SOME WORKSHOP PHOTOS
ARTS EDUCATION & INTERNATIONAL ART WORKSHOPS
I have been an arts educator since 1987 working with students from Universities and Community Colleges, Developmentally Disabled Adults, inmates at Folsom Prison, Adolescent Prisoners and High School, Elementary and preschool artists. In 1995, I received the Fellowship for “Visual Arts – Artist in Education Award” from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission for my efforts in teaching art in the community.
My main goal as an arts educator is to help people to improve their artmaking and art-thinking skills.... I share some technical approaches to artmaking and discuss a variety of ideas /aesthetic considerations that I keep in mind while working on my art... I also use slide shows, text books, videos, gallery and museum visits but rely primarily on the exploration and experience of working in the studio..
The workshops that I’ve conducted over the last few years have included participants whose age and skill levels have varied greatly, sometimes working with children, but mostly with art /creative folks in various International Community Art Center settings. I've also had the pleasure to work with some very accomplished and professional artists… The Art workshops are always a great opportunity for discovery, creative exchange of ideas, feelings and collaboration and I think everyone benefits who participates....
Conducted ''Action painting'' workshop at Estonian Kunst Akademia, Tallinn, EST., January.
Performance Art Workshop with students at SVEFI Community Arts School, Haparanda, Sweden, March.
"ARTBOAT WORKSHOP" at Hirvitalo CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, PISPALA, Tampere, Finland, July.
"More Action Painting," Introduction to approaches with "WET" Paint and continuing investigation, EKA, Tallinn, EST., December.
Performative Mono-type Workshop: " Many Offerings: In the Air, by the Sea, Time Capsule and purified by Fire.... at Estonian Kunst Academia, Tallinn, EST. September.
Jeju Island Art Camp, Artcar Workshop, Seoul, South Korea, September.
“Intensive Painting Focus; AN AMERICAN FRIEND,” workshop at EKA, Tallinn, Estonia, January.
Lead artist for “ARTCAR WORKSHOP” at Kankaanpaa Taideokoulos, Kankaanpaa, Finland, November.
Please see newspaper article on the workshop; http://polyfonia.samk.fi/lehti/?p=904.
KANKAANPAA Taedeokoulos Artcar Workshop and Event Video by Erkki Pirtola, 2012
Lead artist for “ACTION PAINTING” workshop at the Estonian Kunst Academia, Tallinn, Estonia, October.
Lead Artist at Korean Experimental Art Festival 2011; “Artcar Making Workshop,” Seoul, South Korea, July.
Lead Artist in Found Object Workshop; “COM-POST MODERN SCULPTURE FOR THE AVANT GARDENERS II,” Voipaala Art Center, Saaksmaki, Finland, July.
Lead Artist in a “Performance Art” workshop with students from the Estonian Kunst Academia, Tallinn, Estonia, June.
Lead Artist in Artcar project for “HUNGER PERFORMANCE FESTIVAL,” OPENSPACE/ Voxsluxus, Program Diverse Universe 2011, Berlin, Germany, May.
Lead artist in “Found Object Sculpture Workshop;” “COM-POST-MODERN SCULPTURE FOR THE AVANT GARDENERS.” Center for Contemporary Art Pispala, Hirvitalo, Tampere, FI. July.
* Here is a video that Erkki Pirtola, noted Finnish ''ITE'' Art Expert, Performance Artist and Writer for Helsinki's VOIMA Magazine produced about me, the exhibition and workshop that I presented at the Center for Contemporary Art in Pispala, Tampere, Finland during the month of July in 2010:
* Here is a link to an interview about me and the artist workshop I conducted in July, 2010 in Tampere, Finland by Finnish artist Kristiina Sario.
http://www.tamperee taiteilijaseura.fi/verkkolehti/vanoni.html .
Conducted Artcar Workshop for families at the Children’s Artist Workshop, at the Children’s Grand Park / Sejong University Subway Station; Seoul, South Korea. October.
