Art Attack – Art that makes a statement.
I’m drawn to art that makes a statement, be it social or political. I also tend to make art inspired by my activist passions.
My first encounter with Mr. SWATHCO, Jim Wallace’s literally cutting edge sculpture, was at the Bank On Art exhibit last May where it was surreptitiously on display in a corner at the Cornerstone Bank.
I knew it was Jim’s piece before reading the tag. Wallace is a gifted ceramic artist and sculptor and co-founder of Paradise Pottery west of town. He is also responsible for the giant metal heron in the Planer Hill parking lot and creator of the metal base that held the SPHERE in Basin Park for May Fest.
So when Jim called to ask if there was any space outside my antique store to exhibit Mr. SWATHCO, I immediately said yes.
There is nothing subtle about “Shut Up And Sit Down,” Jim’s original title of the towering work. It’s brilliantly crafted and straight to the point, and it’s for sale. Jim is asking a mere $300 and is donating $200 of that to the Save the Ozarks defense fund.
This found-object-assemblage says more than this column or any other commentary could on the topic of SWEPCO – its blood-stained chainsaw hands ground down to make him kid friendly.
This Monday, July 15 at 9 a.m. at the Inn of the Ozarks, the Arkansas Public Service Commission arrives to take questions about people’s concerns over their plan to install 150 ft. 345 kv transmission lines through 50 miles of our pristine Ozark landscape.
I think there will be a lot of questions and no doubt SWEPCO representatives will be in attendance.
Mr. SWATHCO plans to make an appearance at that meeting and I hope Edward Robison arrives with his series of stunning landscape photographs where he expertly Photoshopped-to-scale the towering power lines to demonstrate the devastating impact on our environment. These need to be blown-up large scale for all eyes to see.
Sometimes artists create work for the mere beauty and sometimes we create work to protect that beauty.