November Subscriptions!

We love sharing the work that goes out each month to our subscribers, not only because it’s always pretty awesome, but also because we want to inspire YOU to subscribe. It’s not easy to keep the subscriptions rolling in, so we rely on people who like what we do to show their support. The price point couldn’t be more accessible (really!) and the holidays are the BEST time to order. We are offering a HUGE SALE through the end of December…20% OFF EVERYTHING including subscriptions, choose your own adventure books, trading card packs (think stocking stuffers), and single serving mystery works! Just enter coupon code HOLIDAZE at checkout. This discount also applies to our already incredible offer for a FREE LIMITED EDITION PRINT with a sampler subscription! This way, you can order a gift and still keep a little something for yourself….(we won’t tell).

Long story short….WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! And the holidays are the best time to show it. Mostly because we are making it really easy on you, but also because we know that the recipient of a gift subscription to Project Dispatch will love you forever. Think about it…SUBSCRIBE!

Kelley_Space Core_Archival Inkjet Print_11x14 inches

Chandi Kelley, “Space Core,” C-print, 6 x 8 inches

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Rachel England, Untitled, Paper Collage, 5 x 5 inches

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Rachel England, Untitled, Paper Collage, 10 x 7 inches

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Molly McAuley, Untitled, Graphite on paper, 11 x 10 inches

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October Installments

We are loving the work that has been going out in subscriptions these last few months! Check out our October installments below, featuring work by Dana Maier, Molly McAuley, Jessica Ford, Arianna Valle, and Chandi Kelley. Want to subscribe, and make sure that you get work by at least one of these artists? Pick the Curated Subscription, with selections by Karyn Miller, which is guaranteed to include work by Dana Maier, Arianna Valle, or Chandi Kelley! What better way to take the worry out of purchasing unseen art, without taking out the fun of getting mystery art in the mail?!?

Dana Maier, "Mice in Cups," Ink on paper, 8 x 8 inches

Dana Maier, “Mice in Cups,” Ink on paper, 8 x 8 inches

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Molly McAuley, Untitled, Gouache on canvas, 8×10 inches, 2015

Jessica Ford, "Souvenir," Charcoal and oil pastel on paper, 6 x 4.5 inches

Jessica Ford, “Souvenir,” Charcoal and oil pastel on paper, 6 x 4.5 inches

Arianna Valle, Untitled, Archival inkjet print, 8x10 inches

Arianna Valle, Untitled, Archival inkjet print, 8×10 inches

Chandi Kelley, "Crystal," Archival inkjet print, 11 x 14 inches

Chandi Kelley, “Crystal,” Archival inkjet print, 11 x 14 inches

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September Subscriptions!

It’s your monthly teaser! Enjoy these works that went out to our subscribers from P. Corwin Lamm, Jerome Skiscim, Dana Maier, and Amy Hughes Braden. If you like what you see below, you will LOVE the experience that you’ll get with a subscription!

P. Corwin Lamm, "Pond Bed...," Archival inkjet print, 10 x 10 inches, 2015

P. Corwin Lamm, “Pond Bed…,” Archival inkjet print, 10 x 10 inches, 2015

Jerome Skiscim, "Seasurreal," Chemigram with aluminum border, 8 x 10 inches

Jerome Skiscim, “Seasurreal,” Chemigram with aluminum border, 8 x 10 inches

Dana Maier, "Will Anyone," Ink on paper

Dana Maier, “Will Anyone,” Ink on paper

Amy Hughes Braden, "Two Bushes (Two Doves)," Acrylic and collage on found photographs, 10 x 9.5 inches, 2015

Amy Hughes Braden, “Two Bushes (Two Doves),” Acrylic and collage on found photographs, 10 x 9.5 inches, 2015

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September Featured Artist: Molly McAuley

After a brief summer hiatus, it’s lovely to come back to feature Molly McAuley and get lost in her work. It’s no wonder that Molly gets a lot of commissions for portraits and caricatures with her skill and style, but it’s her surrealist landscapes which have intrigued and delighted me the most.

