Headlands Center for the Arts 30th Birthday Caravanniversary Festival and Sale this Saturday

This Saturday, September 15th, join us in celebrating Headlands‘ major accomplishment: 30 years of supporting art and artists.  It’s going to be fun.  This one day, family-friendly, artist-driven festival in the Fort Barry Parade Ground of the Marin Headlands will feature an array of artist projects, games, musical entertainment, bike & surf activities, artist-led hikes, hands-on projects, and local artisan vendor booths for the delight of party-goers of all ages.

This week we’ll be finally sending out TPG21 and will be using this opportunity not only to sell our backissues in a TPG Pop-Up Shop, but also to have a little release party of sorts, with a activity led from afar by artist Christine Wong Yap.  We’ll be encouraging fair goers to take a moment to Celebrate Something in sparkles.

Over a dozen artists have been commissioned to present interactive contraptions, custom-designed pods, and games at the party. Curl up inside one of Suzanne Husky‘s “Sleeper Cells;” use plant-dye to design a custom handkerchief with TPG 11 artist Helena Keeffe; make a mini-succulent garden with Sausalito’s The Low Tide Club; and peruse original artist prints and multiples for sale by Park Life and The Present Group. Enjoy music, dancing, and tasty treats.

Boom.

And the winner is.. Alison Pebworth!


With the help of The Collective Foundation, the hostees, the general public, and all the artists who participated, we are proud to announce that the winner of The Present Prize is Alison Pebworth!  Alison will use The Present Prize $1000 Travel Grant to visit the Sabbath Day Lake Shaker Community in Gloucester, Maine to develop a residency with the last four living Shakers and to research Radical Sects and Utopian Societies of America for an upcoming tour with the Beautiful Possibility Project.

We received an extra $100 bonus check from a generous benefactor who wanted the winner to be able to have a hearty meal with a friend on her travels.  He also contributed to the grant early on, liking the idea of artists helping out other artists.  Moments like these make me feel so wonderful about the generosity and collaborative spirit of artists both around the world and in the bay area in particular.

So on Monday night, we gathered with some of the local hostees and participating artists to give Alison her giant check over some tacos and beer.  Congratulations Alison!


L-R: Courtney Fink (Art Publishing Now, Mission Arts Trail Guide), Nathanial Parsons, Alison Pebworth, Scott Oliver, Oliver Wise (TPG), Eleanor Hanson Wise (TPG), Lauren Venell, Helena Keeffe (Alula Editions), Joseph del Pesco (Collective Foundation)

The Present Prize! Voting has begun.

Vote on the winner of the first Present Prize:
a $1K travel grant for a Bay Area artist.

The Present Prize is an intermittent artist grant funded by web hosting fees and awarded by the community of hostees with help from the general public. Each grant period will have a new theme targeting an underfunded area of the creative landscape.

For our first prize, we have teamed up with the Collective Foundation to create a $1K travel grant to a Bay Area artist in order to address a possible reason why Bay Area artists often leave the area after a period of “incubation”. Joseph delPesco, founder of the Collective Foundation speaks eloquently about the reasoning behind this grant theme on the SF Moma blog. (excerpt below)

“Unlike most first-world countries we don’t have a cultural agency at the state or federal level that funds artists’ travel. I have an untested theory that if Bay Area artists had support for mobility that they would be more likely to stay. While the last sentence may sound counter-intuitive, I think one reason artists leave is the relative isolation of the Bay Area in relation to the art centers. More to the point, It appears that most of the artists who have stayed are those who have been able to develop projects and find exhibition opportunities outside of the Bay Area.”

Nominees* for The Present Prize:

Ajit Chauhan, Alison Pebworth, Amanda Eicher, Andrew Venell, Christine Kesler, Lindsey White, Margaret Tedesco, Matt Borruso, and Nathaniel Parsons

We want to YOUR discerning eye!

This stage of the voting is open to all members of the public.  View proposals and give us your preference in randomized arena-style matchups**.  Voting is open until February 28th, 2011. VOTE NOW >>

*Artists were nominated by two groups of hosting clients whose fees contributed to the creation of this grant.  Artists were then contacted to provide short statements about where they wanted to go and why, an image, and a weblink.

