Exhibitions – Seattle and Taipei

See some of my works at a couple of new shows opening in the next few weeks!

ryan james fine arts: Visual Impressions

And yes! I will be in Kirkland for the opening reception on the 12th of April from 5pm. Please come along and say hi!​

The second is a huge international enamel art exhibition organised by National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute,
Chinese Taipei Enamel of Art Association

2018 Blaze: International Art Enamel

April 19th (Thursday) to August 19th (Sunday), 2018
National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute Taipei Branch 4 Floor (41, Nanhai Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100)

DANGERR

A Design Competition with Designs Aiming for a New #GunSense Emphasis on Regulations & Reform

And while we’re on the subject of Boris Bally, he’s organising a design competition to raise money for the The Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV), which was founded in 2013 after the Sandy Hook Shooting. If you’re nowhere near being able to see Boris speak, perhaps you’d like to help out his cause by getting involved with this.

From the website:
(for the full competition details, click through)

The Competition:
We are looking for bold, affordable works of wearable, useable or decorative art to further an awareness of the gun violence epidemic we still face.  We hope to promote conversations that spark debate while providing needed resources to support real action including a planned gun amnesty/buy-back organized by artist Scott Lapham.  The competition will also support the RICAGV’s continued advocacy for responsible gun laws.

Designers, artists and metalsmiths are intrigued by material, technique and the challenges presented by engineering obstacles. Not only do they shape objects for wear, use and decoration but also for political commentary. The goal of this competition is to showcase, promote and sell the best designs which may employ an arsenal of wit and skill to transform weapon imagery beyond its deadly intent.  The winning entries will ultimately support the entrants as well as the efforts of the RICAGV.

Criteria for selected work:
Jury will consider overall design originality, skill, impact and production feasibility.  The design’s ability to convey the mission of the RICAGV will be crucial.

Jury:
A group of nationally recognized Jurors will select the final pieces to be placed into production:

Emily Zilber                Editor, Metalsmith magazine, Independent Curator
Dominic Molon         Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art,
RISD Museum
Linda Finn                    Executive Director, RICAGV
Peter Diepenbrock    Sculptor, Designer
Boris Bally                    Metalsmith, Organizer

First Place Award:
The Top Award will receive a purchase order from RICAGV for the purchase of twenty units at their maximum wholesale cost of $100 (value up to $2,000).

Finalist Awards:
The RICAGV will initially purchase the original prototype entries from each of the finalist’s jury-selected designs.  The designs will remain the property of the designer with the stipulation that the RICAGV may promote and sell these designs. These top designs will be professionally photographed and promoted on the RICAGV website, in mailings and at events using the designer’s name in all promotions. These selected designs will be offered for retail sale to the public by the RICAGV and their affiliated locations.  As orders are received, they will be turned over to the artist for timely production.  The RICAGV will in turn fulfill orders directly to the customer. Artists will receive their wholesale price and RICAGV will receive the balance to support their ongoing work.

The Jury reserves the right to pick as many design finalists as they wish.

 

Get to it, creative activists!

IMAGINE Peace Now – exhibition tour continues

This exhibition, begun in 2016, seems to pick up more relevance as it goes. If you’d like to see it in your town, please let us know.

Irreverensibility by Phillip Renato

Before I present all the details, I wanted to tell you that this show is a real labor of love for the curator, Boris Bally. I had the privilege to hear him speak last year at the Association for Contemporary Jewellery  20:20 Visions Conference in the UK about the genesis of this exhibition, and to speak with him about the show both there and at SNAG. In speaking with him, it’s clear that he’s driven by the pure desire, in fact need, to make these things go away from the hands of vulnerable people in this country. He also just happens to be one of the most generous and humble artists that I have ever had the pleasure to meet, so if you are anywhere near St Louis, I really do urge you to go see him speak. (And if you do, please tell him that I sent you, and that I’m thinking of him.) And more amazingly, he is but one part of an incredible line-up of presenters, panelists and artists who will be talking about gun violence in St Louis and the USA.

Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design will partner with Maryville University to present I.M.A.G.I.N.E. Peace Now, a powerful traveling exhibition created as a positive response to the rising tide of gun violence in America. Conceived by metalsmith Boris Bally and brought to St. Louis through the help of his long-time collector Michael Staenberg, the exhibition features works by some 100 artists who have crafted sculptures using decommissioned firearms collected during community buy-back programs.

Over the last twenty years, we have seen the rise of this violence sweep into our schools, movie theaters, malls, and neighborhoods. Throughout history, artists have often served as the voices and illustrators of movements for change. This exhibition is an invitation to conversations about violence in America today and about potential constructive responses to that crisis.

