Simone de Beauvoir

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Funky Chicken Art Project

I had the opportunity to visit a wonderful, inspiring, and fun place today:  The Funky Chicken Art Project.  It's name describes it perfectly.  The location is a studio and gallery with droves of artwork.  Live animals abound.  In fact, my greeter was an adorable dog named Mouse.  I felt like I was visiting family as he joyfully approached me as I stepped out of my vehicle.
My next greeter was two-legged, Christina White, owner and artist in resident.  I shared that I had visited the website and was curious to see what artistic talent lurked within the primitive barn-like structure.  Ms. White was a fountain of information about the artists represented as well as the gallery. 

The bright colors burst from artwork of all forms and media.  An artist traveled from Pennsylvania and left a number of hand-painted "people".  I think the benches were hers as well, but I could be mistaken.  If you really need to know for sure, you can send an email with your question here.  I don't think Mouse handles e-mails, but I could be wrong. 

As a courtesy, I asked if it would be alright to photograph items and post them on my blog because,  I am offering a wonderful contest for my beloved readers, and I was hoping photos would serve as inspiration.   Specifically, I wanted to see a piece of jewelry that had been shown on the FCAP website.  It was an incredible example re-purposed jewelry. 

Having ogled it on the website, planned my day around a trip to FCAP in order to purchase it, and justifying the $150 purchase with the idea that would have made the perfect accessory for every outfit I could design from my wardrobe, I asked to see the watch.  Sadly, it was no longer in the studio.  I was wallowing in disappointment, so I don't know if it was sold or if Mouse decided to learn to tell time. 

It's important to share that I haven't worn a watch in probably eight years.  Why?  There are plenty of clocks around to let me know the time:  bedroom, bathroom, computer, cell phone, microwave, car, stove, and the frequent announcement from the DJ.  Clearly this had to be some sort of watch to break my watchless rebellion. 

You might also need to know that the website clearly states that the inventory is currently sold out.  Apparently I was too busy fantasizing about the watch on my wrist that I didn't see that silly little sentence.

Enough about the watch.  I'm over it, really.  Did I mention that I was silver?  I only wear silver jewelry--or white gold and probably wouldn't turn down platinum--and find constant frustration with all those gold pieces.

Anyway, Christina enlightened me to the idea of artwork is copyrighted.  In other words, if I took a photo of something--a watch, perhaps--and someone copied the watch, they'd be guilty of copyright infringement.  She went on to share that people actually go to art shows, photograph various items, have the items mass produced overseas and leave an artist empty-handed for their time and effort.  It is my hope that my shock was somewhat masked. 

I've heard about plagiarism ad nausea.  As a photographer, I've signed copyright agreements.  Copyright for artists?  Who knew?!?  I didn't, that's for sure.  Clearly the only solution was to keep my camera safely fastened in its case and walk through the gallery, taking only memories. 

It seemed like a wonderful plan until I stepped into the sculpture garden and found myself with a trigger finger.  OK, I could photograph the animals.  But wait, does God have a (c) on His creatures?  I'd hate to go up against Him in a courtroom.  What about the plants? 

I am not making light of this.  Reproducing ideas is stealing.  STEALING.  It doesn't matter if it's printed matter or a fabulous sculpture.  Stealing is stealing.  I went so far as to Google "Copyrights for Artists" and found this at the website  Copyright for Artists

You also have the moral imperative to respect the rights of other artists, and to have your rights treated with the same consideration.

Regrettably, I can't share photos of the wonderful works of art I experienced today because it worries me.  I can share my memories Mouse, the roosters, the pheasants, and the two pieces of art that gave me pause. 

The first one is a wonderful woman with a broad-brimmed hat among plants.  The instant I saw her, I decided her name should be "Mother Earth" because, donned in a colorful apron, sitting among her beloved greenery, she epitomized a loving female, tending to her loved ones.  Her name is Otha and she is the work of Virginia Bullman and LaNelle Davis. 

A little farther down the path, there stands a marvelous two pieced work of art.  Two female figures face each other with their hands raised.  It's titled "Time Passages" and is also the work of Virginia Bullman and LaNelle Davis.  The dress of one is decorated with the phases of the moon; the other various designs of the sun.  I strolled by the piece and reflected on how time passes--all too often it passes quickly--and how Simone once said, "live with no time out". 

I can--and will--happily share the FCAP website with you and you can plan your trip. Check out  funkychicken.  If you go, tell Mouse I said hello, give my regards to the roosters, and maybe you can bring me back a souvenir in the form of a watch ?

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