Liz and I recently returned from a whirlwind tour of the south. In a lot of ways we miss living there. Living in New York for so long has changed us and we forgot what it is like to interact with happy people. It is so strange when you go into a store and hear "Hello, good morning, how are you darling?" or "Are you two okay? can I get you anything?", "Just hollar if you need something." It just makes you feel good. It is such a contrast from what we have grown accustomed to. While the conference was incredible our visit was somewhat bittersweet. My father is recovering from a serious illness and needed some TLC. So our visit down south dovetailed together neatly with a visit back home.
I was invited to demonstrate electrolytic etching at East Carolina University's Metal symposium. This year the theme was Material Topics: “Image and Meaning”. It was the first time in a while that I have had an opportunity to lecture on my complete body of work. While the schedule was a tight, two, two hours sessions back to back, I think that it was a hit. It was lovely to see so many familiar faces in the audience and poking around the symposium.
The following day I was off the hook. I tried to step into as many demonstrations and exhibitions as I could. I have found that you can go crazy trying to do everything. I am sure my experience was just the tip of the iceberg. I think I came close to seeing everything before I ultimately succumbed to sleep.
So in order here are the highlights: David Clemons kicked off the conference. His lecture was great. I have to say that it was one of the more captivating metals lecture I have attended in years. His work crosses boundaries few dare to go. I also scored a sweet print from him which I am stoked to get in a frame and up in my studio (pictures soon). Teresa Faris's lecture was also compelling and moving. It was amazing to see such emotion balanced with humorous collaboration. The 50/50 show was a power house of an exhibition. It was a who's who of metals folks. It was curated my Bob Ebendorf and Tara Locklear. I was honored to be a part of it (photos below). I was so mesmerized by all the work that I didn't take any photos. I am stealing Tara's facebook photos for the blog. There was a reliquary show with some great pieces (Lin Stanionis pieces pictured below. To quote Bruce Pepich from his great lecture during the symposium her work ".....totally rolled my socks down!"), I do I do an exhibition put together by Nicole Jacquard and the IU grad students and finally the Saw, File Solder relay! They should title next years relay "There will be blood!" I also loved the demos by Avery Lucas (chaising), Andrew Kuebeck (photo transfer and leather embossing) and Alison Pack (micro shell forming). At the end of the symposium the president of SNAG Renee Zettle-Sterling announced that Bob Ebendorf was receiving the Life Time achievement award. It was an emotional acceptance and the cherry on the sundae for the whole event. CONGRATS Bob!
So to sum it all up, it was a smaller, more intimate conference when compared with SNAG. It reflected the younger, vibrant, energized metals scene. It is such an amazing group of people, all doing different things yet functioning normally unlike some of the more sterile, antisocial, faceless conferences that I have been to in the past. It was invigorating and exhausting at the same time. I miss having such a positive creative community. I am excited to be able to start the semester again. There is so much great stuff happening at school. It is nice to be home with Taco and I am happy to sit still for a minute before getting back to work.