Artist Feature: Erik Gould

Erik Gould is a fine art photographer who lives with his wife Rebecca Siemering and their daughter Asha in Pawtucket, RI. Erik is the museum photographer for the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.

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Where do your ideas originate for your personal photography projects?

Curiosity and walking. Usually, it’s something visual at first, and then I start to ask questions and read. Sometimes it goes the other way; I’ll read something that makes me notice a place or a thing in a new way.

What are your favorite places in Providence to head to with a camera?

I’m drawn to fringe spaces and places on the margins. Photographs are made of time, and I like to find places where past time seems to reveal itself in fragments and layers. I look for borders and the places where the public and the private and the “natural” and the built bump into each other.

How does taking pictures in specific locations affect your relationship or connections to those places?

Giving your complete attention to place inevitably creates emotional and memory connections, and the place changes you. I’ve particularly noticed when I sit to make a field recording, I can’t move, I have to calm my restlessness. I enter a state of becoming very aware of the “placeness” of a place, and I find that very interesting. Later, when viewing the photographs and I recall the time there, I’m made aware once again that viewing a photograph of a place is not the same as being there, and what I’m viewing is the internal experience, I’m seeing myself experiencing the place.

What are the changes you make to your creative process to go from your quiet analog images to large scale installations and video work?

One of the fun parts of any project is finding out what process and presentation seem to make sense for the idea and the content. My basic process doesn’t change much; it always involves walking, photography, writing, and research. Sometimes I’ll add audio recording and video to that.

Film or digital? Darkroom or inkjet? If you were to chime in on the photography debate between analog or digital black and white photography, what would you say?

For me, it’s no debate at all; it’s just one of those barstool arguments. I grew up with film, so I know it, and more importantly, I still enjoy what it looks like and the processes involved. I work with digital tools as well, and I like what’s possible with those. Inkjet printing offers some beautiful choices in paper surfaces and scale. It’s about finding what’s right for the project at hand. At the same time, I’m not really in the camp that says, “it doesn’t matter how you get there, it’s the final thing that matters.” The final thing is how you get there. It’s a summation of the entire process, your thinking and walking, doubts and ideas, writing, the time spent, and the time in between, leaving it to sit and coming back to it. That’s all in there, and it matters much. The trick is to choose something you enjoy and engage with it entirely.

Will you tell us more about your photo book making practice? Are you currently working on any books?

I’m embarrassed to even call it a practice! But yes, I love books, and I often say that the book is the natural home of the photograph, it certainly is for me. Currently, I’m working on a little book of some pictures I made last year of a hidden spot on a local river that I’ve titled, Well. I’m also pulling together images for two more collections of pictures that will be added to the Rhode Island Photographic Survey Guide series. One will feature roadside memorials and the other intersections. I love the way meaning accrues when photographs are grouped and the ways that images can play off one another in sequence. Books are also just great objects to sit with and hold.

click here to view/purchase a beautiful book creation by Erik.

What are some of your photographic influences or favorite photographer’s work to look at right now?

A couple of people I’ve been looking at lately are Vanessa Winship, a UK based photographer who has a really interesting way of looking places and moments on the margins of things and Raymond Meeks, whose work just amazes me in the way he looks at and composes elements and in the prints and bookworks he creates.

Do you ever collaborate with other local artists? What are some projects that you have worked on with others?

I enjoy collaboration. I did theatre in school, and I think that got me hooked on working with others in some creative endeavor. In the late nineties, Ray Canavan and I ran a photo gallery in a small space in the Arcade, I’ve co-mentored with Mackenzie Taplin at New Urban Arts. Peter Goldberg and I have a giant camera obscura project that we’ve done for many years (next set up is on October 12th), and Erik Carlson and I have collaborated on many projects including site-specific public art pieces, two bus shelters for the RIPTA R-line and just recently we did a projection and sound performance of a piece entitled Silvered: Tracing Gorham at Mashapaug Pond, which we just performed on October 4th. That was built in part on an earlier collaboration, the documentation of the Gorham Manufacturing complex prior to its demolition in 1998. Two (or more) heads are better than one.

Providence seems to influence a large chunk of your work. How do you see Providence changing for artists, and what would you like to see change for artists living and working here?

I’ve never wanted to make work about some exotic “other” place or to be dependent on expensive travel, wherever I am is always interesting enough if I’m willing to look and learn. Providence certainly is. Providence certainly has changed but the struggle to find venues for showing and selling work seems to remain a constant. Collective action may be a way out of that.

Give us an insight as to what it is like photographing for the RISD Museum? What’s the most peculiar or most challenging thing you’ve ever had to photograph for the RISD museum?

I have a fun job, and I’m grateful for it, it’s great to be able to see so much exciting art up close. Every type of thing has its challenges to light and photograph, and most of the time, I’m working to stay out of the way and let the object speak. To be honest, I work with some super smart and creative people, and my big challenge every day is attempting to keep up with them and do the best I can do to match that.


Thank you, Erik for sharing your process and words with us. You truly are the man behind the lens here in Providence and we are happy to have shared so many years working with you at iolabs.

To see the vast amount of work accomplished by Erik, visit his site
www.erikgouldprojects.com

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FRAMES IN FOCUS: Mounting Substrates

We have some of the greatest masters in the mounting game here at iolabs. We are able to cold-mount up to 60” x 120” - that’s BIG!

Whether you plan to frame or exhibit frame-less, most artwork will require some sort of mounting board adhered to the back of the print. A mounted print could be finished in a number of ways. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need a framing suggestion for an upcoming project.

To mount to a substrate, we use a cold-press mounting machine with a double sided adhesive that permanently adheres work to the substrate. Depending on the size and intention of the finished work, we recommend certain materials over others. For example, if your artwork is oversized, you will want to consider the weight of the work. Additionally, if you add the weight of a traditional frame with glass, there are recommended materials over others. We are happy to advise in this decision process.


We carry a certain stock of mounting boards at all times but can source special requests if needed. In stock we carry:

  • Acid-free foamcore - 3/16" thickness in white or black

  • Archival museum board - 1-4 ply thickness in white, black, or natural

  • Dibond - Most rigid mounting substrate -aluminum sandwiching PVC plastic, in 1/8" thickness


  • Gatorboard - A more rigid option than foamcore and available in larger sizes, up to 60" x 120", in white or black. 3/16" standard - other thicknesses available upon request

  • Komatex - Rigid PVC plastic with cleaner edges than Gatorboard or foamcore. 1-6mm thickness in white, black, or gray, with custom colors available upon request


  • Plexiglass - 1/8" standard acrylic (contact for colored acrylic)


OCTOBER EVENTS

HERA GALLERY

In God We Trust: Reflections on Religion in America
National Juried exhibition curated by Nezka Pfeifer
Oct 12 - November 16, 2019
Opening Reception Saturday, October 12, 6-8pm
Curator’s Talk Nezka Pfeifer, October 23, 7pm, 2019

RI STATE HOUSE

ReSeeding the City: Ethnobotany in the Urban
Opening reception October 26, 2019 5:30 – 8pm
Rhode Island State House, Lower Level Gallery

RISD

VISITING PHOTOGRAPHER: LUCAS BLALOCK
Thursday, October 17, 7:00pm
RISD Auditorium

SYMPOSIUM: RACE AND THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE US
Saturday, October 19,10am - 5pm
20 Washington Place, Auditorium

RISD CRAFT MARKET
Saturday, October 12 at 10am-5pM

JAMESTOWN ART CENTER

Dance performance: Moments of Nice
with ali kenner brodsky and MorganEve Swain
Thursday, October 24th, 7pm

CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF SLAVERY AND JUSTICE

Open House: Saturday, October 19, 11am – 2pm
Slavery and Legacy Walking Tour: Saturday, October 19, 11am-12pm

THE STEEL YARD

Halloween Iron Pour 2019: Odyssey!
Saturday, October 19, 5pm – 9pm

NEWPORT ART MUSEUM

Forever Young: Representations of Childhood and Adolescence
Jen Corace
October 5 - December 31, 2019

PROVIDENCE ATHENAEUM

Politics and the Media Talk
Thursday, October 10, 5pm – 7pm

TWENTY STORIES

Author Reading: Jess Row with Karan Mahajan
Friday, October 11, 7-8:30pm

Artist Feature: the io creative team!

In celebration of Labor Day earlier this month, we thought it would be fun to feature our rockin’ creative team here at io! Did you know that outside of business hours we all are making, performing, and sharing our love of the arts? We pooled together our pictures, all answered the same three questions about our creative practices and projects, and even made a playlist of some of our favorite songs to share with you. Hope you enjoy!

Emma Sampson

What was one of your favorite past projects and/or artistic moments?

“m n e m o n i c s - was a personal and enriching project that transformed the way I create images. Pulling from pre-thought out uses of the camera, light, film, and color palette, I was able to create a collection of work that captured a place and time that is no longer accessible to me.”

You are a labor of love worker! How do you make the space to continue on your creative endeavors?

“It’s SO hard! BUT - between io and personal clients, the artists I encounter encourage me to not let my artistic practice go stale. As a physical and mental space - I have created a curated home with an artistic partner and two rescue pits that keep me inspired and energized.

It’s not all about material things, but having the cameras that are just right for me, have made all the difference in creating work. A 4lb wooden camera for hiking, a Mamiya 7 to sling over the shoulder… and color film, there is no excuse for me to not make work wherever I am. Each camera is designed to allow me to slow down… to take a moment to really think through my compositions in whatever space I am in.”

What are you reading, listening to, or watching these days that’s giving you life?

“Honestly, I read, listen, and watch to totally zone out. I am 100% guilty of overindulging in books, song lyrics, and movies to keep my imagination running wild. In my "studio" currently…
Listening to: Shakey Graves on vinyl, Squid - the dog - barking, and backyard peepers.
Books on my desk: Fracture by Karin Slaughter, Tentemental by Vikki Warner, Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes, The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit, Greece the Cookbook by Vefa Alexiadou, Taproot
Watching: Mindhunter and YouTube tutorials - I credit my photoshop and website skills to youtube.”

http://www.emmasampsonphoto.com/


Marci Green

What was one of your favorite past projects and/or artistic moments?

Last November I started a pop-up art reading room called fathom. fathom is a library collection of art books, zines, chapbooks, comics, illustration, poetry, etc, all centered around storytelling and local and/or emerging work. The pop-ups are focused on community, making together, and asking questions. I plan events, workshops, and performances with an awesome team of fathom artists and collaborators (Lisa Su, Ears and Hands Collective, Andrew Kennedy, Andrew Nguyen, Emma Sampson, to name a few folks I’m super thankful for!), and those have been my favorite artistic moments in the past year! At every pop-up I love meeting the folks who come and am excited to be part of the community in this way.” [The first two photographs above were taken by Megan Langelier]

You are a labor of love worker! How do you make the space to continue on your creative endeavors?

“Honestly, a lot of times I’m not great at balancing my work, social, and making lives, but I keep at it! Each week is a little different, but I always try to carve out a little time in the mornings while I eat breakfast to do one creative thing (as little as just writing one sentence!) or look at others work that gets me excited. It really helps me to start the day off with a little art or creative thinking. I just took the plunge and found an affordable studio space outside of my apartment bedroom to focus on making. This space only has art supplies in it. Haha as little distraction as possible is key for me! I also love making things with other people at crafty events, with friends in our living rooms, etc. Sometimes that means collaborative projects, and other times it means sharing space and working independently. Either way, the creative energy we make together is just so fun, and keeps me going!”

What are you reading, listening to, or watching these days that’s giving you life?

“I’m fueled a lot right now by the things I’m reading and viewing. I love books with visuals and writing. I like to read a few books at once, and it’s usually a mix of non-fiction and poetry. The books next to my bed right now are: Glass, Irony & God by Anne Carson, Curating as Anti-Racist Practice by Natalie Bayer, new fathom submissions(!), Protest. The Aesthetics of Resistance from Zurich University of the Arts, and Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.

https://marcella-j-green.squarespace.com/


Norlan Olivo

What was one of your favorite past projects and/or artistic moments?

