Pandemic Year. 2020. Here we are in summer again, and it’s hard to fathom the ways in which people and their lives have changed. And will change, as the virus continues to mutate and endanger lives. Broadly and personally, I have had many challenges rise up and make me stumble. Despite all this I have followed a new artistic path, or perhaps found the bedrock and the stream’s ancient trace. It started by focusing on a new series of prints, the Ephemera Numbers, that “seeks to respond to current events, an of-the-moment snapshot of the emotions and undercurrents of being alive right now” even before the Pandemic started.
As #5, “Names in Ash” wrapped up, I began an artist professional development training, Artist INC Des Moines. For 8 weeks, a group of artists from a range of disciplines got to know each other as we tackled work like artist statements and financial goals. We did this virtually, with seasoned artists working as facilitators in small and large groups. It was intense. If you are an artist, I highly recommend jump starting your art career from wherever it is with Artist INC, which has other locales. See this link.
We investigated the motivation behind the work we make, and that dug the streambed I’d been tracing significantly deeper as I discovered that finding my voice as an artist was completely connected to having a voice at all, pure and simple. I talked about growing up as a hearing impaired child in my video workshare, and how that affected my reason for being an artist. It also provides a look at art and process in the studio at Caveworks Press. The video can be found here on my YouTube channel.
Now to the big announcement!
As it happens, after Artist INC was over, there were grant opportunities by the Iowa Arts Council to apply for. Having done the hard labor of artist development, I applied for a grant to keep making work in the series. But, more…get myself in gear for solo exhibitions, and share the excitement of printing! I’ve titled the project Power of the Press IOWA, because I’m interested in print as voice to create good change, or good trouble.
I’m very excited to be awarded a FY2022 grant from the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts! I will create new prints, apply for exhibitions and hold mobile print workshops! I plan on continuing the Ephemera print series. I will use my artist/activist voice to explore social issues, encourage dialogue, invite participation and embolden the voices of participants in the workshops, who will create prints to take home and/or use in marches or demonstrations. I plan an artist talk on the rich history of print for protest and democracy. I’m looking for art venues in Iowa, whether galleries, museums or alternative art spaces, and events like fairs or community gatherings— even protests. I’m especially interested in creating an accessible art exhibition, and will be doing my darnedest to go beyond the standard considerations. Shoot me a line via my contact form here if you have anyone to put me in contact with, or venues to suggest.
Follow my new Instagram handle @PowerOfThePress for updates, events and locations.
This work is supported by Iowa Arts Council/Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.