Susan McCaslin Report on the 2012 Artist Fellowship Grant
To begin, I want to thank the State of Connecticut for the generous grant which has enabled me to focus on my work and to develop new installation ideas culminating in two exhibitions and four proposed projects. I was able to purchase needed equipment and supplies and to hire an intern to help me reach my goals.
Howard el-Yasin, curator of the show, asked me to participate after visiting my studio in September 2012. Being included in a show with seven other artists of this caliber, was a career boost. Howard is a highly respected sculptor in his own right. The other artists are as well. Giada Crispels was, at the time, resident artist for Artspace in New Haven, an honor for any artist.
The gallery at Whitney Center was recently taken on by The Arts Council of Greater New Haven as a satellite exhibition space. The shows are curated by Debbie Hesse and Steven Olsen. After visiting my studio, Hesse invited me to participate in the show On Nature. Her visit was a direct result of my inclusion in the About Paper exhibit and again, the artists in this exhibit are all high caliber, some of the best in New Haven CT.
Additional Projects and Ongoing Work
Another project that I have agreed to create is “Plate Poetry,” an installation and health education project targeting women with Type II Diabetes. The first full installation will take place in November at the Downstate Medical Center in conjunction with a Diabetes Awareness Event.
In May 2012, I proposed an installation to the Creative Arts Workshop (CAW) in New Haven. Each year, CAW invites artists to propose work to be exhibited in their gallery window for the month of August. During that month, they cease classes and fill their gallery window with the work of one artist. Here are links to my proposal and my statement. To the left is the visual I provided. Unfortunately, I was not chosen for this opportunity. I was told that my 8′ x 8′ x11′ installation was not large enough, that even though they liked what I wanted to do, they were concerned that it might not have enough impact. I plan to propose it again in 2014 at double the size. And I am working on eliminating the chains and using a more transparent material for hanging. To do that will require additional hand-work per card. I expect that work to take an additional 300 hours of hand-work. I will have to hire interns to help with this work.
In August 2012, I sent another proposal for a larger installtion of “Walk in the Woods” at Frame 301 Gallery in Beverly MA. Frame 301 is managed by Monserrat College with an ongoing call for artists for this particular space. The space is a repurposed exterior department store window measuring 18’ x 8’ x 3’. Its unique space, both size and placement, would work very well for my work. I had requested a winter month in hopes that the gallery exhibit could be viewed during snowfall.
Here are links to the proposal, statement and image list that went along with the provided CD. I am still waiting to hear from Frame 301. I have been in contact with them but still have not been accepted or rejected.
In addition to the 3” x 5” cards, I have produced twelve paper mache rocks or boulders that have been exhibited at the Institute Library in New Haven, CT and at Perspectives…The Gallery at Whitney Center in Hamden CT.
With the help of my $2500 grant, I was able hire an intern for 3 months who assisted me in producing twelve hundred 3” x 5” cards for my proposed installations. The cards are double-sided, each marked with black twig-like shapes or small animals and birds. They are an integral part of the installation “Walk in the Woods” which was first exhibited at Mitchell Library, New Haven in 2011. I have prosed significantly larger versions of this work in two different venues.
In addition to the intern, I purchased a camera. The camera that I had just was not able to produce the quality photographs I needed to make oversized portraits of various night spaces that I wanted to add to my gallery exhibits. As a result I took over 4000 photographs and produced a portfolio of 1o oversized prints. I have not yet been able to exhibit these but I have entered the work in three competitions. Here is a link to that set.
In addition to the camera, I purchased a projector that I need to project the River Walk video that I am working on. I am using the same camera to make the video.
The remainder of the $2500 was used to purchase art supplies.
Camera: Olympus $500.00
Projector: Used Mitsubishi $250.00
Intern: Amanda Wheeler, a high school junior at $8/hour. $800.00