One of my favorite past projects was a series I worked on at Mass Art called "A Brown Suitcase" where I was working from old family photos/objects. It's a favorite because it really got me thinking more about my identity/ culture but also led to alot of other, non-photographic/ traditional work.”

You are a labor of love worker! How do you make the space to continue on your creative endeavors?

“I think for me it's really important to balance out the things I WANT to do with the things I NEED to do. Money and stability are great (duh) but sometime you have to be willing to take risks and bet on yourself even if it means that you're being pushed in ways that are new to you.”

What are you reading, listening to, or watching these days that’s giving you life?

“I've been watching a lot of Mind Hunter on Netflix cause it's such a good show. And I always listen to a lot of different music but I've been on a Disco/80's + 90's House wave recently.

Song Titles:
Freeze - Souther Freeze
Phyllis Hyman - You Know How To Love Me
Evelyn "Champagne' King - I'm In Love
Ashford & Simpson - Found A Cure (Tom Moultin Mix)”

https://www.instagram.com/yoonorlan/


Phillip LeBlanc

What was one of your favorite past projects and/or artistic moments?

I’ve had so many great artistic moments, and each act of creation is an expression of joy! My latest favorite happening was this past weekend. It was my first music festival that I painted live at and had a booth of works for sale. Until now painting at breweries has been great but there was so much love and openness. I can’t wait for the next one!”

You are a labor of love worker! How do you make the space to continue on your creative endeavors?

“Making space for creative endeavors is always a challenge. Personally I’ve found that the more I open my mind up to new possibilities, the more the universe fills in the rest. Opportunities are always staring us in the face, and for me it just requires an open mind and heart to see them!”

What are you reading, listening to, or watching these days that’s giving you life?

“I'm not currently reading or watching anything however I do my own tarot readings on a daily basis to better understand how current energies are unfolding. I also read the I Ching as a meditative practice as well as tarot. For years I’ve dreamed of making art while living a mobile lifestyle and that’s what has fueled everything for me. Slowly the pieces have been falling into place and I see my career as an artist, social life and love life coming together! I’m currently looking at used vans to renovate into a small living and art storage space. It feels so great to push through and get the ball rolling!”

http://www.phillinleblanc.com/


Phoebe Shuman-Goodier

What was one of your favorite past projects and/or artistic moments?

My favorite projects are the ones where I have the opportunity to create an intimate moment with someone that would otherwise not have been possible. In my collaborative work with my dad we built a time and space to communicate with each other through our made up language of sculpture. It was a productive and non-judgemental way for us to engage with his hoarding that helped us rebuild and reinforce our relationship. More recently, I went on a four-month-long road trip across America. I stayed with people collected from all the different stages of my life who have since dispersed throughout the country. I didn’t know everyone well, but from the vantage point of many different couches, bedroom floors, and driveway parking spots I was allowed to join them briefly in their unique lives. I’m not sure that I’ve managed to translate that gift into new work, but they certainly gave me a lot to think about.”

You are a labor of love worker! How do you make the space to continue on your creative endeavors?

“It’s a combination of respecting where I’m at and cultivating the relationships, experiences, and inclinations that inspire me, with the hope that they will sustain me through the winter.”

What are you reading, listening to, or watching these days that’s giving you life?

“I just discovered Jazzmeia Horn yesterday. She can paint with her voice and she is 100% giving me life.”

http://www.phoebeshumangoodier.com/


Ted Peffer

What was one of your favorite past projects and/or artistic moments?

Not being a true artist, photographer or professional musician, I have to draw from a variety of past experiences, mostly involving my love of playing music with others. Accurate to say - I’ve been a “reluctant" lead singer of a few local bands over the years. So I’ll piece together a string of shows, events and engagements where any combination of people, including myself, played live for (usually) a small crowd of people - as my favorite artistic (combined) moments. From long ago, some tracks from an indie-pop band (classic 90’s Providence music scene) I was part of called, The Nonpareils - featuring myself, Frank Mullin, Lisa Underhill, Sean Thompson, and Kristy Knight.”
https://thenonpareils.bandcamp.com/album/compiled-recordings

You are a labor of love worker! How do you make the space to continue on your creative endeavors?

“I feel very fortunate to have founded and worked at a successful, very creative, and innovate small business that caters to artists, designers, photographers and variety of other creative individuals for over 20 years. I feel satiated in my need for experiencing, collaborating with, and even influencing a variety of creative endeavors and projects - both for clients, and our own internal initiatives here at iolabs. It’s absolutely great to work with, and for, other creative and talented people - and this includes all the great iolabs staff - both current and past.”

What are you reading, listening to, or watching these days that’s giving you life?

“My daughter Opal always gives me life!
Recently reading Ben Lerner books - fiction - Leaving the Atocha Station and 10:04 - both great books!
Recently playing music with a variety of great people - watch for the Sunday Parlour Band coming soon near you - we hope! No recording yet!”


SEPTEMBER EVENTS

Once again, coming at you with some really awesome local art events! Steep yourself (and those yummy fall teas) in design events, gallery openings, artist/writer talks, and more...

MACHINES WITH MAGNETS

Jonathan Wisehart
Thursday, September 26
7pm

DESIGNxRI

Design Week
Thursday, September 12-21
10 days of design!

WAMA

Wickenden Street Makers + Merchants Sidewalk Sale
Saturday, September 21
11am-6pm

JOY IN THE STREETS PARADE

We’re taking the jubilation of Nick Cave’s Augment to the streets with Boston’s first-ever joy parade!
11am step off and into the evening

NEWPORT ART MUSEUM

Norman Bird Sanctuary Mabel Residency Artists Talk
Nicola Dickson
Pauline Kim Harris
Elisa Lendvay
Marta Renzi
Amy Talluto
Thursday, September 19
6-7:30pm

WATSON INSTITUTE

The Blink of Our Lifetimes: The Ecology of Dusk
Photography Exhibition: Pamela Petro
Monday, September 9 - Friday, December 13

THE STEEL YARD

Enjoy food, music and great Yardie company in celebration of the the studio’s grand re-opening!
Friday, September 20
5:30-8:30pm

TWENTY STORIES

Out of State Plates: Author Reading - Jamel Brinkley
TOMORROW - Friday, September 13
7-8:30pm

BLACKSTONE RIVER WATERSHED COUNCIL

Make your own paper! With artist May Babcock
Saturday, September 14
1-4pm, drop-in event
Suggested donation of $10

UNPOLISHED LEGACIES

Artists Becci Davis and Holly Ewald are collaborating with local artists, activists and scholars to create Unpolished Legacies, a series of actions and interventions in response to Gorham Silver, Designing Brilliance 1850-1970 an exhibit on display at the RISD Museum until December 1, 2019.

Opening Reception: September 27, 6:30 – 9 pm
The opening will include a long table conversation with artists, readings, and zine launch
233 Westminster St, Providence

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Artist Feature: Jon-Michael Baribault


JON-MICHAEL BARIBAULT is an artist living and working in Providence who creates sci-fi inspired conceptual surrealism. He has a background in architecture, design, and fine art. His primary medium of choice is acrylic paint, but also enjoys creating ink drawings, digital media, and screen printed images. His artistic concept focuses on the relationship between architecture, the built environment, and the subconscious mind. Drawing upon geometric themes, he superimposes structural framework onto organic matter to create spaces that can only exist in the dreamlike landscapes of his work. The imagery alludes to anatomical elements such as brains, tumors, and flesh while the intrusive presence of the harsh geometry within these “brainscapes” represents how humans live in a world created by fellow humans. His use of vibrant color adds a layer of whimsical surrealism illustrating the illusory experience of this subconscious phenomenon. Jon-Michael’s work seeks to illustrate the modern “indoor” lifestyle and its perpetuation of humanity’s disproportionate integration into the artificial environment. This ever-present exposure to the manmade world is undeniably rooted within our mind, manifesting itself in our memories as well as our dreams.

Obviously, color is a significant part of your work and draws the viewer in.
How do you decide what color palette to use for each piece?

It depends on whether I am working digitally or not. Most physical paintings I make will have a digital color study that is a rough idea of what I would like the colors to look like. From there I adjust as the painting goes on. I actually find it much more difficult to make decisions in regards to color when I am working purely digitally, because there are INFINITE possibilities, and I know I can always change things instantly if I want to. It makes it harder to make concrete decisions when I know that it can’t be easily changed. When I am painting, it forces me to make a more informed decision and is usually easier to make those decisions.

Do you prefer one medium over the other?

I prefer to use acrylic paints because I love to work with my hands. Literally, my favorite thing to do ever is paint while listening to music. It’s simple, it’s just where I feel most comfortable. Also, as stated in the previous question, it is sometimes a little too overwhelming for me when I work digitally, because of the endless and seemingly less permanent decisions. I go into full blown hoarder mode, create like 100 layers just for the hell of it, and then have trouble deciding on the different options I’ve presented myself.

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You also paint large scale murals! How does your process shift based on the scale of a project?

The process is largely the same as if I was painting a smaller piece on canvas or wood panel. The main difference though is that I like to pre-mix the majority of the major colors that are going to be in the project, that way I’m not scratching my head too much when I’m starting it. Obviously I end up mixing and changing colors as I go, but pre-mixing colors gives me a good head start.

What music do you like to listen to as you paint?

My favorite music is progressive rock/metal, so there is always a lot of that blasting in the studio when I am working. I definitely think that over the years, the music I listen to (those genres in particular) has strongly influenced the form my artwork has taken. Each song feels like a new place that I can explore over and over again, and it feels new every single time I listen to them. I guess I strive to create similar places in my paintings. The structural forms in metal music feel so much more tangible to me than any other genre of music, and I think that is why I love it so much. Some of my favorite bands are Between the Buried and Me, The Dillinger Escape Plan, MGMT, Protest the Hero, The Fall of Troy, Tool, Cave In, Orbs, Mastodon, The Mars Volta, Grimes, Haken... (this list can almost literally go on forever and ever).

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How often do your dreams affect/inspire your work?

If I’m being honest, I don’t feel as though my dreams inspire my work too drastically. I can say though, that when I am juuuust on the verge of falling asleep and I am in that weird mind space that teeters on the boundary of consciousness, some weird stuff can manifest! I will often visualize places that consist purely of shape and color, and that’s something that definitely affects my work. When I close my eyes at night, I often think about the project I am working on, or plan to work on. And I think doing that helps me to make decisions and develop the piece subconsciously.


If you could change anything about the world, what would it be? What would you keep the same?

If I could change one thing about the world, I would want everybody to be more mindful (myself included). I feel that a large majority of people live their lives based on concepts that were taught to them at a young age, and never bothering to question whether they are right for them or the world. Things such as diet, religion, political viewpoints - ideas that we inherit at a young age that some people never consider again in their life.

In addition to that, I wish people would be more conscious about when they are using their smartphone (again, myself included). Something seemingly as small as recording an entire song at a live music show. When people do that, they are robbing themselves of the actual experience of the live performance, so that they can watch the video maybe once after the fact, if at all. It may not seem like much in the moment, but all of those lost experiences accumulate over time.

You were recently published in an indie magazine, congrats!!
Tell us more? What was that experience like for you? Would you consider making books?

Thanks! Yes, I was published in Loner Magazine, an indie magazine and clothing brand that showcases artists from all over the world, and provides affordable skate-wear. It is a great publication and I highly recommend subscribing to them! It was awesome to see my artwork alongside the work of other great artists!

