Why I Create: Steve Shelby

Steve Shelby has been working with metal since the early 1970’s. Shelby received an art degree with a concentration in jewelry and metalsmithing from Ball State University. All of his art is three-dimensional, hammered out from flat sheet. The beautiful forms, inspired mostly from nature, take precedence over everything else, and surface adornment and fine detail is kept to a minimum. Shelby does his work in an unassuming little wooden building out in the country near South Whitley, Indiana, where he can work undisturbed, and there are no neighbors close enough to be disturbed by the noise of his hammering. Although he has done some production work, he prefers making one-of- a-kind pieces, always pushing himself to explore new creative territory. You can see more of his work at Artlink from September 22 - October 27, in his exhibition Soft Forms in Hard Metal, and on his website www.shelbyvision.com

More from Kurt Roembke's conversation with Steve Shelby...

Q: Why do you do what you do?
To me it's just such a natural thing that I can't imagine not creating. And, there's been times in my life where I haven't done much creating, and when I think back on those times they were sort of empty. Like, I was wasting my time. Yeah, I just can't imagine not creating. Throughout my life, there's been people who have come along with "Oh, you could make big money doing this," and I know there's lots of things that I can make big money doing but I would not be happy at all. And I had a job for say, 20-30 years, all together various forms, but I was working for the same company and I was a craftsman. I was a skilled craftsman and it was work that not very many people can do. But I just did what I was told to do and I was unhappy the whole time. But I got paid. And you know it helped to pay the bills while we raised four kids. And so during that time, well, my creativity was pretty much limited to things like doing home remodeling and doing it my way, you know, instead of just doing it the way everybody else does. I did it my own way. I didn't really get get back into working with metal and making art until about 2002-2003 and that was after the kids were grown and mostly out of the house. I guess that heavy responsibility wasn't weighing on me anymore.

Q: How did you go from creative home improvement to abstract sculpture?
It actually came about totally separate from anything else and it's the weirdest thing. It just popped into my head when I was waking up one morning. I just had this picture in my head. It was like a brass flower vase and it just appeared in my in my head while I was laying in bed. And I got up and thought, "Hmm, I'm gonna get back into metalwork and I'm gonna make something like what I just saw," and that started it.

Q: Does your art still start as a creative spark out of nowhere?
I have had things, just sort of ideas, just pop into my head. I think, more often new ideas come while I'm already working on something. I'll get a sudden inspiration, just something from what I'm doing inspires me to do something else.

Q: How did you feel when you suddenly woke up with the inspiration to make art? Did you have any hesitations or did you just accept it as your calling?
Well, I didn't start it right away, because I didn't have the materials. I didn't have any brass to work with, and I had some silversmithing tools that I had used when I was in college and they'd been sitting in a drawer in my garage for 20-30 years. I dug those out and I set up a little place where I already had a workshop and I started on a couple of weeks later or something. And what I ended up doing was at the right time of year I guess, because I made a flower vase and I gave it to my mom as a Christmas gift and she loved it. And I think I made a second flower vase like the first one, and I made a couple of candle holders. And then I didn't do anything else again until the following winter. Before Christmas, I made another thing for my mom, and I did that for about three, or four, five years in a row where pretty much all I did was make something for my mom for Christmas. Then, I got to making my wife something for her birthday, which is about a month and a half after Christmas, and then the rest of the year I just did other things. But then, just very gradually, I started working and doing the metal smith thing year-round.