Maryville University  Opening Reception + Panel Discussion
Morton J. May Foundation Gallery
Thursday, April 5,  5:00 – 8pm

Conversation Towards Peace
Thursday, April 5, 7:00 -8 pm
Maryville University Auditorium

Single Shot by Rob Jackson

With the opening of I.M.A.G.I.N.E Peace Now, we invite you to join metalsmith / activist / organizer Boris Bally, Geriann Brandt, director of Maryville University’s Criminal Justice program; a spokesperson from Moms Demand Action; and Becky Tingle, CRC, CLPC, child therapist with Alive, Inc. They will discuss the effects of gun violence in our everyday lives. Panel moderator is Art Holliday, award-winning KSDK newscaster.  This event is free + open to the public.

Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design Opening Reception + Curator’s Talk
Friday, April 6, from 5:30 – 8:30pm
Boris Bally Curator’s talk, 5:30 – 6:30pm
Craft Alliance’s Delmar Loop Gallery

Earthbound by Sonya Clark

Gun Shy
Thursday, April 12, 4pm
Maryville Auditorium

Matt Donovan will read excerpts from Gun Shy, his book-length work-in-progress that delves deep into America’s gun culture. Donovan is an acclaimed author whose works include A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape: Meditations on Ruin and Redemption and two collections of poetry – Vellum and Rapture & the Big Bam.

Bullets into Bells
Saturday, April 14, 7 – 9 p.m.
The Stage at KDHX in Grand Center

In partnership with the Saint Louis Poetry Center, local poets and activists will read from the anthology Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence.

Monday – Gun Day

The Gun Day following the 2018 March For Our Lives in the USA

I went to the March For Our Lives in Seattle on Saturday. Here’s a few of the messages that I heard and saw:

A man, walking in arm with a woman, held a sign that read, ‘I never want to get another “We’re on lockdown” text from my wife again.’

A child carrying, ‘I don’t feel safe,’ another, ‘vote them out.’

A woman with a cane standing on the side of the street with a sign that read ‘respect for free’ saying loudly to the passersby: “Know you’re strong! Know you’re wonderful!”

A couple carrying a small child each, one of them also holding a sign, “NOT ONE MORE”.

An older woman with a sign ‘This is killing us’.

A pair of guys; ‘Guns are stupid’ and ‘The kids are all right’.

Two elementary-school aged boys, vigorously yelling “VOTE THEM OUT”.

Several signs held by US war veterans – men and women – promoting tighter gun controls.

A sign in the distance: ‘Australia fixed this, so will we’.

Girl with sign ‘2020 voter’. A younger boy, sleeping on his father’s hip, sign tacked to his back ‘I vote in 9 years’.

Several ‘I’m marching in memoriam’ signs.

Woman with sign; ‘Students, thank you for your strength. We got your backs’.

Chant:  “Hey Hey Hey Hey, NRA; how many kids have you killed today?”

 

No one should die from gun violence in this country.

 

Now I’m going to get back to outing the gun manufacturers whose merchandise is designed and made to kill people.

This incident, #34 for the year on the Gun Violence Archive, is the first shootout I’ve come across. The Archive helpfully points out that a shootout is “where VENN diagram of shooters and victims overlap.” Maurice Delaney, 38, and Ali Mohamed, 31, killed one another around 4:25am on New Years Day 2017 in Chicago at a North Side Uptown neighborhood business. I found multiple sources to say that both guns disappeared from the crime scene before officers could take them in as evidence. DP 1 and 2

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1
Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

An 18 year old teen was killed in a brawl that spilled out into the car park of the 508 Nightclub in Des Moines, Iowa. Frederico Thompson, Jr, a father to a young girl, died around 3:30am at the scene. An article from 9th of January, 2017, remarks that there is no suspect named in the case, but the bar has had its liquor license suspended.

Another article in the Des Moines Register from the 1st of January, 2018, writes that police detectives claim to know who the killer is, but do not have the witnesses statements or photographs to back it up. There’s no information about the gun either. DP 1.

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1

Nineteen year old college student Christian Dawson died in Azure Banquet Hall, in Dallas, Tx, from what was reported to be a stray bullet. Several other people were shot, but none had life-threatening injuries. One year later the killing was still reported to be unsolved by the Dallas Police Department. No gun known. DP 2

Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

* * *  T R I G G E R   W A R N I N G * * *

Incident number 37 on the first of January involved Marissa Hope Reynoso (26), Elijah Chavez (4), Ezra Chavez (1) and Jorge Luis Chavez (25). Jorge Chavez and Reynoso had broken off their 5 year relationship in the preceding months, and members of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department had responded to two other calls from Reynoso about Chavez in that time. The gun was reported as a 9mm hand gun that had been previously reported stolen, some years before. Reynoso is survived by another daughter from a different relationship.

