0.6 per cent

That was the approximate success rate of the publicity for my class's exhibition/workshop/swap the other night, if you compare the number in attendance (a dozen or so, and that's being generous) with the number of flyers we distributed (2000 hard copy plus various forms of digital press). Some possible reasons for comically low attendance? It was cold outside, the Mission Hill gallery is about a 15 minute walk, uphill, from the main SMFA building, other stuff was going on that night, and/or nobody wants to see or make artist trading cards. In conclusion, art students are lazy, pre-occupied with their own work, and prefer to stay indoors.

Just kidding.

I'm not any more bitter about the difficulty of getting folks to interact than I was before the show; I feel like I've experienced this several times before, specifically at the Museum School, but I'm almost certain it happens elsewhere. And it makes some sense, I guess. Maybe artists, despite an evolving image of what it means to be an "artist", really do just want to hang out in their studios and make their own work. But if you can't get a group of art students to attend an art opening, good luck getting the rest of the world to show up.

Anyway, all that said, I was really happy with the show and had a great time at Monday night's event. All of my students over the past three semesters hold a special place in my heart, but I have to say I was really impressed with the work produced by the current group. I was impressed not only with how they interpreted and worked within the framework of artist trading cards but also with the varied ways in which they chose to display their work for the show.

For the reception, we dragged a long table into the middle of the gallery space and covered it with brown paper then scattered artist trading card materials and bite size candies over it. Visitors were invited to have a seat, make a card, and enjoy some chocolate.

Most of the folks seated at the table in the image above are students in the class whose work is in the show. The handful of outside visitors mostly hung out at Eric Erdman's poker table:

and at Jessica Scott-Dutcher's Learning Area:

where they made their own flashcards by creating visualizations of the sometimes very odd juxtapositions of words printed at the tops of dictionary pages (inedible | infant, for example, which you can see illustrated in the blue card at the bottom of the image below).

With just one class remaining, I'm already mulling over my syllabus for next semester, my final chance to mold the minds of Museum School youth before my post-grad teaching gig officially comes to an end and they kick me out for good...


best thing since lolcats

Was it pure coincidence that I enjoyed a third (or fourth?) visit to Babycakes on the day I discovered this site? I'm not sure what made me laugh more, the pics of cakewrecks or the blogger's hi-larious commentary.


good times for a change

I don't usually blog about politics, but drastic circumstances call for drastic measures...or something like that. Actually, I guess it would have made more sense to blog before the election, so that all seven of my readers might have been swayed to vote one way or another. But I probably would've been preaching to the choir, and anyway it doesn't matter anymore. Let's just say I'm a lot happier today than I was after the past two elections. I don't think I'll be mildly depressed for the rest of the week as I was four years ago.

And I suppose the economic situation trumps the arts, not that the arts ever figure all that prominently in an election in this country, but I do feel optimistic that Obama will be a much better advocate for the arts than Bush was or than McCain might have been. At least Obama included some thoughts about the arts in his platform, a topic that was pretty much absent from McCain's rhetoric, at least as far as I could tell. You can read all about Obama's arts policy here, in fact.

Just one lingering question: What will all the political artists do after Bush leaves the office??


bite size art

I've been sadly absent from this portion of the blogosphere lately. But I finally have a bit of pertinent news to share. My class is having another show. This semester they've been making work around the sort of sub-genre of Mail Art known as Artist Trading Cards. Their work will be on display in one of the Museum School galleries from the 11th of November through the 23rd, with a reception taking place on the 17th. In addition, the class is hosting an ATC workshop/swap during the night of the reception, with oodles of cardstock, collage materials, and other stuff provided to make and trade your very own ATCs. Anyway, here are the specs:

Bite Size is an exhibition of Artist Trading Cards made by students in SMFA's Text & Image Arts class 'Art from Ephemera: Mail Art and the Internet.'

Students in this intermediate level multi-media studio class investigate the emerging art form of Artist Trading Cards, one example of the many ways Mail Artists exchange ephemera using the postal system and the Internet. Artist Trading Cards are individual art miniatures that are traditionally traded, not sold, and are created as unique works or small limited editions. The only restriction is that they measure 2 ½ by 3 ½ inches.

Artists whose work will be on display include: Alexis Avedisian, Keina Davis Elswick, Omer Elad, Eric Erdman, Max Falkowitz, Maryn Leigh Kaplan, Jessica Scott-Dutcher, and Roxy Sperber.

Bite Size will be on display in the Mission Hill Foyer Gallery at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from November 11 to 23, 2008.

A reception for the artists will be held on Monday, November 17th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will also be a workshop and swap held at this time where you can make and trade your own Artist Trading Cards. Cardstock and other materials will be provided; bring your own materials and supplies to share.

SMFA's Mission Hill Gallery is located at 160 St. Alphonsus in Boston.