wham BAM thank you ma’am

So. On to reflections on Fermata, and all attendant BAM (Berkeley Art Museum) hijinks. Don’t worry. I’ll stop soon. There is much else to move on to. Bear with me.

Last week is already sort of a blur: this time one week ago I was finishing up the last few paintings for Point of Departure, and pretty much running on adrenaline, caffeine, and general slap-happy delirium. I don’t recommend it as a sustained practice, but as far as bringing things to a dramatic close, it does do the trick…

Tuesday, Christine Wong Yap, indefatigable art goddess, came to BAM with me, and helped finish framing and laying out the paintings. I can’t thank her enough for being so generous with her time and talent.


We blocked the composition out on the floor, then gridded out the wall correspondingly.


We got all forty (!) paintings up on the wall by Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday, I was back on my own, doing the easy, if interminable, work of leveling each individual frame then affixing it with museum wax. Took hours, but it brought the work to its final state:


Point of Departure: all 40 paintings, and 26 feet x 7 feet of it…

The close-ups below don’t help a whole lot, but they give you a little bit more of the gist of it.
Starting from the left, this is Point of Departure 1 through 16:


With a little overlap, Points of Departure 9 through 29:


And then Points of Departure 23 through 40:


The piece is both massive and tiny, so these jpegs aren’t probably explaining a whole lot.

Max and I are building a web-specific version of this project, which I think I mentioned before. There’s just a simple place-holder of sorts there right now, but you’re welcome to preview it at http://www.point-of-departure.com/. It will be up and running in full sometime in June, but I’m pretty thrilled by the simple flash movies that are temporarily in place on the site right now.

The show officially opened Friday evening after graduation to much fanfare. Or finger food. Or fahrvergnugen. I forget. Anyway, Bobbi Wiltsek (the patron saint of Berkeley’s MFA exhibition) gave each of us a vase of flowers, Chancellor Robert Birgenau gave a speech, people munched yummies from Liaison and guzzled wine politely, Matthew Africa did his fabulous Matthew Africa thing, and all of us MFAs pretty much spent the next few hours chopping it up with friends, family, artsy people, as well a whole host of cool folks from the UCIRA conference that was being held at BAM.


I’ve been at BAM every day for the past week, from drop-off to installation to this weekend’s events. Saturday, Renee Delores and her partner in crime Michael hosted a reincarnation of their Famous Room Battle of Monsters on BAM’s outdoor upper deck, so I dropped in on the tail end of that and then caught an hour or two of the UCIRA conference. Sunday, all 7 graduates were back: we gave our artist talks in the afternoon, which was really well-attended. Hello, before I forget: big-ups to Miki Yoshimoto, Karen Bennett and Liz Thomas of BAM for all of their patience and support. Lucky you if you get a chance to work with them in the future.

OK. I think that’s more than enough for now. Onward. Dinner calls.

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