Lead Artist in workshop to create First Artcar in Estonia with NONGRATA Group Artists for the 2008 Diverse Universe International Performance Art Festival, Tammiste, Estonia. May.
Great Video by the one and only Erkki Pirtola of some of the great times at Kankaanpaa Taideokoulos...
I enjoy conducting artcar workshops in various communities around the globe. This creates a wonderful opportunity for me to come into a community and share my knowledge and talents and to get to know and work with the various members of the community…. When creating an artcar you can collaborate with artists from the community, children from the schools, senior citizens who live in retirement centers, teenagers from youth activity centers, as well as students working in various art academic settings; grade schools, high schools and university settings… We collaborate on the artcar together, the design and materials for a determined time. For these projects it requires an automobile, welders (if possible), metal and other materials such as silicone, paints, spray foam, wire and various found objects to adhere to the interior and exterior body of the car. The found objects can be objects brought from the homes of the participants or purchased from neighborhood thrift stores/ 2nd hand shops, or can simply be rocks, broken glass, sticks or any fodder found in the immediate environment.
When we finalize the initial stage of the ARTCAR it is possible to utilize the artcar in parades, performances, exhibitions that can be held at a variety of Festivals and community celebrations, and to help bring populations from the community together and to then deliver the art onto the roadways for the the community to enjoy and be proud of….. The artcar is not a project that is simply finished…. KAPUT!!!! It is a vehicle of creation that has its own life… it can always be added to; an additive creative process that will live on for as long as the persons responsible will care for it…. It is a great vehicle for delivering art away from the HIGH Art aesthetic of the snobby ART Institution’s and out TO THE PEOPLE ON THE STREETS. These are the real people who need ART the most in their lives; the everyday man, the children, the senior citizens; all groups from the community will enjoy it……. and will celebrate the ARTCAR.....
All necessary permits need to be arranged by your Organization if you decide to take the car onto the roadway. In America it is only possible to bring an artcar out onto the streets when it is fully functional and street legal; lights work, turn signals, etc…. it is currently Registered and Insured, other than that most anything goes….. I have noticed from my interactions on the streets of Europe that the police have a tendency to check the license of the driver, insurance and registration…….
I realize that it may not be possible to get all of the desired materials such as welders, but hopefully the budget that we have to work with will be ample to secure much of the needed materials… Artists always work with what they have available, this is part of our art making process….
MURAL PAINTING WORKSHOP
I received commissions to paint 4 large scale murals, (two 6’ X 100’, two 4’ X 80’),
from the City of Sacramento in 1989 and 1999... I am currently in negotiations to create
another artwork for them...
I enjoy the process of making murals on blank and often forgotten and neglected walls..
Many blank walls exist in inner city urban environments that would greatly benefit from color,
human touch and the creative imagination of artists..... This was one reason I created
many illegal artworks in the mid-eighties in the city that I called home. I would walk the streets
and find many grey boring walls throughout the city that I thought would look so much
better with the addition of artwork.
This workshop would introduce the participants to the long history of mural,(wall),
painting. Some of the greatest artworks on the planet are painted on walls... dating back to the
paintings of the cave people. We will have a brief overview of some of the history of these
great creators/creations and lead up to more contemporary interpretations of what this beautiful
artform has become throughout the ages...
We will go through the technical considerations that are necessary in order that a successful
and durable artwork can be produced.... Types of paint, wall preparation, choice of images,
transferring the image to the wall, etc...
The ideal time for this workshop would be one to 2 weeks..... Number of participants???
ACTION PAINTING WORKSHOP
This workshop is a place to find excitement and challenges in learning the process and practice of ACTION painting. It will give the students an opportunity to find pleasure, encounter problems to solve, challenges to overcome, and ultimately help to sustain a fulfilling creative journey of self-discovery and self-confidence. Learning to ACTION paint, though not as easy as it appears, is ultimately a rewarding journey J. This workshop will emphasize basic fundamentals: beginning from the early techniques that were ultimately what lead such forerunners and pioneers of the techniques to the modern art movement that changed the artworld: ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM……
We shall explore some techniques and concepts of painting that dates backs thousands of years from the seminal Chinese text : The Mustard Seed Book of Painting… which helped to expand one as to what the simple concept of what a brush stroke can be and mean…… Through both Chinese and Japanese philosophy the simple brush stroke has been a metaphor for more then what meets the eye….. to more modern ideas about post-atomic art and life…. that shaped and formed the artform into what it would eventually become.
