DISTORTING BARRIERS FEATURED ARTIST / TOOBZ THE WORK OF LOCAL ARTIST / CHAD TRENT student spotlight / VWCC a look inside / exclamations
J U N E 2012 / I S S U E 1
Regional Arts & Cultural Calendar Classes & Workshop Listings Local Artist Directory Organizational Directories
Looney Tunes Cartoon Summer! (the Friday show repeats on Saturday)
Friendship Retirement Presents
June 15 & 16, 22 & 23, 29 & 30 July 6 & 7, 20 & 21, 27 & 28 August 3 & 4, 17 & 18, 24 & 25 Free!
The Classic Film Series the 2nd
Midnight Films · $5
July 14 · The Unsinkable Molly Brown
June 23 · Reservoir Dogs July 21 · Jaws August 18 · Napoleon Dynamite
August 11 · Ma & Pa Kettle Go to Town
Saturday of every month! June 9 · Sunset Boulevard
Roanoke’s only non-profit, historic, independent cinema palace featuring the finest in arthouse, documentary, foreign, first run, and children’s films. EXPERIENCE THE GRANDIN! 1310 Grandin Road www.grandintheatre.com
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
Created by artists to support the arts. Created for artists and supporters of the arts.
VIA NOKE magazine, a free monthly publication, was created to be a reflection of our local art community but also of our community as a whole. As visual artists, we believe the arts and all they have to offer should be available to everyone. Visually inspired art is a form of communication that is universally understood by people of all walks of life. Photo by Patty Qu i l t e r
VIA Noke Magazine is the brainchild of graphic designers Emily Sibitzky and Chelsea Brandt, both graduates of Radford University’s graphic design program with Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. Emily and Chelsea are co-owners and founders of Desired Hype Design LLC established in February 2012.
OUR MISSION AS DESIGNERS we both share a mutual love for publi-
cation design and the arts. Although we recognize the advantages of modern technology, we passionately believe that the impact of print media is too valuable to become obsolete.
THE NAME VIA is an acronym for “Visually Inspired
Art” and also refers to how we want to be a source of information and communication between members of the creative community and those who are searching for avenues in which to become more involved. “Noke” is a slang nickname for our beloved city and is commonly used among the millennial generation throughout the region. In essence, we aspire to be a designated source for discovering visual art in Roanoke through this medium.
By bringing VIA Noke to life we are putting the arts directly into peoples’ hands, giving them a new opportunity to connect with the creative community that surrounds them. Our goal is to provide a designated source to open up communication between different types of artists so they can learn more about one another and hopefully begin collaborating. EACH ISSUE will feature local artists, ranging from high school and college students all the way up to professional working artists. We want VIA Noke to serve as a voice for the artists and a way for the community to get to know them. To share the artists’ ideas, processes, and inspiration is our main goal. Readers should close the last page with more knowledge about the art community surrounding them and hopefully have the urge to either become a part of it or support it like never before.
ta b l e o f C O N T E N T s
created, designed, and owned by Chelsea Brandt and Emily Sibitzky co-owners of Desired Hype Design, LLC
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CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS Toobz, Chad Trent, Eddie Resnick, Jordan Poole, Amanda Agricola, and Mateo Marquez
FEATURED ARTIST Page 24
COVER PHOTO: Manipulation of a photo taken by Patty Quilter. Mural by Toobz in alley beside Wilson Hughes Gallery on Campbell Avenue.
LOCAL HAPPENINGS 8 - Pecha Kucha COLLEGE SPOTLIGHT 10 - Eddie Resnick 12 - Jordan Poole PERFORMING ARTS 14 - Samantha Macher
VIA Noke magazine is published by Desired Hyped Design, LLC. It is a free publication printed monthly ÂŠCopyright 2012 Desired Hype Design LLC Reproduction without permission is prohibited. All Rights Reserved. Printed locally by Chocklett Press
LOCAL ARTIST 18 - Chad Trent A LOOK INSIDE 21 - exclamations
JUNE THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR SAYING “THERE’S NOTHING TO DO AROUND HERE.” WITH LIVE MUSIC EVERY WEEK AND FESTIVALS AROUND EVERY CORNER, JUNE IS SURE TO ENTERTAIN.
