Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tales of Grizzled Warriors
by Michael Fallon
posted on Dec. 14, 2008 - 10:36pm at

This piece is posted on Minneapolis's Secret's of the City online magazine. Michael Fallon is an artist, arts writer, and arts administrator based in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

It isn't one of my favorite pieces of writing from him but I do think it is very timely topic and was glad to come across it.

"Ensuring continuity—both for individual artists and among the arts community—is what concerns me the most when I think about how the art community treats its aging artists, forgetting them at the twilight of their career. I can only imagine what it might feel like to work creatively for an adult lifetime, to survive while holding down multiple jobs, perhaps a mortgage, and all the attendant worries involved with being a modern American—only to meet up with a immoveable brick wall just when you finally have time to take on all the creative projects (during retirement) that you someday wanted to get to. Is it possible that any of the golden-curled young artists emerging now, so stuck in their own internal battles to make it big on the scene, have any ability at all to learn the lessons from the grizzled artists who came before them? Is it possible they even care?"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Did I tell you I had my bottom wisdom teeth removed two weeks ago, well I did. They were big ones too. I stayed awake for it, which wasn't bad at all. Now I have holes in the back of my mouth that I have to clean out after I eat.

I am working at Reprodepot ( and Valley Fabrics ( They are both fabric stores here in western Mass. Reprodepot is an online and Valley Fabrics is a little quilt shop.

I have started quilting, it is pretty nice. Joshua and I designed a quilt top together and sewed it all by hand and now we are going to hand quilt the batting and backing to it. The next quilt I am making for my niece I am going to sew the top with a machine and hand quilt.

over and out

Monday, November 10, 2008


I am in a show at Umass Amherst. The show is called New England/New York/ New Talent 2008 and was juried by David Gibson and Klaus Postler. It is being held at the the Hampden Gallery.

please go to to see images of my piece in the show.

It is a cave space for the Spacemaker to make her borderlines in. The knitted border will grow out of one end of the mountain.

how are you?

Obama is prez, yes!


Monday, November 03, 2008

dear goodness it has been a while.

last week I met up with two good friends in Hartford, CT to visit Mark Twain's former residence. It was pretty neat. If you are into patterned walls and wood, this would be a good place to visit. Louis Comfort Tiffany designed the patterns for the walls.

I have an opening at Umass Amherst this Friday the 7th of October, maybe I will write more about this tomorrow.

If you are voting for Obama and Biden please remember to vote Tuesday.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A piece that a young'n did at Amherst Community Art Center.
Not to sound cheese-tastic but there is something kind of sacred spacey about this piece for me.

let us hibernate

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Last Thursday was writing night at my old home. The topic for the evening was Maude (pictured right). It was really nice to hear the writings of the 5 housemates on Williams street. Ben, Vanessa, Carolyn, Ella, and Siri. Siri had told me about writing night the week before and invited me to come for this night about Maude. We did 5-minute exercises to different feeder lines.

-What Maude tells us when we are sleeping

-First person account of when Maude disappeared for a couple of days

-Maude in the bathtub

-Maude's conversation with her inner child

-She slinks, she bats, but she don't Yatzee

-Cold room, steaming vomit

I don't like to sleep alone.
Me Neither.

September 28th was Joshua Vrysen's birthday (pictured left in the photo above)
Happy Birthday Joshua.
Happy Birthday emmett.
Happy Birthday Laura.
Happy Birthday Isabella.

Also not today but any way welcome Kieran Xander.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fall might be coming early, the leaves are starting to change, last year it happened late, I don't really know but this is what I have seen.

I went to the Demolition Derby at the 3 County Fair in Northampton on Sunday night. Holy hell!!!!!! Maybe it needed a tad more fire, but it was still amazing. I didn't think I would be as excited by it as I was. The spectacle spectacular. Popping tires and disappearing trunks. Radiators getting crushed and letting out steam. It was invigorating. I’m not really sure how one wins, the rules were a little fuzzy to me. One man told me that there is only one rule and that is one cannot slam into the driver’s side door.