Q: How did your relationship with the art world start?
Well, that kind of started gradually, too. I mean, right about this time the internet was really starting to catch on, well I guess it had caught on before that, but I had just started paying attention to it. And it occurred to me that I could maybe sell my things on the Internet. But I had to have a portfolio. So, it was a few years of making these things before I had enough things I needed to make a web page that looked like I had actually done much of anything. And so, once I had 10 pieces that I could show photographs of, I started a Web page. I really didn't sell anything. But, through the Internet, I got to to find other other metalsmiths and find email groups and forums for metalsmiths. I got to talk to other metalsmiths and network with them and that has grown. Then Facebook came out. There are global networks of metalsmiths on Facebook and then there's some groups that have a couple two or three thousand members and it's pretty amazing. I guess, I'm going off on a tangent. I guess, after having a Web site for a couple of years or so I started seeking out places I could exhibit in and so forth. I think the first one I entered, I didn't get in, which was a little discouraging. And then through one of those forums, I started getting people to critique my photographs. There were some experts in photography on this one forum and they were experts in how a picture should look
when it's going to be viewed by a juror for an art exhibition. And and there's one guy on there who is a professional photographer and he critiqued my work, my photography, and gave me all kinds of pointers, and just through that I learned what it takes to make really good photographs that are right for entering exhibitions. And actually from that point on I started getting into exhibitions fairly regularly. And I usually get to have pieces in exhibitions, maybe three or four times a year.

Q: Through those online forums, I understand you started making tools for other metalworkers?
Yeah, yeah. I was I was in a metalsmithing forum where people would post photographs of the pieces they made and a lot of people would show them working on it and show the process of making it. And so, I thought well that's a cool idea. And so, I started doing that, too. And over the years I've developed my own techniques for doing things. And that's one of the things about working a lot, you develop your own techniques and your own ways of doing things. And I just kind of along the way discovered some tooling that I made myself that works better than anything else that's out there for various things, and well when I took photographs of me doing the work online, and people would say, "Hey, are you going to sell those?" And when I had enough people tell me I ought to sell them, I thought well maybe I should. So, I started making them and selling, and since it's such a tiny niche market, I could pretty much keep up with all the demand for that and just squeezed it in between other projects.

Q: You mentioned earlier, that you'd like to start using QR codes in your exhibits, that will lead the viewers who scan them to videos and images that explain how you made them. It seems like you've just been dragging the Internet along throughout your career and making it fit the mold that you need it to.
Yeah, well when I talk to people, you know just regular people, they seem to know what I do, but they have absolutely no idea how it's done. And it's always like, "Oh, you take metal and melt it and pour it in a mold or something," and no that's not what I do. And I have to explain to them what I do. And so I have gotten to the point where it's kind of a personal crusade to let everyone know how I do what I do. And that's a good way to explain the prices I have to charge for everything. And a lot of the reaction usually is, "Oh, that's a lot of money," but it's all the labor that goes into it. And so, I think you know by showing people, giving them an idea of how much labor goes into it, at least you know they might not think I'm charging them way too much.

Q: What else have you learned along the way?
I had a commission to do a sculpture of Poseidon, the Neptune God of the sea. And it was totally unlike anything I've ever done. And I decided to make it out of sheet bronze, which is really hard to work. That's much more difficult than copper and brass. I didn't charge him what I thought he would expect to have to pay, not what I thought would be fair compensation for the hours I put into it, because I knew it would take way longer than what I was getting paid. And and it did. It took probably two or three times the normal time, but my reasoning was that this is something that's going to be probably the biggest challenge of my career so far, and what I will learn from this will be much greater than any amount of money I could get. I thought that going into it, and it was pretty torturous. It was a horrible job. Most of the time I would spend hours working on something and see no progress at all. And it was kind of like going through hell. But by the time I was done with it, I had a pretty fabulous sculpture! And what it did for me, what it taught me, was just priceless, really. I learned so much from that and I've applied it to a lot of things that I made after. After that, this year, some of the things that are in my exhibition this year; the Mermaid, and Isabel the Bell, the bronze Bell, those are things that are kind of offshoots of that Poseidon project.

Q: Have you ever failed at making one of the ideas that you've had become a real physical thing?
Yeah, I've had some things that I've had on my list for years that I just never have gotten around to figuring out how to do, and I just don't have the inspiration to get it started. There is the piece, Isabel. It's hanging on the wall and it's a woman's head and it's mechanical and you pull on a chain and it forces a hammer into her head which makes it ring. And she has a pained look on her face. And that was a real challenge to try to make a woman's face with a pained look.

