“It’s not a contest.”*

Erin Paulson interacting with the space.

The past three days I commuted back and forth between Rockford, my storage facility, one evening’s stop for a fun news-filled gab with family, and home.  I had a great time!  Rockford College Art gallery is a lovely formal space, a big white rectangle, 28 by just under 37 feet.  I had volunteered to install my own show, but I had friendly, essential help each day, too: many thanks to Carey Watters and her crew!  Once there, I also wanted to do my own lighting; the gallery’s great grid system was way too appealing to this old gallerist not to want to play with it.  I had great fun and it was absolutely satisfying, but I did discover that ‘old’ is a key word here…my knees are arguing that it’s probably time to leave extensive ladder-climbing sessions behind. I only took a few snapshots at the beginning and end, but there was a fine turnout for the reception, including some friends who made the trek, and a surprising number of folks at the lecture last night. Somewhere during it, I realized: this is my job now. I can live with that (and I will, I swear, eventually learn to let go and delegate.  I do love to transform a space, whether it’s a gallery presentation like this, an installation or a workspace; that will never, ever stop).

It’s been a year of utilizing this mix / body of work while doing that.  I’m so excited for what comes next, for new work, and above all: time for not-knowing.  Today I’m writing this while fiber beats for a proposal piece, and beginning to think of the ‘what goes to Ragdale’ list. Yeah.  Life is good.

Favorite from Rockford: LISTEN in this configuration and the question: “Are those lichens swearing at me?”

Coming up:  a piece in Abecedarian Gallery’s year-end show, Our Favorite Things (opens November 19 in Denver, Colorado); and another created for Art of the Book Cover, Printworks Gallery’s 30th anniversary exhibition (opens December 3rd in Chicago). I cannot wait to see this show, too). Immediately after Rockford, the day after Ragdale, part of (S)Edition heads to the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, for The Book: A Contemporary View (opens December 22 at the DCCA in Wilmington, Delaware). I’m honored to have been invited to participate in the symposium on that show’s theme in March, along with Doug Beube, Brian Dettmer, Buzz Spector, and the Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, Mark Dimunation. The show will travel on to Towson University, near Baltimore, afterwards, so portions of (S)Edition are out there doing what they do for the next year. And…I want to thank Margaret Braun for her shout-out but especially for the photo. What can I say?…except that’s all the talking about myself I can do for a day or two.

*the gist of the best Facebook quote about being an artist I’ve seen this week.

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6 thoughts on ““It’s not a contest.”*

  1. haha! those sneaky lichens…yay for getting it all done! i have bruises on my shins from the good old ladder climbing last night to install and deinstall hanji on a line so i must have been channeling your latest antics. hooray for a great talk and opening!

  2. so, melissa, don’t you EVER sleep??? the show looks great, and those lichens. just amazing. i often see the small gourd/veggie piece you had at pbi…it’s stayed in my mind. it begged to be touched.

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