KIRK AVENUE MUSIC HALL 22 KIRK AVE, DOWNTOWN ROANOKE
1 • CARBON LEAF & DELTA RAE • 5PM
2 • WILL HOGE & ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO • 3PM 7 • WOODY PINES • 7:30PM 8 • WEBB WILDER • 8PM 9 • ELIZABETH COOK & TIM CARROLL • 8PM 10 • PAUL THORN • 7:30PM 21 • DAVID WILCOX • 7:30PM 23 • JONATHAN BYRD BAND • 8PM
NO SHAME THEATR E @ MILL MTN THEATR E 20 CHURCH AVE SE DOWNTOWN ROANOK E 1 • 8 • 15 • 22 @ 11PM
FIDDLE FEST HOLLINS UNIVERSITY 8 & 9 • 10AM - 10PM
ONCE THIS MONTH:
1 • ART BY NIGHT • DOWNTOWN ROANOKE
2 • “SOWING SEEDS” @ LIMINAL: ALTERNATIVE ARTSPACE
2 • RSO ROCKS: THE MUSIC OF QUEEN @ SALEM CIVIC CENTER 7 • ADVENTURES IN PHOTOGRAPHY: THERAPEUTIC RECREATION
SERVICES OF THE ROANOKE VALLEY @ O. WINSON LINK MUSE
16 • NAPOLI BALLET @ JEFFERSON CENTER
16 • BIG LICK CONSPIRACY @ MILL MOUNTAIN THEATRE
23 • BURNT CREATIVE MARKET @ BLACKSBURG FARMERS MARKET
23 • “RESERVOIR DOGS” MIDNIGHT SHOWING @ GRANDIN THEATRE
NEW & ONGOING GALLERY SHOWS:
BIG LICK BOOM: A NEW INSTALLATION BY WAYNE WHITE @ TAUBMAN MUSEUM OF ART DOROTHEA LANGE’S AMERICA @ TAUBMAN MUSEUM OF ART FABERGÉ FROM THE HODGES FAMILY COLLECTION @ TAUBMAN MUSEUM OF ART ROBERTA MCGUIRE & DONNA RAMSEY NEVERS @ THE MARKET GALLERY MATT AMES @ LIMINAL ALTERNATIVE ARTSPACE AROUND ROANOKE SHOW @ GALLERY 108 MARK SHEPHEARD @ SIGNATURE 9 GALLERY SEASONS IN SALEM @ SALEM MUSEUM
PARTY IN THE PARK ELMWOOD PARK • DOWNTOWN ROANOK E 5:30PM - 8:30PM
SPECTACULAR SATURDAYS TAUBMAN MUSEUM OF ART 10AM - 5PM • FREE
7 • VOLTAGE BROTHERS
14 • CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD 21 • THE EMBERS
28 • LEGACY SOUL & MOTOWN REVIEW
29 • FRIDAY EDITION • SUPER HOLD • 80’S NIGHT TO THE NEW GIRL FROM THE FORMER MRS. ____: SOUND ADVICE TO MY HUSBAND’S NEW WIFE OR MISTRESS STUDIO ROANOKE • 30 CAMPBELL AVE SE, ROANOKE
20 - 23 @ 7PM • 24 @ 2PM • 27 - 30 @ 7PM • JULY 1 @ 2PM TURN TO PAGE 14 FOR MORE INFO
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE EVENTS LISTED HERE PLUS MANY MORE, VISIT THE ARTS COUNCIL OF THE BLUE RIDGE’S WEBSITE AT WWW.THEARTSCOUNCIL.ORG.
LO C A L H A P P E N I N G S
Telling your story in the 20 x 20 format After David Verde attended his first PechaKucha Night in Charleston, South Carolina last October, he knew he needed to bring the event to Southwest Virginia. “I have several friends down there who are very invalided with the event,” he explained. “It’s like a rock concert for $5. I had to bring one home to our area.”
David quickly contacted the global PechaKucha office in Tokyo to request to use the event trademark in Southwest Virginia. Two weeks later he was approved and the planning began to create a regional PechaKucha for the Roanoke and New River Valley region. “For such a small area, there are many groups of people trying to do good things, but it seems they have gotten into a rut of unintentionally exclusivity, making it hard Seven years ago architects Astrid Klein and Mark for others to get involved,” he says. “I also think Dytham of Tokyo, Japan created the first ever there is far more happening in our area outside of PechaKucha Night, a networking event where downtown Roanoke and Virginia Tech and peocreatives can come together to talk about their ple need to become aware of it somehow. Southprojects and endeavors. PechaKucha, a Japawest Virginia and especially the Roanoke and nese term for “chit chat,” serves as a great deNew River Valley need to scription of the presenta“Roanoke and New River Valley come more openly contion format, in which you need to become more openly nected. We’re too close show 20 slides, each for 20 seconds. The official connected. We’re too close to one to one another to think PechaKucha website another to think our communities our communities don’t effect one another.” states, “It’s a format that don’t effect one another.” makes presentations The event is now happening in over 500 cities concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid worldwide, and PechaKucha Night Southwest pace. PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun Virginia is growing right along with it. The first logatherings where creative people get together cal event, which took place this past February, and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday was organized and put on almost completely snaps - just about anything really.” Many people by David. “My wife helped out on the day of the have compared PechaKucha Night to TED Talks, event. If it weren’t for some of my personal friends but Klein and Dytham disagree. “TED is top and the presenters who came out to speak for down, PechaKucha is bottom up!”