Q: Why were you inspired to make a bell?
Because when I'm hammering, sometimes the metal rings and there are times when I'm making a dome shaped item, and I'll just take it off and balance it on my hand and ring it it with my hammer, and it just plays this beautiful tone. So I thought, "OK, I want to make a bell." And this idea went around my head for a long, long time. It started out as a bell that would be like one of those bells that sometimes they have on the service counter and it's just a little chrome plated thing. And you hit the thing on top and it rings. But I wanted to make something bigger that, sort of shaped like a mushroom or something. And the idea just kind of progressed. And then when I decided I wanted to do this exhibition at Artlink, the idea progressed into a bell hung on the wall. And so then ok what's the bell going to be shaped like? It originally was this kind of mushroom like mushroom shape with a nice curve to it. And then I got thinking about bells and thinking about what would look cool and what's just mundane and somehow the idea of a person had just popped into my house. My mind figured that was so much better than anything else I'd ever thought of. So that was that. And then that grew from there and I got well into the project beforeI knew exactly how I was going to handle it. And just after I had the head made, then I did the engineering part of it, for which I hadn't even designed a thing. So, I think I spent a whole day just figuring that out. And then the mechanism when I got the head done, I thought, "Well I'm at least halfway through this project." But the mechanical mechanism turned up to be really difficult. It was some real mechanical engineering in that I think I ended up taking more time on that than anything else.

Artlink Staff Picks: September 2017

Welcome to Artlink Staff Picks, a monthly feature where our team presents their favorite art findings. Everyday, the Artlink community seeks out amazingly inspiring and creative art related content. Read below to see what we are gushing over this month!


Kathleen Gilje, Contemporary Artist 

Kathleen Gilje, Contemporary Artist 

Ellen Mensch, Assistant Gallery Coordinator 

Ellen Mensch, Assistant Gallery Coordinator 

My staff pick this month is Kathleen Gilje, a contemporary artist who I admire and think deserves a little more attention. Gilje is an accomplished artist as well as a master in the profession of art restoration. She studied 16th & 17th Century Italian Art and Conservation at the Museum of Capodimonte in Italy and has since made a career of restoring Old Master paintings for some of the largest museums in the country. She also has incorporated her knowledge of art restoration into her own artwork in order to bring new meaning to historic artworks.

Although, to the plain eye, her paintings look very much like the Old Master works she is recreating – she uses her knowledge of chemistry to layer the paint colors in such a way that, through x-ray, the paintings depict a modern perspective of the historical narrative.
She uses this technique to bring the attention to political and social issues which had been previously sugar coated, such as sexual assault.

Perceived Value, Podcast  

Perceived Value, Podcast  

Madison Miller, Gallery Coordinator 

Madison Miller, Gallery Coordinator 

Perceived Value, created by artist Sarah Rachel Brown, "broaches the subject of value with artists." The podcast launched earlier this month and it really blew me away. Episode 1: The Adjunct Hustle featured a conversation with Emily Cobb about her experience searching for a tenured track teaching position and the adjunct hustle along the way. Very insightful. I can't wait for more episodes! 

So, Anyway by John Cleese, Memoir 

So, Anyway by John Cleese, Memoir 

Matt McClure, Executive Director 

Matt McClure, Executive Director 

I love Monty Python. I cannot say that enough. Love em. So this past week I wrapped up listening to John Cleese's memoir So Anyway, about his life leading UP TO the Python era. It's a fascinating look at all of the risks, missteps, privilege and humility it took for one of the most iconic group of comedic performers and writers to come together. 

