Archive for November, 2010

Thunder-Sky, Inc. 2011: One Step Beyond

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2011 at Thunder-Sky, Inc. will feature six exhibits and each show is all about finding new ways to see, make, present, feel, and imagine what art is, who artists are, and what we can all do together to push the limits beyond “white walls/white wine/white people.”

Here goes:

Ice Ice Baby: Michael Weber, Bob Scheadler, Adam Maloney (January 7, 2010 – February 18, 2010) Paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs about the big freeze by Weber and Sheadler.  A sound installation titled “In Space No One Can Hear Your Tractor Beam” by Adam Maloney.  Opens January 7, 2011 with a reception 6 to 9 pm.

Bunky Echo-Hawk: New Works (February 25, 2011 – April 15, 2011) Echo-Hawk, a Native American painter/writer/performer from Oklahoma whose works are saturated in Pop-Art colors and street-smart savvy, investigates the meanings of “Native” and “American” through historical and cultural iconography and myth.  Opens February 25, 2011 with a reception 6 to 9 pm.

2 + 2 = 5: Collaborations (April 29, 2011 – June 10, 2011) “I admit that two plus two makes four is an excellent thing, but if we are to give everything its due, two plus two makes five is sometimes a very charming thing too.” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Underground) Artists of all kinds and creeds work together on paintings and drawings, including several collaborations involving unfinished works by Mr. Thunder-Sky himself.  Opens April 29, 2011 with a reception 6 to 9 pm.

Hard Knocks: Art without Art School (June 24, 2011 – August 12, 2011) Co-curated by Antonio Adams, Ran Barnaclo and Spencer VanDerzee.  A group show featuring artists who could not go, did not go, and/or chose not to go to art school; the level playing field provides ample space to see that “self-taught artists” produce an amazingly diverse spectrum of styles and subject-matters.  Opens with a reception June 24, 2011 6 to 9 pm.

Order of Selection: Jessie Dunahoo, Stevie Grueter, Jennifer Meridieth (August 26, 2011 – October 14, 2011) Drawings on rocks she finds along the road (Grueter), sculptures made from plastic bags (Dunahoo), and drawings about a world two miles away from normal (Meridieth).  In Under-Sky, Inc., the basement space:  “The $50 Museum:  a Thunder-Sky, Inc. fundraiser.”  Opens with a recepion 6 to 9 pm August 26, 2011.

Entertainment Tonight!: Ran Barnaclo, Larry Cocklin (October 28, 2011 – December 23, 2010) Art that is both funny-haha and funny-weird, done by two young artists inspired by Darth Vader, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus, and the random thoughts inside wild animal heads.  Opens with a reception 6 to 9 pm October 28, 2011.

Photos top to bottom:  From 2 + 2 = 5, Donald Henry, Dale Jackson, Bill Ross.  Bunky Echo-Hawk’s art.  Poster for “Hard Knocks.”  And work by Jessie Dunahoo.

Unfinished Business: PTA Meeting 11-17-10

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Last night I had an opportunity to speak to a group at a local PTA meeting, concerning Raymond Thunder-Sky and what we do through Thunder-Sky Inc. I explained how for years Raymond was known as the “Construction Clown” and during that time a number of urban myths were conjured up to explain Raymond’s daily perfomances downtown and all around the area.  Often he would be in hia full “clown/construction-worker” drag at demolition sites and construction site:  a mystery people often admired, some feared, and some mocked. I explained how for the most part his mission as an artist was misunderstood. To say Raymond didn’t say much would be an understatement…at least verbally. However, come to find out, Raymond was speaking volumes in his work as an artist. I explained how meeting Raymond and the moment he showed his drawings to me changed my life. I explained how he inspired both Keith and I to co-found Visionaries and Voices and more recently Thunder-Sky Inc. to archive his art work and belongings as well as feature other unconventional artists’ works that relates in some way to Raymond’s work.

Being with parents and teachers last night, however I felt it was important to discuss another aspect of Raymond’s life and legacy and that was his stubborn bravery. Raymond was Real (capital R). He, more than anyone I have ever met, lived his life against the grain, even while he was trying to create a place for himself within the grain. He stood out and like anyone who is different he was also bullied; we have gathered a number of stories about these incidents from people who witnessed the bullying.  This didn’t stop him. He was bound and determined to be himself. He knew that whatever he had to do was far too important to worry about what others thought, even when bullies and systems tried to put him in his place.

Recently Thunder-sky Inc hosted a folk art carnival in Raymond’s honor. The tag line for the event was “Fly Your Own Freak Flag”. We embrace this notion as Raymond flew his own freak flag every day. Being your self is hard, scary and probably looks weird to others. But, if you are for real it’s what you have to do. In my ramblings last night I wanted to convey how we all need to make being “real” easier for those who are compelled for whatever reason to be different.


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