Disappointing, I didn’t sell any of my actual art. I sold enough earrings, necklaces to cover the fee, plus some. This is when the negative thoughts start. No one likes my work, it’s no good. I’m wasting my time…… Please feel free to disagree!
There were some enthusiastic viewers and some positive reactions, for example a woman was looking at the series I did for Valentines day made with a red circuit board behind laser cut hearts in wildly colored collaged wood. She said “Oh these are great, I work in Pulmonary Medicine.” “Would look great in your office” said I, to no avail. I offered the small piece for a discount of $20 and she still didn’t take it.
Turns out pulmonary is lungs not hearts (cardiac) … but she brought it up!
Melissa Glick makes 3D collage out of old computer parts. Her studio is at The Artisan’s Asylum, a 40K sq. foot “Maker Space” in Somerville, MA. Her work has been described as being “structural poetry”. Visit her website and Etsy shop to see more of her work.
It’s only October but I am getting into the spirit of giving. I’m giving my work to people who will hang them in public spaces. A while back, I heard about an acquaintance who offered her work for free to anyone who wanted it. The following week, she received good fortune including a commission!
Whenever I walked past Monster Mikes Guitars at 869A Mass Ave. up the street from where I live in Central Sq, Cambridge MA., I noticed an empty space in the window. So I just went in, introduced myself and asked if could put my piece there and he said sure. So if you’re in the area check out Tango in Mustard.I also encourage you to patronize this fine establishment.
This Hacker Creation is a 3D collage of recycled paper, wood, and computer parts – a collection of abstract shapes and patterns unified by the “pea soup” color of the old circuit boards on the top. Press the button and the “muffin fans” spin. The composition combines intricate details from a collection of traditional decorative patterns and an image of dancers painted by John Grillo (from a brochure I picked up at a gallery in Welfleet years ago) with disassembled and surplus parts from old technology. The appropriated image is mounted on a metal hard drive cover and framed by a grid from the plastic flexi-sheet (from under the keyboard keys.) Batteries and wiring are sandwiched between two boards, clipped together with improvised metal parts.
My mechanic is a great guy, I’ve known him for years and consider him a friend. Today I had to get new brakes on my car and when I picked it up, I gave Mario, Metal Weave to hang in his newly refurbished office/waiting room. I think he liked it. The piece has a lot of silver metal, black plastic and features an old vacuum tube and fits in amidst the car parts, tools and lifts. I’m not going to plug Mario’s garage because it is always too crowded and I like to think it’s my little secret. I doubt they have a website.
My goal is to increase my audience by getting my work out into the world. When people stumble upon it, I hope they will have time to take in the variety of shapes and materials. Get a sense of the balance, composition and patterns. Its a non-verbal thing, if it brings you pleasure then, you get it!
I take pictures of everyone who buys one of my pieces. My audience may be limited and perhaps a collection of odd ducks, but when they say, ” I love it”, I know they are telling me the truth. It is such a thrill when people “get it”, confirming that we share a way of seeing beauty in unusual places.
The recycle loop has three steps: 1. I keep materials out out of the waste system. 2. They are transformed, given new life as art. 3. When you hang it on your wall at home/office to enjoy. Be a part of the Recycle loop! Visit my Shop at: www.etsy.com/shop/hackercreations
I find beauty in unexpected places. As a “hacker” I take things apart and re-purpose them in cool new ways. I transform “e-waste”- discarded electronics and outdated computer components into dynamic compositions that combine 2D color and pattern with 3D abstract forms. My work touches upon issues ofintimacy, excess, ecology and raising awareness. My work has been described as being ”structural poetry.”
Growing up, my Dad worked at Raytheon (1960-90) and brought home outdated equipment that was being thrown out. I never opened a computer until I joined The Artisan’s Asylum, maker space in Somerville MA in 2012. Since that time I have learned a great deal about the abundance of outdated technology and the toll it is taking on the world because manufacturers do not take responsibility for the full lifecycle of their products.
There’s an element of chance in my work since my materials are given to me and because each series of computer I open is different. It’s like a treasure hunt. I know immediately if a piece is visually interesting or not (unless I’m in an indecisive mood). The visual excitement when a particular shape just POPS when in relation to a particular color or pattern is thrilling.
I weave in my background and love of Modernism by appropriating imagery from the past. Originally I built upon a surface made from old letters, post cards and other personal items that romantic people accumulate. Currently I incorporate digital imagery (mine, Modern Art, random print) which I alter with Photoshop. The compositions place shapes of disassembled technology in relationship with abstract imagery with contrast, balance and repetition and suggest a connection or equivalence.
