Updated Bio and Dali’s Table

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Dali’s Table, 2017 Patterns upon patterns over the distorted red pattern from Dali’s 1956 painting Living Still Life (French: Nature Morte Vivante) Dali painted this piece during a period that he called “Nuclear Mysticism.”[1] Nuclear Mysticism is composed of different theories that try to show the relationships between quantum physics and the conscious mind. The different theories are composed of elements that range from “Catalan philosophers” to “classicismpop art, and nuclear physics.”[2] The painting, done in 1956, currently resides at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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 I transform “e-waste”- discarded electronics and outdated computer components into dynamic compositions that combine 2D color and pattern with 3D abstract forms.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Growing up, my Dad worked at Raytheon (1960-90) and brought home outdated equipment that was being thrown out.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  Since that time I have learned a great deal about the abundance of outdated technology and the toll it is taking on the world because manufacturers do not take responsibility for the full lifecycle of their products.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.

www.hackercreations.com

www.artisansasylum.com

www.etsy.com/shop/hackercreations

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Where do you get your parts?

Melissa Glick, Hacker Creations

This is the most common question I am asked at craft shows.  Here are some of the more interesting origins.

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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.

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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.

 

Melissa Glick has been an inmate at the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, MA since 2012. She grew up in a home where recycling and saving cool looking things was the norm. She studied Art History at SUNY Purchase and got a masters in art education at Mass College of Art.

 

 

 

Open Call: HackCycle Deadline for Submissions: May 25th

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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:

 – robotics
– electronics
– sci fi
– cosplay
– anime, action figure toys & fun childhood memories

GUIDELINES:
– $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 info@navegallery.org.

-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

ABOUT THE CURATOR:
Melissa Glick is a Boston-based artist and teacher who finds beauty in unexpected places. She creates dynamic compositions with abstract elements and bold colors by combining disassembled computer parts with appropriated imagery and personal relics. In addition to her work being fun and eye catching it address the environmental impact of our technological lifestyle and our emotional attachments to the “things” that represent and validate who we are. Melissa works out of the Artisan’s Asylum and is a proponent of the Maker Movement and the democratization of production. She has a Masters in Art Education from Mass College of Art and a BA from SUNY Purchase and has run educational programs at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Boston Ballet, Museum of Fine Arts, Watertown Arsenal Center for the Arts, Parts & Crafts and at various community events.  View her work at www.melissasglick.com

Boston Handmade New Member Transforms Debris into Detris

atmitflea500BH: Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).

MG: Hi, I’m Melissa Glick, I live in Central Sq Cambridge with my ltbf Sean and work out of the Artisan’s Asylum (huge maker space) in Union Sq Somerville. I have been involved with the Nave and Nave Annex, www.navegallery.org two all volunteer run galleries in Somerville for over 10 years.

BH: What is your background? (family background, education, former/current day jobs)

I am a youngest child. Grew up in Lexington and studied Art History at SUNY Purchase and at The American College & Parsons in Paris. I have a masters in Art Education from Mass College of Art. I didn’t have the temperament to be a school teacher so instead I managed educational programs at cultural institutions including: Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Arts in Progress, The Boston Public Schools, Mass Alliance for Arts Education, Boston Ballet, ICA and The Museum of Fine Arts. My grandfather went to Cooper Union and my sister inherited the sewing talent and makes costumes.

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BH: How long have you been doing your artwork/craft?

I’ve been doing Hacker Junk Creation for almost 3 years. Previously I did photography. I learned to work in the dark room in high school. I was an early adopter of the digital medium and spent many hours experimenting with Photoshop. I may not know how a computer does it’s magic, but I sure know how to take them apart!

BH: Describe your work.

I transform old computer parts and recycled paper into assemblages, mosaics, tiles and clocks. I play with pattern, perspective and illusion by combining a plethora of 3D abstract shapes, colors and materials found in e-waste with 2D imagery from my personal collection of cultural relics.

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BH: Please describe your creative process (how, when, materials, etc).

When I took apart my first computer I was amazed to find so many unusual abstract shapes made of many kinds of materials in many beautiful colors. I was immediately reminded of some of my favorite artists, Bauhaus, Louis Nevelson, Mondrain. Along the way I have learned techniques for attaching and manipulating the materials involving lots of tools, woodworking and recently 3D design software and the CNC Router. My work is about visual connections, playing with shapes, patterns and composition.

BH: What are your favorite materials?

What’s not to love about a shiny hard drive platter that makes a beautiful tone when you tap it? Stators look like snowflakes and come in original copper, blue, green and even red. I especially love the tiny little bushings and other connectors with geometric cut outs.

3rdclock500BH: What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?

I studied Art History and have amassed a collection of images of art and other graphics that attract my eye. Its an alchemy of bringing together obsolete mechanical parts with the line and color of beautiful images. The first time I saw the plastic sheet under a key board I immediately thought of Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie-Woogie. By incorporating reproductions of works of art I am giving them new life and reinterpreting them in my unique manner.

BH: How do you promote your work?