(Top to bottom) DJ Harvest Blaque (Bryan Hancock), photo by John Park; Chelsea Brandt and Emily Sibitzky, photo by Patty Quilter; Jeanie Patterson (Owner of the Daily Grind), photo by John Park; Lousie Wade (Miss Virginia Senior 2011), photo by John Park.
Pecha Kucha logo (left) used with permission of Klein Dytham.
the first night, it wouldn’t have been able to happen. It was a group effort, which is the whole idea behind PechaKucha, I think.” Thankfully, David no longer has to run the show alone. “I now have a growing team of incredibly motivated and talented individuals who believe in PechaKucha’s mission.” A variety of topics were presented at the first and second PechaKucha Nights, both of which took place in downtown Roanoke. Presenters ranged from Erica Mason of Hired Guns discussing “20 Steps to Creative Success” to 13-year-old Jacob Wynn excitedly explaining the rules and terrain of Christiansburg’s Wolf’s Ridge Paintball. In fact, the diversity in subject matter is what makes each PKN so great. “Good PechaKucha presentations are the ones that uncover the unexpected, unexpected talent, unexpected ideas,” the website reads. “Some PechaKuchas tell great stories about a project or a trip. Some are incredibly personal, some are incredibly funny, but all are very different making each PechaKucha Night like ‘a box of chocolates’.” David’s mission for the Southwest Virginia chapter of PK is clear: “I want PechaKucha to become the first thing people think of when it comes to where to find out what incredible things people are doing and things happening in our area. PechaKucha belongs to each town and city in SWVA, each presenter past present or future, every sponsor, every person who attends, and people who don’t know about it yet. If people take ownership for PechaKucha, in turn I hope they will take ownership of the community they live in and its neighboring communities. Ownership is how communities grow and flourish.” PechaKucha Night #3 is tentatively set for Wednesday, July 18 and will take place in Blacksburg or Christiansburg. Visit pechakucharoanoke.blogspot.com to keep up with the local chapter and to learn details as they become available. PKSWVA can also be found on Facebook. Visit http://www.pecha-kucha.org/ to learn more about PechaKucha.
c o l l e g e s pot l ig h t
EDDIE RESNICK AGE: 19 YEARS OLD SCHOOL: VIRGINIA WESTERN MAJOR: COMMUNICATION DESIGN
OT H E R T I T L E
It takes little more than a glance to appreciate the detail that goes into Eddie Resnick’s illustrations. “That one took 52 hours,” he says, pointing out a detailed sketch of a lion as I flip through his portfolio. “The ball point pen takes me twice as long.” He starts each piece with a sketch which he then goes over with a Micron, finishing some of them with colorful FaberCastell India ink. “I work on them when I get bored at work, if no one is there.” Eddie’s interest in illustration started when he was in elementary school and he has been doing it ever since. “A friend and I were in a contest to draw the owl for the front page of the yearbook for our grade. He told them that I cheated, so I didn’t get chosen. So I was like, ‘I’m going to beat this kid. I’m going to get better than this kid if it takes me my entire life.’ I think that’s what started that.” And his competitiveness didn’t stop there. Two years into his college education, Eddie is waiting to hear if he has been accepted into VCU’s highly-competitive illustration program. “[It] would be a great opportunity. They’re fourth in the nation right now.” He is hoping to make the move to Richmond with a friend and to possibly start a t-shirt design company in the future. While many of his pieces are of animals, the trend is not intentional. “I do like animals, but it’s just whatever I feel like drawing. Anything that I feel I can portray on paper, I try to do. A lot of it is imagination based. It should be what you can think of, and what your capabilities are.” Lion
c o l l e g e s pot l ig h t
Jordan Poole SCHOOL : VIRGINIA WESTERN MAJOR : COMMUNICATION DESIGN Jordan Poole has been as artist as long as he can remember. His work ranges from still life studies and portraiture to conceptual pieces inspired by social issues. His choices of medium are just as varied. “I have no single medium that I prefer to work with. I believe it is important to understand art as multifaceted and through a variety of study and mediums I can enhance that understanding.” “I am inspired by nearly every movement in art and each new view. I have recently become inspired by Joyce Faulknor, and Jesi Pace Berkley, and I will always find inspiration in the works of Jackson Pollock and my father David Poole. My inspiration is ever differing. I will see something that will spark a train of thought and usually my art will be its conclusion, and each is significantly different, but occasionally I will continue to produce from a single thought.” Jordan also finds inspiration in music. “I think that art and music share similar aesthetic qualities in beauty and the way they deliver messages. I believe I am motivated by music and art similarly.” After his time at Western, Jordan plans to attend the Douglas Education Center for Tom Savini’s Special Makeup Effects program. His dream is to work as a prosthetic makeup artist for the film industry creating special makeup effects. Additionally, he says he plans to continue his fine art exploration. “I am always willing to sell any of my artwork to someone who appreciates it, along with accepting commissions for beautiful new endeavors.” Left: “Star Man,” watercolor and guache. Right, top to bottom: “Green Pitcher,” oil on canvas; “Jimi,” watercolor; “Orage Still Life,” oil on canvas.
