Your Day Job - Make It Work For YOU

If you know me then you know that over the past few years I have been consumed by my work, working for small locally owned businesses in Portland, OR, all with less than 15 employees. A ceramic tile company, a cement casting art studio and a Makerspace Fabrication Shop.

It has been an incredible adventure so far in the world of making. When you work at a small company you have the opportunity to wear many hats and to gain some incredible experiences. I have allowed my job to be a huge part of my identity, I am trying to adjust this to being more in line with passion as purpose. I am a maker. When someone asks me what specific process or material I use I am always surprised by this question, that is the best thing about being a maker! The materials and processes are limitless, I can work with metal, wood, cement, light, sound, computers, paper, ink. 

The main point is to figure out what your passion is, it can have many paths and tendrils (like my obsession with various processes and mediums), and commit. There are people less qualified than you, doing the things you want to do, simply because they decided to believe in themselves. 

"It does not do well to dwell on dreams, and forget to live." A.D.

Guidelines

I have a few rules (or guidelines) about what kind of day job I'll take:

  • I am always learning.
  • It fosters a positive environment.
  • It is related to my field.
  • There is balance.

Learning

I want to be moving forward and keep growing! I think we all need this in every aspect of our lives, to continue to learn processes and grow in our relationships with friends, co-workers, family and ourselves. 

Positive

I commit 110% and I spend most of my waking life at work, I need it to be a place I want be to each day. Optimism is a huge part of my identity, when I am surrounded by negativity I lose my sense of purpose. We have the right to a positive and supportive work environment because we deserve joy!

"Employees give their valuable energy and time to the company.
If they are not given the opportunity to serve the company by working effectively, there can be no joy.
For the company to deny that opportunity is to be against the principle of respect for humanity.
People’s sense of value cannot be satisfied unless they know they are doing something worthwhile.”

Taiichi Ohno
Industrial Engineer, Toyota
Father of Lean
1912-1990

Making

Am I making things? Yes. Cool!

What is your field or passion?

"Things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling." Fabienne Fredrickson

"I would rather die of passion than boredom." Vincent Van Gough 

Is your dream to run a coffee shop? Then find a job as a barista. It is essential to understand every part of the business from the bottom up. Too often I see folks who start companies and are so high up they can't see where the actual work gets done. It is a lean concept, that when you remove yourself from a position or a process that you aren't performing every day then you are no longer the expert. Trust your team and employees, learn from them! 

Balance

This is a new one, I'm terrible at making time for myself, self care or my studio practice. This year's theme is balance.

"Some days are for eating salad and doing yoga, other days are for eating cupcakes and refusing to put on pants, it's called balance."

It has been quite a while since I've completed a body of work. I finally did it in January! It didn't come out quite as well as I wanted because I wasn't able to give it the time it deserved. The show was titled "Ever the Optimist" and ironically, during install I did not feel super optimistic or proud of how it came out. Once I was at the opening my friends and peers convinced me that I'd done well and that this was a step in the right direction. I could take pride in the fact that I had made something, I learned from it. I had worked several hours of overtime at my job in the weeks before, but I'd made it! 

It's all about making mistakes and learning from them. Or in lean, to learn how to react and be nimble in the face of reality so that when problems arise we can be ready to dodge and adjust as we need to. 

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You can do it! 

If you find yourself stuck, seek out someone in that world or community. There are mentors everywhere, go to events, say hello and ask questions.

Visit places that are doing things similar to what you want to do and observe. Take notes on their processes, presentation and target demographic. 

Pay attention to businesses outside of your field, often times the best processes are borrowed from other fields. 

I hope that these guidelines help you plan a path to where you want to be. Go live it up and go make something! 

 

ANX GALLERY - FORM + ADX 2018 AIR RECIPIENT ANNOUNCED

Wow. We made an artist residency! 

