Art View: I Get Around

I get around. No. Seriously. I do.

This year we are doing about twenty-five shows between April and October from Texas to Michigan and up and down the Mississippi River Valley. Because of all the getting around we do, this year we began a project to video document the artists and people that we meet around us. The videos are far from professional, but like my friends, I prefer to think of them as authentic. The result is that you will get to meet some really wonderful people and fantastic artists that you may not know are out there.

At least that is the hope. You get to decide. Where possible we will include links to their websites, Facebook pages and their other social media.

You can see more about this endeavor on my Vintage Painter Youtube channel.

 

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Albuquerque Adventures: The Lost Art of Neon

Hot Neon

New painting: Hot Neon. The original is in a gallery in Michigan. Canvas prints can be ordered through my website. Click here to order paper or canvas prints.

As we had an appointment in Nob Hill to meet with the Mariposa Gallery we decided to drive part of the historic Route 66.

It was my partner that spotted something shiny and he asked “do you mind if we stop here?” There was some neon in the window and a sign outside the door that said “Neon Art Gallery”.

We knocked at the locked door and waited for an answer. Peering into the darkened windows of the gallery, we patiently called the phone number on the window.

A few minutes later as we stood gazing and awkwardly pointing at the beautiful neon in the windows a man came to the front and let us in. This is how we met the local historian, certified electrician and neon artist Robert Randazzo, the owner and sole proprietor of Absolutely Neon.

He was born and raised from a Sicilian family in Brooklyn, New York. He learned how to work as a young boy helping his family around their bakery and as he matured decided to study as an electrical apprentice.

Thank goodness for anyone that appreciates neon.

He earned his chops working on neon up and down New York City’s famed Times Square in the 70s and 80s.

He has resided in Albuquerque for 27 years and repairs, designs, installs and maintains neon work all over the country. Over the years Robert has tried to bring in new artists excited about learning the lost art of neon but had a hard time finding anyone that has the same kind of interest or “fire” within to continue on creating the beautiful lit up “works of art”.

It turns out “Absolutely Neon” is a museum of sorts showcasing Robert’s work and 30 year history of creating neon art. He gave us a full tour and talked about his life making neon and all the interesting projects he had been involved in over the years. Much of the neon you see in and around Albuquerque was installed or maintained by Robert.

If you are in Albuquerque and want to meet a unique individual that uses the pragmatic process of combining glass, gas and electricity to create something artistically mesmerizing and powerful be sure to go to Nob Hill and tap on the windows.

Robert and his work is worth the time.

Here is a video clip from Roberts web site highlighting neon along Route 66.

Off the Easel: Albuquerque Neon

Three new paintings just off the easel.

All of these oil and canvas paintings are based on source material I took along Route 66 when I visited the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festivals and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in 2012 in Albuquerque, NM.

Click here to see a great video of Route 66 Neon or look at the bottom of this page.

Hot Neon - 1

Original Oil and Canvas: Hot Neon
Finished 03/2013
24″ x 36″ $2000 includes shipping within the continental U.S. — at Absolute Neon, Albuquerque, NM.

Owl Cafe - 1

Original Oil – Owl Cafe
Finished 03/2013
20″ x 24″ $900 includes shipping within the continental U.S. — at The Owl Cafe – Albuquerque, NM.

Dog House - 1

Original – Dog House
Finished 03/2013
16″ x 20″ $750 includes shipping within the continental U.S. — at Dog House Drive-In, Albuquerque, NM.

Looking for a partner gallery in New Mexico and Colorado

I need your help.

I’m looking for an art gallery in New Mexico and/or Colorado that would be interested in exclusively representing my work in their markets. I can meet with them between 10/8 and 10/11.

I will be at the 24th Annual Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival and Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 10/5 – 10/7 and 10/12 – 10/14.

Any referrals would be appreciated. Email me directly please.

More info at:

G+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cos6bq8n7pu2o6hkh1c10ok2f9c

Hot air balloon bees

I was robbed

sunset over ColoradoSeriously. I was robbed. As a result, my art show season ended with some big surprises last fall in Albuquerque, NM.

And really, I’m okay with that.

Now.

I was in town doing The Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival, which runs the same time as the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The fiesta is one of the largest international balloon events in the world. Albuquerque

On day three of the two weekend event I returned to the hotel found a big surprise: my trailer had been stolen.

The police were called in and the papers filed. I was told at that time “good luck” getting it back and that it was probably long gone in Mexico.

In the hope of getting some relief, I talked to the front desk at the Days Inn and asked to talk to a manager.  The manager was not in but I was assured there was surveillance video of the parking lot. The next day I returned to talk to the desk because I still had not heard from the manager.  I was told she had been ill and would call me later. Did I mention it was the Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd?

I heart those boots.

My good friends, David and Judy who were also at the art show, let the show directors know of my plight.  The show directors called a local news station and I made the evening news.

This was good because it brought people to my booth that might not otherwise have stopped.

My second surprise came when I realized the Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd doesn’t give a care about me or my trailer.  I never heard from the manager. I never received a phone call. They even refused to hand over the surveillance tape to the police.  I even went so far as to call the chain to see if I could file a complaint and never heard back from them either.

We  stayed at that Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd ELEVEN days and nothing EVER happened.

Then my third surprise came!

I got a call on the Friday of the second week of the show and the police had spotted my trailer in downtown Albuquerque. According to the police I was one of the lucky 1 in 20 to get theirs back!

Great news, I was ecstatic!

During this time I was thankful I had insurance to cover my trailer. I was lucky that most of my art and booth were at the show. I lost three bins full of prints, display items, packaging materials, lighting equipment and a small original.

However, when I tallied up the number on exactly what it was that I lost it was still at around $2,000. I thought this was still worth putting in a claim.  This is where surprise number four came in.

After putting in my claim I was told it was not going to go through. They said it was because my art business is, “only covered up to 500 feet of my office.”

MY office?

What office?

I am a fine art painter!  My agent knew the nature of my business when I signed up for the policy.  I stated that I need the insurance because I travel and do outdoor juried art shows.  I needed protection from weather, theft and car accidents. I needed to have the trailer and its contents insured!

Hot air balloon beesAccording to the agent, after the fact, none of this was covered.  The reality stung.

I felt as if I had been robbed. Again. Twice.

Once by a couple of yahoos in a hotel parking lot and a second time by a licensed insurance professional.

Then I began to thank my lucky stars.

You see, I had been in an outdoor show last spring where a small twister took out 10 booths in a different part of the show.   Had I been one of those artists, I would have lost everything.  So I am in pursuit of a new agent and insurance because April 6, 7 & 8 I’ll be at the Deep Ellum Arts Show outside of Dallas in Deep Ellum, Texas to kick off my art show season (I’m in Booth 20!)

Lesson learned ……I will make sure all my bases are covered properly. After all, this is a business and not a hobby.

Just to be clear – did I mention it was Days Inn in Albuquerque on Menaul Blvd?