The Dusty Loft Gallery Plan — Introduction

This is the entrance for Fort Plain Antiques. You would come in here to visit The Dusty Loft. Note the deco door.

A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to have bestowed upon me the usage of an entire 2nd floor vintage dance studio, right on the main drag at the light in the little town of Fort Plain. It's a beautiful space. Open space, with hardwood floors, full length windows, and super tall warehouse ceilings. It has full length windows, mirrors, and dance barres...truly inspirational. I used it as my art studio for the first year. It was glorious to have such a huge spot to work in! The musical acoustics were excellent and the sound echoed and created a great ambience for creativity. Literally I danced around in happiness over my art freedom. I was isolated and away from everything distracting like TV, the phone, the people.... However it had its problems. Like it's a brick building with no insulation. In the middle days of summer, it was so damned hot up there, I literally would be sitting in a pool of sweat, even at 11:00 at night, just from cutting paper.... So in October of 2006, when the weather started to turn to freezing temps here in upstate NY the studio got really unbearable, the cold hands don't cooperate like warm ones do. I ended up dismantling the studio and I moved my work zone to my apartment. I have not been back to work there. I have used it as a storage place. I go there every so often and wistfully look at everything. I miss it up there. I miss the enthusiasm it gave me.

The view out the front window looking out onto Rte 5s in Fort Plain, NY.
It nags at me. Here's this beautiful area, and I am just letting it sit there and waste unused. Can you imagine what artists in NYC would do with such a space??? Originally I had thought I could do an open studio, and invite the public up on the weekends to view my work. But I was busy getting divorced and personal life just got in the way.

Looking towards the street in the studio. Note the open ceilings

It's been a couple of years, my personal life is calm and peaceful and summer is coming. I am unable to stop thinking about opening up a little gallery/studio in this space. I have a bit of physical work that I would have to do in order to prepare the space for people. The ceiling is open, and on the third floor of this building is a decaying scene of lathe and plaster. Slowly, daily, little pieces of dust come down from the ceiling and land on everything below. Certainly this isn't a proper environment for artwork, mine or others'! (Due to this phenom, I have dubbed the space, The Dusty Loft) The ceiling would need to be closed in. Chris has an ingenious plan for covering it using this thick plastic boat wrap stuff. It wouldn't cost me in materials, but I would have to enlist aid from unsuspecting friends and family. he he he. I would also need a wall built along the stairway. This can also be made of the plastic, and all I need is to salvage a bunch of sturdy 2 x 4's for some framing.

What it looked like in 2006 when I had my studio here at the Loft. Note the stuffed crow.
Once this physical stuff is accomplished, I have this open space, with walls ready to be filled with art. That's it. I have to do it. So this is what I am going to do!
The next couple of months I will be putting up a ceiling and wall. I will also be creating some assemblage partitions using insane pieces of doors and windows and other strange architectural salvage that I have saved over the last 3 years. These partitions will be portable, and will also be Funky. The artwork will hang on the pegboard walls of the gallery, and also on these partitions. The Dusty Loft will have an area to work, sort of a second studio, so I have something to do when the throngs of people are missing. he he he
I will open on Memorial Day and remain open thru Labor Day. I will have the same hours as the antique store below me, (Thurs - Sat) and I myself will be there all day on Saturday. That's a bit of a commitment, since I work Monday - Friday full time already. But I can't think of anything more worthy of my time. IF it manages to catch on, the community is involved, and people are coming to view and/or buy artwork, I will look into funding from grants and such to pay to get a heating system set up. I don't really have to invest much to try this out. I need a mere $50 a month for electric and that's about it, besides the physical setup.
How can I go wrong? (time will tell I suppose!)
There's the Arkell Gallery that just got finished in Canajoharie only 3 miles away. The Picture Perfect Gallery is across the street from Arkell. There are already other reasons for people to come to this area to view artwork. Maybe, just maybe this could work. I am excited to share it all with you.

Asha Zero

Diskette, Acrylic on board

This is a reverse take on collage. Asha Zero creates these luscious collage compositions, and then He Paints Them. Take a closer look at this pic above, and wrap your head around the fact that painting collages requires some serious painting dexterity! From the SAEmerging Arts Blog, "He pieces together various materials and parts from a variety of sources - magazines, newspapers, stickers, posters - to construct ambiguous and considered, layered collages. When he is satisfied with this “layout as sketch,” he goes on to paint a replica of it; quite simply, he copies the collage, but into the most traditional of media."
I know of several artists that follow this same methodology. Amy Ross, Cecil Touchon...
I haven't attempted to ever paint one of my works. The complications of the torn edges vs the straight edges, the textures...I can't imagine being able to do this proficiently. I wonder about the monetary value of the collage that was used for the painting. Is it just a type of "sketch"?
Asha Zero has some really beautiful work. You will have to check it out.

My Work in Somerset

I used to be heavily involved with a little zine called AEZ. It was formed years ago by Melissa McCobb Hubbell, Amy Peacock, and myself. We were (are) members of a group called Art Erratica on yahoo.groups. We started out with a nice little black and white zine. The cover was from some kind of special colored stock, and printed black. We had fun picking out stock, covers, and coming up with fancy mailing options. I did an animated CD for each issue, using colorful digital pictures and flash, to help compensate for the black and white visuals in the zine. We weren't heavy into text, but we were into art. Erratic art to be specific!
After a time, we evolved a bit and began printing full color zines on a laser printer. We got really bizarre with the themes, the art was from even more prominent folks, and the CD's became more and more intense as my skills in flash and dhtml increased. Amy had some personal things closing in on her and she went on to pursue them. Meanwhile, Melissa and I continued the zine for a time more, under the name Erraticus Zine. We did a few more issues, and then I also had my turn with the personal stuff. That left Melissa who still is printing and producing this little zine, now on her own.
She recently did an interview with Somerset about the zine, and last night she let me know that a bunch of my artwork is featured in the current issue! I was psyched to see a few pieces of mine on the Somerset website. It was really a good thing to do the zine. I felt focused, involved, and also overwhelmed! It was a ton of work, even though it was satisfying. We didn't set it up as a money maker, and after awhile devoting so many hours wore me down.
In retrospect, I think I replaced my Erraticus Zine work with this here blog. I still enjoy reading and reporting about good art. I like to be involved with my special niche...and this blog is less work than laying out, printing, and binding a physical product. I miss the feel of the actual product tho. I don't have any cool ornate zines to show for all this writing I do. But I do manage to have some of that time back for myself, for the studio. For the magik making...

Tardo Mucho

Out on the Weekend
This blog has some nice little collages.

Equilibrium Poised in an Epergne

Equilibrium Poised in an Epergne
Originally uploaded by misphit
Yet another piece for the Sharon Springs DK project. The central photo was taken in Sharon Springs. There is a lower bathhouse behind the White Sulphur Spring and it has this terrific green gothic grate in door. The Epergne (a fancy Victorian centerpiece) was in an old and decrepit silverware catalog that has no cover and no back. I really liked it's form. I tried to get a sense of balance in this one, with a ying and a yang side to it as far as dark and light is concerned.

What was going on in my head while creating? The guy is literally bending over backwards to accommodate her. She is accepting but arrogant or cautious. It isn't clear whether the door of communication is open or closed. That's where your own thoughts come in.