I grew up going to DeCordova summer camp where my creativity was always encouraged. At the age of ten I saw the Acropolis in Athens and knew I would be studying Art History when I went to college. Between visiting galleries and museums in NYC while at SUNY Purchase and a year in Paris, I developed my aesthetic sense and became focused on contemporary art. After 5 years of doing administrative work at the ICA, I enrolled at Mass College of Art and earned a Masters in Art Education. I have run educational programs at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Boston Ballet, Museum of Fine Arts. Once I got out of the office and starting making art, I taught at Watertown Arsenal Center for the Arts, Parts & Crafts. I offer workshops to people of all ages at the Artisan’s Asylum and at various community events.
This is the most common question I am asked at craft shows. Here are some of the more interesting origins.
I once received a box of working clock inserts in the mail. The return address was from Malden but I did not recognize/remember who it was from. They have roman numerals but take an unusual battery. Thank you to my donor!
My childhood friend was clearing out her house to be sold and bequeathed upon me her family’s first PC. It was an IBM from 1987. I remember watching Karen annihilate aliens on a tiny 5″x7″ monitor.
At a crowded Flea market a gentleman told me he had some printed circuit boards. We met at a cafe and he gave me 2 boxes of green, shiny as new boards of all sizes. These are samples he said. Let me know if you want more.
July 6/17 I saw a black box on the side of the street the other day…. I thought about picking it up but I walked by. Then next day, it was still there, so I took a closer look. It was a 5 disc CD player. So I grabbed it and put it in the back of my car. I opened it up and found a piece resembling a huge black plastic throwing star. I’ve opened one of these before, but it did not have this design. I was most interested in the black plastic pieces, I photographed against a green background.
I started off making Joseph Cornell-like boxes using the things my father had saved in the dungeon of my childhood home. The house I grew up in was being emptied out to be sold. Examples of my oldest work.
Fellow Artisan’s Asylum members offer me their cruft, (left over parts of unfinished projects, surplus materials.) Generally happy to see them being put into some kind of use, even if it isn’t electronic.
Once after doing a workshop at an after school in Southie, I was “paid” with a tower of PC’s they were upgrading from. Stacked, they were as talk as me.
My 100 sq foot studio is packed with components that need to be taken apart. At Open Studios a visitor said, entering my studio “is like entering another world, there is so much going on.”
Sometimes when I am offered parts, I take them, even if they are nothing special because I am grateful they think of me and for their act of generosity. I am also grateful for the time the other members give to me when they answer my questions. Although they often go into more detail that I need.
What an exciting Spring !
I’m just back from a trip to Cuba which was so inspiring, I’ve already made new 2 pieces. Including this one that includes images of the neighborhood covered in mosaic.
I received a grant from the Artisan’s Asylum to start a line of work to market specifically to funky art gallery shops. After Open Studios, I will start learning to use the Shop Bot (CNC Gantry Router) to drill shadow boxes out of a 2 ” solid piece of wood. If you know of any funky art gallery shops, similar to where I current sell work, Blue Cloud and Uni-T please let me know.
First weekend of May you can visit me at The Artisan’s Asylum, 10 Tyler St Somerville. The largest Maker Space on the East coast with 40,000 Square feet of workshops, studios, classrooms and community space. Parking in the lot off Dane St. Learn about all the classes you could take.
Come to Space #10 and see all my new work! You also get to check out all the old technology that has been donated to me and my organizational system that goes up 10 feet, requiring a ladder to reach the top! You can also make a pin or necklace.
Additionally, there is the SOS First Look show at theSomerville Museum, One Westwood Ro. Every SOS artist has been invited to submit one work. Open April 27-29: Thurs 2-7pm, Fri 2-5 pm, Sat noon-5pm & SOS weekend May 4-7: Thurs 2-7 pm, Fri 2-9 pm, Sat and Sun 11am-6pm.
MAY 6 & 7
The Atrium 100-200 Technology Square on Main Street at the railroad tracks, in Kendall Square. Refreshments will be served.
Check out this awesome bike tour map! Our Open Studios Launch Party and Artist Showcase will be Thursday, May 11th from 6-8pm at The Cambridge Art Association 25 Lowell Street, Cambridge. Open to the public.
Lots of people have expressed interest in taking my fun workshops…..but I haven’t managed to get them all in the same room! If you would like to join and give it a try, please email me: and let me know what days/times work best for you and we will make it happen!
