Thursday, July 22, 2010

Something to Put Something On--Saturday, July 24 at Box 13 ArtSpace in Houston, Texas

“Something to Put Something On” features Martha Clippinger’s, Russ Havard’s, and Isaac Powell’s explorations involving paintings on objects or object-like forms. In their artwork, the "something" and the “something it is on” become equally important. This exhibition is curated by Emily Sloan.

(Above image courtesy of Isaac Powell.)

Russ Havard and Isaac Powell both arrive at their creations from a painting background. Their artworks consist of paintings on elaborately constructed forms. In their writings about their artwork, both artists mention arriving at this physicality of form from physical limitations. Havard's delicate landscapes on intimate, curved forms evolved into their current state after his finding out he had an auto-immune illness, while Powell addresses the challenges of being handicapped with visual problem solving as seen in his finely rendered paintings on forms with shelves, sleeves and propped pieces.

Martha Clippinger addresses the object first and often creates pieces to be experienced in the round. Clippinger utilizes found objects which she then paints. These objects are collected from sites all around her, often initially in the form of scraps and discarded materials which are then given a new life with colors and patterns. She links her attraction
color and pattern to an upbringing surrounded by domestic fabrics such as upholstery and her grandmother’s quilts which adorned every bed in their house.

"Something to Put Something On" will open Saturday, July 24 from 7pm to 9:30pm at Box 13 ArtSpace, 6700 Harrisburg, Houston, TX, 77011.

(Above image courtesy of Martha Clippinger.)

(Above image: Russ Havard's "Skyline.")

Artist bios

Martha Clippinger grew up in Columbus, Georgia, and it was there that she experienced the art of regional eccentric artists. She left the South to pursue a BA in Art History at Fordham University and later received an MFA in Visual Arts from Mason Gross School of Art, Rutgers University. Since then she has worked as Coordinator of New York Semester on Contemporary Art at Drew University. Recent exhibitions include Jettison: New Ideas in Abstraction at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee and I wanna be somewhere, Daily Operation, New York. She is a recipient of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Studio Fellowship for 2010. Past awards include: the Nadine Goldsmith Artist’s Fellowship at Vermont Studio Center, University Merit Scholar Award and Teaching Fellowship at Rutgers University, and Vasari Lecturer at Fordham University. She currently lives in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn where she is the creator and organizer of the basement gallery space, The Dirty Dirty.

Based out of Lufkin, Texas, Russ Havard is represented by George Billis Gallery in New York, New York and Los Angeles, California. Havard has exhibited at The Museum of East Texas in Lufkin, Texas, the Longview Museum of Fine Art in Longview, Texas, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, Texas, Blue Star Art Space in San Antonio, Texas, The Jones Center for Contemporary Art in Austin, Texas, and the Bath House Cultural Center in Dallas, Texas. Havard’s artwork has been featured twice in New American Paintings and is in the collections of Time Life Corporation, Washington, D.C., Longview Museum of Fine Art, Longview, TX, and Vector Corporation, Dallas, TX.

Isaac Powell is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Washington State University who now teaches painting and drawing at Eastern Kentucky University. Powell interweaves the themes of life, growth, reproduction, and creativity with those of his own personal history in his still life and landscape depictions. Having been born without a right hand, the flora in his work directly references the body, its appendages and digits. By addressing his own anxieties through the imagery of plant cuttings and graftings, he has developed his own vocabulary for confronting both awkwardness and beauty. Powell feels compelled to displace this physical handicap by creating highly crafted hand made supports and structures for his paintings and drawings.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Losing sleep: Let's open our eyes to the facts and make proper rest more than a museum piece

Losing sleep: Let's open our eyes to the facts and make proper rest more than a museum piece
Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle
July 16, 2010, 8:29PM

For just six weeks this summer, a dim, hushed room at Art League Houston displayed a relic from the past: people taking naps. Called N.A.P. — short for Napping Affects Performance - and designed by artist Emily Sloan, the space offered soothing gray walls, soft white noise, and cots outfitted with immaculate sheets and fresh pillows. Visitors were welcome to lie down for a nap - and for much of June, many did.

Sloan's room was an art piece, but its celebration of daily downtime without shame, multitasking, or furtive checking of e-mail is backed up by science.

