Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

What separates us from the animals....

A friend recently joked on Facebook that the arts separate us from the animals in that an animal wouldn't willingly select a life for themselves filled with starvation, uncertainty, and discomfort. It makes sense if you think about it and it's even funny up until the point when it's not.....

That said Verge is on its 2nd Kickstarter campaign with the first one being this time last year. I really struggled with whether to do Kickstarter again or try a different funding platform. Over the past year I've paid careful attention to folks' impressions of Kickstarter and am beginning to fear it may be jumping the shark. Hard to say though what with the fact that I'm down in the weeds most of the time.

Running it's course or no, fundraising of any flavor is HARD! Really, really, hard. Humans by their nature are bargain hunters myself included, probably to an unrealistic degree. The fact that I found a gorgeous calf length wool coat in new condition at a thrift store recently for $4 just reinforces my warped reality.

As all of this applies to arts and culture, however, there is a disconnect between what things cost and the quality of what we consume in the region. There is often a perception that art should be cheap or free and that artists through our inventiveness should just be able to magically will amazing things to happen. The truth of the matter is, it takes money. You gotta pay someone to maintain a space, keep it clean, install the art, buy the wine, serve the wine, send out announcements etcetera, not to mention the crazy concept that the artists themselves should receive something for creating the work we're consuming in the first place.

In the grand scheme of things, in my humble and biased opinion, the bang one gets for their buck with the arts is usually great. Our field is typically not one of the better paid, and yet.... and yet, we draw thousands of folks outta their homes every year to attend receptions, plays, musical performances, and films. Not bad for a group of people who are typically raising their own salaries while simultaneously trying to do their jobs.

There is a point to which one could make the argument that the arts are non-essential and so, in considering say safety net issues versus art giving, the choice is obvious or is it? Cities with thriving cultural centers tend to attract folks with money who like to do things. What's more all those shows and plays I mentioned bring folks out on the street in search of cocktails and food either before or after said events. The more the arts are supported the more capable we are of employing those who work in the arts as well further feeding money into the local economy. There is actual money in the arts, money that contributes to a healthier economy and community which in turn supports a range of conditions and issues. Besides, we can't live on bread alone right?

How does this all apply to Verge? Well, Verge houses 26 regional artists many of whom contribute work to area art institutions, teach workshops in the region, sit on arts committees and boards, and teach at our local colleges. Since relocating, Verge has taken in over 10 artists who have graduated from local grad programs at either CSUS or UC Davis providing a home for them amongst peers to support them in their work out of school. We have secured public commissions for some of our artists and provided a proofing ground for them to test out larger works before taking them on to major cities outside the region. Mind you these accomplishments have all occurred since our relocation while we've been in a very rough, very cold, transitional space. As I said before, even though we require a little money to get by, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this crew.

So please, as you see these solicitations whiz around asking for Support for Verge consider giving us a little dough. This money will help keep me, and my two colleagues going as we continue to expand our programming at Verge and improve the space. A little support goes a long way and makes the work involved in this sort of effort way, way, more doable.

As a treat for reading this entire ramble I give you Bruce Nauman Cruising To Drake On Tha Block as stolen from AFC who as usual is providing stellar Basel coverage this week. Can.... Not... Get... Enough....

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It takes a village people

This is how I'm feeling today. Some days the life of the Arts Exec of the year is giving lectures and feeling like a smarty pants while certain others its nursing a week long head cold while crawling around a dirty warehouse building a mini golf hole and cleaning up garbage. A life in the arts is NON STOP GLAMOUR I tell you. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I may not be rich but I certainly ain't bored either.....

That said this shit is pretty sweet. The holes turned out great! There are 9 of them and you can play them. In recent months Verge has picked up some new studio artists who will have their studios on view this evening as well.

Best of all the founder of the reincarnated Ruhstaller Brewery will be there with his RAD vintage truck serving up BREW!!!!!!

In the meantime everyone gave it there all like Amanda here. All smiles!

Biggert came by and helped me lay astro turf. Total pro.

Alek cutting text.
These little ships are rocking my world. I really want one separate from the hole itself. So cool.

Anyhoo, the level of teamwork it takes to pull off a Verge event is pretty humbling and inspiring. Head cold or no, tonight is gonna be AWESOME!!!!!

P.S. In case anyone is wondering what's going on with my crockpot currently, last night I made Japanese curry and it was delish! I know the world cares about these issues.....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

If I can't cook it in a crockpot I ain't interested

Up until recently my crockpot resided at the Verge where I only blew Nate's sawdust off it long enough to fill it with mulled wine at movie night. For reasons I can't quite explain I've become like a woman possessed in recent days cranking out two dinners and yogurt in my pot. Maybe I'm returning to my Nodak roots....

Where has it been all this time? Seriously. Dinner today took me 10 whole minutes to throw together. I may never cook any other way.