I have never really considered making books. However, something I have always been interested in is making conceptual album art for bands and artists. I have always been fascinated by album art because I feel it is just as important for the listening experience as the music itself. Take the album art for Dark Side of the Moon as an example. The album art for that record just feels right, and every time I see that iconic image I am instantly reminded of the musical journey that album takes you on. Each album booklet that is full of lyrics is like it’s own kind of book.

We’ve seen your work around Providence more and more, and are excited to follow what you do next. What are some of your upcoming happenings? Where are some of your favorite creative spaces in the area?

Yeah! I am going to have some work hanging at the AS220 main gallery on Empire St for the month of September. AS220 is one of my favorite places in Providence. It is a hub of creativity and has been a huge part of my life ever since I was a teenager. The food, the gigs, the galleries, the festivals, everything they do is amazing.

I have also recently completed a mural in the building formerly known as Firehouse 13, which is now Goodwill Engine Co. It is being renovated into an international hostel and music venue and it is an amazing place! It is full of murals and rich design. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to contribute something to a place that cool.

Thanks Jon-Michael for sharing with us! Have a peek at his instagram and website to see more, connect with him, commission work, and purchase some of his amazing art.


FRAMES IN FOCUS: Cut Vinyl

Vinyl isn't just for text on gallery walls, but rather a whole world of spatial design and opportunity! From window decor, to removable and reusable floor decals, we think of adhesive backed vinyl as an ace in the hole of sorts with nearly endless applications.

Basically a Big Sticker

We stock a variety of custom printable adhesive-backed vinyls for temporary or long-term interior and exterior projects of any scale. From removable, smooth, white satin or textured surface wall materials, to translucent frosted window films, there is an array of surfaces, properties and price points to choose from. All of our wall and window films can be printed in full, photo-quality color, or spot color matched, for precisely die-cut text and stunning graphic presentation. Vinyl text and graphics can be adhered to any interior or exterior surface on floors, walls, windows and facades. Additional vinyl films and foils can be applied and morphed onto concrete, brick, wood and stone - to appear as a permanent or temporary custom-painted graphic surface. Vinyl Films and Foil samples are available upon request.

Pacific Gyre: Chloé Bulpin
Mountains: Craig Muderlak, @muderlakart


Back in the lab…

Can you guess where this brand new cut vinyl design is located in our studio?

We had a lot of fun testing just how detailed we could get with this process, and we are happy with how it turned out. No tree branch was lost in the process…! But really, the precision of our die-cuter and attention to detail when installing makes for a seamless and lovely affect.

Did you know we also offer consultation and installation services? Contact us with your interior design and exhibition needs - we love putting our thinking caps on and seeing your ideas come to life!



3, 2, 1…action!

Enjoy this short behind the scenes video of our process of preparing cut vinyl - printing, cutting, peeling, applying.


AUGUST EVENTS

Let's make this last bit of summer last! Park festivities, live music, poetry readings, maker's markets, gallery openings, and more...

AS220 GALLERIES

August 3-31st
Don’t miss the currents shows in their Project Space, Reading Room, Main Gallery, Window, and Resident Gallery!

SOUTHSIDE CULTURAL CENTER

On the Lawn 2019
Saturday August 17th
4-9pm
Live music, 30+ vendors, games, and more!

INDIA POINT PARK

stay silent and Trade Pop-up Present: Day Trill
Saturday August 24th
4-10pm
Doors open at 4pm and close at 8pm - tap link for more details + tickets
Regional DJ sets, art activations, food trucks, good dranks + variety of games!

ARCADE ARTIST + VINTAGE MARKETPLACE

Saturday August 24th
11am-5pm
The Arcade Providence

ART IN THE PARK

Art in the Park brings the books of an iconic children's book to life through hands-on art projects led by local artist Keri King.
Thursdays August 15+22
10:30 -11:30am

SOUTH COAST OPEN STUDIOS

August 17-18
11am-5pm

SAMFEST 

Slater Mill Community Festival
Sunday August 25th
12-6pm
Old Slater Mill

ARMS POETRY SERIES

ARMS Poetry Series Presents: Countess B
August 23rd
6:30-8:30pm
Plant City Providence

HERA GALLERY

“Material Roots”, curated by Sarah Swift:
AnnaLiisa Ariosa-Benston, Tzu-Ju Chen, Molly Clare Coyle,
Caroline Rose Kaufman, Erin Myles, Seanna Poirier, Maggie Semrau, Sarah Swift 
Artist Talk: Thursday August 22nd, 7pm

RISD

The Creative Marriage of Words and Images
Saturday August 17th
12-5pm
Illustration Studies Building (ISB), Gallery
55 Canal Walk, Providence, RI

WORLD’S FAIR GALLERY

Buoyancy
Jocelyn Cabral, Tayo Heuser, Nina Ruelle, Gregory Stevens, Jon Watanabe, Isabel Watson, Mollie Webster & Dan Wood
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 6pm
233 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903

RI CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

JP Terlizzi: Descendants
August 15th – September 13th
Opening Reception: August 15th 18, 5–9 pm

Artist Feature: Keri King

KERI KING is a cross-disciplinary artist based in Providence, Rhode Island.  With a vibrant practice motivated by collaborative world building and immersive visual storytelling, King’s work spans the worlds of public art, illustration, and design for theater.  In the studio, King generates her imagery through an integrated process of collage, research, and drawing.  She pulls from her background and formal training as an illustration major/ creative writing concentrator at RISD (’05); and often references her experience performing with a vaudeville-inspired dance troupe, the Danger! Danger! Birds (2005-2010).  In the community, King’s projects and residencies over the past couple of years have included work with AS220, Providence Public Library, the Pawtucket Arts Festival, the Dirt Palace, PVDFest, and the Wilbury Theatre Group.  

In addition to her creative practice, Keri is a dedicated educator.  She teaches Art at the Wolf School, where her interdisciplinary lessons help students Kindergarten through 8th Grade to build cognitive and sensory bridges between classroom curricula and the arts.  Keri also enjoys moonlighting as a guest artist, and has spoken at Brown University, Blackstone Valley Prep, and Bryant University, among others—leading conversations on the topics of artists as researchers, multi-media world building, and strengthening community through creative collaboration.

photo by Erin X. Smithers

photo by Erin X. Smithers

What are the top three themes you center your work around and find yourself most drawn to when making?

Collaborative play, performance in its many forms, and impermanence.

What art forms are you most inspired by? As a child, was there an artwork, book, movie, play, etc that played a large role in the development of your aesthetic? 

Children’s picture books, hands down. Also, old Hollywood dance numbers. Fred & Ginger routines, Busby Berkeley productions... if you let me, I will pour over these things all day.  

As a kid, I watched a lot of Jim Henson and I’m sure that influence runs deep. If you trace the roots of ‘the Muppet Show’ back, you will find elements of vaudeville, burlesque, and circus - all turn of the century forms of entertainment I’m now a nerd about. As a grown up, I also really appreciate the way his characters/ stories tow the line between the tender and the absurd. Gonzo, as the persistent, misunderstood performance artist, remains a personal hero.

Congrats on your exhibition this past June at AS220’s Project Space Gallery! Will you tell us some of the behind the scenes stories, inspirations, and prep?

Thank you! Over the past few years, my practice has shifted dramatically from 2D illustrations to site-specific public art and theater design. With this exhibition, I challenged myself to bring elements from multiple installations into one space to construct an adventure of sorts for visitors to navigate. 

One of the first decisions I made about the show was to include a rocket ship prop (originally dreamed up for Foo Fest) and to hang it from the ceiling, suggesting that it was flying through the gallery. But a couple hours before the opening, I felt like that something was missing, as in, 'What if part of the rocket ship actually moved to suggest rocket propulsion?’ Enter: some silver rain curtain I had laying around the house and a small fan. 

At the 11th hour, a couple of friends that I work with at the Wilbury - Andy Russ, who also generously lit my gallery show, and Monica Shinn - were in the space with me trouble-shooting how to install lengths of perpetually moving tinsel. Bringing this kind of high energy improvisational problem solving that we usually access while working on a stage set was really fun in the gallery. And it ended up being one of my favorite details in the show.

You’ve also made an awesome book! How do book pages feel in comparison to your large scale public art pieces? How are the processes different or similar for you? Do you see more book making in your future?

Public art really celebrates the moment, a chance encounter - especially in the city!  I think about the viewer who takes the same commuter route to work every day and suddenly she finds something unexpected, possibly fantastical dropped into her otherwise very-familiar world… But a book is an invitation to step into another world altogether and spend time with it.  The reader holds that whole world in her hands, it’s hers, she can take it with her.  

I approach each method of storytelling with this viewer experience in mind and, similarly, the processes are very different.  Public art installation is usually very social and collaborative.  On a given project, I’m in constant dialogue with the city, property owners and sub-contractors - I create imagery that’s responsive to the people and interests of an event or neighborhood.  When I wrote/ illustrated my book the process was very intimate and solitary, it was more about something I wanted to express and share in that encapsulated form.  I would really love to make another book!

As an educator, what do you hope the young artistic souls you teach take away from your classes?

I try to create lessons that help my students build cognitive and sensory bridges between classroom curricula and the arts. For example, when our 7th graders are learning about the 3 branches of government in Social Studies, I integrate an architectural drawing lesson into our Art curriculum. We look at the buildings that house our judicial, legislative, and executive branches in Washington D.C. and discuss the specific choices artists/ leaders in architectural style. For example: “What were designers trying to say about our country by using elements of Greek and Roman architecture in the Capitol Building?” These are some of my favorite conversations with young people, they always surprise you with their insights - the best is when they surprise themselves. A lot of my students at Wolf have rigorous expressive/ receptive language goals on their learning plans. So I also hope to provide my students with a nurturing space for developing tools of visual literacy, which also give us agency to interpret/ express ourselves in the world. But most importantly, I hope my students will take away the sense that art is accessible and fun, and that they leave each class curious about the next!

What’s on your project bucket list? If there were no limits in time and resources, what would your dream project be? 

I would love to travel and install work overseas! It would be dreamy to meet/ learn from artists creating public installations in other countries and exchange best practices. …But I also sometimes I fantasize about designing theatrical sets for something absurdly over-the-top like a high budget opera.

photo by Erin X. Smithers

photo by Erin X. Smithers

Often, art can feel untouchable. How does your work respond to this?

YES. I mean, in the classroom, I am constantly reminding my students not to touch their neighbor's pottery projects. But in the world at large, I agree that art consistently feels untouchable and, when you couple this untouchability with the idea that art is expensive and behind the closed doors of a museum, it can send the message that art is exclusive or fixed.

But art is alive, it emerges from a basic human desire to connect with the world, and the sometimes sublime lengths we will go to to do so.  

So when I can, I like to provide a playful structure in which people feel encouraged to participate in a narrative. Sometimes this means, I am setting up a chance encounter with a human-sized alligator in a fur coat in a city alley. Sometimes, this means laying out a piece of astroturf in a gallery and encouraged people to take their shoes off, walk in the fake grass, and pretend they're at a fantasy picnic; sometimes this means, building a rocket ship that the viewer can physically get inside of. If you make a piece interactive, then I like to think you send an inclusive message about creativity and art spaces.

Who have your mentors been throughout the years? Please share a story with us.

Sometimes impactful guidance has shown up for me, less in the form of one consistent mentor, and more in the form of one insightful thing someone almost randomly says to me that later becomes a mantra. 

About 10 years ago, I was Assistant Director at a local art gallery/ live music venue. On paper, this looked great. Previously, I was keeping a lot of odd jobs to support myself and making art in the margins; I had done retail, waited tables, I was a book binder, I took portraits for a mobile daycare photography studio - but now I had this title position in arts administration. The flip side of this is job, though, was that I was working 50-60h/ week and I had no time for anything else. 