I have drawn a lot of 9mm weapons so far; the two Default Pistols are both 9mm, and so was the Glock 17 drawn for the Chicago police, and a Sig Sauer P226 and P229, also used by me to represent guns fired by police. So I’ve decided to add a new one, to the, uh… arsenal. The Glock 19 has been mentioned before round these parts, is famed for being a lightweight version of the 17, and is apparently a very popular gun. In that post I wrote that it was one of the guns that would likely get featured round here, so I guess it’s about that time.

Glock 19

Monday/Tuesday Gun-Day

A day late, but better late than… a double serving of gun deaths next Monday.

Please excuse me my tardiness, Alexa ate my homework… OK, now I’m lying on top of being late – as if I’d trust a robot to do my data mining. I was actually enjoying some sun in LA over the weekend with Turbo, to celebrate a few anniversaries – one of which I mentioned last week – and catching up with Kaoru Rogers, fellow jeweller and (serial) immigrant.

But now it’s back down the data mine.

Aaron Patrick Presley (the 37 year old is also reported as being called Patrick Presley,) was killed just before 5am in a tavern in Milwaukee. Tiron J. Grant (31) allegedly shot Presley after Presley confronted him when he said hello and grabbed the hand of a woman in the bar, who turned out to be Presley’s fiancée. I could find no further details about progress in the case against Grant beyond charges and the preliminary hearing date – January 13th 2017. The only mention of the weapon was that a revolver, and the suspect’s clothes, were hidden by the suspect in alleyway garbage bins near the tavern.

I’ve drawn one revolver so far, the Ruger Single Six .22 from incident #15, as a .22 caliber was specified in the reporting that I unearthed. I had a hunch that there was a more common revolver, so after a quick dig, I give you the Smith & Wesson Model 10. Why this weapon? Well, on Wikipedia’s list of most produced firearms it sits at the top of revolvers with 6 million units sold. This makes it the biggest selling revolver ever (at least on that list), though given that it’s been in continuous production since 1899, the Model 10 has had over 100 years to climb to that spot – which on that chart makes for a slow build rather than a meteoric rise (but then confirming sales data for 100 years is somewhat of a tall order). By comparison, the already featured Glock 17 is listed just below the Model 10 with a low estimate of production of 6 million and a high of 10 million. It has only been in production since 1982, so that in itself is an indication of the rapid increase in the global gun population.

It’s also interesting to note that it is “previously known as the Smith & Wesson .38 Hand Ejector Model of 1899, the Smith & Wesson Military & Police or the Smith & Wesson Victory Model.” Thanks Wikipedia.

Smith & Wesson Model 10

I’ve already drawn a weapon that is known as the Smith & Wesson Military & Police, which you might recall is a pistol.  It’s nice to know that Smith & Wesson like to keep their branding current while getting to add a certain old-school, or perhaps I should say, time honoured, vibe, thanks to some cleverly manufactured “continuity.”

Monday – Gun Day

There’s a non-hilarious anecdote to open the proceedings, before we get back to the horror at hand.

When I wrote about Sir Bob Geldof a few weeks back, I forgot to insert my infinitesimal anecdote. My family were celebrating the 21st birthday of the youngest of my siblings a few years back at an ever-popular riverside restaurant in my home town of Perth…

Quick aside: about a week or so back, on finding out that I came from the western-most Australian capital city, my Lyft driver said, “Most isolated city in the world!” It’s the achingly familiar catch-cry of residents and visitors alike, to which I’m not sure that I actually hold because there are plenty of other contenders, like Auckland, or Honolulu, or others that you can google. BTW, Lyft-er had been to my home town, and proceeded to tell me about happy times spent at The Court Hotel and Connections. As my fellow Perthlings can attest, they knew how to have a good time!

…Anyway, sitting outdoors at fancy restaurant surrounded by large family-of-origin and their spouses, and who walks in to also sit on the balcony, but the aforementioned knighted gentleman! “WTF is he doing in Perth?” was on the lips of the collected Cameron party. Til someone remembered that it was St Patrick’s Day. In our defense, we were all focused on other celebrations – the birthday dinner had been slightly delayed to coincide with Turbo and I coming to town in time for the impending nuptials of a couple also seated at that table. March is a big month for me and my people 😉

St Patrick’s Day is also the anniversary of my move to the US, which happened in 2012. Yup, six years this Saturday. A little while back I realised that I’ve practiced here longer than I have – in either of my careers – within Australia. Explains a few things..

