Saturday, October 25, 2014

Small Spaces: 5 Questions with Joanne Titolo

Two of the newest pieces for Small Spaces are located on N. 6th Street. 

Artist Joanne Titolo produced two pieces of stark contrast: the piece up high is a painting of rocks, and the piece on street level is an installation of soft, white feathers.

Zach and I requested for Joanne to participate in our "5 Questions" series, and here are her answers.

1. What is your background in art?
I have a BA in fine art with a focus in painting, but continue to expand my knowledge. 

2. What other media do you work in besides what you are doing for Small Spaces?
I now work in metals, both precious and base, natural and found objects, and pit fired clay.

3. Where do you get your inspiration and style?
My inspirations come from the natural world and it's many forms. My style has evolved over the years. 
4. Is there a message you are trying to get across with your art?
 I don't consciously try to make messages. I just work.
5. Where (online or otherwise) can we view more of your work?
I have a studio in Battle Ground, IN, show in Artists' Own Gallery in Lafayette, IN,  and can be found on the web at

Friday, October 24, 2014

Small Spaces: Aaron Zernack

Aaron Zernack installed an op-art piece in the alley behind the Lafayette Theater. If you like op-art, go see it. It will make your eyes wiggle and your mind explode ...

aaron zernack

Just kidding, of course.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Small Spaces: Brock Richert

Have you seen the Brock Richert piece on the Haywood Printing building?

Zach and I first saw Brock's work during the Gallery Walk in July. We love his work and thought it would be a great addition to the project. Brock finished painting this piece earlier this month. It was shared on the Small Spaces Facebook page a while back and I had meant to share it on the blog as well but I kept getting sidetracked. So here it is, in all its black and white glory. This piece is a sight to behold in person. If you haven't seen it, go check it out! And if you're interested in seeing more of Brock's work, check out his shop, Axiom 551, on Earl Avenue in Lafayette.


Art in the buff (Part 2)

It is probably too simple to say that any creation can be aesthetically considered art. Philosophers, aestheticians in particular, who have spent years examining the value of art and its social implications have yet to come up with a consensual definition of art. It would seem then that the only assumption there is to make, is that art is something subjective.  Most of us are taught that good artists have MFAs and important art comes framed, boxed, or sitting on a pedestal in a museum. Like animals in a zoo, "good" art does not roam free; they have to be visited. Their implied importance separate them from the everyday. People read about art, artists, and artists' statements and think they know the facts. But all the same, art remains distant. People recognize art but they do not experience it; it is the meaning, not the image, that interests them most. And sadly, art becomes a commodity and is accommodated in most societies as a kind of privileged communication. 

street art indiana
here one day, gone the next. not an unusual fate for street art.
Street art is the antithesis of that kind of art. Street artists communicate shared experiences. They transform their observations of the everyday into colorful and concrete forms that are tangible. They make art accessible and applicable to people from all walks of life. Most street artists work anonymously, keeping their identities separate from their art. Works are put up, works are taken down. Works are put up, works are covered over. This ephemeral nature is inescapable. 

What happened to Sagan Newham's piece on the Haywood Printing building was not censorship (contrary to what she believes). It was simply a contractual agreement. She had full knowledge that her work was going to be removed. She was notified of the building owner's concerns after her first day of painting, and told the work was coming down after the painting was complete. The J&C reported that story, so even the public knew the work was going to be covered over. For her to say she had no knowledge of this is disingenuous. Her own fecklessness kept her from mounting a defense of the work over the past month of its existence. She was supposed to install 2 other works in town.  But she quit the project instead of choosing to respond to criticism through her work, like any other artist would have. What she sees as censorship, I see as a failed work of art. Not because it was a bad painting or that there was poor technique or skill or vision, but simply because it didn't communicate her concept. That is her failure as an artist, not the failure of the public's ability to view art. You don't get an artist statement with street art. Intentions are meaningless. The work has to be able to stand on its own two legs.  This one did not.

I'm tired of seeing people bash public perception as though ignorance is the only thing that plays into their bias.  Likewise, it is unfair for her to be upset with the "unfortunate folks" who did not get her painting. Their opinions are just as valid as hers. And when a work is put up in public, it is left to the public to decide its meaning. It is elitism for an artist to dismiss public perception of public art. It is pretentious to want to paint the experience of "factory workers" when the artist has no access to the experience she is depicting. Her work ends up being presumptive and stereotypical, shallow and superficial. The painting lacks research, investigation, and effort, and it shows.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

well kitty

If you read my sad post yesterday and have been wondering if our cat is okay, I am over the moon happy to report that he is! 

Well, he is still sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and snorting around like a little piglet, but the vet called today and gave him a clean bill of health. His blood work and other tests returned clear. He is going to be okay!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

sick kitty

I took this poor cat to the vet yesterday. 

He had been sneezing, coughing, and wheezing, and he sounded all stuffed up. The vet has him on a course of antibiotics, and assures me that he'll be feeling better in a couple of days. She took a blood sample and gave him a physical exam. He's lost 3 pounds since our last visit. "His eyes are showing signs of aging," she told me. My eyes welled up with tears when I heard that.

Our cat is almost 15 (that's the equivalent of 76 human years!). I've had him for so long that I honestly don't remember what life was like before him. I've never been able to think about him being gone. I always shut down that thought immediately, I dare not let my mind go to that horrible place. This cat has never been sick in his life until now. It absolutely breaks my heart to see him miserable. I'm hoping we hear good news from the vet tomorrow when his test results come back.

I am sad, and I am scared.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Small Spaces: Free Thought. No Change.

zach medler

small spaces lafayette

A couple of weeks ago, Zach put up some new pieces for Small Spaces. We shared this piece, entitled Free Thought. No Change. on Facebook, and it got some people discussing what that phrase meant.

zach medler

What do you think it means?

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