Flashback Friday #11-Woods Gerry Gallery

I've been slacking on my RISD 20 year anniversary posts the past few weeks, but there back.

A great "perk" to being a soon to graduate Illustration major in your final semester was having your own gallery showing for a few days at the Woods Gerry house on campus. The "opening" was a very big night, a rite of passage. It celebrated your work and what you've learned. All were invited... friends, peers, family and of course, the professors. It was one of the few times they never critiqued and seemed to enjoy your moment in the sun (like proud foster parents during the past 4 years).

The invitations from friends were always fun to find in your mailbox. You always knew they were coming but actually seeing them was like your friend had arrived...

I know I saved many of the invites I got. Unfortunately, I can only find the two above now (so many old boxes in the garage, so few organized). I promise to update later when I find the rest.

Most everyone made their own. For a lot of us, it was creating our first "mailer" or self promo stuff. These were the days before everyone had computers. Everything was by hand...yes, even the type and fonts. Just thinking about having a personal computer, a printer - scanner and a magical program that would transform your typed words into any cool font you liked was a fantasy in a "sci fi" future.

Back in dem olden times, there was the corner print & copy place. Being budget restricted college kids...most every one's invite were a xerox copy of black line art on their choice of color card stock, cut from a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet. Color copy machines were very rare then and very expensive per copy (not to mention the color "repro" was unforgiving unless your work was flat, unblended 4 primary colors).

When it came to my invitation... I did two variations. I randomly sent both to people. I don't really remember why but I was preoccupied with bears...

I hung six pieces in the show as seen in the pictures below from the day (followed by better scans/details of the art).

This final one was a milestone piece for me. I felt I jumped over the kid's book line and did something serious... discovering another side to my art. It was my version for the cover of the book "WIRED" about the life of John Belushi by Bob Woodward. It was for a class called "wrap arounds" (as in any illustration that is a cover, wrapping around something). I've lost the original art over the years and of course never got a good copy of it... so this lousy photo is all there is. Lesson here kids...photo or scan everything! It was based on a small picture of Belushi from the inside the book with obvious 80's Matt Mahurin influence.

Highlights from the opening included my Mom flying out and Aunt Joan driving up for the show and someone offering to buy the Belushi illustration (I declined the offer...why? I was stupid!).

Lee Lovett went on to marry fellow RISD friend and architecture grad Larry Levato. She started her own successful custom jewelry design company but we lost touch more than several years back (Lee & Larry, if you happen upon this blog, drop me a line and say hello). Lauren is still in touch. Check out her work at www.lauren-francis.com.

1 comment:

  1. I still have these invitations, too, including Lee's and Lauren's! Since moving, have not been able to put my hands on them, but there here somewhere!
    The one of yours that I have is the bear in the bomber jacket. Dig the other one too.
    Like your take on the White Rabbit.
    I still remember hanging that show. I had no idea that pictures had to be hung at certain heights. So much math involved and I was sick as a dog, so Rob Roth helped me figure it all out, which was kind.
    (Always thought it was so great that an L.L. married an L.L., with a new hyphenated last name of Lovett-Levato!)