** One of the things we were concerned about regarding the voting process was that we wanted to involved the public, but didn’t want it to just be an online popularity contest.  That’s why we decided on the head-to-head matchup style and a proposal-centered presentation.  We hope that this encourages voters to more fully consider the proposals merits rather than simply voting once for their friend and leaving.

Arts micropatronage in the air

As some of you know, we are launching a new project this year called Art Micro-Patronage, an online exhibition space dedicated to both showing wonderfully curated shows of work that is suitable for online viewing and explores the idea of trying to get people to associate the amount that they appreciate a work with an actual dollar amount.    We’re hoping to debut by mid-year.

But we’re not the only ones who’ve had this great idea. We just learned about United States Artists project which will be like a kickstarter for artists.  I’m glad to see this idea is being approached from multiple angles.  From the NY Times:

Part social network, part glossy brochure, part fund-raising mechanism, the site seeks to democratize arts patronage as government support for the arts continues to decline and private sources of financing also shrink.

“What we’ve tried to do is take the good ideas about microphilanthropy and the good ideas about social networking and put them together in a way that people can learn about artists and learn about their projects and how they work,” said Katharine DeShaw, the organization’s executive director.

In testing, the Web site attracted roughly 36,000 unique visitors and raised a total of $210,000, with an average of $120 from each of 1,500 small donors, Ms. DeShaw said.
Read more>>

San Francisco Pride: Giants


3 run home run!


World Series Champions


City Hall decked out in orange and black

Coming Face To Face With The President" class='title'>Coming Face To Face With The President

Well crafted story about an under-heard point of view.

Upcoming: September is jam packed with awesome.

My mind is exploding with all the things I want to see and do in September.  Here are some highlights:

Stop & Go Rides Again | Intersection for the Arts | 9.11.10: A diverse collection of stop-motion animations by Bay Area and international artists unveil their most recent experiments in animation and comment on everything from the simple beauty of a rubber ball to the history of evolution.

Pop Up Magazine | Herbst Theatre | 9.9.10: Pop-Up showcases the country’s most interesting writers, documentary filmmakers, photographers, and radio producers, together, on stage, sharing short moments of unseen, unheard work.  Tickets go on sale TOMORROW (8/26) at noon.  Last time they sold out in 5 hrs, so be ready if you want to go.

Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After… *| Lake Merritt, Oakland | Ongoing:  Produced by Scott Oliver, Once Upon A Time, Happily Ever After… is a public art project set at Lake Merritt.  There are three major components: a self-guided audio walking tour (available now) will take listeners to a variety of sites around Lake Merritt while exploring the stories and forces that have shaped, and continue to shape, the lake and its surroundings.; watershed awareness signage (to be installed this winter) will show how Lake Merritt and the surrounding city are intimately connected through ecological phenomena and a complex network of storm drains; and a series of Lake Merritt souvenirs (available starting 9/15) being developed with local students and artists will highlight different aspects of the lake from individual perspectives.

Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the 01SJ Biennial yet!

01SJ Biennial | Mostly in San Jose, various venues | 9.16 – 9.19: The 2010 01SJ Biennial is predicated on the notion that as artists, designers, engineers, architects, marketers, corporations and citizens we have the tools to (re)build the world, conceptually and actually, virtually and physically, poorly and better, aesthetically and pragmatically, in both large and small ways. 01SJ is about how powerful ideas and innovative individuals from around the world can make a difference and come together to build a unique and distributed city-wide platform for creative solutions and public engagement.

This packed weekend of shows, events, talks, performances and experiences looks amazing.  We may need to move to San Jose for the weekend.

But fellow carless peeps, never fear!  Here are a few great shows closer to our neck of the woods that are associated with 01SJ:

Knowledge Hacking | Worth Ryder Gallery | Opens 9.15: Knowledge Hacking invites artists to use the university research environment as raw material for their work. The three projects selected demonstrate a range of ways in which scientists and artists might share their expertise, to better investigate how we understand and engage with our world.