One day I was catching up with a former professor, Judy Sue Goodwin-Sturges. She shared an office with Oren Sherman, who had also taught some of the classes I took in Illustration. And he interjected to say these things to me, “You do not sound very happy, you need to be making artwork,” and the thing that really stuck with me, “you have to make the time because no one else is going to make it for you.” His words kind of hurt because they were the truth. Ironically, a couple of weeks later, the gallery I was working for announced that they were closing indefinitely and I was laid off along with everyone else. That was when I turned to teaching and started making the illustrations that later evolved into my book.

What’s on your project bucket list? If there were no limits in time and resources, what would your dream project be?

I would love to travel and install work overseas! It would be dreamy to meet/ learn from artists creating public installations in other countries and exchange best practices. …But I also sometimes I fantasize about designing theatrical sets for something absurdly over-the-top like a high budget opera.

photo by Erin X. Smithers

photo by Erin X. Smithers

What’s the next year look like for you in terms of installations, shows, and projects? We love keeping an eye out for your work!

Thank you so much, it’s a busy and exciting year, especially this summer… Later this month, I am installing a temporary, multi-media mural in Olneyville. The piece is called, ‘What’s in the River?’ and has an interactive web component with fun facts and stories about the Woonasquatucket River. The project is generously supported by Art Culture +Tourism, as part of their exciting initiative to bring public art to the Woonasquatucket Greenway! July 11 - August 22, I am delighted to be working with Providence Parks Conservancy on Art in the Park. Their programming theme this year is “HERSTORY.” As artist-in-residence, I’ll be leading art activities inspired by the works of author/ illustrator Virginia Lee Burton - we’ll explore all kinds of fun materials and take a close look at her beautiful stories like ‘Katie the Snowplow’ and, my personal favorite, ’the Little House.’ Art in the Park takes place at Burnside Park, starting at 11:30 - right after StoryTime at 10:30 - it’s completely free and for kids/ families of all ages! 

Thanks so much Keri for taking the time to share with us! To view more of Keri’s work take a look at her website and follow on instagram ~


NEW io moon T-shirts!!

We are so excited to announce that Keri King, yep that's right - the stellar artist featured above, has designed for us this celestial t-shirt! Come on by for one today in charcoal gray, navy, or periwinkle blue, or purchase on our etsy page. We are excited to give 10% of sales to local environmental organizations. Thanks for your continual support!


JULY EVENTS

Loving this summer weather! Take a look at our list of art centered festivals, openings, and gatherings happening this month. We've also included some moon celebrations!

56th ANNUAL WICKFORD ART FESTIVAL

July 13-14
Brown and Main Street, North Kingstown

FRINGE PVD FESTIVAL

July 22-27
Tap the link above for the performance schedule and locations!

AS220’S ESTIVAL FESTIVAL

July 20
3pm-1am
115 Empire Street, Providence

LIVE LOCAL

Newport, RI Local Music + Arts Festival
July 20
11am-9pm
21 Farewell Street

SOUTHEAST ASIAN CULTURAL FESTIVAL

July 27
9am-4pm
DCR MA-Fall River Heritage State Park
200 Davol Street Fall River, Massachusetts

RI CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS

Weekend Workshop at WaterFire Providence with photographer David H. Wells
July 20 + 21
Tap the link above for full schedule and registration

HERA GALLERY

Hera Artist Member Group Exhibition
June 15 - July 20
Opening Reception: June 22, 6 - 8pm

Material Roots
Curated by Sarah Swift
Opening Reception: July 27, 6-8pm
Artist Weaving and Natural Dye Talk Saturday, August 3, 1pm

RISD MUSEUM

Design the Night
July 18, 5-9pm
20 North Main Street

WATERFIRE ARTS CENTER

“Museum of the Moon”  by Luke Jerram
 July 9-28
Hours: M- F10am - 5 pm and 7pm - 9:00 pm; Thursdays until 10:00 pm.
Saturday and Sunday 12 - 5:00pm

ART TO REDUCE MENTAL HEALTH STIGMA

Art Auction Fundraiser
July 18
7–9pm

TRADE POP-UP

fathom library installation
July 18-21
R-Sat 1pm-7pm
Sun 12-5pm
Follow link for detailed workshop schedule
34 Governor St Providence, RI 02906

Artist Feature: Liam Campbell and Elska Magazine

LIAM CAMPBELL was born in Chicago but spent most of his life in London. There he studied photography for a year and then left to get a "real job", only to return to photography full-time in 2014 when life without art felt too much like suffering. He then worked in fashion, did some portrait work, and finally launched Elska Magazine, a gay photography culture magazine featuring men of all stripes, in late 2015. He is now seen bouncing all over the world shooting various Elska issues when not at home in Rhode Island. ~ bio from Liam’s website ~

Liam is forever a pleasure to work with, we are so happy he has found a home in RI! Read further to learn more about Liam’s projects, some of his experiences as an LGBTQ+ artist, and more…

Liam campbell photographing Jono d for elska reykjavik

Liam campbell photographing Jono d for elska reykjavik

As fellow photographers, makers, and book admirers, we appreciate everything you have done with Elska and are inspired by your work to put out a bi-monthly beautifully flawless publication.  Would you mind telling us Elska Magazine’s story? How, where, why, and when did you start this project? What city did you feature first and why?

Although I did photography at college, I never used it professionally until many years later. After various careers, I took a job as a flight attendant basically so I could travel for free all over the world. During this job, my love of photography came back strong. I was shooting everywhere I went and then also started doing photography assistant jobs or low-level fashion stuff during my spare time to build a portfolio and experience, with the goal of leaving the airline and moving to do photography full-time. But I still wanted to travel, and somehow I got this idea to combine travel and photography, but with a gay/queer sensibility, into this magazine concept. Luckily it took off and so three years later I’m still doing it. 

For the first issue, originally my idea was to do a city in Poland, mainly because I have Polish roots and wanted to use the magazine as an excuse to explore them. I decided to ask a Polish friend for help, and when I asked her what the most beautiful city in Poland was, she said Lviv, which is actually in Ukraine (but was part of Poland before the war). She really got me curious though and so I went with her suggestion. But even though the first Elska
city was chosen pretty much on a whim, it helped shape the future of Elska in that we tend to feature less obvious and well-known cities, which I find really exciting.

Elska means love. How does this title shape the publication and represent the themes of this body of work as a whole?

“I’ve always been interested in the relationship between love and lust, in particular how developing an emotional bond with someone can lead to a physical attraction.”

I don’t have a very succinct way to explain it, but I’ve always been interested in the relationship between love and lust, in particular how developing an emotional bond with someone can lead to a physical attraction. It’s like how sometimes you can click with someone who at first glance you thought wasn’t your “type”. Or how maybe you get married and then forty years later when you’re both wrinkled and grey you still have that lust because you also share that love. I wanted in my work to photograph different types of people, including those “regular guys” who many wouldn’t expect to see in a magazine, and to present them as beautiful and sexy. By shooting people in a very natural way and by including stories that let you get to know them more personally, I thought I could persuade readers to see that beauty and develop chemistry with the subjects. Furthermore, this could push forward the idea of beauty as not just about muscles or youth or white skin or whatever, but rather something connected to love. 

You were born in Chicago and have lived and visited many places since. What brought you to Providence? How has this city influenced you or the publication in any form? 

I lived in the US when I was a kid but spent most of my life in London. In truth, a lot of my Chicago childhood I remember negatively, and some of the bad memories there fed a sort of blanket anti-Americanism, an idea of the entire country as conservative, racist, and homophobic. In later life, I tended to ignore the American side of me, but after doing ten issues of Elska I had to face the idea of shooting an issue in an American city, because there was this big gap in Elska's map, and also because the majority of our customers are in the USA. So I decided to try to find a city that was the opposite of the negative stereotype I formed of the country. I remember finding an article that named Providence as the fourth best city to live in for LGBTQ people, and it really intrigued me because I hadn’t ever thought of Rhode Island beyond “Family Guy”. So I decided to check it out, and I loved it so much that I ended up moving there. Providence broke many of my preconceptions about American cities, both socially and also aesthetically - here was an actually beautiful city and not one that’s all concrete, shopping malls, and highways. I suppose I always knew my negativity towards America was unfair, but it took Providence to help me see it. And it’s led me to be a bigger champion for breaking stereotypes, for keeping an open mind.

Image from Elska Providence

Image from Elska Providence

How long have you been using photography as your medium? What do you like most about the art forms, photography and publishing (and design?), that you work in? 

I really connect with photography because of its ability to be so faithful to reality. If you’re dealing with drawing or music, for example, I imagine it's hard not to be tempted to veer away from the truth, to show what you want the audience to see or hear. I get that this can seem hypocritical, since photography can be used in a very contrived or conceptual way as well, and obviously I’m choosing what to frame and then what images to publish. Yet I believe that at least in the way I use photography, such as by using natural and available light, and being willing to break rules, achieves my goal. For example, if I’m shooting in someone’s flat and it happens to be really dark and cluttered, then I’m happy to let the images be grainy or oddly composed. I actually enjoy the “incorrectness” of the image and feel that an imperfect scene is more interesting than a perfect one, even if it’s not as pleasing. The instinct to correct an image, either before shooting or in editing, is still there, but I try to resist. If I feel an image is fake, it ruins it for me. Maybe others don’t know if I photoshopped an object from the scene, or if I asked a guy to smile on purpose, but I’ll know. 

As for when I started using photography, it began five years ago. Before that, I actually was a musician, singer, and songwriter. It meant everything to me but it was also very difficult because in music there are all these extraneous things that matter, like stage presence and your appearance and style. I’ve never been comfortable with revealing myself in such ways, preferring to be seen through the music and lyrics, but I couldn’t avoid being a physical commodity. Photography later gave me the chance to express myself and do something meaningful, but without making me such an object. I feel protected and safe behind the camera, much more than behind a microphone or piano because I’m no longer judged for things I can’t control about myself but for what I actually produce.

Will you tell us more about how you curate, or not curate, who is featured in each publication? How do you connect with the people you photograph? How do you decide the sequence of the magazine?

I like to say that I don’t curate, because it’s important that everyone who takes part in Elska is published, and I want to maintain an equality of the men featured. I fear that if I embrace the idea of curation, I may be tempted to select people based on how conventionally beautiful they are or how sensational or well-written their stories are. For example, the other day I published an admittedly meh image on our Instagram of a half naked muscular white guy, and it got over a thousand likes. The next day I published a thicker and slightly older guy and it got thirty-seven likes. To me, it’s a clear message that I should be rejecting everyone but the fit white guys, that my work will be more successful if I do that, but I just don’t feel right about it. Obviously, the majority of people don’t resonate with anything but one narrow image of beauty, but I have never fit in with the majority, so why try now? 

That being said, I almost always have more content than I can fit into a physical magazine so I do need to do some chopping. I try to be as fair as possible about it, but there are all sorts of reasons for why someone might be cut or included. For example, in one issue I was going to cut this guy because his story was quite short compared to the others’, but then I decided to keep him because he had a small penis! When you see a penis in media, it’s usually huge or in a porn context, so I felt that it was impactful to show a more realistic depiction. Or sometimes the reason is more arbitrary - in another issue, I chose to cut one guy because he just wasn’t very nice to me, and frankly, I didn’t feel the desire to spend ages editing his chapter, spending time with someone I’d rather not make more time for. 

As for the sequence, it’s mainly about variety. If two guys happen to write stories to do with coming out, then I won’t place them back-to-back. Or if most of the guys are in their twenties, but we have two guys in their fifties, I will mix them up. And then I usually like to put my favorite somewhere bang in the middle, because I’m one of those people who likes to open books at the center.

How do you make sure the space feels comfortable and safe for both you and your subjects during a photo shoot?

Generally the shooting location is the person’s own home, and usually, they choose the outdoor location too, either their own neighbourhood or somewhere they feel connected to. I think this helps make a person feel comfortable. Also, it’s common to do things like play music during a home shoot, or maybe go for a coffee/drink before the shoot. I also happen to be a very quiet and calm person, which is a problem sometimes, but during a shoot I think it shows how harmless I am and helps takes the pressure off. 