Rene Magritte said, “To be a surrealist means barring from your mind all remembrance of what you have seen, and being always on the lookout for what has never been seen.” While I appreciate this sentiment, I find art which draws from the vast amount of information available to us today, to be more mysterious and provoking. Molly’s work is a prime example of this re-organization of information to create impossible landscapes which also somehow feel familiar. When I see Molly’s work, I feel like I should know the characters, and that they are part of a larger narrative which I’ve just momentarily forgotten. That’s a pretty great mind trick.

So without further ado,

Molly McAuley

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 4.03.02 PM

Some of your work is reminiscent of vaudeville with exaggerated expressions and references to 20’s-50’s styling. Do you have a particular affinity to this era in entertainment? You also sometimes use entertainers as central figures. Can you tell us why you choose to do this?

Well the idea of variety is something that inspires my work, so I see the connection to vaudeville and early variety shows for sure. I’ve also always been delighted by musical theatre and the magic of any great spectacle or performance – pageants, parades, circus acts, cabaret, lavish Broadway and Hollywood musicals, game shows, etc. – so I try to create some of that theatrical excitement in my pieces. I love the way that visual and performing arts combine to delight and entertain spectators. I think growing up performing in musicals and watching them, I understood the structure well, and that influences how I structure my compositions – setting the stage or background first, placing key players as focal points and others in clusters or choreographed formations to balance the composition, and using lighting and costumes to separate foreground from background within the frame.

In borrowing imagery from the world of entertainment, including tributes to some of my favorite performers, I kind of hope to steal a bit of their magic, to celebrate them but also make them mine in some way. For me, the figures of entertainers serve as reminders of the joy of both creating and appreciating art – that work can be play and art is entertainment.

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“Sleepy’s Open” digital collage 18×48″

“Synchronized” graphite 8×10″

I’ve noticed re-occurring figures of ladies in bathing suits (maybe in a pageant) with large head masks in some of your works. What do these figures represent to you?

I like the mix of glamour and beauty with an element of oddity that these figures represent to me. I also really love seeing/depicting bodies arranged in formation – unified by things like costume and choreography, while offering the subtle differences apparent in the facial features and expressions, which vary from each individual figure to the next. In the case of these pageant ladies, I love that the head masks exaggerate those differences to a sort of comic effect.

“Work as Play” charcoal and pastel 18×24″

“Social Circle” graphite, pen, marker, gouache 12×12″

What are the most commonly asked questions about your work?

I’d say I get more “comments” than “questions” from people when they see my work, and I’m okay with that! I’m usually just aiming to create visually pleasing, somewhat intriguing, pictures that offer the experience of stepping into another world, like a dream. So if people say, “cool!” then I’m happy. But I find that, especially if I give the piece a title, people are often interested in hearing my interpretation of the piece and what it means or where it might have come from. So it’s fun to share the connections I have made about a piece, but also to hear what it evokes for other people, too.

“giant radioactive fukushima squid” graphite 8×10″

When you’re starting to work on your surrealist landscapes, where do you get your source material?

I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to source material. No image that comes through the screen of my computer or phone is safe from a quick screenshot or drag-to-desktop (then filed into various folders, “binders of women,” etc.) if I like it and think I can use it. I’m still not entirely clear on what the rules are for appropriating imagery, so I just assume it’s all fair game as long as I do something cool with it to make it mine, ya? I also like taking screen shots during videos to capture moments that aren’t already available as images on the internet. So when I’m making my surrealist landscapes in Photoshop, I have a ton of digital material to work from. For my hand-cut collages and mixed-media stuff, I also have a huge collection of National Geographic mags which I love to sit and look/cut through, as well as other used books I’ve acquired for that purpose. When I want to make work with more of a personal theme, I love going through all of my old family photos, which are such a goldmine.

“Happytown, USA” collage 18×48″

“Big Sister” graphite and gouache 18×24″

What are you working on now?

I’ve always wanted to make work with some sort of 3-d element, so I have been playing around with these little clay sculptures I’ve made – small figures and busts, and putting them in diorama boxes with drawings around them lining the background. The next step will be figuring out how to wire lighting into them so they can function as night-lights or lamps. I love lamp(s).

