Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WOSU Radio interview is up!

You can hear Jessie and Nick being interviewed on WOSU radio by clicking here. The actual beginning and ending of the MP3 got cut off a bit, but you can still hear most of it. Enjoy!

C-Note Art Show at Junctionview Studios!

For those of you who have been to an event at Junctionview Studios with Couchfire Collective, i.e, Tiny Canary or Agora, you know you're in for a good time and some incredible art!

By a series of odd events, I will be presenting a piece of jewelry in this great event, entitled the C-Note Art Show. It features TONS of original art from local artists, all retailing for $100/piece, no matter the size, shape, or medium. It is meant to be a great introduction for people who want to buy art but often find it out of their price range.

Stop down to Junctionview Studios on March 7th and 8th and check it out! It's all about the Benjamin's, baby!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wild Goose Creative on the radio!

Hello, Everyone!

Just a heads up that you can hear Nick and Jessie on WOSU Radio (89.7 FM) around 12:35 p.m. this Wednesday, February 27 during NPR's "Day to Day" program. They were interviewed about Wild Goose Creative by Dr. Joy Reilly, Ohio State Theatre professor and WOSU theatre critic.

For those outside the broadcast area, you can listen to the five-minute interview online on WOSU's website. The interview will be posted later that day.

We're making a non-profit from scratch. Other people are making things too.

We are in the process of filing our paperwork for nonprofit status! An exciting move for us--we want to be a community arts organization and nonprofit status will help us extend our reach and increasingly make our mark on the city of Columbus. We're doing lots of research and some writing and getting as educated as we can--BUT we're going to need to work with a lawyer to clarify the details so hopefully all of our paperwork will sail through the first time around. Does anyone know a lawyer who has a yen to offer some help to an emerging arts organization? We would love for you to send our way any resources you have--lawyers you trust.


It's a big year for me. Wild Goose Creative is taking off, and we have high hopes for what we will have accomplished by the end of 2008. I'm also in the process of wrapping up my formal education with a PhD--I'm writing my dissertation (right now!) about craft and performance. It's an exciting project, which has given me the impetus to explore Columbus from a crafts perspective. From time to time I'll talk about great places to go and things to do if you are interested in making things or supporting handmade independent businesses.

If you go nowhere else to see what is happening with crafts in Columbus, go to Wholly Craft! in Clintonville. Olivera Bratich is a one-woman firestorm and she uses her powers for good--her store (on High Street just north of Pacemont) features handmade goods from all over the country and particularly features some terrific Columbus crafters. Baby stuff, vintage craft supplies and fun craft kits, stationery, kooky and cool wall hangings, lotions, and bags and clothes to satisfy offbeat aesthetics. Plus there aren't that many places you can shop in an environment of hot pink and neon walls. (She also hosts classes! Stay tuned for Craft Camp, Summer 2008.)


Hey everyone!

Just a reminder that tonight we're hosting Michael Neno, a local comic book artist and collector, for February Third Thursdays. Michael is very talented and the night is sure to be a good time, so make sure to invite your friends and come and meet us at 8pm at 2595 Summit St. It'll be a good time for hanging out and checking out some awesome art. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On Framing

Just to be clear, to start off, I'm not a great carpenter, and I would never actually create a real frame for a work of art. This is a metaphor I am building here, so stick with me.

As I look back on my artistic life, I find the times I do my best work, are the times when I am not doing the painting, but when I'm building the frame. My art is expressed by responding someone else's concept, adding to it, and providing a way to hang it on the wall. In theatre, I am most proud of my work in sound design. In sound design I take a writer's script and a director's vision, and provide a soundscape harmonious with these concepts, but informed by my own understanding of the piece as a whole.

This kind of framing art is distinct from strictly technical work. There is an art within the labor of a skilled technician, but the end result is wholly ruled by another person and not self-expressive in its end result.

I often work as a technician, which I enjoy, but not as much the times I can respond and add to the art. Currently, I enjoy mixing sound at Central Vineyard. Mixing is a beautiful, and mysterious art. I add no sound of any kind to the source, but I control entirely the way it is received by the audience. By manipulating the volume and equalization, I can build a vastly different effect, which I do LIVE, at the same time as the music is being produced.

My point is this. I acknowledge that many artists want to create on their own. They have vision, and passion, and technique. They want to speak with their own voice. But I would submit that we framing artists are not second-hand citizens. Our work can bring other's works a sense of, fullness, clarity, and intensity they may not have otherwise had. And by working together, we can provide a new voice, that is neither one person or another, but the voice of a community.

This is not a call to give up on doing your own thing, but just an invitation to collaborate and a reminder to you framers out there, that you are artists as well. You don't have to try to create art on your own, and you don't have to settle for being just a technician. You can be a partner in community with other artists. I would suggest becoming a part of an arts organization. (for example...Wild Goose Creative)

Well, that's all for now, sorry if this was pedantic or hard to read, like I said, creating the source art is not my thing, I probably should have collaborated with someone on this :)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Are you a locavore?

