My contribution to UW Rock County's 24 Hour Theatre/Art Festival
When Alicia Reid, owner of Janesville's Raven's Wish Gallery/Studio told me about an upcoming theater/art festival, I was intrigued. So I emailed U-Rock associate professor Zac Curtis for the details about the art part of the event.
Artists were to show up at 7 P.M. Friday at the campus theater, where they would be given a theme and a challenge. Then they would return to campus with the art by 4 P.M. so it could be displayed before the theater, dance, vocal and instrumental music and poetry part of the evening. Attendees could browse the art, bid for it in a silent auction, then take home their purchase at the end of the evening. From my standpoint, it was nice because there was no entry fee, and I could set a minimum bid for my art - or even not sell it at all if I chose. Artists also were given complimentary tickets for the performance, which proved to be both interesting and entertaining. It helped to keep in mind that everyone was under an extreme time limit, and that the stated goal for the evening was to try out new ideas and take risks.
Here was the challenge given to artists:
Art my be any size and any medium. You will use your own materials, and be asked to sell your piece through silent auction and the opening gala. You will be allowed to set your own minimum bid if you would like. You will be given the option to indicate that you would like to donate your sale back to the UW Student Theatre Association if you would like.
Theme - Truth and Lies
Challenge - As a primary element of your art, you must use a recycled or repurposed material. This may be either an element of your art itself, the frame, or the "canvas" you create your art on. You must use at least one material from the items provided.
The items provided were varied indeed - boxes of nuts and bolts, stacks of record albums, glass vases, plastic fruit, old photos, old books, containers of glass "jewels," an old house shutter, metal screening, a bird cage, and so on. I was thrilled to find a couple of vintage textbooks to use for collage elements in my painting.
I decided to collage pages from an old practical math text on a 16x20 inch canvas I got for a song at my favorite local second hand store. Then I wrote out as many little white lies as I could think of:
I'll call your tomorrow; your table will be ready soon; I love you too; you look just fine; I see what your mean; we took him to a nice family in the country; that fish was ten feet long; officer, I had no idea I was going that fast.... You get the idea. Then I just painted ambiguous looking portrait of a person who may have uttered, or been hurt by, white lies. Finally, I used the textbook pages and cut out letters which spelled out "white lies."
So, the piece was started at about 9 A.M., finished by about 2:30, varnished, wired, and delivered by 4 P.M. I was exhausted.
But the evening was fun, and the piece sold at a price a student might afford. Can't ask for more than that.