Open studios at the Asylum brings over 300 people in. We also host other events where people can see my work displayed by my space. Being involved with the Nave Gallery provides exhibition opportunities and keeps me in touch with the community where I learn about new projects to get involved in. The Somerville Arts Council www.somervilleartscouncil.org supports the artist community by producing many wonderful events and projects to get involved with. I have a website at: Melissasglick.com.

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BH: What’s your most interesting fair/show experience?

The Trash Bash! This was the 2nd year 3 Graces Productions put on the event. Artists who work with recycled materials get to display and the audience votes for their favorite piece in many categories. There are bands and information about recycling. These are my people!

BH: Why should people buy handmade?

Something handmade has a unique quality and is endowed with the spirit of it’s maker. Being creative and making the world around us more beautiful is a very valuable skill.

BH: How long have you been involved with Etsy and what have your experiences been?

I opened my store in 2008 but never really used it until 2012. I have sold 2/3’s of my work to people in San Francisco, which is totally awesome. I have watched some videos about marketing and love the whole international craft marketplace economy phenomenon, but I wouldn’t consider my experience to be a success. My Etsy shop is called Melsplace, come visit!

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BH: Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites

MG:  Websites: http://beautifuldecay.com, www.lostateminor.com, whatshouldireadnext.com, www.thisiscolossal.com, www.sca-roadside.org, www.instructables.com

Movies: Amelie, Roman Holiday, Big Fish, Almost Famous, Train Spotting, Usual Suspects, City of God, Black Swan, Borat, Moonrise Kingdom, School of Rock, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Break Back Mountain, Blood Simple.

Songs: Regina Specktor: Eet, Dylan: Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Bruce Springsteen: Thunder Road, Decemberists: Cinnamon

Books:Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern, Traveling with Pomegranates SM Kidd & AK Taylor, People of the Book, Geraldine Brooks, Song of Chameleons, Truman Capote

BH: Is there anything about you that would surprise people to know?

I was an extra in the Martin Scorsese film The Departed. You can see me just over Martin Sheen’s left shoulder as he exits the South Station T station.

The Incredible Clock Show

April Hacker Junk Creations News letter           Welcome Spring!!!
Wed April 16, 4:30-6:30pm Recycle Creativity Lab Reception University Place Gallery 124 Mt. Auburn St Cambridge.
Sun. April 27, 10 am – 4 pm CRAFTOPIA a super-duper day of art, craft, food & fun! in Pawtucket, RI. Fri-
Fri-Sun May 2.-4 Somerville Open Studios Visit the Artisan’s Asylum 10 Tyler St.Don’t miss The Artists’ Choice Exhibit at the Somerville Museum.
VISIT:  Etsy Store     Flickr Stream

UPDATE: I have been spending all my time in the studio. Making clocks and chokers for the Nashua Steampunk Festivaland working on my first large scale collaborative piece, The River of Connectivity!

Unfortunatesos copyly the Steampunk Festivalwas cancelled….. so instead, my theme for this year’s Somerville Open Studios will be: Melissa’s Incredible Clock Show. Re: my love for Modern Art, there is a Mondrian clock, Basquiat Clock, Escher Clock and lots of new work. I may also be selling Hacker Junk by the OZ. Mostly plastic gears spray painted silver and copper – for all your Steampunk costume making needs! If not you can get it at MELSPACE.

 RECYCLE CREATIVITY LAB : I spent 3 snowy afternoons with middle school kids at the Gately Afterschool as visiting artist for a Cambridge Creativity Commons  project. Each kid got a (broken) laptop to take apart and transform using collage and assemblage! After showing my Power point presentation about found art and abstract composition, a girl responded by saying, “It’s like how some people don’t think Graffiti its art.” Thank you Paul, Erin and Kyle for this opportunity! With support from the Cambridge Art Association  the results of the program along with my River of Connectivity will be displayed at University Place Gallery 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Harvard Sq. I hope you can drop by the reception Wednesday, April 16, 4:30-6:30 pm.

How Thtylerbox_web copye River of Connectivity came to be: 1) Erin from CAA said University Place Gallery is really large, and wondered if the children’s work would fill it & invited me to include a piece.   2) I had a collection of beautiful parts that were too large for my usual work.   3) I had a source of large plywood from the dis assembly of The Asylum’s Veladrome.   4) I saw Tyler’s awesome phone booth and I invited him to collaborate. Thus my first collaborative, moving, large scale piece was born! Again I hope you will come to see its debut on April 16th. So exciting!! Here is a description  of the work.

Somerville Library Workshop: We made mobiles a February mobkids2editVacation Week workshop that was well attended by regulars and new folks including a group from the Elizabeth Peabody House. The instructions were to balance parts off hangers that were suspended across the room, but some kids liked the challenge of attaching the MOST stuff.

Up Coming: I am looking forward to participating in some Indy Craft Festivals( If you hear of any other please let me know.)  My first will be: CRAFTOPIA  on Sun. April 27th. It is being held at the Hope Artiste Village 1005 Main St, Pawtucket RI. It’s a wonderful day trip!

I will be updating my ETSY store MELSPLACE with all my new work soon!. Take a look and while you are there, please click on the FAV button- so I will come up in the search algorithm.