How do you hope your readers feel and respond to the work when viewing and reading Elska? Who is your intended audience and how do you hope they respond to Elska as a whole? 

I got a lovely email last week from a reader. He said, "This publication really helped me when I was coming out to my family and friends because reading about the stories of other gay people in the world gave me the strength and confidence that I wasn't alone and who I was wasn't something to be ashamed of or to hide.” It’s times like this when I am reminded that my work is worth something, even if it doesn’t make a load of money. I also need to remember that being able to survive as a full-time artist is something like a miracle, though I won’t deny that I’d love to be traveling in business class and staying in five-star hotels for these trips!

Tell us about the changes occurring with the publication. What is going to be the differences that readers see and what evoked this change? 

This year we changed the format of our print magazine to something altogether lovelier. The size is a bit bigger, there’s a very cool textured cover with flaps, bulky matte paper, sewn instead of perfect binding, and offset instead of digital printing. It’s still bi-monthly but we’re able now to print in larger quantities and thus reduce the overall cost. It’s kind of like a gift to loyal readers by giving them a nicer product. The content inside is mostly unchanged, but the increased size gives room for more pics of each guy and adds a general airiness that I feel makes the reading experience more enjoyable.

I’m always encouraged when I learn of artists taking the risk of doing their creative work full-time and making it work for them! What was your journey like in this respect, and do you have any advice or words of encouragement for emerging artists? 

The first thing I’d say to any artistic person is that you need to make art a part of your life, even if it’s just a bit of time on a Tuesday evening. And if you want to make a go of something big, then just do it. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll learn, you’ll find what works and what doesn’t. But be prepared that it probably won’t be easy. I remember that for a couple of days in one shoot trip I slept in the back of a car because I couldn’t afford a hotel room. And I moved out of London not only to come to lovely Providence but because the cost of living was too high there to survive doing Elska. It’s OK if the cost of doing art full-time is too high for you, but do make some time for it.

I’d also tell people to trust their instincts. In most endeavors, it’s probably bad advice to not seek feedback, but compelling work needs to have a voice, and I think it’s hard to discover your own voice if you’re listening to too many others shouting all at once. Like I remember working with a very well-known fashion photographer and he said my images were composed in such a way that the model didn’t get the fullest attention, that too much background was there, but I didn’t listen. Now I find that the distractions are key, that they invite you to spend more time with the images. Also, once another photographer who happens to run another small gay publication told me that I need to cull “ugly men” from the magazine because they spoil the overall flow. I was appalled, not only for the shallowness but because I disagreed - I didn’t find them ugly at all.

Tell us about Liam! The person behind the publication. How do you make space for constant travel, editing/reviewing, planning, a personal life, new “homes” in different cities…
Is there something that gets you through each trip, each jet-lagged return, and a place you love to visit when you return home to Providence? 

Organization is key, and I also plan far ahead - yesterday I booked flights for next January, which will be for issues out in spring 2020. With six issues a year it means six weeks of travel, but I split it into three chunks to make it more manageable. When I get back to Providence, my first day usually starts with a bike ride down to The Shop in Fox Point. I’ll get my mug of regular old filter coffee and maybe a porridge and then do one of my favourite tasks - a look through all the pics from my trip to choose a cover. But after a couple weeks I’m ready to travel again, but maybe for a holiday this time, cashing in some of those well-earned frequent flier points for a trip with my husband, and the camera stays at home.

Very many thanks Liam for allowing us to feature you and Elska, and for being your awesome self!! Can’t wait to see the next issue of Elska. Follow Liam’s instagram and check out Elska’s website for more.


FRAMES IN FOCUS: Banners

What comes to mind when you think of printed banners? Most likely large signage for businesses, right? A grommeted vinyl material - promoting, informing, branding, or sometimes calling to action… Here at io, we have fun pushing the limits of materials and getting creative with their applications. Keep scrolling to see what we mean...

Durable and Portable

We are able to produce banners at many different scales, including small, large or very large. They can be printed on a variety of opaque and shear fabrics, translucent films, unique papers or soft, leather-like, vinyl for interior or exterior use. Banners can be finished and fashioned with pole pockets and wooded dowels, silver or brass grommets, or a variety of available hanging clips and holders.

We also offer portable, retractable, banners with stands that can be displayed, collapsed and transported with ease. There’s unique banner options for all budgets, and a variety of traditional and non-traditional uses.

 So what more can be said about banners?

From our perspective, actually - a lot!

Imagine a light fabric, printed banner, exhibited as artwork - angled down from the ceiling using wooden dowels.  Or a very large, translucent mesh banner acting as a screened room divider. The banner image is visible from both sides and allows viewers to see, both the design and through to the other side. Or a banner that provides useful, or even critical information, but that also enhances its environment with color, design, material texture, and placement. 

Want something a little more artsy?

We offer many different types of textiles to fit your creative needs! From silk, cotton, and linen to canvas, synthetic fabrics, and vinyl, you can be sure your photographs, illustrations, paintings, mixed media work, etc can be digitally reproduced with richness in color and dynamic range. For more info about textiles, please visit our Textiles page.

Never be afraid to email us with project specific questions or just to learn more!


JUNE EVENTS

Providence truly shines in the summer when it comes to festivals, maker's markets, and all around good times. Take a look at our selection of June events - including Pride exhibitions featuring local LGBTQ+ artists, nature art events, author readings, and more!

JUNE CLAMBAKE WITH DESIGNxRI

Tuesday, June 25th
6-8pm
Right here at iolabs!
Please register online HERE

PRIDE EVENTS

PROVIDENCE PRIDEFEST
Saturday June, 15
12-7pm
South Water Street, Providence

RI PRIDE ART GALLERY
The largest LGBTQIA+ Art Exhibit in Providence!
Four locations featuring local LGBTQIA+ Artisits will be open to the public free of charge for the month of June.
2 Charles Street Gallery
Providence City Hall
Providence Marriott Downtown
Sprout CoWorking Gallery

SOME GALLERY OPENINGS

DEDEE SHATTUCK GALLERY
dignity of trees - featuring six artists: Greg Rose, Deborah Coolidge, Ana Flores, William Harting, Renee Monteiro-Bernard, and Paul Rider.
June 8 - 30
Opening Reception
Saturday June 8, 5-7pm

IMAGO GALLERY
On Reflection: Digital Kaleidoscope Compositions
Howard Rotblat-Walker
June-July 14th
Open Reception June 7th
6-8pm

DIRT PALACE’S WEDDING CAKE HOUSE

 

Come see the gallery show and get a tour of the house!
1:30-3:30 all Saturdays in June

ARTIST MARKETS

PROVIDENCE FLEE
Every Sunday!
10am-4pm

PVD ARTISANS MARKET (at Hope Street Farmer’s Market)
Every Saturday!
9am-2pm

ENVIRONMENTAL LIVE ART AND MEET UPS

LADIES DRAWING NIGHT
Hang out and draw with some awesome local female artists!
RISD Nature Lab (temporarily at the old RISD library on Benefit St)
Thursday, June 27th
6-8pm

CASEY’S FARM ARTISTS’ MEETUP
A day of outdoor painting, drawing, photography, or the medium of your choice.
Saturday, June 22nd
8:30am-12:30pm

WATSON FARM ARTISTS’ MEETUP
Another day of outdoor painting, drawing, photography, or the medium of your choice.
Sunday, June 30th
1-5pm

OPEN PAINT + AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY DAY
Come mingle with like-minded artists and nature lovers! We welcome our guests to bring
a sketch pad, watercolors and washable paints and to take photographs at the Botanical Center.
Friday, June 28th
11am-3:30pm

TWENTY STORIES AUTHOR READING

Chia-Chia Lin with Sarah Frye Reading and Q+A
Friday, June 21st
7-8:30pm

WATERFIRE

Full Lighting!
Saturday, June 22nd
Sunset

PVD FEST!!

Thurs June 6th - Sunday June 9th
Downtown, Providence
~Tap PVD Fest above for the full event schedule ~

Thanks for reading!

Artist Feature: Mary Beth Meehan

MARY BETH MEEHAN is an independent photographer, writer, and educator, who has spent more than twenty years embedding herself in communities across the United States. Beginning in her native New England, and continuing in the Midwest, the American South and in Silicon Valley, her work, which combines image, text, and large-scale public installation, stems from her belief in a collaborative process that should function in and for the communities it reflects. Co-opting the scale of celebrity and advertising, Meehan’s portrait banners activate public spaces and spark conversations among and about the people who inhabit them.

This month, we are specifically featuring Meehan’s newest work, Seeing Newnan, a series of banner portraits of Newnan community members hung throughout the community. Keep reading to learn more!

Pic 1: Mary Beth meehan and Rufus Smith, jr. in newnan - Pic 2: Meehan’s Portrait of Rufus Smith, jr.

Pic 1: Mary Beth meehan and Rufus Smith, jr. in newnan - Pic 2: Meehan’s Portrait of Rufus Smith, jr.

How did the Seeing Newnan project get started?

In 2015, I launched an outdoor installation of photographic portraits in Providence. This was my second such installation; my first was in 2011, in my hometown of Brockton, Massachusetts. Since I began working as a photographer, in the 1990s, I have been interested in communities — trying to understand them as ecosystems influenced by history, industry, politics, and migration. I try to look deeply into the dominant narratives of those communities, and consider the ways in which people’s experiences are or are not represented in those narratives. Working collaboratively – meeting people, researching, interviewing, and photographing – I design and implement projects that will bring to life and make public new, broader, and more comprehensive versions of those places and their stories.

In the fall of 2015 I was invited by RISCA to give a lecture and walking tour of my Providence installation to the Alliance of Artists Communities conference. Little did I know that two men from Newnan, Georgia – Chad Davidson, of the University of West Georgia, and Robert Hancock, of Newnan ArtsRez – were both in the audience that day. In December of 2015, Robert contacted me to see if I would be interested in an artist’s residency in Newnan, to produce a banner installation like the one he’d seen in Providence. He said that he thought people in his town were living in their own little “bubbles,” and that he thought my work could pierce those, and inspire people to connect with one another. After several long conversations and a visit to Newnan, I accepted his invitation and began photographing in November of 2016. 

In as much detail as you can, can you talk about your process of approaching strangers and reciting their stories through your own writing and images? Is there a method you use for choosing subjects, selecting what is seen of your work, and drawing the stories out of your subjects?

For over twenty-five years I have taken great joy in meeting and photographing strangers, for reasons that have everything to do with the visual, the instinctive, and the emotional. I have so many memories of chasing after someone after being struck by the way the light played on a face, or by something someone was wearing, or by an expression or a posture that drew me in. And then, there are the relationships that have developed as a result of those encounters. It is why I became a photographer. In Newnan as in Providence or anywhere else, I allow myself this joy as I move throughout the community, stop strangers on the street, ask to be introduced to people who intrigue me. But I am also always doing research, learning about the structures of various communities, how they came to be and how they have changed over the years. In Newnan, I knew that in order for my work to be effective, the final portfolio of images had to represent the breadth of experience of people living there today. The people I photographed and wrote about had to be understood by me as individuals, but also in how their individual experiences were linked to the large-scale forces that have built the community of which they are a part. My projects are not census reports, or a way of seeking out “types” of people. Rather, they involve a balancing act: of intimate, individual artistic and journalistic interactions, leading to deep conversations and authentic portrayals – all filtered through my eyes and my subjectivity and the best understanding I have of the place and the moment at that time. 

The term “collaborative portraiture” is often used to describe your photographs. What does this look like or mean to you? In what ways are the portraits a joint effort?