Where to begin? I haven’t traveled in a while so please excuse my excessive gushing about how good it is for the mind & soul! I came home inspired, motivated to make art. I loved it and here are some of the things I learned:
1. Cuba is a beautiful country with decaying Colonial Spanish architecture, undeveloped rural land, blue ocean, sunny skies and beautiful, creative people.
2. People to people which is one of the required travel visas, is something I excel at, I was told. I would talk to anyone. I started many of my interactions with Cuban people by saying, “Trump es diabalo.” To which they would smile and we would both shake our heads in agreement. Then I would say, “I hope it doesn’t change here.” Many said, “We don’t want it to change.” Others said, “It will take a long time to change.” (Just today someone told me about what it was like there 15 years ago. A lot has changed!)
3. The group I went with was lead by Syliva of Colibri Travel out of Cambridge MA. She is an awesome person & tour guide. Our Cuban guide, Jorge was also awesome and very guapo.
It was really nice to be in a small group of eight. We began to act like a family, with Tlak and Iruna as Mom & Dad, I was always running to catch up with the group. There were the girls, Diana, Joan and Cindy; and Linda & Dick, who I coincidentally know from Cambridge.
For my travel partner, I had the honor of being accompanied by one of my oldest and best friends, Karen R. Even though Karen and I first became friends on a 10 day bike trip when we were 13. It took some getting used to the close quarters. I haven’t shared a room with anyone (of my own gender)… since my sister moved out to college in 1974! Thanks for coming KR.
In the 3 days we spent in Havana, we visited National Museo of Fine Art & Revolution Museums, “Squares” of Old Havana (De Armas, de la Cathedral, de San Francisco, Vieja). I attended a Flamenco performance at the beautifully restored Teatro de la Habana. We walked to Hotel National along the Malecón the 5 mile long seawall which stretches from Old Havana to the Vedado neighborhood where we stayed at the awesome Vintage Casa.
We then drove east to the rural area where we visited a Tobacco Farm, we ate the most amazing vegetarian lunch in history at a “finca” farm. Not only did we count 45 different vegetables but the view was breath taking. Coconut drink with herbs, magical! The largest flan ever! Literally 12″ in diameter!
A night in Vinales at a Casa where we ate breakfast on the roof terrace.
A night at the amazing Moka hotel at Las Terrazas, eco community, artists, swimming, trees growing thru the hotel!
Its hard not to take a good photo in Cuba. Note to self: don’t delete folders trying to make more room – due to lack of internet, they haven’t been backed up. Thankfully, my travel mates shared their best photos which I were way better than ones I lost.
We then headed west, our tour bus sharing the highway with horse and buggies. After visiting Che’s memorial in the heat, we headed to Unesco-protected town of Trinidad. Our final day was spent in Cienfuegos.
Post Script: I’ve been back in Trumpland for two weeks – what a contrast. And to dampen my mood even more, I just watched the documentary, “Cuba Fatherland or Death: Unvarnished look at contemporary Cuba through the eyes of its people” by Patria O. Muerte, which shows Cuba very differently from the one I saw as a tourist. Especially shocking were images of people being taken away by police, as Obama disembarks from his plane. In the film, Fidel triumphantly announces “Cuba is not under anyone else’s sovereignty!” This was a great accomplishment but what followed did not provide the strong foundation, spirituality or shared values needed to succeed.Cuba is now faced with the challenge of building a society & economy to support their people. In that sense it is time for big change.
On a positive note, Cuban artist, Tania Bruguera has started the INSTITUTO DE ARTIVISMO HANNAH ARENDT . Perhaps the arts will help Cubans have a say in what’s to come. “Here Cubanos de a pie (everyday Cubans) will use Art-activism to wish, think and do, in order to build a real democracy in Cuba.”
The Nave Gallery (Somerville, MA) invites artists to participate in the curated exhibition, HackCycle.
HackCycle celebrates recycled art of the 21st century. We invite submissions from artists, nerds, makers, burners and others who employ experimentation and serendipity using today’s technological debris and/or innovative techniques as part of their creative process.
The exhibition examines the transformation of bits, bytes, cruft, e-waste, circuits, doodads, odds & ends and more into objects of art. Work may (but is not limited to) demonstrate the use of 3D printing, laser cutters and/or CNC bots in combination with found art, assemblage and/or appropriation.
Entries sought may (but are not limited to) include unique and reimagined re-uses of the following elements:
– sci fi
– anime, action figure toys & fun childhood memories
– $15 entry fee payable through PayPal
– A maximum of five pieces may be entered for consideration
– Submissions will be accepted through September 8, 2015
– The Nave Gallery will retain a 30% commission for work sold
– Artist is responsible for cost of shipping work to and from the gallery
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR WORK:
-Send up to five artwork submissions as .jpg files to email@example.com.
