Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Habein 24-Hour MONTH Extravaganza at the Kolva-Sullivan Gallery

The MONTH Exhibit is this: From March 5th until the 27th, 24 different artists (or groups) spend 24 hours inside the Kolva-Sullivan Gallery, doing whatever it is they like to do. 5pm to 5pm, when the next person scheduled takes over. From March 10th until the 11th, the four of us were the artists-in-residence.

I let you get in a bit of giggle here, once you've realized that, yes, a 2-year-old and an almost 6-year-old were part of their own gallery show. Grace was understandably thrilled, and she packed up a giant cardboard box full of supplies -- canvases, paints, brushes, tape, glue, markers, oil crayons, ribbons. Just about everything she had, in addition to paintings she'd already done at home. We told her she could sell her work, in order to buy new supplies. She ended up making $4.87, including the 12 cents she made from Chris Dryer who asked what he could "commission on the cheap." She drew him a flower on a sheet of notebook paper.

As far as Jack went, we made sure to pick up a gallon of milk beforehand and to bring his big stuffed Spider-Man ("Man-Man") and a toy Spider-Man car (I don't know why Spider-Man would need a car, but that's a discussion for another time). When I asked him what else he thought he needed, he threw a bunch of comics into the cardboard box. Don't cringe, comic fans, these were ones from last year's Free Comic Book Day, not the autographed Batman and The Maxx ashcan we have stored.

We arrived as Conrad Bagley was finishing his 24 hours. He'd made some prints using a real fish, which were interesting, albeit a bit smelly. Thankfully, he took the fish with him.

Grace immediately got to work displaying her pre-made paintings, and then both kids dove into the art supply bin that was already provided. New and different supplies are always more interesting of course. They started painting on the walls probably within twenty minutes of being there.

Jillian showed me how to work the old record player provided, and I put a white vinyl Air album on for a little while before switching on the laptop for the inevitable Oasis mix. I started off with the remixes first, followed by some of Dig Out Your Soul, and then let it shift into some Doves.

Tyson set up his photography equipment, and I started the "Add a line" story on one the concrete column. I wanted something delightfully bizarre, so I went with...
"The last time I saw Bonzo, he had a pet squirrel named Sparkle Britches. On this afternoon, he and S.B. were now..."

Here's how it ended up:

The last time I saw Bonzo, he had a pet squirrel named Sparkle Britches. On this afternoon, he and S.B. were now... happily married, and they had the most beautiful wedding despite the warren of rowdy rabbits that had set up camp across the river, claiming the walnuts for himself. The best man formulated a plan which involved banana peels and jazz hands with the end result being the craziest kan kan line ever seen at a wedding. But then I wondered how were Bonzo the duck and Sparkle Britches so happy together even though they were so different? Bongo and S.B. had been dancing in the moonlight, and their only audience was the stars above. Suddenly, a giant flock of pterydactls swooped down from the hillside and....broke into a howling rendition of "Space Truckin" by Deep Purple. Being interrupted by such a classic rock hit sent Bonzo and S.B. into shock, and the pterydactls proceeded to lay waste to the peasants. And there was much rejoicing. Not from the peasants, mind you. Nor from the pterydactls (their high school gang name was the p"terror"dactyls), as they were under the impression that beneath them lay the largest flock of pheasants they had ever seen. No, the rejoicing was from the owners of a local co-op that had been eyeballing the peasants' property for the last year.

That was where it left off when our stay was over. I'll be curious to see what/if anyone has added.

Tyson had one model, Sarah, arrive for a shoot that evening, the results of which can be seen on his flickr page.

Since we live in the land of no pizza delivery, we took advantage of being able to order during our stay. The Pizza Rita guy took a look at all the stuff on the walls and went, "What the heck is going on here?"

The gallery provided one full size bed, and we fit, though very snugly. We finally got everyone asleep around midnight, after we convinced Jack that the noises he was hearing were not monsters but trains going by on the bridge outside. Grace woke up at 6am and was painting immediately, saying she wished she could live in the gallery. Tyson got up with her, but with more room in the bed, I decided to sleep another hour. Jack didn't wake up until about 8:45.

Grace and I walked around the corner to Rocket Bakery shortly after I got up. I got lattes for Tyson and me, fruit salad and a vitamin water for Grace, and an onion bagel. We also had leftover BBQ chicken pizza and breadsticks.

Our second day was mostly spent drawing on the walls, poking at the internet, and talking to the few people who came in. Tyson drew some pictures and I finished reading Motherless Brooklyn and wrote about half of the review. My other addition to the room:

I have a hunch that about half the artists on the roster are vegetarian, which might explain the anti-bacon painting left just above my addition a few days later. ;)

That 'Meats' cardboard strip came off a box Tyson found at work. He will occasionally cut out things he finds funny while breaking down a grocery load. "Meats" is just a funny word, and "You like red meat" was the placeholder phrase we used to use on all our headlines back in yearbook days, since it fit so well. And of course, we found it funny. So my artwork message is a little nod to my friends formerly of 112A.

We all had a lot of fun, and I think this a great idea in general. Major props to gallery owner Jim Kolva for allowing everyone to add to the space in this way. Grace really did not want to leave when Mariah McKay came in for her 24 hours. I tried to get a bit stern and failed:

ME: "Grace. Come on. If you don't start behaving, I'm going to start taking things away. How would you feel if your brother was allowed to play your DS all he wanted and you could only watch?"

GRACE: "I'll still have my art!"
*flops dramatically on the bed*

Tiffany and Jillian, who had arrived shortly before, tried to stifle a laugh. "Oh, you just got told."

I know. Kid's got an answer for everything.

Luckily, a grilled cheese bacon burger cured all her ails on the way home. "This burger is SO GOOD. And BACON! And it has MELTED CHEESE!"

You like red meats, indeed.

For more on MONTH, check out Tiffany Patterson's blog, Ugly Yellow or the MONTH Facebook Event Page. There are still plenty of artists left to see!

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