The techniques employed by Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, even the lame –o shot gun paintings of William S. Burroughs, though are perhaps very boring and banal on a formal level for the most part, probably created some excitement for him and added some conceptual value to the technical arsenal that is available for an artist to utilize... the magical and alchemical, mid-ground aesthetic of creation/destruction,etc…
We shall also explore more classic performative approaches such as utilized by Yves Klein
incorporating live models into our repertoire…… The veiled paintings of Paul Jenkins and Morris Louis also provide some available technical approaches to the problematic ways that are available for painters…….
I would also like to demonstrate painting utilizing a pulse jet mechanism which I have just as of recent been able to locate in Finland and will be in contact with the owner of this object which I have much experience with in working with on creating performances with paint, spaghetti and other foreign wet and dry materials….. (This is contingent upon access and technical equipment available)
A variety of techniques and materials will be explored. I love this stuff personally, very much….
Students will be introduced to a basic vocabulary of ACTION painting and learn to paint from observation and from their imagination. Students will be exposed to the classic masters of abstract expressionists and their wide variety of approaches and styles from the past in order to make available to them the wide range and variety of historically significant approaches in dealing with this medium of “wet color,” in hopes that they might ultimately develop their own vocabulary and some day ultimately find their own voices and language of art.
We will also engage in critical discourse via group critiques as their works continues to evolve. Artist videos will be viewed in order that they will receive as much exposure as possible to what is occurring with action painting; “the dead artform.”
This ACTION Painting course will give the students an opportunity for intensive integration and investigation into more important approaches to utilize into their own studio work and will help them to develop confidence in their ability to explore this wonderful medium in pursuit of their own personal vision. I find that such important basic technical information is quite often overlooked by academic institutions.....
RESURRECTING AND REVITALIZING FOUND OBJECT SCULPTURE WORKSHOP
How to make something beautiful out of a pile of discarded “junk” ??????
In Search of El Dorado at the City Dump......
The Massage is the MESS age... Night fishing in Tampere
One person's trash is another person's cash
The objective of this workshop shall be to gather materials from the environment; "found objects" whether it be objects discarded by other people... things that have outlived their purpose and ended up at the dump, thrift stores and also some objects perhaps more personal that people have been holding on to for a while in hopes of using as a component for an artwork....We will search for objects that have some character, that resonate with our eyes, mind and soul and that when combined with other objects create something, a context, a juxtaposition that is new and beautiful..... I anticipate that we will be using epoxies, wire, silicone and whatever techniques necessary to bond the objects together... We can also use paint to bring color to the pieces and add a nice patina to the surface in order to compliment and unify the overall sculptural forms.....
THIS WORKSHOP WAS HELD IN FINLAND TWICE ONCE IN 2010 AND ONCE IN 2011.....
IT BECAME KNOWN AS THE “COM-POST MODERN SCULPTURES FOR THE AVANT GARDENERS EXHIBITION”
PERFORMANCE ART WORKSHOP OR COURSEWORK.....
This Performance Art Class shall utilize for basic reference the text by Rose Lee Goldberg:
“Performance Art From Futurism to the Present.”
Chapters will be assigned for students to read in an attempt to convey and share the knowledge
and rich history that performance art possesses since it’s documented beginnings . It is helpful
for illustrating and providing possibilities, concepts and influences that are available for the
students to ponder and utilize in their own artworks…..