During the making of the portrait, it is important to me that the people I’m photographing and I come to a place of rest and get into a kind of zone together; I feel that it’s up to me to maintain a space in which we can trust each other. I worked with a wonderful photographer in New York who said to the person she was photographing, “Imagine that you are looking at someone you love through this lens.” I have tried to remember that, and to offer variations of that idea as a way to help a person remain relaxed and focused, and in a frame of mind that might lead to an honest connection between us.

The making of the photograph is only one moment in what often becomes a longer relationship. It is important to me that the people I’ve photographed and the communities I work in feel justly “seen” by me – not necessarily in a way that flatters them, but in a way they find authentic and fair. So the collaboration is not only a one-on-one between me and the individual I’m photographing. It is also between me and the community at large. Sometimes this opens me up to disappointments or conflict, but this feels like an important part of the process, as the conflict almost always leads to conversations that are enlightening. 

For example, in a town outside Newnan I photographed a woman in front of a Confederate flag, which she had hanging from her porch. I put this portrait forward as a possible banner. In addition to representing the woman, I thought the banner raised an important issue for the community about the endurance of the Confederate symbol in today’s South.

Some people in the community were eager for the image to be shown, as a way of questioning the persistence of this Confederate image, what it meant, and how it made members of the African-American community feel. Others thought it would be too “controversial,” and incredibly hurtful. Still others wondered how it could be considered too controversial when there are currently two monuments to the Confederacy on the courthouse square. Ultimately, that photograph remains in the larger portfolio from Newnan, but was not made into a banner.

The most accurate sense of the word “collaborative” I can give might have more to do with relationships – my relationships with the people pictured: what happens before, during, and after the photographs are made. In street photography, one imagines a photographer roaming in public, snapping people on the street, and moving on, not involving that person in the making, the display, or the context in which that photograph may appear. 

I feel that it’s a huge responsibility to photograph another human being. We are asking someone to lend us his or her image for our play, for the making of our own art. Sometimes I see this done in ways that I feel are irresponsible to the people in the photographs, and when that happens it makes me really angry.

I believe I’ve had good intentions with my work, but when I was younger and more naïve I was not as careful as I could have been with the images that people entrusted me with. So as I have gotten older I make sure that I explain my intentions as best I can, that I involve the person in the goals of the project, and that I have that person’s permission to use the final image. Certainly, I would never install a banner that didn’t have the full participation of the person pictured.

Some of my favorite portraits have occurred right at the moment of meeting someone. I remember running after a man named Scott on Manton Avenue in Providence one Sunday morning, introducing myself, making his portrait, then returning to his home later to do an interview. Others have happened after long, sometimes multiple visits. 

With my “Seeing” projects, I always conduct and record long conversations, so that I have a solid sense of the people I’m meeting and where they are coming from. Particularly in Newnan, a community with which I was unfamiliar when beginning the project, these conversations are very important. They can be very exhausting (for me and the person I’m photographing), so we often agree to make the portrait on a separate occasion. This time spent leads to a kind of intimacy between us: I can’t tell you how many people have said something like “No one has ever asked me these questions or been this interested in my point of view before.”

How else do you engage communities alongside the large banners throughout town? 

I make myself available to communities, but ultimately it is they who should decide how the work can best suit their needs. In Newnan now, various civic and church groups are planning panels, conversations, and other forms of dialogue around many of the issues that I am so motivated to explore. The subjects include Who controls the story of this place and its people? Who really lives here, and what do they care about? What about our history have we not talked about together, as a community? And how could that kind of conversation lead to progress, healing, and growth? 

From this body of work, what are you most proud of and most disappointed with? As a photographer in an unfamiliar town (Newnan), have there been creative learning curves?

one in which they make an equal contribution to the life of the town, regardless of how they have been depicted in the past, or where they find themselves in the social structure of Newnan today.

When we had the formal opening for the banners, a large crowd came to the celebration – one attendee said it was the most “mixed” crowd of black and white people he’d ever attended in his forty-plus years of living in Newnan. People in the photographs as well as people in the town stood up to declare how it made them feel to see themselves and the people they loved pictured on such a large scale; others who were not pictured thanked me for portraying a kind of community that they wanted to live in. I am extremely proud of that.

I struggled with one issue over and over again in Newnan: it is very difficult for people there to talk openly together about history. The relationship between the white and black communities is two and a half centuries old, but I can’t tell you how many white people asked me why it still needed to be discussed, and how many black people told me that this conversation has never been allowed to happen. (Again – who controls the story is the definition of privilege.) This is a nationwide struggle and not unique to Newnan, but I believe that it’s only when people trust each other — with a deep and honest sharing of their experiences — that true progress and healing can happen in any community. I hope my work in Newnan might act as a lever that could prompt some of those conversations there.

The writer and scholar Sarah Lewis has crystallized an idea of image-making that motivates me as I pursue all of my work: that of “representational justice.” She describes “the foundational right of representation in a democracy – the right to be recognized justly,” and reminds us that in American history, consolidation of power has gone hand-in-hand with the power to represent others, to “create narratives about who should be centered and valued in civic life.” 

For example, in the American South during slavery and segregation, those in power used stereotyped and denigrating images of African-Americans in order to justify their subjugation. (As we look at racial stereotypes across the country and depictions of immigrants throughout history, we know that this use of imagery by the powerful to denigrate the other is not unique to the South.) Lewis, then, calls upon those of us in the field of representation and storytelling to work toward a visible accounting of these distorted depictions, and a restoration of the full humanity of all members of our communities through images. She quotes Frederick Douglass, who understood “the transformative power of pictures to effect a new vision for the nation.”

In my work, the act of installing these depictions on a large scale and in the public square is an attempt to use the built environment to confer equal symbolic weight and visibility to images of people who have otherwise found themselves on separate rungs of society’s hierarchy. So, in Newnan, images of an African-American woman who came of age under Jim Crow, a wealthy descendant of one of Newnan’s founders, a poor mill worker, and a recent Mexican immigrant are calling out now to be seen across a level visual field—

 How have you felt about the controversy around the “Seeing Newnan” project? How has it affected the project as well as the ways in which you consider photography as a creative medium? 

a very vocal group of people stated their rejection of any depiction of Islam within their community, and demanded that the photograph be taken down. On Facebook, the conversation veered into anti-Muslim stereotypes, images of the American flag, calls for the terrorist acts of 9/11 to be avenged, and for Trump to be reelected in 2020.Yet even more vocal and numerous were the voices in Newnan intent on defending the young women: upstanding citizens born in the county, members of the National Honor Society, college students. In response to one Facebook comment alone– which garnered some 1,100 replies –– people of various religious and political persuasions called for a common decency, and also articulated their beliefs in such things as the First Amendment, religious tolerance and freedom, and the tenet of Christianity to “treat one’s neighbor as thyself.”

I’ve been told since the initial installation that the conversations in Newnan are continuing – that new friendships have been made, that debates are taking place in barber shops and grocery stories, and that Newnanites plan to use the work in formal conversations and panels throughout the year of the installation to move forward the notion of an inclusive community. I hope that people will trust one another enough to delve into the places that need to be healed, and I would be very proud if my work helped that to happen. 

I am amazed at how powerfully people have responded to the images in my installations, these very direct reflections of ordinary people. It seems like a simple act – installing a portrait of a community member in a shared public space – but it turns out to be quite radical. For the person pictured, in Newnan or in other cities, seeing oneself – unmediated and on a large public scale – can have a forcefully affirming effect. In Providence, I installed a thirty-foot banner of a man from Haiti, dressed in coat and tie after a church service. When the banner was being installed, the man, who drove a school bus for a living, took a break from work and came with his wife and daughter to see it being put up. His daughter, a woman who was born in Providence, made a point of describing to me the radical act that she felt had occurred. She told me that as Haitians they were used to seeing themselves depicted as poor, desperate, and associated with AIDS. She told me that in their community her father was a man of honor, and that this banner was the first time they’d seen a public portrayal of a Haitian man that reflected their feelings about their community.

By contrast, when an image does not reflect a person’s conception of his or her community, the opposite feelings can be equally strong. In Newnan, when “Zahraw and Aatika,” a portrait of two young Muslim women, was installed, the greater community's initial reaction to the photograph was fierce. In phone calls to the University of West Georgia and the Newnan Times Herald, in private conversations, and on social media, a very vocal group of people stated their rejection of any depiction of Islam within their community, and

You recently published a book on Silicon Valley with writer Fred Turner, congrats! Do you have any plans to exhibit the Silicon Valley work? Are you interested in making more books?

Thank you! Seeing Silicon Valley was published in French in the fall of 2018, and is scheduled to be published in English in late 2019 or early 2020. I’ve been invited by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs to do a series of public events around the publication of the English edition, including an exhibition and (possibly) a banner installation. All of that is still in the works.

I am excited to do the English edition of the book as an opportunity to introduce the work to an American audience, and to have a chance to tinker with the cover and design. And I would very much like to make more books. I would love to make a tiny hand-sewn book of images that are nothing like the work I have done in the past. I would also love to do a huge volume of all of the photographs and narratives I have made over the years. I think it could be a powerful telling of a particular time and place in American life.

How do you plan to continue the “Seeing” projects?  

I’m not sure. I have received invitations to pursue similar banner projects in other parts of the country. Each community brings its own identity and history and issues to grapple with, which I always love. But I need to make sure that the work stays fresh and that I’d be able to contribute something worthwhile to the civic discourse in those places. Also, I wonder if I should try a completely different approach to portraiture. 

What would be your dream project after “Seeing Newnan”?

My family accompanied me to Georgia for the opening of “Seeing Newnan,” in April. As a day trip we drove two hours from Newnan to Montgomery, Alabama. We visited the Equal Justice Initiative Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a historic center and memorial to the thousands of lynchings of African-Americans that occurred in the United States, primarily in the South. The project was founded by the lawyer and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson; a week later I met Mr. Stevenson and heard him give a talk at Harvard at the “Vision and Justice” convening. I became transfixed by him: his ideas about the power of art to restore communities, and his belief in the potential of visibility, imagery, narration, and dissemination as a pathway to restorative justice. I would love to collaborate with him and the brilliant people he’s assembled in Montgomery, to find a way to put my skills toward what that community needs.

Follow Mary Beth’s projects via instagram and keep a look out for the release of the text that accompanies the Seeing Newnan Portraits.

Thank you Mary Beth, we are eager to see what is next for you and these powerful projects!


FRAMES IN FOCUS: Plexiglass Face-Mounting

Not trying to boast, but we think this look is striking, with just the right balance of shine to catch the eye, and give your image an extra pop.  For more sample images please check out our Framing + Mounting Page.

Unencumbered + Eye Catching

 

In the framing world, there’s nothing quite like a perfectly face-mounted photograph. When presented with a hidden float bracket - it creates an unencumbered, striking look. Weighted by the depth of both the acrylic surface and the backing panel, the image is given a permanence and substantial place on a gallery wall. Generally speaking, a face-mounted image will quickly grab one’s attention and accentuate the richness of an image - a truly stunning effect.

Produced in sizes from 2 x 2” up to 58 x 118", face-mounting is a hands-on, and very finely crafted process. We only use premium, museum-grade materials. For optimum results, images are printed on one of three types of fine art, archival photographic media. These options include:  Epson Premium Semi-matte Photo Paper, Hahnemuhle Photo Glossy Paper, or a Metallic Pearl Photo Paper. All of these papers offer a uniformly smooth surface, allowing for error-free adhesion to the acrylic surface. 

A clean finish for both fine art + commercial purposes

Our face-mounted images are typically borderless or cut on the bleed, with hand-polished acrylic edges. Face-mounted panels can be wall mounted without a frame - in that the image is floated with custom hidden cleats or brackets. If a more traditional frame is what you are looking for, we also set face-mounts into beautifully hand-crafted, hardwood float frames. See images of float frames and brackets on our Framing + Mounting page.

Additional fabrication options for face-mounted panels include CNC routed shapes (circles, ovals, etc.), finishes in matte or gloss, and enhanced UV protection options.