N A M E O F PA G E H E R E
POSTER DESIGN BY SUSANA HERNANDEZ
P E R FO R M I N G A RTS
Samantha Macher Samantha Macher’s play To the New Girl from the Former Mrs. ___: Sound Advice to My Husband’s New Wife or Mistress is coming to Studio Roanoke this month. We contacted Samantha to get to know her a bit and to find out what inspires her work as a playwriter.
Summarize To the New Girl for someone who knows nothing about it yet. “To the New Girl” is a ten-woman monologue show in which women in relationships give advice on the proper care and feeding of their former spouse to their mistresses.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? Where did you attend college and what did you study there?
I am originally from Long Island, New York, but moved to Northern Virginia when I was young. I went to the University of Virginia for undergrad, where I got my degree in Religious Studies and Philosophy. Then I went to Hollins University to attend their MFA Playwriting program.
How did you get into professional play writing? I have always been a writer of sorts. As a kid I would write short stories and turn them into books, and as I got older I would write poems and songs, and eventually, I started writing plays because I really enjoyed writing dialogue. I got into professional playwriting because I always felt like I had a story to tell, and in my opinion, there’s no better way to really reach the audience for it then through live theater. There’s nothing like it in the world! I’m so glad I got the opportunity to be a part of the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University to hone my craft, and give me the contacts I needed to go be a playwright in the real world.
How many plays have you written and how many of them have been performed on stage? I have written seven full-length plays and probably between fifteen and twenty completed ten-minute to one-act plays. I have had the great honor of having four of my full-length plays performed in theaters across the country, namely SkyPilot Theatre in Los Angeles, Hell-Tro Theatre collective in Brooklyn, and at Mill Mountain Theater in Roanoke and Playwrights Horizons 440 Studios in Manhattan in collaboration with the New Works Initiative through the Playwrights Lab at Hollins University. I have also had a few of my ten-minute plays performed in Los Angeles and Manhattan as well.
P E R FO R M I N G A RTS
How many times has To the New Girl been performed, and how did Studio Roanoke get their hands on it? This play has had one LA production and a workshop production in New York. I think the play was chosen for Studio Roanoke in part because they have always championed new works from new artists, but also because it was originally written to be performed in the same season as Jeff Goode’s The Emancipation of Alabaster McGill which had it’s east coast debut this February at Studio Roanoke. Back in 2010 at SkyPilot Theatre in Los Angeles, where both Jeff and I are Playwrights-inResidence, “Alabaster” had already been chosen for an already male-heavy season of shows. Jeff Goode and Bob Rusch, our Artistic Director, approached the women playwrights in the company and asked us to each write a play that could solve the gender parity problem that faced the 2011 season. I was already inspired to write the show, so I quickly finished the script and turned it in. It was chosen soon thereafter and served to create a more balanced, equal season that featured the talents of our actors of both genders.
How long did it take you to write this play? It took me about two months to write the first draft, but then it had several readings, two productions and about a thousand rewrites to get to the draft we’re working with today. Honestly though, I’m never really done with a script. Until someone tells me to stop, I’ll probably always be making minor cuts, edits, and rewrites.
What is the main source of inspiration for your plays? Cliché though it is, “The Triumph of the Human Spirit” is probably my biggest inspiration. It covers everything from Love to War (two topics I write about often), and also allows me to create wellrounded, interesting characters for actors to play. I also tend to write a lot about women, in part because of personal experience, but also because I love to see strong female characters represented in the arts, especially in theater.
Was there a single event or idea that inspired To the New Girl? I plead the fifth.
Is To the New Girl family friendly? I would not suggest bringing the little ones along. I have written plays for younger audiences, this ain’t one of them!
