Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Happy New Year!!!!!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
While you are there mill around a bit, lots of interesting sellers. The philosophy is based on goods that are handmade. A great idea all around.
Thanks for you interest!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Geology as metaphor and memory
The art of Mindy Barker at Fulcrum Gallery
By Dave R. DavisonFor Tacoma Weekly
Published on: September 04, 2008
Tacoma artist Mindy Barker recounts that as a teenager living with her family aboard a sailboat on Bellingham Bay, all she wanted for her birthday was a geode. Her birthday wish was fulfilled and when she got her crystal-filled stone orb she would sit and stare at it, fascinated by its colors and its form.
Barker’s fascination with geological forms underlies both the metaphoric and the visual essence of a show of her work currently on display at the Fulcrum Gallery, one of the artistic gemstones of Tacoma’s artistic landscape.
Entitled “Slice,” the show consists of a series of rich paintings as well as an installation utilizing glass as a medium.
Barker’s paintings begin with photographic images that are fixed onto the surface. She then uses paint to extend the bounds of the photograph. In these “photo extensions,” the original photographs are more often than not so well embedded in the painting that it is often difficult to see where the photo ends and the painting begins. Indeed, in a few of the works it takes a trained eye to locate the seed-photo at all.
Earlier examples of Barker’s “photo extensions” had a surreal bent. Those in the current exhibit, however, have a distinctly geological feel. The paintings consist of rocky shapes layered upon one another like the stratified layers of stone and sediment in a cut-away slice of the earth.
Barker’s boulders, stones and pebbly shapes are done in the lush and lavish colors of a mature color palette.
“Red Java,” for example, is a horizontal painting done in exquisite reds– lava and red licorice. The piece is built around photographic images of the graffiti on the booth furniture of the Java Jive Café.
“Rest,” on the other hand, is done in intense greens and blues that are fudged with murky smudges.
Barker also does painting on recycled CDs, making art that is affordable and interchangeable. She calls these paintings “Remixes” and there is a display of them in the current show.
Specifically for the show at Fulcrum, Barker created an installation entitled “Slice.” Gallery owner and glass artist Oliver Doriss encouraged Barker to utilize glass and she rose to the challenge. Using black pigment to outline her organic, geological strata onto the glass, Barker then filled some of the void spaces with translucent, photographic images while leaving others blank. The composition was then sealed with another glass plate held in place with steel hardware. The photo images are random: odd vegetables and anthropomorphic tree trunks, toys floating in a tub, polka-dotted cereal bowls, body parts, and stacks of stones are but a few of the images encountered.
Barker compares these compositions to slices of her own mind, a “landfill” where memories reside in random juxtaposition with each other. The void spaces are places where memories have been lost. Barker also painted the front windows of the gallery in the same technique, thus creating an interactive experience of space that starts at the curb outside the gallery. A viewer peering into the window is unwittingly made a participant in the piece as are gallery visitors who are visible to one another through the heavy panes of glass that are suspended from the ceiling by means of steel cables. If the embedded images are memories, the occupants of the gallery would be mindfulness of the present moment.
Baker’s art seems to perfectly balance the random moment with a consummate skill in the handling of her materials. Her work dazzles the space of the Fulcrum Gallery like the rich-hued crystals inside an especially fortunate geode.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Mindy Barker impresses at Fulcrum Gallery
by Alec Clayton
Aug 28, 2008
But first, let’s look at what they all have in common: photographs and/or pieces of photographs either collaged or photo-transferred onto the surface of the paintings and sandwiched between large rocklike forms. The rock shapes dominate the picture surfaces and are painted with soft value changes, which give them a fully rounded appearance and are often combined with dark, cavelike openings. The photographs are jammed into these openings and often look as if they are in danger of being crushed. In some of her paintings these forms appear to all be on the same plane; in some there is an illusion of depth; and in at least one, Red Java, the rock shapes are bulbous, breastlike forms that appear to advance forward as if visually bursting out of the confines of the canvas. This painting, by the way, is my favorite in the show.
