new work and summer show

Volcanos

Volcanos

24 x 24 inches

mixed media on panel

I added new photographs and assemblages – all of them can be viewed here: https://sylviedakotahuhn.com/photographs/

The opening reception of my exhibit at the George R. White Library & Learning Center at Concordia University Portland went smoothly – much gratitude to the folks who came out (and to the catering table). My friend of a decade came up to visit, and I was gifted a cataloging rules book circa 1908 from my former exhibitor friend Amanda (Backstory Books) – I geeked out hard. The show will be up until the very end of August.

Reception at Tiny’s

I made the kind folks who showed up to my opening each fill out an answer card from my archives/preservation info table, which included a display of articles and a Hollinger catalog.

The questions were:

“If we were to become extinct, what would you want to leave behind as an artifact of yourself to be found by future inhabitants (if the earth is still inhabitable)?”

(For example: your favorite jacket, your ashes posthumously pressed into vinyl, your paintings, your writings, your skeleton posthumously bronzed with two middle fingers raised)

“What preservation processes would you take to make sure this artifact survives extreme temperatures/time?”

I’ve been thinking a lot about death and ecological ruin these days… must be something in the air…

The tiny cards are now safely behind the Z section door of the Mnemonic Whale, but I hope to eventually put them in a tiny card catalog drawer I’ll be attaching to the right side. I will definitely be welcoming more answers from folks, so I’ll be keeping a few blank cards on me when I’m out and about. In the future I’ll be putting together a handmade book expounding on these ideas from friends.

promo for show at Tiny’s

Postcard announcements finally came! I’ve been scurrying around SE Hawthorne, Belmont, and Division stapling telephone poles – I only ordered 500 cards so I won’t be able to cover all of Portland, but the nearest streets will have to do! Reception is this Thursday from 4:30 to 7pm. I’ll be bringing a few more paintings to display, and I’ll have an (optional) interactive table (it’s a surprise!).

Rambling post about deinstalling the Mnemonic Whale, barcodes, coloring, reference and the tactile

Untitled collage

The Mnemonic Whale officially left the Working Library this past Saturday. It was a slightly messy deinstallation, which consisted of my friend and I sweating and struggling not to knock over the bookshelves as we pushed and pulled to get that box out of there. Finally, Rory (WL’s co-founder) walked over and turned the box at an angle and gracefully removed it as I stood there gaping like a sweaty, embarrassed doofus.  I’m pretty grateful to of had the opportunity to show in WL, and I hope to come back in the coming weeks to see how those shelves will be transformed by the resident artists.

It appeared that most (all) of the items in the whale weren’t taken or traded, but two books were added (one in the N section and one in the Z section).  So I had to lug back bags of books and music home, but I plan to donate them somewhere soon. Although the use of the whale didn’t go as I had hoped, my partner in deinstallation told me at least it was the thought that counted.  Now my cat and I will have to figure out how to best utilize it in my studio.  I’m also planning on creating some shelves within one of my paintings (made out of a wooden shipping pallet) for archival documents and photographs.

Thoughts about art-making in Old Portland: Given the rising tide of demolitions and new, glassy, expensive apartment boxes within the past 10 years – “Old Portland” to me equals anything that has existed since the ’90s and before. The East Portland Eagle Lodge 3256 has existed since 1965, and it may meet the end of it’s life soon.  My friend and former co-worker Lacey has been hosting a coloring book night on Thursdays, where she brings art supplies, puzzles, and her colossal collection of coloring books.  It’s been giving me an excuse to sit among friends, work on a painting inside an old vessel, on a desk next to a mural from 1983, and over-looking decor from the ’60s and ’70s (including what I believe is a rhinestone eagle).  I think once you realize a place will be gone, you want to soak in the space/history as much as you can. The process of art-making alongside others can be a therapeutic way to do that.

Thoughts about work: To save time, it’s usually helpful to just scan a book’s ISBN barcode into OCLC Connexion to bring up search results instead of looking at the copyright page.  But sometimes that ISBN barcode is covered with a store/price barcode and that ancient barcode sticker is glued on tight and no amount of peeling will remove it entirely.  Of course I become all interested in the layered/torn barcodes – and initially I thought it was just a purely visual fascination but I just remembered that it equally has to do with touch.  Texture, rubbing and peeling are all a large part of my painting process, and I don’t think art-making would be worth it to me if the roughness wasn’t there.  I do love copy-cataloging, and I’m looking forward to learning how to catalog from scratch.  I also love being a reference librarian, and although this summer term has brought less students/hours, there are still needs. Last week, an older gentleman came in looking for our hardbound issues of Life Magazine.  When he found out that they had been thrown out to create space, he seemed pretty upset.  Luckily, we both learned that Google Books had digitized the exact issue from 1950 he was looking for. Although he wanted that tactile feel of turning the pages, what we found for his initial request was an example of the benefits of digitization and that librarians can still be involved in providing access.

Working Library Open House in St. Johns 

Last night I went to North Portland for an open house of a collaborative art project called “Working Library”.  It consists of two parts – the first being a visiting artist program that provides an open manifestation of what a library can be. Folks are encouraged to bring their favorite book into the space to have the front and back covers photocopied for a collective binding.

The second is that it’s an artist residency sponsored by c3:initiative, and it plans to “produce artist projects dealing in themes of publication, archive, and collection through the lens of artists of color” (WL program flyer).

Along with drinks/snacks and views of printing presses, folks could sign up for “membership” (I’m #11) – and hand print  the Working Library stamp onto turquoise miniature pencils.  I enjoyed seeing my former grad school classmate (and London traveling buddy) Anne Keech, along with meeting fellow artist Pippa Possible (and chatting on a very comfy couch to avoid the loud banter of the crowds). 

It was great to witness two of my obvious favorites combined: art and librarianship.

http://www.c3initiative.org/