Where to see it:
Studio Roanoke, 30 Campbell Ave SW, Roanoke WHEN: June 20 - July 1, Wed - Sat 8pm, Sundays at 2pm TICKETS: $15 ($12 students, seniors, and active military) www.studioroanoke.com or call (540)343-3054
LO C A L A RT I ST
TRENT AFTER introducing himself, Chad opened his black carrying case to reveal a colorful display of his work. Inside were glass marbles and pendants containing tiny galaxies of twisting colors and shapes, some enveloping small pieces of opal.
melt it down, make it solid, and then add colors around it and build it up. When it’s finished it’s actually twice this size. I have a grinding machine that I use to grind off the front half which reveals down to the clear glass.”
Chad has always been fascinated by glass. “You go to Williamsburg and you see them working in the furnaces, but I never really knew much about [the process].” While shopping around for different beads, Chad and his wife began to notice the differences in quality and features of glass pendants. After seeing an advertisement for a glassworks show that was coming to Philadelphia, they decided to go and attended a lampworking class. “We liked it so much that we went out of the class, bought a torch, bought a kiln, bought a bunch of glass, and we’ve been working ever since.”
To achieve the metallic rainbow effect he uses dichroic glass, a special type of glass created by NASA that contains various metals and oxides. “When you look at dichroic glass before you use it, it doesn’t look anything like this; it just looks like glass that has a little bit of a tint to it. When you get it hot and twist it the coating breaks up and splinters and makes these patterns.”
“Most of my pieces are about ninety percent clear glass. While it’s hot I do what’s called fuming; I take a piece of fine silver or 22-carat gold and put it in the flame and it vaporizes.” The fumes collect on the glass creating the various colors you see inside of a piece. He held up a flat pendant with an opal inside. “Something like this starts out as just a clear, hollow tube and I drop the opal down inside it,
LO C A L A RT I ST
When we asked how he planned out a piece he was about to create, he explained that it was much more complicated than that. “When I first started I used to make things just to see what would come out, but now I know that if I combine [a certain] color with [a certain] technique, I have a pretty good idea of what the result will be. I have the advantage that I can work with much more detail that the furnace workers can, but they can work a lot larger than I can.” “With dichroic glass, you can’t always tell in raw form what color the finished piece is going to be.” He picked up two distinctly different pendants to demonstrate his point. “This one and this one came off the same sheet of glass. It just depends on where the chemicals are on the glass, because there could be different ratios of metals on different parts of the sheet. So sometimes I’ll work on it and let it cool a little bit to see what color it’s going to be. But glass doesn’t like to heat up and then cool down quickly. This glass likes to either be at room temperature or completely molten and nowhere in between, so you have to really watch it.” “Just educating the buyer” he says, is “part of the struggle.” Before meeting with Chad, many people do not understand the materials, process, and hard work that goes into making each piece. “I have a daughter who is really Dichroic glass, of “fusion glass” is new type of glass bead or gem that is made from techniques that were developed by NASA, as part of their research for the space program. The name relates to the effect of dichroism, which causes the glass to change colors when viewed from different angles. Dichroism also causes a rainbow effect on the glass surface. The dichroic effect is created on the “base glass” by depositing thin film layers of metal oxides such as cobalt, magnesium, silicon and titanium. By combining different types of base glass in the form of powders, confetti, or noodles, a layering effect takes place making each piece a unique creation. Definition via www.allaboutgemstones.com
into art and I’m trying to educate her on why art costs what it does. Some of these probably only have about $5 worth of glass in them, but I have [put in] two hours worth of work. Somebody asked me once at a show, “How long does it take you to do something like this?” I said, “Well, it takes about two hours and eight years,” because I’ve been working for eight years to get to this point.” If you are interested in seeing more of Chad’s work, you can find it at Gallery 108 in Downtown Roanoke, A Little Bit Hippy at Towers Mall, and The Little Gallery at Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta.
N A M E O F PA G E H E R E
OT H E R T I T L E
A LOOK INSIDE
The new contemporary artspace downtown that you should know about PHOTO: “Untitled” series of paper triangles, 3D projection mapping. Mateo Marquez photo by: Mateo Marquez
LO C A L S P OT L I G H T
Amanda Agricola in her studio space (left); C. Mehrl Bennett giving a Fluxus performance, photo by tsubasa berg (top); Rezzie and Bryan Kurkimilis with projections by Saturn Sheets, photo by Amanda (bottom).
