Manuel clearing a track for the proposed sculpture walk.
Megan taking branches to the fire.
Burning some of what's been cleared for the sculpture walk through the woods.
Now I know where the old adage "he's growing like a weed" comes from!
Placing one of Croix's "5-Square Knots" in the gallery.
Hanging "Umbilical Cord' on the curved wall.
We’ve been busy getting ready to open the Fe29 Art Lab here in Wimberley to the public. And boy is there a lot to do. Manuel has been busy chainsawing and burning and we now have a pretty good walking track through our 5 heavily wooded acres. The plan is to turn this into a sculpture walk. We have had a couple of our artists working here over the weekend. They are ceramists Sarah Rohlack and Daniel Armstrong, and they have been working on a project to build a tiled bench seat for the walk.
We’ve been mowing lawns, and cleaning up the gardens. The rain sure helped green things up around here, but then of course it also got the grass and weeds growing like, well weeds I guess. Our ride on mower gave up a few weeks back and we have been dependent on artist friend Mark Love, who very kindly loaned us his mower, until this weekend when we managed to secure a replacement. Thank you Mark!
We have also been accumulating artworks – quite a lot of artworks – sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, furniture, paintings & metal artwork for the walls.We have been framing and mounting, and setting up gallery spaces. And then there’s this pesky website, and the signs and rack cards we need to let everyone know where to find us. So much to do! But don’t panic, we’re almost there.
Ishmael showing us his giant "purse".
A giant handbag adorned with baby handbags.
Ishmael and Cecilia discussing one of his numerous kilns.
Sculpture display space in his very large and well lit studio.
Along the route from his studio to his hand-built home (the third one on his 50-acre place)
Taken from the cat-walk in his house. Check out all the ceramics on his kitchen counter!
One of the wonderful sculptures Ishmael sent us home with.
Sculptor Ishmael Soto and ceramicist Julie Isaacson came to see us at our Satellite Gallery in Austin. We all hit it off fabulously and so were invited to visit Ishmael at his home and studio in Blue (near Lexington). Ishmael has developed quite a compound for himself and his very large family. He hand-built three homes on his +-50 acre place in the woods and has a wonderful and serene lifestyle that he willingly shared with Cecilia and I. We spent most of a day touring and admiring his artworks, kilns, gardens, books, knives and homes. He even cooked us lunch, which is apparently not a common event. We had the privilege of seeing some of the treasured works he has produced over many years, and uses in his day to day life. It was such a treat. To top off this wonderful day, Ish agreed to let Fe29 represent him and we all three worked in the rain, to fill up our entire truck with as many sculptures as would fit to bring back to Wimberley for our opening that is scheduled for late July/early August. It was like Christmas when we returned to the Art Lab and began unpacking and arranging his works. They look so good among the other pieces and we feel privileged to be representing such an icon.
At 80 years old, Ish was more than a little skeptical when Cecilia asked him to consider collaborating with another of our metal artists. The look on his face was priceless when she first brought up the subject, but she proceeded to hand over to him a favorite unfinished work. The artist had made numerous unsuccessful attempts to finish the work and hoped that Ishmael may just have what it takes to turn it into something they can both be proud of. While Ishmael has stated more than once that he doesn’t do collaborations, as a little more time has passed, he seems to be warming up to the idea. Last time we met with him at ACC he mentioned something about putting it through the roller, so, watch this space for his first collaboration. I think this old dog will be learning a few new tricks!
This is the other side of our building. We arelocated across Brazos street
from the Frost Bank Tower.
We have mounted a TV screen with a slideshow containing some interesting tidbits about Fe29. Check it out...
Please sign our guest book at the front table while you're here.
The handicapped ramp leads to our entrance on the right. Don't get confused with the other businesses' signage across the front windows of our gallery.
We’ve been trying out a small gallery space in downtown Austin to test the proverbial waters. We call it our Satellite Gallery and it has a great location – between 4th & 5th Streets on the east side of Brazos St. (which is 1 block east of Congress).
10 years ago, Cid Galindo, our landlord had the forethought to turn one of the very large first floor condo units into, not only his living quarters and office, but also 6 additional offices that generate income for him, as well as a shared space that he hoped would be used as a gallery. This space has a conference table, which can be reserved by any of the tenants for meetings during the week. We have leased this gallery space in order to have a presence in Austin and a comfortable space to meet with our clients that may find this location more convenient than driving to Wimberley. There is a significant amount of art hanging in this small space and we will be using the gallery to hold exhibitions on an ongoing basis.
As we also have gallery space at The Art Lab in Wimberley, we frequently switch out works between the two depending upon needs at the time. For instance, we are in the process of preparing to launch Fe29 in Wimberley and will need to have a representative sample of all of the types of work that we have produced to date for the opening, so have taken some of the works from the Satellite Gallery and will replace them after the opening. Please note however, that we do not staff the Satellite Gallery. Visitors are encouraged to drop in during normal business hours and peruse our works, but don’t expect the good looking fellow sitting behind the double doors in what appears to be the curator’s office to jump up and ask if you need assistance, as he is Cid, simply working in his office.
The opening reception for “First Light”, the Fe29 debut exhibition in the US, was a great success. Over 100 guests enjoyed good food, good company and of course, great art! Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time, as evidenced by the many guests who spilled out onto the street and partied until late into the night. Thank you all for taking the time to help us celebrate.
We would also like to thank those who helped us with the exhibition and made this a night to remember. Firstly our landlord Cid Galindo who not only allowed us to use his beautiful office space for this event but was kind enough to open up his living quarters to make the caterer’s job more pleasant. Not only is Cid very generous but he also makes good conversation and is a great party guest!
We would also like to thank Glazer’s for their very generous gift of some very good wine, which was enjoyed by all, David and Pam Taylor who did a great job catering; Lenore Avant and John Gallagher for helping us set up; Paul Beck from Paul Beck Productions who went out of his way to pull together a track of sounds from the workshop after a last minute request; Benjamin Slade & Adam Rasmus for not only designing the invitation but also for going out of their way to ensure we had signage, a slide show, etc for the night.
We look forward to seeing you all at our next exhibition. Watch this space.
Brad and Manuel preparing the next victim.
Jean Anne and Brad hard at it.
"Journey" before it was finished. Boy, was this a challenge to capture!
"Luck Dragon" in the limelight.
Jean Anne and Brad analyzing the technical aspects of this project.
For our first photo shoot we were fortunate enough to have Jean Anne Bybee agree to make the journey down to the Hill Country from the Dallas metroplex. Jean Anne has a right arm and his name is Brad Rogers. Together they make quite the team – they have the latest equipment and certainly do know how to use it. We can’t thank these two enough for all their time and efforts. Some beautiful images of our artwork were the result of their weekend visit and you’ll be privy to many of those images on our website. Check out some of the images above that I took during the photo shoot that was very entertaining and educational.