07 May 2008

sometimes you wonder where you've been all your life

Ray Schwartz happened to send me a notice for the Spencer Finch talk last night at Cedar Lake. Finch is doing the first public art installation on the High Line. When I sent the notice to the ARLIS/NY list last week, Holly Wilson said "thanks" and he's one of her favorite artists. I trust Holly's taste (is that safe?) and decided I should go even though I just got back from the ARLIS/NA conference in Denver on Monday night and could probably use some sorting and/or sleeping time. But, boy, the lecture was great. Holly and her husband have a couple drawings by Finch: a drawing of snowflakes is one of them. Finch is captivating. His website is at http://www.spencerfinch.com/. The first part of the High Line park is supposed to be open in the later fall and Finch's project (stained glass windows in the building above the Chelsea Market) is scheduled to be up for a year from then.

So why wasn't this wonderful artist already in my ken? He was at RISD but graduated in 1989. I didn't work there until academic year 1989/1990. He has exhibited at galleries where I certainly have been numerous times. He does the kind of conceptual, thoughtful, quirky, ironic, earthy stuff I like, sometimes subtle, sometimes outrageous. Oh, well, NOW I know. Thanks, Holly. Not only all that but he also talked about the creativity that can come from not having enough to do. Finch had been in New Zealand for some time not so long ago and showed up some slides of stuff he did out of the boredom. I couldn't help reflecting on my brother's thoughts about me surviving in Alfred where there's stuff to do but it ain't New York City.

John Maier, Alycia Sellie, and Matt (Alycia's partner) also joined us. We walked past the Finch site and ended up at Karavas for some food -- I think it basically satisfied both the meat eater and vegetarian crowd. The pita was warm and the felafel was tasty. Alycia and Matt are from Wisconsin so I had some fun talking about Michael Perry, the author and humorist who writes about New Auburn, the town where we lived in the early 1950s. Early life thoughts are especially rampant these days, just having gotten back from Colorado where we lived in the later 1950s. I didn't get up to Boulder but did have good Colorado thoughts.

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