Tucked into the corner of Market Square in downtown Roanoke is the entrance to exclamations, a fairly new space that remains to be discovered by many locals. I met Mateo Marquez one afternoon in April for a tour of exclamations and was surprised by what I found inside. The spacious rooms I entered were welcoming, with worn wooden floors, high ceilings, and large windows overlooking the market. The empty white walls serve as the perfect blank canvas for things to come. Pieces of sculptures in progress were scattered across the floor in one room; a lounge area had been created in another. “It can be anything we want it to be,” he tells me, reclining on a couch under the window, watching people pass by on the street below. Chelsea arrived and we followed Mateo down a long hallway lined with doors along the left side. Originally thinking that the space was primarily for exhibitions, I was surprised to find that these smaller rooms were meant to be studio spaces. “We only have two rented out right now,” he told us, explaining that he and his partner, Amanda Agricola, were still seeking artists to fill the other spaces. In November of last year Mateo, a contemporary artist who works in multimedia and projection, and Amanda, a contemporary sculpture artist who also works in multimedia, decided to
create a unique space in the heart of downtown to exhibit their work. Soon after, they expanded their mission and began working to provide studio and exhibition space for other local contemporary artists. “At first we decided to have a personal show,” Mateo explained, “but once we got involved with the Marginal Arts Festival it turned into something else.” The Marginal Arts Festival is an annual multi-day and multilocation event held towards the beginning of each year. Their exhibition for this event included performance artists, musicians, installation pieces, large-scale paintings, sculptures, poetry, and other visual art, exhibiting the works of artists from Roanoke to Germany. Amanda seemed to still be in disbelief over the crowd that the festival brought into exclamations. “We had over a hundred people in here. Maybe close to two hundred.” Their website states, “exclamations takes an open minded approach in defining ar-
LO C A L S P OT L I G H T
Decomposition of QR CODE by Amanda Agricola and Mateo Marquez, photo by Amanda (top); Olchar Lindsann performing Somasemia: Poems Wearing Meat-Suits, photo by tsubasa berg (bottom); Mateo Marquez in his studo space (right).
tistic practices – the movement and use of the body as a tool of expression, the making and sharing of foods, contemplations and conversations on texts of old and new – there is space in exclamations to exceed boundaries, cross disciplines, and redefine ideas of art.” On May 2nd exclamations was presented with the Perry F. Kendig Award for Outstanding Emerging Arts Organization by The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge. When asked about the award, Mateo said, “It was great because we worked really hard doing this and we appreciate that recognition.” They hope such recognition will bring awareness to what they are doing with exclamations and will encourage other artists to get involved or have shows there. “The same artists and the same people have been around in Downtown Roanoke for years. Something we’re trying to do is give an opportunity for new people to get recognition.”
“The main thing we want to do is have a nice space to offer for anybody to use. We want to have weekly shows here,” Mateo explained, adding that other shows they’ve had in the past have included various types of artwork and live music. “We can use this space to host parties. Bring your artwork and hang it on the walls. Bring your friends. I honestly don’t like going out to the bars around here but I would like to come to a place like this. You can have some drinks, you can put up art, have nice music... just whatever. Everyone is welcome.” Anyone who is interested in showing an exhibition of their work should contact the duo. As their website says; “If you are in need of a working space, please contact us. Because we are artists too, and we know how hard it is to find a nice working studio, our prices are accessible.” exclamations is located at 206 Market Square in Downtown Roanoke (above 202 Market) and can also be found on Facebook -Emily Sibitzky and online at www.spaceexclamations.com. Want to help support exclamations? Mateo and Amanda will be running a Kickstarter campaign during the month of June to help raise operating funds. Keep an eye on their Facebook page and website for more information.
N A M E O F PA G E H E R E
Distorting Ba rr ers OT H E R T I T L E
DISTORTING BARRIERS A look inside the evolution and distortion of local artist Toobz “Ann won”/ Spray paint / 2011
Upon returning to the Roanoke area after leaving a skateboarding career behind in California, Toobz Noel was eager to find his niche without succubming to a traditional nine-to-five lifestyle. Influenced by breakdancing and hip hop culture from the West Coast, he easily gravitated towards graffiti and other forms of visual art. As his talents evolved Toobz discovered the fine artist within himself and began honing in on the psychological aspects of his work. We were excited to meet with Toobz and hear his story, learn about his process, and find out what influences his pieces. - - - - - - - - - - - - “Modern Living” Oil /2011
VIA: Tell us how you got started in the arts. What led you to where you are today?