When teaching any form of art my primary interest is to attempt to help the student
artist to find and develop their own visual vocabulary and language. This is a vital component
in the creative process that can take an artist years to discover and hopefully through their experience
working in this class, that time will be greatly reduced…. The Conceptual component in Performance
art is ofcourse, as with any artform, of the utmost importance and shall be equally discussed and
We will view Performance Artist’s works from my personal collection of DVD’s that I’ve
collected from artists and artist groups from around the globe. This is a great way to identify and
recognize trends and the variety of ways that artists continue to create with the artform over the last
few years…. We will discuss Contemporary works recently produced in the artworld in order to stay
current with the development and evolution of this important artform. There are many important
documents of historically significant works available for viewing on YOUTUBE as well. This will comprise
of the majority of the reference materials for the lecture/ classroom portion of the coursework…..
The Laboratory component of the coursework shall consist of but not be limited to:
a) “in-studio/ 4 wall/ white cube/ gallery space” workshops and performances…..
b) Site specific works at various locations in and around the city at a variety of public spaces….
Throughout the duration of this course we shall engage in discussions on how to approach a variety
of ideas and topics that are available for performance artists to utilize in their artworks such as and not
limited to: ACTION AS ART, MOVEMENT THROUGH TIME & SPACE, BODY AS SCULPTURE, SOCIAL SCULPTURE, DURATIONAL WORK, SITE SPECIFIC WORK, SOLO WORK, GROUP WORK, COLLABORATIVE WORK, PERFORMANCE art IN THE PUBLIC PLACE, PERFORMANCE art RE- ENACTMENTS, MEDIA-BASED PERFORMANCE art, THE SPECTACLE IN PERFORMANCE art, PERFORMATIVE art INSTALLATION, ENTROPHY: THE BREAK DOWN AND FAILURE IN PERFORMANCE art, INTENTION AS EMOTION AND COMMUNICATION, SPOKEN WORD, SOUND PERFORMANCE art, “TABOO, NUDITY, yawn & SHOCK!!!!”, THE GAME IN PERFORMANCE art, “etc.. in the performance place”, boredom and death in performance art, something totally new and never seen or thought of before in performance art, masturbation or art? “I AM THE ARTIST YOU ARE THE AUDIENCE SO SHUT UP AND WATCH…….” myth and the mundane…. national treasure performance art works…. action/nonaction: repeat!!!!! this is not fun. are you really there???? knock knock…. 8:, greatest hits and little shits… blood and guts….. hard core performance club…. death defying perfoRmers…. dead animal performance…. ad infinitum + ad nausea… PERFORMANCE ART IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH…. THIS IS SERIOUS ART. I AM SO SEXY & YOU ARE NOT…. MOVING BODY PERFORMANCES… A totally NEW PERFORMANCE EVERYTIME… I share what is within me with you…“politics, money & power,”I NEVER DO THE SAME PERFORMANCE TWICE… ABsurdism, clownism, personal space/public space… sex, death & god… the road to here…this does not need to make sense!!!! “dangerous performance art,” “auto-bio in the artspace,”s.o.s. performance…another day another performance… “you use to love me & now you hate me,”.. more etcetera… ad 8 infinitum… … … ode to celine… “the other world….”performancearth come in!!! do you read me…. come in, come in…. roger, over and out. “live art and art is dead, amen & awoman.” “live evil” bla bla bla… “performance art works or doesn’t work…”, “who are we? why are we here? where did we come from? where are we going?” Ritual and shamanism in Performance art… STICK SOMETHING OVER YOUR HEAD PERFORMANCE...POUR A BUCKET OVER YOUR HEAD PERFORMANCE, GET NAKED AND LIE THERE
FOR SEVERAL HOURS PERFORMANCE, DO THIS, THEN THIS + THIS PERFORMANCE, STILL PHOTO & VIDEO PERFORMANCES.... LIVE WEB CAST TRANSMISSION PERFORMANCE. LONG OR SPEED DURATION PERFORMANCE... FOUND PERFORMANCE. RANDOM ACTIONS.