For starters here's that yogurt I mentioned. Easy peasy.

Next up lasagna....

Pardon the photo, I was too anxious to get eatin' to do any better. I've been training for the run to feed the hungry which has created a frenzy these days come dinner time.

Crockpot lasagna according to me -

1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 28oz can plum tomatoes
1 T oregano
1 T thyme
1 T olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
1 lb of baby spinach
4 bell peppers chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 container of ricotta
1 handful flat leaf parsley chopped
1 box lasagna noodles uncooked (doesn't have to be the quick kind)
1 bag of Italian shredded cheese blend
2 t salt

Make the sauce by combining the oil, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, 1 teaspoon of salt, and garlic. Once assembled in a bowl hit it with an immersion blender or throw in a food processor.

For the cheese filling combine the ricotta with the rest of the salt and the parsley.

Begin layering in your crockpot starting with a layer of sauce, then noodles (break 'em up to fit), then a layer of the ricotta mixture, an assortment of veggies, shredded cheese, then more sauce, and so on until you reach the top. Once you place the last layer of noodles on this masterpiece add one last layer of sauce and cheese pour about a 1/4 cup of water around the perimeter of the pot (I used the sauce can for this to wipe out the last bits of tomato business) put the lid on and turn it to low.

7 hours later you got a perfect lasagna! It's like magic and totally defied my expectations. Juicy but not soggy, rich in flavor, perfect lasagna in my book. I found some other crockpot lasagna recipes online which this is a modification of, mostly because the others included jars of premade sauce, etc which, while I know is part of the whole convenient crockpot ethos is a bridge too far for me. Jarred pasta sauce is the ick IMHO.

Moving right along this evening I made tamale pie in 10 minutes flat. I feel giddy typing this. It's like I have a new lease on life. Delicious dinner AND chill time. Win. Win.

Tamale pie:

1 jalapeno diced
1 red onion
3/4 c cheddar cheese
1 can corn drained
1 can pinto beans drained
1 T Mexican oregano
1 t chili powder
1 1/2 t cumin
4 tomatoes chopped or two 14 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes
1 batch cornbread mix (I like Arrowhead Mills as a solid health food quality cornbread mix which is pretty dense)

Fresh salsa, sour cream, and green onions to garnish

Put the tomatoes, corn, beans, soyrizo (you can use actual chorizo instead or ground turkey or beef with taco seasoning but this would require pre-browning which would negate the 10 minute scenario I'm so pleased with), oregano, cumin, chili powder, onion, and 1/2 cup of the cheese in the crockpot.

Mix up the cornbread according to package directions and add the jalapeno. Stir to combine and pour in an even layer over the filling. Top with the 1/4 cup of remaining cheese and set on low for 6 hours.

Unbelievably the cornbread rose as though cooked in the oven but far moister as a result of the steam trapped in the pot.

I had it with a Barsao Garnacha and was feeling no pain.

Now to comtemplate what's gonna go in the pot next.....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nate Cordero... the Best of Sacramento

Image by Chris Daubert

So way earlier this summer I wrote a piece for CBS Local about Nate and I kept looking to see if it published and then eventually I forgot. In the meantime my Q&A made it online and if you missed his fantastic show this summer you... missed... out!

You can read the piece here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Feelin' better

The Old Man pointed out the other day that I've been a crab like no other as of late and frankly, he's right. Administrating an art complex with all its politics and financial stresses are making me a crabby appleton. Worst of all I haven't been doing what led me to Verge in the first place. Making art. This afternoon has been the best. Do not disturb sign on the door, focused on crap, the world can wait. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
I got contacted by someone in Lisbon in July about a show which three years ago would have caused me to poop my pants but these days I've been too preoccupied by everything else to even remember what happened. Wake up call!
I can't remember where I found 'em but this clutch of afro wigs in my studio are rockin' my world these days. As are afghans which I've been drawn to as a material for awhile now and only recently decided that destroying them a little bit is okay. Coming from the mid-west and having made my share of afghans the thought of damaging one was this taboo that seemed unconscionable until now.
I'm working this piece on out too. It's first iteration I wasn't crazy about although I never said anything about it but Biggert caught my insecurity about it of course because he would. I would love to make wee kinetic systems that would cause some butterflies to flutter and others to not.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Who's got the mud?!


Monday, August 8, 2011

rrrrrrrrrrad wwwwwwwweeks

My brain is sputtering today as a result of the 60+ hour work week I pulled down last week. Today I'm kind agog in equal parts due to the rad week before me the rad week I just completed.
Robert Minervini

Amy Balkin

Aside from some VCA work stuff I'm pretty excited about Tuesday, I got King Tuff Wed(!), a smut week screening at the YBCA Thursday + Bay Area Now which includes works by Amy Balkin and Robert Minervini both of whom showed at Verge in its first location! Maybe they'll also be a little Tu-Lan... or something I dunno. Either way fun stuff!