It is amazing how connections and collaborations happen, during unexpected moments. I was on a tour with the ADX Fabrication Team checking out the incredible FORM studio and shop. We were blown away by their machines and talented team of sculptors, designers, and technicians. The 3D printers they use are designed for air and space technology, they use them for art! The 3D scanning technology is used to take an object so that they can create multiples, manipulate the details and scale. This is a place artists dream of, this is a place I would dream of. We have been wanting to create an AIR program at ADX for a while but we have fallen short in certain resources, this was a chance to collaborate and create an incredible opportunity for a talented eager artist. Together we have made a residency we all wish we could attend! Perhaps that's the trick, to create opportunities that others wouldn't have otherwise and the platform to tell their story. It is an amazing honor to be a part of this project and to have the chance to work alongside FORM and with their incredible team.

I am thrilled to welcome Lisa Radon to the FORM + ADX Air pilot. During the AIR launch last week I was enthralled by her presentation where she touched on her approach to process, materials and concept. She spoke about her home, otherworldy inspirations, mine craft, sci-fi, our current political state of affairs and how she uses her work to rise and resist. Radon is a great fit for this pilot program and can help guide us through this experience as well, I have so much to learn! 

-Sam

 Viewport, 2017. white oak, 9’ x 9’ x 1/2″. Console, 2017. King Starboard marine plywood, bubble thermal insulation material, Project-O-Stand, selenite. 17” x 14” x 1-1/2”.  Photo courtesy: Et al. Gallery.

Viewport, 2017. white oak, 9’ x 9’ x 1/2″. Console, 2017. King Starboard marine plywood, bubble thermal insulation material, Project-O-Stand, selenite. 17” x 14” x 1-1/2”.

Photo courtesy: Et al. Gallery.

ADX Portland and Form are pleased to announce Lisa Radon, visual artist, writer and performance artist as the recipient of the 2018 FORM+ADX Artist-in-Residence (AiR.) Radon will receive resources, technology, and materials to explore new ideas, processes, and perspectives. This includes a 3-month workspace at Form with access to 3D digital process and printing, a 3-month ADX membership to work with various materials and equipment, and 1-month solo exhibition at ANX Gallery, which is housed at ADX.

FORM+ADX AiR was established through a partnership between Form and ADX. Form was founded on the idea that the newest advances in 3D technology could energize and elevate artists in new and exciting directions. ADX is a hub for collaboration where individuals and organizations make and learn. By sharing tools, knowledge, and experience, ADX believes in doing things better by working together. As such, this program is a first of its kind.

Lisa Radon has made exhibitions at the Portland Institute for Contemporary ArtPied-à-terre San FranciscoDitch Projects, Springfield, OR; Artspeak, Vancouver, B.C; and was included in Six Weeks at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle. Her books include The Blind Remembrance of the Swirling Bone, Infinity Increaser, The Plumb and The Wave, and Prototyping Eutopias. In 2016, she was in a two-woman exhibition at RONGWRONG, Amsterdam, and created a solo exhibition at Jupiter Woods, London. In 2017, Radon launched Atrium of the Sun, The World Wide Web/Disjecta and will present How Like Water for Panel/LA in Los Angeles, CA this coming year. Radon publishes the journal EIGHTS.

To learn more about FORM+ADX AiR please visit https://www.form.xyz/air

For more information or media inquiries, please contact:
Midori Hirose
Public Outreach Coordinator
midori@form.xyz

ANX Gallery - Ink + Press

ANX Gallery

Opening Reception: Feb 2nd, 6-9pm.

Exhibition Open: Feb 2nd – 25th. 

Portland Cider House

Dates: March 2nd-April 29th

Opening: March 8th, 7-9pm

Ink + Press is an exhibition featuring works in the print medium including screen printing, letterpress, bookbinding, intaglio, lithography and other various types of printmaking. 

This was an awesome show to host, with over 30 artists. This is the kind of show that makes me feel really lucky, since the gallery is attached to my office/woodshop I have the pleasure of spending time with the art in the gallery every day. 

Ever The Optimist - Reflections & Thank Yous

I am grateful to ADX for allowing me to have this show as well as to host and curate shows at the ANX Gallery. We have put on shows since last March and are coming up on a year! We are currently scheduled through June and have some awesome exhibitions coming up. I want to thank my amazing gallery team, Emily WobbJenna Lechner and Ray Naglar. Three badass babes who made this whole thing possible, I couldn't do it without them. 

