(Above: The sign off State Route 378 leading into Lake City, South Carolina.)
Yesterday was a big, big day! Installation Day for The Grid of Photos for the upcoming 10-day festival in Lake City, South Carolina known as ArtFields. Everything had been planned down to a detailed discussion on the construction of the wall on which the work was to be hung.
(Above: Caroline Duncan with her fiance Louis Tarantini at her brand new business, Olio Studio.)
I arrived at Olio Studio around 11 AM as planned. There I met Caroline Duncan, the new young business owner, and her fiance Louis Tarantini. Over a decade ago, Caroline was in an intensive summer art program that I taught at nearby Sumter High School. She has continued making art, studying art, and expanding her love of art into this business venture dedicated to sharing art through workshops, classes, parties, and other events. The place is brand new ... sparkling clean and tidy ... totally perfect! They were ready. We were all excited!
(Above: Five brackets made by John Sharpe of Sharpe Creations.)
First thing to do: Mount the brackets. I brought an industrial drill with a masonry bit, the recommended 1-1/2" long concrete screws with a hexagonal head, the coordinating drill bit to fit the heads, an extension cord, and a ladder. I've installed on cinder block and brick walls in the past. This should have worked! But, the intended screws wouldn't penetrate the wall deeply enough. We are all perplexed. After all, we were all told that this was plaster over cinder block. All the other, exterior walls at Olio Studio are cinder block. Well ... PLAN B. I also brought short 1" multi-purpose screws. We decided to use them. The photo above shows all five brackets mounted with the short screws. We were a bit worried. We didn't feel the screws were sufficiently into the wall ... just into the plaster covering up what was supposed to be cinder block but evidently wasn't. (Personally, I suspect there is a metal firewall between this space and the building that is attached to it next door. My screws and industrial screw driver would have gone through just about anything else ... but not a metal firewall!)
(Above: The Grid of Photos, unrolled in front of the wall.)
We unrolled The Grid of Photos. It actually isn't as fragile as it looks because every photograph had been fused to fabric. (For a blog post on the construction of this piece, CLICK HERE.) We screwed together the 5/16" sectional rods. We threaded the rod through the hanging loops of thread. We lifted the piece onto the brackets. For a moment, everything was fine. Then, one of the brackets gave way ... fell to the floor ... and broke. Fortunately, John Sharpe had made a spare bracket (thank goodness!)... but we were afraid to attempt using it. The screws were obviously "a slight problem." We needed help!
(Above: Lifting The Grid of Photos onto the brackets.)
Carolina immediately called for the ArtFields installation team. Amazingly, Tim and Jeremy showed up inside of FIVE MINUTES ... for real! Seriously, ArtFields is very well organized has a great working relationship with the owners of the many venues for artwork. I was quite impressed.
(Above: Tim and Jeremy ... part of the ArtField installation staff ... and employed by Moore Farms, the major sponsor for ArtFields.)
So ... what kind of tools did they bring?
(Above: A hammer drill and an impact drill ... brought by the ArtFields installation team!)
Just what we needed! A hammer drill and an impact drill. By the way, I covet the impact drill. It is very light-weight, cute, and even has its own lighting feature! What more could an installation artist want? I think I need one!
(Above: Tim and Jeremy mounting the brackets for The Grid of Photos.)
One by one, the team removed the 1" multi-screws, used my masonry drill bit with their hammer drill, and screwed the 1-1/2" concrete screws back through the brackets using the impact drill.
(Above: Mounting the brackets correctly!)
Because the hexagonal heads of the concrete screws are bright blue, I also brought Zinsser B-I-N shellac-based primer in a can ... the perfect paint for adhering to metal. After each bracket went up, I painted the ends of the screws.
(Above: Five correctly mounted brackets!)
This photo might not look much different from the earlier, similar one ... but the screws are much, much better. Within a minute, we lifted The Grid of Photos back onto the five brackets! Presto! Finished ... all inside of an hour and a half of the time I arrived!
(Above: Louis Tarantini ... who was tall enough that he could lift the rod into place without a ladder! Thanks so much for all your help!)
(Above: Caroline Duncan ... in front of The Grid of Photos in her business, Olio Studio!)
I'm truly honored to have my work in such a great venue and part of such a fantastic event!
(Above: Donation of thread from Elaine Tanner.)
Last year at ArtFields I met Elaine Tanner, another fiber artist. We've corresponded since then ... and she dropped off this amazing collection of threads, ribbon, crochet, etc. for my use in upcoming installations ...
(Above: Donation of thread from Elaine Tanner beside the collection of unraveled thread to be used in my upcoming installation, Threads: Gathering My Thoughts.)
... like Threads: Gathering My Thoughts, which will be installed next Tuesday at Studio Cellar here in Columbia for Artista Vista. I can hardly wait. That is the same day as I'll be installing The Wall of Ancestors at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios! So much to do! Hope these upcoming installations go as well as it did in Lake City. Even with a "slight problem", it went very, very well!
(Above: The Midland Clay Arts Society .... all reading Jasper Magazine!)
Wonderfully, I wasn't quite done being "an artist" yesterday! By 7 PM I was with the Midland Clay Arts Society giving a presentation on "The Business of Art". I brought copies of the current Jasper Magazine, a free publication here in Columbia. It was a great program for a great group!
I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber art works.