Have you made any discoveries in your practice as a result of becoming a member of Project Dispatch and making work for subscriptions?

Being a member of Project Dispatch has been great for me because it’s a good reason to keep me making art outside of the portraits and other commissioned work I do – I need the motivation and I enjoy the freedom to create a little something I am proud to send out and that I otherwise would not have made. I’m inspired by the concept of Project Dispatch and always excited to tell people about it because it’s something so unique and accessible for people who want to own original art (and who doesn’t?) I’m inspired by the other artists in the group, too, seeing what everybody comes up with for subscriptions and for our shows.

 If you could pick three artists from the Project to subscribe to, who would they be?

I think I would pick Jessica Ford, Sheena Custer, and Chandi Kelley first. Then I would pick three more and keep going – there are too many interesting artists to choose from.

To see more work by Molly, visit her website: www.mollymcauley.com

Start your subscriptionto Molly throughout the month of September to receive a 10% discount!

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August Subscriptions!

Virtually experience a Project Dispatch subscription by scrolling through all of the exciting artwork below. You only miss out on the excitement of opening the package, discovering the work, supporting artists with your subscription, starting an art collection, and getting to live with art you love in your home…

Work sent to our subscribers last month included the following pieces by Becca Kallem, Evan Hume, Frank Adams, Rachel England, Elizabeth Graeber, Allison Long Hardy, and Dana Maier! Check out other examples of their work on our website, and subscribe to get new work by the artist of your choice next month! We even offer a single serving subscription, for folks who just want to try it out once!

Becca Kallem, Untitled, Mixed Media

Becca Kallem, Untitled, Mixed Media

Evan Hume,

Evan Hume, “Unknown Substances” UFO 5-58, Archival pigment print, 11 x 8.5 inches

Evan Hume,

Evan Hume, “Unknown Substances” UFO 5-60, Archival pigment print, 11 x 8.5 inches

Evan Hume,

Evan Hume, “Unknown Substances” UFO 5-61, Archival pigment print, 11 x 8.5 inches

Frank Adams,

Frank Adams, “Train with Tarp,” Archival inkjet print from polaroid transfers

Rachel England, Untitled, Collage, 5 x 6.5 inches

Rachel England, Untitled, Collage, 5 x 6.5 inches

Rachel England,

Rachel England, “Lay Lady Lay,” Collage, 8 x 10 inches

Elizabeth Graeber,

Elizabeth Graeber, “Masked Owl,” Original drawing, 14 x 11 inches

Allison Long Hardy, Mixed Media

Allison Long Hardy, Mixed Media

Dana Maier,

Dana Maier, “Blah,” Pen and ink

Dana Maier,

Dana Maier, “I Will Never Be That Good,” Pen and ink

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July Subscriptions!

July was a pretty great month for Project Dispatch! Not only did we have a birthday, launch our brand new storefront website and participate in Hole in the Sky’s Going Out of Business show (which was totally rad and you can check out a couple of our photos on IG), but we mailed out all of the amazing art you see below to our subscribers!

Now is the best time to get in on the action because subscribing has never been easier (and because if you order a sampler subscription now you can choose a FREE limited edition print by Chandi Kelley or Rachel England…while editions last)!

Evan Hume, "Photogram #1 Diptych", 2012-2015 8" x 10" each, Unique silver gelatin prints

Evan Hume, “Photogram #1 Diptych”, 2012-2015, 8″ x 10″ each, Unique silver gelatin prints

Sheena Custer, "Wave your abacus," Mixed media 12" x 9"

Sheena Custer, “Wave your abacus,” Mixed media, 12″ x 9″

Rachel England, "Misses," Paper cut collage, 6" x 9"

Rachel England, “Misses,” Paper cut collage, 6″ x 9″

Chandi Kelley, "Pebble (as meteor)," Archival inkjet print, 9" x 12" A/P

Chandi Kelley, “Pebble (as meteor),” Archival inkjet print, 9″ x 12″ A/P

Dana Maier, "Yellow City," Ink and Gouache, 7" x 5"

Dana Maier, “Yellow City,” Ink and Gouache, 7″ x 5″

AND stay tuned in the coming weeks for details on our very first curated subscriptions. Each subscription is a one of a kind offering, hand picked by Karyn Miller of Arlington Arts Center. We are super fortunate to have her keen eye on our work, and you will be oh so fortunate receive her selections in your subscription! Available for PRE-ORDER now, with subscriptions scheduled to begin shipping this fall.