I'd also like to acknowledge the one and only Kristen Crouch, my studio spirit animal, and the artist who helped me with the beautiful archival prints. As well as the incredible Richelle Thorpe who upholstered the glitch chair.  

I was so nervous about the artist talk but thanks to my genius and extremely talented friend, Lindsey Snell, it went extremely well. Instead of having a presentation format she suggested a discussion panel as an alternative. Emily Wobb and Lindsey Snell hosted and made the artist talk far more enjoyable and bearable for everyone. Thank you to Ellie Fisher of the Heebie Jeebie Babes Podcast for editing the sound on my artist talk which will be posted soon! 

And of course, my family. During my artist talk I was asked where I get my optimism. I have to say it is from my folks, I have the absolute best parents in the world who have always encouraged me in my passions and pursuits. My sister, Sabrina Rose Woolhiser who is also an artist, is my other half. She understands me unlike anyone ever will. All of my family has always helped me on my path, buying paintings and ordering commissions from me since 1999. Thank you aunties and uncles, your support means the world to me. 

Thank you to my Portland people who come to my gallery openings and listen to my woes and tales of the life of an artist. You are a trooper and a true friend. 

And lastly, thank you to the professors, teachers and mentors I have had the honor of working with. I still have so much to learn from you.

This show is about my how I've tried to navigate personal experiences as well as the changes that have been happening on a local and international scale. I made prints, blankets, paintings, a chair, clocks and sculptures. It was a weird show and it was a good way for me to get back into the studio, to try and balance that with work and the gallery. Initially I felt disappointed with how it turned out, ironically I was not optimistic about the opening. This made it even more difficult to show up and smile and talk about my work, but that is really what helped remind me that why I made the work in the first place. Just show up and keep making.

Dates: January 5-28th
Opening Reception: January 5th, 6-9pm
Artist Talk and Closing Reception: January 26th, 7pm

“Ever the Optimist is an exhibition of works that draw on my experiences and surroundings. I combine aerial landscapes and domestic objects through sculpture, photography, and installation to illustrate our connections with everything and everyone around us, as well as what they have to teach us.

Although positivity has always been a part of my identity, personal life changes and international events in the past few years have made it difficult for me to maintain my optimism. Only through making artwork and objects have I found any refuge – a way of life that can allow me to exist as both a realist and an optimist.” Sami Lee Woolhiser

New Work: "Lies I've Been Told: 'You Should Be Happy'"

I have already been accused of stretching the truth, of changing the context of the story. These artworks are not lies, the lies were the things that were said to me. I was told that my time wasn't valuable, whether or not they intended it to be a gender based comment, my experiences are colored and influenced by being a woman. These are the words that were said to me, one should take responsibility for their words and their actions. I assure you, I remember these words clearly. Ask any woman or gender minority person if they recall a specific moment when they were told they weren't important, or their time wasn't valuable or that they should not be allowed to make their own decisions. They will recall a specific, if not many, occurrences of this. In the words of our true goddess, Oprah,

"For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men.

But their time is up. Their time is up."

I am so grateful for the incredible pioneers of civil and equal rights for people of color, the LBGTQ community and for women. I am strong, but I can only dare to dream that I can be half as strong as any of these incredible activists. If I can channel even a fraction of their courage and honesty it will be worth it. That is why I am making these artworks and telling these stories, believe me, they hurt to tell.

 "Lies I've Been Told: 'You Should Be Happy'" 60x80",  Cotton Woven Blanket, 2017

"Lies I've Been Told: 'You Should Be Happy'" 60x80",  Cotton Woven Blanket, 2017

He made a decision that would affect our lives and informed me of it rather than pursing this decision together. I was told, "You should be happy when a good decision is made for you." That my opinion, didn't matter. That I should accept a decision that was made for me without complaint or protest. That I should not be allowed to make these decisions that will affect my life forever. 

I said "No." And I left. 

Why a blanket? Good question.