Left Column Images - Photography by Dave Rothstein for Florence Dental Care.
Hope you enjoy this behind the scenes look at Phill face-mounting artwork to plexiglass while training Norlan, who’s new to our team. Welcome, Norlan!

Right Column Images - #1, #2, #5 Collages by Jenny Brown
#3, #4 - Digital Drawings by Kirstin Lamb


MAY EVENTS

Very many congratulations to all those graduating this year, we are highlighting you this month! Blossoming into May, graduations + thesis shows, barefoot season, and summer just around the corner - here are some happenings to fuel your creative spirit!

RISD GRAD SHOW

Daily hours
May 23–June 1, 12–5 pm
Opening Reception: May 22, 6–8 pm
Rhode Island Convention Center, Exhibition Hall A
1 Sabin Street, Providence, RI

RIC GRADUATING STUDENT SHOW

May 2 – May 17
Bannister Gallery hours: M- F 12-8pm
*Special Commencement hours: Saturday, May 11, 12-4pm

URI SENIOR THESIS at HERA GALLERY

May 11th - June 8th, 2019 
Gallery hours:
Wed, Thu, Fri: 1-5
Saturday: 10-4
Or by Appointment

PERIPHERY SPACE at PAPER NAUTILUS

Kirstin Lamb illustration installation
Store hours: M-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 12-5pm
19 S Angell St, Providence, RI 02906

SENE 

Southeast New England Film, Music & Arts Festival
May 15-18, check online for detailed schedule

CENTER FOR SLAVERY and JUSTICE

Opening Reception for Memory Dishes
May 24, 2019, 4 PM – 6 PM
This exhibit highlights the meals and cooking practices of six families
within Providence’s Black diasporic community.

RISD MUSEUM GHORAM SILVER 

May 3 - December 1, 2019
Museum Hours: Museum Tuesdays–Sundays, 10 am-5 pm
Third Thursdays open until 9 pm

RARE UNUSUAL PLANT SALE

May 18-19, 10am-2pm
180 W Clifford Street, Providence

GASPEE DAYS ARTS and CRAFTS FESTIVAL

 

May 25-27
10am-5pm
2 E View St, Warwick, RI 02888

Artist Feature: Miles Glynn

A little about Miles, from Miles:

I am a visual artist based in Bozeman, Montana. I grew up the son of a U.S. Army photo-journalist and this experience taught me how to see life in frames and compositions. It also planted in me a deep affinity for traveling long roads, exploring out of the way places, and going to great lengths to create intriguing images which tell compelling stories. But beyond merely documenting my subject matter, I aim to present my interpretation of it. Herein lies the art - the depiction of something striking yet soothing, familiar yet curious, and something nobody else at the same scene could have envisioned. This interpretation, so central to my creative drive, is what I present in the hope that others will find familiarity, curiosity, and resonance in my work.  

Keep reading to learn more about Miles, his creative process, and some new projects he’s working on.

Video by Miles Glynn about his Wallflower Series

How important is process to your photographic work? What does this look like for you?

Process is important in my photography, but I don't tend to adhere to a very rigid process. The overarching process is basically two fold: creating conditions that are conducive to sparking ideas and then acting on those ideas. I've been trying to be more purposeful and deliberate in generating ideas. Reading books, listening to music, watching documentaries, traveling to certain places, researching history: all of these inputs are chosen with the aim of generating ideas. And then I'm trying to be more deliberate in executing ideas and following through to bring them to fruition rather than remaining an idea that eventually gets lost. Since becoming a full time artist I've been blessed with more time and resources than I previously had, but with that comes the challenge of time management. So I try to spend as much time on activities that fall within either idea generation or idea execution and if I'm doing that then my work tends to progress pretty well.  

 

Place is a clear thematic element in your work. Would you mind telling us more about where and why?

With my Dad as a photojournalist in the U.S. Army, I was fortunate to be able to tag along on photo assignments. I've always associated photography with telling stories about places. I was born in Spokane, Washington but then we moved around based on where my father was stationed. Every summer we'd load up the car and take a summer road trip back to the Northwest to visit family. I got to see and experience the West by driving there from different places, Texas, Indiana, etc. These experiences growing up set in motion my interest in the West and all of its places, history, events, animals, and people. I've now lived in Montana for about nine years and since moving here my love and affinity for "the West" has really deepened and widened. Most of the creative work I do now is an attempt to show my perspective and interpretation of the West. 

 

How do you decide what animals to photograph? Is this also tied into your interest in documenting the history of the places you photograph?

Interpreting the West is my broad focus right now so that's a starting point for choosing animals. They can be wild or domestic but they must local to this place. The wallpapers I use are also all from the West. So even though I'm juxtaposing the animals with the wallpapers, they fit thematically. Aside from that I choose animals that are visually pleasing to look at. That said, I probably won't be doing a rattlesnake any time soon!

What are some of your visual or literary/textual influences? Does your inspiration also fall outside of landscapes and the animals that inhabit those landscapes?

By absorbing inspiration from many differing sources, I find it better if they're separate from the specific work that I do.  I need other input and other sources of interest which keep me motivated and inspired. If I spend too much time thinking about my specific work — animals, wallpaper, vintage Western magazines, etc., then I can get burned out and I'll eventually lose the motivation I need to keep acting on those ideas. So gaining some distance from my work is healthy and it tends to rejuvenate me as well as inspire me for when I'm ready to return my focus to my creative work. Though I have not a musical bone in my body, enjoying music is probably my biggest source of inspiration and influence. I spend a lot of time delving into musicians and bands which are an endless source of inspiration to me. Whether iconic artists like David Bowie or Neal Young, or lesser known but hugely influential artists like Damien Jurado, John Frusciante, or Jason Molina, I get a ton of inspiration from recording artists. I sometimes have to laugh because I'll be working on a beautiful horse with an elegant floral pattern and soothing colors but I'll be listening to Black Sabbath or Joy Division, which seems like a total contradiction. But somehow it works and yields the resulting body of work. 

 
20190104_150218.jpg

What is something new you are working on?

I have just begun making mixed-media original versions of the Wallflower Series. So I still photograph an animal and digitally juxtapose it with wallpaper, but with these artworks, the animal is the only printed part of the piece. I'm using actual wallpaper from the 1940s and 50s, as well as paint, metallic leaf, moulding paste, etc. to create all of the other elements. I'm excited to still use my photography as a central component, but to also explore more materials, textures, etc.

With these I lose the history of the wallpaper because they're not found in historic buildings which have unique stories. But I do gain the tactile element of having the actual original and unused wallpaper incorporated into the piece. I will likely continue producing both the prints on Belgian linen (printed at iolabs), as well as these mixed-media originals. 

I have also begun working on large collage pieces which I have never done before. These are completely collage-based with no photography involved. They're based on vintage Western pulp fiction magazines and I'm using the actual magazine pages to create collages that serve as an homage to that genre that had a massive role in shaping America's enduring fascination with all things Western. It's been really fun for me to branch out and work in another medium besides photography. I've even collaborated with a neon bender to install neon into a piece to add a dramatic and vintage element to it. The themes that have emerged in my work are interpreting the West and giving new life to parts of our history that have been largely forgotten. Giving new life to these Western pulp magazines is an extension of those themes. I feel extremely fortunate to have the time and resources to follow and develop these ideas.  

How is your artwork related to things outside of your making that are also important to you?

All of the themes and ideas behind my work need to be related to things which are important to me personally otherwise I wouldn't have motivation to do them and, most importantly, they would lack the authenticity which is a major factor in any artwork resonating with people. I don't have a specific cause I'm supporting or well-defined message to my work. But by showcasing these things which are important to me, such as animals or historical elements which are largely forgotten, I do hope to raise sensitivity and appreciation for them. 




Visit Miles’ website and instagram to see more of his work online.
Thanks so much Miles for sharing with us, and thanks all for reading!


FRAMES IN FOCUS: Float Frame

It’s difficult to find sophisticated, well-crafted, hardwood frames that don’t draw too much attention to themselves or cost a pretty penny. And what’s better than allowing your art or photograph to be viewed, unobstructed by glass or acrylic?

Beautifully hand-crafted, on-demand, from Maple, Oak or other hardwoods as requested, float frames can accommodate your artwork or photograph in sizes from 2 x 2” all the way up to 60 x 120”. 

The face and depth dimensions plus finish color of these frames can be customized to complement each artwork or photograph being framed. 

Custom stain colors and paint colors are also an option, upon request. Some of the these include natural/ danish oil, golden oak, mahogany, walnut, black satin, white wash, driftwood, and more.

Corner detail of a float frame, walnut stain on oak

Corner detail of a float frame, walnut stain on oak

Photographs by Miles Glynn

Photographs by Miles Glynn

Simple, Sophisticated, Handsome, Hardwood

Float frames do not include glass or acrylic, but there are many protective surface options that can be applied to prints to allow for added protection against UV light damage, moisture, and scratches. Float Frames can be fitted for easy wall mounting such as hanging with wire, D-rings, or french cleats. Locking hardware can also be added to prevent float frames from being lifted or accidentally knocked from walls.  

For more images and framing information, check out our Framing + Mounting Page or contact us via phone or email.


APRIL EVENTS

We’ve put together a list of local RI art events we recommend checking out, and some of which we’ve been lucky enough to work with the artists featured. Looking forward to seeing you at some of these!

FRUITLANDS MUSEUM

An eclectic and striking show at this museum in Harvard, MA featuring the collection’s origin story and timeline. Kirstin Lamb, resident artist, has helped hang the show and will also be exhibiting new drawings inspired by objects in the collection.
Show opens Saturday April 13th, 2019.
Artist Talk with Kirstin Lamb - tentatively scheduled for Saturday April 27th, 2019
(with a optional group drawing experience)

DEDEE SHATTUCK GALLERY

Earth Day Film Screening
Austin Hoyt presents: Multiply and Subdue the Earth
Monday April 22, 2019
8-9:45pm

Camera Obscura, Pinhole Photography from Marc St. Pierre and Marian Roth
April 3 - 28, 2019

PROVIDENCE ATHENAEUM

21st Annual Philbrick Poetry Reading
Thu, April 25, 2019
5–7pm

 

DAVID WINTON BELL GALLERY

Lecture: Canaries in the salt marsh: averting extinction in an era of sea-level rise
Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson: The Only Show in Town
with Chris Elphick - Principal Investigator, SHARP
(Saltmarsh Habitation and Avian and Research Program)
Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut 
Thursday April 18th, 2019
5:30pm
List Art Auditorium

GAMM THEATRE

True West by Sam Shepard, last show of Season 34!
directed by Tony Estrella
April 11 - May 5, 2019

PROVIDENCE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

From Bache to Bowie contemporary ballet performance
Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Wednesday April 17, 2019
7:30pm

PROVIDENCE BOOK FESTIVAL

Fri, Apr 26 – Sat, Apr 27
Friday, April 26, 2019 - Opening Night Keynote GALA at the Renaissance Hotel
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - ALL-DAY Festival at the Renaissance Hotel

HOT HOUSE

World's Fair Gallery is pleased to present HOT HOUSE,
a pop-up gallery and residency at 233 Westminster Street, Providence, Rhode Island.
Opening Reception: April 27th, 6-9PM
233 Westminster Street, Providence, Rhode Island
Show Runs: April 13 to June 9, 2019


Last but not least, a playlist of music from our studio to yours, just tap iolisten...


Thanks for reading, and happy spring y’all!

Women's History Month Artist Feature: Frances Tulk-Hart

Frances Tulk-Hart is an artist.  She is a photographer, an illustrator and she sings in the band Love Taps with her husband Rossi.  She is a Brit who moved to the US many moons ago and now has a funny accent that, some say, makes her sound Norwegian.  She is also a mum to two little girls who have completely changed her life.  (excerpt from her website bio)

Hope you enjoy this interview with her, we sure had a lot of fun!

