Why I Create: Kara Heingartner

Kara Heingartner works with photography, performance and installation. Herron School of Art and Design, where she received her BFA in 2016, created an interest in exploring the possibilities in a variety of mediums. You can see more of Kara's work on instagram @karaheingartner and on her website kheingartner.com

Her work is about what brings us together as humans and what we are left with as the aftermath. Whether it be remains of a personal relationship or what is left from a solitary encounter with a stranger. Humans can share an experience, yet be left with different emotions and trauma from that shared time. Our reactions may be different, but we cannot handle it on our own.  No one on Earth benefits or survives from being alone.

On October 15th, Kara Heingartner performed her piece Take Control and Discard outside of The Golden. Her piece asked viewers the following...


"With this piece I offer the chance for you to take hold of a word or phrase that has made you feel uncomfortable. It could have been said to you in an intimate setting or out in public. It could have been said by a stranger or someone that you know very well.

Write it down on a sheet of paper and give it to me to erase in black ink and pin to the wall to free you from this burden.

While you bring me yours I will be doing the same with mine. No one has to read yours, not even, but I am giving you the option to read mine. "

Artlink Staff Picks: November

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!


I learned about CERF+ during workshops at Penland School of Crafts. I can't even imagine how many artists have been affected by the recent slew of disasters. CERF+ allows artists to survive through devastated studios from hurricanes to studio accidents to general illness. I really love the "Get Ready" Grant. 

Maddie Miller, Gallery Coordinator 

Maddie Miller, Gallery Coordinator 

Synopsis: The “Get Ready” Grant Program encourages awareness of and provides funding for artists working in craft disciplines to conduct activities that will help safeguard their studios, protect their careers and implement other safety measures to help artists build and sustain strong and resilient careers.

Cornell Collection of Blaschka Invertebrate Models, Pteroctopus tetracirrhus, 575
Morgan Bogart, Administrative Manager 

Morgan Bogart, Administrative Manager 

One of the most remarkable exhibitions I've ever seen is the Cornell Collection of  Blaschka's Glass Models of Marine Invertebrates.  They were made by Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka in 1863.  Each model is scientifically accurate.  These are an incredible testament to their skill and to how little the craft of glass has changed over the years.  

Ellen Mensch

Ellen Mensch

Water Pens

Water Pens

Ellen Mensch, Gallery Coordinator

Ellen Mensch, Gallery Coordinator

One item I always recommend to artists is a water brush. It seems like such a small and insignificant thing to add to your pile of art supplies, but water brushes can make such a huge difference. For me, I’ve noticed that the biggest difference is in my motivation. There are many times when I've been out and aboutand saw something I would like to paint, but the small hassle of dealing with a cup of water for my paints was enough to deter me. Especially if you're in a crowded museum and fear making a mess, cups of dirty paint water are just not convenient. Water brushes are especially great for adding ink wash or watercolor to drawings because they can be squeezed to create a dark to light fade in one brushstroke, but they can also be used for any type of water soluble paints.

Candis Oakley, Assistant Gallery Coordinator 

Candis Oakley, Assistant Gallery Coordinator 

It's all about music for me. I listen to music around the clock, so I'm always looking for new artists to keep things new and myself inspired. I recently came across thee most loveliest voice, Charlotte Day Will. Her vocals are smooth, sultry and remind me a bit Sade and Rhye. Check her out! 

Why I Create: Sara Nordling

Sara Nordling has been involved in fiber art in many forms for most of her life; weaving however, didn’t enter until Sara was an adult and she was hooked immediately. What began as a hobby turned into a passion and a return to school for a B.F.A. and then an M.F.A. in studio art/textiles. Sara currently is a limited term lecturer at Indiana/Purdue Universities, Fort Wayne where she teaches drawing, painting and design. She has also given workshops to guilds in Indiana and has taught at weaving conferences in Illinois, Texas and Indiana. Her current work focuses on various forms of double weave including double weave pleats, pick-up techniques, networked and blocks. Sara enjoys the technical side of weaving as well as the color, textures and rhythms weaving provides. 

You can see more of her work on her website at www.saranordling.com


Upcoming Events & Opportunities for Artists


New Prints 2018/Winter
Submit your prints and print-based work to International Print Center New York's 57th New Prints exhibition, on view January 11 – March 31, 2018. 
Deadline for submissions is Thursday, November 9, 2017, 11:59 pm. 
The New Prints Program is a a twice-annual, juried open call for prints and print-based work created in the preceding twelve months, in keeping with IPCNY's mission of supporting print artists and broadening access to the medium. The jury will be announced in the coming weeks.
Visit www.ipcny.org/newprints to view past exhibitions.
Submission Criteria:

*   Editioned prints, unique printed works, print-based objects and installations, artist’s books, and ephemeral formats of any size are eligible. Videos and other media made from prints are acceptable. 

*   Photography, or direct reproductions of other artworks, such as drawings or paintings, are not eligible.

*   Prints must have been completed within 12 months prior to the submission deadline.
Artists may submit up to three works. Publishers and presses may submit up to three artists, with three works per artist.


The Fort Wayne Artists Guild monthly meeting will feature artist Jon Detweiler who will demonstrate painting with oil sticks, October 18, at 6:30 PM, The Globe Room, Allen County Public Library (Main Library), 900 Library Plaza,  Ft. Wayne. Public is welcome to attend. www.fortwayneartistsguild.org

Fort Wayne Artist Guild members featured at the following locations in October 2017:

(Nancy Longmate)
                             Aldersgate United Methodist Church                              
                        Getz Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46804                        
 (260) 432-1524

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

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

(Not currently scheduled)
 The Einhaus Group for Women’s Health
10215 Auburn Park Dr, Fort Wayne, IN 46825
(260) 490-2229

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FRED DOLORESCO---Mousehole Harbor 24 x 30-Oil.jpg

Castle Gallery Fine Art Presents…
National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) 2017 Best of America Show & Competition
October 16 – November 11, 2017      Opening Reception October 20, 2017, 5pm-9pm
This competition features more than 120 jurored works by nationally recognized artists
Featuring original works from local, regional and nationally recognized artists.
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm or by appointment


Artlink would like to congratulate one of our very own members for winning the opportunity to have her painting featured on a wine label! Stephanie McDairmant's winning painting "The Upsidedown" was unveiled as the 2017 selection for Mallow Run Winery's Artist Series. The wine was uncorked last Sunday night at The Artisian Table dinner, a charity event for the Greater Greenwood Arts Council. Her painting will be the label art for the Mallow Run sparkling pink catawba. Known as Canary in a coal mine Art, Stephanie creates bold abstract paintings with her breath. This literal expelling of emotion on canvas allows her to share her feelings while helping her connect to others through art. A self-taught artist, her work has been featured at Artprize in Grand Rapids, MI and in privately held collections all over the United States. Born in California, she lives in Warsaw with her husband and two children.

Why I Create: Rebecca Graves

Rebecca Graves

"There's always something rolling around in my head and it's finding its way out to the world through pottery. My slightly bent sense of humor, strong sense of justice, and deep desire to empower people show through the rich textural surfaces of the pottery inviting you to smile and touch.

One of the most exciting things to me is crafting items that truly function and make your life more enjoyable. If the coffee cup dribbles and ruins your favorite comfy shirt, what is the point? Good design and craftsmanship are as important as the surface decoration. I love the entire process.

Throughout the years, I've done a little bit of everything and a whole lot of some other things. My formal training is in graphic design but my explorations have ventured into printmaking, textiles, writing knitting patterns, painting, jewelry making and a whole slew of other crafts that have honed my attention to detail. On top of all that, I spent nearly 25 years in corporate retail with the main bulk of that in retail merchandising, store design and as a regional director for a midwestern department store.

Never in my life have I loved a job more than making pottery. It is immensely satisfying knowing that the time I've spent crafting a latte mug that will travel to your home, will be appreciated and enjoyed for years, if not generations.

Growing up in a creative family, I was sewing at age two and attending classes at the Toledo Museum of Art at age four. I have explored the arts from childhood without pause. With over twenty-five years of working as a studio artist as well as a variety of apprenticeships and studio assistantships, I have grown into a satisfying life of art, adapting techniques to fit my personal style."

You can see Rebecca Graves work here: www.instagram.com/gravesco/ and here: www.rebeccagravespottery.com

More of Kurt's conversation with Rebecca Graves...


Q: How did you get started?

A: I have always done it. I come from a family of makers, so we always were making something in the household and at the age of two I was drawing constantly. And I did a drawing of a train with people in it and curtains in the windows and the caboose with the conductor and all of that stuff, and that kind of started my journey because at that point my parents realized that I would see things that other people my age weren't seeing. So, they never told me no about exploring something creative. I was sewing before I turned three. My great grandmother taught me to crochet when I was three. My grandmother taught me to embroider when I was four. All through school, I was taking classes at the Toledo art museum. For me it was never a question about being an artist. It's just always been the thing that I do. 

Q: Was it pretty natural to start making etchings on the surface of your pottery?


A: Actually, I started out doing a lino block printing and a friend of mine who's a potter asked me to carve on his pots. And that's where this whole clay ball started rolling, because I had not really worked in clay much prior to that. I was really enjoying coming up with the ideas of the image that was going to go on a functional piece and then creating a functional piece that would house the image. So while most potters who were learning were worried about creating an interesting shape, I was concerning myself about designing a shape that would allow the carving to show and still be functional. So. the parts were more simple so that the carving would stand out more. And then after doing that for a couple of years I started spreading into more design work with the clay and letting it speak for itself. I love function!  Things have to function and feel good. And some of my favorite cups as a kid were at a Japanese restaurant where my aunt worked, and they had a thumb dent in them. And I just thought that was the coolest thing when I was a kid because it felt good. It didn't matter what size my hand was. It felt great and I like to incorporate stuff like that. 

Q:  What's it like working with clients?

A: So for a lot of times for custom work, I'll have people ask me to recreate something I've already done. Which in the pottery world, is not a problem. It does have a tendency to be a bit of a production item. So making multiples, it's not factory production but I'm making multiples. I let them know that ahead of time. I make a family of pots, not identical clones. So even if I make 100 of something, each one will be a little bit different. Each a little bit unique even though it's essentially the same shape and essentially the same design. 

Q:  How do you feel about collaborating with other artists?

I love collaborating with other artists and feeding off of each other's designs. When I started in ceramics, Steve Smith was handing me pottery and completely removing himself from what the outcome would be. His expectation was that I would return the pots to him with my marks on them. He didn't try to control it. And I loved doing that with collaboration. I love it when a client comes to me and says, "Here's the overall theme. Create what you want out of it and when you're done hand it back and then I'll create what I need to as the next step." So, working with Barrister and Mann, they contacted me and said that they love the idea of how music and scent play with each other, and gave me a song and asked me to design a little container for shave soap that would act as a lather bowl, based on the Rolling Stones song, Sympathy For The Devil. And it was a blast. I had free control over how it came out and once I was finished I sent him the samples and he's turned it into an entire marketing campaign and it actually just launched and people are loving it. It's fun. It's also been really interesting because it's been love or hate. So, he launched it earlier today. In the thread of the launch, people are either ecstatic about it or they hate it, and that delights me to no end. I don't want to be creating something that doesn't really engender a reaction. I want to create things that make people think and decide if they love or hate it. 

Q:  How do you start relationships with vendors?

A: It's been interesting. I've had a couple of different ways that I'm developing these really interesting relationships and they tend to be somewhat organic. I met Abby from the Paradigm Gallery at a show downtown. She came up and said I love your work and I love to carry it in the gallery. And we started talking and immediately hit it off and I think we're going on three or four years now of working together. Some of my other really good working relationships have come from people that I have met in odd places online. Instagram and Facebook both have created some really cool relationships. The collaborative project for the shave soap was from Facebook and I'm working with someone on a subscription box for art supplies. And I'll be doing a little something for her next subscription box, and we met on Instagram and it just started out as "Hey, I love your work." "Oh, Hey.  I love yours too. We should do something together. "

Q&A with Jason Mowry

Earlier this month, we sat down with artist Jason Mowry to discuss his exhibition, The Fox and the Man at the Door, an illustrated collection of Aesop's Fables. We wanted to hear more about Jason and what inspired him to illustrate fables. 