Take away from the book: Someone always knows more than you. Listen and learn

Morgan Bogart, Administrative Manager  

Morgan Bogart, Administrative Manager  

Mel Douglas is an Australian glass artist.  I adore her work do to the extreme detail and yet it comes across as so simple.  The design of it is impeccable.  She has a printer like aesthetic in the third dimension.

Insecure Soundtrack 

Insecure Soundtrack 

Candis Oakley, Assistant Gallery Coordinator

Candis Oakley, Assistant Gallery Coordinator

This weekend one of my favorite television shows, HBO Insecure - Season 2, has come to an end, a very sad end, I might add. However, to my delight, I recently discovered the soundtrack to this amazing series. If you've been following this show then you may have noticed all of the incredible music that follows (if you haven't seen this show, go watch now). The soundtrack includes many artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Tyler - The Creator, Frank Ocean, SZA, and so much more. If you're looking form something new and eclectic to listen to, this is it. 


Artlink Staff Highlight

Artlink is dedicated to hiring staff who are passionate about the arts and serving the Fort Wayne community. We invite you to learn more about our wonderful team. Read below and get to know a bit about our newest intern, Bridget!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am an illustrator, currently working on a BFA. My favorite works are generally that involving a narrative, a story depicted in images with or without written dialogue. I love all breeds of comic books and graphic novels the like, however my all-time favorite is The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Although it is technically a children's book, his sensitivity in capturing loss - and the grace of accepting kindness is very special to me. He is also just a mega-talented dude.

What have you accomplished that you are most proud of?

I'm in the midst of illustrating my own graphic novel currently, so rounding this project off will be a happy accomplishment. As far as past accomplishments I'm proud of - I once averted a mudslide descending a mountain in South Korea. That was mostly just my own poor judgement though. I did successfully raise 3 frogs from tadpoles recently. They say you're never ready for frog parenthood but I beg to differ.

What do you enjoy doing in your spear time and why?

In my spare time you'll usually find me whittling away a sketchbook or otherwise available surface -- or tending to the grueling tasks associated with amphibian parenthood. Three things I can't live without would likely be food, water, and shelter. But if I already had those things probably that sketchbook, a pen and a reasonably stylish sweater depending on if the friends/associates need is already met too.

What role do you play at Artlink?

The role I play at Artlink is that of Gallery Intern. I do tons of fun stuff, my favorite part being able to see and help install the exhibitions of all the incredible artists Artlink gets to work with.

Why I Create: Brett Bloom

We are excited to kick off Season 2 of Why I Create with Brett Bloom. Brett Bloom is an environmental activist, artist, and publisher. He works mainly in collaborative groups and situations. He cofounded the art group Temporary Services (www.temporaryservices.org) and the publishing imprint Half Letter Press (wwww.halfletterpress.com). He regularly works with ecological issues. Bloom coordinates intensive training sessions—camps, workshops, schools—part of a multi-year effort called Breakdown Break Down (www.breakdownbreakdown.net). Breakdown Break Down mobilizes people to articulate and build a civil culture to prepare for and survive climate chaos and breakdown; one goal is to generate new stories that replace western petro-subjectivity, our industrialized sense of self and place, with other narratives and future trajectories.

We were inspired by the conversation that Brett Bloom had with Kurt Roembke of Space Owl Productions, so we have decided to transcribe some of their conversation to provide more insight into Brett's artistic and social practice and how it came to be.

"Why do I do what I do, or what is it that I do. I mean, it's a complicated thing to try to unpack. I'm an artist. I've been working as an artist since the late 90's. I spent much time in Chicago, Copenhagen, Berlin, moving around a lot and I find myself back in northeast Indiana.

From the self-publishing poster series, printed on the Temporary Services RISO with drawings by Kione Kochi. 

From the self-publishing poster series, printed on the Temporary Services RISO with drawings by Kione Kochi. 

Temporary Services started making publications from the very beginning. It was just me running it in 1998. I mean, I say running it, but there was a whole group of us, a culture of people collaborating like a year or two before it happened. And then we kind of formalized that.

