Announcement: Artist reception @SteynbergSLO: Friday, Sept. 7th, 6-9pm /cc #SanLuisObispo

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Dear friends and family:

Who: A group of artists — including Steven (aka “pa”, aka “daddy”) Boothe

What: Artist reception for Brushstrokes 2012, a juried exhibition featuring original 2D & 3D fine art
Where: The Steynberg Gallery (http://steynberggallery.com/)
When: This Friday, September 7th, 6pm – 9pm

Theme and description: “Writing is painting with the gift of speech. United by this shared theme, this exhibit at the Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo, will provide the selected artists the opportunity of displaying their varied approaches to giving a literary excerpt shape. The resulting art, inspired by words, promises to produce a compelling and memorable show.” ~ Jayne Behman, Exhibit Coordinator

Personal statement: The opportunity to produce work with a literary connection had a strong appeal for me. I have been struggling with both feelings of anguish and desire to find an appropriate response to the many human and environmental dilemmas I feel burdened for while at the same time trying to balance my effort to produce beauty and love in maintaining the health of my own family, friends and co-workers as well. So as I often realize my myriad of short-comings, I am left with frequently reflecting on my priorities by asking myself this recurring question: “Why do I do what I do?”

Along this theme, this last year, I dedicated significant time and energy to understand and participate in the art of protest through the Occupy Wall Street movement. I met many people with extraordinary hearts and talents as we attempted to face the many varied and difficult challenges together. One of these people whom I developed a great fondness and respect for is a visual artist and poet named Justin Gorman-Regier.

Among the first memories of Justin is an encounter in which he showed me some of his small format ink drawings on mat board which immediately reminded me of Jean-Michel Basquiat who used to sell his own small format work as cards on the streets of New York. However, what struck me about the beauty and depth of Justin’s work at that time was the strong element of poetry which he had incorporated into his work as well. In fact, as it turned out, I discovered it is poetry which Justin has spent the majority of his time practicing and refining over the years.

So it is when faced with the need to consider a literary work as inspiration for this exhibit, that the moment I remembered Justin, I called him. But there is more to it than that. Justin and I have shared time together discussing the grief of watching elements of our society self destruct while asking ourselves how to best respond. So, beyond the significant practice, expertise and depth of emotion which Justin brings to his work, it is also this strong connection and harmony of concern with my own, our mutual anguish and quest to find the best response, which I believe makes this pairing of physical and literary sculpture so special.

For instance, consider this first of three stanza’s that Justin wrote for the exhibit:

“If we were fields of falling minds,
flying are the tries that we seem to have,
Some have more, some have less,
But mental’s are a mess, so stress these
Things meaningless and full of the blessed,
Angelic lives, stubborn butterflies, this light
Is so dark, so hearts are gathered in these storms
Disarm or the karma of man will shutter the times,
These minds find wine like ages, these minds die,
So go these lives, these harbored signs,
Dancing through the times, blind, fight to free
Your mind, or climb, designs these days,
Breathe through the masks, it is all a task.”

All three of his stanzas will be available for reading as part of the exhibit. My sculpture stands about 18″ high and is cylindrical at about 5″ wide. It is made from nearly 100% reclaimed materials consisting of hard drive magnets and computer mouse balls applied to some kind of drive shaft. I then used the magnets to fashion a cradle at the top for an old computer track ball to rest with another piece of metal containing an aperture fixed adjacent to it. I then folded up all three stanzas of Justin’s words and stuck them to the side so that they could be easily removed, read, and returned while considering the whole piece.

We would be honored by any all who can join us for the reception.

Sincere and kindest hopes and dreams,

Steven Boothe