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June Installments!

June brought super exciting new work to our subscribers! Artworks dispatched included the following pieces by Elizabeth Graeber, Allison Long Hardy, Evan Hume, Arianna Valle, and Rachel England. Stay tuned this month for updates on an upcoming show at Hole in the Sky, the launch of our brand new website, and new subscription offerings and promotions! And SUBSCRIBE now to start receiving original works in your mailbox each month!

Elizabeth Graeber,

Elizabeth Graeber, “Mushrooms,” Screenprint

Allison Long Hardy,

Allison Long Hardy, “2.2.15,” Mixed media, 6 x 6 inches

Evan Hume,

Evan Hume, “Majic Eye #4,” Archival pigment print, 18 x 12 inches

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Arianna Valle, Untitled, Collage, 7 x 5 inches

Arianna Valle, Untitled, Collage, 7 x 5 inches

Arianna Valle,

Arianna Valle, “Shrouded Lady,” Archival inkjet print, 8 x 10 inches

Rachel England,

Rachel England, “Peekaboo,” Paper cut collage, 4 x 10 1/2 inches

Rachel England,

Rachel England, “310/365,” Paper cut collage, 7 x 4 1/2 inches

Rachel England,

Rachel England, “Relevant Translation,” Print transfer/collage, 5 x 7 inches

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June Featured Artist: Allison Long Hardy

I have one of Allison’s drawings hanging in my dining room. Recently, I had a friend over for lunch and she went straight to it for a better look. It’s a 5″x5″ marker and pen drawing, and the only recognizable mark is a lower case letter “i” repeated over and over again in sprawling clusters and lines. She said “I love it, and that is surprising.” When I asked her why, she said, “I don’t like most abstract art, but this one is like what a mom feels during the toddler years.” I hadn’t even told her that the work was based on Allison’s interest in communication and that she has a one year old. I love when this kind of thing happens. I especially love when people who don’t care for “abstract art” make the connection that it is sometimes representational.

While Allison’s work is personal and experiential, it also communicates something many can attach meaning to. While I am annoyed that I have to constantly practice the letter “l” with my son who is having a hard time pronouncing it properly, Allison’s work reminds me that there is so much more happening in this simple interaction with my son, and I color it with my attitude. It’s a great visual reminder.

Her work isn’t just relevant to parents, though. Her drawings could have the same cathartic effect for anyone interested in the controlled chaos that is human communication.

So without further ado, Project Dispatch presents…

Allison Long Hardy

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You’ve recently finished a body of work about language and communication with your son. Before that you focused on conversations overheard in crowds and in passing. Can you tell us what most influenced your visual translation of these experiences, and then how it changed once you were interacting with your son?

A lot of times I don’t know what my art is about until after I make it.  I really trust my gut a lot of times.  The series about communication with my son was planned ahead of time, but that’s because I made some preceding pieces and then realized I could make a focused, deliberate series out of them.  However, I’ve always been interested in communication, especially bad communication, which is why interpreting a one year old’s language interested me.  Also going from overheard conversations from strangers, to intentional conversations with my son made me a lot more observant and honed in on certain things with his language development.

2.12.15 T, 6" x 6" , Mixed media on paper

2.12.15 T, 6″ x 6″ , Mixed media on paper

4.2.15 Z, 8" x 8" , Mixed media on paper

4.2.15 Z, 8″ x 8″ , Mixed media on paper

You describe your mark-making as a mix of intuitive and deliberate. When you say deliberate, does this mean you have a method? Can you elaborate on what you mean by this regarding your current drawings. Do you have a composition in mind when you start out, or does that develop in process? What have you learned in the process of making this series of drawings?