I wanted to make publications, so we had a storefront on the north-west side of Chicago and I was in a working class neighborhood that was half Eastern European folks and half Latino folks. There were a lot of check cashing places, there were a lot of liquor stores, and a lot of dollar stores. A very low rent place, very rundown.  We didn't want our activity as artists to have this sort of gentrifying impact. We really wanted to be kind of under the radar. So, we had small audiences coming to what we were doing at the storefront, very small audiences, 30 people maybe.

We couldn't really have the opening hours for the gallery, nobody really came to the neighborhood for that, like none of the people in our audience. But we didn't want to make a gallery in that kind of way. So, we started doing a lot of public projects that would help us meet people from the neighborhood or pull other kinds of folks, than those just wanting to come to a young, hip, well, we weren't really hip, you know, opening art space. I think people came looking for that and were disappointed, which is great.

We took our ideas very seriously and we wanted to spread them well beyond this little audience. And so publications are a great way to get your ideas out across the world. A very, very little amount of money can circulate your ideas far and wide and they can end up in incredibly surprising places. And this was something we wanted to tap into.

You know, I'm old enough that when you met with a curator or somebody was interested in your work he brought a sheet of slides. Nothing was digitized. We didn't have a smartphone. We didn't even have a laptop to take around. We took publications around and said, "Hey, here's a stack of 20 publications, if you're interested in what we do, dig through this. I mean, we'll have a conversation with you for an hour and then dig through this. But we're not going to give you slides. You're going to start a conversation with us." We'd try to start in a very different place. And if people weren't up for that then we didn't work with them and this filtered out a lot of assholes. So, we've been quite fortunate we haven't had to work with very many... I have a hard time thinking of... yeah, very few assholes because we've had these filters built in. And we also don't circulate within the commercial art world, and not everybody there is an asshole, of course. But in cities like Chicago, L.A., and New York, it can be quite vicious and stupid. The way the artists trip over themselves to get access to this thing that very few actually make an economy on. So, we didn't want to participate in that and we didn't want to let curators get away with treating us like we were part of that.

RISO poster printed by Temporary Services with illustrations by Kione Koichi.

RISO poster printed by Temporary Services with illustrations by Kione Koichi.

So, it was also an act of self-empowerment to make these publications and say, "Hey, here are ideas. If you're interested in them, read them, if you want to argue with us, do it. We're taking responsibility for what we're saying." And we never looked back since the first first thing we did, since we've made publications. For everything we've done and then some. So, we're up to, I think, 117, and that's just Temporary Services. We've got a whole bunch with Half Letter Press. I publish a bunch of my own. Marc's published a ton on his own. It's just really in our bones and blood to do this. It took us a while to figure it out and to see like actually how things were circulating and traveling.

There's a whole range of possibilities. We were doing this in the late 90's in Chicago and there was a very few number of us spread around the globe, in Buenos Aires and Zagreb in Berlin and Copenhagen and numerous other places. People were working collectively or working in groups. And we choose this term group over a collective to sort of amplify the work that they were doing. The impact you could have working as a group is much greater than working as an individual, so I also work collaboratively all the time. So, this means that I might work under five or six different names. It gets quite confusing for others but I'm not interested in making a brand or style out of my artwork out of my life. I don't need to sell it to anybody. But it's also been extremely important to follow the work I've been doing where it takes me and to focus on the issues and things that I or the groups I've worked with are set upon, so different situations require different strategies for how you work.

So, with that I'm doing I might not even be recognizable to some people as artwork. And that's quite OK. Actually, sometimes it's the point that it's not seen specifically as artwork because you can actually open up a discourse. If somebody thinks they're looking at a work of art, a sculpture, something that they have to interpret and be responsible for coming up with some kind of like thoughtful response to that can often shut down the kinds of responses you can get from somebody. So we work in much more open ended ways where you use culture to shift the social norms that you go into. And then it can create possibilities for other things to happen. This has been a repeated experience for nearly 20 years. This is truly how Temporary Services started as seven people back in 1990. And now it's two of us working together. But we often collaborate with others outside the group and sometimes that collaboration will specifically open up what it is we'll be working on.