These paintings are inventive and intriguing, begging the question: What is the meaning of these photos of people and objects, and why are they placed within abstract paintings in such strange ways? Barker’s use of illusory space is problematic. In some, the depth and the density are almost overwhelming, creating holes that disrupt the composition. But in most she pushes right up to that precipice without falling in. It’s a dangerous and effective balancing act.
The paintings on glass represent a new direction for Barker, something I’m told she has never done before. They are hung as a group and lighted in such a way that each painting is duplicated in its reflection against the gallery wall; plus, all of the paintings can be seen through one another so that the five hanging glass panels and their reflections and shadows become a single work of art. But that’s not all. The paintings on the window are in the same style, so when looking through the windows from outside they also become part of a unified installation.
Unlike the paintings on canvas, the works on glass have no illusory space. There are amoeba-like cells in flat black acrylic with photographs trapped inside the cells. The overall effect is powerful. And the technical skill with which they are constructed and painted is much in evidence, but when the paintings on glass are viewed individually they are not as effective as are her paintings on canvas. The big difference is that the modulation of tone from dark to light in the works on canvas is much more visually appealing than the flat and brittle black forms in the paintings on glass.
In the Best of Tacoma issue of the Weekly Volcano I chose Fulcrum as the best gallery. Its last show and this one are proving me right. There will be an artist’s talk Sunday, Aug. 31, from 6 to 9 p.m.
[Fulcrum Gallery, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Thursday 6-9 p.m. and by appointment, through Sept. 14, 1308 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma, 253.250.0520, email@example.com]
Friday, August 22, 2008
Rachel dressed to match...gotta love those roller derby girls!
Me enjoying this swell time and Drew goofing with Galen (who had a GREAT neon show at the Fulcrum earlier this year).
Hey, who's that cute guy? My bro, Stigen.
Hey, and another one. My bro Leif, broken arm and all.
Bea, Bill (who drove out from Spokane that day and drove back that night. Man, what a friend!!!), and Paige (out here from Idaho!)
Taya, my sweet cousin from Seattle.
The Fulcrum Galllery by day....
The Fulcrum by night...
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
There will also be paintings. Here is a snippet:
A statement about the work:
After observing an exposed, eroding hillside near her painting studio, Mindy imagined the multitudes of memories compressed within each layer of dirt. Like minerals captured within each layer, memories collect in our brains and are compacted together as one aggregated life experience.
The compositions for “Slice” are entombed between sheets of glass, like a brain specimen upon a microscope slide. The random photographs embedded among the painted stratum suggest vivid memories buried in a landfill of forgotten experience.
Hopefully you can make it, would love to see you!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The lovely Rachel and Wes... wouldn't have happened without them since Rachel
owns the Blackwater. Thank you both!
Sydney and Colleen showing the show's postcard designed by Wes
AND looking sparkly spanky.
Sean and Erin.
Claire and Adam listening to the sweet sauerkraut sounds from Committee for Public Safety.
My 2 contributions to the show hanging close.
Committee for Public Safety
Drew Schot, Darin Renggli, Geoff Weeg, Sylvester Thomas III (aka "Sly")
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
A random picture taken while I was taking ones for his almost realized Argentine Tango website. He, at one point, was fixing to teach tango in Tacoma with me as his partner. I was honored he asked me.
This was his entry "outfit" for our "Most Ugly Christmas Sweater" contest last Christmas, 2007. You actually can not see the nativity scene that is strapped to his waist in this pic...but it was there! He didn't win (one of his daughters, Cortney, did) all because he had to plug in his lights where as Cortney was free to flit.
A drawing I did about him, called "Will". That is Uncle Bill playing the bass (with a full band) in Drew's "Husband Land" right after we moved into our Gig Harbor beach house.
I miss him much.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
747 N Fawcett Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98402
Two "ReMixes" to gander:
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Here's a write up the Volcano did regarding the event: