Sunday, January 29, 2012

SLOUP #23: The Ten Proposals

1: "Stl Mud Portraits"
Spring is just around the corner. And where will all the flowers sprout up from?
The earth.
And when mixed with rain -- we get mud.
Lovely. Smooth. Cold mud.
When the sun comes out, the mud dries, turning it into dust.
As little kids we all played in the dirt. The lure of the mud puddle or the stirring up of a dust storm was too powerful to resist.
And was just plain fun.
And it still is.
All life originates from earth and it is the earth we are destined to return one day
Our relationship with Mother Nature offers a space for solace, companionship, whimsy, happiness.
We all are bits of Her. And as we develop our relationship with Her, we reveal our individuality, our souls.

Yet as we get older, we can forget the simplest pleasures of childhood which put on us on the path to develop our individuality.
With this grant, I hope to make an opportunity to re-connect.

I propose to make a series of portraits of people covered in mud with flowers, twigs or other goodies Mother Nature provides.
Each photo will have a multi-media component.
The purpose of my project will be to reveal the spirit of everyday people-- wives, attorneys and blue collar workers, young and old. One subject will be a woman in the midst of her chemotherapy treatment. Making a portrait of her alongside her daughter will be a departure from dealing with her sickness.

My goal is to make one portrait a week over a four-month period resulting with 10-15 worthy images.
Creating these pictures will provide a spirit of wonder and exploration for everyone--me as the photographer, the subject and ultimately the viewer.

I hope to evoke the work of Annie Leibovitz as well as the ethereal portraits of Joyce Tenneson and Irving Penn.

I look forward to getting nice and muddy. Thank for your consideration.

2: "The FROG Project!"

The FROG Project!
It’s a mad hopping dash from our meeting in the City Garden through the streets of down town St. Louis to the Froggy Bop under the arch where all the frogs will show off their magnificent colors.
There will be 30… 40!...50 frogs!!! Dressed head to toe in their favorite froggy wears. The black and yellow spots of the banana frog will mingle with the outrageous oranges and reds of the tomato toad. The florescent blue of the poisonous dart frog will flash brilliantly against the steel skin of the north east gray.
And for one glorious night all that we are and have known ourselves to be, the citizens of St. Louis will become one with she who breathes life into the universe, a goddess of life and fertility, as the Egyptians called her; Haqet, she who hastens the Birth.
We call her the frog goddess.

I’m Je DeSuza. I am a local St. Louis artist. For the past 6 months I have been recruiting a group of volunteers that have agreed to get painted as their favorite frog (or toad). For example, Ashley Moss is pictured above in her tree frog attire (head only). Frog personas are created from latex body paint, swim caps, goggles, and other mixed medias.
There is about 30 of us now and by September 2012 we plan to have raised $1000.00 which will go to body paint and froggy attire
. We also plan to have at least 20 more “frogs” join our team. At that point we will ascend a mad hop across the city to Froggy bop underneath the arch. This is in honor of the strength, beauty and creator spirit we all possess
And every one can hop along!

3: "I propose to build a 12-foot diameter sundial."

I propose to build a 12-foot diameter sundial. At the 12- 3- 6- and 9- hour markers I will erect four welded steel "towers." Each tower will be about 6-feet tall, and 18-inches wide, made of welded steel straps or "girders." (Picture one side of the Eiffel Tower) Instead of the supporting girders being evenly spaced, they will be random for visual interest. The steel towers will be colored with a black patina. On top of each of these four "towers" will be 18-inch by 12-inch fused glass panels (3 glass thicknesses). These will be colorful abstract glass images similar to photos of earth from space -- hot reds and magentas representing land masses, and aqua and deep blues representing water masses. (I will probably sandwich the glass between pieces of clear plastic for protection against breakage).

The remaining hour markers (1,2,4,5,7,8,10,11) will be constructed of cast concrete. Each of these markers will be about 18-inches wide, and 12-inches high with a sloped (angled) top (picture a grave marker.) On top of these concrete markers will be unique copper repousse images of ancient symbols such as runes, along with the Roman numerals for that hour. I will color the copper with a verdigris patina.

The gnomon (center piece that casts the shadow) will be either a traditional wedge shape (also of welded steel) or a cigar-shaped welded steel structure (hollow) about 8 feet tall and mounted in the center. Either of these shapes will cast a shadow, but I still need to do a little testing to determine which shape will cast the best shadow while still being visually interesting. Radiating from the hour markers to the gnomon will be thin straight lines made from crushed limestone. The remaining space will be grass.