We have an idea. And sometimes in the past we would heatedly debate it. That's when there are seven of us because you had to really get seven heads around it. Now the two of us. If it's an idea I know Marc won't like I will do it somewhere else. Some other collaboration. Same with him. So, we maintain other groups and other collaborations that we've participated in specifically for that reason. I do a lot of ecological work with my wife and also on my own, and sometimes with Temporary Services, but it's not the same. It's not the direction I want it to go. We've always tried to make the group open so it wasn't that everybody had to work under the umbrella of Temporary Services and they couldn't do anything else. There's always all these other possibilities all these ideas are just too many ideas too much to get to in a lifetime. That's the beauty of working in a group. You feel a sort of pressure lifted off of you.

So, what is the role of artists in America. I don't think it's to play nice. I think it's a really kind of make things uncomfortable and or at least unsettled. It doesn't have to be aggressive but it needs to unsettle things." - Brett Bloom



Artist Opportunities & Exhibitions

Each month we receive a variety of calls for artists and exhibition listings for galleries around the region! Here are some exhibitions and calls for entries to check out during the month of September.

40th Annual Photography Exhibit Call for Entry

Wassenberg Art Center

Oct 06, 2017 - Oct 27, 2017

For 40 years the Wassenberg Art Center has been supporting the art of Photography by hosting an annual photography exhibit. Amateur and professional photographers will exhibiting their work for this revered photography tradition. The Wassenberg Art Center, in Van Wert, Ohio, has been celebrating and promoting the visual arts since 1954. Please join us by attending and supporting local artists in this juried exhibit of Northwest Ohio’s finest with over $1300 in total cash prizes.

More information here.

39th Elkhart Juried Regional Call for Entry

Midwest Museum of American Art
Over $25,000 in Awards!

This all-media competition is open to artists 18 years and older who are residents of Allen, DeKalb, Elkhart, Fulton, Jasper, Kosciusko, Lake, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, Newton, Noble, Porter, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Starke, Steuben or Whitley counties in Indiana and Berrien, Branch, Cass, or St. Joseph counties in Michigan.

Each entrant may submit one (1) or two (2) works which must be original in
concept and execution, created within the last two (2) years, not completed under instruction and not previously exhibited at the Midwest Museum or any other competition within the region. An entry fee of $25 for one (1) work or $40 for two (2) works applies.

The Midwest Museum of American Art is located in the heart of the Arts & Entertainment District in downtown Elkhart.

More information here.

Eel River Art Festival Call for Artists

Rack Card-ERAF-sides1-2-2017.jpg

Art at the Riverside!

Art at the Riverside will take place in Leo-Cedarville on September 23rd from 10:00am–5:00pm. This is a premier juried art show in Leo Cedarville celebrating the arts, featuring 40 artists in various mediums, musical entertainment and food vendors. Come celebrate with us!

More information here.

Fort Wayne Artists Guild September Exhibitions

Aldersgate United Methodist Church | Members’ Show: opens September 10
2417 Getz Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46804
(260) 432-1524

Allen County Retinal Surgeons | Linda Hall
7900 Jefferson Blvd W Acc, Fort Wayne, IN 46804
(260) 436-2181

Citizens Square | 2nd Floor - Darlene Selzer Miller | 3rd Floor - Brenda Stichter
200 Berry, Fort Wayne, IN 46802
(260) 427-2763

The Einhaus Group for Women’s Health | FWAG not scheduled until further notice
10215 Auburn Park Dr, Fort Wayne, IN 46825
(260) 490-2229

Heritage of Fort Wayne | FWAG not scheduled - Residents Exhibition
8200 St. Joe Rd/5250 Heritage Pkwy, Fort Wayne, IN
Pat Hart (260) 209-6279

