One of the coolest things about the Bakehouse Art Complex, a former industrial bakery in Wynwood where we are throwing a Sketchy Party Friday night (RSVP on Facebook), is that each of its studios is a self-contained universe. Step into studio 37, for example, and you will encounter walls hung thick with fabric, embroidery-layered photographs, and, on your left, fiber artist Carrie Sieh sitting at her desk behind a decades-old loom. A few doors down, in studio 34, Deborah Mitchell, a mixed-media artist whose work practically smells of the Florida swamps, smiles in front of a wall of pieces layered with newspaper print, plant matter, and dry animal bones. (Both Sieh and Mitchell have original work in the raffle we will be holding Friday night. Learn more about it and pre-order tickets HERE.)
Then there’s studio 43, the workplace of artist Mike Rivamonte. Rivamonte is a sculptor, but there are no dunes of marble dust in his studio. Instead, the small space is crowded with robots constructed of antiques, everything from Zenith radios and trolley-car fare boxes to Word War II binoculars and drive-in speakers from as far back as the ’40s and as far away as Australia.
Painter Olivier Casse is one of several BAC artists contributing original work to the Sketchy Party raffle.
This Friday night, we are throwing our second Sketchy Party at the Bakehouse Art Complex (RSVP on Facebook). The deal is similar to the first go-round back in June: a small army of local artists will be on hand to do your portrait, or, in the parlance of our sister site, sketchymiami.com, your “Sketchy”. Sitting for a Sketchy is as FREE as ripped clothing used to be. Entry to the party is also F-R-E-E. If you want to buy your Sketchy, it’ll cost you $30, with the proceeds split evenly between the artists and Sketchy Miami.
As we mentioned last week, we are going to be raffling off original work and prints by several Bakehouse artists, along with a 132 piece metal box Prismacolor pencil set ($212.40 value) courtesy of Pearl South Miami and a collectible record from Sweat Records. Raffle tickets will be on sale at the party. There is one raffle ticket included in each Sketchy Package, which gets you a boatload of wonderful, including Joey’s pizza, beer, and a set of full-color Sketchy postcards. The packages will be on sale for $10 at the party, or you can purchase one in advance for $8 by clicking the PayPal button at the bottom of this post.
A Belgium-born artist who has been at the Bakehouse since November, Casse paints contemporary subjects in the style of the 19th Century Academy. “Girl with the Yellow ring” (below, left), Casse’s contribution to the Sketchy Party raffle, is an original oil painting on Belgian linen that he made for his thesis. In the work, one of a series featuring subjects wearing sunglasses, Casse seeks his own truth in the way his subject hides hers.
“Through the mask, we reveal ourselves,” Casse says. “The masks are the sunglasses. Because we have the sunglasses on, our guard is down.”
“Girl with The Yellow Ring” and, on the right, a Casse self-portrait
CS: I’m a mixed media artist, knitter, and lover of puns. I have a degree in Library and Information Science as well as in art, so I’m prone to spontaneous organizing of objects and stern shushing of obnoxious children. I came to Miami from San Francisco a few years ago when my husband got a job as an English Literature professor at UM.
Sieh’s Sketchy Miami portrait of Lissette Guido
How would you define your style? Your process?
CS: I’m interested in details and contrasts, in materials, techniques, and concepts. I often incorporate some kind of needlework, but in non-traditional ways. I knit with plastic and wire, embroider photographs and computer discs, sew with cassette tape — that sort of thing. The themes and images I like to work with most have to do with intersections of technology, gender, and nature. Often my process begins with a book I’m reading or a new technique I learn about, and a project will evolve out of that.
Do you have a favorite portrait in the history of art? Why?
CS: Romaine Brooks’ 1923 self-portrait is one of my top favorites. I love that there are more noticeable brushstrokes in the background than in most of the figure, and the subtle intensity in her face.
Not yet titled – Embroidery on silver gelatin print (2011)
What is your favorite feature of the human face? Why?
CS: The mouth. It shows a lot about a person.
In haiku or limerick form, how did you become an artist?
CS: I really tried to write my own, but apparently there’s a good reason I’m an artist instead of a poet. Instead I’m giving you a limerick I like, written by Graham Lester:
Said X (a Cartesian coordinate)
To Y, “Damn this graph! We’re both boredinate.
Would another dimension Help break up the tension?
Or would we be just overawedinate?”