I went with Joshua and my friend Siri. Joshua enthusiasm was the catalyst for the adventure.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Currently I am at Elsewhere Artist Collaborative for a visit. (If you would like to learn more about Elsewhere please click on the links below.)

Last night Guerra De La Paz (who are artists in residence at Elsewhere) spoke at the Weatherspoon Museum located on the University of North Carolina Greensboro campus. The piece they are working on at Elsewhere is called Six Thai Trannies (in Heaven) There is a sneak peek party this Wednesday and Friday is the opening. If you are in Greensboro or nearby come, it is amazing. If you can't, check out their website.

Guerra De La Paz website:

Guerra De La Paz's Elsewhere blog:

Elsewhere's flickr page:

Elsewhere's web page:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

There is far more.

And far more restrictions.

What is happening here?

We are not allowed to see dead.

Distance and disconnect.

If accessable would it make a difference?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

hill and dale and hill and dale and hill and dale

where do you want to go? why?

What do you want to do? why?

I am in the midst of writing my final paper for my internship on how to get 20 - mid 30 year olds to move to Pittsfield/The Berkshires and to stay here, create family here, grow their roots into the hills.

Are you ready to stay where you are? If you have committed to a place, why?

Have you been to Pittsfield ever? Have you been to Massachusetts ever? Hello, we are up here in the northeast corner of the United States.

Would I move to Pittsfield?

There is potential in Pittsfield, there is possibility. There is space, cheap space. There are businesses like Dottie's Coffee lounge, Chapters Bookstore, and Mission Bar and Tapas who are owned by young business owners. There are art spaces like Storefront Artists Project, The Copperworks, and Zeitgeist who are owned or manned by young artists.

What is to be done when so many communities are struggling to draw and retain the next generation of community leaders? How do you encourage and cultivate the young adults that you already have?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Patty Chang's video Shangri La (2005) is currently showing as part of Mass MoCA's Eastern Standard: Western Artists in China. The show runs until March 2, 2009. The piece pictured above is a sculpture based on the mountains near the town of Shangri-La and is shown being constructed in the film. The town near the Tibetan border that Chang travels to in the movie named itself in 1997 after the mythical place in James Hilton's novel Lost Horizon. I have been waiting to see this video for about two years (you can see stills on her website). The video builds slow and ends in an amazing sequence. Chang touches upon many layers of East/West perceptions ping ponging back and forth through thoughtful imagery.

I climbed the stairs to the gallery that Chang's work is placed and the "mountain" rose up out of the dark. It was a really lovely moment.

Chang has two videos showing, Shangri La (2005) and Flotsam, Jetsam (2007) a collaboration with David Kelley.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Massachusetts has 351 towns and cities, I did not know this until today. While working on the Cultural Pittsfield Newsletter this week I can across This couple (Laura and Bobb) is visiting every town/city in Massachusetts and documenting it. I like their map and how they are filling it in as they go. Wicked exciting!

Plus here is a link to Massachusetts swimming holes in Massachusetts

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

We've got scaley flesh like our fish friends. We are getting ready for our water life, possibly. It is very wet this summer here, good practice.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yesterday I went to the North Adams' Historical Society Museum and the Hoosac Tunnel Museum, both located in the Western Gateway Heritage State Park in North Adams, MA.

At the Historical Society Museum Marie Rose, a lifetime resident of North Adams, gave me a tour. She volunteers at the Historical Society and Mass MoCA (I also saw her at Bang on a Can). Born in 1938, she has seen the town change over the years. She was an employee of Sprague Electric, formally located in what is now Mass MoCA. The Historical Society was full of objects and images of North Adams history, plus some things like southwest Indian pottery, baskets and dolls, an exhibit on bees, and a rock, insect and small rodent collection. There also was a black-light room dedicated to the disk that Sprague Electric sent the moon. I enjoyed the museum, I enjoyed experiencing it with Marie Rose, but also it made me really sad.

