7: vase - The writing on the wrapping paper said
HEAVY - THIS IS A REALLY GOOD ONE!
I have to say for the last day (Sun 12/13) this was a pleasant surprise. Ceramic vase about 10-12” tall. Sort of modern Greek urn gone rustic. There are three angular handles with trapezoidal numbs at the top…these nubs are repeated at the base - completely circling it. Absolutely great assymetrical opening with the top of the vase angling down to one side. There are thin slabs of clay mashed on to the body here and there with seams and slices. I need time to decide if the dark brown drip at one point from the top section to the body is a highpoint or not! Yummy neutral tones - nothing like I have now since I’m nuts about color. So a sort of meditative piece of excitement.
Happy New Year.
This was a find on Friday - I was attracted by the lumpy shape. I was totally thrilled to find these fortune telling hands. The photo does NOT do them justice - papier mache with blue backs and yummy pick palms. LOVED the wire hanger. This will get a primo spot in my studio.
15: book: LABEL 228
I saw this on Friday 12/11 because it was unwrapped, just sitting there, but I passed on it because it was a bit more specific than I normally am interested in when I think of graffiti. But on a return trip on Saturday 12/12, I decided I needed it.
16: paint brushes
I make found object 3-d art. Someone had ripped a corner of the wrapping paper which exposed a flat translucent “plastic disk”. After giving it the “feel test” I decided this was a keeper. AND wacky as it might sound, it’s a terrific addition to my collection of dead paint brushes. What was incredible was the perfect balance it had - brushes to base - so that is stands up very solidly. So DADA, so 1960’s!
16a: bead bracelet - wrapped in one of those off white with gold and red papers you get in a bundle from the International District - to be burned at the shrine of your relative - another potential pointer to a good present inside. It ended up being about 2” square and felt flexible in an odd way. Hard to tell from photo but very GORGEOUS - Asymetrical flower design in red/magenta pinks with black “center and green/black negative space. I have a very tiny wrist so normally cannot wear bracelets and this FITS PERFECTLY. I can get it on, I can get it off - it does not slosh up and down which I find annoying. I like to think the person who donated it spent HOURS making it. The double closure bead balls are exceptional.
18: morning glories - in a BandAid box exciting ?masking tape flowers painted. Someone had opened the wrapping leaving the box top with BandAid logo exposed. I have a huge accumulation of METAL BandAid boxes so I had great hopes for this present. I REALLY REALLY REALLY would like them to have a masking tape base!
from: Berkeley Parks
date: Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 1:36 PM
I am sorry about the poor quality pictures. If you can’t use them maybe the text for each below would help. Below is COMPLETE disclosure (not necessarily for your website). I have told so many people about how exciting your project was …!
I cannot begin to express my excitement over your project. I wish I would have known about it the first day. I would have come every day with an exchange gift, but since I only found out about it on Friday 12/11 I went a little overboard. I brought multiple pieces of art over all 3 days which in itself was upper echelon excitement to get weird superior combos of presents which rarely happens at PERSON gift exchanges. In addition - I wouldn’t do a white elephant normally because people bring things that you can’t even donate to Goodwill but this one said “make a gift”. How superior to BARTER with fellow artists when you don’t even know what they make?
It was like being 10 - throwing away the cares of grownup-titude - happiness I felt when I hung my first solo show. It was interesting to see the pile of gift wrap stashed in the corner. Everyone who came in while I was there had a look of dazed amazement. Artists I spoke to Saturday night at the Ballard Art Walk said they had been at the Henry but had no gift and were disappointed that they could not participate. They too had discovered the event only upon attending the Henry for other reasons.
Originally I stopped in at the Henry Gallery on my lunch hour to drop off a piece for the “Atlas of Gifted Ideas” show and thought - WHAT THE HECK IS THIS? So I went in to check out the “white elephant” concept. I thought this is TOTALLY so neat. I saw an abstract painting and wondered why nobody snapped it up. I instantly decided to RACE home (I was technically over the speed limit both directions - do NOT do this in YOUR own car) and snapped up 6 pieces of art with the intent of wrapping them back at the HENRY. I arrived and to my surprise the little painting was there still so I claimed it for my own and started wrapping my 6 pieces in the corner. I loved the idea of giving away art to artists (and the public) rather than having it go to auctions. It had the possibility giving some stranger as much glee as I myself had on both ends, making and
This was NOT going to be a present exchange year partially because of the economy and partially because my friends decided that they were tired of shopping/selecting AND besides I was the only one who made art stuff so THIS was like the perfect BALANCE - trading art with strangers for unknown art FROM strangers. In some sense the perfect gifts from people who didn’t know your taste! AND besides, you could feel things up and surmise. Since it was the last couple of days, a person who seemed to be in the know (or maybe she was just testing fate) said it would be Ok to exchange a gift, rewrap it and regift it for an additional layer of exchange. That took the anxiety out of picking a disappointing gift - way cool. IN ADDITION, since the wrap jobs were pretty basic you could feel things so you could say a book vs flat art…or totally bizarre shape so it had great potential.
On Friday I was the lucky recipient of 2 paintings. I also got a papier mache PACMAN GHOST according to the guys at my work - I still insist it’s a very round head with a crown and intend to add jewels to make the little guy royalty! I also landed on Shaw Osha’s fortune telling hands. That was very thrilling since S.O. was half the partnership for the next show concept.
The set of buttons was unwrapped - I looked at them but in the end only traded 4 presents for the 6 I left. Then Saturday I decided I’d really like the buttons if they were still there so I wrapped 4 presents at home and traded for 3 presents. If anyone finds the “A” button that would be really great - it was missing from the “Y O U A R E H E R E”. I have to admit I originally picked the buttons because a couple of them looked like color-fuzz was trapped inside and I liked the tootsie roll striped one. But when I got home and laid them all out I realized it was really a you-are-here concept.
On Sunday I brought in 4 more wrapped presents and traded for 2. One was the vase.
I liked that I didn’t need to EQUALIZE the giving vs the receiving. It was more like the “price” for entry, being surrounded by this world of art, then “direct transactions. One of the things I got on SUNDAY was in the wrapping paper pile. Someone had taken blue masking tape and by continuously wrapping/overlapping made a mummy with a blue tissue paper lining. With colored felt pens there was this very faint image of head with eyes and mouth and the message “CHOOSE ME!”. It was art in itself and I was pleased to rescue it for my studio.
I tell you all this because I want you to know that even if I had been the only person participating YOUR use of the Gift Shop and all the work that went into it was SO in the spirit of community and exchange and SO MUCH BETTER/LARGER than real life often turns out to be sometimes that I can only say THANK YOU (as a small token) of the pleasure you all have given me and the positive look I am taking away toward the new year. I will remember this when people get stingy with their thoughts and their tepid with their warmth and the lack pitching in-ness and say, “OH WELL, this is only a small slice of temporarily wrong people!”
I have got to say LOOK WHAT ART CAN DO for people. We need it even more in hard times.
SO THE PICTURES
My girlfriend Mara and I participated in your Gift Shop Project
earlier today, but the disposable camera was used up so I took these
pictures with my cell phone. I thought you might want them.
Thanks for the sweet art project. We enjoyed it very much.
Ricardo (& Mara)