My previous post was dated August 11, 2016, almost four months ago. For those of you who know me personally this wasn’t unexpected — you probably knew I was going through a crisis of artwork/blogging paralysis — not knowing what I could say or do, about or with the art I was making using polyvinyl tarp, duck tape, and sharpies. Artwork I had been calling “Tarpestry.” Artwork which I had been vigorously promoting using SEO (Search Engine Optimization, an approach that brings attention to websites). Happily I was getting plenty of attention. I even bought two new domains featuring the word “tarpestry.”
Unhappily, I also attracted attention which completely shut me down — at least in my ability to communicate about my tarp artwork. Turns out there is a commercial venture which produces blankets made of fabric with hippy-dippy designs backed by canvas tarp which are sold at music festivals and, you guessed it, they are called TARPESTRY. Actually they aren’t just called that, they are Trademarked that, and they considered my work a threat.
I’m won’t rehash the ridiculousness of their claims, but I will say that despite the myriad differences between my artwork and their commercial product the law is on their side. Because they own the trademark with the identical portmanteau word I had chosen — they win, and my SEO has rendered me SOL.
So where does that leave me? Well, I can’t call any of the artwork I create using polyvinyl tarp, duck tape, and sharpies “tarpestry” going forward. I can’t use that word in any of my domains, or promote it using SEO. I can still make the artwork, exhibit it, donate it, sell it, create books about it, catalog it on my website — but I have to call it something else.
I’m going to call it “TARPAGE.”
Tarpage — sounds like yardage, or on a bad day, garbage, and it feels appropriate as an umbrella covering the very first “tarps picadas” as well as “tarpestry.”
2016 was a brutal year for many people, and I understand that in comparison, my tarpage story is just a hitch in my git’along, so I’m not telling you this for your sympathy. I’m telling you this by way of explanation — for why you haven’t heard from me, and for why I’m going to change the way I share my “stuff” from now on.
For starters, this will be my last blog post on this website. All I’ve written previously will still be available to go back and read, I’m just not going to write anything new on this site.
My Portfolio pages will continue to be updated — some of which I often get a little chatty on — and I’ll keep my Resume up to date, have my books available, and will still be able to be contacted through my Contact Me page.
Meanwhile, I’m also closing down my (Melissa “Sasi” Chambers) Artists Page on FaceBook, but will continue my personal (Melissa Chambers) page, mostly as a link to my Instagram (sasiwasi).
I have three “resolutions” for 2017 — “Think Very Hard Before Saying Yes,” and “Streamline and Upgrade (anything and everything).” 2016 was a year of u-turns, dead-ends, and many mind-changes for me. I’ve realized I no longer feel the need to always say “yes,” and I’m not sorry about that. I don’t have to “do everything,” and it’s OK not to feel guilty about that.
Keeping up with the social media mouse race, pushing myself with SEO, agreeing to do things I don’t really want to do but have somehow managed to “own” far past the point of being a sincere and willing contributor…. I’m done with all that. And, I know you know what I’m talking about.
So here’s my third Resolution for 2017 — Respect the “No’s” without resentment or shaming, and make sure the “Yes’s” know how grateful I am for their gifts.
Thank you for all your support, and love, and good wishes. And for all of us, may 2017 be truly a Happy New Year!
I realized today that I’ve been mistaken about something. I’ve been treating my blog posts as if they were avocados.
Really. I’ve been so busy, and I have so many things I could have been sharing all along.
Any blogger worth her salt (and maybe a little garlic, lime juice, and cilantro) would have posted each thing as it happened. Would have known when the time was ripe.
Not me though. Nope.
This is the way I reacted to those perfectly ripe moments…
I’m blaming it on the season. There’s been a serious “hibernation situation” going on around here. But, the sun is coming out and we are getting ready for this year’s sojourn in New Orleans (Not Yet?) and I’m already gearing up to embark on my second iteration of home/studio arrangement in this house we moved into only 6 months ago. (Not Yet?) — you do see my problem, right? So, while all of that is “ripening” I might as well give you a couple of “Too Lates.”
(I’ll spare you the Holidaze recap and stick with 2016.)
First off, my exhibition at the BSU Student Union Gallery was a success. I sold some work and all of my books*, and several of the BIG Tarpestries will be on display at this year’s World Village Fest, June 10, 11, & 12th. (Not Yet?)
(Christine Raymond talking back to the singing bird in my “Sss(mmm)sss…” Tarpestry.)
“Walk, Don’t Walk,” which I made for the traffic box on Edson & Curtis, inspired by the Boise International Market and the refugee community, is now hanging in the TVAA exhibiton “This American Life” at the offices of Boise State Public Radio. It will be up through April 8th.
After some delays regarding the actual wrapping of the traffic boxes, TradeMark is now approved to put this one up. Any day now, just NOT YET.
I’ve had fun lately making tarpestries for every occasion. Mardi Gras was February 9th this year and I made a “heads in the holes” tarpestry for a party my parents were helping to host.
Laissez Le Bon Temp Roule!
And of course yesterday was Valentine’s Day, so here’s a “Tarpentine” for you…
There’s lots more to show and tell you, but I’m going to let those ideas ripen just a liiiiittle bit longer.
This summer I was commissioned by the Department of Arts & History, and the Central Bench Neighborhood Association to produce art for the HAWK Pedestrian control box on the corner of Curtis and Edson.
I created a Tarpestry inspired by the patterns I saw at the International Market on the corner of Curtis and Franklin combined with the familiar icons of the Walking Man and the Stopping Hand.
Bob Pleasure at Riverworks on Fairview adapted my 4′ x 10′ Tarpestry to fit the template which will be used to produce the final vinyl wrap. (Thank goodness for Bob! On a good day my math skills would be strained by determining whether or not I got the bigger half of the sandwich.)
Here are some photos of the original Tarpestry in process…
Due to a dispute regarding fabrication of the vinyl wraps for the traffic boxes none of the art in this round have yet to be installed. I will update this post as soon as they are in place!
Update June, 2016…
The traffic box is installed! The wrapping was done by Trademark, and was completed while we were in New Orleans. It looks great!
Remember to look both ways before you cross the street!
This was a collaborative piece with artist, Barbara Bowling who created a tiara, while I created a sash and a painted box with an etched mirror to display both the tiara and sash.
This is me modeling the tiara and sash:
And this is the painted box with the etched mirror which says “Forma Fugit” which means “Beauty is Fleeting.”
These are detail photos of the sash:
Here is the piece on display in the offices of Boise State Public Radio where the exhibition was held: