Thursday, March 25, 2010

Meeting artists new to ACC Baltimore: Don Becker and Janet Coshow

I met some wonderful new-to-me artists at ACC Baltimore
this year. My booth was across from the "Alt Craft" area,
a specially designated area where the ACC provides exhibitors
tables and lights for a reduced fee. There is a slightly
different jury process for this section and once accepted,
the craftsperson can only exhibit in the area for one year,
investigate the scene and see if he or she would like to
pursue doing the show in a full way. This was the third year
of the program.There's been some controversy around the
effort, but in these difficult economic times for us all,
I appreciate it providing a mechanism for folks to try
the scene before expending huge amounts of money. Some
exhibitors have made the move to the main sections,
others have decided against or don't make it through
the general jury. For me, it's a chance to meet artists
I might not otherwise find and reminds me of the spirit
of the 60's and 70's when a lot of us were just starting
to exhibit. Many of the exhibitors are part of the new
"Indie" Craft scene who are creating their own cooperative
shows,and are selling via or other internet
selling venues.

One of the exhibitors in the area was Don Becker.Don's
website is:
He's hardly a "new" artist - since he's been making puppets and
performing as a puppeteer for years and worked for and in
impressive locations. But I'd never seen his work. I loved
watching him magically manipulate his puppets and treated
ourselves to the puppet I previewed in the last post. Here
is another image of "Snogwart" (named by two of our
granddaughters.) Snogwart is 5 1/2 inches tall, with
strings and stand (each individualized). Total piece is 18 1/2".
Don's puppets are so well designed that even a novice like me
can make Snogwart move amusingly, strangely, beautifully:

I highly recommend that you go to Don's website, but as a teaser,
here are a couple more photos of Don's puppets. He also makes
figures which don't have strings.

Be sure to check out his awesome dragon puppets and other
strange creatures!

Next I'd like to lift up Janet Coshow, a figurative sculpture
artist.Her website is:
Janet traveled from Santa Rosa, California to exhibit at ACC
Baltimore for the first time. She was in the main wholesale/retail
section, next to my booth,so we had a chance to get to know each
other and talk about the joys and challenges of making "dolls",
blogging,materials and life. Her blog is:
Janet explains the nature of her work this way:

"I began making sculptures because I was drawn to a paper mache
antique saint sculpture I saw at a brocante while living in France.
...I often focus on characters that live on the outside of society.
Hobos and clowns are someof my favorite subjects. They lived
lives of struggle and movement and never stayed anywhere long
enough to assimilate. I like the idea of experiences rather
than societies defining what we are."
Here is a "saint" and her "French clown and French bulldog."
Her figures tend to be 28-36 " tall.

I'm drawn to the borderlands spirit of Janet's figures.

Well - Spring is trying to arrive here. Crocuses and daffodils are
determined to bloom even with all the rain. However today it's in
the 30's and snowing!!! a good time to return to tax work.

Journey on! Wendy

1 comment:

  1. I met Don Becker the "puppet man" in 1999 at IDEX in San Francisco. wonder if he still has longish locks glad to see his work again Christine Martinez