From the left: first image; Steve, Juliet, Phyllis, Gill. 2nd: Steve, 3rd: Someone Once Casually Remarked, all 2018, acrylic on dArt International paper, 21″ x 16″. Original photo by Leo Wei before system work and alteration.
After Fran Hill closed her gallery some years ago, there was some inevitability that the bug to exhibit would eventually poke out of its incubation. What hatched might have taken the form of the mythic salon. Think Gertrude Stein and brother Leo, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, with spontaneous poetic recitals by Max Jacob and a random art critique by Apollinaire. What actually took place at novelist Leon Rooke’s residence was a cocktail party with art. I got a chance to air out 18 new works on dArt International paper. We made labels and printed price sheets. A few of the works sold at the opening. A neighbor, violinist Ryan Field, had kindly offered to perform during the event. The music turned out to a superb addition, unobtrusively weaving a soundtrack into the various knots of conversation.
All exhibited works were composed of a readily-available resource, dArt magazine back issues. It had taken me almost two years of paper-making to become comfortable with the process, testing out the look and quality of the thing, all-the-while getting some bugs out of the procedure, and eventually settling on a standard size. The pulp would be tamped into a 21″ x 16″ mold. As the sheet dried, it inevitably shrank by a quarter of an inch or so, and needed a touchup. I won’t run out of pulp any time soon. After 20 years of publication, I have enough of certain editions to keep going for some time.