Monday, October 26, 2009


Life was Very Slippery - Bill Evertson 09
For Queens Museum of Art Dia de los Muertos Celebration

The Queens Museum of Art is exhibiting the A Book About Death from November 1st. through the 15th. Artists from the original project as well as the public at large are invited to make additional contributions in response to the subject of death. The QMA's exhibit is part of a larger Day of the Dead/ Dia de los Muertos Celebration. My piece for this exhibit reinvents the original imagery I used for ABAD's initial installation at the Emily Harvey Foundation in September. I am using the wire mesh hands I constructed for the original photo shoot. This time I have combined the "hands" photo with a churning school of Koi. The postcard is similar to the first in that it forms a jacket or envelope that contains my poem, Dia de los Muertos,
on handmade paper. Many thanks to ABAD artist Louise Weinberg for organizing this; as well as continued thanks to Matthew Rose for the project's creation.

Poem enclosed in "image jacket" Dia de los Muertos
Bill Evertson 09 for Queens Museum of Art

Artists wishing to create postcard sized art can mail their contribution to Louise Weinberg, Queens Museum of Art, new York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, NY 11368 USA.

Since the initial NYC showing in early September the ABAD project continues to have legs with additional re-installations at the Mobius Gallery in Boston, the River Mill Art Gallery in New Jersey and the Otis College of Art and Design in LA. Copies of this unbound book have become part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the LA County Museum of Art Research Library. Currently there are plans for installations in Brazil, Belgium, Canada and Mexico.
I believe the interest in the continuing installations of the project is partly due to the large number of international contributing artists. Our world seems so fragmented politically and culturally, yet the poignancy of the imagery and words contained within the exhibit establishes a universal bond of shared destiny.

Around the Studio - While last week was mostly spent on the image for the Queens Museum, I was able to spend a bit of time on my humble little hand stamp project and a few others.

Several prototypes of my hand carved stamps ©evertson 09

I started with one hand that was simply inscribed, "hand stamp" Being a bit rusty on carving letters in reverse, the letter S came out ᔓ, but the head of quality assurance, Яia, thought it looked fine to her. The other prototypes came out fine. Now where to go from here? I plan on glazing them and building protective boxes; but beyond that I haven't decided whether to simply offer them through this blog, set up an Esty or decide on an option that hasn't occurred to me. Plus I'm distracted by coming up with new designs to try.

I worked on a visual poem that I submitted to Reed Altemus' blog in response to his call to add to his poem. Reed's original consisted of combinations of the words, mail - art - net - work. Reed asked artists to circle their favorite combination. A check of Reed's blog link will show some great variations on his original poem.

Mail Art Net Work Circles - Bill Evertson 09

I've received some very nice mail art lately. Melissa McCarthy makes art and blogs from her studio in Laconia, NH. Her card features a makeover for Lady Liberty. Melissa was a contributor to ABAD as well as a participant in the performance art during the opening exhibition at Emily Harvey Foundation.

Art by Melissa McCarthy

Realizing that I've been fascinated by hands and they are often featured in my work (actually going on quite a while now) my Belgian artist friend Яia Vanden Eynde sent me a postcard featuring one of her paintings. Sans hands. Ria has two interesting blogs at present: Art on the Road chronicles Яia's mail art projects, while her painting2cancers blog is an illustrated journal of her art since her cancer diagnosis.

Art by Ria Vanden Eynde

Friday, October 16, 2009


80 Hands

I've got plenty of hands; no arms, shoulder or a head... just hands. The picture above shows off my output of about 80 plaster hands that I want to work into stamps. A couple of years ago I started with a few that I carved initials and dates into for "signing" work. Either a stamp of approval or simply... I better not screw around any more stamp. A few more were cast, painted, glazed or used in mixed media pieces and some given as gifts.

Personal stamps I use for initialing and dating

I had a bit of a fortuitous start on this project as the mold is actually a flea market find. I'm not even sure of the original purpose of the approx. 7.5 cm long hands. The two piece mold is cast iron that I simply coat with vaseline as a mold release and pour in plaster of Paris. They come out needing a bit of refining and I scrape them with a blade to bring out the definition of the fingers.

Cast iron mold for hands

I've long been fascinated with the seal stamps that adorn East Asian Art. The stamp can function as signature, a proof of ownership or an addendum to the work and its' strategic placement is highly considered. Many seals are rightly considered a work of art in themselves.