I have always had a strong love and connection with blankets as comfort objects. This is my attempt to reclaim the power of those words, to gain strength from them and to transform them into something for myself. I have been afraid to talk about these moments or to share these stories for fear of shame. The time is up for fear of speaking up is over. Me too. 

New Work: "Lies I've Been Told: 'My time is more valuable than your time' (His & Hers Clocks)"

This was the first artwork I've made since leaving school that has made me feel that I can make something meaningful, something that can help me express my fears and frustration while reclaiming a damaging moment and making myself strong again. 

 "Lies I've Been Told: 'My time is more valuable than your time' (His & Hers Clocks)  Walnut, Ash & Clock Components  2017

"Lies I've Been Told: 'My time is more valuable than your time' (His & Hers Clocks)

Walnut, Ash & Clock Components

2017

Many women can identify with this work, society expects us to play so many roles and wear so many hats. In my personal narrative, I worked full time, was a housekeeper, cooked, cleaned and did everything I could to help our lives move forward. My partner (fiance) at the time, worked hard but not necessarily harder than I did. The fact that he made 3-4 times as much money as I did gave him the right to make our major life decisions without me, because of his income he could control our purchases, our living situations and used it to berate me in our joint spending. He told me my time wasn't as valuable as his and that gave him the right to make choices for me.

On a side note, I am not a fan of his & hers monogrammed objects. Once I updated my Facebook status to "engaged" I received countless targeted advertisements concerning wedding products and dresses while he received none of the like. A year and a half after the end of that relationship, I still receive these ads. Society's idea that women are obsessed with weddings, marriage and commitment is ridiculous and frankly annoying. We are being asked to make less, spend more and accept small decreases in the wadge gap as victories. 

According to a study by the Joint Economic Committee women earn, on average, 79 cents for every dollar that men make. In the US this wage gap can drop as low as 35" in certain states. Women are also more likely to learn less if they are people of color or have children, whereas white men and men with children are more likely to earn more. 

The "Hers" clock is at 79%, a 21% difference that we are all painfully aware of. My goal to combine my personal narratives and domestic objects is to adapt their functionality. Clocks are timepieces that are made to bring order and to help us create a more systematic world, I would argue this is an object of comfort, the ability for us to track time gives order to our lifestyles. I think my attempt here is to reclaim these words and to address the notion that we set systems in place to protect us, though prejudice and inequality still prevail. Only when we can become comfortable with discussing these topics (not complacent) can we actually make change. 

ANX Gallery - Emily Wobb

Emily Wobb is one of the most inspiring emerging artists I have the honor of knowing and working with. She has a way of finding creative solutions for her ideas to make them a reality as well as a perseverance to reach across expectations and connects communities through her processes. Wobb illustrates concepts of suburbia and privilege in her processes of building, destruction, and rebuilding.  It takes courage to destroy a sculpture, to rip it apart and then to somehow make it into something new. She does this with things and objects as well as stereotypes and social constructs, she doesn't accept the way our society allows us to say, "oh, that's just the way it is." 

22 Floors is an incredible show that is a continuation of the Good Night series that spans over the past three years. I find her replica of the yard building particularly compelling. The Yard is an apartment building on the waterfront in Portland, OR, just a few miles away from the ANX Gallery. Wobb critiques our construct of suburbia by creating McMansion replicas, destroying them in a performance where she dragged them around with a rented Escalade and then refabricated them into a sculpture of the yard building. The company building the Yard building ran out of money during construction and instead of having the reflective mirrored windows it is covered in dark black windows and looms at the Willamette's edge, though I do admit it has grown on me since the exhibition of this show. 

This sculpture also reminds me of a  story from an Art History class back in undergrad. There was an art critic in Paris in the 1890's who hated the Eiffel Tower so much that he would go up in the Eiffel Tower every morning to have breakfast so he wouldn't have to look at it. 