When I say deliberate, I mean that there are a couple of symbols, marks, letters that I do plan out before I start.  For example in the series about conversations with my son, I would plan to use a specific letter on a certain piece because that’s the letter or sound he was saying that day.  I made a piece about my dog who was insanely lazy, so I planned on using a lot of horizontal marks to represent his lethargy.  I generally don’t have a composition in mind when I start out, many times the composition creates itself, especially if I have a concrete idea in mind.  From this I’ve learned that I rely on similar composition too much!  I’ve had to really force myself to explore composition more in order to appropriately express each piece’s conversation.

12.3.14 N, 10" x 10", Mixed media on paper

12.3.14 N, 10″ x 10″, Mixed media on paper

How has having a son affected your ability and desire to make art? What would you say to a lady artist who wants to have a child, but fears doing so because of the many years where her time is not her own, and may mean postponing her own dreams? 

Oh gosh, the ever evolving question, isn’t this what most mothers struggle with?  Art was a part of my life before my son, before my husband, and before I really knew how to put it into words.  It’s always been there, and is an extremely important part of my life (the same goes for fitness with me).  There are periods of intense creativity and then periods where the creativity just isn’t there.  Right now, I’m not feeling creative so I’m focusing on other parts of my life.  I’m sure in a month or two, I’ll feel the need to make art again, and it’ll be great.  The same goes for being a mom. It’s just an added layer to me and who I am.  I do make art differently now.  The works are smaller and I generally complete them in one sitting.  When I was doing my massive eight foot drawings, I was in a completely different part of my life.  I was pregnant, with time on my hands.  So why not create huge art?  Now, my time is more valuable.  Nap time, time in-between classes, or time in the evening after my son has gone to sleep for the day are extremely valuable and afford me short snippets where I can do what I want to do, sometimes it’s making art, sometimes it’s sitting mindlessly in front of the TV watching the Real Housewives, and sometimes it’s surfing the internet for dinner recipes. Whatever it is, I now cherish that time.  Now that I’ve completed this series about the alphabet and my son’s language developing, I’ll move on and the work will probably change again.  Whatever happens, everything changes after you have a child, I’m not the center of my universe anymore, my son is.  And while he is one of my major priorities, so is art and art-making.  It’s figuring out the art-making that is the hard part.  So, to answer your question about postponing your dreams, I think that’s a terrible idea.  You have to figure out how to make your dreams work for you.  After all, I want to be a good role model for my son, and I think chasing my dreams is a part of that.  I want my son to see me working hard and doing what I love.

10.9.14 E, 6" x 6", Mixed media on paper

10.9.14 E, 6″ x 6″, Mixed media on paper

3.11.15 V, 8" x 8", Mixed media on paper

3.11.15 V, 8″ x 8″, Mixed media on paper

What are you working on now that you’ve completed this alphabet series? 

I’m not really working on anything right now. I know, I’m not really supposed to say that, but it’s true.  I find after I complete a huge series of works I have to take some time off.  I’ve tried to make some work and it’s just been terrible.  So I’ll give it some time and in a month or two, I’ll come back to it.  In the meantime, I’ll focus on enjoying my summer and maybe through my experiences this summer, I’ll figure out a new series.

Have you made any discoveries in your practice as a result of becoming a member of Project Dispatch and making work for subscriptions?

I’ve met some really cool collectors.  One particular collector who I worked with really loved my work, but wanted a certain size.  Being inhibited by the size made me think of my work differently.  It was a good challenge.  Also, the interpretations of my work by the collectors has been really fun.  Making non-objective work has always facilitated some interesting conversations about my work, but the collectors bring about a new point of view.  Because this is a piece of art that lives with them in their home, they see it differently than just a piece hanging in a gallery.  I’ve loved the conversations about my work that I’ve had with the collectors.

 If you could pick three artists from the Project to subscribe to, who would they be? 

Sheena Custer, Kendall Nordin, Evan Hume

To see more work by Allison, visit her website: www.AllisonLongHardy.com

Start your subscription to Allison throughout the month of June to receive a 10% discount!

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May Subscriptions!