As part of the lab we’ll attend local and regional performance art events and participate in
Festivals as opportunities arise and when the artists are feeling confident in their work. There are a
number of great performance artists residing in the vicinity and it would be fitting to have visiting
artists present video lectures, live performances and workshops on occasion. This could also be a great
possibility to develop another performance art group in the area in hopes that some potential unknown
talent may emerge.
Documentation is key in this artform and we shall attempt to document the oeuvre of performances
presented by the class members. Some performances will be still photo set ups made for the camera;
pieces created with the singular 2-D image or series of images in mind. We shall ofcourse video tape
and photograph the works when and where ever possible and spend time a couple weeks near the
semester ‘s end editing and creating finished works that will be made available for a potential public
exhibition and/or screening. These documents would be great for creating an exhibition that features
and combines Photos, Video and live Performances. The documents are always great to have for one’s
personal portfolio as well.
This workshop shall focus on alternative techniques for creating singular prints in the
printmaking studio.... Students are not required to be advanced with their drawing skills
but some abilities are preferable.... We will utilize more direct means and techniques in order to
create one of a kind printed images and generally approach the medium in more experimental
ways that are less process-based and labor intensive as much of the traditional printmaking can
be.... Students will be required to provide their own paper to print on and an open mind to the
possibilities of how to be inventive and create relatively fast images in the studio.
SOME IDEAS FOR NEW WORKSHOPS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO:
The Duration of the workshops would vary depending on the Organization and available funding.
Paper Mache Sculpture Workshop
Paper mache is a great medium to work on with people...
This medium is user friendly, cheap, lightweight and one can create relatively large and colorful sculptures....
This medium in combination with styrofoam or spray insulation foam I believe would be ideal for making some cool
Then paint the sculptures with acrylic and spray paint and give a coating with epoxy could
create some beautiful sculptures that would be hard, durable and yet retain their light weight.
I would like to work with a group of people for one or 2 weeks that would culminate in a group
exhibition at the end of the Workshop.
Mask Making Workshop
Years ago I created a series of masks using primarily cardboard, glue and paint... More recently over the past year
I realized that it’s also possible to incorporate Styrofoam and spray can insulation foam....
I believe the results would be great and I have always wanted to create performance art using the Masks..... I would
be very excited to conduct a group workshop with interested artists or non-artists (whatever that is, perhaps
politicians) and have an exhibition of the masks as well as have the workshop culminate with a performance art
Cardboard Artcar Workshop
I would enjoy conducting a cardboard artcar workshop..... For this workshop the
participants would begin by using a real car as a basic form to construct the cardboard
artcar around.... They would drape pieces of cardboard over the car and create an empty
shell of the original car... After it has time to dry, the shell can be removed and further worked
on adding paint, found objects, photos and whatever materials that the participants would
like to bring to the project....... For the finale, the car could be used for a performance art
piece and then be stocked with wood and fireworks and set a blaze in a ritualistic and sacrificial
last car ride to the Great Spirit........
I have many years experience utilizing the plasma cutter to cut metal shapes and
create some very nice art pieces..... We then apply color to the steel cut outs and seal the artworks with a protective
coating. (Please refer to my artworks on my website)
I would very much love to work with a group of artists in creating some nice
polychrome steel pieces...... Access to a plasma cutter and steel and paint is necessary
for this workshop.
PAINTING ON PLEXIGLAS WORKSHOP
I have painted on Plexiglas and regular glass and have created stain glass looking
artworks that are very pleasing to have in windows around ones living or working
environment... There is also a long history of double sided painting on glass that
dates back to Renaissance times.... It is a great medium that is fun and
direct to work with and is much cheaper and faster than stain glass.
Commissioned to create Four Large Murals: 6 ft. by 100 ft. and 4 ft. by 80 ft. for the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission’s Art in Public Places Program; Western Exposure at the Sequoia Pacific Warehouse Site.... Sacramento, CA. 1989,1999.
Southern Exposure at the Sequoia Pacific Warehouse Site.... Sacramento, CA. 1999.
