(as yet untitled) accordion-fold book

March 29, 2008 at 12:47 pm (art, books, culture, drawing, painting, personal, thoughts)

Ok, I finally got this book done and I am ridiculously pleased with it. It’s an accordion-fold and really needs to be photographed by someone better at photography than I am, but here’s more or less what it’s like:


The lower half is your standard accoridion-fold. It has my girls walking along a river and talking about secrets (by which I mean, the idea of secrets – things that are kept secret from us or that happen in a hidden way). The top half is composed of electrical wires and posts that I made out of paper. It’s incredibly delicate, with each post and wire being free-standing, cut-out collage, off of the more solid lower half.

Here it is with the first spread open:

I need to make a case for it – it doesn’t have a standard “cover” as most books do, so I want to make something to protect it and that will also act in a conceptual manner like a cover usually does. So that is one of my many tasks today…


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The perils of teaching

March 29, 2008 at 12:16 pm (art, teaching)

A student recently asked me my opinion on a fellow teacher I don’t personally know anything about, so I told her that while I couldn’t really help, it might be worth her while to check out a site like ratemyprofessors.com or myspace’s similar feature. The student looked at me like she was the cat that ate the canary, like I knew about some sort of great secret feature out there that only the kids are supposed to know about.

On one hand, sites like these can be really dangerous – like student evaluations, all it takes is a couple of disgruntled students to totally screw up your average. I think the majority of teachers try really hard and are really earnest in their practice of teaching, it’s just that when you have so many people passing through your door in a given semester, it’s just bound to happen that a few people here and there won’t like you or will dislike your teaching style or maybe just hate the class you’ve been assigned to teach. On the other, I have to say that for the most part the students at SVA have been very generous and open with their assessments of their teachers.

Having said that…

I HAVEN’T RATED A SINGLE HOT PEPPER YET, FOR FUCK’S SAKE. Ok, the whole “hot pepper” section of the ratings is the only thing I really object to (since what difference does the physical attractiveness of the teacher make?) but hey – the system exists, so who am I to pretend it doesn’t? There are teachers in their 70s who are ranked as being more attractive than I am, since my rating is at a zero. How is this possible?!??! I wear makeup to class for you people!! My one consolation is that another professor who is about my age and very good-looking also rated a zero… which means what, exactly, I don’t know. Had I not noticed that, I probably would have killed myself earlier this morning.

Anyway. Yes, I am pandering shamelessly.

I think you know what you have to do.

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Registration for 08/09

March 25, 2008 at 9:49 pm (teaching)

Yikes – I have to make this quick, but:

I’ve already gotten two questions about this subject, so…
Yes, it’s true, there are two A. Wilsons teaching at SVA. That means that you can’t just look at the reg book and see which classes A. Wilson is teaching and sign up for them and get me. Although I do hear that the other A. Wilson is pretty cool too.

My classes are:
Drawing – Honors program and Visual and Critical Studies (freshmen only, fall/spring)
Under the Influence: Altered States and Art History (fall semester, open to all)
15 Artists/15 Weeks (ok, was supposed to be fall semester but somehow got run during the spring – arghhhhhh, open to all)
Understanding Kitsch (spring, open to all)
Professional Development (spring, open to Fine Arts 4th years)

That’s it – I don’t teach a class on interpersonal behavior, the anthropology of the bible, or cross cultural relationships.

More soon – I finished my new accordion-fold book!!!!!! I’m happier with it than I have been with anything in a while. Hooray!

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New drawing (3/24)

March 24, 2008 at 11:44 am (art, culture, drawing, interesting, painting, personal, thoughts)

I’ve been working a lot with walnut ink and adding that into the watercolors. It gives it a nice sepia tone… I keep thinking of it as an “Ida Applebroog pallette.”

This scan is a little cut off on the left side, but you can get the gist of it.