It’s your monthly teaser! Featured work in May included Kristoffer Tripplaar, Allison Long Hardy, Rachel England, and Arianna Valle! Check out some of the work below, and subscribe to see what could be in store for you next month! Not ready to make the full commitment? We understand….that’s why we offer a variety of subscription options including postcard subscriptions! Get a limited edition postcard, numbered by the artist, every month for a full year…it is just $40! How easy is that!?!

Kristoffer Tripplaar, Untitled, C-print

Kristoffer Tripplaar, Untitled, C-print

Allison Long Hardy, Untitled, Mixed media on paper, 6 x 6 inches

Allison Long Hardy, Untitled, Mixed media on paper, 6 x 6 inches

Rachel England, "Gallery Envy," Paper cut collage, 6 x 6 inches

Rachel England, “Gallery Envy,” Paper cut collage, 6 x 6 inches

Rachel England, "248/365," Paper cut collage, 11 x 9 inches

Rachel England, “248/365,” Paper cut collage, 11 x 9 inches

Arianna Valle, "Foliage," C-print, 8 x 10 inches

Arianna Valle, “Foliage,” C-print, 8 x 10 inches

Arianna Valle, "Darling, My Heart is Ablaze," C-print, 5 x 7 inches

Arianna Valle, “Darling, My Heart is Ablaze,” C-print, 5 x 7 inches

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May Featured Artist: Jessica Ford

I met Jessica in the summer of 2009 at a show and concert in a beautiful old church in Indianapolis.  I had gone to see a friend (pianist/composer) perform, and was surprised to find visual work as part of the show. There’s something really special about seeing art in an historic church, but the icing on the cake was that the show was created by the artists in collaboration with the church. I love seeing the fruits of artist’s collaborations more than anything, so of course, I was immediately smitten with this group. I was especially drawn to Jessica’s self portraits with titles like “Vessel”. I’ve never really liked artist’s self portraits. I avoid making them because I don’t think I have the humility to do it right. Jessica does it right.

For the following several months I witnessed (via web) Jessica and her husband, Duncan, create work to music performed by our mutual friend in live performances. This was right about the time that Chandi and I were building the project, so her collaborative spirit and style were the perfect addition. I’ve loved watching Jessica work over the years, and especially so these last few years as she has studied to be a conservator.

S0, without further ado, Project Dispatch presents the art of…

Jessica Ford

 Self-portrait, acrylic on paper board, 5.5x6.5


Self-portrait, acrylic on paper board, 5.5×6.5

I imagine you as a kid that preferred the company of bugs to people. Am I right? Or did your love of bugs come later in life?  

I was definitely a quiet kid and a lot critters shared my attic bedroom, but I didn’t really appreciate bugs until later. There is a tiny section of Yukio Mishima’s book Spring Snow that describes a window looking out across beautiful gardens towards the distant mountains… and with that magnificent backdrop, a little beetle is focused on crawling from one side of the sill to the other. It probably wouldn’t have the same impact now, but at the time I read it I was pretty overwhelmed with choices and purpose and meaning and truth, and that passage helped give me direction — just set a goal and work with what’s in reach; the larger world isn’t hung up on me, so I shouldn’t get hung up on it. Ironically, that focus opened up both my reach and my world massively.

Reunited, oil on canvas board, 8x10

Reunited, oil on canvas board, 8×10

 Together, oil pastel and colored pencil, 7x9


Together, oil pastel and colored pencil, 7×9

You have recently become a Conservation Fellow at Brooklyn Museum. What is your favorite area of study? What are you working on now? What do you dream of working on? You are living one of my dreams right now, so I could probably use a reality check.  Do you have any complaints?

