired, but they could also have a multitude of other sized prints on a variety of surfaces such as canvas. Prints could be immediately produced in the shop. For folks who desire matting and framing for their photos, Chalet Arts offers a wide array of framing options depending on your taste and budget. 

Examples of baby photos framed at Chalet Arts
Everyone on the staff will play a crucial role in the process from professional photographer Hunter Hart taking the photos, to Alan Fortenberry printing images, to Saxon Wilson and Hunter matting and framing photographs. In fact, Saxon also created the whimsical Wittle Pix logo. The Woods will take orders and do everything they can to create a wonderful experience for each customer.  

Photo by Hunter Hart
Photo by Hunter Hart

Chalet Arts is located at 68 Hwy 12 E in Starkville, Mississippi. Visit the Chalet Arts website at or at their FaceBook page.

For more info about Wittle Pix, contact Chalet Arts at 662-323-6928 or email them at

Examples of Hunter's photography can be seen at his 

Photo by Hunter Hart

Friday, June 17, 2016

Starkville Art Walk, 23 June 2016, 5:30-9:30 PM

The second annual Starkville Art Walk is taking place this comingThursday, 23 June 2016 from 5:30-9:30 PM, downtown Starkville. This event is sponsored by the Starkville Area Arts Council and will be held in conjunction with the Greater Starkville Development Partnership unWine Downtown event (for more about unWine).

There will be numerous artists showing and selling their work and live music as well!

Joseph and I will be setup in the Book Mart selling prints, card, books, and original art. Last year I was set up in the Book Mart, and it was awesome. Thanks to Book Mart owner Carolyn Abadie for again hosting us. 

Last year was great fun. This year could be better as the event is tied to UnWine Starkville, an evening of carefree wine sipping at participating businesses. So! Yes! Come drink and buy stuff!

Here is a list of artists who will be exhibiting and the stores they will be in. 

Haley Montgomery/Style Revel
Jeanette Jarmon/Occasions
Allison Julien/Vitality
Gerrard Woods/Vitality
Walter Diehl/929
Joe MacGown/Book Mart
Joseph MacGown/Book Mart
Kathy Westbrook/Gypster Veil
Dominque Belcher/Holli's Sweet Tooth
Vanessa Wilson/Flip Side
Andre Ray/R Tabb & Co. 
Mary Esther Elam/Fleur de Lis 

The following live musicians sponsored by Dave's Dark Horse Tavern will be playing on Main Street: 

Jake Slinkard
Brent Varner
Jacob Childs.