Adequate sleep is endangered in the United States, a deficit strongly linked to the chronic health problems draining us economically and politically. Too little rest, for example, has been shown to throw off hormone output that regulates satiety after eating and the ability to process sugar. Dozens of other studies link inadequate sleep to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

And it's not just medical students and pilots who are tired. Americans overall get an overage of only 6.9 hours' sleep a night - an hour less than we slept in 1960 and 15 to 25 minutes less than we did in 2001, sleep physician Lawrence Epstein wrote in Newsweek. These seemingly small quantities of rest can have a stunning effect on functioning. Just 20 to 30 minutes of napping can measurably improve mood and performance, the National Sleep Foundation reports. And in one NASA study of sleep-deprived pilots and astronauts, a 40-minute nap boosted performance more than 30 percent - and alertness by 100 percent.
Sleeplessness may have the most pronounced effect, though, on children. All of the 31 major studies of children's sleep and weight gain showed strong correlations between too little sleep in childhood and obesity either in childhood or years later. Meanwhile, families that police their children's sleep habits with an old-fashioned rule about bedtime also achieve the 21st-century holy grail: higher test scores, according to the nonprofit SRI International research center.

While afternoon naps may have served an evolutionary purpose, the rhythms of U.S. culture pretty much make them impossible. Nonstop accessibility by phone and computer, plus social pressure to work relentlessly, undermine many a decent night's sleep at home. Siestas seem unthinkable. Yet it's become clear that proper sleep is one of the cheapest, most potent tools we have to help rein in our national health care bills.

It would take a concerted effort to re-cast the workday nap as a respectable - even responsible - activity. But it was also tough to get Americans to quit smoking. Reviving the nap, in fact, might be surprisingly popular. The cozy Art League complex isn't usually the site of protests, but as Sloan's show neared its closing date, scrawled placards appeared on the tree and walls outside: SAVE THE NAP ROOM. It could have been the work of angry art lovers. But maybe it was the whisper of a silent majority, yearning for the focus and peace that comes from 20 minutes of socially approved shut-eye.

For more info: http://nappingaffects

Claudia Kolker

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sweet Dreams: Emily Sloan NAP (Napping Affects Performance) by Nancy Wozny

Click here or read below: Sweet Dreams: Emily Sloan
NAP (Napping Affects Performance)

by Nancy Wozny in VISUALSEEN

It all started with an invitation—for a nap. Emily Sloan invited me to snooze as part of NAP (Napping Affects Performance), a performative installation at Art League Houston. How could one resist an invitation to nap?

I have always had mixed emotions about napping. As I move deeper into my 50s, I worry about becoming one of those people who nap on and off all day. Yet, I remember the heavenly state of my children, who napped during their early years as all children do. Once, my sister asked why my baby son slept so much of the day when he didn't actually do anything.

Do we need to shut down as well? How can that be an artful experience?

Sloan addresses these questions with humor, rigorous investigation of collective aesthetic activities, and her own whimsical ethos, which permeates every aspect of the project.

When I finally arrived for my scheduled nap, I was immediately struck by the sense of calm in the Art League building. Something was different. Wandering through the halls, I came upon a door with a sign that read, “Shhh, we are napping, come in.” I was drawn
to the ambiguity in the statement. We are asleep but we want you to come join us. Felt just odd enough.

The room projects peace and serenity. Blue-gray walls yield an uncanny warmth. The color extends only three-quarters to the ceiling, sending a grounded feeling. A white table, with delicate lamps on either side, recalls my teenage bedroom. Cots gracefully set around the room have a tiny hint at a clinical environment, as does Sloan, who appears in full naptition garb. Sloan was on duty the entire run of the show. “It was extremely fulfilling to be a part of the project every day,” she says. “I felt relationships grow, saw people awed by its simplicity and beauty, and enjoyed the many, often repeat visits.” The quasi-medical perfume is part of the fantasy. I am thinking of public napping stations in some future world, where people would be encouraged to take a break from anything they are doing to refresh, and simply let the world slip away for a cat nap during the course of their hectic day.

Now is a good time to remember that about half of the world engages in some form of mid-afternoon siesta, if not sleep, it's a rest and a welcome break. Currently, the siesta is under siege as the manic pace of the Western world slowly creeps southward.

A few young men are wrapping up their naps. They sit quietly on their cots speaking softly. Sloan leads me to my cot, bringing fresh linens. The temperature in the room is perfect. Before I drift into blessed snoozeville, we share a few words on our sleep thoughts. She speaks in a hushed tone, even though the young male nappers have since left the room. Although our chat qualifies as an interview, I am aware she is preparing me for the nap.

