Opening Reception – Objective: Subjectivity

object announcement

 

Objective: Subjectivity
An art exhibition featuring objects, both natural and manufactured, unaltered by the artist. Three pieces per artist displayed as-is with the aim of communicating to the audience the intrinsic beauty that can be found in seemingly mundane or usually overlooked objects.

participants include:
Michael James Armstrong
James Brown
Thomas DeMello
Tom Driscoll
Joseph Huppert
Jason Lane
Lee Lavy
May-ling Martinez
Richard Allen Morris
Chantal Wnuk

Tom Driscoll, New Website

Tom Driscoll in his studio

Tom and I have become close friends over the last couple of years. In that time I’ve hung out at his studio on numerous occasions (pretty much once or twice a week at this point). It doesn’t matter how often I visit him, every time I’m there he’s got new work to show me. I really admire his output as well as the quality and variety of his work. It really bothers me that an artist like Tom isn’t selling his work left and right. I’m sure part of the reason he’s not as sought after as I believe he should be is because, although extremely charming, he’s a very humble man who’s not much on marketing himself or his work. I’m not very good at marketing myself either, but I really wanted to help Tom in any way I could to get his name out there. That’s why I worked with Tom over the last few weeks to build him a new website that could adequately represent the diversity of his work. However, even though there’s an impressive array of work on this site, it’s only a fraction of the amount of work that Tom has in storage. He’s an extremely prolific artist that definitely has enough work for multiple solo shows, if not a full on institutional retrospective.

 

I encourage anyone who reads this to please pass on Tom’s website to any gallery you think might be interested in his work. Tom has been making interesting art for over 45 years! He is in the collection of many prominent collectors here in San Diego including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, but I think it’s time he get’s some broader exposure.

 

Pass it on.

 

http://www.tomdriscoll.net/

 

Tom Driscoll with cones

New work by Thomas DeMello

Thomas DeMello 2014

This is a piece that so perfectly personifies Thomas’ aesthetic. Rough, dirty, rustic. He’s got a great eye for materials or objects that most people would see as garbage, or at the very least wouldn’t look twice at. Old thread-worn packing blankets for example:

Thomas DeMello, Texture Fields, 2010

Or perhaps a bunch of rotting railroad ties:

railroad ties - Thomas DeMello

And now it’s these:

wattles in a row

Thomas DeMello 2014

You’ve probably seen these everywhere and not even noticed. As I said, In my opinion that’s Thomas’ main strength as an artist. His natural instinct to see the aesthetic value in objects and materials that are ignored by most.

 

“Ive been looking into tumble weeds.” – Thomas DeMello

 

Thomas DeMello 2014

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Thomas DeMello 2014

Thomas DeMello 2014

See more installation photos HERE.

 

 

 

 

ICE Gallery is back!

“I’m back, baby! I’m back!” – George Costanza

 

First of all I’d like to thank all of those that contributed financially and otherwise to help the new ICE Gallery become a reality. Sincerely, I appreciate it so much!

 

(In no particular order. You’re all important.)

Joan & Reuben Baron

Edith Baumann

Jack Brogan

Amanda Durbin

Christina Hendershaw

Harmony Murphy

Jeannie Armstrong

Liane Armstrong

Jenna Siman

Juan Villescas

Kinsee Morlan

Seth combs

Mathew Simms

Jon Hall

Pamela Putian

Paul Roberts

Bob Metheny

Nick O’dell

Philipp Scholz Ritterman

Sarah Trujillo

Robert Irwin

Jim Brown

Isabel Dutra

Jason Lane

Tom Driscoll

Joseph Huppert

Lee Lavy

Thomas DeMello

 

I hope I didn’t leave anyone out.

 

In early 2013 Jim Brown offered the recently evicted ICE Gallery a chance to continue in a new space. A few months later work began on a little 400 sq ft corner of Bread & Salt that would eventually end up taking a year to complete. If I had known how much time, physical work, and most of all, money that it would take to complete the new space I doubt I would’ve taken it on. Hell, I could’ve (should’ve?) spent all that effort and money on making my own work instead of a space to show other people (of course I’ll show there as well, but still). Hey, the opportunity for a cheap space was handed to me out of the blue. In a town as expensive as San Diego that’s a hard thing to pass up.

 

Anyway, if you want to see the build out progression in a ton of photos go HERE. If you don’t feel like going through all of that, here are some before and after highlights.

This was the space in June of 2013

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Obviously the first thing to do was clean it up.

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After the initial cleanup, the first major job was getting rid of that uneven concrete slab. It took 3 guys an entire day to break up and haul away 200 sq ft of concrete due to the slab being double thick. There was an additional slab underneath the top layer which was probably about 100 years old.

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Then it was onto framing

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Next was skinning the inside walls with plywood and then drywall. Having plywood behind the drywall is helpful for hanging heavy objects on the walls. No need to find studs.

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I also added this message behind one of the walls before I sealed it up.

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Jim Brown had all the windows at the front of the building re-glazed.

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Half of the ceiling had to be ripped off due to water damage. That was probably the worst job out of everything. Decades old moldy plaster and dust raining down on me for 2 days. While I was up there I framed out that square hole you see below, which was previously used for an exhaust fan, in order to turn it into a skylight.

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Ok, the big construction was done so it was time to mud the drywall. There was only two jobs that I paid someone else to do for me. First was the concrete, because you’re better off with pros for that job. The second was mudding and sanding the drywall which is probably one of the worst construction jobs ever. I was more than happy to pay someone to do it for me. That guy was in there for four days mudding a ceiling and 16′ walls, plus putting 3 layers of skim coat on 2 of the walls. (By the way, if you need a good contractor, this guy and his brothers are cheap, fast, and trustworthy. I’ve worked with them many times and they’re great. Let me know and I’ll put you in touch)

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On to painting.

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Of course there were a ton of other little things that i didn’t really document, but you get the idea. One thing that really transformed the space was adding the skylight. The roof is pitched facing north, so the frosted glass really lets a lot of light into the room.  It made a huge difference.

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Oh, the last major addition was track lighting. Since the space will only be accessible for opening and closing receptions, most of the time the exhibitions will only be viewable from the front windows. So having the lights on all night for passers by to see in is imperative.

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That pretty much brings us up to present day.

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ice stitch 2

 

Again, if you want to see more shots of the transformation click HERE.

There’s still a few little things to do here and there but they’ll have to wait. What’s funny is that even after all that work, all I’m left with is an empty room. Time to fill it. There’s already some great artists lined up for the rest of the year. Much thanks to my old pal Thomas DeMello for all the help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bread & Salt Open House

Back in December of 2013 Bread & Salt, the new home of ICE Gallery, had an open house to show off all the hard work that had been done in the building over the past year. ICE had just barely finished putting up drywall and was in no shape to put on a proper exhibition. However, I decided there should at least be something within the newly demarcated corner space. The end result was a sort of found object installation which utilized the old rusted bread racks from the previous tenant of the building. It was only viewable for one night, so thank goodness my pal Philipp Scholz Rittermann got some great photos of it before all the paper was ripped off and the racks went away to a scrap metal grave.

 

“Paper and Steel”, 2013, steel bread racks, tracing paper, glassine, custom steel light fixture

More photos HERE

 

On another note, the new ICE Gallery will hopefully be having it’s first exhibition the beginning of July 2014 (fingers crossed).  Details coming soon.

~Michael