On Saturday, October 24th, award-winning cartoonist Mike Jenkins, who lives in northern Virginia, will be hosting his art reception, "Art to Lunch", from 6-8 pm at Studio Pause in Arlington, VA. For the past year or so, I've been following Mike's daily posts featuring the adventures of young Maggie and her struggles and challenges faced each and every day at school, as she forges ahead on her quest to make it through to another weekend. It is a truly amazing comic art series, and I'm always greatly impressed by Mike's seemingly inexhaustible ability to portray each single day that Maggie faces, in a brand new way. Drawn on brown paper lunch bags, it will be even more of a treat to see these works in person, so mark your calendars and don't sleep on this one!
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Friday, April 17, 2015
Hey all, tomorrow (4/18) I'll be doing a Splotch Monster-making workshop from 3-5pm at The Griffin Art Center in downtown, Frederick, MD. It's free and open to the public, and it'll be a pretty laid-back, casual event. I'll also be staying by the gallery a couple extra hours, for anyone who missed the big show, which will be up for one more week, as of tomorrow. Saturday's going to be a beautiful day, and there's lots to see and do in Frederick, in addition to the show. Hope to see folks there!-Steve
Saturday, April 04, 2015
That's right. A little shameless plug - I've got a big art exhibit featuring Splotch Monster art, both big and small, old and brand spanking new, hanging at the beautiful front gallery of The Griffin Art center in historic, downtown Frederick, Maryland. The art reception will be a week from today, on Saturday, April 11, from 5-8pm, and it's going to be awesome. Below is a sneak peek at a fraction of what will be on display at the exhibit. There's also plenty more to see and do in the area. So, mark your calendars and hope to see you there next Saturday night! -Steve
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
by Steve Loya
Local artist Eric Gordon is currently having an art exhibit of his "DC Creeper" portraiture at the Kefa Cafe in Silver Spring, Maryland. If you're familiar with the local zine circuit, you may know Eric for the zine and blog he and his wife Sara run called Vinyl Vagabonds, lovingly chronicling their adventures in vinyl record collecting. However, Eric is also a spectacular artist, specializing in expressive, spontaneous portraits of folks in and around the DC area, almost exclusively done on site. Eric's been documenting this work at his DC Creepers blog as well, and I was fortunate enough to witness the man in action at the first ever Cartoonists Draw Blood fundraiser event, organized by Carolyn Belefski of Curls Studio fame.
While I wasn't able to make it to Eric's opening night last Friday, which I heard was pretty well packed, I'm certainly glad I decided to make good use of my snow day today and, along with my wife Kris, make the drive out to Kefa Cafe for some breakfast and coffee and a look at Eric's art in person. Eric's show, officially titled "Creeping Every Day: Sketching Without Being Too Sketchy" is part of an ongoing series of new art exhibits at Kefa Cafe, in a space dedicated to showing local talent called Space 7:10. The show will run through February 28th, 2015, so if you're in the area, don't hesitate to drop in, have a bite and a sip and a look around!
Monday, January 19, 2015
Face to Face - Illustrations and prose by Martin Graff (the Face Zone) and Laura McClure (Animals for Sam), at the Griffin Art Center through 1/31/2015
Last Saturday evening I had the pleasure of attending the opening artists' reception for Martin Graff (The Face Zone) and Laura McClure (Animals for Sam), entitled Face To Face. The reception was held at a fantastic space in the heart of downtown Frederick, Maryland, known as The Griffin Art Center. Laura and Martin had their work on exhibit together, in the middle gallery (I believe there were three galleries altogether at the center). I met Marty (as he likes to be called) at another, comics-themed art opening in Frederick last year, and through him, Laura, who also had some of her art at the show. I've been gladly following their work via Facebook and blog posts ever since. While the two have a very different approach to their work, stylistically, what their art has in common is a symbiotic relationship with words.
Animals for Sam was started by Laura as a way to keep her young, animal-loving godson Sam informed about a wide variety of animal species - kind of like a weekly digital postcard. Laura hand-draws the animals on her computer, using a mouse, usually dressing them in human attire that relates to a certain aspect of a particular species, mostly having to do with their environment or geographic location. She also merges photographic imagery in the background, adding a sense of depth and dimension to her work. A verbal description, both highly factual and informative, while told in the artist's own conversational style, discusses everything from eating habits, to odd and unique physical and behavioral characteristics. Finally, a small graph is at the bottom of each blog post, illustrating the animal species' level of vulnerability to extinction. I could imagine myself thoroughly enjoying something like this as a boy, who like Sam, held a keen interest in wildlife and the natural world. At the show, the framed digital print pieces were quite popular, as many of them were sold. Looking forward to a book compiling these works, hopefully in the near future!
As with many artists and creative types, music plays a big role in Martin Graff's Face Zone works, which employ a cartoon-inspired minimalist approach visually. The influence of punk rock lyricism is evident in the clever verbal wordplay of the sometimes darkly humorous poetry and prose that accompanies The Face Zone illustrations. Martin's blog posts can range from contemplative to laugh-out-loud hilarious, but they always make excellent food-for-thought, which is probably where his influence as a public school teacher comes in as well. Along with his work hanging on the walls of the gallery, Martin had a newly published book compiling his Face Zone material available, a good many of which sold at the show. I highly recommend grabbing one for yourself HERE. In the meantime, don't hesitate to read more about Martin and The Face Zone in this recent article from The Frederick News-Post!
Be sure to check out Face to Face in person, at the Griffin Art Center, which runs through January 31st, 2015!