She's quite knowledgeable about sleep science. Yes, it's a science—and a mystery—hence a suitable territory for art. Every night we willingly become temporarily paralyzed for 4-8 hours. Currently, approximately 50 % of the population people suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives. Just about every one of the body's processes is affected by lack of sleep. Scientists still do not know why humans sleep, but they know for certain that without out, it we lose function rapidly.

Eventually, we wind up our chat and I am ready to take my nap. I had been thinking about it all day, and it was time for me to claim my nap prize. Sloan returned to her post at the front of the room where she stands guard, reading or crocheting.

I slept. I dreamed. I became an art object, a sleeping one. I woke up-refreshed, full of calm energy and focus, as if my battery got an upgrade. That's the power of the nap.

Sloan experimented with the NAP, concept prior to the Art League show. “I had performed performance/participation art pieces around the idea of a community naps. For example, a story and nap arranged in a bar, a cuddle puddle/bedtime story as at a performance intermission to rejuvenate an audience for the remainder of the evening.”

Over the course of NAP Sloan has held several community naps, many have been sold out. Although I was not able to partake in a community nap, the idea seems like a sound one. Imagine your boss or your mother suggesting everyone take a group snooze. Productivity would go up and children would fight less and do better in school. Beth Secor read bedtime stories, and Ruby "Lips" Woodward whistled lullabies. Like a good clinician, Sloan kept meticulous notes on her blog, where she charting her experience and those of the participants. “I learned how willing/eager people were to connect with such a project. I think it had to do with the atmosphere--it almost became a sacred place to visit, whisper, be calm,” says Sloan. “Also the need for rest, reminiscing about grade school community naps--the project and space itself almost became a security blanket.'

Sloan also delivered naps if you were deemed lucky enough to be selected for a visit from the mobile nap unit. “The Mobile Naps grew out of the NAP project, and they will remain ongoing. The idea of an unforeseen context, and having participants pick a context, is something I am very interested in,” she says. “ Also, it is fun to bring the magic and permission to nap to them.”

Sloan has always been interested in the intersection between public art, public service and social spaces. She's drawn more to the slippery roles between art maker, curator, orchestrator and performer. NAP effortlessly flows between these roles. “In addition to art, my background is in Social Work,” she says. “On several occasions, I was asked if I was a social scientist, so the project really seemed to integrate the two well.”

Ending NAP came down hard on the community. Protests ensued. As with a nap itself, the show needed to end. A consultant was on hand to help those cope with the grief. She held a NAP station during Lawndale's The Big Show.

Sloan's project has re-framed the nap for me. It's not the same as going to bed at night. I take more naps now, in service to my writing and the art that I am writing about. It's a respite from the day, a pause, a welcome interruption of constant activity. It's decadent, luxurious, restorative and creative, all the things art should and can be. “From the beginning, the amount of people coming to nap exceeded my expectations. I continued to be amazed throughout the project by the returning nappers and new nappers,” muses Sloan. “This both distilled the project and was a pleasant surprise. The NAP project was magical for so many including myself.”

Saturday, July 10, 2010

"Salon des Refusés" @ Gallery 1724

"Salon des Refusés" is a exhibition featuring artwork rejected from Lawndale Art Center's The BIG Show 2010. The exhibition will be on view at Gallery 1724, 1724 Bissonnet St. (between Dunlavy and Woodhead), Houston, Texas 77005 from July 9 through August 7, 2010.

Bonnie Blue's Women Who Rock Art Car!

Below: Salon entrance.

Janet Hassinger and her artwork.

All images courtesy of Emily Sloan.

The Kenmore's "The small Show"

The Kenmore presents "The small Show" at Lawndale Art Center. Artists: Aisen Caro Chacin, Loli Fernandez-A, Valerie Powell and Emily Sloan. Opening July 9 through August 7, 2010.

Drop-off and installation with Loli Fernandez-A.

Below: Drop-off and installation with Valerie Powell.

Below: Drop-off and installation with Aisen Caro Chacin.

The Kenmore at Lawndale Art Center's "The BIG Show."
"Outer Sculpture Garden" by Valerie Powell.
plastic, magnets

Below: "miscellaneous" by "The small Show" curator Emily Sloan.

Below: "Homage to Judd" by Loli Fernandez-A.