Teen Age: You Just Don’t Understand | Catherine Clark Gallery | Opens 8/28:  Curated by Ken Goldberg.  Featuring Whitney Lynn of TPG 12 fame (she has another show at Patricia Sweetow Gallery in September as well)

Building Steam : Lynn Koble | Swarm Gallery | Opens 9/18: Curated by Jeff Eisenberg, Aaron Ximm and Swarm Gallery Building Steam is a year-long program dedicated to sound art created by local and national artists.  The first show in this series is by Lynn Koble, whose work reflects her interest in the many forms of constructed and simulated environments – physical, social, psychological, natural – that exist in a technology-saturated world. She is also curious about how people experience, order and disrupt these environments according to systems, both scientific and personal, tangible and virtual.

*disclaimer: Oliver and I helped to fund this project

Anthroptic in Australia!

presenttense

Our very first piece, Anthroptic by Ethan Ham and Benjamin Rosenbaum, has made its way into the permanent collection of Australia’s National Portrait Gallery and is being shown in “Present Tense: An Imagined Grammar of Portraiture in the Digital Age.”  Technical Curator Michael Desmond introduces some of the ideas behind the Portrait Gallery’s winter (or summer here) exhibition:

The National Portrait Gallery exhibition Present Tense: An imagined grammar of portraiture in the digital age considers the alliance between portraiture and technology and investigates how different ways of imaging reflect how the individual is perceived as well as how the various mechanisms of imaging that are used to manipulate that perception. Present Tense includes examples of the informal and immediate digital snapshots made with mobile phones; images recorded with sonograms that reveal faces that cannot be seen by the unaided eye; 2D and 3D portraits generated exclusively from binary code; and the more expected videos and manipulated photographs.

istvan

It is a wide ranging show, with works from Justine Khamara, Julian Opie, Rineke Dijkstra, and Loretta Lux among them.  Maybe the cast of “Work of Art” should have taken a trip to go see this show before their less than stellar look at portraiture in their first show.

The show will be up until August 22nd for anyone visiting Parkes, Australia this summer!

Google Font Directory" class='title'>Google Font Directory

Google is hosting new web fonts for everyone.  Way to make the internet look better!  Now we don’t have to choose from those 5 old options anymore.

Making life without a car even easier: City Car Share, Spride team up to allow personal vehicle sharing.

This is exciting.  City Car Share is teaming up with Spride to develop a system that allows individual car owners to add their cars to the city car share fleet in their unused hours.  This is good in so many ways.  Non car owners get access to many more cars and locations, car owners get paid to help them with the costs of owning a car, yet have control over when they need the car, and life is better for everyone when less cars are owned.  (except car dealers).   People without cars are much more likely to take public transportation, even when the commute is longer and save greenhouse gases like crazy.  Case in point: I am writing this on the Dumbarton Express during my two hour commute to Palo Alto.

Yet before this can go into effect, the law has to change so that insurance companies can allow this to happen.  Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento has introduced a bill (AB 1871) that would amend state car insurance laws to allow personal vehicles to be used in car-sharing programs. Currently, auto insurers prohibit individual policyholders from renting out their personal vehicles.  Read more about this here or view the bill here.

If you want this to happen, contact your legislators and let them know what you think:
Assembly
Senate

Or sign this petition!

The Examined Life, Age 8" class='title'>The Examined Life, Age 8

Teaching philosophy to second graders:   “A lot of people try to make philosophy into an elitist discipline, but everyone is interested in basic philosophical ideas; they’re the most basic questions we have about the world.”

Somebody wrote about us!

oaklandlocal_logo

We’re honored to be included in this roundup by Emilie Raguso of Oakland Local of Art Subscriptions in the Bay Area.  There’s starting to be quite a number of us! It is really wonderful how this idea is spreading, and people are making it their own.  Thanks to Emilie and Oakland Local, and Welcome to any new visitors!

TPG Expands: Web hosting that Support Artists

orangebanner

We are on a mission to find more ways to get money into artists hands.  Following the funding models that seem to work, models that seem to use what people are paying for anyway, we have decided to start hosing websites.  A website has almost become a business card these days.  So we wanted to create a platform that would not only help people create their own websites in an affordable way, but give them the opportunity to do something good with the money they would be spending anyway to host their sites.

