Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010: a year in review

Wynne, Yoko and me at Blitz / photo by Amanda Manitach

Way back in January 0f 2009, I set a goal to do daily blogging. I got real close with 359 posts. Last new year I set the same goal but didn't get as close - only 337 posts. Well, it's another new year and I really, really want to hit 365 posts this year. And if you read yesterday's post, you'll know that it's going to be an especially lucky year so I'm hopeful it will happen.

Having a birthday so close to the beginning of the year has always created a vortex of personal introspection. And since this blog was originally conceived as a personal diary of sorts, I'd like to have a year in review in one handy place so I don't have re-read all the 337 posts again.

Here's the point where can quit reading because this is really only interesting to me. But before you leave, I'd really like to thank you for reading this blog during the past year - you're all so nice and supportive!


January started off with a bang and I checked myself into the Sorrento for a relaxing birthday weekend. I started writing my 1st Thursday picks for City Arts. Daily Candy picked the New Guard dinners as their favorite fun thing in Seattle and later that month we had a really fun dinner with Jason Hirata, Skillet and Kay Kay & his Weathered Underground.

February opened up with a really fun group show called Parallel Universe at Grey Gallery. I got accepted into SOIL which has been amazingly great! There was a really rich artist salon with Gretchen Bennett. I went to my first Mardi Gras (and my liver is still recovering)!

March started out with SOIL taking over an 11,000 sq ft vacant showroom for a 6 month residency. And since all good things have to end, I winded down my artist residency at Seattle University, but not before hosting a couple more awesome salons with Kimberly Trowbridge and Katy Stone. We had another New Guard dinner (thanks Tyler, Chauney and Chris) where I think we all realized the scale had gotten too big and we wanted to get back to basics. A real Seattle conundrum - how do you keep things intimate without being exclusionary?

April seems to be when things started to get hectic. We started the City Arts Best Of Art Walk Awards & After Party (just the name wears me out!) where one artist (Margot Quan Knight in this case) won $500! That same night, I was supposed to be at SAM Gallery, at Troy Gua's Collaborati show and also at Strange Coupling where I was paired with Lucy Brennan. This was the first time where I realized that my inability to say no was going to get me in trouble. This was a fantastic month for art though as it had 2 of my favorite shows of the year - Chauney Peck's Bang, Universe, Everything and Jennifer Campbell's Point No Point. This also marked a great year for Margie Livingston because we found out she won the Neddy (and would later go on to win the Arts Innovator Award in October).

In May we worked on fine-tuning the art walk award and it just about sent me into panic attacks because I realized that folks were taking it really serious. For the first time in my life (at age 38), I realized that I could no longer make everyone happy. A real necessary growing moment that I had been avoiding but in retrospect am happy it happened. D.W. Burnam guest-published a beautiful essay on the blog about Whiting Tennis. I also had a blast being a guest curator for Bru-Tube with Bestey Brock, Mike Pham, Chris Weber and more! This was a brutal month for art because of the closure of Howard House.

June is the month that I became obsessed with owls while doing research for a show. It seemed like for a 3 month period that if there was ANYTHING to do with owls, people were posting it on my Facebook. I couldn't quit thinking about them.

In July Dan Cameron came to town and Gretchen and I got to spend the day touring him around showing off Seattle's amazing art. Amanda Manitach started curating shows for The Living Room and invited me to be the inaugural show but was hoping I could do sculpture. The result was 32 paper mache owls. It was hands down my favorite show of the year! We also decided to have a studio/bbq sale that I think needs to be an annual tradition!

Gretchen and I were in the inaugural batch of work to go up on that big red wall on Capitol Hill. I ended up painting 16' of panels with objects that reminded me of the hill. It was a really fun project but a rough couple of weeks in my apartment with a plywood obstacle course in my living room. I wrote my first article for City Arts Magazine. Gretchen left for an amazing 4 month residency in NYC and thus started my 4 month hibernation. Erin Shafkind celebrated the 30th anniversary of Xanadu by curating a really fun show at SOIL.

September had me feeling restless and I said yes to a super fun trip to Oregon. I'm not a big traveler (and in fact consider a drive to Bellingham as "traveling") and could happily spend my entire life on the hill so this trip really reminded me that it's good to shake things up.

October was busy with planning SOIL's annual auction. I had a short stint writing for Visual Art Source and realized that I only can write when I'm passionate about things.

By November, I was in full-on hermit mode so there's not much to report. A definite highlight was a visit by sister. Also, Chris Engman's amazing show, Dust to Dust, opened up and we did an interview here. Oh yeah, I also got to make a snowman!

For December we decided to host a different kind of Art Walk Award and bumped up the prize to $1000 and threw in free Blue Moon beer! This was my favorite one of the year. We also somehow time-traveled back to the 80s to revisit artistic censorship. So depressing to be back fighting culture wars. Oh yeah, and I got play Santa again!

So it doesn't look like 2010 was too bad of a year. All in all, I'd give it a solid B+ but 2011 is going be an A year for sure!


Amanda said...

What a great recap! I have to agree that 2010 was full of some pretty great things overall, and it ranks as one of the best years of the decade for me. I am looking forward to 2011.

Love your new banner, by the way!

Joey Veltkamp said...

Yeah, all sorts of fun things!! I think 2011 is going to rule - folks seem esp. optimistic. :) xo

harold hollingsworth said...

You've kept me feeling connected Joey, and I cherish your blog and your energy! Happy New Year and things to come!

Dave said...

Joey, thanks for your great energy and for the time you put into your terrific blog. I love it.

Joey Veltkamp said...

Aw, you guys are the nicest! :)