Friday, June 13, 2014

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before. . .

Or Don’t Believe What I Say, Just What I do.

Ready for Pro Arts Open Studios 2014

Those of you who know me well or who follow this blog know I have a love/hate relationship (well, hate maybe too strong a description) with Pro Arts East Bay Open Studios. Every year, after of taking a good 2-3 weeks to prepare the studio for outside viewers; spending two exhausting 7 hour days mostly standing on my feet, chatting with friends and strangers about everything from my work to THEIR work, to the weather, or the A’s/Giants, or the price of potatoes; and then another 2-3 weeks putting the studio back in working order (now, where did I put the ­­­­___________?) I tell everyone within earshot, “This is the LAST TIME I do Open Studios. You heard it here first.”

And every year it seems something happens to change that very firm pronouncement.

This year, two things happened. The first was a shocker. After doing Open Studios in our expansive 2200 Adeline live/work and work lofts building with only one or two other artists for years, this year 10+ signed up! How could I not be part of this massive “block party”? I honestly couldn’t say “no”.

And then, much to my surprise, another bump came from having my work on the wall at the Pro Arts Gallery along with the 400+ artists who are participating in EBOS. This year it was a bit more challenging putting up something representative because the Pro Arts people insisted we hang an actual piece as opposed to just putting up a picture or poster of our work. After I deemed this wall piece, Broken Dreams, made specifically for the 16”x16” square each of us had for display too fragile, I went with plan B.

Plan A - Broken Dreams - porcelain with glazes and oxides on painted masonite

Plan B - Eggs & Nests -  stoneware, porcelain with glazes & oxides

The glass whatnot box provided a perfect shelter for three of my new Egg/Nest series. Unfortunately, its mirrored back wall doesn’t lend itself to a good, clean picture, but it gives you an idea.

But more importantly, this display caught the eye of Aimee Le Duc, Director of the Berkeley Art Center, where, this year, BAC began a new partnership with Pro Arts to showcase the breadth of talented artists who participate in East Bay Open Studios. BAC launched an affilitate exhibition of “work from this year’s most compelling EBOS participants”. Aimee chose ten of us for the exhibition, "Known Associates", which opened on May 31 and runs through this coming Sunday, June 15.

So there you have it. All my bellyaching year after year and yet, year after year, doing Open Studios has been opening doors for me in so many different ways.

It’s only been five days since I closed my studio door to the throngs, and I'm still exhausted. I’m already thinking I truly am getting too old for this. This really IS the last time I do Open Studios.

You heard it here first.

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