Please take a minute to visit her site and watch the performance video, I promise, you will not regret it. https://www.emilywobb.com/22floors

About the Show:

22 Floors is a continuation of a 3-year-long series, Good Night, in which Emily Wobb builds replicas of affluent vehicles and dwellings and destroys them in spectacular ways. With the debris, new replicas are built that have the same opulent connotation -- and so the series continues to cycle. In earlier stages, Wobb has done this by pushing wooden BMW X5 models through a wood-chipper and cast the mulch with clear resin into 747 airplanes molds. 22 Floors involves a mulch yard landscape (Mt Scott Fuel Co, 6904 SE Foster Rd), a revving Cadillac Escalade, several Ryan Home “McMansion” house replicas, and a new replica for the next cycle. The final video and installation presented at ANX Gallery and are made possible by the Regional Arts & Culture Council 2017 Project Grant.


A cycle of sleeping and waking up.

In the Good Night series, I build objects and cycle them through narratives of destruction, change, performance and stages of installations. The project confronts a hostility between instilled dreams from a suburban upbringing (expensive vehicles, affluent lifestyles, privilege, naive privilege, patriotism), self-worth determined by winning, earning, goals, and a dream of being told I'm good.  

The deaths the sculptures go through are steps in the course of the series--X5 Mulch being the first step followed by 747 Skin and 22 Floors.

ANX Gallery- Fabriqué

It was an amazing experience to bring together Women and Non-Binary artists, makers and craftswomen. I was so inspired to be surrounded by such wealth of knowledge and passionate people. 

Fabriqué took place June 2017 and was an exhibition of works by local Portland makers, artists, ceramicists, and designers. With this platform, ADX sought to shine the spotlight on Women-identifying artists and fabrication professionals who are exhibiting a variety of objects. The spectrum of works in this show included furnishings, kayaks, sculptures, 2D works, and ceramics.

ANX Gallery - CHARLIE HAUGHEY’S “A WEATHER WALKED IN”

One of our first shows in the ANX gallery was a solo exhibition featuring photographs by Charlie Haughey. His works have a way of bringing the people of Portland together, folks have traveled far to see his photographs. His photos have a rawness and a presence that is overwhelming and hints at a time that my generation may not ever understand. But perhaps we can look, learn and listen to the stories they have to tell. Here is a little more about his story:

Charlie Haughey is a retired carpenter living in Portland, OR, who served in Vietnam with the Army 25th Infantry division. Between 1968 and 1969, he shot nearly 2,000 photographs. After returning home, Charlie boxed up the negatives (of which he had only printed and seen about 10%), where they stayed for over four decades. In 2012, Charlie began working with his friend Kris Regentin to digitize and catalog the negative collection.

Please visit our Gallery Site for a little more on Charlie.

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ANX Gallery

I have had been given the honor of co-curating the ANX Gallery space with, the one and only, Emily Wobb at Art Design Portland, a local makerspace. Curating has always been a passion of mine, to be able to fill a room with art, to give folks a platform to talk about their work and their point of view, and to bring people together. Thank you ADX for this opportunity. 

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Here is our mission:

ANX Gallery provides Portland with an exhibition space that shows a variety of media, artworks and functional objects. Alternating monthly member-maker shows, group and solo exhibitions provide a spectrum of form, function and utility. A goal of this curatorial project is to provide exposure to local makers, fine artists, and those who bridge the two. Additionally, we aim to offer people from underrepresented communities — women, people of color, LGBTQ and other minorities — a stage to display their talents and wares.

ADX - A Portland Makerspace

Since the moment I heard about ADX I knew it was something I had to be a part of. A community of makers- woodworkers, metal workers, boat makers, artists, furniture designers; the list goes on. It is a place of learning and innovation, if you don't have experience in a particular media there is always someone to ask who is more than happy to teach and share what they know with you. For a year I worked as a Shop Steward fixing tools, designing facility modifications and storage solutions, assisting members and maintaining shops. Luckily all of that hard work paid off and I was hired as the Digital Fabrication Technician earlier this year. 

I have to say, I have the best job in the house. All day I have the opportunity to design files, program the Shopbot CNC, work with a wide variety of materials and get covered in sawdust. I also am privileged to work with an incredible fabrication and design team where teamwork, quality and handwork is appreciated. For me digital fabrication is the best of both worlds, I am constantly on the hunt for more efficient systems, better processes and creative solutions.