It’s been over a month since my last email and well, I’ve missed you. I have a few things going on that you might be interested in. Then again, you might not. But what the hell, I’ll tell you about them anyway. So…
My friend Nic, who has been in the local press for the last couple of months due to his arrest on suspected vandalism charges, is still in the midst of a legal battle. We’d like to think the end is near, but who knows for sure. I’m not sure how much I can say about the case since nothing has been resolved at this point, but some friends and I are doing what we can to help Nic out. Nic’s lawyer is awesome by the way and totally sympathizes with the case. A more perfect lawyer could not have been found. However, a good lawyer doesn’t come cheap. Since the day of the arrest I have been formulating some sort of fundraising event. You know what, I should interject for a brief moment to give a little back story in case you’re wondering why I want to help a “suspected vandal”. Nic Rodriguez was arrested after his house was raided by SLOPD (San Luis Obispo Police Department). The officers confiscated all art related items in Nic’s house. This includes pens, markers, paint, brushes, completed and in progress canvases, a blank canvas and about 60 empty cans of spray paint. I mention the spray cans because the local media sensationalized the “73 cans” as if Nic was a “prolific graffiti artist” never mentioning that only about 10 of them had paint in them and that all of his canvas paintings have some sort of spray painted elements to them. Nic has never been caught in the act of vandalizing anything, so to me the case is totally circumstantial. Of course, that is my opinion and I have not seen all the evidence the police have gathered against Nic. What upsets me is that they are not returning the confiscated items, (which includes a lot more than what I mentioned above) which anybody who has bought art supplies knows, is a HUGE investment. HUGE. Nic sells his artwork and has done commission work and actually has at least one commission piece in the works as I type this. The point I’m trying to make is that through his creative talents Nic has been able to supplement his income through his art sales and by the SLOPD taking his art supplies they have successfully taken away part of his ability to earn an income. (What is it the Fifth Amendment says about no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property?) Nic is slowly building up his supply of art making tools and is working on several new paintings. We will not have an official fundraising event until his court proceedings come to an end because we would like to have a goal to work towards. We know the lawyer fees, but we don’t know if he will have fines to pay on top of that. For now we have some small merchandise items to help raise money like button packs with Nic’s artwork and also some signed prints. Both are available in the Claassen Gallery Online Shop, http://claassengallery.bigcartel.com. When the “official” fundraising event takes place we will have some items to raffle off as well as some, what I like to call, “grab bags”, which will contain various items like buttons, stickers, prints, shirts, etc.
Moving right along.
I am currently in a group show called “Analog Generation” at Alpha Cult in Long Beach CA. If you’re in So Cal please go check it out. It’s a super awesome store/gallery that sells all those fun designer vinyl toys. Oh, and lots of fancy artwork on the walls. This show is much like a rock concert. Think of Aaron Kraten as the headliner and the other artists as the opening acts. It’s a great set up. Aaron is the main dude with a lot of work filling the biggest wall in the space and Alpha Cult lets him pick some artist friends to display work on the other walls. It’s a real honor that Aaron asked me to part of his show. If you want to check it out you only have about a week left. The show ends on June 10.
Moving along some more.
For San Luis Obispo locals if you haven’t come across Coalition Board Shop it’s time you give them a little visit. They opened on April 1 and will soon be having their “official” Grand Opening. The week before they opened I spent many a late night there painting the outside of the dressing rooms. I have photos of them posted on my Flickr page (www.flickr.com/sxtyfoursquares), but photos hardly do the artwork any justice. I haven’t been told the date yet for the official Grand Opening so I’ll have to get back to you on that, however, Nic and myself will be doing some live painting and there will be a DJ and it should be just one big fat party you don’t want to miss.
I’d say that about sums it up.
If you read this whole thing I congratulate you.