Category Archives: Art Talk

The Billfold: A Conversation With an Artist/Nonprofit Worker About Her Money

The Billfold: A Conversation With an Artist/Nonprofit Worker About Her Money

The Billfold (a funny and readable site about money-management) interviewed an artist and nonprofit worker about her finances. They covered everything from student debt and spending habits to studio rent and familial contributions. Margaret, the interviewee, works at a nonprofit to support her career as a sculptor and candidly discusses how she manages money. It’s eye-opening to see how she balances her work and her finances.

As a soon-to-be art graduate I worry about career choices and about money. This addressed so many of my questions and makes it clear that EVERYONE worries about these things. If you’re an aspiring artist or current art student I would recommend this as a must read!

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Linda Adele Goodine at Chicago’s Gallery 19

Chicago readers should visit Gallery 19’s exhibit The Construction Of featuring feminist artist Linda Adele Goodine, who works with photography, video, and performance art.

Linda Adele Goodine, Wisdom Tooth, 2010, polyflex photographic print

Linda Adele Goodine, Wisdom Tooth, polyflex photographic print

Linda Adele Goodine, Woolf, polyflex photographic print

Linda Adele Goodine, Woolf, polyflex photographic print

Goodine’s photographs in The Construction Of focus on her liberation from the feminine mystique. She spits teeth and wishbones into a pile resting next to an animal carcass, creating an image in which she ferociously rejects the restricting expectations of her gender. You can see the complete set of images from her Winter Tales series here.

Goodine also creates environmental art, focusing on endangered areas in New Zealand and the Florida Everglades. These series are full of beautiful color and highlight the transitions these spaces are undergoing while showing local wildlife.

Take a look at Gallery 19’s website or read a great review of the show (and see Antonio J. Martinez’s contrasting hyper-masculine photography) over at Newcity Art. The Construction Of runs until September 19th and is located at 1967 1/2 W Montrose Ave. Check it out!

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Melissa Huang: Updated Portfolio

To all of my fellow artists and art enthusiasts: I’ve done some portfolio restructuring and now my artwork is separated into the easy to peruse categories of painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking. Check it out here!

Melissa (2012)

Melissa, 2012, oil on canvas, 36″x48″

Peter, 2012, oil on canvas, 36"x48"

Peter, 2012, oil on canvas, 36″x48″

Feel free to contact me ( if you’re interested in purchasing a piece, commissioning a portrait, or if you’re just plain curious about one of the works. Thanks, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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Interview with Peace Bound: Portraits for Non-Violence

Woman Made Gallery interviewed Emma Redden and Jeffrey From about their project “Peace Bound”, in which they underwent a six-week, 10,000 mile road trip through the US asking people they encountered, “Why is it important to support victims of domestic violence?”. It’s an incredible project and interview. Check it out! You can see more of their project here.


Emma Redden and Jeffrey From are two artistic juniors at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY who have just recently concluded a six-week, 10,000 mile road trip across the United States, asking people one question: “Why is it important to support victims of domestic violence?” The two received the Davis Foundation’s “100 Projects for Peace” grant to implement their project, which involved collecting photographs and statements from members of the public as well as employees from a variety of domestic violence service centers. Their blog is an online collection of the portraits they’ve gathered along the way, which they plan to publish in a book along with excerpts from selected interviews. They hope that the book will become an artistic source of support, solidarity, and strength for individuals whose lives have been affected by domestic violence in any respect, and perhaps encourage others to recognize and end cycles of…

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Welcoming the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art

I’m a little late to the game on this; yet however belated I may be it’s too exciting not to post! The Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art (MOTHA), the first museum dedicated to the hirstory and art of transgender people, recently introduced itself in an open letter. The museum’s mission is stated as such:

“The Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art (MOTHA) is dedicated to moving the history and art of transgender people to the center of public life. The preeminent institution of its kind, the museum insists on an expansive and unstable definition of transgender, one that is able to encompass all transgender and gender–non-conformed art and artists. MOTHA is committed to developing a robust exhibition and programming schedule that will enrich the transgender mythos both by exhibiting works by living artists and by honoring the hiroes and transcestors who have come before. Pending the construction of MOTHA, the museum will function as a series of autonomous off-site experiences around the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the world.”