-Each .jpg should be 1200 pixels in the long dimension and named as “NAME_#.jpg” where # is the submission number and NAME is your last name
-Include an image list with your jpeg submission email, indicating submission number, title, size, process and year, as well as a brief artist bio and statement
-There is a $15 submission fee, payable through Paypal. Paypal is available here. Please include “HackCycle” in the note field
– Please indicate where you learned of the call
Accepted pieces should be delivered to the Nave Gallery located in Teele Square (155 Powder House Blvd, Somerville, MA) ready to install.
CALENDAR: Deadline for entries: May 25, 2015 Notification: May 30, 2015 Artwork drop-off: June 7, 2015 Exhibition dates: June 11 – July 11, 2015 Opening reception: June 11, 2015; 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
When I volunteered at Arduino Day on Sat. March 28th, it was snowing so hard, the Charles River was barely visible from the top floor of the MIT Media Lab. But what an interesting place to learn more about the “Lego” of electronics. Make Magazine posted a slide show of photos I took that day.
I first heard about Arduino from the collaborator on my pieceThe River of Connectivity which has 12 re-purposed computer fans across a 6 ft. long assemblage. Tyler built and programed an Arduino that turned the fans turned on then off in succession from left to the right. The fans, that look best when slowing down and starting up, recalled flowing water.
What is it? Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for anyone making interactive projects. Therefore it is becoming popular with new media artists who create experiential environments and work with light and sound.
How Does it Work? As with all electronics, components are connected to a board. The Arduino board comes with some components already attached so you can just plug into your computer and use a free software to program, tell it what to do. There are many companies doing this.
The program spells out what steps to take in computer language. Using If statements allows the instructions to change based on options. Various roles of components include:
Sensors, that react to light, sound, touch, speed, temperature, moisture;
Switches, that turn things on and off and adjust speed;
Clocks and counters, used to schedule frequency etc.
How does it relate to art? Some of my favorite artists made kinetic sculpture. Calder and Rikey made large metal shapes that moved, be they powered by the wind or human interaction. I once witnessed a couple of percussionists make wonderful rhythms on a large free-standing Calder swung around at The Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase, 1981. (This was it’s intended purpose.)
Alexander Calder, Red Mobile, 1956, Painted sheet metal and metal rods, a signature work – Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Closer to Home: Some of my friends at the Artisan’s Asylum are experimenting with Arduino. Sage Kochavi’s piece Furry All, consists of two feet high letters, covered in soft fun fur. She programed the Arduino sensor to trigger LEDs embedded in the fur. As your hand nears, the lights glow brighter and when you stroke the fur, the letter begins to purr via the embedded motors which are triggered by the interaction.
Another Asylum member Mark Brownawell, has set up a little monitor connected to a temperature sensor. As people come near, red blocks of color increase and blue decrease. Temperatures in between are represented in yellow and green.
It is inevitable that the current technology would be integrated into the art of the period. Products like Arduino make it possible for artists to push boundaries and use it in ways corporations and scientists would never would. How can you imagine using Arduino in a creative project?
A lot has been happening! I have been making lots of new work! After a bit of a breather after Open Studios and Craftopia, I am more inspired than ever! I so many hard drives, disc drives and vcrs I have no room left in my 50′ workspace at the Artisan’s Asylum. People are so generous with their donation and time. Thank you to everyone who has helped me to learn Solidworks and cut out my first piece on the CNC router!
I am so happy to announce that I was accepted into the Boston Hand Made artist’s group! This collection of 10 artists works together to support and promote their handmade businesses together. Already I have attended a new member cocktail event at Gather by the ICA. Today is a meet up in Melrose and next week will be a workshop in Concord, I am looking forward to working on a potential Holiday Storefront in Coolidge Corner, Brookline. Check out their beautiful website and blog at: http://www.bostonhandmade.org/ Already I have upgraded my website and purchased my own domain name. You can visit my new and improved website at: melissasglick.com
Last week I led a lovely workshop by the River at the new mall Assembly Row. Set up on a grassy area with a view of boats and the busy pedestrian path. There were participants of all ages – from 3 – 73! It was part of the series of free workshops every Sunday from 2 – 3 pm.
Tomorrow July 19th is Art Beat, in Davis Square, Somerville, MA from 10 am – 5 pm. There will be music performance, art, food and craft vendors! I will be manning an info booth about the Artisan’s Asylum. We will be located on Statue Park by the animals and other activities. There will be a glass blowing demo from 11 am – 2pm, map drawing and take a part. Come by and say HI!