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A look back: Slideluck Potshow Chicago

Almost five years ago to the day, we served on the committee that introduced Slideluck Potshow to Chicago. It was hosted at the gallery Y was director of and we had attendance of just over 300. Photos of the event and presenters shows can be seen here. For those unfamiliar with Slideluck, it breaks down like this: it's a two hour potluck plus a two hour slideshow, showcasing around twenty different artists. Presenters are allowed up to five minutes to present digital media via projector paired with a song of their choice. Our Chicago committee went on to produce three more Potshows in a span of two years. I found this format to be very fitting for my work and created four different shows, which can be seen below (SOME FEATURE ADULT THEMED CONTENT).

We may be a part of Slideluck once again, this time in Ann Arbor.

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This format takes place on a global scale in cities all over the world. To find your closest Slideluck event and find out how you can become involved, look for details on their site.

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An Exhibit We'd Like to See : David Bowie Is

N is a huge fan of David Bowie's. And for good reason. His name has been synonymous with imaginative thinking and music and art for over four decades.

dezeen_David-Bowie-is-at-the-V-and-A_1aAbove: album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane (1973) courtesy of Duffy Archive

tumblr_lgq06iLvAp1qdbfozo1_500A Bowie copycat for a children's campaign.

On March 23rd an incredible collection of memorabilia, costumery, photography, musical archives and objects will showcase the life and work of David Bowie at Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The show, titled simply "David Bowie Is" will have over 300 items and only cover a fraction of the pop icon's presence.

dezeen_David-Bowie-is-at-the-V-and-A_6Above: photo collage of manipulated film stills from The Man Who Fell to Earth (1975-6) courtesy of The David Bowie Archive and Studiocanal Films Ltd

dezeen_David-Bowie-is-at-the-V-and-A_3aAbove: striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour designed by Kansai Yamamoto (1973), photograph by Masayoshi Sukita from The David Bowie Archive

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Original photography for the Earthling album cover, 1997 Union Jack coat designed by Alexander McQueen in collaboration with David Bowie Photograph by Frank W Ockenfels 3 © Frank W Ockenfels 3

 If we were closer, we would certainly be seeing this show. For now we'll just listen to tunes on the record player and check out his new song and album, "The Next Day". Tickets and full information can be found here.

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A Life of Decadence | Fabergé: The Rise and Fall, The Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

I had the chance to see the Fabergé exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts over the weekend and it was quite a stunning collection of objects from the early 20th century creator of luxury goods. Karl Fabergé took over his family's business as a jeweler but soon learned how to cater to the Russian aristocracy with exclusive, miniature objects. Specializing in eggs, animals and other keepsakes, he was able to build an empire with hundreds of workers and fabricators working under him until the workshop's abrupt ending in 1918.

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While it may not seem wholly relevant during a time that trinkets and candy dishes the size of a couple inches are unnecessary (above), it was a welcome reminder that craftsmanship of this kind existed at one time. I recommend this show if you have a chance to see it now through January 21st, 2013.

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An Incredible Photo that Made Us Stop | How to Protect Your Images

A couple weeks ago N had to deal with a snafu that the local paper here made. They ran a photo that belonged to him and subsequently had to take it down and pay him a nominal fee for usage. (It really was the right thing for them to do, after all). It really angered the both of us because it was blatantly taken and we feel they waited to see if they would be found out. This issue is not going to go away and will only proliferate in the internet age. Our working friends have had their images and design ripped off and there are many degrees of it. Last week we came across a photo from the Herman Miller Facebook page and we were immediately drawn to the flawless execution.

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A time lapse of airplanes taking off from Hannover Airport in Langenhagen, Germany was captured in layered precision. In clicking through to find out more about the photograph by Korean artist, Ho-Yeol Ryu, we saw that it originated from a link at the Tropenmuseum.

The entire image via Tropenmuseum

What caused us concern however, was how big the file is. It literally covered the screen of my 21" screen and then some. I could scroll back and forth, up and down. Now, you may wonder, what is our problem with seeing something so up close and personal? Turns out that Ryu has shown through a few contemporary galleries which means that he may have a great retail and/or auction record. But any time your image is shared at such a large file size, there's potential for your image to be taken, printed and enjoyed without your reaping the benefits of your hard work. Take our blog, for instance. We share plenty of images but our resolution is low to medium quality, generally nothing larger than 5 x 7 inches.

