Monday, March 22, 2010


Guest Blogger:
Stan Chisholm

I don’t have a studio in Chicago. I used to. And when I did, It was awesome. But I can say that since not having a specified space designed solely for work anymore, I have become brave with my decisions and have been forced to spend focused and specific time on the projects I have chosen. 

I’m “nomadic.” It’s the most relevant description I‘ve ever been given and with the most precise timing. I took it to heart. A few months after this, Michael X Ryan saw proof to his words -nomadic- as I returned to Chicago after a summer break in the back of a rented cargo van filled with insulation foam, panel paintings, printed vinyl, paint and my crammed body. Grandma and Grandpa steered the vehicle and left me behind. 

The solo show I had arrived for that August was the first time I had dealt with shipping large works and myself for the sake of site specific installations. Since then I have been aware of the design of my work for the sake of travel and shipping.

With the help of trains, buses and bummed rides, I’ve done a descent amount of shows between the rival cities of Chicago and St. Louis while living in both. My most recent strike of exhibiting work was for the Hyde Park Art Center which has been somewhere between a blessing and a gauntlet. For the month of January I spent time at HPAC producing all of the works for ThingsThatNeverReallyHappened, altering my exhibition space, doing interviews, kicking it with my college friends, finding food, not making any money from my hourly home job, dealing with it, and producing the biggest show of my career thus far. The space I was granted during my residency came with a projector, floor and wall space to trace out my prefabricated drawings and a kitchen; that’s all I really need. The student visits and close proximity to the people I trust most were added bonuses.

I was given a week to actually work in the space I exhibited in. That week included constructing my new paper drawings, cutting / painting relief landscapes, and mingling with the visitors I encountered. I loved it. I’ve always been one to work fast but the HPAC show raised the bar for me. Now having a temp space to work in and show at the same time had to be worth it.  The definition of “worth” fluctuates, but my sense of it has changed over the past few years as my studio space in Chicago also changed. From dormitory, to street, to granted personal studio, to temporary institution space, to out of town, I have developed a sort of design for my work to always be on the move. It’s fun in the way that I get to experience my work in different states and more importantly get to plan in advance for travel.  The imaginative works that I plan don’t fully exist until it reaches its destination. Now that I’m used to moving around, I have coped with the idea of creating attentive and specific works for unsanctioned public spaces. Treating them as if they are exhibitions. It’s unfair to break myself over ideas for high profile gallery shows but not the ideas that can only truly work in outdoors public space. I have learned this from the joy I reach in spending time installing shows at my own pace (god I wish there were no deadlines.) In being away from Chicago (sorta) with no shows booked for a few months, I finally see the opportunity to purge my home apartment studio of supplies and materials for the cause of pubic works wherever I see fit. 
Stan Chisholm (a.k.a. 18andCounting) is an emerging interdisciplinary artist from St. Louis, Missouri who studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His drawings, paintings and mixed media installations reveal a growing cast of over 700 characters or mascots that serve as a visual lexicon for the moods, personal attributes or feelings explored in his work. Chisholm is a nomadic pack rat who kind of lives and works in St. Louis & Chicago.

Image Captions & Credits:
FireworksForTiredFolks, 2010, Constructed Paper & Cardboard, Ink, 
“______”, 2010, Ink & constructed paper
KillinIt, 2010, Unsanctioned Public Piece

No comments:

Post a Comment