Well, that was an unusually gentle introduction. Now the guns.

We start this week in Cobb County, Georgia, where a Canton resident, Chad Erik Roberts (35) was killed by two officers of the Woodstock Police Department, Matt Davis and William Vincent. Roberts had first contact with the police at 10:09pm on the 31st of December, when he was stopped in a parking lot next to a gas station. From the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News:

“The driver of the vehicle initially spoke to the officer but then fled in his vehicle, striking the officer,” Rich said. “Officers with the Canton Police Department pursued the vehicle into the Woodstock area.”

Woodstock Police and Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office deputies joined in on the chase and a tire deflation device was used to disable Roberts’ vehicle, which came to a stop in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 near the Wade Green Road exit, investigators said.

“The driver exited the vehicle and presented a gun during contact with law enforcement,” Rich said. “Two officers with the Woodstock Police Department fired their weapons during the incident. The driver sustained gunshot wounds and died as a result of his injuries.”

Later in the same article, it states that, “The Canton officer who was hit by the man’s car was transported to a local hospital, treated and released, Canton Police Chief Mark Mitchell said.” while the two officers who shot Roberts were put on administrative leave pending an investigation.

With initial contact between the police and Rogers around 10pm – where he apparently ran over the foot of an officer as he departed – my thought was to double-check that this shooting was not misfiled as a January 1 event. But it turns out that at 2am, around four hours later, the shooting took place on the blocked-off interstate highway, once the victim/”driver exited the vehicle and presented a gun during contact with law enforcement.” (From the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.) If you think it sounds odd, you’re not alone, and it being an officer-involved crime has given it a bit of extra attention.

I was unable to find out anything about the guns of any of the people involved. The Woodstock Police Department falls in Cherokee County, GA, and after much research I found out that they carry the Glock 23. It’s not the best reference, but the neighbouring Cobb County PD publish in their policy documents that they use a Glock 22, so this choice has a bit of weight behind it. Georgia’s law enforcement seem to have a lot of Glocks in their register, and they probably belong to a huge swathe of the rest of the population due to Georgia’s “Guns Everywhere” laws, (Al Jazeera) as well as a couple of cities who have managed to make owning guns mandatory. (I am not linking to that data.) The 23 is meant to have the same dimensions as the Glock 19, excepting weight, to account for the slightly bigger round you can fire in the 23. And the 19 is a slightly scaled-down version of the 17, which is the first officer-fired gun that I drew in this series.

So here’s my second Glock, but the first drawing of a Glock 23. There’s two, one each for Davis and Vincent, the officers who fired on Rogers.

Glock 23
Glock 23

A mentally ill man, James E Lewis, was shot by police near Silver Springs Park, Missouri, at around 3:20am after other forms of pacification had failed. Lewis made the 9-1-1 call to the police revealing his location, during which he threatened to kill his wife – actually his domestic partner, who family members later said were in the process of breaking up. Police revealed that there had been 60 – 65 interactions with Lewis over the course of his life – from burglary to other mental health issues.

Lewis was on a bicycle and had a prolonged – 11 minute – encounter during which he fired his weapon (the officers did not feel threatened at this point so continued with other negotiation methods) and refused to speak with the officers. Only when he pointed the weapon at the officers from a distance of about 10 feet, did three of them open fire at Lewis. Officers Joshua Brown, Daniel Carlson and Brandon Gonzales have been placed on leave pending an investigation.

By contrast with the first incident this week, the guns that officers in the Springfield Police Department carry were easy to find in their Standard Operating Guidelines. The Department Issued Handgun is a Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun. There are a lot of Glocks that take a 9mm cartridge, so I’m going to go with the one I used for the Chicago PD earlier, the Glock 17. Three of them, because of the three police who fired at Lewis.

Glock 17
Glock 17
Glock 17

 

Plate Glass – Closing party!

Missed our initial afternoon tea? Well you’re in luck, it’s Tea II – Electric Boogaloo

You might remember the invitation to Plate Glass, the enamel exhibition I recently curated, from a few weeks back. Well this is an invitation to the closing party. Yes, Sally at Fancy and I enjoyed our first Afternoon Tea so much that we’re doing it again!

Join us for closing shenanigans at Fancy;
1914 2nd Avenue, Seattle

any time between 2-5pm on Saturday the 10th of March. We’ll share some more apple crumble slice and another pot of tea 😉

Monday – Gun Day

Investigating the guns that killed on January 1st, 2017

Asha Davis, a mother and student nurse already working in a medical center, was killed around 8:30pm on January 1st in her home in Baton Rouge. A witness reported hearing about 15 shots in the apartment complex in which she lived. Thailand Brooks (29, the same age as his victim,) was arrested on February 21st, 2017, and charged with 2nd degree murder. It was reported as a domestic dispute. No weapon details. DP1.

