Art on the Square 2017 will debut for a new sculpture project entitled, Rail, Trails and Art.
Thanks to a grant from UMB Bank, the project will consist of 10 or more sculpture of my Shtick People using different modes of transportation, including creative bikes and wheeled vehicles of all kinds. The sculptures will be placed along the St Clair County Metrolink alignment, in Belleville, Swansea and Shiloh. The first finished piece will be a unicyclist standing over 8 feet tall and bright yellow. The beauty of these pieces is the abstraction of the vehicle. Sometimes consisting of a simple circle of steel, I am purposely not incorporating all of the details of a real bike, for instance. The viewer will interpret the rest of the vehicle in their mind’s eye. (more…)
In the early 1990s, I was a member of an exclusive club of creatives. Once a month we would randomly pick a word out of the dictionary (a book, not an app) as the basis for art development. The word, its definition or an association of some sort. led to amazing works in 2-D, 3-D, written, recited, song, performance or any means of communicating and interpreting the artistic approach. Words like Ruction, Portevangelium, Dypolstamulium, Crystal were some of the challenges which forged more creativity. (Excuse my spelling… the dictionary used in selecting words was several volumes and in great depth of origin and explanation. Spell checking for this article, my Dictionary App did not have a couple of these listed).
The hand full of artists, architects, graphic designers, writers and creative folks came together and discussed their interpretations. The interpretations, explanations and demonstrations by each individual provided conversations about philosophy, environment, psychiatry, engineering, lighting, color and always humor. Creativity does transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns and relationships. Its the basis for new ideas and expressions.
I am reminded of this special club because I recently sold an original piece of artwork that I painted in 1993. It is one of in the Crystal series, which employed techniques generated of the club. My current work entitled Ethereal Environments is actually an outgrowth from the earlier series.
Not too far from our office is a successful company that performs work that most of us have little knowledge.
Who repairs and paints railroad locomotives? You can’t just pull them into a local service station or paint shop like an automobile.
Located in the center of the USA, MetroEast Industries has miles of track just south of their offices in Alorton, Illinois and East St Louis, Il. They have hundreds of railcars and locomotives ready for make-overs. These vehicles arrive tired, rusted and in need of mechanical and and aesthetic repair. (more…)
We wish Pastor Ed Weston well as he retires from Union United Methodist Church in Belleville, Illinois. Under his leadership, the church trustees achieved many mileposts with their church building and property during a period of ten years. U-Studios was involved in many of them, including the expansion of administrative office, new entrance lobby, remodel of the sanctuary, classroom expansion and planning, children’s day care and exterior renovations.
Ed Weston was our liaison with the church members during the many projects. He was one of the rare clients that allowed us to do our job in planning and design, which provided a better end product. We will miss his good humor, his rapport with us and others and knowledge of the workings of the church. Thanks Ed.
The value of a sketch determines the future.
From an early age I was taught by my parents, both artists, that a small sketch or doodle, begins a process of thought and imagination. The connection between seeing and manipulating the pen or pencil by hand provides a touch of magic leading to many creative ideas. My folks referred to the small drawing as a “thumbnail sketch” which typically is a few inches in size. The question of “What do I draw?” or “Where do I start?” may be a challenge for young and old. But the value of the first mark on a page turns into the second and then the next and next, allowing the mind and hand to develop a path towards simple line concluding with the potential of brilliance. (more…)