TOOBZ: I started skateboarding in 1988 and thought it was something I was
going to do forever. My family wasn’t too supportive, so I ended up doing a lot of it myself. I decided it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was after I was sponsored and moved out to California. There was no future to it; I was trying to get a grip on where it was going. I didn’t think that art was something I was going to do. About 6-7 years ago was when I started doing it seriously. I understood the process by trial and error, just by watching and deciphering other peoples’ work. Juggling a family and this lifestyle I’m trying to achieve has been really hard. But all of a sudden I got laid off a few months ago, which has been the best thing. All of a sudden I had a guy contact me who just told me, “I’m going to manage you.” So now I’m working on the Beastie Boys album, I’m working on a Chung King album. Just this year I’ve had around 12 interviews. I’ve even had people from Germany interview me. How do people know me and I don’t know them?
VIA: What is it like working with graffiti as your primary style of painting?
TOOBZ: The street art thing is really huge right now, more so than graffiti, but
graffiti has been around since the beginning of man. People have been writing on cave walls for thousands of years but it’s just now getting accepted, which is weird. All of a sudden it’s “really cool,” but that’s a good thing for me. Let’s bring the art out of the galleries and out onto the streets where the people are. It’s not like we want to deface and vandalize. A wall to me is more of a disruption to what we see; it’s such a barrier. How many times do you sit and look at a mural and say, “Gosh, I can’t wait to get around this.” You want to just sit there, stare at it, and absorb it. So instead, when a wall is blank, all you have on your mind is to get around it, to go around the corner. [People] look at vandalism as you writing on something. Well, what about the vandalism of tearing up nature and putting a building there? I mean, what is more detrimental to nature than tearing it up and putting something man-made there? A square building that puts pollution into the air to make profit, that’s vandalism to me. Throwing oil into the ocean, that’s vandalism. Who goes to jail for that? But if you tag something you’ll go to jail. It’s crazy. I don’t get that part.
For right now, art is finding a new wave and evolution, especially with the whole street art thing because people are collaborating more. What’s sad is that it started here [the East Coast], New York, the whole hip hop culture, and then it went out to the West Coast. But now it’s coming back and it’s sort of like we’re late bloomers on it. How can it start and then just diminish? But things change and maybe it had to leave to start fresh and get new influence from them.
VIA: Tell us more about your process. What inspires your work?
TOOBZ: My father had a calcium deficiency when he was
born; he had a lack of calcium in his face. They took several of his ribs out and they reconstructed his face. So I’ve grown up looking at distortion my whole life and it’s something I incorporate into my paintings constantly. I guess it’s something I feel comfortable with and has to do with him being my father, with feeling safe. Slanting, obscuring, and distorting images are one of my favorite things to do. I love to stretch and pull and I do this without Photoshop; I just look at a face and I can pull it down and stretch it in my mind. I take what we see as “perfect people” and do that to them because it is still beautiful in a sense, to me; a “beautiful decay” type of thing. I just find beauty in the grotesque sometimes, or what people see as grotesque, but I don’t see it that way. I have a somewhat photographic memory. I’ll look at something and study it and imagine how I could distort it. Then I’ll take this ear that I’ve been studying and incorporate it into something else and it just works. I don’t know why. I guess because we’re all pretty much connected. And I just realized that I do this, in relation to my father, about four months ago. Everything I do is very psychological because I don’t know any other way to do it. I just find that I can convey my messages like that. I’m a perfectionist, but I’m a sloppy perfectionist. I think that’s one reason I do the distortions because there’s no one true way of doing it; as long as everything looks clean it doesn’t have to be in proportion.
VIA: How has your work evolved since you first started painting?
TOOBZ: I’m just a graffiti artist who has turned into more of
a fine artist with a spray can, and I find that it is more appealing to the route that I’m trying to go. I used to do letters and silly characters but when I started getting more into realism I really enjoyed doing that kind of work, especially with the distortion and seeing that come alive. I like to let my work evolve when I’m creating it. I’m doing some pieces right now with charcoal and I’ve invented certain tools, like makeshift brushes, that give a certain effect. Happy accidents happen and the work starts to just grow out of that wrinkle and I decide it’s just going to be more organic. Even if I have a reference my work grows into something. I mean, think about life, what’s exact about that? I don’t find things exciting that already exist. I don’t like it when people do portraits of a photograph that look just like the photograph. That’s very skilled, yes, but where is that one percent of you? (cont.)
“Living Somewhere” Oil /2011 - - - - - - - - - - - -
F E AT U R E D A R T I S T
VIA: Do you always work with spray paint or do you incorporate other mediums into your work?
