Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Art of Returning to Work

Alex Schaefer, Chase Wilshire, acrylic on canvas, plein air, 28" x 22", 2011
seen at Charlie James Gallery at the 2012 Dallas Art Fair

My last post was on March 11, 2012, the day before I started my new job.  I've now had a couple of months to traverse the "new job" learning curve and to acclimate to the 3rd shift hours - 11:30p to 8:00a, Sunday through Thursday.  I am still finding my way through to manage to make it to art openings on Saturday nights or at least visit art galleries after they open at 11:00a on Tuesdays through Saturdays.  But yes, I have seen quite a few art shows, as well as taken many pictures, since I started the job - I just haven't been in a frame of mind to blog about it.  Hopefully, I will break the writer's block soon and find my voice again.  This is a start. 
While I was off work for a year and a half I spent a great deal of time on the pc and, of course, on the internet.  It was the way I was accustomed to working when I had a job.  It was also necessary to search for jobs, submit resumes, and network with former coworkers, friends, and potential new employers.  I also read a great deal of news, and the Occupy Wall Street movement caught my attention when they burst onto the scene. The stories about plein air painter, Alex Schaefer, especially interested me. He stands across the street from Chase retail branches in cities across the U.S. and paints them, but then he adds his own imagined image of fire as if the buildings are engulfed in flames. His paintings are in protest of the damage the "too big to fail" banks have ravaged on the U.S. economy since the recession began in 2008. He focuses on Chase Bank, and he has been arrested on several occasions as he stands and paints on the sidewalk.  Interestingly, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank has been back in the news since before last weekend due to a recent $2 billion derivatives trading loss. I applaud the OWS movement for exercising their constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom to assemble.  It has been a disappointment, though, to see that the movement is actually not well organized and most participants have no idea what they are actually protesting.
I don't miss the stress of the job I had at J.P. Morgan.  I can imagine that the team I once managed has been quite busy these past few months researching and readjusting the invoices directly and remotely associated with those ill faded derivatives trades.  My new job is with another major U.S. banking firm that is in competition with the retail business of Chase Bank. However, I now am able to exercise a bit more creativity in my daily job tasks as an individual contributor on the graveyard shift.  This is also a strict eight hour a day job. So I should have more time to pursue my interests in art and this blog. Though, unfortunately,  I won't have the income to pursue continued purchasing of art, at least in the short term future.  I am realigning my career and investment goals so that I am aiming to return to a higher paying job in the mid-range term.  After attending to several financial obligations, I did use a small percentage of recently liquidated investments to do my part to stimulate the local art economy:

Ryder Richards, Spread Pattern, 2010, gold leaf, graphite, gunpowder on paper, 10" x 7"

 Terry Hays, Yellow Box with Miro Head - Woman in Front of the Sun, 7.75" x 4.5" x 3.75", mixed media, 2012

I grew attached to both of each of these works by artists Ryder Richards and Terry Hays while I interned at Ro2 Art.  These will remind me of the moments of time that I did actually enjoy during my time of unemployment.  I am hoping to intern at Ro2 Art again in the near future.  They consistently have had exciting art events and they receive much well deserved local media press. Both of these artists are just as energetic as the gallery itself, and I am excited to have these small representations of each of their overall oeuvres.

 Helen Altman, Shell Wren, wire and beehive shells, 4" x 6" x 5.5", 2012

 Forrest Middelton, Lidded Vessel, high fire reduction, wheel thrown and altered,11" x 6.5" x 6.5"

The Dallas Art Fair and the Dallas Pottery Invitational both occurred the same weekend, April 13 -15.  Rusty and I have wanted one of Helen Altman's bird sculptures for many years.  I saw this one at the Tally Dunn Gallery at the fair and knew that this time I had to have it. They told me that Altman only makes these little bird sculptures when she obtains an object that she finds special and worthy to be saved in this manner. I had the opportunity to listen while Forrest Middelton explained his Volumetric Image Transfer process to a group of admiring women at the invitational. This is the first piece of Middelton's that I have acquired.  I fell in love with his work while helping Ro2 Art curate the Defined Form/Refind Function exhibition. I also added additional ceramic works by Amy Halko and Brenda Lichman to my growing collection of each of their works, and it was great to visit with each of them at the invitational. 

I may post my recollections of the Dallas Art Fair and the Dallas Pottery Invitational.  I am about to go out for the day and explore this years' Oak Cliff Visual Speed Bump Art Studio Tour. Also coming up very soon, Rusty has a solo show at McMurtrey Gallery in Houston on June 2, and a two person show at Turner Carroll Gallery in Santa Fe on June 15.  So I will have these and many other artists and art events that I hope to blog about soon.