Bad Art Night — Signs and Wonders

Bad Art Night is this Wednesday night at Tropioca from 7:00-10:00 p.m. Come and bring your art project and create with us. Bring art supplies to share if you’re feeling generous and we’ll have an art potluck of sorts.

And if you don’t have an art project to work on, you can have one of mine. This month’s theme — my latest art initiative — is “Signs and Wonders.” It’s another iteration in my current fixation with making art with cardboard and trash.

I’ll be using carboard art to make signs. I’m making public art, “found art,” in the form of signs to post and leave around town. Signs to make people wonder. Wonder at the beauty of your art or just wonder who the hell drew that and posted that there. Whatever, as long as they wonder and, for a split moment, pierce the commercial cacaphony of the signs that constantly bombard their psychic paths through the city.

Signs are instruments of control. A one-sided conversation between the people who own signposts and the rest of us who trudge by them. They do not speak of truth and beauty. They sell things and ideas. And when we get a chance to make a sign, we speak of self-interest. A garage sale, a lost dog that needs to be found, “Lose Weight Now, Ask Me How,” that kind of thing.

Look at your average public bulletin board. The public commons reduced to the relative size of a postage stamp, and what do we do with it? Clogged and choked with clamoring commerce — business cards, flyers, pamphlets all screaming “Notice me! I need your money!” Amateur imitations of the Big Signs owned by the Big People. We’ve learned well from our masters, haven’t we?

So I say we take that voice and speak something other than greed. A simple painting, a simple truth, a bit of scrawled poetry, anything that says, “I will not waste my public voice on mammon! Wake up people!”

Or you could just come and draw things on cardbaord and drink coffee. Whatever.

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