Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Space Transformed

Two years ago Cate Ryba, a City of Spartanburg employee, told me she was interested in bringing contemporary public art to the downtown Spartanburg area. Since I had some contemporary public art and she had some interest, we got along well.
It's taken some time and some meetings and some manual labor, but at last Cate has met her goal of putting the "art" back in Spartanburg. (I totally ripped that phrase off from my friend Ginger)
Here's the spot she had in mind last Tuesday:
And here's the spot again last Wednesday:
Cate did just about all of the work on making this project happen along with some help there at the end from her office mate Anna Poole and David Lankford with the Dept. of Public Works. They all made it easy for me to just show up and plant a couple of sculptures.
Herman Closeup

Elmer (L) & Herman (R)

The exhibit will last 3 - 6 months and is located by the clock tower on Main Street at the Spring street intersection. Free parking is available along two sides of the exhibition site.

It is my hope that when Herman and Elmer move on to another location they'll be replaced by more contemporary public art. This is an opportunity to make a wide variety of artwork available to the public free of charge on a continual basis.

Friday, June 20, 2008

in case you missed it

Ok, let's just be honest. If you've found this little neck of the web, there's a good possibility you've seen my art. And if you've seen it, well, then you've seen it, right? So why would you want to drive all the way across the state to see it again? Or, heaven forbid, cross a state line? Is there really any difference in how the sculptures look from one show to another? And do you need to see them in person if you've already perused them on the interwebs?

Some of you laugh, but seriously, I get these questions more often than you'd think.

Yes. The sculptures (and drawings) look different from show to show. Some of this has to do with the technical aspects of the physical gallery...lights, floor space, size, floor and wall treatments...but more importantly it has to do with how the separate works of art interact with one another. Most people would be surprised by how I can nudge the viewer in different conceptual directions simply by placing two well chosen sculptures near one another.

Just think of it this way...when you see photos of sculptures and drawings, it's just like seeing photos of your family members. There they are frozen in that instant for your viewing pleasure. But going to an exhibition is more like attending the family reunion. Suddenly you're in the midst of these folks in action. The accents, the voice volume, the hand motions, the expected and unexpected stories, and sometimes even the smells...they all mix there in one room and you experience it.
This is why you go to live concerts instead of being content with the frozen version on the album. This is why you go see art in real life instead of just viewing it on a screen. Those of you who've stood in front of a Van Gogh with your mouth appropriately ajar, can I get a witness?

But alas, gas is high, vacations are planned, and dang if it isn't hot. So this is where I post more frozen images of the awesome art exhibition you didn't get to attend and completely undermine the articulate argument above. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

you people dont listen

concert review from

"Concord, North Carolina's Avett Brothers drew a massive (and especially rowdy) crowd to Bonnaroo's Other Tent Saturday, picking and stomping their punk-tinged bluegrass into the stratosphere and proving why they just may be one of the most underrated acts at this year's festival.
While singer/banjo player Scott Avett pounded away at the kick-drum located just beneath his mic, the trio, joined by cellist Joe Kwan, rolled through crowd favorites like "Die Die Die" and "The Weight of Lies," both off 2007's Emotionalism, earning deafening applause that often lasted well into the next song. At the mention of the Brothers' home state during "Salina," the crowd erupted into a near frenzy, and as the band finished out their set with a captivating, but brief encore, it was obvious the Avett Brothers wouldn't remain under the radar for long."

link to article with photo:

How long have I been telling you to go listen to these guys? Hurry up and love their music now before they get too famous and buy a pet monkey and start wearing diamond studded underwear.

Monday, June 16, 2008

an E-mention

"If you turn right around you’ll see a couple of examples of Doug McAbee’s brightly painted steel sculptures. I’ve seen his work all over the Carolinas in outdoor settings. They’re always amusing and sometimes a puzzle to figure out what they are or are supposed to be."

-Tom Starland, Editor/Publisher of Carolina Arts writing about his viewing of the 20th Anniversary Juried Exhibition at the SC State Museum.