Ophthalmology Consultants (Southwest) | Stevie Ross
7232 Engle Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46804
(260) 436-7205

Ophthalmology Consultants (North) | Patricia Weiss
10186 Dupont Cir Dr E
Fort Wayne, IN
(260) 436-7205

Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne | Karen Bixler
7970 W Jefferson Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN
(260) 435-6100

ResCare Inc Adult Day Service | Jessie Strock
3711 Rupp Dr Fort Wayne IN 46815
(260) 483-2888

Town House Retirement | Barb Yoder
2209 St Joe Center Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46825
(260) 483-3116

Visiting Nurse Hospice | Celeste Lengerich
5910 Homestead Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46814
(260) 435-3222

Will Jewelers | Emily Jane Butler and Carolyn Stachera
10146 Maysville Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46815
(260) 493-2026

Merrill Krabill: Between Earth and Sky

Huntington University

September 7 - October 12, 2017

Artist Reception: Friday, September 22, 6:00-7:30pm

Curriculum Vitae 101

What the hell is curriculum vitae? 

I completely understand that you may be asking this question right now.

A CV is similar to a resume, but they are not the same thing. Your CV should be a deep dive in to your professional artistic career history. This should only include achievements that are specific to your artistic career. 

Your CV can be used when applying for grants, scholarships, residencies, universities, teaching positions, and other job positions in the arts. 

A CV is broken into several categories:

  • Education
  • Exhibitions
  • Collections
  • Curatorial projects
  • Awards, scholarships, grants
  • Residencies
  • Relevant professional experience
  • Bibliography

The way that these categories are ordered can be changed to best fit your needs. My CV starts with education, professional experience, scholarship/grants, exhibitions, etc... You may not currently have work in a collection, so just skip that category.

Writing your CV

First things first, make a general list of every exhibition you have been in, all of your residencies, scholarships, where you went to school for art, etc. to fill the categories listed above. 

Update, update, update! 

The worst thing you can do is not update your CV on a regular basis. Every time I have an exhibition or receive a scholarship, I sit down and edit my CV. This way, I never forget what the show or scholarship were called, where it was held or from, and what year it was! 

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 8.12.17 AM.png

Once you have a list of all of your artistic accomplishments, put that into a consistent structure throughout the entire document.  

Just like your basic resume, you want to keep a consistent type face, font size, spacing, and capitalization. Make sure everything is spelled right, especially the names of exhibitions, galleries, and grants! 

Here's my CV for you to reference while you begin to write your own. This may seem a little overwhelming right now, but just keep going and you'll have this incredible record of your accomplishments!  Have questions? Don't be afraid to email me at madison@artlinkfw.com! I can help! 

-Maddie, Gallery Coordinator

Artlink Staff Picks: August 2017

Welcome to Artlink Staff Picks, a monthly feature where our team presents their favorite art findings. Everyday, the Artlink community seeks out amazingly inspiring and creative art related content. Read below to see what we are gushing over this month!

Marc Maiorana Bottle Opener

Marc Maiorana Bottle Opener

While taking a workshop at Penland School of Crafts this summer, I purchased this incredible Marc Maiorana bottle opener from the Penland Gallery, from their Well-Designed Objects exhibition. This exhibition was truly beautiful featuring all handmade items merging "qualities of craftsmanship and aesthetics beautifully." This bottle opener is definitely one of the most well-designed utilitarian objects I own!  

- Maddie Miller, Gallery Coordinator



MCA Exhibition - Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats It's Own Leg





Last weekend, while visiting Chicago, I got to see the most fun and colorful exhibition - Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg. Murakami is a Japanese pop artist who has collaborated with famous brands and icons, such as Kanye West and Louis Vuitton.  This exhibition includes multiple large scale screen prints, paintings, massive sculptures and videos that traces Murakami's 30 year career from the 1980s to the present.

