In this year’s annual meeting at the gallery, someone – was it the owner or your modest and retiring author – came up with the idea of an art “survey” that we would conduct with the aim of getting people to divulge their interests and receive five images based on those interests.  If you are thinking that this sounds suspiciously like the standard conversational dynamic of what goes on inside art galleries, please, Dear Reader, withhold judgement until you see what this idea became.

I wanted to make it a Facebook meme, like this one, that we programmed and launched as an independent web-borne app. Time and budget constraints for such a quixotic idea being what they are, I made, instead, a Rube Goldbergian spreadsheet and used GoogleForms to power the input. The owner wrote the survey, with a tiny bit of input from me. The five images above reflect my first response. (The five images below reflect my second response. Both are quite accurate, in their way.)  You can take the survey too.

I’m working on learning enough of Javascript to program this.  We’ll see how this goes.



Hint Hint

I was just looking over Charles Donelan’s reviews on the Santa Barbara Independent and found this one. In it, I said something about assemblage that Charles (once again!) articulated more clearly and forcefully; namely, he called assemblage “one of our city’s most characteristic indigenous art forms.” I like it Charles.

Hint, hint: I have some sneaky co-conspirators to make a point about that in 2016. You probably didn’t hear it here first.


Please do run screaming…

art-on-the-internet-37The other day, Frank Goss and I gave a little talk to a group of forty-two artists affiliated with Art Without Limits. We were invited by Julie McLeod and found a warm reception in a crowded and historic room downtown.

Frank’s stories were so warm and relatable. I was there, ostensibly, to discuss “Art on the Internet.” (It’s been a hobby of mine for a while…) In any case, I think I delivered the good news with all of the subtlety and gentility of a rusty meat cleaver. THWACK! The internet is “disrupting” the art industry. THWACK! It will probably due to art what it has done to human sexuality. THWACK! Thank you for your kind attention. Please do not run screaming from the room. (There was nothing but sinew left by that point.)

In any case, some people asked for a copy of my presentation. I have put it up here without images(or flippant conclusion slides).


The Family that Blogs Together? is now online! Aren’t you curious about “bluestocking bohemia?”

A bodkin is a:
• a blunt, thick needle with a large eye used especially for drawing tape or cord through a hem
• a long pin used for fastening hair
• a strange metaphor for my sister, Sierra?

We’re planning a new collaborative blogging venture, Bumpkin and Bodkin. (Tagline: It’s all good among kin.) No, she’s online now - in a non-FB capacity, with articles about… crafts, travel… other stuff.


What I Said / What I Meant to Say

Art Ltd magazine published a “Spotlight on Santa Barbara” feature this month to tell the story of various developments in the art scene of Santa Barbara. I recommend reading it if you want a good sense of what’s cooking up here.

It also seems worth taking a moment to correct myself.

Here’s what I (apparently) said, “[the gallery is not interested in deciding what’s good or bad based on whether the work is representational or abstract.” I (apparently) went on, “This rejection of the idea that the narrative of art in American inevitably leads to the triumph of abstraction dates to a very specific moment, which is when Alfred Barr acquired Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World for the Museum of Modern Art in 1948. Art historically speaking, that decision is our point of departure, so naturally, this Andrew Wyeth show is important to us, because it represents what we are all about.” For the record, the painting was purchased in 1949. While we’re correcting misunderstandings, I am not, in fact, the curator, though I am quite proud of the show.

What I meant to say is that the gallery does not stake out a particular position between abstraction and representation. We believe that rich results can be had from either approach. In some sense, the Andrew Wyeth exhibition embodies the idea, since it was Alfred Barr’s private acquisition of Christina’s World that upended the midcentury thought that representational art was on its way out. That’s what I should have said.

A big thank you to Art Ltd and to the writer, Charles Donelan, for their efforts to focus a little attention on the 805.