My "collection" of seals

Over the years I've collected several and received some as gifts. A typical Chinese seal is carved stone although other material including wood, metal even plastics can be found. The plaster hands I've been casting are soaked in a resin hardener to produce a more durable stamping surface.

Samples of seal prints

So while I'm working out some designs for the 2.5 cm oval bottom surfaces to the hands, I can use the tests to do some hand stamping on the mail art I owe. So, no major heroic artworks here, just little tiny artistic footnotes. (handprints?) (handnotes?)

Some Art I've Received By Mail ( ♡ ✍ ing )

"IPE AMARELO" Angela Ferrara

Mail Art from Angela Ferrara of Brazil; one of my new ABAD friends. Angela currently is exhibiting work in Biennale del Librio d'artistta.

"Alligators on the Prowl" mailart from Jennifer Zoellner

Mail Art from Jennifer Zoellner: Jennifer curated the Chromatophore Mail Art Show that ran from August 27th through Sept. 5th in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is, among other projects, compiling the first AbalCabal zine which I have submitted a page to. AbalCabal contains several of the artists who participated in ABAD. More info as it becomes available later this month.

"I Am Someone Else" Bibiana Padilla Maltos

Mail Art from Bibiana Padilla Maltos: Bibiana sent me a small limited edition book containing highlights of her works from this year. The 20 page book contains instructions for events, scores, illustration and more! Bibiana also helped our fellow ABAD artist Mara Thompson install the Otis College of Art and Design exhibition of A Book About Death; running through October 31st in LA.

"Emerge" digital collage ©evertson

The 50/50/50 Exhibition continues at the Eclipse Gallery. This exhibit features works from 50 artists from 50 states in 50 media. My piece "Emerge" is a digitally produced collage produced in an edition of 50.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Art To Do List

I'm so happy that Moma put my card on her refrigerator that I may never come down from my tree.

In the continuing incarnation of the A Book About Death, fellow artist Mara Thompson is organizing the LA version of the exhibit for Otis College of Art and Design.

With the fall frenzy of openings, exhibits and exhibits of fellow artists to attend calming down a bit, it is time to return to the studio for some introspection. The last month was a blur of inspiration that should come in handy as this falls studio work progresses. An added plus is the fact for the next several weeks I have a very valuable commodity on hand; actual time set aside for art.
While I still have the mundane "to do" list that seems the bane of every existence; I've worked up my art to do's and am excited about a few projects.

While looking over the work of artists in the 50/50/50 exhibition at the Eclipse Gallery I found that fellow exhibitor Jennifer Marsh has a very interesting collaborative project underway. Jennifer, founder of the International Fiber Collaborative is assembling artwork to be wrapped around a Saturn V Rocket in Huntsville, Alabama next spring. I've reserved a spot and have a 2 foot by 4 foot area to design, sew? and deliver by February.
Educators, groups and various individuals are invited by Jennifer to submit art the Dream Rocket project, which will be on Display at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center during May and June of 2010. the 30,467 square foot quilt to be fabricated from participants in the project will cover the entire 36 story Saturn V.
I've reserved the space under the auspices of Nightball International. From the darkness of beer halls and dance halls into the light of day, this eclectic, fluxable group whose uncommon passion for croquet played in the dark, with no discernible rules, intends to fabric(cate) a theme of international peace on their little patch of aerospace real estate.
While more widely known for absurdest and situational dynamics of game theory, Nightball International is committed to the role of art in education. So with the actual prospects for world peace at apogee, I'll design with the hope that the international scope of this project will reflect well on the tradition of uniting people through art.

Mr. Wicket Juggling Peace (Mr. Wicket is the Nightball International logo)

Just doodling today and thought perhaps the Nightball logo (logo design by Teri Prestash) could juggle peace signs. Well, probably not... too obvious and there's no color. Stay tuned as I work out this and other art conundrums over the next month or so.

Some of my other Art To Do's include:

A Submission to Fluxhibition 4. An artist call for Fluxus amusements, diversions, games, tricks and puzzles. Perhaps a home version of Nightball. Prepackaged with safety tips of course.

A page submission to ABAL Cabal - and I can't say anything more about this top secret zine.

An edition of cast hand stamps. More pix and info soon.

Prototype for handstamp ©09 evertson

Six 24 x36 blank canvas's ready for some non-computer work. ⌷⌷⌷⌷⌷⌷

Eeeeeiiii - plus I think I signed up for the Art House sketch ✍ book project.

All will be thoroughly vetted here over the course of this fall: now if I can just back away from the computer.