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You Are What You Eat

The final weeks of 2008 loom before us, with their annual promise of copius consumption shadowed by the thin specter of our economic downturn. This Thanksgiving holiday, I turn to art for answers, and am not left empty handed.

Sink your teeth into some tasty nuggets of photography from Matthew Carden. Married to a chef and working as a commercial photographer, Carden hones in on our culture's afterthought of abundance in his Small World series by juxtaposing playful, tiny human figures in collosal landscapes of food.

Matthew Carden, "Sweet Potatoes" - limited edition print

Above: Matthew Carden, "Sweet Potatoes", limited edition print

With their tiny plastic hardhats, uniforms and scuba gear implying industry, Carden's figures call to attention the often invisible energy and process underlying our food chain. Feast your eyes on the playful and portent on Carden's website, 350 Degrees.

Artist-Friendly Gift Idea: Custom Chucks

I've been keeping an eye out for community-sustaining, artist-friendly gift ideas and this one landed in my inbox just in time. Thanks Ken!

Customized sneakers by Karen Aqua

Cambridge-based artist and animator Karen Aqua combines customization with commerce this holiday season. As pictured above, Karen will customize your sneakers with her energetic and petroglyph inspired drawings; your pair of choice for $65 a pop. Can't tell your left from your right? The artist will sign each foot, so you can wear them or save them as a footwear/art investment.

Karen is known internationally for her animation work, which explores themes of ritual, journey, transformation, and the human spirit. Much of her work reflects an interest in symbols, mythology, and prehistoric and tribal cultures, and includes elements of rhythm, dance, and music. Many of us in the U.S. have enjoyed her animated shorts on Sesame Street, with funky music scored by husband and musician, Ken Field. I once cut out a million paper monkeys for get your sneaks on and shake it!

To avoid sizing issues, Karen asks that you supply the sneakers. That gives you the option to get creative with styles and colors...although the blank slate of the classic Chuck Taylor really can't be beat. The first 5 orders received by Thanksgiving will have their finished sneakers in time for winter gift-giving. Contact Karen via the link for inquiries.

Keeping You In The Loop

Generally, when my blog posts slow to a trickle, my readers can surmise one of the following logical reasons for my rare silence:

a) I'm deep in deadline mode for my next contributed artscope articles

b) The plague has infiltrated my castle, and I am fighting it tooth and nail with "crazy tea" and sharpened blade

c) I've decided to update my website with a useful new feature, and because I keep this online boat afloat all on my lonesome...I'm up all hours gnashing my teeth and splicing open source code like a winner to make it all happen!

In this case, the reason for my rare silence is: c), which is good news for everybody! Readers, now you can sign up to receive my shiny, tasty newsletter: Meredith Cutler Studio News.

Meredith Cutler Studio News

This opt-in newsletter provides periodic updates from my very own art studio, including: event and exhibit invitations, sneak-previews of new work and exclusive special offers. Sign up using the easy, online form, and I promise to send you only the very best and most relevant of announcements. Click here for a preview of my latest newsletter.

If keeping up with STUDIO DEBRIS postings is more your M.O., subscribe to my rss feed using the reader of your choice.

Pushing the Envelope: Fun With Hot Glass

Here's a high-energy video to start off the day (via Core77 via YouTube). Rhode Island native and RISD alum (BFA industrial design / MFA glass) C. Matthew Szosz gets his elemental energy out inflating fused sheets of window glass into sculptural glass "envelopes". Hot glass is explosive - the stillness of the final form is belied by the frenetic urgency of the process. Love it.

If you are in New York, these works are on display at Urban Glass in Brooklyn through this Friday, November 14th, as part of the Wheaton Fellows group show "The Space Between". Images of the finished "inflatables" are available on the Urban Glass website.

C. Matthew Szosz, "#37", 2006, glass

Image: C. Matthew Szosz, "#37", fused and inflated window glass

Use It Or Lose It: What To Do Tonight

Well, it's Friday night...and what a week it's been! Monday seems like a month ago. I suggest using some of the nervous energy we've built up over the course of this momentus, nail-biter of a week to get out and circulate.

Local to Providence? My picks for tonight:

Drink and Draw at Firehouse No. 13 - November 7th, 8pm-midnight

"It's an art party! Come drink and draw at Firehouse 13 on November 7th starting at 8pm! There will be interactive drawing games, lots of beer and general rowdiness. Everyone's drawings will be hung on the gallery walls and photographed. It'll be a super fun time. Bring your own drawing tools; we'll provide the paper, inspiration, and a soundtrack. Hope to see you there!"

Firehouse No.13 is located at 41 Central Street, Providence, RI 02907

1st Annual Itty Bitty Invitational at YES Gallery + Studio

Also on the calendar for tonight is the opening reception for the 1st annual "Itty/Bitty" invitational, a group show of affordable, small-scale artwork at Warren's YES Gallery + Studio. All artwork is sized at 9"x9" or less, and will be priced at no more than $495. The participants represent a spectrum of emerging and mid-career artists, hailing from near to far.

Here's an idea...collectors, redirect some of that investment money you just pulled out of the stock market. YES Gallery + Studio is a tax free zone, so feel secure that none of your honest art investment will go to bail out Wall Street!

The show remains on view through December 21st. For more info, visit the YES Gallery + Studio blog.

YES Gallery + Studio is located at 146 Water Street, Warren, RI 02885

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