Art Colored Glasses
by Cheryl Mirer, Director of the Artists-in-Residence Program
I see the AiRs almost every day. They are usually really happy and have some funny story to tell. Like…Monday morning at our weekly meeting, Steve told us how some guy named Steve Snell, MD from western Oklahoma emailed him to invite him quail hunting. I very much appreciate all the humor that seeps down the stairs from the AiR apartments.
You know what else trickles down the stairs? (Besides the delicious smell of Eric’s cooking and sweet notes from Mark’s music making sessions?)
Fresh ideas and enthusiasm.
The AiRs see life through art colored glasses.
The week following Camille’s return to Spartanburg from her bike trip, she kept the air conditioning off and worked in her studio with the windows open, embracing her sweat and the natural air of South Carolina in August. After being outside every moment of the previous ten days biking across Iowa, it must have been strange to be inside with windows closed and cool air percolating through manufactured vents.
Camille’s got several irons in the fire.
(And I think she’s got the air conditioning back on too)
In the studio, she continues her work on safety devices through a series of collages that use wood grain and voids in the wood grain to talk about stability and the giving-way of stability. These works often include drawings of beds, which are substitutes for safety in that they’re a place where people can be vulnerable for long periods of time. The collages reference specific situations Camille would like to recreate with a different outcome, or they’re of situations or people she fantasizes about protecting.
Do you need to be rescued?
Camille can create a device particular to your needs.
In terms of community related projects, if you read her recent blog, you’ll know she’s creating a lobster for a puppet show version of Leo Leonni’s book, Swimmy, which the collective, The That, will be performing at TEDx Spartanburg.
She’s also editing the stop-action animation video created by students at the Boys and Girl’s Club in Gaffney. Camille and Mark led this workshop together and will continue to work with this group. Look out for this video on the HUB-BUB Blog and YouTube channel soon!
Camille is also eager to begin leading art workshops at the Ellen Hines Smith Girls’ Home in addition to two bereavement projects with Hospice Care of South Carolina.
On Saturday, I got a picture message from Kari Jackson of Steve, Mark and Eric sitting on a beautiful mountaintop in Pisgah National Forest. Later I learned that they made a movie on that mountaintop. Not that I was surprised. We’re talking about Steve Snell.
Steve is creating a series of dramatic summer fun videos to be showcased here on the blog and in January in an off-site exhibition. As you can imagine, there are a lot of diving board cannonballs, bike-skids, lawn games, and hikes captured on film.
Also, Steve and Eric are collaborating on a podcast project where they will be recording stories of people throughout the community. Each podcast will focus on storytelling as a way to talk about both the history and the current situation of Spartanburg.
In the studio, Steve is working on a series of heroic portraits from popular culture. He just finished a piece on John Dunbar (Kevin Costner’s character from Dances with Wolves). In the piece, his head is being carried in the talons of a large, red eagle.
In addition to interviewing folks and audio editing for the podcast, Eric will be teaching a hip-hop/spoken word/poetry class at the Boys and Girls Club and will be leading discussions at the Hub City Bookshop about poetry in the fall. These discussions will be geared towards people who want to learn to like poetry but feel excluded from it as readers.
In the studio, Eric is writing and it’s awesome.
The other thing to know about Eric is that he is the only AiR who has not cut his hair since arriving in Spartanburg.
Mark gets around.
In addition to collaborating with Camille on a stop-action animation workshop at the Boys and Girls Club in Gaffney, Mark is also working with Eric, on a video monologue currently entitled “The Extras.” He also has a public sculpture project in the works for downtown, which will feature history and memories of Spartanburg.
Mark’s studio is teeming with the creation of a line of toys and games by Goatmother Industrial. This line has a working title of “Spray the Hooray Entertainment!” Each item will have a corresponding advertisement and jingle. These will be exhibited in a mystery location in the coming months.
ATTENTION PET LOVERS! It’s important to know that after a long hiatus from Pet Portraiture, Mark has just completed a commissioned portrait of a Shih Tzu.
I’ve already got my order in for a portrait of Atticus.
Readers, if you have not yet spent time with the AiR Entry Show, I strongly urge you to do so. There are cozy seats inside installations with videos to watch and lots of intelligent art for purchase including fun items from the Honor System Store.
The Entry Show is up through August 26. If you haven’t yet checked it out, now is the time!
All photos in this post were taken by Alex C. Hicks Jr, Herald Journal