Annotated Links for TPG20: A different kind of warmth

Julia’s Links:

Dard Hunter collection: Dard Hunter was responsible for a renaissance in hand papermaking and printing. From 1923 to 1950, his Mountain Home Press produced eight limited-edition books that stand as testaments to his devotion and perseverance. Today, most of the historians and artisans interested in papermaking and printing were directly inspired by Hunter.

Dieu Donne: a non-profit organization dedicated to the creation, promotion, and preservation of new contemporary art utilizing the hand papermaking process.  I did a residency here.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds : Seed bank…where i get the seeds for the beet i grew…I didn’t grow nearly all of them…but some

Paper Project Scanning Electron Microscope Images of Paper: I love these magnified images…I used some in a talk I gave last week to show the difference between paper and papyrus

and…Oregon Caves National Monument

and Lava Beds National Monument



Other Links:

Examples of other types of fruit and vegetable papyrus

Artists working with food/food concepts/growing things:

Open Restaurant: OPENrestaurant is the project of a collective of restaurant professionals who moved their environment to an art space as a way to experiment with the language of their daily activities. This displacement turns the restaurant, its codes and architecture, into a medium for artistic expression which is made available to cooks, farmers, artists, educators and activists as a way to explore issues around food and society.

Pietopia:  This is a once a year event where participants submit any pie recipe and 300 word written explanation about how your life tastes, in a pie. The entries go through a judging process of nationally recognized food writers and bakers. Over the course of several weeks, pies are judged upon the creativity and innovation in ideas reflecting the ingredients used in the recipe by a group of nationally recognized food-writers and chefs. run by Tricia Martin, eating is art

Conflict Kitchen: a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. The food is served out of a take-out-style storefront that rotates identities every six months to highlight another country.  Each iteration of the project is augmented by events, performances, and discussions that seek to expand the engagement the public has with the culture, politics, and issues at stake within the focus country.

Artists working with paper:


Jen Stark


Lori B. Goodman


Creavtive Conference for Entrepreneurs
August 5-7th San Francisco, CA

This August, the Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs comes to San Francisco, bringing three days of specific, hands-on programming aimed at helping creative professionals become better business owners. The conference covers both universal issues like small business taxes and intellectual property, as well as grander topics like Creative Collaborations, The Art of Publicity, and Getting More Done.

Oliver and I are on a panel talking about Alternatives to the Gallery for the fine artist.  Gone are the days when art was only available in galleries, museums, and the homes of wealthy collectors.  These days anyone can be a patron, collector or exhibiting artist through the myriad alternative art venues springing up around the world.  In this panel, we’ll talk about inventive ways artists can show their work and get funding for it, from art subscriptions to microfinance organizations to online exhibitions.

With multiple panels every hour, the hardest part will be deciding which session to attend.  If you’re interested in joining us to hone some skills, we’re happy to offer a discount to all of you.  Enter the code TPG15 in the discount code box to receive 15% off any ticket.


Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs
August 5-7
The Women’s Building
3543 18th St #8
San Francisco, CA 94110
CCE on Facebook

Expanding the Artistic Practice by Jennifer McCabe

Right and wrong, good and evil—maybe I have always been one drawn to the gray area of life. Likely that is at the heart of what draws me to the art world. I am attracted to contradictions and aspects of life that are complicated—not simplified into categories of black and white. The work of Nava Lubelski is rich in contradictions—just the kind that make it a very compelling artwork.

Old Tricks for New Monkeys is a vibrant canvas with colors seemingly caught in motion. Beautifully detailed threads create a palette that pulls the viewer in and keeps the eye engaged. Yet even the title of the piece is a juxtaposition of opposites; and this gives a sense of the multiple contradictions that build layers of content beyond the visual itself.

Monkey See and Do, 12″ x 12″, thread on canvas, 2006.  Image courtesy of the artist.

This work began as organic stains on fabric that were then hand embroidered by the artist. The process of embroidery is a laborious one, at once meticulous and fine. So from first glance one sense’s the accidental nature of a stain, and begins appreciating the shape and color, only to find that there is a complicated handiwork involved, one with very intentional impulses. The artist has said about her own work in general,

I love art that encourages a perceptual shift in the viewer, particularly a humorous one. My work in a certain sense is a one-line joke about the rewards of “looking closer,” although obviously it’s really labor intensive and complicated as well. I began this technique as an outgrowth of painting and then collaging with fabric, but I got interested in thread and the tiny, rigid structures of the stitches. I became curious about why stitching was always stigmatized as decorative and crafty – I went about finding the least practical, least structured, least controlled graphic imagery that I could embroider and happened upon the “drip.” I liked the idea that from a distance the pieces would look so fluid and painterly, but contain this surprise of shockingly time-consuming deliberation.