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1

Twenty-five year old Jamaal Taylor walked into a Taco Bell in Oak Park, Sacramento around 11:30am, suffering from gunshot wounds. He later died in hospital. It is reported that the incident would have happened in a vacant lot on Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, and that Taylor walked two blocks to the store where he collapsed. There is no information known about the killer or the motive, and my searches have not brought up any additional movement on the case. His brother called Taylor “a laid-back dude. He had a good personality.” and in the same article in the Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento police have a reward for witnesses, including anonymous tips. DP2.

Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

My eyebrows are telling me I’m still baffled about this one. Really. W.T.F?

Kareem Hagan, 22, and Marquis Marquez, 17, have the sorrowful honour of being killed in the same incident. They both died after a large street fight escalated to the use of firearms. Hagan, earlier found “not competent for prosecution because of intellectual disability and autism,”  regarding a 2015 burglary, died at the scene, while Marquez died later from his injuries. The same publication, News 4 Jax, reported on Jan 1st, 2018 – one year later – that the crime is still unsolved. I would guess that the reported “at least two dozen” (see 1st article linked) men congregated in the street would result in at least two weapons being fired, so I’m nominating DP1 & 2, one for each.

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1
Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

Shanna Mason, was our third victim in Buffalo, NY, when she was gunned down outside a home there. She died instantly after being shot in the head and shoulder around 10:15am, by Nadiyah Z. Whitaker, who was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 19 years with 5 years post supervision, in December.

It was called “conduct charged by passion” by Tom Eoannou, Whitaker’s defense attorney, owing to a love triangle, with one of the two women getting a marriage license a day before the shooting. The crime was captured on security cameras, but the defense managed to have the charges changed from second-degree murder to first-degree manslaughter, which carries a lighter sentence, by being found by three mental health experts to have suffered extreme emotional distress on the morning of the shooting.

There was a lot of media attention (more articles about the case in my searches – in part because the killer was found and the court cases resolved,) on this case, and yet I found no mention of the actual weapon, aside from the fact that Whitaker possessed it unlawfully. DP 1

Ruger SR1911 – Default Pistol 1

Heath “Petey” Dixey, 40, died at The Fort Hall Indian Reservation at around 2:20pm, by a family member, possibly in self defense. The suspect, reported to be male, was questioned by the police and released due to a “lack of probable cause”. Dixey was also reported as a good guy, heavy equipment operator and a father, and lived on a rural property. A seventeen-year-old apparent witness to the crime was reported missing after the event, but returned three weeks later. The only reported nod to the weapon was “gunshot wounds.” DP2

Default Pistol 2 – S&W M&P

 

 

MJW/Schmuck week 2018

I’m not going, but about 18 of my closest steel and titanium and enamel and silver and gold friends _are_!

fuck□this□president□and□the□regime□he□rode□in□on, stainless steel, vitreous enamel, titanium. 2017

This is one of my works that will feature in the exhibition In Touch, curated by Anja Eichler and Katja Toporski, taking place in the week we like to call Munich Jewellery Week (we’re #61 on their map) beginning this Wednesday in beautiful Munich.

Our list of artists is really impressive: Anja Eichler, Catarina Hällzon, Lore Langendries, Moniek Schrijer, Anneleen Swillen, Katja Toporski, Mallory Weston, and of course me, Melissa Cameron.

The show is on at – »Verein für Originalradierung« Ludwigstrasse 7, 80539 Munich
Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 5 – 9pm
Opening hours: Thu – Sat 10am – 7pm, Sun 10am – 2pm.

Please go along and say “G’day!” to Katja and Anja for me, and congratulate them on pulling this whole wonderful thing together. They’ve done an amazing job at artist-wrestling and installing. [Insert rapturous applause from Seattle.]  And if you are in Munich – and I know who some of you are already – stay warm, and have a whale of a time!

Pratt Fine Arts Center – Class!

Enamel on steel – the basics, as I know them, and advanced techniques like firing peskily-sized pieces

Julia at Pratt has me slated to lead a workshop in April. Please come, it’s probably your last chance to see me teaching at Pratt Fine Arts Center here in Seattle for a while.

Workshop: Liquid Enamel for Steel and Copper
Saturday April 14 and Sunday April 15 
9:30 AM-5:30 PM
Jewelry Studios – Pratt Fine Arts Center
1902 South Main Street
Seattle
206.328.2200

Fingers crossed I get to see my two favourite regulars there (you know who you are 🙂 )