Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Second Seating Artists

A few words about some of the artists contributing to Second Seating. First of all, the installation wouldn't be what it is without the skills and talents of these seven artists. Second Seating has been a real collaboration. Each artist's work gives adds a dimension to the exhibition, gives it more depth. So happy that they all agreed to participate.
Jesse Sifuentes teaches over at TSU, has painted several East End murals, does ceramics and batik. You can see it all on display at Second Seating.
Gonzo247 is a talented aerosol art painter and the chandelier, table and chairs he painted are beyond gorgeous. And he certainly added a dimension to the Bayou, Bay, Beach chandelier. He teaches aerosol painting classes at Aerosol Warfare on Jefferson St. I'm signing up in 2010.
Victor Rodriguez has given us a flock of feral parrots, just like those that fly over the East End these days. Each parrot is beautifully crafted. I wish someone would buy them so they can fly in another space when Second Seating packs up and leaves in November. And what about a new home in a restaurant or bar? Those big birds are beautiful.
Catarina Williams is a student at HSPVA and I saw her work earlier this summer at the Jung Center and asked her to make a special piece for Second Seating. Her collage for Second Seating is intricate and quirky. I love it.
Mercedes Fernandez' paintings are true collaborations. She lived in the Heights for years, but recently moved back to Michoacan. She paints on blue agave cloth after she and women in the village where she lives cover the cloth with embroidered flowers and birds. Her paintings are pinned on our yellow wall and the little dolls and shoes and soldiers she affixes on the bottom of her painting cast strange shadows and move in the breezes that move through the space. Buy one of Mercedes' paintings and she shares the money with the women who work with her. The villages in Michoacan are hurting right now. Men have moved north for work and women are left to fend for themselves. Mercedes tells me that even Day of the Dead will not be the same this year as tourists are shunning the region in fear of drug problems. So the women who make the pottery and baskets have far fewer customers and a much harder time of it. Buying one of Mercedes paintings could indeed support a village.
Agnes Welsh Eyster hails from San Antonio, yet her artistic sensibilities work beautifully with things East End. She etches metal for stunningly elegant table tops, cuts metal cans into intricate pieces that become parts of chandeliers and wall pieces.
I written about Jose Solis before. His work is enchanting and takes unexpected turns. Who doesn't love his bottle and coffee can chandeliers? And his crockery totems stacked with carefully selected bowls and plates and vases are marvelous. What's not to like?
Ted Estrada created the huge painting hanging over the ceiling in the Second Seating space. The painting was first shown at a wedding anniversary party for his parents. Two hearts swimming along together on the river of life. Ted's landscape is sublime. You can see another of Ted's landscapes on the community mural on Harrisburg at Macario Garcia on the Firestone Tire building. Ted's Second Seating table is an ode to grandmothers and the wise old women of the families. They know the stories, the secrets, the power of narrative. His table reflects their afternoon 'gatherings'.
Then there is MMH who pulled these artists together and asked ever more dozens of people to give of their time and talents to make Second Seating real. I've got collages and tables and chandeliers in the installation too. Perhaps, it really is time to make a visit to Second Seating. We're having a 'gathering' in the space this evening. Join us between 6 and 8. The space gets ever more lovely at night. And it's a good thing to remember that everything in Second Seating is for sale. The plates, the batik, the totems, the tables, the lights can all be yours. The artists would love to put red dots on every single thing in the space.

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