The accidental week in Sayulita – in photos.

We went to the coast for three days. Jen’s brother-in-law was caught in an avalanche back in Canada so we wanted to spend some time here before she left to help her family. We camped along the beach along with other travellers, many of whom were surfers from all around the world.

We woke up in our little tent on the third day with Norwalk Virus like sickness. I leaned out of my tent and threw up. Jen could barely walk through the heat to the shared bathrooms. Apparently everyone staying here at the campground for any extended time caught the same sickness.

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5 portrait studies using natural light

Another class assignment. This had some more stringent rules and regulations attached to it such as 1) using only ambient light 2) use at least five different people 3) no photoshop or editing except to turn the photos into black and white. 4) cannot use people from our class as models.

I decided to use my iphone to take the photos as booking a DSLR though the school is very restrictive and inconvenient and I was at the whim of other people’s schedules for opportunities.  I also wanted to be a “straight forward” as possible with this series, and be very conventional with my approach. Get close up in most cases. I could be clever and subvert this assignment but I don’t think that’s what my Prof wants to see with this one, and I think that is a bigger challenge for me at the moment. And so here we are with a collection of photos of friends and family, and I think I would like to keep doing more.

Bonus Portraits:

This captures the personality of Jen as well as a close up of her face, I think. She is always expressing herself through physical gestures because she can't be still for very long. I like this photo for the confusing play of light - the sun was in her face but my shadow looks like her shadow. The half circle in the snow behind her reminds me a bit of Botticelli's Birth of Aphrodite.

This captures the personality of Jen as well as a close up of her face, I think. She is always expressing herself through physical gestures because she can’t be still for very long. I like this photo for the confusing play of light – the sun was in her face but my shadow looks like her shadow. The half circle in the snow behind her reminds me a bit of Botticelli’s Birth of Aphrodite.

This scarecrow has been a fixture out of our kitchen window for the last three years. She deserves this. She needs this.

This scarecrow has been a fixture out of our kitchen window for the last three years. She deserves this. She needs this… this actually kinda looks like a selfie.

I used photoshop to create more contrast on this one.

I used photoshop to create more contrast on this one of Joanna.

I photoshopped this. Will have to do another, cleaner version when I get my drawing tablet back... you can see the unblurred edges around his hair.

I photoshopped this. Will have to do another, cleaner version when I get my drawing tablet back… you can see the unblurred edges around his hair.

 

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Art squirrels, strangers and social media: a performance project

Last night was the opening for Andreanne Hudon‘s THE WALL OF SQUIRREL at culturshoc gallery – a terrific series of sculptures of 32 individually crafted squirrel heads on hunting plaques that references the myth of the big game Canadian wilderness.

As curator and social media and the arts guy, I was concerned that our new and small gallery on Queen Street West does not have the critical mass of members yet to provide satisfactory numbers of attendees to an opening of an emerging out-of-town artist. As any marketer worth their branded salt will tell you – this is not a problem but an opportunity.

So I decided to make a performance out of the evening, to attract new people and to create media to use in the promotion of Andreanne and my gallery in the future. After all – is media not the most valuable assets of exposure for an  artist? It is if you are concerned with grants and applying for exhibits for a living.

Anyways, it has always been fun here to have sort of impromptu fashion shoots with friends and visitors, so I decided to offer “free photo portraits with art” – a takeaway value for participants. I even stood on the street corner with a camera beside our sandwich board sign and asked people walking to come in. Afterwards we offered them a drink and a snack and they hung out. A group of friends smoked in front of the gallery, adding to the interest and spectacle of the show and event.

I met some really interesting artists and people! I also frightened some people – maybe they thought I was a freelance porn producer. I learned that a technique to say “no” is to “yes, ok” but keep walking. But generally, I had little trouble in obtaining individuals, couples and groups to stop in. I set up an old projector to light the wall work strongly from one side and this contrasted nicely with the natural lighting from the front windows.

Some people hung out and bought stuff from our boutique in the back. I gave a card to each participant and told them they could download their portraits off of our facebook group – our page has resulted in spike of memberships and activity, and these photos are popular already. Which is good for Andreanne, and good for the gallery. Oh, and my ego.

This supports my assertion that the best method for social media marketing for arts and culture with local relevance is to meet people and shake hands. Please find some photos of strangers below.

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