|Dock Street Artists group-I'm 2nd from left.
travelled around the country, hitchhiking, working at carnivals and festivals, and in 1981 came back to my home town of Ft.
Wayne, Indiana. I joined the Dock St. artists, a cooperative studio in an unheated building on the Landing in downtown Ft.
Wayne. (Click on photo at left to read the 1983 article of our first group exhibition) At the same time I became an apprentice
to Master Printmaker Craig Steketee at his shop, Stonetraces. There I learned the crafts of etching and lithography, and did
my own work as well as helping other artists produce prints. Craig closed his shop to move to California, but before he did
we spent the summer building etching presses to sell and raise money for the move. After Craig left I opened my own shop and
studio, Toxic Press.
I continued to work on the railroad, but eventually came back to Indiana, where I opened my studio in downtown Ft. Wayne at
814 1/2 So. Calhoun St. My friend Randy had bought the building and invited me to move the studio there, and when
the ground floor became free, he urged me to turn it into a gallery. I did, and called it ATDE Studio/ Gallery. ATDE
stood for Art That Doesn't Exist, a loose reference to the concept of Plato's cave, and also to the distance between
concept and realization, especially in printmaking processes.
Original ATDE Studio, Grand Opening poster, yours truly, circa 1992, friends at open house, and painted.
|Icy Red, 1987, oil and encaustic on canvas, Lincoln National Life collection
|French Post Card, 1989
Bear with me for a moment, because these pictures are related, beginning with the painting above, Icy Red. It was painted
in 1987, and is oil and encaustic on canvas, about 4 feet by five feet. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company in
Ft. Wayne, Indiana purchased it way back then in order to help me go to Paris and exhibit in a show there in 1989. Actually
there were four of us-Gregg Coffey, David Kastner, David Krouse, and myself. We had a great time, but I had such mixed feelings
about the show that I have practically avoided group shows ever since. I think it started at the opening, when people just
parked themselves at the fabulous food tables and didn't move until they were stuffed full. Then it all went
downhill from there, except the Canadian artists were great fun, and the French people-they are truly fantastic!
We were on the way to the Eros Museum and passed this duo napping on the sidewalk, so I posed with them(I'm on the
left), and turned the photo into my French Souvenir postcard. Of course we went to the Louvre and all that, and it was very
cool to see so much famous art live and in person. Among other things, the surfaces and monumentality just don't translate
in the history books. I wanted to say something especially about Delacroix and Gericault since I was so impressed and later
influenced by their painting, but now I'm having the strange sensation that I have dreamed this before, and in the dream
it was a big mistake to write about Delacroix and Gericault, so I'll stop here.
Two years later, in the summer of 1992, John and Guy opened the very fancy
Bagatelle Bistro and Bar, and I got the commission to do the large centerpiece painting for the
reastaurant, with vital technical assistance from David Kastner. Although the restaurant has changed owners, the painting
has stayed-because it was too big
|Chops Steak & Seafood-Click on the picture to go to their web site
Ito get through the door! The new owners, Chuck and Kara Pastor, have created a very warm and friendly
environment, and have renamed it Chops. I recently took my mother
there-April 9 to be exact-she had never seen the painting in person. The painting goes so well with the restaurant's interior
and menu-colorful, whimsical, and very classy! I had the Prime Rib, which was fantastic. Chuck asked about the meaning of
the painting, since people ask him about it. At the time I told him that I prefer that people have the joy of discovery when
they figure out what it is about, but I could have mentioned that the meaning of the painting would be obvious to anybody
with a basic knowledge of Anasazi mythology. So if you are ever going by exit 102 on I-69 through Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Chops
is only a few minutes east at 6421 West Jefferson Blvd. and I highly recommend it! Click on the painting above to go to Chops web site.
more coming soon . . .
to right, Louis Perticone-the Vince Lombardi of Art, St. Louis to Iowa-acrylic,collage, and found objects on paper, (collection
Artisan Works), yours truly in the ATDE Studio on Cascade Drive in Rochester, and at Artisan Works.