Saturday, May 31, 2014

Printed Fabric Collages

zach medler

zach medler

zach medler zmedceramics


letter blocks say what

zach medler blog

zmedceramics zach medler

INDIEana handicraft exchange 2014

If you follow Zach on Instagram, you've probably already caught a sneak glimpse at these new printed fabric collages that he's been working on. If not, I hope these pictures are a nice Saturday afternoon treat!

Friday, May 30, 2014

late Friday night music

It was another one of those busy, busy weeks. Zach had meetings every day for projects that are taking place later this summer. I spent the week at home, printing, sewing, and prepping for the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange. In the evenings, we'd go outside and work in the garden. Life is good and full. We have no complaints.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review of "New Ideas" in the J&C

Read the original article here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

small blocks

Zach cut these blocks for the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange event we are doing in June!

INDIEana handicraft

INDIEana handicraft exhange

INDIEana handicraft exchange

Wonder what he's planning to do with them ...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Garden Update: May 2014

Over the weekend, we helped Zach's mom plant her garden. It is a huge space compared to our tiny patio. We added 54 tomato plants, a handful of peppers, 2 eggplants, a whole row of mammoth sunflowers, celery, beans, raspberries, and broccoli to her existing collection of cabbage, strawberries, zucchinis, and onions. It was a whole day of work under the hot sun. Zach must have moved a whole ton of mulch by himself!

We were tired, sore, and achy when we got done. But look at her garden now! It's beautiful!

On the home front, I have a whole new appreciation for our patio container garden. Since April, we've harvested some chinese veggies and a round of turnips and radishes. In their place, I sowed a round of red choy, kale, and 2 boxes of calendula.

We visited Bennett's Greenhouse and bought ourselves another raspberry shortcake plant. If you ever see this in a nursery and you love raspberries, seriously consider snagging one. They are awesome. You get the sweetest raspberries on a thornless bush that's not only easy to care for, but also super productive and hardy. In addition to that, we also bought a peach sorbet blueberry plant (to replace the one we lost this winter),

letter blocks say what indiana garden

a tiny patchouli plant for Zach,

letter blocks say what indiana garden

and a lemon verbena for me.

letter blocks say what indiana garden

We are still waiting to transplant the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers that we started from seeds.

And we're also waiting on our beets and carrots to finish up.

letter blocks say what indiana garden

We decided that we'd focus our efforts on growing more of the plants we love rather than growing a gazillion varieties of everything like we did last year. So the current plan (though not set in stone!) is for us to not have much more apart from the tarragon,

letter blocks say what indiana garden

chocolate mint and orange mint (not pictured),

letter blocks say what indiana garden

some new marjoram plants,

letter blocks say what indiana garden

fern leaf dill,

letter blocks say what indiana garden

kaffir lime that we overwintered indoors,

letter blocks say what indiana garden



Vietnamese shiso,

letter blocks say what indiana garden

a small experimental pot of sorrel,

letter blocks say what indiana garden

and some other perennial herbs and plants that survived the winter.

What's growing in your garden this May? What are you looking forward to harvesting in the coming months? June, July, and August are always great garden months for us. So even though I don't like the heat of summer, our patio garden gives me plenty to look forward to!

In the meantime, I have a feeling we're going to have some strawberries by the end of the month!

Check our this giant leaf!

Friday, May 23, 2014

{Five for Friday} 5 Spring Harvests

This has been such a strange weather year. Here in Indiana, we had a winter that just wouldn't quit, and a spring that has been really cold on certain days, and burning hot on others. Our gardening attempts reflect the unpredictable weather. We planted our spring plants late March, but nothing grew for a whole month. But so far in May, we've harvested some pea shoots,

a handful of radishes (and turnips),

lots of chive flowers,

baby bok choy, (first time we got all our seeds to germinate, and the first time we're eating these before the worms!)

and yu choy!

small spaces: lafayette

yesterday i signed my contract to begin a big project with the city of lafayette.  and i'm really excited about this one.  it has been in the discussion phase for about 2 months (though it has been in my head for a few years), and yesterday it was brought before the public board of works for approval/disapproval.  and after a brief discussion session our project was approved unanimously.

about the project.  it is a street art project called small spaces: Lafayette.  we will be seeking 40-60 neglected spaces in the lafayette downtown between 2nd st. and 11th. and alabama st. and ferry.  neglected spaces means boarded up windows and doors, deteriorating painted surfaces, garage doors, access doors, poles, posts, sign boards and any other space people tend to walk by without looking.  using these types of spaces will allow us to integrate street art into lafayette's historic downtown, without marking up any of the bricks or detracting from the classic look of our downtown.  we will simply be enhancing the spaces that have been neglected with some temporal contemporary art.  and all with building owner approval, but i feel like building owners will want to participate.  the point is to seamlessly meld the visual history of our city's infrastructure with contemporary street art; keeping one foot in the past, while opening a door to step into the future. 

we will more or less be creating an art scavenger hunt through the downtown district.  there will be new pieces popping up all summer, with different artists stopping by at different times to contribute a space or 2 or 3.  we will be using around 15 different local and regionally invited artists to create works for the spaces.  there will be paintings, stencils, paper cuts, paste ups, graffiti writing, installations, sculpture, and hopefully some kinetic pieces as well.  technically speaking all works will be installations as they will all be site-specific creations.

we are also working on an app-based information guide for the project.  i feel like anyway that i can allow people to use their smart phones to interact with the art is a smart thing to do.  even if their only use is following a map to selected sites.  we will be documenting all installation with photos and video to give our public access to the artists and their processes.  and a free app that has all this information can open up a whole new level of access to everyone.  and that's the goal of street art: accessibility.  