Meanwhile, I’m procrastinating finishing two books for the Next Chicago fair, but I think I may have finally run out of procrastination fodder. Which is my way of saying I think I’m finally ready to sit down and just get them done already.

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Red Dot Fair panel discussions

March 23, 2008 at 9:40 am (art, blog, blogging, culture, personal, thoughts)

There’s two panel discussions at the Red Dot Fair next week that I thought I’d bring your attention to…

One: Bloggers and Their Impact on the Art World
Quote from their site:

Sunday, March 30th
11:00 AM
Bloggers and Their Impact on the Art World.
There’s now more art coverage in the blogosphere than in conventional publications. Do we handle this responsibility with conventional journalistic standards or something that’s faster and looser as befits an instantaneous medium? How do we manage the formidable network that has developed around and because of us? Where do we go from here?

Moderator: Joanne Mattera, painter, Joanne Mattera Art Blog. Panelists: Edward Winkleman, Winkleman Gallery and Edward_Winkleman blog; Carol Diehl, painter and critic, Artvent; Paddy Johnson, blogger, Art Fag City; C-Monster, freelance writer whose identity will be revealed at the event; Sharon Butler, artist/writer/professor, Two Coats of Paint.

And two: Art Fairs: Practical Considerations and Strategies for the Future
(starring MEEE!!!!)

Sunday, March 30th
3:30 PM
Art Fairs: Practical Considerations and Strategies for the Future.
Representatives from all sectors – artist, dealer, curator, consultant, collector, the media – will discuss such questions as: Are we all still benefitting? Can the experience be improved? Are there too many fairs? Is the vetting process effective? Is the proliferation of art fairs putting too much pressure on artists, dealers, collectors and the market in general? How is the market affected?

Moderator: Margaret Mathews-Berenson. Independent Curator/Art Advisor. Panelists: Brooke Mason, The Art Newspaper; Douglas Maxwell, Collector; Amy Wilson, Artist; Sique Spence, Director, Nancy Hoffman Gallery.

Directions, details, etc on the Red Dot site linked above. Stop by and say hi if you see me!

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A first stab at an update

March 21, 2008 at 8:25 am (art, culture, drawing, interesting, life, painting, personal, thoughts)

When exactly does jetlag end???

It might not actually be jetlag… it might have something to do with the fact that I was just going going going for the whole time I was in Prague. Not that I’m complaining – it was such an amazing trip. I’m just tired, with a side order of achey.

So in brief: Prague is shockingly gorgeous. It’s a very walkable city (and I adore taking long walks so this was perfect) – I could start off at my little $30/night hotel and walk through Letna Gardens and arrive about an hour later, depending on whether or not I wanted to walk across Charles River by pedestrian bridge, either in a jumbled maze of streets built in the 1300s or in a castle. That sort of blew my mind every time I did it, and I did it every day.

The pace in general is very different there and for the first time in my life, I think I was in a position to really appreciate it. One of the Czech Republic fun facts I learned from someone I met there is that they give three years maternity leave. Just that tidbit alone sets the pace for life there – not as rushed or harried as life here is at all. Add the open consumption of beer to every public space (just enough beer to make everyone calm and mellow, but not sloppy – which is the adjective I normally associate with beer) and the ah, openness of the Czech people to their emotions (I’m trying to find a culturally sensitive way to say that they often seemed surly or disinterested when you first met them if they were waiting tables or working at the hotel, but were then really nice if you talked to them; the point being that I liked that they didn’t feel compelled – as I often do – to plaster a smile on my face 24/7) and well… the trip to Prague was good for me.

A few very quick pictures:

View from Letna Gardens.

View from outside of Prague Castle.

Everything is beautiful there.

I even went dancing for maybe the first time in ten years.

My Prague “studio” (aka my hotel room – yeah I actually did work, too).