A detail shot of just approximately a third of the photo.

More image to scroll over.

And even more still.

If Ryu were just up and coming and not represented and sold to collectors, I would contact him to alert him of this potentially dangerous occurrence. But with his reputation, I'll assume that those that represent and exhibit his work are aware that of their actions and would not do anything to dilute the value of his works. What should you do to protect your images if you're worried about them being stolen? You can control the avenues in which they're presented and limit or deny internet exposure. Or, you can watermark them. If that inhibits the viewing experience, you can just make them small enough, as we do, so there's no concern over them being shared.

Yes, as visual artists, we want people to see our work. We just don't want it to hang in your living room in a massive frame unless you support us. Thanks.

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Pecha Kucha Ann Arbor

N has had plenty of experience with the slideshow format when it comes to presenting his work (we were on the inaugural committee that brought Slideluck Potshow to Chicago). Now he's been invited to show at Pecha Kucha, a globally held event that brings together artists and creative people in the community to show 20 images for 20 seconds each while talking about each one. More information about Pecha Kucha Ann Arbor can be found here. We hope that if you're in the Ann Arbor area you'll come out for this exciting event next Wednesday the 19th from 6-8 p.m. at the North Quad building on campus. See you then!

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Seeing Art : Gallery, Opening, Museum

This past weekend we hit up a few art events in and around town. Art and culture is something that we love seeking out and the conversation afterward is just as rewarding as the experience itself. Our first stop Friday night was at Neutral Zone, the non-profit teen center that offers creative, academic and fun programming for students. It offers everything from art training to mentoring to homework help in every subject. It's really an incredible resource and a great cause. "Americana" was the theme of the evening and offered a look at students' views on the state of America whether it be political, social or economical. It was a great turnout with live music performed by the teens and lots of PB&J sandwiches.

We popped in to Work Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan's art gallery on bustling State Street. Last night's story slam, Word of Mouth, theme: Falling, was much like The Moth on NPR Radio. People were given five minutes to tell a true story from life. We stopped in to hear the music and see the work but had to move on before they started from intermission again.

The last stop on Friday night was at the University of Michigan Museum of Art for After Dark, it's seasonal event of art browsing, music and tours. We had a chance to see some incredible cartography and prints from the current exhibit, Discovering Eighteenth-Century British America: The William L. Clements Library, on view through Jan. 13, 2013. There was also a video installation piece by the art collaborative, Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries that's worth seeing particularly if you're not used to seeing time-based works. 

Saturday night we ventured to Chelsea to the River Gallery to see our friends, artists Helen Gotlib and Dylan Strzynski show at "10 under 40", a vetted collection of works by artists under the age of 40. From digital video work to classic printmaking and drawing, we saw a great array of mediums and styles. And we were proud to see Helen tie for 1st place with her floral and nude drawings, a much deserved feat. Dylan showed an incredible new series of works, focusing on formal structures in residential architecture, a departure from his usually whimsical illustrative style but still entrenched in colorful themes.

We always urge people to take every opportunity to look at art. It enlivens our spirits, challenges us and sometimes it makes us think. Enjoy.

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Tim Péwé, Artist

Tim Péwé is many things: sculptor, illustrator, carpenter, artist. The most fitting title, however, is creator.

As a child, Tim sketched and made things like catapults, go karts, weapons, etc. Recently I was fortunate enough to visit his workspace and it was clear his creativity has only grown. Above and below are works from the show, Splinters & Paper Cuts, at the Rivers Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, Michigan through November 10.

Wood, metal, leather, concrete, marble, ceramic are all materials regularly seen in his works. As I walked the property it seemed everywhere I looked was another hand made piece.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Tim's creations range from furniture to costumes and beyond. In fact, in many ways the Péwés are like Pixar's The Incredibles: a family of supers. Tim's wife, Brigit, contributes her amazing sewing skills while their two sons showcase their talents with illustrations and short films. Below is a wearable wood burning stove made for the show mentioned above.

The amount of respect and astonishment I have for those that build something from only an idea is immeasurable. Many more pieces by Tim can be seen here at his website or you can contact us for image information.

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Jim Henson, Muppetry and An Unyielding Obsession

This past weekend N surprised me by hooking up a Detroit errand with an event at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Heather Henson, daughter of the late, great Jim Henson was putting on a performance with her troupe Ibex Puppetry called Celebration of Flight. Not only was I completely floored that he found out about this fantastic opportunity before I did, I was elated to see some artistry and performance at work.