Britney Spares and I @ HORSECOW, hanging out on a David Best Artcar.... 2001
Being a curator was a head and hands on result of running a gallery for 9 years; conceptualizing, developing, installing and promoting monthly art exhibitions and events at the Gallery Horse Cow. The Horsecow existed in Sacramento, California from the years 2001 until 2009. Horse cow produced monthly Gallery Exhibitions of SELF TAUGHT, OUTSIDER ART, ART BRUT, CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN FOLK ART, ART CARS and the D.I.Y. Community of artists at large, including the Burningman Community of artists. We presented artworks to the community that had never been seen before. Later it evolved into including more contemporary regional artists, LOW BROW and other young and un-represented community artists in the Exhibitions.
Here is a review from a local magazine; The Sacramento News and Review: http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=12076 .
I was responsible for curating approximately 100 art exhibitions at the HORSE COW during those 9 years and created and produced large quarterly Cultural Events. As Gallery Director there were many details and considerations involved in event organizing including choreographing the evening’s artistic line up and presentations. I invited artists to take part in theme-based gallery group art exhibition and encouraged the public to attend the events wearing costumes that related to the theme of the art exhibition. This allowed the attendees an opportunity to engage, participate and have an active creative role in the event. The Fashion shows were also theme based and featured local upcoming designer’s works presented in an experimental, multi media/ video aesthetic, not always relying on the traditional run way approach. Ideas and conceptual approaches and considerations of how to present their works in the most interesting way would be worked out with the designers beforehand. Live performance artists would be featured during the evening as well as sets by live musical acts and dj's performed throughout the evening in various spaces located in our large industrial warehouse. These quarterly events were very popular in the community and well attended by some 600 - 900 paying attendees. We “created culture” in, from and for our community, whereas otherwise there would have been a “cultural void”…...
One key element in creating successful events is to know who you can work with and delegate responsibilities to. Identifying key players and trusted individuals who have the talent and ability in a variety of important details that need to be addressed in order to host a successful event is of paramount importance. Some people are good at promotion, setting up lighting, video projectors and sound systems, installing artworks, building flats for sets, security and door people, photo and video documentation; there are many diverse details that must be addressed and a great team of players is necessary and invaluable.
OTHER ADVENTURES AS CURATOR
I was one of the founders of an early, 1982 – 87, legendary Sacramento Underground Art and music Community known as the Stucco Factory. The Stucco Factory contributed much to the Northern California Cultural Community by housing several artist and music studios . The FIDO Art Gallery was legendary for raucous events that I held in my illegal Live/Work space. Here is a short video clip from a remake of a Bunuel film that I directed featuring “TALES OF TERROR,” a legendary Sacramento punk rock band. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq5mhkMGQd0
In October, 2010 I organized an evening of performance art in Tallinn, Estonia at EAST CREATIVE SPACE featuring my friends and fellow performance artists: ROI Vaara and Philip Pedersen from Finland, Arianne Foks from Paris, France, Ville Karel, Meeland Sepp, Tuutu and Musicians IG NOIR of Estonia, CWO1 of "Cleaning Women" fame.
Please check out “CLEANING WOMEN” video, some of my favorite musical performers in the world and great friends as well, they are based in Helsinki: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCdMJtEjpDg .
The evening also included a wonderful set by DJ JOJO200, Finnish Artist Johanna Sipila, who spins at the “Midnight Sun Film Festival,” in Lapland and is also from Helsinki. I MC’d the evening’s festivities and participated in doing both music and performance artwork.
OUTSIDER ART / ART BRUT
I am an expert in the field of Contemporary American Folk Art, Outsider Art and Art Brut and was the first person to present exhibitions of American Contemporary Southern Folk and Outsider Art in both Finland and Estonia, bringing some fine examples from my personal art collection to the Gallery 3 H + K in Pori, Finland in 2009: "AMERICAN OUTSIDER ART," and presented another selection of works: "AMERICAN OUTSIDER AND SOUTHERN FOLK ART," at the Center of Contemporary Art Pispala, Hirvitalo,Finland in 2010. For part of that exhibition, I met and lectured with my friend and colleague Erkki Pirtola. This is a webpage about Erkki and his artistic history in Finland: http://www.liveaction.se/ARCHIVES/LIVE-ACTION-08/ARTISTS/Erkki-Pirtola.html .