I enjoyed taking in all of the bright colors and excitement that was consistently presented through Murakami's work. This exhibition left me wanting to come back and see it all over again as Murakami's pieces are rich in detail. This is definitely an exhibition that is wonderful for the entire family. Takashi Murakami's exhibition is showing now until September 24th at the MCA.  

-Candis Oakley, Assistant Gallery Coordinator

Poster - The Shape of Water by James Jean

Poster - The Shape of Water by James Jean


In July, James Jean began posting process images of a new painting. Those familiar with his work know that it's not uncommon to his work combine rich organic imagery with that of fantastic creatures and human forms, all tied together with vibrant, electric color. This piece was no exception. Not long after this first post however, the finished piece was posted along with a link to the trailer for the new film by Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water. While the trailer is beautiful in it's own right, what instantly hooked me was that the painting was in fact, the art for the film's poster. 


This piece reminded me just how powerful a master's voice is when applied to mediums that are deemed by the majority as "Too commercial." The work is rich in color, human - and otherworldly - forms and the type of narrative ambiguity that spurns curiosity. I was hooked to the point where I emailed his reps to ask when the print would be available.* Ultimately though, I can't get over this piece because in the most simple terms, I really, really dig it. James Jean inspired me through his work a decade ago on the comic series Fables and since then through his murals, paintings and journals. The Shape of Water is no exception. 

-Matt McClure, Executive Director

Marta Klonowska, Glass Artist

Marta Klonowska, Glass Artist

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My pick is Marta Klonowska, a Polish glass artist who takes old illustrations of animals and creates them three-dimensionally out of glass.  I love the whimsy of the figures as well as the attention to detail.  In person, when the light hits them, they glow and it's otherworldly.

-Morgan Bogart, Administrative Manager

Alcohol Inks

Alcohol Inks


I went to Jo-Ann's recently and purchased a set of alcohol inks to try, which ended with me creating seven pieces that same day. I immediately fell in love with the stress-free fluidity of the process and could not stop trying out different color combinations and patterns. 

Alcohol inks are a relaxing way to let out creativity. All you need is some alcohol inks in whatever colors you desire, and some form of non-porous material such as glossy photo paper, glass, metal, glazed ceramic, or the most common surface used -  a yupo (waterproof paper sold near alcohol inks). The need for non-porous material is because the alcohol inks need to be able to spread and blend evenly without soaking into the surface. You can also purchase a small piece of felt to use for blending inks together more softly. They dry very quickly due to the alcohol, making it a quick and fun way to create art. There are also metallic inks which react in an odd way with the regular colors, rippling and waving for a few moments after contact which can create a beautiful marbling effect. 

-Ellen Mensch, Assistant Gallery Coordinator

Artlink Staff Highlight


Artlink is dedicated to hiring staff who are passionate about the arts and serving the Fort Wayne community. We invite you to learn more about our wonderful team. Read below and get to know a bit about Matt!

What role do you play at Artlink? 

I am the Executive Director

What do you like best about your job?

Getting to see the force for good art and the people behind it can be...that's incredible.

If you have an artistic practice, what is it?

I write and illustrate.  

What is one little known fact (that you would like to share) about yourself?

When I was in college and writing for the student newspaper, I interviewed a teenage "christian" folksinger who 5 years later would become Katy Perry. Very weird. 

What's your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?

Sleep or read.

What are three things you can't live without?

Books/stories, coffee and a sketchbook.

What have you accomplished that you are most proud of?

You'll find out soon enough. 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time and why?

What's spare time?

Who's your favorite artist and why?

I have no single favorite. But I'm inspired by James Jean, Maurice Sendak and animator Tomm Moore. 

Why does art matter to you?

Art is communication that transends the barriers of language. Art and story are the two things that connect us all in one form or another. 

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

"You only lose when you stop trying..." i.e. never give up because those who keep at it are most likely to succeed.