Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gathering of Artists at Rosenzweig Arts Center

The folks over at the Rosenzweig Arts Center (the RAC) in Columbus, MS started up a cool little arts group about a year ago called the "Gathering of Artists". The point of the group is to discuss art, do art, take field trips to see art, come up with ideas for community projects, give demos on various types of art, and anything else art related. How cool is that? They meet once a month at the RAC at 7pm every 4th Thursday. For more info, go to their blog at Even though I am a Starkvillian, I thought I would go check this awesomeness out. 

The ring leader of the group is Columbus artist Renée Sheridan. When I arrived for "gathering", she  welcomed me to the diverse group of local artists. I brought a couple of my pictures to introduce myself and to give them a feeling of who I am. 

Discussing art
The Gathering
Renée had come up with a project for the group tonight, which she called "being human". Her idea was to create an assemblage using a large mirror as the foundation. Each of us were to bring 3 items that held some personal meaning that we would then affix to the mirror. The mirror was chosen so the image of the viewer would be reflected, thereby making the viewer a part of the artwork. Neat idea. After everything dries, the assemblage will hang in the RAC.  For my part, I brought a turtle shell, a racing bib number, and a small collecting jar. Below of some pictures of the project.

glueing stuff
more glueing and placing
detail of the assemblage
shot of the assemblage

Renée brought some crazy glasses and nose mask deal, of which she had painted eyes on the lens of the glasses. This was part of her contribution. She said that she thought it was interesting that only humans wore masks. Before affixing it to the mirror, I got a before and after picture of her without and with the mask. 

Renee Sheridan
Yep, fun night. Ideas flowing. Lots of talented folks. The RAC is a wonderful space for artists to get together. Tonight we were in a large room in the basement. Upstairs is a very large gallery space (where I will be having a one man show in August!). They also have a smaller side gallery for sales of various pieces of art. And, upstairs is a small Auditorium for performances. In fact, I will be back over there tomorrow night at 7 pm to listen to Cary Hudson and Lauire Stirratt  who used to be a major part of the super awesome alternative-country, roots rock band Blue Mountain. Great band. Looking forward to hearing these two perform.  

I admit that as an artist living in Starkville, I am EXTREMELY jealous of what they have going on a the RAC and of the RAC itself!!! How can we get a place like this? I guess it takes some wealthy art partrons or something. Maybe some day. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Surreal Decalcomania

Decalcomania, what is it? Simply put, apply pigment to glass, plastic, or a similarly smooth surface, then apply to paper, canvas, or other material by pressing the two surfaces together. The application of pigment can be entirely abstract or more structured. Whatever, no rules. Do what you want. I love this technique for starting random surreal artwork. Basically, it gives me a backdrop for a mixed media drawing. One of my favorite surreal artists, Max Ernst, used this technique in his artwork. 

Here is an example of one I did a few years ago that I entitled "Facing the Future". 

Facing the Future, by Joe A. MacGown

Today, I randomly applied various colors of acrylic paint and colored inks onto a clear piece of thin plastic.

Palette of acrylic paint
Some of  my colored inks
pigment on plastic
I then put a fresh piece of plastic on top of that pigment and mashed the two pieces together. Next, I pulled the top piece away. Then I pressed pieces of smooth bristol paper against the pigments, and finally, pulled the paper away.

Bristol paper with color transferred  from plastic
bristol paper with color from plastic
Next step, let the now colored paper dry. When dry, I can started adding details with pens, pencils, paint, or whatever. Updates forthcoming!

Earlier in the day, our crazy redneck, poetry writing, guitar playing friend Gentry Lewis stopped by. He has recently grown a trippy beard deal and resembles some insightful philosopher dude.

Joseph MacGown and Gentry Lewis