December 27, 2011
Still Life with Wood shows the art of Jay Croft. OPENS JANUARY 7.
1. Tell us about your art.
Jay: It’s basically wood cut outs of my characters that I draw and paint. I really like the 2d aspect that they create, its almost 3d but not really. I’ve always drawn since I was kid and everything I do is just an extension of that, there really isn’t a technique, it just sort of happens.
2. Since this show is about personal style… are we going to learn anything new about you?
Jay: I’m not sure… I hope people learn that I am just some kid from the midwest that grew up skateboarding. Skateboarding taught me that I could do anything that I wanted to do. Whether it’s do an ollie, paint a picture or anything that I set my mind to, anything is possible.
3. Has being a skateboarder been important in developing your artistic style over the years?
Jay: Definitely. I have such vivid memories of staring at skateboard magazines for hours checking out people like Lance Mountain, Neil Blender, Chris Miller, the Gonz and just getting lost in what they did and continue to do. I wanted to do those things too. I’m a skateboarder, 100 percent, it’s a big part of who I am. I grew up with a great family teaching me right from wrong, but skateboarding really put everything into focus for me.
4. When it comes to the photographers in this show: Grant, Miki, Dave, Jon and James, what are some of your favorite style elements of their skate photography?
Jay: Again, I grew up just getting lost in skateboard magazines, I still do to this day. I am a magazine nerd. These guys all played a huge part in my upbringing. They just present skateboarding the way that it should be seen… honestly, creatively and raw.
December 20, 2011
Since his days on the California Amateur Skateboarding League contest circuit in 1983, Miki Vuckovich served for many years as Senior Photographer and Senior Editor for TransWorld SKATEboarding, Editor for Skateboarding Business, Associate Producer for the ON Video Skateboarding documentary series, and was a founding member of the Tony Hawk Foundation Board of Directors. Currently he contributes to a number of major skateboarding publications, serves on the Board Of Directors for USA Skateboarding, and continues his work with the Tony Hawk Foundation as Executive Director, helping bring free public skateparks to youth in low-income communities across the U.S.
Miki’s photography will be on view in Still Life with Wood this January at AR4T.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about the photos you’re selecting?
MV: I’ve chosen a set from the past 25 years that seem to bridge the gap, so to speak, between 1986 and 2011. I’ll know for sure, when I see them all up, why I chose the images I did.
2. How are these photos a reflection of you and your style? What are your favorite photography rules to break?
MV: I don’t think there’s a single rule I’ve actually followed! As a photographer doing magazine work, often there’s pressure to get work done at the expense of careful planning and really choosing what you want to shoot. So when you’re able to line up all the elements (subject, location, lighting, etc.) you really want, it usually results in images that stand out among your work. These images represent that. These were memorable sessions that show some of my favorite skaters, their individual styles, and some classic spots.
3. I read online that you were one of the first people to use Instagram? We here at ar4t are such big fans — average people relating to each other on a daily basis through photography. Do you feel the impact in your daily life too?
MV: Absolutely. Photography is something I always think about, and in the past that would only occasionally result in creating an image. The advent of the quality cell-phone camera (namely, the iPhone) and all the related photo apps, has made the act of creating photography a part of my daily life, for sure. So it’s no longer just about “thinking” of photography all the time, it’s about “doing” it. You see something, your phone’s in your pocket, you have no excuse (and you’ll kick yourself later if you don’t snap the photo).
I was definitely not one of the first to use Instagram, but I did “rig” my Twitter account some years ago by using its Twitpic feature to essentially turn it into a photo-sharing medium. Instagram was the answer to social media that I (and clearly millions of others) were waiting for–a way to communicate with people all over the world in a visual way that transcends language and culture. For some reason I “Follow” dozens of people from Indonesia on Instagram. I just love their photos. Go figure. I seem to have a geographically eclectic roster of “Followers,” too. Meet them at @mikivuckovich
4. Is it a challenge to balance photography and being exec. director of the Tony Hawk Foundation?
MV: Sure. We’re a particularly busy organization. It’s work we’re all passionate about (helping create free, public skateparks in low-income communities), so it’s a struggle to balance work with other aspects of our lives. But I just plan more carefully and focus on the things that are really important to me (family, work, photography, skateboarding, etc.). Everything gets its due time, somehow. I managed to put some work together for this show!
5. Have you shared wall space with Grant, Dave, Jon and James before? How far do you guys go back?
MV: This is a dream line-up for me to be included with. Even if I weren’t included, it’s a show I wouldn’t miss, for sure. JGB, King James, Atiba, etc.–these are legends of the medium. I’m really excited to see what they bring. I’m friends with all of them, so that’s a fun component to this show. I’ve known most of them 20 years or more.
In the early 90s, there were the first few “skate-art” shows in LA and NYC. I think some of us were among the artists contributing work to those shows. So some of us have exhibited before, in that capacity. But this show is much more focused, and we each have a larger set of images representing us. Good thing, too–a lot has happened in the past 20 years.
Neil Blender, Sandlands, 1989 by Miki Vuckovich
December 16, 2011
The “Monsters of Skate” in our gallery this January for Still Life with Wood: the photography of Dave Swift, Miki Vuckovich, Grant Brittain, Jon Humphries, Atiba Jefferson and James Cassimus.
Four questions with Dave Swift:
1. Together you guys make an insanely solid group show. What are some of your favorite all time photos by Grant, Miki, Atiba, Jon and James?
