06/06-06/09: A Weekend retrospective Featuring Ani Difranco, My First Museum Exhibit, and $10+ spent on balloons for a single shoot.

June rushed in full of excitement, promising new experiences and anxious withdrawal much the same. After the Sleep show at Codfish on the 2nd, I returned on the 6th for Ani Difranco, a show and crowd about as much of a change from the vibe of Sleep 4 days prior as one could imagine. Ani is a grammy winning artist, backed by a band which includes Todd Sickafoose, a recent Tony-Winner himself, so it was certainly an honor to be able to shoot their performance, and take it in pressed right up against the stage.

Diane Patterson opened the show and was the perfect complement for Ani. Her set was a real treat. After Diane left, Ani came to the stage and completely lit the barn up. The crowd danced and cheered as she fed into their warm energy, and I seldom see someone so openly and undeniably enjoying every minute performing on the humid early-June stage of this barn perched so perfectly outside of Maquoketa. This show was one of my favorites, and I'm forever grateful for having the opportunity to document all the events that unfold at Codfish Hollow, and truly feeling like a piece of this slice of East Iowa heaven, albeit a very, very small piece. Codfish is my favorite venue, and your life will surely not be the same after attending a show there. This night was memorable to say the least, and as has become a trend we purchased a CD and the sounds of Ani Difranco kept us company while we made the late night trek down 61 back to the QCA; a drive that has become such a common occurrence over the past year, and one I'll surely make a lot more before the year comes to a close.

However Thursday was only the beginning, and Friday afternoon I found myself traveling North on 61 yet again. Though this time the final destination was Dubuque, and more specifically the Dubuque Museum of Art (A Smithsonian Affiliate). We were making this trek because an image of mine was selected to be featured in DUMA's 2019 Biennial exhibition. This was a very special, overwhelmingly clarifying event, and I'm thrilled to be a part of the exhibit with so many other genuinely talented artists. While events like this tend to provide me connection and alienation all the same, and I always find myself a bit uncertain in such professional moments, these experiences are rewarding in ways I can't really comprehend. Expression has become so natural to me and as such it would be occurring whether it garnered attention or not, so it's difficult at times to digest my actions as anything admirable, but nights/accomplishments like that make it harder to question myself/my work as I tend to do. The image selected comes from my project, "In The Waiting Room (Somewhere Being Clarified Well-Being and Cognitive Dissonance)" which focuses on the various abstract aspects of dealing with mental health, and it's amazing to find such connection through a piece heavily influenced by alienation and holding oneself back. It was nice to interact a bit with some other local artists/board members and explain the meaning behind the work. (Call 563-293-3758 52# to hear me explain the meaning/influence behind the piece)

Please go check out all the art in this exhibit before it closes in September. There's some truly breathtaking work, and my photo is on the first wall you see when walking into the exhibit, so you can't miss it! Major thanks again to DUMA for putting this on, and to juror Sarah Humphreville for selecting one of my pieces for inclusion in this exhibit.

Side Note: What you can't see is just to the right of where my image is displayed the room opens into another little room which houses work by Renoir, Degas, and Grant Wood. So at this moment I now have work mere steps from some masters I learned about in elementary school, and the artist that school was named after. Life is beautifully peculiar.

Now Thursday/Friday supplied more than enough excitement to carry me through the weekend, however this was my first weekend in a month where I found myself essentially free/in town both Saturday and Sunday, so I took advantage of the warm/sunny afternoon and shot several more images for "In The Waiting Room". The project is taking off and garnering quite a deal of attention so I have to make sure I keep a steady output for future proposals, some of which are being submitted this week.

This shoot first took place on a rather vacant road where the tar being heated by the early afternoon sun was so soft we were leaving footprints all across the road. We then made our way to a poison-ivy lined gravel expanse just south of the bubbled tar and got a couple shots Iā€™m really excited about that involved the use of balloons, which cost me more than $10. I often question my purchases, but have no trouble spending more on balloons for a single shoot than I would on lunch for myself, but anything for the sake of expression I suppose. I'll be updating this site very soon with these new images, so keep checking back. There will actually be a big update coming soon, as I've been really busy as of late, and for the first time ever I have created new pieces in all of my ongoing projects, as well as capturing several new unassigned images within a matter of 3 weeks. Add that into the fact that all of this was accomplished while also working full time, submitting new proposals, and shooting 10 shows 3 cities/2 states. Somehow I still don't feel like I do enough. I'm a glutton for self-punishment