A diagram from MOTHA displaying the amount of transgender people currently, formerly, or projected to be incarcerated. The number of transgender people identifying as artists as compared to representation of transgender artists in museums.

A diagram from MOTHA displaying the amount of transgender people currently, formerly, or projected to be incarcerated. The number of transgender people identifying as artists as compared to representation of transgender artists in museums.

MOTHA is filling a desperately needed role. According to MOTHA’s open letter, the majority of transgender people identify as artists; however they lack representation in public art institutions. This is unfortunate as there are a number of transgender artists making innovative and high quality work (Take a look at one of their upcoming artists, Nicki Green. An artist statement and several examples of her work can be found here).

It’s heartening to see the museum’s changeability– they point out its “expansive and unstable definition of transgender” in the mission statement. MOTHA is poised to reflect the current artistic landscape, evolve with concepts of gender, and adapt to new modes of thinking in art museums. It will be exciting to see how they implement exhibits and programming and how their museum interacts with both transgender and cisgender communities.

But don’t just take it from me! Read about everything from MOTHA’s mission, programming, facility and more in the open letter. And learn more about the museum and upcoming events here.

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New Paintings: Fall 2012/Spring 2013 Artwork by Melissa Huang

This past fall at Rochester Institute of Technology and this spring at Florence University of the Arts, I’ve been able to create a number of new paintings which I’d love to share with you! Remember, you can always see my current work on the portfolio page of this site.

These are the two main paintings I created during the fall (each one is 3 x 4 feet). I was exploring themes of childhood and gender expression. These paintings were accompanied by three smaller works, close-up images of hands clutching toys.

Melissa Huang, Drew, 2012, oil on canvas, 48"x36"

Melissa Huang, Drew, 2012, oil on canvas, 48″x36″

Melissa Huang, Jamie, 2012, oil on canvas, 36"x48"

Melissa Huang, Jamie, 2012, oil on canvas, 36″x48″

These two pieces refer back to this work and this work.

And here’s the main painting I created this past spring (While studying in Florence. I’ll freely admit it, the altars and paintings of saints heavily influenced me!):

Melissa Huang, Self-Portrait as a Young Woman, 2013, oil on canvas, 31.5"x 47"

Melissa Huang, Self-Portrait as a Young Woman, 2013, oil on canvas, 31.5″x 47″

I’m trying to move in a new direction with this piece. Here’s the statement for this work:

Many young women feel trapped between two worlds; that of childhood and adulthood, purity and new found sexuality. My work depicts the tension between the innocence of youth and conflicted feelings of womanhood. While at times my paintings tend toward the soft and feminine at others they are aggressively confrontational. It is the contrast between these two states I wish to emphasize. These works explore feelings of new desire, naivety, and the intriguing fear of the unknown.

And here’s an accompanying animation I designed (it’s best if viewed as a loop). The music is created by Drew Tetz (graphic design portfolio here, music here).

So there you have it! I’m excited to return to my final year at RIT and create a ton of new artwork. I’d love to hear any questions or comments!

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Art Intersections: The Smithsonian’s Asian Latino Festival

Tomorrow the festivities begin! The first of the Smithsonian Asian Latino Festival’s events launch a celebration of the intersections of Asian American and Latino culture. As the most rapidly expanding US populations it’s interesting to see an event dedicated to the meeting of these two groups. And it should be fun!

The programs launch tomorrow, July 24th, with “Gourmet Intersections: Asian-Latino Food Crossings”. This panel of chefs, cookbook authors, and TV hosts will discuss the evolution of public and private shared food traditions. Unfortunately this particular event is sold out, however, you can view everything online here.

Audrey Chan

Audrey Chan

I’m particularly interested in “Art Intersections: An Asian-Latino Pop-up Gallery”. Guys, let me tell you, I LOVE pop-up galleries. I think they’re part of the changing landscape of art exhibition and a key way to hear the voices of underprivileged groups. I love the immediacy and the way that pop-up galleries often interact with communities more directly (and often more successfully) than traditional gallery spaces.

For this particular pop-up gallery (August 6-7, 8-10 pm), stories of Asian-Latino culture and the intersection of these cultures will be projected onto the urban landscape of Silver Spring, MD. Specifically, artwork will be projected onto public surfaces of Veterans Plaza.