Please See the VOIMA 8, 2010 article that Erkki wrote about me: http://fifi.voima.fi/voima-artikkeli/2010/numero-8/yes-yes-yes-right-on .
Here is a video that Erkki produced about me, the exhibition and workshop that I conducted at The Center for Contemporary Art in Pispala in Tampere, Finland during the month of July in 2010…….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y9ranl5SII .
Here is another article that was written about me and the American Outsider Art exhibition that I presented and artist workshop I conducted during the month of July, 2010 in Tampere, Finland…
In 2009 I presented the first Exhibition of American Southern Folk and Outsider Art in Estonia at the Parnu Museum of New Art and in 2010 presented the "Estonian and American Outsider Art" exhibition in Tallinn at Patarei Cultural Park. We featured performance art by Estonian Performance Artist Ville Karel and live musical performances by Estonian Musicians IG NOIR, Katri Meh, and Ryan Left from Canada....DJ LEVY closed out the evening with some electronic music. Link to photos and writings on exhibition: http://linnagalerii.parnu.ee/index.php?id=1655
In 2004 I co-curated the Exhibition: "THE EYES HAVE IT; An Exhibition of California Visionaries;” along with noted California Outsider and Folk Art Gallerist Bonnie Grossman of the AMES Gallery, Berkeley, California and in cooperation with my mentor; the amazing global folk art environment expert Seymour Rosen of the SPACES Organization. This is a link to the webpage describing the Exhibition:
Seymour was the foremost expert on Folk Art environments in the world and worked with me for years advising me in my attempt to save Duke Cahill’s amazing folk art environment…. Duke and Francis Cahill were great friends of mine who at one time asked me to be their son, since they didn't have any family... I should have jumped at the opportunity while they were both alive.... They were the best!!! (TRUELY) I spent 15 years documenting and promoting Duke's environment, in hopes of having it preserved for future generations and ultimately lost the battle... His environment was destroyed along with much of his incredible artworks... (ONE OF THE GREAT DISSAPPOINTMENTS OF MY LIFE) This is a link to a website containing a story that I wrote about Duke Cahill’s folk art environment that was published in 1995 in the Sacramento News and Review. There are also some nice photos of Duke’s artworks. http://tomwhitney.net/dukecahill.html .
This is a link to the S.P.A.C.E.S. Organization that Seymour ran for some 20 years: http://www.spacesarchives.org/ . This Exhibition was held at the University Library Gallery, California State University, Sacramento.
In 2000, I was invited to become the curator of CONTEMPORARY SOUTHERN FOLK ART AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA OUTSIDER ART for an online gallery based out of New York City, NEOIMAGES.COM . NEOIMAGES was one of the first art galleries to have extensive web presence on the internet in America.
In 1995, I became Gallery Director and Curator for the Martin Ramirez Gallery; an art
gallery that featured monthly exhibitions of Northern California Outsider Art from various
Institutions based throughout Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 1993, I conceived and curated the "EXPRESSIVE VISIONS" Exhibition held in conjunction with the E.B. Crocker Art Museum and the Dean Moniz Gallery both located in Sacramento, California.
In 1988, I formed The Screaming Pygmy Orchestra; a VARIETY THEATRE based on the concept of the ITALIAN FUTURISTS Performance Artist Group. It was made up of 25 performers: several Performance Artists, Stand up Comedians, Spoken Word Poets, Live Experimental Music, Dancers and 5 musicians from Mexico. This project was both an important curatorial and performative project.
