Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Show (w/ Dave English and Special Guests) @ Zombo this Weekend.

Last night I got my work on the walls for this weekend's show. I am exhibiting more drawings (prints) than I ever have at one time, and the vast majority were completed in the last two months. I always dread set-up for some reason, but it's rarely as onerous as I anticipate. Fortunately I was able to talk two of my friends into meeting me at the gallery to help. Both of those guys have plenty of experience in hanging artwork, so I knew I was in good hands. The owner of the space was good about getting out of the way and letting us do our thing. I'd have to say that it was the smoothest hang I have ever experienced. We were in-and-out in under 45 minutes. That was a relief given the fact that I thought I might have to return tonight to finish up.

I can't express how grateful I am to have people willing to assist me in the display of my work- especially guys that are (for all intents and purposes) professionals. The two gentlemen in question are artists themselves, they pay attention to the details, and they can rely on intuition to get everything right. We put up 20 pieces, and I would have probably just thought to hang them in a straight line. Getting them plumb would have been a time-consuming task without a laser level. Instead they were installed at marginally different heights, creating a staggered effect. It really was the perfect strategy given the uneven brick walls and rods we were dealing with. And it didn't take a lot of deliberation for my friends to decide upon that strategy.

In addition I was able to get my prints made by a meticulous artist and framesmith, who values precision and clean aspect. He has complete mastery over every aspect of appearance. The scans were right on, the papers and inks of the highest quality, and the attitude was informal and helpful. That same craftsman also devised a way to frame the work that was simple and elegant. When I went to pick up the stuff, it was boxed neatly and efficiently in a single container. Its transport could not have been easier. From four previous solos I realize just how much can go wrong from start-to-finish. All the unexpected hassles can take the enjoyment out of having a show. But it's refreshing when it all comes together.

This particular event is limited to this weekend, Friday and Saturday, from 6-10:30 PM. It's at Pittsburgh's only "lowbrow art" venue- the Zombo Gallery in Lawrenceville (4900 Hatfield St). I'm showing my work along with Dave English, who is a local puppeteer with an affiliation with the annual Black Sheep Puppet Festival. It's entitled "Phone Books and Wine Corks", which expresses the primacy of the materials used to make our art. Tomorrow night is sort of "below-the-radar", as my friend Slim Cessna has generously agreed to perform an hour-long set with his son George and Rob Levkulich (another buddy of mine) on bass guitar. Their participation further reinforces how blessed I am to be part of such a supportive community.

If you don't already have plans, you really shouldn't miss this. The official reception is on Saturday evening, but since you read my blog, I'm happy to let you know about the aforementioned special musical treat. If you haven't seen Slim (or his Denver-based band The Auto Club), you don't realize the sheer joy you've been missing out on. But if you can't make it for that, allow me to suggest that a visit the next day is in order. I feel confident that you'll find something to appreciate about the artwork we are presenting. Dave English and I have tried to cut through some of the artifice, and I think the results are rewarding. Still you won't know if that's true unless you show up. We hope you will.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Artists should all know that Mark Panza is THE framer. He is also an artist and understands what your corner frameshop does not.
I'm not sure what you mean by "low brow art". JM

12:19 AM  
Blogger Rick Byerly said...

i appreciate the nod, glad to help. the show looks great and looking forward to fri and sat.


1:25 PM  

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