Workshops for all ages are available at the Artisan’s Asylum  (for over 18) and other locations. Parts and Crafts. Please contact me if you are interested! glick.melissa@gmail.com

Take care and thanks for your support!

Melissa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White House Maker Faire taking place in 2014

Hey Prez!!!Image

I have been working at the Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, MA for almost 2 years. Its an amazing place where I have been able to merge visual art with technology! I make “mosaics” by combining old computer parts with colorful collage made with recycled papers. When I work with children (and adults), I tell them to look at the parts like “tiles” in various colors, materials, shapes and sizes – to use in compositions. I know 101 (not literally) fun projects to make out of recycled computer parts! While we are doing “take apart” and using our imaginations, kids are seeing for the first time, the multitude of parts (screws, heatsink, hard drive, gears, motors, wires, processors, springs, stators, transformers, copper wire, fans….) that fit together like a puzzle to make your computer work!

It is a fun and inspiring activity, that I love to share with others. You can see examples of my and the work from workshops at my website, on my blog and at my etsy store!!!!

The engineers at the asylum usually think my work is weird, but when we have an open house and they see the hoards of kids, they are very impressed! Artists make great teachers…….engineers, not always! Check out my and the work of my students.

Sugru Instructable

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Instructables is a website where you can learn many cool things. I was asked to document my use of Sugru, a new moldable adhesive material that hardens like plastic. It was the perfect solution to this tricky assemlage project.

Check out my first Instructable!!!  http://www.instructables.com/id/Hacker-Junk-Clock-ala-sugru/

Sugru http://sugru.com/us/about . Their slogan is Hack Things Better! I love that!

Hacker Pearly Hats

I am generally not interested in creating identifiable objects such as animals or characters in my work (although the suggestion is often offered). There are many artists who do amazing work in that style (Paul Gray). It’s just not what I do with ONE exception.

When I disassemble a hard drive or cd reader, I break it down to the tiniest of parts. I sort them by color: sliver, black, white, brown, copper. I group them by shape: springs, squares, circles, zigzag.  I must admit I was pretty giddy when I discovered a zoo of tiny animals including penguins, giraffes, camels and some little guys I call space men.

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Hacker Pearly Hats

Seeing all the shiny silver shapes against a black background reminded me of one of my favorite photos of the White Stripes in amazing button covered suites. I remembered seeing suits like these a long time ago as a child and thought it had something to do with London. Once I googled it, that thrilling curiosity, itchy feeling of needing to know and solve the mystery was satisfied!  Cockney Pearlies!

“The “pearlies” have their origins a century ago in a street sweeper named Henry Croft, who adapted the button-festooned clot hes worn by London costermongers — apple-sellers….”  

That is how the hats were started. By calling them Hacker Pearlies, I hope other curious folk will learn about this beautiful creative tradition. I can now add Pearlies to the collection of my Assemblage Aesthetic influences.

When I asked my teenage neighbors to model the Hacker Pearlies, their reaction was very encouraging. “Awesome, I love this one! You should sell these…..I wish I had some money!”  So…. if I sell two hats, I will give one to her! I love making them!

Each piece is individually sewn and knotted using a nylon coated wire used for jewelry making. I can make one especially for you! You pick the hat color, the size, color or even type of parts you’d like. The durability of the hat has been thoroughly tested. (Thanks Michael!) If you have any questions about these Hacker Pearly Hats please contact me!

Please visit MELSPLACE   Be a luv and give us a fav, will ya?

SOS Somerville Open Studios

Although it was a long time in the planning and I pulled my SOS display together at the last minute. Took half a day off from work and totally reorganized my pallets where I store all my raw materials. I cleared out space and set up a little work area where I planned to spend the time productively. There we were at the corner of aisle 1 and 2. Jim Brendt showing his graphic novel… Gretchen’s white wall, looking very Newberry St gallery with her abstract metal sculpture and Seth’s concrete table. The four of us spent the hours representing our very different work to the visitors. Image

Visitors…. Obviously the first thing you think of are those who bought something. I will never forget, and each and everyone of you, mean so much to me. The girl who bought my first magnet, she said she liked the texture! But I didnt get her name. She paid in cash. Next Michael bought the hat. I thought I could get $50 at the Steampunk Festival, but since I decided not to do that event, I offered it to him for $25. It was perfect for him. He’s one of those guys who wears a baseball hat every single day. He said it Imagewas replacing his current hat which

was 5

years old. I hope this one lasts that long!

A couple purchased (the first) framed Animal Park print. They said they would put it in their hall, which needed color. The next print to go was destined for a little girl named Harriet’s room. Her mom took a photo of the 2 of us with the print. A 30 something yr old woman bought the first mosaic of the weekend. She was funny. First she wanted the clock, then it was Orange, but in the end she purchased “Prince” for $50. ImageShe said she liked the angular shape and the colorful, mishmash of pictures and objects.

Finally, one of the biker fleet got a 2 for $80 special deal on a small framed Pig and the Wall paper mosaic! Grand Total: $375!

Now I have the selling bug! I say, buy it, take it away so that I have room to make new work!!! Thank you for supporting my habit and closing the recycling circle!