Monday, September 8, 2014

On Friday "10 Years of Art at SMCC" opened at the Lewis Gallery at the Portland Public Library in downtown Portland, Maine. The show celebrated a decade of the art program at Southern Maine Community College, where I have been a professor in the studio art program since 2007, and served as Chair of the program from 2008 to 2014. The press release has all the details about the college and the program, but for me this was a night to reflect on the remarkable progress of this program and all of the students, faculty, and staff that have made it the amazing program it is -- one that has carved out a unique place in art and education in the state of Maine. The show is up through the end of September -- please check it out if you can!  


This new video piece -- "Bullseye" -- was created in collaboration with Brett Plymale and is currently on view at the Lewis Gallery at the Portland Public Library for the month of September as part of "10 Years of Art at SMCC", a show celebrating a decade of the art program at Southern Maine Community College. Please check it out, and be sure to watch until the end!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yard Sale Bound Records of Yesteryear

While cleaning out my record collection for an upcoming yard sale I realized that I had been holding on to a handful of albums for many years solely because of the cover art, rather than the music within. I decided to give them all one last listen and then take a picture of the cover before selling/donating/burning the albums so that they may live on forever in the digital nethersphere. Enjoy! If you want to hear the music contained in these gems, just come to my yard sale and they can be yours forever...

Alisha (self-titled), 1985
The cover of this album is complex. Who is Alisha calling? She looks pensive. Is she considering something risky in her pursuit of "All Night Passion" (Song 1, Side A)? Would she dare put into jeopardy the reputation implied by her pearl necklace and gold four-poster bed? The answer is revealed on the other side...

Sneaking out?! Alisha, I'm shocked, but I guess it was bound to happen when one is "Too Turned On" (Song 1, Side B). The back cover also contains the haphazardly-placed neon triangles with drop shadows that were legally required in 80s album art.

Everyone's Welcome at Mrs. Mills Party, 1963
From the liner notes, it would seem that Mrs. Mills is a 60's version of Susan Boyle (or is Susan Boyle a 00's Mrs. Mills?), having her talent recognized in her 40's whilst serving as "the superintendent of the typing pool in the Paymaster General's office in London". This album contains exactly six medleys per side, each of which are made up of exactly three songs, which leads me to believe that Mrs. Mills clearly suffered from OCD. Everyone is welcome at Mrs. Mills party as long as they wash their hands exactly six times before entering without touching the doorknob.

Toyah - Love Is The Law, 1983
This image can only help us imagine the terrifying faceless future world in which Toyah struggles to make her music. The art director clearly had a good friend at the sporting goods store where he purchased the surplus fencing and football pads to create this terrifying "Dreamscape" (Song 1, Side B). But what news of the battle...?

Toyah is victorious, but still looks pumped up to "Explode" (Song 2, Side A).

Cocktails for Two, 1963
The tasteful blue tones and subdued typeface of the cover suggest propriety, but the luscious red vinyl record betrays the passion boiling just below the surface. Well done, 1960's art directors, I totally get it.

The Ventures, 1966
Why doesn't type design look like this anymore? I might actually buy some $7 artisanal pickles at the farmers market if the label looked like this. It screams "QUALITY!". Plus, we all know "Batman" and "Get Smart", but have you ever heard the theme from "Zocko"? I haven't either, but I'm guessing it is like every song -- vastly improved as a wordless surf guitar jam.

Bongos Bongos Bongos, 1959
Another type design winner. The "O" is like a bongo! Plus, it very clearly lets you know what you are going to hear: a hell of a lot of bongos. "Greensleeves", featuring bongos. "Bidin' My Time", tasteful bongo break. "Unchained Melody", ten minute bongo solo. It's all here, daddy-o.

The Nothin' Doin' Band, When does the fun start...?, 1983
An SAT music analogy --
self-deprecation : bluegrass as
_________ : rap
_________ : 90s ska
_________ : hair metal

The Time, Ice Cream Castles, 1984
You probably remember The Time as Prince's rival band from Purple Rain, or the "second-most-famous 80s soul-funk band from Minneapolis". This cover is like Cirque Du Soleil -- every single member is so incredible that your eyes bounce from one to the next in constant amazement. I would like to know the location of the magical Minnesota castle where this image was shot so that I may pay my respects someday and perhaps attempt a contemporary recreation with my extended family. 