I flew back Monday and had to install my project at the JC Museum on Tuesday, which was beyond grueling. One of the things I installed was a series of drawings I did while in Prague (I decided at the last second to switch them in rather than include some older work):


I did twenty of these drawings that more or less look like this; they call connect into one large vertical drawing, 10′ long. This series is more text-heavy/drawing-light than what I’ve been up to lately. I sort of stammered when my friend Mary asked me at the opening if I thought that this was indicative of some sort of change in my work, but the answer is really no. I’ve just really wanted/needed some quiet time to sit down and pour my guts out into my writing and Prague gave me that chance. I had so many thoughts swirling around from the trip and from some reading I brought with me that I just needed to get it all out and delay thinking in images for some other time. In addition, I think the experience of being in this place where I didn’t speak the language (and was therefor super-aware of the language swirling in my own head, plus the idea of the presence of language – written, spoken, whatever) really fed into my must write now! impulse.

This weekend I am positively dying to get back to images. I have an idea for a book that will bug me until I sit down and actually do it – looking at that view from the Gardens had me thinking a lot about landscapes and broad, open views (exactly the sort of thing you can’t really see where I live because it’s so dense and crowded). Anyway. I’m back home and all ready to go and also, scheming for my next trip abroad.

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Oh, Prague

March 18, 2008 at 10:14 pm (Uncategorized)


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Travel stuff

March 5, 2008 at 10:47 am (art, blog, culture, drawing, painting, personal, thoughts)

Hmmm, so…

I realized that I’m going to be unplugged for nine days – no cell phone/Blackberry, no easy access to email – while I’ll be traveling through Central/Eastern Europe*.

This both excites and frightens me. I’m thrilled yet freaked out.

I’m really excited to see what this trip does for my work. I have this idea that I want to make some books while I’m there, but other than that I’m really open to see what the new experiences bring me. I don’t travel enough… I haven’t been out of the country since high school (is that true?? I hate that, but I think it is… combination of no money + dollar being low + working all the time). So, I don’t know. This trip is a big deal to me.

So I decided I’m not posting anything else til I leave. I’m still working away, but I want to digest a little what I’m doing and think about some things. So… yeah. I’ll try and write in this thing while I’m away, but I’m not sure what the email situation will exactly be.

But I’m excited. Did I say that yet? Also: nervous. That too.

*So, I keep saying “Central/Eastern Europe” without really going into it… that’s because it’s 9 days in Prague which, I’m told by people who have spent time in Prague, might be a little too much time there. I’m entertaining the idea of maybe going to Berlin or Warsaw or some other place after a few days in Prague but I don’t really know. I also really like the idea of hiding in my Czech hotel room and drawing. A lot depends on just how nice that hotel room is, I think. So… yeah. I really don’t know what I’m doing for the next week or so, except that it will involve a hotel room, Europe, and drawing. Hooray!!

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New drawings (3/4)

March 5, 2008 at 12:08 am (art, culture, drawing, interesting, painting, personal, thoughts)

Ok, I didn’t actually do all of these today… it’s another case of pieces that have been half-started and are lingering around my studio and I’m trying to get them finished before I run off to Prague…




This series is almost done! Woo! I’ll put them all together when it’s finished so that hopefully it will at least sort of make sense…

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Stringing for a cure

March 4, 2008 at 6:04 pm (art, blog, culture, personal)

One more quick friend-centric blog post and then back to the art…

Frequently commenter Andrew Thornton is doing a fundraiser for a cancer charity on his blog. Check out his offerings here. Andrew, along with being a very talented painter, also makes really amazing necklaces – including one that I own (he gave it to me as a very nice gift!) and love and wear all the time. I’m insanely picky with jewelry, but his work realy blows me away. It’s got a kind of bohemian/earthy/godmother slant to it, while also being very contemporary and different and not at all cliche. There’s nothing I wear that gets more (really positive!) comments.

My only hesitation in posting this is that I plan on bidding on these necklaces and now I just got myself some more competition. Ah well. It’s for a good cause.

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