Swift: Favorite Brittain shot would have to be a photo of Mike Smith Acid dropping into the hip of the original Combi Pool in Upland, California. Cassimus’ would have to be Alan Gelfand doing an Ollie in the halfpipe at Lakewood skatepark. Jon Humphries in the way he could translate a scene into a photograph, A long time ago he shot a feature that was printed in a magazine on the Burnside Skatepark and I still think of that as his best work. All B&W. Atiba Jefferson has been a colleague of mine for over 15 years. In the early days he would actually come out and video while I shot photos, imagine that? There is a portrait he shot of Jeremy Klein getting kicked in the face for a Hook Ups ad that I really love. But of course there are hundreds more. Miki Vuckovich shot some cool stuff in communist Soviet Union of kids riding on hideous skateboards. I just loved the rawness of those shots.
2. How often do you get out to take photos these days?
Swift: I take photos about once a week nowadays.
3. What do we get to learn about you through this show?
Swift: Previous to my life as a skateboard photographer I was heavily into riding my skateboard and traveled all over the world as a factory team rider for Schmitt Stix skateboards. As the 80s turned to the 90s I was fortunate to work alongside J. Grant Brittain and learn about photography and was soon traveling the world once again, but this time taking photographs of skateboarders.
4. How did you pick the photos to show at AR4T?
December 16, 2011
Swift: I chose to use some of my favorites from the past 20 plus years. Always hard to narrow it down but I selected these based on both the skaters style and the terrain chosen.
We got this letter from Schoph today about a killer art giveaway…
“Hey guys i’m giving away 5 originals this christmas
the deal is after my year been rad for the art and wanting to show a little appreciation for all who’s supported and helped me out, and the christmas spirit of course i’ve chosen 5 originals from my own collection of art to give away at the cost of postage and packaging and a little creativity back to get people creating and get inspired on what there doing
It can be a bunch of things to win a piece heres a taster to get people thinking
1. a drawing / art swap
2. poem or short story
4. a dam good reason why they should have a piece
5. any other way of getting inspired and creative
all this gets people amped on making and creating, as well as i’ll take inspiration from all entry’s to go into my next series of work starting in january 2012
Closing date for entrys is Dec 31st, and the winners will be chosen by me and they’le recieve there new art in the new year after ive had my shred on.
More info: http://dalikfodda.com/blog/schophs-christmas-fart-contest-2011/
December 14, 2011
Chase Adams is a self-taught jewelry artist whose copper and gemstone pieces are complex works of art you can hold in your hand. His new workshop is inside a glass-blowing studio!
1. Since you find a lot of your crystals and stones yourself, do you ever get attached to the pieces and have trouble parting with them?
Chase: I’m over that but I have a few things I keep for myself. Even when someone wants one of those, I see that strong feeling I had when I first saw it — then I want them to have it.
2. How did you get started making jewelry?
Chase: I’ve always done it. But I credit the down economy for really getting into it. I’ve read metalworking books, but never any formal classes. I just make jewelry for the way I wear jewelry.
3. Do you feel more productive now that you have a workshop?
Chase: So much more productive. I work nine to five every day. These guys are helping me so much with life in general.
4. Where do you find your materials?
Chase: I collect a lot of them. Near Lake Tahoe, Arizona. And I have a good relationship with my vendors. I get deer skin leather from a mom and pop shop in Colorado that I found when I was driving the 70 once, and now I order from them all the time. I found the piece of wood [amazing Ar4t dreamcatcher display] in Sedona.
A glass-blowing friend
December 12, 2011
Saturday, Dec 17th, Sam from Mindful Octopus is generously coming to AR4T Gallery for three free kids storytelling yoga classes. 11-12, 1-2, 3-4.
There are limited spaces available, anyone interested MUST RSVP to email@example.com.
December 6, 2011
We are proud to introduce Emily Sano and Shin Sano, two friends from Japan who submitted art for the Active / MIMA Kids for Kids art contest.
Emily Sano is a 6 year old girl who loves to play with her stuffed animals. She loves to name each animal and make stories for them.
Shinnosuke “shin-chan” Sano is an 11 year old boy who mostly spends time drawing and molding monster creatures with clay.
Brother and sister, Emily and Shin were born in Tokyo and live in Edogawa-ward in Tokyo.
Their art will be featured at the “Milk and Cookies : The Storytellers” event this Saturday, Dec 10th, Boys and Girls Club Laguna Beach. Noon to 3pm. Come see us there! http://miniandmaximus.com/mima/events/
December 5, 2011
One big happy family! at THE STORYTELLERS Artists Reception and Hospitality Night Dec. 1-2:
Thursday night reception/ Laguna Beach Artwalk – LCAD student Trace Mendoza joined AR4T extended family with artists Sticky and the Sabori family, Taylor Reeve, Grace Lee, Veronica Lowe, Jason Carrougher and Chantal de Felice who was showing her jewelry. Artwork by Brennan Coyle, Traci Hartless, Karlee Mackie, Chad Hasegawa and 2Jaws accompanied by PG stories of kings, moon travels, rainbows and Thrash-fish – for the kids and kid in all of us…
On Friday night the young Milk & Cookies artists made time in their busy Santa viewing schedule to make ornaments and generally go nuts. “Isn’t that what the holidays are for?” Torrey likes to remind us (is that whiskey in your apple cider?).
Thanks to Dano Forte’s Juke Joint Freak Show, LCAD and Mini & Maximus. Up next, MILK & COOKIES Laguna Beach Boys and Girls Club SATURDAY DEC. 10. Kids Yoga with Mindful Octopus SATURDAY DEC. 17.
December 1, 2011
BRENNAN – Any ideas?
DANA – Granfather and Grandmother Owl.
BRENNAN – I’m cool with gramps. I’m calling it Timeless Romance.
DANA – Done.