WHERE: Site selection will be made with the assistance of local arts organizations working with the artist, volunteers and local governments. Towers and other components will be welded and fabricated at my home studio from mild steel obtained from Shapiro metals on Manchester Rd. Glass will be fused at Lamplight Studio in Overland.

WHEN: Site selection, Feb - March; Maquette and approvals of final design, Feb. - March; Fabrication, April - May - June; Installation, late June, - early July.

ONE INSPIRING THING: A quote from an essay about Jean Ipousteguy by John Updike. "La sculpture n'est pas faite pour functionner, mais pour nous faite functionner." ("Sculpture is not made to function but to make us function.")

-John C. Schnellmann

4: "A large semi-circular panorama of the City Garden"
What are you making?
A large semi-circular panorama of the City Garden at night displayed on canvas so that the viewer can step inside the photograph & look around.

How will you make it? I have already taken the series of photos and stitched them together into a 360 degree panorama printed flat on canvas & on photographic paper. The latter has been sold to the GSA through Arch Framing for use in their offices in the Eagleton building downtown. The next step is for me to work out the support structure for the curved canvas version. I am in contact with two railing manufacturers to design a suitable mechanism to hold the canvas for viewing as a semi-circle.

When? What's your timeline? I am anxious to complete this project as soon as possible, so I have already contacted the railing manufacturers in hopes of defining a suitable solution. As soon as that design is done & assuming funding is available to cover at least part of the costs, I will create this work of art.

What's a thing you heard/saw recently about the making of art that you embrace? You have to make what you’re passionate about & hope others enjoy it, versus trying to make what you think others want.

5: "JKPublishing"

who: JKPublishing is a St. Louis-based independent publisher with transcontinental affiliations. Since 2004, founder CJ Smith and project director Erin Wiles have published over 30 individual-author chapbooks, overseen the creation and distribution of 3 periodicals (including the Kick-Ass Award-winning Bad Shoe, a journal for women writers and artists in St. Louis), held numerous community art festivals and events, and fostered the growth and development of writers with open mic nights, writing workshops, and our handmade publications. Originally based out of Ohio, our imprint the Saint Louis Projects encompasses all of our locally-produced work, having relocated to the area in 2008. The press, like so many artistic endeavors, is a labor of love, as we both work full-time jobs elsewhere to support our passion.

what: In order to broaden our outreach, we will travel to Chicago to attend the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) Annual Conference and Bookfair. The AWP has accepted our panel discussion on small press marketing strategies and whether the traditional bookstore remains relevant. We also will maintain a booth to sell our handmade chapbooks and distribute information about our press and literature in St. Louis. The AWP event is the largest literary conference in North America, affording us a fantastic opportunity to network with other small presses and draw national attention to our local press.

how: We have purchased Megabus tickets and are staying in a hostel to keep costs low. The major expense of attendance is the per-person conference fee of $145 a person (x3). Our (former St. Louisian) panel moderator is currently based in California, and we would like to subsidize her plane ticket. Funding will also allow us to design and create promotional materials to distribute at the conference, and also to print additional books to sell at the bookfair.

when: So soon! We are hustling to get our presentations and book table ready for the 2012 conference, which takes place February 29–March 3. SLOUP funding would allow us to focus on preparing new business cards, flyers, and brochures to promote our press and panel. The support of SLOUP would allow us to print and sell more books, bolstering our press and supporting our authors.

why: Sometimes it’s a struggle to justify investing so much creative energy into commissioning, creating, and promoting small-run chapbooks. Local literature, although internally very supportive, is often ignored or overshadowed by the larger arts community. Although we stage readings to promote our publications, the act of reading and book-collecting is largely a personal, intimate endeavor. We aren’t an intense rock show, a flamboyant theater piece, or a stunning street-side mural. Our passion often isn’t on display.

Although Bob Cassily did maintain exactly this kind of rock-star persona, his recent passing inspires a metaphor for the kind of work we seek to do. Cassily died at his Cementland project exactly as he lived: solitarily, passionately, determinedly creating this extravagant, fantastic castle in the middle of nowhere, in practically a wasteland, though many could not see the value or significance of the project. That kind of boundless energy and vision—throwing the bulk of one’s resources into a construction without certain affirmation of reward—defines for us the role of the artist, and inspires awe.

6: "PIECRUST magazine: Volume 1, Issue 2"

PIECRUST magazine: Volume 1, Issue 2: Take us to Southern Graphics Council Conference! Editors/Creators: Megan Collins and Lauren Cardenas

What is PIECRUST magazine?
We have created a forum for artists and writers to show their work and put it into the hands of others in the form of an independently published magazine called, PIECRUST. The idea of a PIECRUST is a simple one.
It’s a lovely foundation for a dessert of many layers and endless possibilities, and we believe that paper is its sister in construction. Our biannual, themed magazine will feature artist interviews and an assortment of artworks on paper as well as fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. We are currently working on our Spring/Summer issue that will be titled, Soft & Sweaty, and artists and writers from all over the world have submitted their work. We reviewed the entries and compiled them into the second issue of PIECRUST magazine that will be released on March 23, 2012!

What do we need your help with?
Each year, a printmaking conference is held that allows printmakers and artists from all over to convene and attend various panels of speakers, technical demos, and showcase their work for others in the printmaking community. This year, the Southern Graphics Council Conference is being held in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Ladies of PIECRUST would like to take PIECRUST south! We would like to have a table and booth at the publishers’ fair to promote the magazine and all of the wonderful artists’ and writers’ works within it. Many St. Louis artists and writers were showcased in the first issue, and that list gets added to with our second issue! How exciting!

How will you make it?
As upcoming publishers, we have access to several letterpresses and other printing facilities. We have a local company print the interior of the magazine, and we do our own designing, layout, and we hand letterpress the covers and magazine inserts. Our main goal is to be an alternative forum to the rather rigid, academic art and writing magazines of today, (which all have their place, of course) and give artists and writers a fun, fresh, and rather witty publication to show in. As people flip through our pages, you will hopefully be inspired, laugh a little, and keep sharing the issue with others. They can even mark their favorite spot with the letterpress recipe card that will be in every issue. Our last issue was a huge success, and we would love to keep this going by being represented at SGC.

When? What is your timeline?
We have already begun laying out the next issue, and we will be sending it off to the printers in mid February. The Southern Graphics Conference will begin on March 15 and continue until March 18th where we would set up our PIECRUST table at their Publisher’s Fair. We would then promote the magazine and inform people about our release party of the second issue in St. Louis the following week! What is a thing you heard/saw recently about the making of art that you embrace? Here lately, communities of artists are taking great strides to get art out into the world and among the public. Whether it be large-scale public installations, beautiful pieces that reside on building’s exteriors, or various independent print shops organizing city-wide events, art no longer only inhabits homes and museums. While this change has been happening for a while, we certainly aren’t abandoning the flow. Various art/ craft/DIY magazines from large publishing companies may be sinking, but the independent publishing world is still surviving through community support. When it comes to making art to distribute to the public and include communities, yeah... we embrace it!

7: "A Variety of Mysteries"

Dear SLOUP funders, my proposal is a bit unusual insofar as the actual work of art has already been completed. Over the course of the last year and a half, my friends and I have have spent a good deal of our free time shooting a feature length, no budget film based on an original script written by myself, entitled "A Variety Of Mysteries". A mysterious chick flick about a drunken and depressed girl named Violet, who's meth abusing aunt Miranda, leaves her daughter, Paisley, in Violet's care while she spends time in a rehab clinic. Sounds grim on paper, but trust me, the film is actually quite charming, or so we've been told by the very few people who have actually seen it. The film took a long time to shoot because all of us who worked on it also had regular jobs and other responsibilities to attend to, and we found that a few hours on Sunday afternoons was generally all we could manage in terms of getting together to work on it. No one was paid for any of the time and effort that went into the making of this film, it was a cinematic labor of love from start to finish.

Getting back to my proposal. What good is making a film if no one ever sees it? Well actually, I suppose there are a lot of good reasons, but even so, we would like to have the chance to show the film to the public. Not being a studio film or having much in the way of commercial appeal, the best way for us to get the film shown would be by submitting it to the various independent film festivals that take place year round in cities across the country. Some film festivals, such as the Sundance and Tribeca are well known, others, like the San Diego and the Chicago Underground Film Festival are less familiar but still attract large audiences. When submitting a film for consideration for festival inclusion, an entry fee is required, generally between 40 and 60 dollars, but occasionally as much as 100 dollars may be asked, just to get someone on the selection committee to take the time to look at your film, with no assurance of being chosen for public presentation.

I am poor, and could not hope to come up with the entry fees for more than a few of these events on my own. If you choose my proposal, you will be giving our lowborn cinematic baby the chance for a good start in the world and validating all of the work that we have put into it over the last 16 months. We have no illusions of achieving fame or actually making any money from "A Variety Of Mysteries", we just want people to have the chance to see it in the hope that some may love it as much as those of us who worked on it do. I thank you for your consideration.