Building Better Yearbooks Through More Sales, 1968
This album contains twenty highly-entertaining skits meant to be played over high school public address systems to convince students to buy a yearbook. Snappy track titles like "The Gal That Got Away" and "What's Your Name Again?" warn kids against the path of ostracism, depression, and regret that invariably results from not buying a high school yearbook. Like most people, I still look at my high school yearbook two or three times a week. While the cover text clearly tells us the content, the stark portrait of the speaker and the pink and fuchsia radial halftone suggest that this cover could just as easily be saying "duck and cover!".

Rappin', 1985
I have not seen the original motion picture for which this soundtrack was recorded, but beside the fly cover which features a cold lampin' Mario Van Peebles, I can also recommend the rap song "Rappin'". It's about rap, what happens when you rap, and how you feel when you rap. It also relates that, after rappin', impressions left upon your peers range from general positivity to amazement. It sounds like rappin' is pretty fun and I think I might try it.

Dolly Parton, 1980
This complex cover is clearly influenced by the bas-reliefs of ancient Rome, and that is where I would like to see this image of Dolly. Carved in marble so she may live on for the ages, working 9BC to 5,000AD.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lightning Talk at SPACE Gallery, presented by AIGA Maine

I will be giving a Lightning Talk at SPACE Gallery sponsored by AIGA Maine this Thursday, February 20th.

I will talk about this fish, some other fish, and additional non-fish related items. Please join us!

CAA Conference in Chicago

I spent this past weekend in Chicago where I attended the College Art Association Annual Conference, an illuminating experience in a variety of ways -- both expected and unexpected. I also got to check out Millennium Park, the astounding Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago, and the incredible Field Museum where I got to nerd-out on my keen interest in the 1893 World's Fair, along with some fantastic dinosaur skeletons and mid-Cambiran wierdos like the anomalocaris (pictured below). I also got to see some friends like Carl Baratta (co-conspirator of the 6/6/6 exhibition project) and make some new ones. Chicago - I shall return when you are no longer freezing cold and slushy!

Millennium Park
Field Museum

Lobby of the Chicago Hilton, where they filmed the last scenes of The Fugitive

Nearly-Frozen Chicago River
Field Museum

View from the Field Museum


Field Museum

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Experiencing Art: Barcelona

This summer Southern Maine Community College will be offering a 14-day program based in Barcelona, Spain. I will lead the program and teach the 3-credit Art History course Experiencing Art: Barcelona on-site from July 27 - August 11, 2014. We have organized this program in partnership with the experts at CIEE, the world leader in international education and exchange.

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain with its own distinctive history, culture, and language. Set between mountains and the Mediterranean sea, the city's population is 1.6 million, with a total of 4.5 million in the greater metropolitan area. Walking though the city, one can observe 2,000 years of architectural history—Roman remains, the network of narrow streets in the Old Town, the 19th Century Eixample district with its original examples of Modernista architecture—contrasting with the ultramodern showpieces that continue to redesign its skyline.

The course is a focused intensive on the art and architecture of Barcelona. During the two-week course we will:
  • Visit 8 historical sites in Barcelona, including Sagrada Familia, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, and the Picasso Museum
  • Experience 14 cultural visit and activities, including the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona and tapas with local students
  • Take an excursion to Montserrat Mountain
  • Visit the Salvador Dali museum on a day-trip to Girona and Figueres
  • Take a day-trip to the Archeological Museum in Tarragona
On completion of the course, students will be able to identify, describe and analyze the art and architecture associated with this city and its unique multicultural identity.
The cost for the trip is $3750. This includes:
  • Round trip airfare from Boston to Barcelona
  • 14 days of residence hall double occupancy accommodations
  • Airport transfers in Spain
  • Welcome dinner and Farewell dinner
  • Guest lectures by local experts
  • Public transportation card
  • iNext Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • CIEE Program Assistant on-site for visits and excursions
Students should plan to bring money for personal items and meals. Students who register for the 3-credit course will need to register for the course and pay standard tuition and fees to SMCC when due.

The class has a minimum enrollment of 10 and a maximum of 15 students. An information session will be held in Lighthouse Building 101 on Friday, February 7th at 10:00am. If you cannot make it to this information session, please feel free to contact Jeff Badger at  

To reserve your spot fill out a Study Abroad application and submit a $750 deposit by February 21, 2014 -- deadline extended to March 21st!. 

The Summer tuition and fees bill for the course will be due April 25th or within 48 hours after registering if it is after April 25, 2014.

Please join us in Barcelona! 


Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Perfect Lawn Forever" at the Dublin School

Last night my solo show "Perfect Lawn Forever" opening at the Putnam Gallery at Dublin School in beautiful Dublin, New Hampshire. The show features a bunch of drawings, paintings, and sculpture. It is on view through March 6, 2014. Here are some images of the exhibition and reception.