Sunday, February 28, 2010

Would Frankenstein Be Art or Craft?

Anchorage is Hopping! Daddy-O needed to be on the Mountain for ski clinics this weekend and Gus and I decided to stay in Anchorage and be townies. Daddy-O just called us from Girdwood and said it DUMPED snow last night and he’s getting ready to take some freshies in the POW! A winter storm last week dropped a record setting blanket of snow just in time for everyone. Friday kicked off the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous Festival through March 6. Organizers were smart to time Fur Rondy

with the start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race coming this Saturday, March 6 at 10:00 am. These Rondy pictures are of The Running of the Reindeer and the Sprint Dog Sled Races downtown. Lots of folks are in town for both, big events and Anchorage is hopping! From our house we could catch a glimpse of the Fur Rondy fire works that went off last night in downtown Anchorage. Gus is all about anything classic monster so he really, really, really wanted to see the original Frankenstein movie on the big screen at Bear Tooth Theatre Pub Saturday afternoon. His big brother Will, and Will’s girlfriend Kim came too and all of us shared a large booth. The black & white movie was fun and the Nachos, Cheese pizza, Gyro’s, Hard Apple Ale and Wild Country Raspberry Wheat Beer (Gus had Sprite) even better!

Gus and I were going to head downtown to catch some of the Rondy events before the movie but the temperature dropped a bit and we opted to go to Barnes & Noble instead (I know, we were weather wimps!) I did pick up the March issue of Art Calendar and the February/March issue of American Craft. Art Calendar has a special section on "Landing Grants," which may prove handy for my upcoming deadline tomorrow. American Craft has a good essay in the Critic’s Corner, “Further Notes on the Art/Craft Debate"

that has me rethinking my thoughts on Art vs. Craft. On my grant application I needed to check a box that described my discipline and I automatically checked “Crafts” until I read how the Foundation (on page 5) described each discipline and found my discipline fit better under “Visual Arts.” Interestingly, metal works and ceramics fall under “Visual Arts.” I can really get going on this debate and tend to probably try and simplify it a bit too much. Functionality and non-functionality aside, my simplified thought has always been Art is predominately created by using one hand and Craft predominately created by two hands. Probably a bit too simplified. Much to my chagrin, after reading the essay my brain has been spinning this debate again. I also think the category of “Visual Arts” tends to negate the debate between Art vs. Craft. Your thoughts on Art vs. Craft? Does the debate even matter?

Here are some of the images I had professional photographer Chris Arend take of my clay and steel pieces. The images were wonderful and a bit tricky to shoot because of their size. Though I felt that since these were some of my first mixed medium pieces I’ve really progressed with the clay in the last few months. The “Humboldt Squid” piece is large and heavy, about 55” wide and the companion piece “Nautilus” is about 38” wide. The "Tree Spirit" is 23" tall and all three use plasma cut and welded steel with hand formed ^04-05 clay components.


cookingwithgas said...

call it what you want those mixed media works are wonderful!
This is a debate that I have always found interesting and yet always up for debate.
So I think I back slowly out of the room.
Love your work and have a beer for me.

cindy shake said...

Thank you Meredith :o) I think Chris worked his photography magic on them!

Judy Shreve said...

I love the photos of your pieces! WOW!
Your comments about art vs craft reminded me of an article written by Joe Bennion for Studio Potter. I don't know if you get that magazine - but here's the link to the article. It's really well written & I think talks about this subject in a great way. If this link doesn't work - it's Joe Bennion blog (google) & the article is under his archives in January 2009)

Also good luck with the grant!

ang said...

ahhh that ol debate...i dont have the skills to cause any division between the 2...if its seen as a beautiful thing or an ugly thing if its intended as art it is what it is!!!! had one of those chats yesterday is it pottery or is it ceramics, it's both i said!!!

Linda Starr said...

Wow, your pieces are beautiful, love the metal and clay together and the bright colors, definitely art to me, good luck with the grant.

Anji Gallanos said...

I hear the art vs craft debate all the time for the other coop artists I share the gallery with. It just seems like such a subjective debate with one person defining craft completely different from the other. I think of myself as a crafter...but then call myself a jewelry "artist".

I had a question to ask you..but couldn't find an email address for you..would you mind sending it??

Have a great day

cindy shake said...

ang- I was actually wondering that myself the other day! Pottery or ceramics??? Hmmm. Seems I've used both terms maybe all of it is more like toMATEo taMATTO! hahaha

Anonymous said...

beautiful pieces and the photography is excellent. art/craft debate... gave up on that a long time ago. it's too subjective and the debate always seems to proceed on the idea that we could all agree on a threshold or clear demarcation betwixt the two.

Christine B. said...

Ooh, some new snow in Girdwood sounds tempting! It's been so long since I've been skiing though, I'd probably be wise to take lessons with the other freshies. We did the Rondy thing on Saturday and you are not a weather wimp. It was freezing. The wind didn't help either. We ducked into the mall to warm up, the bookstore would've been more fun, I'll try that next time....

Christine in Anchorage

harem6 said...

So happy to discover you!These are truly amazing!