Frances in her studio, photograph by Milly Tulk-Hart

Frances in her studio, photograph by Milly Tulk-Hart

What does a day in your creative process look like, sound like, feel like?

I love how you are covering all the senses for this question! I’m an artist and a mum so no two days are the same. So roughly this is my creative process…

It starts at 5 am which feels really hard! I have to use all my strength to not turn the alarm off and go back to sleep. Often I lose that battle and that doesn’t feel good. But my husband gets up then as well which helps. He is a carpenter by day, a damn fine one too! We both use that time for ourselves, our passion projects or reading, meditating etc before the madness of the day begins. I’m trying to write a book. I think it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do but I want to do it, really want to do it. I have stopped and started over the past two years, but I’m back on it right now. My husband brings me a cuppa tea as soon as I sit down to write, a smoky cup of Lapsang Sushong. I get an hour n half to write before I go and wake up my two girls for school. For the next couple of hours, it’s a whirlwind of breakfast, playing, clothes, teeth brushing etc. We listen mainly to Disney soundtracks on the way to school although recently the Rocky soundtrack has joined us too, singing them all at top volume. It’s an awesome way to start the day.  My eldest, Dotti, thinks her papa looks like Rocky so it’s Rocky this n Rocky that and do you think Rocky would ....!

If both girls are in school I drop them then race back home to squeeze in six hours of work on either photography or illustration or both.  Either working on projects or sending out emails. I have a room in our house that is my studio. It’s got so much light in it and is the warmest room. It gives me so much joy every time I walk in there. It’s so cosy I often squeal with excitement when I walk in. I make coffee when I get home then don’t really leave that room unless I have to. I get annoyed at being hungry and having to stop for lunch so it’s a quick one. At around 3:30 I leave to pick the girls up and for creativity that is when my day ends. Being a mum, being with my kids is just as important to me. It’s also a lot of work so from 3:30-8:30 it’s all about family. I go to bed at 8:30 to read and fall asleep, I need 8 hours of it.

When asked about your work, what projects are you most excited to share?

That changes all the time as the projects come and go. When I joined my new agency last year they asked me to make a book which ended up being one of my favorite projects I’ve worked on. It matched the style and feel of my website and helped me define my style. I’m working on a zine now, a sort of journal zine which is a lot of fun, and something that might become a regular thing if it all comes out as I hope. Recently I have started another personal project drawing baby elephants true to size.  I’m using inexpensive paper and crayons to do this in an attempt to shake up my mind a bit, work outside my comfort zone. My paintings are normally small and intricate so doing this is scary and liberating! One of them is going in a show in Newport at the end of the month. One other project of mine that both really excited and upset me is the one I continue to do called @2000taken. I started it in May as a protest to the children being separated at the border. I was so heartbroken by the news and knew I needed to say something. I taped a seven-foot by five-foot piece of paper to the wall, and for months got up at 4am to draw thirty kids a day on there. I uploaded my daily drawings to Instagram @2000taken along with either bits of news about what was happening at the border or my own experiences with my children. I wanted to cross political borders and reach out to people’s sense of empathy. By talking about my children, my experiences with them and what I would be missing if they too had been taken from me,  I hoped it would make people relate to what was happening at the border, it would keep those involved human, not just an immigration policy. I teamed up with Circle of Health, who help mothers and children at the border, to raise money for them. I drew a print, twenty copies of which were sold, all proceeds going to COH. iolabs without hesitation agreed to print them up free of charge, which was great.

Your project @2000taken truly gives me hope. The reality of the US immigration policy is heartbreaking and infuriating. How have these issues affect you as a mother? What are your intentions or hopes for this project? How many children have you drawn to date?

It has been life changing what happened at the border, how can it not be.  As a mother I felt like I could feel the real pain of the families being separated. Just imagining what that must feel like to have your babies ripped away from you, not knowing if you would see them again would often and still makes me cry. Being that the problem still persists, I am still drawing. The 5’x7’ paper is nearly full. I’m not totally sure how many children I have drawn now but it’s in the realm of 5000 plus.  I want to donate it to a museum or museums along with all the stories that were written with each Instagram post. I don’t want people to ever forget what happened here on these borders.  Let it never happen again in our future. The experience of doing the painting and being made aware every day of the awful stories at the border has made an indelible mark on me, as have my own children. I want to some how carry on helping children, I don’t know how perhaps by giving a percentage of proceeds of the sale of each painting to children charities or ideally set up my own charity.

Have your daughters started to form an interest in the arts? What ways do they impact your practice? Have you ever collaborated with them?

My two-year-old, Frankie, likes to pretend she is a photographer! An old film camera of mine that doesn’t work is in their playroom and she likes to “take photos” of me with it! Dotti, who is five, is a great drawer. She draws all the time.  We collaborate on drawings for their Papa’s bday or Valentine’s Day and then we did a collaboration a couple of months ago for a school project. It was to celebrate 100 days of school. So Dotti and I drew 100 children, 50 each.  She has been a part of the 2000taken project, always asking questions about what it is, she understands what is going on at the border and is always asking why and then checking that she and Frankie are ok and that Trump won’t take her away!   She is now also starting to ask to come on my shoots with me and is wanting to turn the camera on me after I photograph her…! They have been a huge part of my creative process as well. I spend so much time with them, I observe them, play with them which is all the necessary ingredients for a photo so I shoot them A LOT! They have taught me to slow down, to stop the rushing, they have brought me to their speed which is beautiful for my own happiness and for observing the world around us.  I don’t always succeed at staying stress-free/rush-free but I’m aware of it when I am and work hard to not be.

How and when did 5minuteswithfranny begin?

5 minutes with Franny began about six years ago. I was in India driving along a dusty road when the idea just popped into my head that I should photograph and interview some of these amazing people I have had the opportunity to work with over the years. I had been working in the fashion and photography industry for about fifteen years at this point.  I have always been inspired by the journeys people have taken to get where they are, and wanted to share those stories with everyone.  I got a friend to help design the website and then started reaching out to people. It is a lot of fun and allows me the freedom to do what I want to do creatively. 

Frances and Dotti, photograph by Milly Tulk-Hart

Frances and Dotti, photograph by Milly Tulk-Hart

When asked if there was anything else she’d like to share, Frances replied,

“Do it because you love it. Let it be about the contentment it brings you on a daily basis, not the accolades and recognition that you may or may not get.”

Thanks so much, Frances for sharing the behind the scenes of your process, and thanks all for reading! Stay tuned for future iolabs and Frances collaborations, and head on over to her show this month at Bowler Lane Projects in Newport.  The exhibition is open to the public. Opening night is March 30th, 6-9 pm.

Visit Frances’s website and instagram to see more of her work online!


FRAMES IN FOCUS: Panel Boxes

Close to ten years ago, iolabs began producing custom-made, hardwood Panel Boxes as a simplified yet sophisticated, contemporary, and ready-to-hang solution that really drew attention to the artwork, illustration, photograph, map, or design being showcased.

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Take the anxiety out of the process 

and allow the work to speak for itself. We offer a variety of stain options for the Panel Box edges, keeping it simple and effectively highlighting the artworks intention. 

Finishing options include natural colors such as White-Wash, Black Satin, Walnut, Golden Oak, and Driftwood. We also custom paint to order in Silver, Gold, or any specified available paint colors and finishes. Offering a variety of edge colorings and wood grain options allows Panel Boxes to complement the end environment they are hung in, ie matching wood or painted interior colors.   

 

Less is More

Unlike a traditional frame with glass, the Panel Box surface is your artwork, front and centered. The work is mounted flush with the surface of a custom wooden box handmade by our woodworker in any shape or size. Without glazing, frame molding, or glass, your image is able to speak for itself when mounted to a panel box.

Some nerdy details: Panel Boxes are made to order in custom sizes ranging from 2” x 2” up to 60” x 120.” Our standard panel box depth is 1.5”, but can range from 1.25” to 4.” Depending on the desired edge coloring (stained, painted or natural),  Panel Boxes are constructed from Maple, Oak, Clear fir or Poplar wood. Additional materials may include MDF, MDO, and finish-grade plywoods.

Options for added image surface protection are also available and include invisible lacquer, clear-coated finishes in matte, satin or luster, or museum-grade pearl film laminate. All of these protective surfaces allow gentle cleaning or dusting, and protection from moisture, fingerprints, and UV light.

 
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Ready-to-Hang

Small or large, panel boxes come equipped with wire, D-rings or cleated backs, depending on size, location, and wall types. Locking hardware can also be added to prevent panel boxes from being lifted or accidentally knocked from walls. 

And that’s a wrap! Literally, wouldn’t one of these make a pretty present for someone you love? 


MARCH EVENTS

We’ve curated a list of local art events, this month featuring primarily female artists. Tap the event titles for more information. Look forward to seeing you at some of these!

 

OUTSPOKEN: Expanded

The RI Center for Photographic Arts presents the work of nine women photographers,
curated by Marky Kauffmann. The work “explores and challenges ideas related to being female”.
March 21st - April 12th
Opening reception: March 21st, 5-9pm

HERA GALLERY 

Animation and Photographs from a Decadent World, Night by Mara Trachtenberg
In Conversations Uli Brahmst with Judy Spier
March 2nd - March 30th

IMAGO FOUNDATION

Migration, an exhibition of the work of Harriet Diamond and Sally Mavor
March 14th - April 21st
Opening reception: March 15th, 6pm

TREVA LINDSEY, visiting speaker

Dr. Lindsey will give a talk about the history of Title IX, and the ways in which we grapple with sexual discrimination. She is a “renowned scholar of critical race and gender theory, sexual politics, black feminist theory, women's history and popular culture”.
Friday March 15th, 7pm
Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center/RISD Museum

WATSON INSTITUTE

Maré da Dentro: Life in Rio de Janeiro's Favela, a photo and film exhibit organized by Nicholas Barnes, photographs by Antonello Veneri, and produced by Henrique Gomes da Silva.
March 5th - May 5th
Stephan Rober ‘62 Hall, 2nd and 3rd Floors

Spring Film Series 2019: The Hyperwomen
Thursday, March 21, 2019, 7–9pm
Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street

DAVID WINSTON BELL GALLERY

Recent Acquisitions: Photography and Abstraction
An exhibition of new additions to the gallery’s collection.
Artists showing include: Berenice Abbott, Tom Baril, Marilyn Bridges, Edward Burtynsky, Christiane Feser, Jed Fielding, Bill Jacobson, Lauren Henkin, Dorothy Norman, Gabriel Martinez, Aaron Siskind, and Hiroshi Sugimoto. 
January 19th - May 26th
ARTIST TALK: Bill Jacobson
Tuesday March 12th, 5:30pm

AS220 - ProvSlam

EVERY 1ST THURSDAY
6:00 pm: Free Youth Writing Workshop at New Urban Arts (705 Westminster St.)
8:00 pm: Poetry Show at AS220 (115 Empire St.)

EVERY 3RD THURSDAY
6:00 pm: Free Youth Writing Workshop at New Urban Arts (705 Westminster St.)
8:00 pm: Poetry Show at AS220 (115 Empire St.)

Bowler Lane Projects

An exhibition of work by Frances Tulk-Hart
Opening March 30th, 6-9pm
Newport, RI

RISD MUESUM

Meditative Mending, Christina Bevilacqua will be in the gallery mending and sewing well-loved clothing. Free with admission, all are welcome to bring supplies to sew and mend with her.
Saturday March 16th, 2-4pm

(159) Sutton Street Gallery

Monster Banners & Other Teaching Aids, illustrations by Walker Mettling
Open Gallery Hours: Sunday March 10, 17, 24, 31; 12-3pm
Tuesday March 26, 3-8pm
Tuesday April 9, 3-8pm

 
 

UPCOMING in April, iolabs will host fathom library!

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