VanOrsouw Art Party @ Picture Perfect

The outside view of Picture Perfect, a local gallery in Canajoharie, NY

Last spring, I went to the awards ceremony for the Tri County Arts Council Decentralization Regrant Program. I met fellow grant winner John VanOrsouw there and learned of his project. He planned to create 100 different artworks, send them to various random residents in the Canajoharie area, and invite them all to an art get together.
I received my print in the mail last week and was really curious as to what kind of art event could occur in this little town. The event would take place on a Thursday nite in a store called Picture Perfect Gallery right across from the new Arkell Museum. I couldn't believe my eyes as I drove by the front of the building I couldn't believe my eyes. It was packed!

John Van Orsouw is the gentleman standing on the right, speaking to visitors about his work.

Upon entering, my very first impression was amazement! "What used to be a store, is now a gallery!" The counters were removed, and instead large scale pieces of art hung on all the walls, completely surrounding the gallery. There were works by Marion Preston, Richard Pugliese, and Chris Duncan in addition to John's artwork. The food spread looked incredible, and was continually stocked throughout my visit. The wine was delish...and the whole art party looked quite successful. Who would have guessed that this many cool people lived in Canjo!

You can barely see the food spread in this picture, but there were some scrumptious goodies to eat.

There was a Macbook playing a slideshow of John's work below the artwork that I noticed was actually a collage.

John's work intrigued me the most actually. I was standing in line (for wine!) next to one of his larger works and upon close examination I discovered it was a collage! He used stickers that looked like they were his of his own creation.

A close up of John's collage work

There's a lot of background work in creating stickers that you use in your own work. I really was digging that, and also took a moment to reflect on his lack of copyright infringement issues.
I use images from everywhere, and it immediately lends a variety of texture to my work. I have not tried composing all the parts of a collage myself, so seeing John's homemade stickers on his work was pretty interesting. I have read The Artful Dodger by Nick Bantock, and it looks as tho he also creates everything in his collages. Certainly, this is raising the bar for creativity! I have to re-evaluate what I do. Maybe try this all-encompassing mode. Positively, I could then ignore all the fair use copyright issues!!!

John's stickers up close

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