Embracing our local art history through

a Dr. Who-style- port-hole of time into the Molly Wiley art building.  This is part of Flagler College, and formerly the original artist’s studios when it was THE MOST expensive Hotel on the Southern East Coast at the height of  a gilded age with the Railroad boom across Florida. Henry Flagler put Saint Augustine on-the-map as a tourist destination for..uh-hum…the wealthy.

Included in the grand design of his Ponce de Leon Hotel were seven upstairs apartments on the far North-East wing which served as artist’s studios for the creative process (somewhat upscale with easels propped atop elaborate rugs and the clinking of happy crystal in-hand)/a place for business networking and commissions /seasonal living for professional artists from New England/the celebratory sale-sale-sale of fine works.  The very first “art walks” happened here with heavy doors open for light-hearted philosophical discussion and review of new pieces.  Even a few women artists were housed and popular which was somewhat other-worldly for the time and rather progressive.

When the old Hotel became a private college it embraced Liberal Arts for education.  Although the graphics and illustration programs may be small compared to other brick and mortar institutions, nothing can compare with the history and setting for it’s active studio space.  The tight multi-storied labyrinth of hallways with floor to ceiling paper-art-over doors has abundant nooks for instructor’s offices, with shot-gun-style work spaces –well it’s just a crooked creative space for good energy to get trapped in and grow.

My one lingering question was how to persuade Chris Oatley to visit and chat this creative wave of energy into a a frenzied froth?  How to indeed? It’s only a 2 hour drive  south from  SCAD.

Anyhoo…back at the ranch as they say.  Here I am procrastinating and avoiding writing an artist’s statement for a shared upcoming art-show with Michael F. Clark.  The PR deadline is today.  Why is it so hard for me to think and write something about my motivation and latest work?  Do other artist’s just freeze-up and feel like an ice cube flailing haphazardly on the floor when faced with a simple task of explanation?  Part of me feels No-One reads stuff, but then I go around reading Everything, so someone must.

How can I tool away at all this pseudo-legit-creative-stuff and not know how to write about it?  Once again I compare this moment to science and how they say if you boil a frog slow enough he never feels the heat.  It’s funny but a good metaphor for how I feel in the puppet-world-of-self-promo-expectation.  Maybe I’ll go back to the image of Noah Bradley and his funny photo face and call it done. How do i give credit to Marc Scheff and his worthy occasional nod which has more than once pulled me out of a tangled funk?  Thanks Marc, just a nod does do wonders.  OK,  gotta go w-r-i-t-e  something.  Sheash.  The business side of art can be a drag.  Sure wish I could paint myself out of this.  (Smile)

23. November 2013 by Jean Drayovitch
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