Karen Rosenberg’s 2009 NY Times review places Lubelski’s work in the art historical category of artists who ‘paint’ with thread, such as Ghada Amer and Michael Raedecker. The review also illustrates the relation of masculine and feminine elements inherent in her work, as in the ‘male arts of paint-splashing’ and the ‘female fabric-staining and needlework’. There is a tension between the feminine and masculine aspects of the work that grows stronger with the introduction of the digital medium.

Monkey See and Do, digital tracing, 2010.  Image courtesy of the artist.

In order to produce this work for The Present Group, Lubelski chose to work with a machine to embroider her original design. She began by doing a computer drawing that was a tracing of an earlier piece that she had stitched by hand in response to an organic stain, wanting to see what would happen if she fed that drawing into a computer stitching program without any changes or explanations. In the context of her process, she was letting go of control and trusting the machine to reproduce an image in its own way. Lubelski described this change in process as simultaneously embracing chaos and control.

Is something lost in the translation of the machines paths, something that existed in the hand-embroidered stitches? Or is the translation actually more direct due to the nature of the process? Does the machine embroidery change the value of the piece? Much has been written in postmodern theory about the loss of the original in nearly every medium from film to painting. As Baudrillard referenced,

“The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth–it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true—Ecclesiastes.”

Postmodern theorists often looked to production and reproduction and the inevitable commercialization of art. But the conclusion was that the loss of the original does not signify a bad thing, it opens up progressive possibilities of both process and accessibility.

In Old Tricks for New Monkeys, the beauty and wonder of the handmade is still inherent. In fact, digital media here combines the skills of the artist and the machine and expands the artistic practice. Lubelski successfully integrates the feminine and the masculine, the analog and the digital, the original and the reproduction, not favoring one over the other, but developing an artwork full of seemingly opposite threads that provide room for visual and conceptual dialog.



Jennifer McCabe is currently Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco, where she has been working for three years to develop new programs and expand the image of the 26-year old institution. She is also an adjunct professor in contemporary art, most recently at Mills College.

Print Summit 2010: East Carolina University

The Present Group will be taking part in East Carolina’s Print Summit 2010: a three day symposium consisting of exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations celebrating the diversity of contemporary printmaking media.  We’ll be showing Whitney Lynn‘s DIY Survival Kit as part of  “A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking,” an exhibition that includes the work of some of the most influential and important printmakers working in the US today.

Matt Egan and Michael Ehlbeck, professors of printmaking at East Carolina University, brought together five individuals to co-curate an exhibition that would offer a comprehensive look at the innovations and excellence that are shaping the course printmaking today.  Along with many other lectures through the weekend (um, Karen Kunc!), these curators will discuss the collection they brought together and take a look at the current state of printmaking.

The Curators:
Bill Fick, of Cockeyed Press and co-author of “Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Process.”
Beth Grabowski, Professor of Art at UNC Chapel Hill and co-author of “Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and Process.”
Rockie Toner, former Dean of the Tyler School of Art.

R.L. Tillman
, artist, educator and co-founder of “Printeresting.”
Matt Rebholz, Assistant Professor, Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX.

The Details:
The Summit is hosted by the Printmaking Department of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, September 9 -11, 2010.

“A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking” will be on view at:
Gray Gallery, School of Art and Design, East Carolina University.
September 7th through October 2nd, 2010, Opening Reception 7:00 Friday, September 10th

Panel Discussion for “A Survey of Contemporary Printmaking”
5:30 – 7:00 pm  Speight Auditorium , Room 1220- School of Art and Design

How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months


The Annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair – the Oldest Craft Fair in America

An amazing conglomerate of fine craft in Newbury, NH August 7th -15th.  Check out the show and say hi to my Mom in booth 406.

Royal NoneSuch Gallery: Alula Closing Reception

On Saturday we spent a lovely mid-day over at Royal NoneSuch Gallery for the closing party of Alula Editions‘ tenure there with Jason Jägel.   They spent their time working out imagery and refining their printing techniques.  Having just pulled the test prints for their first edition the day before, the results look pretty exciting.



Jason manned the tables.


Helena from Alula Editions


How to keep calm and stay positive in competitive market

Lauren Venell shares some simple steps to stay productive and keep positive for any sort of creative worker.

What to do: Oakland Underground Film Festival: Local Shorts Showcase

It’s FREE! It’s easy to get to! There’s fun eating and drinking places around!

With short films ranging in subject matter from Narcolepsy to Eating to Disasters in 2087, it is sure to be entertaining.


