Saturday, May 3, 2014

Creek Float! With the Public Arts Task Force, Syracuse NY May 3 2014

So, our story begins with artist Theresa Barry -- who had co-curated the marvelous Phonography exhibit at the Tech Garden in 2012, check the blog's prior entries for a look -- messaged and asked if I'd consider doing a painting for her Creek Float event with the Syracuse Creek Rats. Where they tie artworks to intertubes and float them down the river to their almost certain waterlogged soluble materials doom ...


Creepfloat, or the Last Voyage of the H.M.S. Chumbucket
52x48 inches, acrylics and caran d'ache on plywood paneling.

My painting for the event, done on a board supplied by the committee and painted with materials donated by The Art Store in Syracuse or hoarded from Golden Artist Colors. And you may rest assured they are all as proud of the results as I am! This was done in basically four days, got the board the Friday before the event and stared at it for a long weekend while watching Ancient Aliens episodes before figuring out what it wanted to be.

And the answer is a zombie pirate boat with certain crew members serving as Gargoyles, spewing forth like bilgepumps to chum the waters as toxic zombie sharks circle ominously. That's me on the plank with my Project-U Artists Group co-Chair Jenna North in manacles while we are confronted with our uncertain fates, shared or no. She'd had a tough week or two, I think we all did, and I'm sick to my stomach of personal politics. Proud of the guy with the parrot, and funny discovery was that the scale of the zombies here is dead-on for the size of the shingle painting figures. So here's a size/ratio to return to, took right to this one. And while walking the plank I'm also getting one last pix to upload for Facebook with the barfing zombies, those always get lots of cheap "Likes".

Dropping off the painting with event organizer Theresa Barry, here with the intertube selected to keep the HMS Chumbucket from a one-way trip to Davy Jones' Locker. 

Saturday actually started off at BC Restaurant in Syracuse where I serve as Artist in Residence, helping April artist Rob Petrie pull his show and welcome May's splendid two-person effort by painter Doreen A. Simmons and the multi-talented Holly K. Austin. And as I like to say, we wouldn't be installing an art show at BC if they aren't tearing up West Fayette St. in front, and sure enough ...  ;[

During setup. They had a bridal shower booked for the afternoon and a hurry was on. I like deadlines! and these ladies were pros, both working at the local law firm of Hancock Estarbrook in addition to being accomplished artistes. They knew exactly what they wanted to see, came prepared and in about 90 minutes we were out the door.

Bingo! Opening reception Thursday May 22nd starting at 5pm and we'll take a closer look at the rest of the show then.

Pastels and prints by Holly K. Austin.

And paintings by Doreen A. Simmons.
More soon!

Then it was literally just a block or two walk to the Syracuse Armory Square Creek Walk, which my punk rocker buddies and I naturally took to calling Creep Walk, hence the name of the painting.

Creepfloat being prepared the morning of -- Hoping a shot of the launching surfaces!

Ice cream floats, for the float. With Theresa B. in that marvelously distinctive Jenna North danger orange jacket.


Theresa B. on megafones.

With Syracuse based artist & milanerist Kath Barry.

And here it comes ...

There's one for the resume.

Steve Nyland, Bachelor of Fine Arts Syracuse University August 1992, 
Master of Fine Arts, State University of New York at Albany, June 1997.

... Kind of got hung up on a backwater there ... Have volunteered to serve as a floating curator in a kayak with a boathook next year. Do you need an MFA for that? or just a life jacket.

And there she goes, so proud. I got much more on video than as pix, will put something together and share it up if there's laughs to be had.

With Martin Butts, founder of local product oriented food source Small Potatoes.

Creek Float artiste Missy Zawacki! husband Mike and their happy little lunchwagon.
Missy was one of the artists who took part in the "Thirteen Directions" exhibit I organized at BC Restaurant last summer, hoping to get to work with her again soon!!

With artist Mark Povanelli, the genius who staged the balloon-popping happening event in the spring of 2012 which convinced me to give Syracuse's art scene a shot.


Syracuse's revered Niagra Mohawk Building, a marvel of Art Deco era architecture that would make a worthy blog post subject. Whom could I talk to about it?

Syracuse's famed Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which has exactly zero (0, or null) items on its menu which I am allowed to consume. Love the place, have heard worse music, but if dinner or take-out from the Dino is on the schedule I will catch up with you later. My willpower disappears around things like ribs & Cajun fries.

With my date for the walk to the retrieval station! Hit me up, my dear!  ;]

Here we go.

Stalwart members of the Public Arts Task Force at the retrieval station, this my 2nd event with them and if they're like this I'm down for more.

Artist Emily Bender with her fabulous creation! That thing rules.

Looking about naptime after a long walk up the creek.

Bring em back alive! Missy Zawacki's totally awesome float, a river snake complete with articulated tail. My favorite of the whole flotilla!

And thar she blows! Survived the trip downriver to Aintry. Hoping someone would like to give it a home, asking $125, or $80 if you got the cash. Need gas money pronto.

With Theresa B.! Ready for more anytime my dear, keep that number handy  ;]

Loading up by the federal building on Washington St., with Syracuse's own Sol Lewitt sculpture there.  People used to lock their bikes to it ... It's Syracuse, what can you do. But this ruled!

UPDATE! Here's six minutes of video detailing the wicked fun to be had on this project.
I guarantee, you will laugh.

Left to right: Project-U artists Jenna North, Catherine Wright, and Audrey H. Russell

And UPDATE!!!! Jenna & the gals from Project-U took to Signature 81's Destination Create event like seasoned artfest vets on Saturday and totally rocked it. Hoping to raise that gas money to make the last day -- How could a guy want to miss that??? Holy jeezus.

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