Speaking of Tu-Lan this Chow Hound review pisses me off. Anytime a review begins with someone saying they advise people not to go somewhere having never been themselves I'm skeptical. This followed by a total show-me-what-ya-got kind of attitude negates any opinion they had about the place.

Friday the old man is on a panel at the Nelson about Nate! Dig this blurry photo of the artist lookin' thoughtful.

And then after that things get hazy. I think there's something afoot Sunday but I'm not sure.... Or maybe Saturday. My head is a swamp.

In conclusion this image is rocking my whole life!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

You TOO can look this fabulous!

Check us out! The Verge crew on a little break from slaving away on the Jumble Sale. We work so, so very hard. Like elves.
Check out our intern. Workin' hard or hardly workin'? ZING!
Verge's cutest couple takin' it easy...
Check this out! A sort of Sherlock Holmes meets I don't know who kinda look....
Watt Avenue Red steppin' out!
I'm the boss. Rowr!!!!!
Our fearless Associate Director layin' down the LAW!

But seriously folks! Come to the preview party. As you can see we're a bundle of giggles and what's more we'll feed you, drink you, play you some tunes, show you some art and sell you some RAD shit all for just $15. Where else can you be this satisfied? The answer is nowhere...

Verge Jumble Sale Preview Party
Thursday, August 4
BE THERE!!!!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A storie of dreams mixed with reality

This weekend I've been asked to introduce "Dreams Money Can Buy," a surrealist film from 1947 written and directed by Hans Richter. The film is screening at the Guild Theatre through a partnership between Movies on a Big Screen and Verge!

I just finished watching the flick last night and it's really amazing.

The structure of the film follows a pretty basic narrative in which a character named Joe sets himself up as a sort of dream interpreter who holds sessions with his clients in the same manner as a psychiatrist. Much of the dialogue online about this film describes it as a marriage between art and psychiatry.

Each dream sequence is developed by a different artist of that time including Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Fernand Leger, and Richter. It's an all star line up although only Ernst makes a cameo in the film. John Cage pops in for some soundtrack work as well and fortunately for us this will be screened with the original soundtrack!

Viewing this on the big screen will be a big treat and I'm excited to watch it in a group so if you're looking for something to do Sunday swing on by. Starts at 7:30.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Non-stop promo machine

I promise not to be that person forever. In the meantime check out this rad poster the gents at Interval Press put together for the upcoming Jumble Sale!!! Super sweet!!!

Don't forget about the preview party on August 4th... drinking, eating, listening to rad tunes and shopping a rummage sale. WIN! WIN! WIN!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011


I'm really excited about this....
You should be too.....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dirty Cigarettes

I have too much to do this week so in response I've spent the morning watching footage of that trainwreck of a performance Amy Winehouse gave in Belgrade, reading the trash talk about Kathleen Hanna saying she doesn't like Katy Perry (why people think that's so damning I don't know), listing shit on eBay, and carrying on with general malaise.
GIF animations generator
In other news I've been making work! Finally!!! I don't have much in the way of pictures at the moment but will soon. In the meantime this gif cracks me up. This blanket smells like stale cigarettes and dirt.

Sunday I went to look at the river with my folks although my pop was too squeamish to go look at the water so I went alone and snapped this photo. No shore, hardly any trail, sucks....

I feel that there is too much going on this week. As much as I like to run my jaw my brain feels tired just thinking about all the conversation this week holds.....
Tonight is the Best Summer Ever party at Bows which I am most excited about!

Wed is a fundraiser for SMAC. And Thursday is an art tour sponsored by CCAS which I'm stoked on. I love looking at private art collections. Should be interesting!

I wish they had credited this image on the invite though..... I keep thinking maybe it's someone so famous we're just supposed to know who it is. Guess I'll find out Thursday....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tonight's the night!!!

I am seriously jazzed that the Verge is screening Marwencol tonight!!! I first heard about the film about a year ago when I bought one of Mark Hogancamp's books online. Ever since I've been hoping the film would come to Sac and now it not only is, BUT we're screening it with an all-star panel to follow.

Check out this line up!

Local artist and former Short Center instructor Skinner, Richard L. Nelson Gallery and UC Davis Fine Arts Collection Director Renny Pritikin, UC Davis Neuroscience Lab Manager and Verge Film Series Co-curator Becky Grunewald, and clinical psychologist and Professor of Neurology at UC Davis Dr. Kathleen Baynes.
If you've never come out to a Verge screening before now is the time. They're really chill, with tasty refreshments, free popcorn and good company.