TOOBZ: There are certain mediums that take
the physical effort of doing things instead of taking a picture of something, blowing it up big and pasting it on a wall. That is a form of communication, which is just fine, but say somebody grows up learning all of these different instruments, becomes a really good musician and then someone just sits down in front of a computer, with a machine, composes a bunch of music, and makes millions out of it. You know, there’s a difference to that. It’s the blood, sweat, and tears versus the overnight success. I have been experimenting with different mediums. Right now I’m working with charcoal. I used to not like getting messy but now I don’t mind my fingers getting involved and making it organic. Being a part of the paper, feeling and touching it, the face feels much more real and I feel like I’m even more of a part of it with my oils and my fingers as a part of it. It’s really cool. There are different types of paints that I use. There are a ton of different graffiti companies right now making different spray paints. I buy it from Barcelona, Italy, Germany, and Canada. They all make top-quality paints for graffiti artists. People think, “oh, just go to Wal-Mart, buy some [spray paint],” but it’s like every other artist; they like their Winsor and Newton or Grumbacher types of paints, and now graffiti has its own line of paints with an array of colors. It’s incredible, you just get to go nuts over it.
VIA: How do you choose your color palette?
I’m colorblind; I have a problem with secondary and tertiary colors. Primary colors I can see, like a true blue or yellow, but if it’s mauve, grey, tan, or lime... in-between colors like that are hard to see. So I’ll pull a picture into Photoshop, put it in black and white, and then look at the shades because it’s so much easier for me to identify with the shades when I can see the contrasts. I can’t see hard contrasts unless it’s in black and white. So then I just use colors that are the same tone as the dark parts of the face and I
Opposite page: (Top) “She had me at first sight,” Spray paint, 2011; (Bottom) “I sock it,” Spray paint, 2010. This page: (Left) Toobz working in his home, 2011, photo by Emily Sibitzky; (Right) “Building my own litte ghost town,” graphite, 2011.
use the same colors of the same tone as the lightest part. I’m using multiple colors but I don’t even know what they are; as long as I see that they’re close to that scale that’s how I come up with my variations of colors.
VIA: Do you usually have any specific goals in mind when you start a new piece? TOOBZ: My main goal is just to paint. There are so many different people with different tastes in all walks of
life. Why narrow it down and make them think one way? It’s so much more about me and the subject matter that I’ve chose. I have much more of a connection with the subject matter; it really is exciting. It’s like meeting a new person, especially when you create it. And you really get to know this person, because you created them, and for that one little moment you’re almost like God, because you created this for people to see. There is that one percent of me that is put into the process, the heart, and the image itself. The color choice, perspective, and the balance of everything… that is me.
I V Excuse our smallness!
We know that our f irst issue is pretty thin… but you have to admit, it was a lot to do between just the two of us! Our goal for future issues is to include more local artists, feature high school students, and include other articles and reviews. We’d also love your input; send us “Letters to the Editors,” comments and suggestions, and even artist or event recommendations. Part of VIA Noke’s mission is to be community driven and we can’t do that without you.
There are so many people that we want to thank for helping us make VIA Noke a reality! So here goes...
Thank you to our families for being so supportive, especially
Daniel Sibitzky and Patty Quilter. Thank you to Tom Tanner at the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce for helping us start our business. Thank you to Brian Counihan for encouraging us
to just go for it. And thanks to our bosses for cooperating with scheduling and constant exhaustion.
A special thank you also goes out to everyone who f inancially
supported us through our Kickstarter campaign: Katherine & Blake Jackson, Maureen & Brian Slotnick, Vince Hitt, Diana van Luunen, Nikki Pynn, Patty Quilter, Cindy & Scott Ernst, Bruce
Houghton, Tom Tielking, Rachel Heimerdinger, River Laker, Amie Stepanovich, Ken Smith, Chris Ernst, Kenny & Peggy Redmond,
Shawn Quilter, Dave & Marcia Quilter, David & Lisa Sibitzky, Kevin Irwin, John & Nicole Mueller, Zach Ulmer, Michelle Shepherd, Stephen Kissel, Matt O’Malley & Tara Milligan, David Bernal, Dean Browell, & Vintage Living Magazine.
A I E Artists!
Are you participating in an event or show that you think our readers would be interested in? If you know of anything exciting that is happening in the art world, please give us a heads up. We may want to feature an article on that event or group, or figure out some way in which we can help make things happen. You never know who we may have talked to who is looking to get something started but just needs “this one thing.” You may be the one thing they need!
Students! Want to be published?
Don’t be shy! We’d love to know all about you and your work. What started your interest in the arts? What inspires your work? Where do you see yourself as an artist in five years? (Do you see yourself as an artist in five years?)
Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the word “student” as the subject. You can visit us at vianoke.com to f ind out more.
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The first issue of VIA Noke Magazine, Roanoke, Virginia's first visual arts publication. Featuring Toobz June 2012
Published on May 31, 2012
The first issue of VIA Noke Magazine, Roanoke, Virginia's first visual arts publication. Featuring Toobz June 2012