FRIDAY JUNE 18th – Local Shorts Showcase
Doors open 7:30PM – Films 8:30PM

elfmädchen Dir. Mirka Morales 16 min
PAISLEY’S TALE Dir. Harmony Nichol 9 min
DOWN ON THE FARM Dir. Alfonso Alvarez (6 min)
POPP Dir. Imelda Picherit 2 min
LAUNDRY Dir. Danielle Katvan 4 min
OSA: OAKLAND’S GEM Dir./Prod. Jenny Chu 15 min
ROUGH DEMO Dir. Donte Harrison AKA Dr. Cyclops (4 min)
WASTELAND Dir. Kathleen Quillian (3 min)
GOLLY THE RAINMAKER Dir. Yoram Savion (6 min)

Amanda Wachob Tattoo" class='title'>Amanda Wachob Tattoo

Something different with tattoos.. Conceptual tattoos, Brush stroke tattoos.   Very nice

Alula Editions: A new art subscription & An open call


TPG #11 artist Helena Keeffe has teamed up with Amber Cady to start Alula Editions, a new art subscription whose focus is to work with artists to create repeat patterns for textiles. They collaborate with individual artists and also organize participatory group drawing activities in order to create textiles that defy expectations and move beyond purely aesthetic considerations.

They have an Open Call for Submissions with a deadline of April 28th, and artists receive a $500 stipend.

Starting off with a bang, Alula Editions was a recipient of this year’s Southern Exposure Alternative Exposure Grant, will be collaborating with artists in Portland, Oregon to create the official tote bag for the Open Engagement Conference at Portland State University, and will be printing their first edition as part of a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts.

They haven’t figured out their pricing structure yet, so subscriptions are not yet on sale.  But you can get on a mailing list so you will be the first to know when they are.  The first work is projected to go out this summer.

Welcome Alula!

Treating content like it’s free: Craft Publishing

There are more examples of this every day. I know we live in the “free economy” but I just don’t understand where that ends. Sometimes it is good to trade free content for exposure – it can be the best advertising choice that one can make. The problem lies when there is no end, when no one who is creating content gets paid.

My friend Lauren pointed this article on the problems with Craft Publishing out on her blog, and it has spurred an interesting conversation over on Make + Meaning.    On the other hand, today another editor extolls the virtues of free.  I think it’s so interesting to see how this discussion develops – I feel like our generation will figure out the different ways it can work for years to come. Or not – we’ll just have to see.

Earth Day Pick: Trash Mashup

Reuse, Recycle and promote creativity in the world?  Create positive change in the lives of some disadvantaged kids?  Yes please.


Trash Mash-Up is a collaborative community art project. TMU enriches our community by developing creative connections through workshops and performances.
Using disposable materials, participants construct original pageant costumes inspired by mask traditions from around the world. This project reduces waste and inspires people to see each other and our environment in a new way.

We met Jesse and Bridget at last year’s Independent Arts and Media Expo, and they are two of the most fun, warm, and energetic people.  It is clear that they have a real passion for what they are doing and for the kids they work with.  They, like us, do this project in their free time outside of their jobs that make money.  But they are fiscally sponsored, so anyone can make a tax-deductable donation.

And they need your junk! See here for a list of items that you can donate.

They have parades to show off the creationss and costumes and there are three that are upcoming in San Francisco:


Subscription Music

Subscription Music

Xiu Xiu‘s Jamie Stewart (a frequent collaborator of TPG9 artist David Horvitz) is selling subscriptions of past ambient, experimental, and minimalist works.  For $100 Stewart will send you one CD per month for a year.  The edition is 50 so they’ll probably go fast.

thanks andy

Coraline: the crafted movie

This movie looks like a feast for the eyes.  There is something in the air about crafting in stop motion – miniature and using it for financial gain.  I love it.

If only I was a well known blogger…

Web hosting that supports artists.


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Lego Hello World
I wish all my printers were made of legos.

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google
Images from Life Magazine going back to 1860′s, hosted by Google

Coming Face To Face With The President
Well crafted story about an under-heard point of view.

In California, Pot Is Now an Art Patron
A new funding source for the arts – reaping big rewards and funding many projects.  It’s pot.

Notes on Portraiture in the Facebook Age

Celebrity Book Club: A List to End All Lists
Because, well, it’s sortof awesome.

Are "Artists' Statements" Really Necessary?
The pros and cons about that nemesis for most artists.

This to That
You tell it what you’ve got and it’ll tell you what to glue them together with.

Work of art: Online store for buyers, sellers
Not the TV show!  Kelly Lynn Jones from Little Paper Planes is interviewed on her project, gives us a cheat sheet to local affordable art resources.

How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months