Below: "The Freezer Gallery" by Aisen Caro Chacin.
Recording of Unchained Melody, strawberry ice cream, peas.

Art model Bobby Younce and The Kenmore.

Art to see! Performing Models to Draw!

This is an independent drawing/painting group I work with at Art League Houston. I organized a patio drawing session/show outside of Art League Houston and Inversion Coffee on Friday, July 9 from 6-9pm.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Power Nap Station at Lawndale Art Center

There is a lot to see at Lawndale Art Center's The BIG Show 2010! Take advantage of "The BIG Show Power Nap Station" to rest, rejuvenate, and replenish your energy as you take it all in!

Putting things into perspective at The BIG Show preview party.

I scored an invite (that included bringing a guest) to attend Lawndale Art Center's The BIG Show 2010 preview party. Art model Bobby Younce was my guest and aided me in giving the artworks perspective by posing next to them. Bobby is approximately 69 inches tall.

Above: Bobby with Zepeda.
Top: Lint on Black Rug, Pill Bottle and Hairbrush (sexy mirror image: IMG_1213)
Bottom: Green Room with Teddy Bear and Old Bra (sexy mirror im- age: IMG_708)

Bobby introducing the audience to The Kenmore's "The small Show."
Artists: Aisen Caro Chacin, Loli Fernandez-A, Valerie Powell, Emily Sloan (curator)

Below: Bobby working front of Stuart Kimbrell's "The Virgin Mary."

Bobby napping at "The BIG Show Power Nap Station" to rejuvenate before putting more art into perspective.

Bobby and a woman in similar pink bottoms created by Lisa Paula Patrick called "Any Guy Can Hold a Girl's Hand."

Thank you Bobby Younce for your expertise in putting things into perspective at The BIG Show! Thank you Lawndale Art Center for hosting!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Salon des Refusés will open @ Gallery 1724 on Friday, July 9!

Please join Gallery 1724 for "Salon des Refusés" opening Friday, July
9, from 8pm-10pm. The exhibition will close August 7.

"Salon des Refusés" is an exhibition of artworks rejected from the Big
Show 2010 at Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main St., Houston, Texas 77002.
The BIG Show will be opening the same evening from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

A special thanks to all participating artists!

Fariba Abedin
Melinda Ainsworth
Joel A. Bender, Jr.
Bonnie Blue
Deborah Bright
Will Brooks
Greg Budwine
Douglas Cason
Vachu Chilakamarri
Gabriel Craig
Hillary Cumberworth
Anthony Day
Ronald Dykes
Jennifer M. Dunn
Bill Fester
Jeff Forster
Reema Forster
Helena Gijsbers van Wijk
Stephanie Guajardo
Rachel Robertson Harmeyer
Janet Hassinger
Sarah Hazel
Jane B. Honovich
Cynthia Hoyt
Cecilia Johnson
John M. Linden II
Carrie Marbello
Caroline Z. Marcos
Laura "Mic" McAllister
Van McFarland
Edgar Meza
Merilee Minshew
Deborah Moore
John Nichols
Richard Nix
Annette K. Palmer
Donna E. Perkins
Chasity Porter
Valerie Powell
Preetika Rajgariah
Gilbert Ruiz Jr.
Steve Ruth
Mitch Samuels "Grystar"
Charlie Jean Sartwelle
Louise Schlachter
Carol Scott
Rachel K. Skov
Emily Sloan
Karen Smith
Madilyn Stein
Marie-Pierre Stien
Texas Pizza
Cookie Wells
Tangerine Williams
Sally Worthington
Julie Zarate

Gallery 1724 ( hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11am to 6pm. Stop
by, or call 713-582-1198 for an appointment.

Drawing Dreamland - Large Scale Drawing

"Drawing Dreamland" is a children's art project I designed and implemented for Art League Houston.

Dirty Drawers on the Patio

This is a show/opportunity to participate I am organizing for an independent drawing/painting group that meets at Art League Houston.

One night only! Art to see, performing models to draw!

"Dirty Drawers on the Patio"
outside of Art League Houston
1953 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006

Friday, July 9 from 6pm to 9pm

Models: Bobby and Stephanie

William Bailey
Hagit Barkai
Amanda Candler
Richard Clark
Jess Coleman
Denise Crow
Gena Haber
Byrne Jackson
Rhonda Lanclos
Bill Tone
Liz Wagar

...and YOU, come draw with the group!