But enough talk! Take a look at some of the talented artists participating in this event (This blog is dedicated to work by women artists and art regarding gender, as a result the artists I’ve decided to include are women. There are many talented people in the show, check out the main page to see the rest of the lineup):

Continue reading

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Smithsonian American Art Museum: Art Charades!

In case any of you were wondering, this is what I do at my internship:

Clark Mills, John C. Calhoun, about 1844-1845

Clark Mills, John C. Calhoun, about 1844-1845

It’s Art Charades! The Smithsonian American Art Museum staff and interns took an afternoon to run around and pose like works of art in the collection. Some of us brought props, others just brought smiling (or grumpy!) faces. It was a blast and we got some great photos.

You can do it to! I’d encourage you to take a look at the entire image set on the museum’s flickr, and then come in and take some photos of your own. Photography is allowed in the permanent galleries and the Luce Foundation Center; feel free to ask a security guard if you’re unsure.

Here are a few more photos form art charades:

William Rimmer, The Falling Gladiator, 1861

William Rimmer, The Falling Gladiator, 1861

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Women in Art: Sarah Frost in Manifest Armed (Corcoran’s Gallery 31)

This summer I’ve been lucky enough to intern at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, specifically working with Gallery 31 in the college exhibitions department. We’ve already seen some excellent shows–including work by Leslie Exton, Rick Wall, and the Corcoran’s continued education students (And this is just in Gallery 31! The rest of the museum currently features Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series, as well as Anima by Charlotte Dumas. I would highly recommend stopping by!)

Arguably Gallery 31’s biggest show of the summer, Manifest: Armed features work by artists Sarah Frost, the collective SmithBeatty (Craig Smith and Colin Beatty), and Julian Oliver. All four artists are dealing with facets of contemporary gun culture, ranging from cyber weaponry and technology to children’s obsession with real and virtual gun facsimiles. Armed is the first of Gallery 31’s Manifest series which is built around artists’ reactions to technology.

Some promotional material for the show. Manifest Armed.

Some promotional material for the show.

Largely due to my interest in gender as it relates to art (As well as many other factors contributing to my personal taste!) my favorite piece in the show is Sarah Frost’s installation of Arsenal. Frost’s work is both conceptually and aesthetically intriguing. Not only does the viewer appreciate the visual of elaborate paper guns suspended in the air, they appreciate the line of thinking behind the work.

Sarah Frost's Arsenal at P.P.O.W New York, NY

Sarah Frost’s Arsenal at P.P.O.W New York, NY

Frost was inspired by the trend of boys publishing paper gun construction tutorials on YouTube. Something I had never heard of before but wasn’t very surprised by (I have a little brother. He went through a fake sword phase, a fake gun phase, pretty much every fake weapon phase known to boy-kind). An entire community has sprung up around paper guns in which these boys (And girls? I’ve only seen one, but the rabbit hole is deep, my friends) have become experts.

Check out this video, for example: Continue reading

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Renwick Gallery: “40 under 40: Craft Futures”

Craft has been a historically devalued art form. Not only is craft viewed as being somehow less valid than fine art (Painting, drawing, and sculpture sitting at the cool kids table while quilting and pottery huddle in the nerdier corner of the caf), it is often simply misunderstood. “What is craft?” is a question you hear among both the artistically and mathematically inclined.

The Renwick Gallery is home to the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum’s craft and decorative arts program. In absolute honesty, I was not expecting to love the Renwick’s collection. Although I find craft to often be interesting, as someone who works mostly with painting and drawing those are the fields I gravitate towards. But this past weekend at the Renwick’s 40 under 40 show?


“Knitting Is for Pus****” by Olek. Photograph by the artist.

“Knitting Is for Pus****” by Olek. Photograph by the artist.

Craft is cool, my friends, and this show is the proof. A collection of work by forty artists born since 1972, this exhibition challenges our preconceptions of craft and explores the evolving nature of the field. Featuring work created post September 11, 40 under 40 captures the zeitgeist of the contemporary craft world. Craft is no longer free from concept, no longer necessarily soft and beautiful. It is often aggressive and cutting edge, funny and poignant. Craft is clearly an art form with a message, which it delivers with a punch.

The artist featured above, Olek, is arguably the main draw for the exhibit. Certainly the most well known; I’ll admit that I walked into this show expecting to love Olek and feel a certain level of eh about everything else. Straight off the bat, however, 40 under 40 brought strong and innovative work. Continue reading

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