Friday, April 11, 2008

Jackie Hoysted's Cigarette Art: A Year Later

Nearly a year after first meeting Jackie Hoysted the smoker, we caught up with her re-invented non-smoking self while she was volunteering at the Amy Lin exhibition at The Art League last night. Not only is Hoysted now celebrating her smoke-free life, looking radiant and healthy as ever, but she's also excitedly preparing to exhibit her smoking related art works combined with gorgeously displayed poetry at Artomatic.

Hoysted is a Maryland artist who explores the psychology of smoking and quitting. She smoked for over 20 years and has been smoke-free since July 9, 2007. Her blog posts her smoking related art and writings on how her "quit" is going. In an effort to chronicle her journey, she began an art project designed to enlist others in the shared experience of "the last cigarette." She sent a call to the public. Smokers could participate in the project by mailing their Last Cigarettes along with their plan to quit. She hoped to immortalize the effort in a work of art.

Hoysted had completed an image entitled Destruction. It is a collage of burnt watercolor paper soaked in cigarette butts and sprayed with nicotine “dye” (i.e. cigarette butts soaked in water over a few weeks). She had planned to continue in this vein for a while - as she found it both therapeutic and disgusting. She exhibited at: 9x10 WPA/C Member Show, William Parker Gallery, DC; and DCAC Wall Mountables, Washington DC.

What happened though, was that Hoysted found it very difficult to get contributions of "last cigarettes" because smokers find it too hard to part with them even when they have made the commitment to stop smoking. She's resigned herself to the probability that it would be easier to get cigarettes of people who are not trying to stop.

Hoysted's exhibits over the past year include: Delaplaine Arts Center, Regional juried show; Glenview Mansion, Rockville Art League juried show; Corcoran College of Art & Design, Washington DC.; Artomatic 2007; and a solo show at Gaithersburg City Hall, MD, juried. She continues her active participation in the Rockville Art League and in her participation in arts training through The Corcoran.

If you can't part with your pack, send a postcard or photos with your thoughts/story on smoking; Jackie will endeavor to include them all in a handmade book. For details go to:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

post beauty

Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory invites the international public to anonymously submit pictures of beauty to our community art project - post beauty.

Other sites promote your negative hidden secrets. We ask you to share pictures of positive life events, love you find, and unexpected kindnesses encountered.

Post Beauty gives the world a venue for light, life, and love through beautiful images shared. Email your digital images to New photos will be uploaded periodically.

10th Annual Business Philanthropy Summit

The Alexandria Volunteer Bureau in conjunction with a host of other noteworthy organizations is participating in Spring for Alexandria. The event is a three-day celebration of giving and service in Alexandria, Virginia. Several programs will be highlighted from 4/24 - 4/26 - including a Generations of Giving Gala, a community service day, an Earth Day celebration, and the 10th Annual Business Philanthropy Summit. We're honored to participate, even if only in a small way, in this opportunity to celebrate the arts, business, and nonprofit community’s contributions to our city. We look forward to learning more about how we can help others, especially through art.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

successfully advising artists

As an arts advisor, it pays to know what calls are currently open, what galleries are on the hunt for which material, and when the timing is right for an artist to make a move. About a month ago, we were contacted by a painter who claimed she could not find a gallery to accept her work. We consulted with her, reviewed her portfolio, made a few phone calls, considered the whole situation, tested the market and called her right back.

We knew of a Chelsea gallery wanting to host an opening on a particular subject, and although this painter claimed not to want to be a pigeon-holed "type" of artist, we encouraged her to immediately submit her works. You can see where this is going, right? Yes siree, not less than a month later, this painter who couldn't get placed in a gallery will now show in New York City's esteemed Chelsea gallery row.

Even if the piece doesn't move (which we believe it will), and this artist generates NO interest (which we KNOW she will), it's a success for the gallery, for the painter, and for us. And that's why we love advising artists. It works, it's successful, and when the effort is timely and well-researched, it's like putting a round peg in a round hole. Beautiful.

an interesting tale of arts collaboration

There's a lesson in loss and it may just be that all loss has a purpose. We were very disappointed to learn we lost a much loved public arts project bid for which we had expended a tremendous amount of research and legwork. Our intuitive reaction, that the organizers wanted permanent sculptures and local townspeople to construct them, proved dead on correct when the final results were published.

Not unexpectedly though was the fact that the finalists for this particular competition were all extremely insightful, talented individuals with unique ideas, and giving of their time and efforts. We were well pleased to be in such great company. So it turns out that one of our top competitors, a woman I can only describe as literally having had thought about every single available facet of her proposal, also lost.

You know when you hear a competitor's proposal and you're thinking to yourself, GULP? We couldn't understand how her idea could be passed by. Well, where the door was closed, the window opened. This woman (an events coordinator) and her truly fantastic public art festival not only secured an alternate site for her event, but graciously invited us to bring our loved luminaria proposal along with her.

That's collaboration at its best, and the winner in this case will be the families who attend our breathtaking evening event in July. Stay tuned for more about Starry Teller Festival and our Luminaria highlights.

interview on art purchasing trends

We were thrilled recently to be contacted by one of the most interesting trend management companies to come around the block lately, Editor Miriam Rayman is associated with a division known as Seems they're working in part on understanding, qualifying, and quantifying art acquisition and the growing use of art consultants and art advisors. In some circles, personal art buyers are akin to personal shoppers, personal assistants, or personal concierge services. We feel the root cause of this growing trend is the necessity for arts specialization as opposed to generalization. Understanding trends in art business just makes good sense and great reading.

spring's yard art

One of the reasons we love yard art is because once the weather breaks, you can actually get out of the house to see it. This winter we were missing the smell of fresh cut lawns and the site of madonnas in the bathtub. Here's a few great web places to check out truly creative yard art in all its independent glory.

And here's a few finer publications available covering the origins, status, and future of yard art.

Yard Art and Handmade Places: Extraordinary Expressions of Home
Detour Art: Outside, Folk Art & Visionary Environments Coast to Coast
Self Made Worlds
Sublime Spaces & Visionary Worlds: Built Environments of Vernacular Artists


We've been getting some great feedback lately - here's where we'll place our testimonials as they roll in.
"Shauna Lee has stepped forward to energize and inform Alexandria, Virginia and the Washington Beltway about CHALK4PEACE. The Event wishes we had ten more of her; then the WHOLE WORLD would know! She has a charismatic power in her enthusiasm for an idea. She is a definite go to person about the arts..." Dr. John Aaron (Apr 08)