The Hoosac Tunnel Museum helped put in perspective the history of the Hoosac Tunnel and how and why it came to be. The tunnel is a little under 5 miles long and runs through the Hoosac Mountain from Florida, MA to North Adams, MA. There was a video from WGBH made in 1990 that tied everything together nicely. Above is an etching of workers wearing rain slickers while tunneling in the Hoosac Mountain. The mountain is a very wet mountain especially in the western part. When workers would blow up the rocks many times gallons of water would pour out from the rocks, sometimes people would drown. The mountain has 5 different types of rock. The western rocks are softer and moister.

The Western Gateway Heritage State Park is a sweet little park. It is has the Freight Yard Pub, Berkshire Creative Arts (community art center), and a quilt shop. I think it is the smallest state park in Massachusetts, possibly New England.

Pictured above is a piece from the Bang on a Can (BOAC) marathon concert held at Mass MoCA last night. Sorry the picture quality is so poor. The overall concert started at 4pm and went until 11:30pm. It was one of BOAC's marathon concerts. People are free to come and go through out the marathon. This was a relatively short one. They have held 12 and 36 hour concert with a variety of composers. Last nights special guest was Terry Riley.

This piece is called something makes something something. It is composed by Sean Francis Conway, who is on the left in the picture playing the didgeridoo. The two men on the right are Jude Traxler (center) and Mitsutoshi Toda (left) providing percussion for the piece.

Jessica Park had a show up at Gallery 51 in North Adams, MA earlier this summer. I had never seen her work before. I think it is amazing. The show mainly consisted of color copies of her original paintings, so at first I thought they were all digitally done. I was told that since most of her work gets bought from all over the country, they were not able to get many original paintings back for the show.

Some of my most favorite parts of her paintings are the celestial elements in the skies’ of her paintings, the way night sky can appear in the windows of the buildings, her use of color and how carefully she prepares them, and her attention to minute details and staying true to them. In one painting there is an unfinished doorbell with all it’s wiring hanging out. It was a painting that was commissioned by a woman in Boston of her new home. Instead of painting it out like many people who would paint portraits of peoples houses, Park had to paint it in because that is how it was at the time she saw it.

Her favorite color is mint green.

Park appears in a video by Olive Sacks called Rage for Order. This is also the title of her web page. Park’s is an artist with Autism. She lives in Williamstown, MA and works as a mail clerk at Williams College. (Jessica's website) (short article about Exploring Nirvana, a 97 page book on Jessica Parks' art)

Friday, July 25, 2008

I was looking at masks online and came across this.

L'Inconnue de la Seine

The unknown woman of the Seine

"An unidentified young woman whose death mask became a popular fixture on the walls of artists' homes after 1900. Her visage was the inspiration for numerous literary works." - wikipedia

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This is an overhead view of the former Northampton State Hospital. If you click on the link below it will take you to the Advocates' (a weekly newspaper in western MA) website, which has an interactive tour of the old main building (the building outlined in red). The main building is a Kirkbride structure. Kirkbride designed many state hospitals throughout New England and the Midwest. He believed the way the buildings were set up would provide the best opportunity for people to heal.

The building looks like a bat or bird from above. The two "wings" of the building were seperated by male and female. The place where they meet is the entrace and area of the building and housed nurses stations and clericle offices. The "wings which housed the patients were set up with the most severe patients at the tips of the wings with each section that comes closer to the center houseing patients who where higher functioning.

For the virtual tour visit

More on Northampton State Hospital:

More on Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride

info about Massachusetts State Hospitals visit

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

This show opened at the Lichtenstein on Saturday and will be up until August 16, 2008. If you happen to be in Pittsfield come to 28 Renne Ave. and see it. The opening was packed. It was a nice night.

