Saving the Earth by Changing Art – Art Ark

Shannon Amidon, the curator of Arousing Biophilia invited the Art Inspector, Danielle Siembieda, to give a very interesting presentation, Saving the Earth by Changing Art at Art Ark in San Jose yesterday. She spoke about how we should be cognisant of our own carbon footprint in the art world. “We” meaning  everyone from hobbyists, manufactures, retailers, artists, teachers, institutions, curators, museums, conservators, collectors as well as government and non-governmental organizations.

There is so much to look at! We need to make sure we are protecting our own health, from the materials we choose to use (selecting the least toxic options and lobbying for them were they not exist) and employing best practices in handling materials, (gloves, masks, good ventilation and proper disposal). By exploring alternative approaches we may find materials and methods that better serve our health and environment while still achieving our art making goals.

A “Life Cycle Assessment” can be a good way to help determine how you can lessen your carbon footprint as an artist….this entails examining all the stages of the life of your art from    inspiration, planning, material choices, experimentation, prototypes, by-product waste, longevity of tools, longevity of finished pieces, shipping, storing, disposal and so much more…. I never thought to consider these things individually and the Art Inspector and the gathered audience offered many varied examples at attempts to address some of these challenges.

Check out the Art Inspector’s website, artinspector.org for some great advice and links!

She also recommended Moanna Razool’s  book, The Artist’s Complete Health and Safety Guide.

Art Ark director, Genevieve Hastings in conversation with Art Inspector, Danielle Siembieda.

Shannon Amidon, curator of Arousing Biophilia, Introducing Danielle Siembieda.

Art Inspector, Danielle Siembieda and audience in front of Michele Guieu’s Plankton installation, made of recycled, recyclable, or salvaged paper cardboard and wood.

Art Inspector slide.

Some examples of environmentally safer art materials.

I’m mulling over various ideas about art making. Traditionally there has been an emphasis on using the best archival materials to produce work that would not only be beautiful but  stable and long lasting, something that was museum quality, a good investment. However, as artist began exploring non-archival materials like house paint, tar, collaged elements, with less stable properties, their long term viability unknown, yet this did not seem to affect their collectability in hot art markets. Ephemeral works, like videos and installations and performance art fly in the face of the value of permanence.

Do you have tips, products or ideas to add?

50 and Looking Forward

To celebrate turning 50 the Triton Museum of Art organized a forward looking exhibition of emerging and mid-career artists that will play an important role in the art scene into the future. I was able to meet with a number of the artists at the opening reception last Friday and while this post is by no means comprehensive, I hope it will give readers a taste for more of the exciting work in 50 and Looking Forward which runs until July 12, 2015. Click on the names of the artists for links to their websites.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Demetris Washington - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Mind of Gold is a dynamic, bold and colorful painting by Demetris “BAMR” Washington, his tag standing for Becoming A Man Righteously. I wish I’d asked him to tell me about his imagery it’s really intriguing!

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Shannon Amindon- photo Marie Cameron 2015

Shannon Amindon  and her lovely, layered, mixed media encaustic silhouettes.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Shannon Amindon - Stirred by the Wind - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Stirred by the Wind by Shannon Amindon.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Julie Hughes - Spore(kle) - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Spore(kle) (detail) installation by Julia Hughes  - acrylic on mylar, paper, wax, glue, thread.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Jaya King, The Chicken That Saved the Day and honey : hand model  -  photo Marie Cameron 2015

Jaya King,  her mixed media gouache, The Chicken that Saved the Day and her honey / hand model reenacting the scene.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Jojo Perea -The Beautiful Teacher- photo Marie Cameron 2015

The Beautiful Teacher by Jojo Perea painted on recycled cardboard, there was a magnifying glass on hand to catch the fine details.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Pantea Karimi - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Pantea Karimi turns to early Persian texts and scientific illustrations for longue durée clues to today’s environment. She meticulously recreates styles of alphabets to employ in her work, these marks at times resembling birds or waves or bookends. Subtle, smart and intriguing!

50 and Looking Forward - Pantea Karimi - Water, Earth Air, Wood -  photo Marie Cameron 2015

Water, Earth, Air, Wood by Pantea Karimi.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Cuong Nguyen and model - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Exceptional portraitist, Cuong Nguyen and his beautifully bearded model.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Miguel Machuca - Unlocking through Fear- photo Marie Cameron 2015

Unlocking Through Fear by Miguel Machuca.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Vanessa Callanta - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Vanessa Callanta and her personality filled portraits.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Viviana Paredes - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Viviana Paredes works with glass and natural materials in her sculptures that explore a cultural tradition of the natural and the sacred in an changing world.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Viviana Paredes corn cache detail - photo Marie Cameron 2015             50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Viviana Paredes - Talismu - photo Marie Cameron 2015           50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Viviana Paredes - Heirloom Corn Cache  - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Heirloom corn kernels in glass flasks (details from wall installation)  and Talismu by Viviana Paredes.

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Patrick Hofmeister and painting - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Patrick WäDL Hofmeister paints intricate, highly symbolic and often autobigraphical worlds .

50 and Looking Forward - Triton - Stephanie Metz sculptures- photo Marie Cameron 2015

Flesh and Bone  felted wool sculptures by Stephanie Metz.