History: Citywide Studios Part 5

An ongoing description of my two years living in an art studio warehouse 2001-2003

The 2/3 of the room I made my working studio filled many additional functions. On of the primary uses was display space.

For many of the months I lived there, I signed up to be part of the First Friday gallery tour. Buses would come and deliver patrons to tour my studio.

For these events I would clear as much as possible out of the front space ahead of time.  I’d mop the cement floor with Spic and Span, and 409 the heck out of the bathroom.

I hung a new exhibit of work every month, originally my own, but in time I expanded to include guest artists as well.

In addition to First Fridays, every spring a weekend arts festival was held called Art Detour. Then I would be open all day Saturday and Sunday as well.


History: Citywide Studios Part 4

An ongoing description of my two years living in an art studio warehouse 2001-2003
The barred security door to my unit, and my own heavy exterior door, were orange-the color of ambition. And I was ambitious. Where others would see a rudimentary living space plunked down in the ghetto, I saw the  fulfillment of a dream to dedicate my whole lifestyle to painting and art.

The scary local populace, primitive facilities and seasonal discomforts meant nothing compared to the excitement of have 2/3 of my home as studio space.
In the final 1/3 of the room is where I crammed all my non-art possessions, discretely separated from the studio by a partition assembled from bookshelves and cabinets.

In time in my back room I obtained a loft bed and installed my computer table beneath it. I had a double burner hot plate to cook on. I had a coffee pot and an electric kettle for endless cups of tea. I even ended up getting a 5′ refrigerator/freezer, which enabled more home cooking.

I had a TV on a rolling rack, a VCR, and one big chair for lounging purposes. The stereo was out in the studio. The uncomfortable futon I had arrived with devolved from serving as the bed to a couch, then to an outside couch, then to the dumpster.

to be continued

History: Citywide Studios Part 3

An ongoing description of my two years living in an art studio warehouse 2001-2003

My unit of the building was one big open room, probably about 15′ x 35′, if I remember correctly. Some day I’ll have to confirm that.

Cement floor. 20′ high ceilings with immense exposed wooden rafters. A little half bath was walled off  in one corner, and an industrial sink installed in the main room. A swamp cooler provided the only climate control. No heat, and no air conditioning in the Arizona summer. Very challenging.

The shower was in the unit next door. To get there I had to walk outside through the parking lot and use keys to open a barred gate and heavy exterior door. That shower was well secured.

Inside the shower room it was well tiled, with lots of colors and whimsical chunks of broken ceramic sculptures incorporated into the walls. The whole building in fact was painted in bright colors. It reflected the style of the landlady.

to be continued

History: Citywide Studios Part 2

Citywide Studios were named after the television repair business that once was run in the building. It was a one story complex of 6 units, each of which opened onto a gated parking lot on one end; the other end had doors with street access. Those could have served as store fronts, but the the nature of the location prevented that.

Citywide was in a bad area. Drug addled prostitutes and a drunken tribe of nomads pushing shopping carts were our neighbors. Part of what kept the rent down, and I did not mind it. While pursuing my art I’ve always lived in bad areas, to save on expenses, so this was actually more familiar terrain for me than the well manicured apartment compound I lived in during my first year in Phoenix.

The spaces were rented specifically to working artists; the landlady held kind of a jurying process of the artwork of potential renters. And productivity was enforced: my space had become available when the owner realized the previous tenant had abandoned art and was using the space just for storage. In exchange for the excellent opportunity, almost an artist-in-residency program, tenants of Citywide Studios were expected to be committed and serious.

I loved this expectation.

to be continued

History: Citywide Studios Part 1

From 2001-2003 my home was a warehouse studio space in downtown Phoenix. A friend stated that I lived in a shed.

The rent was only $230 a month, which allowed me to go part time at my corporate job. I worked three 10 hour days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday) in the most depressing role I’ve ever held-credit card retention. In a cubical, tied to headset, accountable for ever minute of my time. Trying to prevent people from closing out their over-extended credit, or moving away their high interest balances. I shuddered in horror when my company proudly announced customers now owed over a billion dollars in unsecured debt.

Unfortunately I was very effective in this evil pursuit. I’ve always been a very dedicated worker. Good performance gave me leeway with the management; they tolerated my nonconformist appearance and attitudes because my numbers were good.

Away from the job, my life revolved around my art.
-to be continued

Gallery Closing

Deus Ex Machina Gallery and Studio opened on December 7, 2007. In the last 5 years, our cooperative gallery has been open every First Friday and Third Friday, with a new exhibit hung every month. Often guest artists-some from as far away as France-were featured, in addition to the works of the members.

Our itinerary expanded with time. Currently in addition to the 2 gallery nights, we host a poetry reading on Second Fridays, which is often standing room only. We host “A Coven of Nerds,” a game night, on second Saturdays. The space started recently being used for a monthly writing salon on Sunday afternoons.

These were just our ongoing events. We’ve also hosted performance art, experimental theater, film, dance, live music shows from surf to industrial, and collaborative art projects.

All along the space has functioned as my oil painting studio. I spent many valuable hours there creating some of the most significant works of my life.

It’s been a labor of love with some wonderful people. But it’s time to do things differently.

December 2012 will be the final month of Deus Ex Machina. I end this grand experiment with a full heart, already pressing on to the next adventure.



The Tyranny of Cool

GREG GUTFELD: A timely rebuttal of the fundamental problem America faces: the elitist domination of our culture and creative classes.

Without a doubt voter fraud helped put Obama over the top in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

But like Hugh Hewitt says, “If it’s not close, they can’t cheat.”

The only reason the voter fraud can work, can make the difference by ginning up an illicit percentage point or three, is by being aided and abetted by the legitimate votes of millions and millions of citizens who have been hypnotized by the buzzing of the collectivist hive mind. The blatant message constantly transmitted is America is not cool. Liberty is not cool.

The hostility to American greatness oozes out of practically every TV show, movie, classroom, and news station in this country. I’ve lived and worked amongst the herd of the creative class for decades now, and their unthinking conformity to collectivist dogma would be laughable if it were not so dangerous to our freedom.

It’s amazing we haven’t fallen farther already, considering the 100 year assault this country’s principles have suffered.

But Cultural Marxism can only succeed if it’s obligatory. Political correctness tries to limit options so the left is the only choice.

We are working to create an alternative to the rigid controls our would-be rulers want to impose on us.

Forget cool. Dead things are cool. Now is the time to get fiery.

An Unexpected Journey

Sorry for a gap of few days in posting, we had a visit to make on short notice. Family manifests the richness of life. I love them all, and wish I could see more of everyone, all the time.

To continue the Tolkein motif, Gaypatriot expands on Ace’s Treebeardian wisdom on the recent election: Don’t be hasty.

The parallels our struggle is taking on to various modern mythos-Tolkien, Harry Potter, Firefly-is inspiring. The artists have foretold the outcome of the actions we are embarking on. The righteous will persevere despite overwhelming odds. Art should be full of these same type of examples.