Category: Design + Fine

Hanging Small Art on Track Systems

How to hang small artwork on a track system
Over the years I've assisted my wife in hanging her artwork in quite a few spaces—everywhere from galleries to coffeeshops to offices. Last week we tackled hanging artwork in the hallway of a retirement community, and the hallway made use of the ubiquitous track system. The track system is very convenient, especially for spaces that rotate featured artists on a regular basis. It requires little upkeep between shows and no nails disfigure the walls. For that reason they are very popular. Read More

Netflix Art and Design Documentaries

Art and design documentaries available on Netflix
Just Like Being There The gig poster is an intriguing subgenre in the world of design, in that the subject matter of the design or illustration often has little correlation with the event or performer the poster is advertising. And as one of my biggest clients is a company who sells classic gig posters, I was looking forward to learning about the history and development. But this documentary had very little of that. There is no storyline. And apart from a brief segment where designers shared their Read More

One in Christ

Collaborative artwork based on Lebanon, PA architecture
My wife and I like to talk about collaborating on artwork. Occasionally we actually start a project. But it's rare that we actually complete a collaboration. So it was with dubious spirits that we agreed to work on a collaborative piece for a juried exhibit at the Lebanon Picture Frame & Fine Art Gallery in Lebanon, PA. Kate already had a working relationship with the gallery and learned they were having an exhibit with a theme of architecture within the Lebanon city limits. One Sunday Read More

The Folklore of Fame

Critique, Part 4: The Folklore of Fame
I have never followed basketball. But as a young boy, I knew who Michael Jordan was. He was king—king of basketball, king of sports, and king of the media. Everybody knew him and everybody liked him. I heard all about him from the television and my friends. Now the closest I came to basketball was running the scoreboard for my school's home games. I really didn't care about the game and I never watched it on tv. But I knew Michael Jordan was a legend. Then, during a party at a friend's house, Read More

The Bias of Background

Critique, Part 3: The Bias of Background
A couple Christmases ago I was listening to the radio. We were well into the Christmas season and the station was in full holiday mode. It was during the lunch hour when they played older songs and one song in particular caught my attention. It caught my attention because it was not good. Let's face it—Christmas songs are difficult to do well. The classics have been beaten to death, and unless you're Sufjan Stevens, writing new ones is daunting. From what I remember, this song fell into the Read More

The Farce of Familiarity

Critique, Part 2: The Farce of Familiarity
In 2011 my wife and I spent a week in New York City. We stayed with a friend of a friend in the Bronx and took the subway into Manhattan each day where my wife was taking a class. I was just there to support her and had an entire week to simply roam the streets and explore NYC. It was glorious. On my first day there I was heading to the Brooklyn Bridge subway station when I heard a very familiar voice say, "Gimme a HOT dog. With MUStard." I recognized the voice right away as belonging to Ice-T. I Read More

The Significance of Series

Critique, Part 1: The Significance of Series
This is the first in a four-part series on critiquing art. Basic concepts will be presented in order to encourage the reader to evaluate an artist's work in a fair and sensible way. These concepts are easily applied to fine art, but note that they apply to almost every creative outlet, from acting to music to graffiti. The first topic is series. An even better word may be context. I'm not a huge fan of group exhibits where each artist is represented by a single piece. I understand their purpose Read More

Exploring Louisville’s Art Scene

Exploring Louisville's downtown art scene, NuLu & beyond
There were many exciting art events happening in our corner of Pennsylvania this past weekend. Makoto Fujimura (artist, writer, founder of the International Arts Movement) made an appearance in Lancaster to speak on the thesis for his new book, while his artwork appeared in the Square Halo gallery. Kate and I have been following Fujimura for years and recently traveled to Carin University to see his join exhibit with Bruce Herman, QU4RTETS, and to listen to them speak on the project. Michael Card Read More

Blank Canvas

The newborn child as a blank canvas
Ah, the anticipation of a blank canvas. With my love of wood-based art, my blank canvas is usually a chunk of wood or a collection of wood scraps. And that's the case for a piece due for a group exhibit in just one week. I have a concept and I have a wood block. What I don't have is time. That's not uncommon. The realities of life often have a direct effect on the artwork I'm able to develop. My concept will need to be simplified. But simple is better, right? That's one saying that is usually true Read More

Root of Jesse

"Root of Jesse" artwork inspired by Romans 15:12
In Romans 15:12 the apostle Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah saying, "There shall come the root of Jesse, and He who arises to rule over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope." Jesse was the father of King David. And from David's line, Christ would come. This was the inspiration for the sculpture I titled, "Root of Jesse." This, and Acts 10:43. The Acts passage gave the original direction for the piece, which was built for a Good Friday art show hosted by NewSong Fellowship Church in Lancaster, Read More