So host with us! At $84/year, it is comparable to most quality hosting sites out there.  Over a quarter of that payment goes directly into The Present Group granting fund.  Each granting period, we will choose a theme, accept nominations from within that theme, and allow all the hostees to vote on the winner.

For the first grant, we are teaming up with the Collective Foundation to fund a travel grant for a Bay Area artist.  As Renny Pritikin has noted on the SFMOMA blog, the Bay Area sometimes has a hard time holding on to its notable artists.  Inspired by the way many other governments work, Joseph del Pesco‘s idea is that part of keeping artists here is to help them with the funds to travel away for opportunities and come back.

Longevity

Sometimes it seems trite to say that you just have to keep working, even if what you’re making isn’t so great.   But part of the creative process, and those that ultimately “succeed” in creative fields are those who have the faith and perseverance to make it through the time when the only thing that seems to make sense is to give up.

Ira Glass gives us the faith and courage to keep going.


Fear of Engagement

Last night we went to a screening and discussion of the film “Examined Life” as part of our Pickpocket Alamanack class.  The film is a philosophy discussion with thinkers across the country in an engaging and easy on the eyes format.

In the followup discussion, Astra Taylor, the director/filmaker, talked a bit about how much fear people had towards the idea of a movie about philosophy, how even her well educated friends would recoil at the idea, considering themselves much too uneducated to even approach or engage the subject matter.

I feel like I have been saying the same thing for years about art.  Where does this fear come from?  Why is our society so fearful of expressing their thoughts about a subject?  And why does so often this fear prevent us from experiencing or engaging at all?

The YBCA has started a free series to address it. Looks fun.


Subscriber comments: The Value of Art

Dear the present group

I was listening to the Phases of the Moon interview and heard about your project about the value of art.  Although I don’t know anything about the nature of the project I didn’t want that to stop me from offering a few lines:

One of my favorite novels tells of a man who stopped believing in the world and disappeared.  Art is that vanishing.  A new space testifying to the unseen, and an invitation.

oh hai – it’s the holidaze

tpgsmowman_485

xoxoxooxoxoxooxoxooxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxo!

Southern Exposure 2009 Alternative Exposure Grant Recipients

Congratulations to all the awardees!  I hope all the projects conceived or energized by applying to this grant continue to follow through.  It always irks me that Southern Exposure doesn’t link to the projects right away so I did a bit of googling.  If anyone has any insight on unlinked projects, let me know!

The 2009 Alternative Exposure grant recipients are:

Adobe Books Backroom Gallery
Alula Editions (a project by TPG#11 artist Helena Keeffe and Amber Cady)
Art Practical
ArtXX Magazine
Average
Chris Fitzpatrick & Post Brothers
Critter
Destructibles.org
Happenstand
iiiahh
Pueblo Nuevo Gallery
Ribbons
SMITHS
Stop & Go Rides Again
THE THING Quarterly
The Upper Left Ethnography Project
VOLUMESou

Perfect Sunday

It started with Pear Ginger Muffins and Julia Child’s Omeletts (we ate them too fast to take a picture)

Pear Ginger muffins

muffinopen

Yes. That is a pad of butter on my steaming muffin.  Layer your pleasures people.

Here’s the recipe, adapted from Nigella’s Pear Ginger Muffin recipe:

-Preheat oven to 400.
-In a large bowl, mix 1 cup white flour, 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp of salt.
-In another bowl, mix 2/3 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 tbs honey (warm), and 2 large eggs. Fold into the dry ingredients.
-Fold in 1.5 cups peeled pears cut into 1/4 inch dice, 1/2 cup ground walnuts, 3 T minced crystallized ginger.
-Divide batter among 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle 2 tbs total brown sugar over tops of muffins and bake for 20 minutes.

*only comments would be that they still weren’t gingery enough for me – but that may be because my ground ginger was a little old, and I might try replacing the oil with something else – I don’t like the smell of oil in baked goods.

Then we used one of our Extended Freedom Days from City Car Share and drove to Point Reyes.

trail

It always amazes us how rejuvenating hiking can be.  We get so stressed and cooped up right around the release of a piece and we could just feel that *junk* releasing as we walked and breathed actual fresh air.

ocean

This picture captures the calm.

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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
whoa.