I love learning about the chemical make up of art materials, and how that’s affected by historic and geographic context. Like how a lot of avant-garde, 20th c. artists’ work was only possible due to technological developments driven by the world wars, and how the paint manufacturers were experimenting with additives that affect the paintings’ condition today. The research and analysis is endless and fascinating, but I’m still mostly infatuated with the artwork itself. Right now I have treatments underway for a huge Islamic coffeehouse painting The Battle of Karbala, a never-before-displayed Renoir, and Stuart Davis’s The Mellow Pad, which I also applied for a grant to conduct analysis on, just to name a few. It’s almost to busy to appreciate what’s happening, and not as glamorous as that list may sound, but I seriously love my job and the range of amazing art I get to see, study, preserve, make available to others, and touch (!) — only professionally, of course. Someday I’d like to put to use my interests in public art, road trips, and climbing on scaffolding by preserving historic murals across the country, but my current situation is pretty satisfying. Complaints? Grad school and this profession pose some challenges I didn’t expect. For example, home is something I’ve missed dearly, because practically speaking it’s hard to establish a new one or return to the old one.

Scout, oil on canvas board, 9x12

Scout, oil on canvas board, 9×12

You have studied and practice art, but your current work is so much more science, right? Other than the obvious about the nature of the materials and how the work would best be preserved, how has this had an effect on the way you think about art making?

The science is pretty heavy and a wonderful guide. Understanding materials and optical effects on a molecular level was really profound to me. Everything makes more sense, from art to the environment to humans. But in conservation practice there is so much problem solving and responsiveness to the materials at hand that it actually starts to feel like another art form. Add to that the fun of ethics: the beauty and value of decay, the balance of preservation vs. artifice, loss vs. memory, original intention vs. current truth — these ideas come up all the time, and it’s pretty good fodder for composing still lifes and portraits. On a more practical note, finally acknowledging the toxicity of some of Duncan’s and my favorite art-making materials (something we blissfully ignored for too long) before moving into our recent string of tiny, poorly ventilated apartments has probably kept a few years on our lifespans.

Jake, oil on canvas, 22x30

Jake, oil on canvas, 22×30

You use oil pastels a lot in your work. Does this material stand the test of time? Is that even a concern of yours? What is it about the material that you love so much? 

The way oil pastels feel is what gets me: the difference in their effects when warm or cool, and the ability to stack layers, mix layers, scrape layers. I didn’t pick them for their longevity, but they do hold up pretty well thanks to the oil component and the fact that the colorants by and large are pigments rather than dyes. The dry-but-not-chalky look is a visual goal that I used to achieve in my oil paintings by adding wax. Now I probably wouldn’t ever add wax to oils because their differences in solubility make them a horror for conservators to clean down the line. But I try not to think about longevity too much — it’s too intimidating to consider whether my own artwork will be capable of lasting, because it quickly follows to consider whether it should last, which ends up in an argument between two arrogant thoughts: “someone will want to preserve my art” vs. “it’s not about them.” I just have to focus on the making or I fall back into that black hole quandary over meaning and purpose.

If you could do one thing that you don’t have the time or resources to do now, what would it be?

I would buy an RV, establish my mobile conservation lab, and take Duncan and Lottie (our cat) on a tour of the Americas, preserving historic murals and painting new murals with locals along the way, with plenty of money left over for spur-of-the-moment flights back to the Midwest.

Luna Moth_oil on canvas board_9x12

 Runaway, oil pastel, colored pencil, and watercolor, 6.75x7.75


Runaway, oil pastel, colored pencil, and watercolor, 6.75×7.75

Have you made any discoveries in your practice as a result of becoming a member of Project Dispatch and making work for subscriptions?

Project Displatch has kept art-making in my life over the last four crazy years! Grad school took away my ability to plan and execute larger projects, so making smaller artworks for subscriptions and shows was my way to stay in practice and learn how to use materials like colored pencil and acrylic paint. Seeing how the other artists involved work in small scale has been helpful, too. It’s always nice to look over the shoulders of other artists.

If you could pick three artists from the Project to subscribe to, who would they be? 

I’ve thought about this many times and hope to actually make it happen in the near future. Rachel England, because of the occasional religious themes and the contradictions posed in her collages; Chandi Kelley, because she has a lot of cool pieces about tiny worlds; and Frank Adams, because his colors, composition, and humor are great. Then Dana Maier, Arianna Valle, and Jerome Skiscim, because their art contains stories that intrigue me.

Start your subscription to Jessica throughout the month of May to receive a 10% discount!

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