This Saturday, the original artwork for the 2010 East End Main Street Streetworks project will be auctioned off at Frutcake, on Washington Street. The auction starts at 5:30 PM, with Ted Brightwell serving as auctioneer and MC for the evening. This is one of the visual art tie-ins with FestivAll.
25 artists contributed designs which were transferred to bricks that will be permanently installed on Charleston’s historic East End. This is a continuation of the Streetworks art project that began last year with the colorful banners you see in that part of the city.
This year, the focus turned to bricks, and I was honored to be invited to participate. The assignment was simple: I had to create a design that captured the spirit of what Charleston’s East End means to me. This design had to be something that would translate to a four by eight inch brick, using a process inspired by my friend, Eric Pardue, and perfected by Mark Wolfe with Mike and Karen Garnes of Capitol Clay Arts.
Today, I’m going to walk you through the process I used to create my design.
With such a small area to work with on the brick, I knew my design couldn’t be cluttered. Also, since the finished brick would be a monochrome design, it was right in line with a project I was knee-deep in when the invite came–“Stark Charleston,” my animated short for RFC 100 which I have since decided to expand to feature length.
“Stark Charleston” focuses mainly on the architecture of our city, and I had tons of photos on hand, just waiting to be digitally manipulated, composited and assaulted.
I chose a few key images, which represented the East End to me. For the base, I chose a shot of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. This is what the original looked like.
I’d added a thick black line around the various elements, and surrounded the central dome with a bit of Kirby Krackle to make it stand out from the buildings behind it. The red was simply a temporary color for compositing purposes.
I then ran the image through the “Stark Charleston” filters.
This blew out the red background and gave me an almost-finished piece. I still wanted to do something to fill up the stark white background.
So I generated a crude large-dot pattern.
I knew this would look good on the finished brick, and it wouldn’t detract from the textures used in the rest of the design.
Once this was all slapped together the final design looked like this:
There you have it. Soon this image will be installed in the sidewalk on the East End, so you can crawl on your hands and knees and pretend you’re at an art gallery. Also, people might spit gum on it, which is technically a form of art criticism.
There is an additional amusing story about this piece. I was apparently one of the first artists to turn in my design. Since I work digitally, I also had to have my work printed. I chose to have it printed on aluminum, since I’ve done that in the past, and it gives me a finished work that doesn’t really need any additional framing–it’s basically a big artsy-fartsy road sign.
What I didn’t know was that, after I had my piece printed, the artists were asked to keep their finished pieces rather small—no more than ten by eighteen inches. So my piece might be a tad bigger than everyone else’s at the auction. Maybe you could say more than a tad. The term “visible from space” has been bandied about.
If you go to the auction–which I highly recommend you do since there’ll be food, fun, booze and darned good times in exchange for your twenty-dollar admission–my piece will be the gigantic metal thing that looks like a garage door. You can bid on all the art, but mine is the only one that can be used as roofing.
It has been an honor to be invited to contribute to this project. It even landed me on the cover of the Charleston Daily Mail and I could also be seen lurking in the background of a piece on WSAZ TV. You should definitely make the Streetworks auction one of your FestivAll stops this Saturday.
One last look at the PR: Last year: Banners. This year: Bricks.
The celebration of Washington Street becoming a public art gallery through the works of 25 talented local artists….PART TWO!
The StreetWorks 2010 Artists are: Amanda Jane Miller, Amy Williams, Betty Gay, Bob Rosier, Brent Stephens, Charly Jupiter Hamilton, Chuck Hamsher, Dan Carlisle, Gary Needham, Glen Brogan, Heidi Richardson Evans, Ian Bode, Jamie Miller, Jeff Pierson, Joe Bolyard, Joey Elswick, Keeley Steele, Mark Wolfe, Ray McNamara, Rebecca Burch, Rob Cleland, Rob Hrezo, Rudy Panucci, Staci Leech, Vasilia Scouras
The project that started in 2009 that made Washington Street, East a mile-long art gallery is continuing the effort by installing local artists’ work directly into the sidewalk. East End Main Street and Frütcake are hosting the second public art auction solely showcasing the work displayed on the sidewalk bricks along Washington Street. Each image, based on the locally designed original pieces up for auction, will be transferred to clay bricks using a firing and glazing process provided by Capitol Clay Arts Company and installed permanately along Washington Street. Local musical talent will be showcased inside along with none other than Mr. Ted Brightwell as the evening’s auctioneer. Don’t miss your chance to bid on a piece of East End history and have a great time with Charleston locals and friends!
EEMS will split all proceeds with each artist 50/50. All proceeds that goes to EEMS will be used for future business district revitalization efforts such as public art, facade renovation, business recruitment, and much more!
Cost: $20 (admission includes beer, wine, cheese, and hors d’oeuvres)
Sponsors/Partners: Mark Wolfe Design, Capitol Clay Arts Company, City of Charleston, Visions Day Spa, Frütcake, Bluegrass Kitchen
Radio Free Charleston Update
You know what would be insane to do with my little webcast? It would be crazy for me to try and cover FestivAll in a timely manner with RFC. So I’m going to try it. Look for three unconventional episodes of Radio Free Charleston in the next ten days. All three of the shows will originate from FestivAll, and they’ll be quite a bit different than our usual music and animation extravaganzas. Each show will be a cinema-verite travelogue of our fair ciy at its best, and each show will include a 120 second (or more) Art Show.
The first of our FestivAll specials will be posted Monday or Tuesday, and it’ll feature footage from Buswater, LiveMix Studio, The Art Parade, Art on a Stick, the Streetworks Auction and more. Our second FestivAll episode will be part of of The PopCulteer next Friday. The third FestivAll episode of RFC with music from The VooDoo Katz and Comparsa will go live a day or two after FestivAll wraps up.
This is what happens when the hotbed of opportunity meets the wild hair of inspiration.
Next Week In PopCult
There will be tons of FestivAll coverage. Sunday Evening Videos, Monday Morning Art and photo essays all week long will be devoted to Charleston’s big artsy shindig.