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

A: I am an illustrator artist living and working in Columbus, Ohio. When I’m not in the studio I’m typically hiking in the woods or working on a Haruki Murakami novel.


Q: Are you a full-time practicing studio artist and illustrator?

A: I keep a home studio where I’m fortunate to spend the majority of my time in freelance work, commissions, and gallery shows. I also teach a drawing class one day out of the week at the local arts college.

Q: How does teaching influence your artistic practice?

A: My time spent teaching affords me the chance to meet students and engage with them. That engagement over the course of a semester can be very rewarding. The class I teach is a drawing from life class. It allows me the opportunity to draw with the students as well as immerse myself in the practice of drawing and drawing applications. Drawing is an area of practice I feel I can always learn more about and having a class gives me the chance to engage in extend research.  


Q: When did you first learn about Aesop’s Fables?

A: I have memories of Aesop’s Fables from childhood. My mom had a very old collection of the stories that she kept on the family bookshelf. The collection has since been lost. I was never able to track down the specific collection from that time. Over the years I have collected several versions of the Fables.

Q: What about Aesop’s Fables inspires you?

A: The fables are certainly timeless but to a large extent also considered partially anonymous. Some of them can be attributed to a Greek slave named Aesop who may or may not have been a real. I’m fascinated by the idea of something potentially anonymous that can also be timeless across multiple cultures and eras. Myth and folktales are compelling to me for the same reason.

Q: Do you have a favorite fable?

A: One of my favorites, is the Fable ‘The Monkey and the Dolphin’ It’s odd and grim and captures the way spirit of the Fables.

Q: What made you choose to stick to black and white with this series?

A: The fables could be said to be metaphorically black and white in their outcomes. The decision to use black and white seemed to be a great way to connect with the moral allegory side of the stories. I also took a lot of inspiration from seeing the etchings and ink drawings of the early illustration masters like Arthur Rackham, Edward Detmold, and Gustave Doré. All the great masters of illustration were working largely in black and white in many of the published collections. Working in ink and black & white seemed like a tribute to those inspired sources.

Q: Your bio says you combine myth and personal narrative to speak to the larger collective narrative - can you describe that process more in depth?

A: I like to pull mythology into some of the pieces I make. By connecting myth with elements of personal narratives it brings the work closer to a vision of timeless art. Keeping Myth alive is a concern in my art as well as being able to make it personal and approachable.


Q: Most of your work incorporates animals, do you feel a strong connection with nature?

A: I typically use animals in my paintings as symbolic elements or anthropomorphic stand in for emotional states. Most of the animals I paint I am using to talk about human states of being. That being said, there are moments in my life where I’ve encountered the ‘greater wild’ of the animal kingdom and I’m instantly aware its relationship to my humanness.

Q: You have a very noticeable style; do you remember the beginning of your current artistic style?

A: I don’t know if I can pinpoint when or how my style came to be. I think it’s is most likely a jambalaya of my various art influence over the years simmering to the surface. I find myself pushing past my comfort or even skill level in services of the narrative. Raw effort, or just missing the mark of perfection I think can sometimes read as style.

Q: Have you always anticipated yourself being an artist or did you start out on a different path?

A: My high school didn’t have enough art requirements to get me into a 4-year art school so I had to make definitive choice about my future at an early age. At the time, it wasn’t a necessarily hard decision to make. I’d been drawing and creating for much of my childhood. Some of my fondest early memories where my brother (Ryan Mowry also an artist) and me writing and drawing comics for the kids in our neighborhood.

Q: If you could be a character from one of Aesop’s fables, which would it be?

A: That’s a good question. Probably the man in ‘the man counting waves with the fox’. If only to have a fox tell me to chill out.


See Jason Mowry's exhibition now on view at Artlink Contemporary Gallery until October 27th, 2017. 

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