I did the layout and installation of work.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This Thursday night in downtown Pittsfield will be the June 3rd Thursday. If you find yourself in the Berkshires and want to come to a fun night of music, food, dance, and art, stop by Pittsfield, the events will be happening from 5-8pm with some after hours events too.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Eat your carrots for good vision.

Snot nosed bitch ass.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day.

Working the gardens.

You watching your mouth?

Don't punch the customers.

They frown upon that.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The last tap dance class before the floors get redone at the Lichtenstein Center happened tonight. It sounded great.

I held down the fort today, and did a pretty decent job. Marla and Megan are having a nice time at the NEA conference in Minneapolis. They ate at Nye's. Megan had lunch with Ann Hamilton. Yup Ann Hamilton.

Tomorrow all the furniture goes upstairs and our floors will get redone.

There was a planning meeting tonight for the Pittsfield Ethnic Fair. It went well, it was very concise.

My friend Jazu came in at the end of the day to tell me about a informal critique he and some people are having at his house the last Wednesday of the month. I'm looking forward to it. We went to Umass together in the sculpture department, it will be nice to see what he is working on now and see what other artists in Pittsfield are doing and actually be able to discuss it in depth as opposed to seeing it in a gallery. I like seeing work in progress.

good night

Sunday, June 08, 2008

This picture is from the web site

It is a picture of the Hoosac Tunnel circa 1874. The tunnels west opening is not this fancy anymore. I am reading about it at the moment via the intra web. A little rock monument in downtown North Adams says that 194 people lost their lives in the construction of the tunnel. It took 24 years to build, 1851 -1875. It is about 4.7 miles long. 24 feet wide and 20 tall.

Some sites to visit for pictures and bits of information

there are many more, maybe I will edit this list later.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Very hot and muggy today. I am in Pittsfield at the moment.
I am in the office of Cultural Development. There will be music this evening.
I set up the chairs, I will take them down.

What are you doing?

My bed is very moist from all the humidity, ish ish ish.
Marla and Megan will be in Minneapolis Monday and Tuesday, I will be in the office alone. They will be in the place I was two weeks ago and spent two years, ago.

I retrieved for my sweety a wooden egg today. It is dressed up in Ukranian attire. I miss him.

I miss you.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Arts All State took place on May 30 and 31. The theme was "limits, no limits". Here is the scoop. Two artists mentors work with a group of 17 juniors in high school on an installation in less than 36 hours. There are 7 groups, so there are 7 installations. My partner mentor was Rosa Ibarra (pictured on the right). Each group is only allowed to work with three items (and an unlimited supply of adhesives), two of which the mentors pick out and one suprise item that is assigned by the Arts All State staff. Rosa and I picked mylar and wallpaper. Our Suprise item was cd stack holders. At first I thought that it was a terrible material, but let me say that the group really used them well.

We ate sandwiches and cookies.

In a purely objective opinion, I think that the students I worked with, as a whole, worked so well together, maybe the best group in terms of team cooperation and effort. They came to a concensus on what the concept of the installation should be and all worked to make it happen. There were a few shining shiny stars who were great leaders of there peers.

The day started by Rosa and I taking our group up to a painting called "A Portrait of Gaylord". The portrait is a painting of the head of Gaylord floating over a city block with other little scenes depicting his life surrounding his head. We had a discussion about the piece and its placement in the gallery of other paintings. The group started to compare it to the painting on the wall that was next to it, siting that the structure of elements in each painting was very similart but that the other painting was more negative.

The installation had to do with television and alienation. The group took more visual cues from the Gaylord painting but conceptual cues from the painting they compared it to.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


busy busy.

I am doing and internship at the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development and living in North Adams. Today I begin. I think it is going to be a good learning experience. I will start taking pictures and start posting here.

Last Friday and Saturday I was a mentor at Arts All State at the Worcester Art Museum. It was a great time. I will post pictures on flickr soon.

Meander at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis was a great time. I will write more later, when my thoughts are a little more in order.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I am in Minneapolis
This is what is being worked on.