I recently read an article about the Oxford Dictionary's 2007 word of the year: locavore. A "locavore" is someone who purchases and eats mainly local foods, such as produce from nearby farmer's markets, or food that's grown and delivered from within a 100 mile radius. There are plenty of benefits to this: fresher food, less of a need for preservatives, less fuel used in shipping, and better support for smaller, local businesses. It also means you follow the seasonal changes more, eating what's in season and what's available.

Ever since I read about that term, I've been thinking that "locavore" could also pertain to someone who consumes and enjoys art on a local level. Sure, we may enjoy films and websites and music and visual art from around the world, but there's something important about the local as well.

In our short time as Wild Goose Creative, I've already been exposed to some amazing local artists that I never knew were busy creating! I think of our friend, comic-book artist Michael Neno, who will be featured in this month's Third Thursdays. I think of all the artists I've met working at Ohio State. All the local theatre companies. All the visual artists and photographers whose work hangs in local galleries and coffee shops around Columbus. I think of the huge list of musicians gearing up to play at Rumba Cafe just down the street. And I think of the things we've been able to create and enjoy just as a group within Wild Goose Creative.

Thinking of all of those aspects makes me want to call myself a locavore. Just like being a culinary locavore, being an artistic locavore means you're better connected to what's around you. You're supporting the efforts of someone who might live down the street from you. You're encouraging and consuming their art, taking what's available and adapting to the seasons. Most importantly, by being a locavore, you're getting to interact with them personally. How many opportunities do you get to ask a painter about their technique? To hear a musician tell the story behind one of their songs? To have a writer tell you what inspired their latest poem?

I that's what being a locavore that means, then you can definitely call me one.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Retreating We Will Go!

This weekend we will be heading down to Hocking Hills State Park for our second Wild Goose Creative retreat. We are all very thankful that it hasn't snowed a lot - we're staying at Bear Run Inn Cabins in the Redbud Cabin. None of us have been there before, but it looks like a great place- 3 bedrooms, hot tub, and a wonderful living room/kitchen area for us to discuss super-important uber-secret geese things!

Actually, we'll be talking about some cool stuff: our future space, 2008 programming, and our website! We can't wait to share our ideas with everyone!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Nostalgic Art

I first saw the performance art show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind when I was a freshman in college. I was studying theatre at Calvin College and made a trip to Chicago for Spring Break. My two friends and I trekked around the mean streets of Chicago with only a vague approximation of the cardinal directions, clothed in nothing but thin hoodies, and looking for fun.

Using the last of our collective cash the three of us hailed a cab from Navy Pier to the corner of Foster and Ashland to a place called the Neo-Futurarium. The oddly named theatre, deliciously rugged and bare bones, served as the performance home of the Neo-Futurists and their flagship show Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. Part improv, mostly scripted, all genius.

The premise of the show is simple: a company of actors attempts to do 30 short plays in 60 minutes. There's a 60 minute timer complete with buzzer, a menu given to each audience member featuring numbered play titles, and a string of paper numbers, 1-30, suspended from the ceiling. One play ends, the audience shouts a number, the actors pull down a paper number, the play corresponding to that number begins.

The plays themselves range from poignant, to bizarre, to funny. Often biographical topics they range widely from politics, life events, the latest news, weird ideas, you name it. They constantly cycle new plays into the rotation.

I was enchanted by the whole thing. My friends and I left the theatre that night freaking out because what we'd just seen blew our minds. We talked about the show almost the whole 15 block walk to the nearest bus station. There was the hilarious "Life and Times of Hammer", the serious one about the girl and her mother, the spoof one of that musical. Each time one of us remembered a favorite from the night it was greeted with a resounding chorus of "YES! I LOVED THAT ONE!"

Since then I've seen the show probably 5 or 6 more times. I try to go, or at least I think about going every time I'm in Chicago.

This got me thinking about art and nostalgia. This is a show I have a history with. Each time I step into that theatre I'm bringing with me the previous shows with me. I'm carrying the memories of sitting in those seats; I'm remembering those friends, those plays. It's a powerful thing.

It makes me realize that the connection between art and memory is so strong. There's something really incredible about a painting that made you cry, the first play that made you laugh REALLY HARD, or a film that opened your eyes to something. You remember art like that and that experience carries itself into all future experiences of that piece of art. Whether it's a new production of the same script or a future viewing of the exact same painting there's something incredibly strange and personal about the history we have with art.

This past weekend I went to Chicago again with my wife, Jacqui. We stayed with my friend Morgan who just moved to the city in November. Morgan was one of the friends who I first experienced Too Much Light with over 7 years ago and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to see the show yet again. His new apartment is about a 5 minute drive from the Neo-Futurarium and he, Jacqui, a handful of other friends and I caught the show.

As we settled into our seats my heart warmed thinking that I was still sitting next to Morgan, over 7 years later, about to enjoy a show that still makes us laugh and shake our heads at how much it rocks. I looked at Jacqui, sitting next to me, and remembered the first time I went to see the show with her. I was living in Chicago for a semester and we were still in our first year of being in love where everything felt new and just having her hold my hand made me feel electrified.

After the show we joked out in the cold for a few minutes before making our ways home and I thought about how I couldn't wait to see the show again.