Devin Devon.

8: "The MTP"

The Money Transfer Protocol of St Louis (The MTP)

WHO: Members of The MTP, individuals who say something positive about St Louis or STL businesses, & St Louis Commerce.

WHAT: The MTP awards $20.00 "gift envelopes" to anyone who says something positive about the city of St Louis or its Business's. Recipients are encouraged to use the money for only St Louis based purposes (i.e. drinks at a St Louis bar, donation to St Louis NPR / KDHX, Library, purchase a local artist's work, etc).

Recipients can only be awarded once, and cannot be aware of The MTP project.

The MTP's members are anonymous.

WHERE: Wherever a member of The MTP is in ear shot of an individual talking positively of St Louis.

WHY: This project is a micro-philanthropic experiment. Its intent is to spread "surprise" positive energy throughout the city and encourage the transfer of money through St Louis. This ground level approach will hopefully inspire those living in St Louis to become more aware of St Louis and its potential for continuous betterment / positive self image.

WHEN: As long as The MTP has funding and members willing to participate, we will continue to award gift envelopes.

Whom the envelope goes to, what the person said that earned them the envelope, and where the money is projected to go is privately documented until we reach a kind of "critical mass" and it is time to have a show showcasing the project.

HOW: An instruction sheet detailing the project with $20.00 is placed in a gift envelope. Envelopes are kept on hand by members of The MTP for distribution while in public.

"If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it."

-Paraphrased from Moby Dick




9: "Many artists fear writing"

Many artists fear writing or have no basis or foundation to write.
this is something that needs to be addressed in context of sloup, but
possibly other artists grants. the money and sloup is out there, but
how do you get people to write their ideas and thoughts down on paper?
how do you get people (visual/musicians) to engage in this activity
(writing/feeling good when writing) if it is new and foreign to them?
I want to make a work of art that addresses this issue. this is my
proposal. I will use sloup money to go around asking other people who
I know can benefit from sloup, have them write their idea down, and
give them the money. I will get the sloup money first, and then
approach my friend/artist and dangle the dubs in front of their eyes,
effectively motivating them to write a short paragraph of what they
want to do with the money with out the peer pressure of being subject
to "review." I will then give them the money, and frame the proposal
as a work of art next to some root beer. This is my art and this is
what I will use the Sloup proposal for. I love art, please support me
support other artists. This is my primary love affair now (not making
paintings in the studio) (not pretending to sound smart) (not
pretending to be spiritual) But simply encouraging art.

10. "The Viand"
The Viand
: cooking local food, serving civic communion
Description of the project:
We are writing a book! It is about what to do with local food. More than a cookbook, this book is about underground food projects. We are looking at all the ways people are using local food to bring people together to create active communities. This book will be full of photographs, recipes, theory, interviews with people who host underground food events and people who have changed their lives around what they have learned. We will also being profiling inspiring projects from around the country including SLOUP! We are working to get the book out by next fall and are excited to have events in celebration.

Here’s more: Local Food is all the rage now. It is a social movement, which understands food as community, rather than commodity. Local food has effectively jujitsued the cooptation of organic by developing an alternative to symbolic certification. People want to know their farmer, and not just to reassure them about ecological practices, but to complete a circle of social relations around the production and consumption of food.

CSAs and community gardens have waiting lists, the organic market is plenty profitable, and Whole Foods has been forced to sell local products. So we got local food, what are we supposed to do with it? Much of it needs to be processed and cooked, and a lot of us didn’t learn how. And how do we continue the energy of this movement into further transformations of our economy and culture?

Our underground food project, The Viand, begun in December 2005 as a community institution, which addressed several dimensions of local food: celebration, demonstrating simple cooking, and promoting connections with farmers and local markets. Now six years later, after hosting in various cities around the world, we are writing a book! This book tells the story of The Viand, makes the connections between the underground restaurant movement, the local food movement, and beyond, and provides a How-To for non-professional cooks, surrounded with recipes and luscious photographs of the events. You can look at some documentation of what we did here: all the best, Andrea Godshalk


  1. Hello my name is Ashley and I live at the PMS House. I was hoping to get in contact with number 7 and offer a showing of the film at my house.

  2. That is some inspirational stuff. Never knew that opinions could be this varied. Thanks for all the enthusiasm to offer such helpful information here.
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