The HORSECOW was an underground artist community that was the home of an art gallery, large community workspaces, artist studios and several illegal artist live spaces... So many artists worked there throughout our 9 year / 3 space run, that I won’t attempt to make a list of names because it would fill up several pages and I would be afraid of forgetting someone and would feel guilty and insensitive..... but the most important thing about the HORSECOW was the community; that a large diverse group of like minded people came together and made a place and a time very happening in so many varied creative ways... Allen and I constructed the original HORSECOW to be an art gallery and artist studio spaces with much help and efforts from our great community of artists and supporters. If it wasn’t for all of the people who put in the hours of toil and sweat, HORSECOW would have never existed... At first there were only a few of us and then the number of artists grew until we had a great and diverse collective. I was very fortunate to have Allen Denault as my great friend, business partner and Co-Director of HORSECOW. We collaborated on a multitude of physically and conceptually demanding projects throughout our great times at HORSECOW, and in retrospect the good times were legendary; some of the best times of our lives and far outweighed what grief and hard times we ultimately succumbed to.
Allen was my main collaborator in the HORSECOW BOMB BRIGADE Performance Art Group. We performed at several galleries and art events throughout Northern California from 2004 – 2009. The HORSECOW BOMBERS were formed by a small group of like-minded artists, tech heads and pranksters who enjoyed working together on projects. We utilized a piece of technology known as a "Pulse Jet" as a key element of our performance actions. Our performances were literally explosive and could be rather scary and conceptually challenging for the viewer...... We remained open to collaborating with artists from the art community and worked with visiting International Performance Artists. Our interactive performance artworks were based on audience participation and were fun to become involved in both as a participant and a spectator. Please see accompanying article: http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=587534 .
We also produced large quarterly Cultural Events that were very popular in the community and were well attended by some 6 - 900 paying participants. We “created culture” in, from and for our community whereas otherwise there would have been an empty “cultural void”…... Sacramento is not New York City and we had our own great regional talents, sensibility and flavor to be creative and celebrate with and we did…
HORSECOW consisted of a great group of “artists” who came together and helped to create some very wonderful and magical evenings…. PLEASE CHECK OUT THE VIDEO LINK BELOW TO GET A TASTE OF WHAT ONE FASHION SHOW WAS LIKE FROM ONE OF THESE EVENINGS IN 2004.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ltmWrk2q6U&feature=related.
This next link is an accompanying review from the local news publication about this event:
One of the most important functions of HORSECOW was to provide affordable artist studio spaces in Industrial, off the beaten path locations because of cheaper rent and the warehouse spaces were located away from residential neighborhoods. This allowed us to the freedom to work without disturbing neighbors or being disturbed by them…. We were fortunate in our 9 year existence to have some beautiful and amazing spaces. Here is a video that was produced by a visiting Italian rock band “JENNIFER GENTLE,” that captured a special time at our last location of the HORSECOW 3…… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWjba-hb240… Please check out the video to get a sense of the beautiful place that we once had. Unfortunately the HORSECOW was tragically lost in 2009 while I was touring with NONGRATA; see article: http://www.newsreview.com/xsacramento/content?oid=1050483 .
A CONDENSED VERSION OF SOME OF THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF HC
Allen and I built the 1st Gallery HORSECOW in Sacramento, California in 2001 with the help of many artists and our great friends from the community. We managed the operation there for app. 4 years, were much loved by the art community and eventually a rich real estate collector bought the place out from under us and showed us the road.... We relocated to a huge old industrial scale factory compound on North C Street, which required tons of demolition. There was a huge crew of former artist tenants, friends, supporters and volunteers who put in thousands of human hours helping to construct some 30+ studios... and as in the first place, without their support HORSECOW 2 could have never existed on such a grand and yet underground scale... It was an amazing culture factory that functioned for a few years until the city inspectors red flagged us after the cops had busted us for having the now legendary “PINK PARTY....” After we lost HORSECOW 2; as it was referred too, we relocated yet again to a great place on the banks of the Sacramento River. HORSECOW 3 was the best yet, until we were kicked out by the city because of a small fire two years later in 2009.
DEDICATION TO MY GREAT HORSECOW PARTNER IN CRIME and Brother, ALLEN DENAULT, WHO CHOSE TO LEAVE EARTH IN 2016... you are missed.