I don't remember a time in my life that The Muppets were not around. Prior to their "comeback" in last year's The Muppets, I was still clamoring for Animal and singing the theme song. (Some say there's even a Halloween photo where I wear a pig snout and N's face is painted green...) Something as genius as what Jim Henson started in the '60s would always have a place in my heart, even if it wasn't reaching further than Grover watchers out there via Sesame Street.

We saw Jim Henson's Fantastic World, a retrospective exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in 2009 which included early sketches for animations, silkscreen posters he did in college and even key design elements from The Dark Crystal. This was, of course, all dwarfed in comparison to the Kermit which we were introduced to within the first ten feet of the exhibit. It was magical.

Needless to say, I was enamored by the motion, fluidity and realness of the birds and forms created by the puppet group. It was a hot day but the strong breeze made for a beautiful back drop as we watched the performers manipulate kites, bird forms and weave among one another with ease.

My path in art has meandered but never strayed far from appreciation of great artistry and concepts. Jim Henson's legacy and its ability to make us believe is what continues to inspire me.

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Top 5 Art Maintenance Tips for Summer

This summer's been no joke. With 100 degree days and intense humidity levels, we're all suffering. If you haven't looked at your art collection in a while, take them off the wall and inspect them. Here are some key tips to making sure that your wall pieces stay healthy and intact in the summer heat. 1. Check all works on paper for foxing, light brown or reddish dots on the outer edges. This is actually mold attacking your paper and needs attention immediatley. With intense sunlight and high humidity this is a common cause of longterm damage. Call your local conservator (we recommend one if you're in the Ann Arbor area - The Art Conservation Laboratory). They'll be able to stabilize the mold and stop it from continuing. Never try to tackle this delicate task on your own!

2. Is your oil, watercolor, etching in direct sunlight? If so, consider having it framed under museum glass which protects it from the sun's rays. Long term effects of UV damage include fading, cracking in paint and deterioration of the paint itself. If you'd rather not spend the money to do so, consider hanging the piece in a different spot...

3. But not in a spot under the air conditioning vent. Just as humidity and sunlight can hurt your art, as can intense cold temperature which could cause paint to crack or photo paper to become needlessly brittle and fragile.

4. Does your oil painting seem a bit duller than you remembered when you bought it? Summer's a great time to take your paintings in for a good cleaning. Only conservationists know how to clean a painting so leave it to the pros. Even what you believe to be a "light dusting" can hurt the integrity of the paint.

5. Check the backs of all your art work. If the lining on the back of the frame seems rippled or has unsealed itself from the edges due to humidity, take it in to the framer to make sure no condensation is forming on the interior of the piece.

These simple steps will ensure your art work can be enjoyed for years (and many sweltering summers) to come! And if you have further questions, feel free to shoot me an email.

-Y-

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Event: Art Lecture at Ann Arbor District Library

I had the pleasure of speaking at the Ann Arbor District Library last night about the ins and outs of starting a collection and what to look for when purchasing paintings, prints and drawings.

Collecting should be an art unto itself, pieces thoughtfully chosen for their content rather than for their complementary qualities to the furniture in the room. My main points included looking at genre (style) of art, mediums, value and how to make collecting relevant for you. Attendees had great questions and seemed to have a firm grasp of the direction of the art scene. We also got to speak with a few collectors about the things they were wondering about in their home.

By the end of the evening, I was happy to share my personal collecting mantra:

Thank you, Ann Arbor District Library and Cecile for your partnership and efforts!

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Exploring: Ross Art Collection

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (known as Ross) is an impressive institution for many reasons. In 2004, a $100 million contribution was made by Mr. Ross and included with the new building came the promise of an expansive art collection. Over 250 works line the halls including two larger-than-life metal horse sculptures by Deborah Butterfield in the lobby. We had walked by and peeked at the Butterfields many times but we finally made a concerted effort with our great friend, Chris Johnson, owner of Johnsonese Brokerage a couple weeks ago. We were engaged by the breadth of mediums from photography to sculpture to prints. Here are some highlights.*

Reserve at least two hours to find treasures on every floor. If you love visiting the UM Museum of Art, you'll certainly appreciate the contemporary collection at Ross.

*These were taken with a point + shoot.

-Y-

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