i'm really excited about this project and i can't wait to get started.  the first pieces will start popping up in a few short weeks.  there's a few specifics to work out yet, but we are on our way.  thank you so much to the public board of works for hearing our proposal and approving the contract.  and most of all this project is taking off because we have some great people working in our redevelopment office here in lafayette.  when i approached margy deverall with this idea a couple months back, she jumped all over, working through the logistics and creating something concrete and understandable from my vague idealized statements of what i thought street art could do for lafayette.  and our director of economic development, dennis carson, who has supported this idea since we first spoke about it.  without their help, specifically, we would have never got this off the ground.  and so quickly at that.  now the exciting part begins.  the work.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

rat trash

I saw something funny when I visited Zach at Foam City last week ...

zach medler foam city

Someone had sprayed the words "rat trash" right outside his studio, so Zach took it upon himself to add a picture of a rat and a trash can right under it! Hilarious, if you ask me! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I had the most delicious teetotaler when we dined at Woodberry Kitchen for Zach's birthday last month. Actually, I had two -- a blackberry one with my dinner, and a peachy one for dessert. So delicious! So yummy they've left me craving for more.

So, in true creative form, Zach has been making me teetotalers! This first one was orange dreamsicle-inspired, with juice from a handful of clementines, fresh mint, coconut water, and chia seeds.

And the one last night, was blueberries, lime juice, coconut water, maple syrup, and tarragon.

I can't wait till we get some club soda to make more! We are growing our own herbs and berries, so we should have plenty of flavors to play with this summer!

Monday, May 19, 2014

rObOx reflections: permanence as myth

it's been a while since i've written a blog post.  mindy has been keeping our blog running, while i've been working on other projects.  but i promised her i would take more time to blog.  the past couple of months have been exceptionally hectic.  in a good way.  i have many new projects on the horizon and we just opened the new show at artists' own.

foam city lafayette

the opening the other night was a lot of fun.  we had a great turnout, and even though the rain and cold kept some people away, many still braved the weather to come to the opening.  we all chatted and talked bullshit most of the night, shmoozed and shook hands.  the question that i received most was about the permanence of my materials: in that, it is not permanent.  it's cardboard.  but there was an important reason to use impermanent materials, beyond that fact that i'm a cheapskate.

foam city lafayette

permanence is impossible.  i like change, and there is an important element in creating art in today's landscape, that employs a conflict of permanence and impermanence.  in the past, i was preached the importance of archival materials and 'properly' displayed works: framing, matting, etc.  but there is a level of exclusivity that this type of media creates.  'fine' art, as they call it, has become inaccessible.  people go to art museums to view relics of art history.  most people never visit an art gallery.  this is due to a lot of different reasons, but one that sticks in my mind is the inaccessibility of what is considered 'fine' art.  the white box gallery is intimidating.  you keep your hands in your pockets.  you try hard to think about some abstract concept in a space with no context, and you end up confused, annoyed, or just downright dismissive of the work on the walls or in the space.  unaffected.  but that was the modernist (and postmodernist) idea of art.  it is art because it is for art's sake.  it is permanent.  and it is art in any and every culture and time.  bullshit.  art has a time and a place: a context.  and that context is always changing.  to view a work by picasso at the MoMA, simply places the work into a category.  it tells nothing of the times.  it tells nothing of the history.  it tells nothing of the context in which the work was created.

this is where permanence and impermanence run head-on into each other.  why would you waste your time to create a single work of art that will not stand the test of time?  because its impermanence has a context, and it is more important to create in that context, than to attempt to think about the future of the work.  paintings are not children.  they do not grow.  they do not learn.  they are static.  once finished, and out of the hands of the artist.  they cease to be art, and begin life as a relic.  the evidence that art was experienced.  in these cases, experienced by the artist alone.  but our goal in creating today, is to make our work accessible to everyone.  that is why we are moving into street art and moving our work out of the gallery and into the public sphere.  taking that preciousness off of the things we make, by removing their permanence.

the most important aspect of creating today is accessibility.  selling products is not making art.  repeating the same technique or idea in the same media is not making art.  it is making products.  who cares whether they were made by a factory or one person if the only reason a work was made was to exchange it for money.  art is not for sale.  products are.  so when i create things from materials that won't last forever and put a price tag on it, i believe i'm making something that is existing between they idea of what is product and what is idea.  and that is the line i want to play on.  going one way or the other will defeat the art in what i'm making.  if i make things with the purpose to sell them, i've lost that experimentation ideal that is the excitement of creating.  if i forget about creating things that are meant for people to buy, then i approach an inaccessible level of abstractness that removes the context from my art.  so i play along that line, where everything interesting occurs.

Friday, May 16, 2014

{Five for Friday} 5 Reasons to Come See "New Ideas"

The show New Ideas opens today!!! In less than an hour, actually. So if you live in the Lafayette area and are reading this, please consider coming to the reception. I know the weather is less than ideal, but I promise you it is warm and welcoming in the gallery. And if you need more convincing, here are 5 other reasons you should see this show ...

1. Andres Arizaga, a recent graduate from Purdue, is showing a series of drawings inspired by George Orwell's Animal Farm

He also has a piece, The Journey Has Many Faces, that is an astute commentary on immigration issues we face in this country.

2. Aaron Molden is both an artist and a writer. His work, Family Portraits, is done on materials he collected in various places over the years.

3. Aaron Zernack has been at FoamCity since it reopened its doors. For this show, Aaron made some spectacularly mind-boggling op-art pieces.

4. Zach's updated version of his rObOxes. There are three sizes of rObOxes, and all of them have been intricately decorated on the surface.

In addition, there are 9 limited edition, signed and numbered rObOxes, and some retro-looking advertising that go with them.

5. Esteban Garcia is also a recent graduate from Purdue. His piece for the show,

is a video. You have to come in to see it! :)

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