7:30pm $7 BE THERE!!!!!!!!
Following tonight's deal the weekend proves to be a real rager!! Tomorrow night future Verge printmaking resident and Romeo Void front woman Debora Iyall is playing in Chavez Park. I'm totally excited!!!!
Also tomorrow night!!! The Sacramento French Film Festival is having it's kick off with delicious food, French wine, AND I get to ride there in this sweet ass car.
Saturday night OMF is playing the first set with his new band the Scouse Gits at the Blue Lamp and I'm excited after weeks of hearing their sweet tunes wafting outta our garage. What a sharp pack of dudes!
Sunday Tim Holt of Sutter Town News fame is speaking at Time Tested and while you're there you can check out Rebecca Crowther's fabulous window display. This is my favorite photo from the install!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Oh la la Sasson

OMF and I went to Mt. Diablo yesterday kind of on a whim....

It's pretty amazing with a pert near 360 view of the bay area.
In the foothills of Mt. Diablo at the base of the park is the Borges ranch which sadly was closed... There were plenty of windows to look in though revealing a tidy late 19th century abode. Surrounding the outside various family members have etched their names into the foundation wall like ol' Dan Borges here from 1942.

After peeking into various 19th century California dwellings recently I'm realizing what a great resource they are for shaping up our place. Granted ours is post 1900 but not by much although ours is totally gutted of anything original or interesting. On the plus side it means I'm not a slave to some fixture I might not care for but feel obligated to live with because it's original.

Leaving Mt. Diablo we went a searchin' for thrift stores and food two urges I can't seem to keep in check.... Both quests paid off with a stop at "the best Korean restaurant in the bay area" after scoring two pairs of new with tags Sasson jeans. Now to get 'em hemmed if I decided to keep 'em...
Not bad, not bad!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tuesday in the studio with Bud

This is how we kick it....

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I bought $81 in 1960s sex novelties in Fresno

This image pretty well sums up my weekend. As I try to remember what I cared about before leaving town last week I am reminded that I gotta take more vacations!

P.S. Noriega's = bliss.....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Susan, I love you the way a Mexican woman should be

For the past 24 hours I have been kicking myself for not stopping the fellow we passed yesterday morning in the tenderloin wearing a t-shirt proclaiming the above to ask for a photo. It was the second best t-shirt I've ever seen.

Breakfast in the tenderloin was excellent. We ate at the Lafayette Coffee Shop which was a completely satisfying experience from beginning to end right down to the dumpster located in the bathroom, the graffiti over the toilet that said "dog dick," the pimpy looking dude eating lunch with his dog at the booth behind us, and the great vintage tableware we dined from. Best hashbrowns ever, super solid breakfast.

I looked up the yelp on the place just now and this review is hilarious:

"The patrons included a mother and 30 something year old daughter who was really excited about this new business deal she had breeding her pet rat. I think she had it with her in a cage. "

Yep, sounds about right.

The art fairs were great. I'm super encourage by the solid showing. Ever since I started attending art fairs regularly a few years ago I've been hoping San Francisco would step up its game and put together something that looked better, and took more chances. The last two fairs I went to in SF made me want to stop attending fairs in San Francisco all together for their focus on conservative, decorative, commercial works.

By contrast ArtMrkt was outstanding! Well presented, with a good mix of decorative and challenging art.

I didn't take a ton of photos because I always get squirrelly about that at fairs. In some instances it's okay and in others a stern warning will be delivered before the threat of ejection. I'm pretty sure it was fine but never-the-less.....

The few sneaky shots I attempted included these works by Anthony Burgess which are made of matchbook covers.

Linder's Perchant was one of my favorite spaces along with Charlie James who was showing Elizabeth Higgins O'Connor along side Orly Cogan which was a nice coupling.

And of course OMF needed his photo taken in front of the Fiat with two front ends. Note the world's A-1 best t-shirt?!?!?!? It's a little hard to make out in this shot but the Old Man showed up wearing a t-shirt for La Bries Sleep Center's "Night Comfort Theatre." My dome was blown!

With the exception of Jack Hanley Gallery I was pretty underwhelmed by ArtPad, although I feel like it has the potential to be fabulous. I'm curious what others thought of it....

I scored this John Baldessari print at Jack Hanley's space which was part of "17 Reasons," a multi-disciplinary, site-specific work that took place in various locations throughout the mission in 2003, curated by Hanley and Kate Fowle. I am beyond stoked to own this little number and shall be wisking it off to the framer this week.

Axe Messy Look paste spotted at ArtPad. For those who don't know, anything Axe related is innately funny... Just ask Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeil Hamburger!!!
Aside from the above the succulent wall surrounding the pool at ArtPad was wonderful.

The weekend contained a fair amount of hot succulent action. There's so much that will thrive in the bay area that just can't hang in Sac. Too hot + too frozen....

The view from Coit Tower!

In conclusion the final night of the SS Records extravaganza was excellent!!!! Action packed.... What? What's the matter? What?!?!?!?