Boots Up For Art

August 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Art Exhibitions, Art Studio | 1 Comment
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It’s 22” tall, 30″ in diameter at the widest point, and a weighty 75 lbs. or so.

It’s a painted concrete boot!

You may have heard of  Chicago’s 1999 “Cows On Parade” which started the public art phenomenon in the U.S. Since then there have been public displays of artist’ painted horses, dogs, cats, lizards, fish, cranes, guitars… about anything imaginable with themes often reflecting geographic locations, local history or regional culture. These art projects highlight community creativity and can raise funds for area non-profits.

Many of the sculptures used are cast fiberglass, manufactured specifically for this type of undertaking. However, Shirley Davis, of  The Kern River Valley Art Association found concrete boot blanks in Kingman, Arizona, considered size and price and thought they would be “A do-able public art project” for this region. History here reflects early California mining, and ranching; one of the towns, Kernville, is home to the annual Whiskey Flat Days with a Wild West theme, so a western boot design is fitting.

Still, I never thought I’d be painting one. Or that it would be so engaging and fun!  Or that I could drum up a pretty good rhythm on its partially hollow shape!

The boot was given to me already primed. Then interior/exterior gloss enamel of two or more coats was used on the surface, making it very reflective in photos.

The design is asymmetrical. I love the interesting, visual tensions created with that approach. Also, I had a blast mixing hues, there are seventeen various tints and shades used; they contrast and create tension in the design also. Use of color pulls together the four distinct sides of the boot. An idea that developed while working on it was that various color areas represented different musical genres. There are painted notes on the front.

Kick Up Your Heels is the title of the boot. Have fun, create, dance, and make music!

The boots are for sale to area merchants for public display. Money derived after costs will go to local art education programs organized through the KRV Art Association.

A reception will be held this Friday, September 3, 2010, at the Odd Fellows Hall in Kernville, CA from 5-8 p.m., with all of the colorful boots on display.

Hey! Hey! It’s about Thumb! Mail Art!

May 28, 2008 at 12:51 pm | Posted in Art Exhibitions, Mail Art | 1 Comment
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Thumb! Update: Exhibition Announcement!

Thank you for all of the great contributions so far to the Thumb Mail Art project. There is about a month left to the June 30th deadline.

A three-day exhibit is planned for July 25, 26, & 27, 2008 at the Odd-Fellows Hall in Kernville, California, USA. Kernville has a rich history as a mining town during the California Goldrush and was also frequently used as the site for old silent western movies– think Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, and others. This will be the first international mail art show held in Kernville. At the exhibit there will be a world map indicating the country and city of the artists.This is the first time an international mail art show will be held in Kernville.  A reception is planned for Friday evening, the 25th (time to be announced).


Theme: This call invites your creative visual responses to the theme of the “Thumb,” that thick first digit of the human hand. Whether it’s thumbs up, all thumbs, or pull your thumb outta your, this art will explore the various connotations of the thumb, with irony, with humor, or in all seriousness.

Open Media: collage, photography, painting, drawing, printing, etc.

Format & Size: postcards from 4”x6” (or 10 x 15 cm), up to A5 size about 5 ¾” x 8 1/4” (or 14.8 x 21 cm) maximum.

Documentation: All received works will be exhibited and the artists listed on  Please include your name, mailing address, and email address for acknowledgment and correspondence purposes –we will send a list of participants, and copies of any press coverage of the exhibition.

All works must be sent via normal postal route.

No fee, no returns: The postcards will become part of the collection of Thumbing Through.

Remember: WE LOVE MAIL ART! We love the concept, the images, the sense of community and feedback it inspires. We look forward to your participation in this project.

Deadline to be received: June 30, 2008

Mail to:  Thumb!,  c/o  J. Desmond, PO Box 2287,  Lake Isabella, CA 93240   U.S.A.

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