Thursday, October 18, 2007

InnerViews: Brit Hammer

InnerViews: A Creative Interview with Artist Brit Hammer

Our first InnerView is with Netherlands based Artist, Brit Hammer. Brit is a Norwegian-American glass artist internationally exhibited and recognized for her use of color.

Hello Brit! First of all, let me welcome you to our first session of InnerViews! I want to thank you for agreeing to be our first artist featured!

Thanks so much for inviting me to share my world. :-)

JJLJ: How did you come to work in the medium of glass?

BH: Oh, that's a story that began in childhood and took 25 years to come to fruition! At age 8 I saw glassblowing for the first time and, at age 12, my first glass mosaic. In my teens I saw a lot of stained glass windows during my world travels, and I always loved how they threw the light. Those and other seemingly disconnected events stayed with me, as did my love of architecture, even though I pursued the world of fashion and textile design.

Events transpired that led me to move to Rotterdam in 2000 (on my 31st birthday), and 2 years later I couldn't ignore the call to work with glass anymore. It started with an overwhelming desire to create a glass mosaic titled "Hannah's Rainbow". The desire to create that one piece jump-started an online tile business, which evolved into my own style of creating mosaic "paintings" and then on to designing architectural glass and bespoke glass furniture. Now I see myself heading into environmental design with glass as a starting point. It's exciting!

"Hannah's Rainbow"
© Brit Hammer

JJLJ: What continues to be a source of inspiration for your work?

BH: I'm inspired by light reflection, color, texture, and transparency because together they tell a story. The relationship between these qualities has actually interested me since my school days, and they've tagged along with me like a loyal puppy dog. Now that my focus is evolving from ego-centric (I design for myself) to eco-centric (I design for the environment), I find that I'm able to continue making use of these qualities to help architects and designers create a positive atmosphere that will also be sustainable.

"Life Is Beautiful"
© Brit Hammer

JJLJ: Is there anyone who has played a significant role in your career?

BH: The key for me has actually been the Internet. It's been not only a source of inspiration - by introducing me to others and their work - but has also been a great vehicle for learning. And I mean about a variety of topics! This is why I stand so firmly behind the One Laptop Per Child program. The Internet has made it so easy to communicate with others all around the world in real-time and to learn from each other. We've gained not only knowledge but also compassion. I believe that this is a way to achieve world peace.

JJLJ: What are you currently working on?

BH: I'm spearheading an initiative to make my neighborhood in Rotterdam a happier place for everyone who lives, works, or visits here. We have some solitary trees but not much else except for concrete pavers. So the idea is to add more foliage, ambling paths, and a sculpture garden showcasing works by local artists. (By that I mean artists other than myself.) Also a playground and dog run as well more benches, etc. It should be environmentally regenerative, sustainable, functional, and safe while also creating an idyllic space. That said, the hardest part will be cutting through the red tape! The actual design & creation of it with a local team will be a piece of cake! Aside from that I'm working on plans for a fundraiser for One Laptop Per Child and am spending a fair amount of time speaking with architects to share what I've learned. In my spare time I'm working on a large piece titled "Transcendence".

"Spark of Life"
© Brit Hammer

JJLJ: How do you see your work influencing others?

BH: On a local scale, glass mosaic was a non-entity in the Netherlands when I began offering a selection of tile and giving courses in 2002 . Mosaic was just starting to catch on but using ceramic tile in the style of Gaudi. Now Byzantine style glass tile is easily available in the Netherlands, and lots of mosaic studios have cropped up. Architects and the general public are also starting to take notice. Glass mosaic has even made it into the pop culture here!

On a larger scale, a curator at a well known glass museum told me that she liked my sculptures even though she normally doesn't like mosaic as a medium. So that must mean that mosaic is starting to be viewed in the art circuit as an art form instead of just a "craft". I took it as a great compliment at any rate.

JJLJ: What is the strangest or funniest comment or question you've ever gotten about your work?

BH: Hmm, let's see. I've had "Raw" described as a pizza and "Steel Magnolia" as a snowball and a giant marble. But the best was on Easter this year when the children were excited that "Life is Beautiful" was left behind by the Easter Bunny!

"Steel Magnolia"
© Brit Hammer

JJLJ: What is your idea of personal success?

BH: My goal is to bring joy to people through my work and to somehow show them that they, too, can make a difference. If I can do that for at least one person, then I've succeeded.

JJLJ: Are there any links you would like to share?

BH: There are many, but I'll limit myself to 4:
TED Talks
Tree Hugger
G Living
One Laptop Per Child

JJLJ: Thank you, Brit for contributing to InnerViews. We wish you continued success and look forward to following your career!

For more information on Brit's artwork and architectural installations, please visit her website.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Acquisition: Orchidae

Installed artwork: "Orchidae" by Jessica Pisano ©

FedEx recently delivered a package to my studio that I couldn't wait to open. My latest art acquisition! Photographer and mixed media artist Jessica Pisano and I traded artwork and I'm thrilled to have this gorgeous hand-painted, framed photograph hanging in my home now. This floating orchid is delicate and tranquil- the close up view of such a perfect piece of nature with its soft pink shading sets me at ease. There are a few pieces of art in my growing collection- all of which I have happily traded for. It's one of the perks about finding other artists works you admire and thankfully having that appreciation reciprocated. Thank you, Jessica! I'm thrilled to have this in my personal collection!

Commission: Sage Whisper

Image: "Sage Whisper" ©2007 Jennifer J L Jones

I just completed a new commission for Designer, Carla Kantola. This painting entitled "Sage Whisper" is one of my new personal favorites and has inspired several new paintings just underway in my studio. Carla's beautifully designed homes have been photographed and featured in national publications. Atlanta Homes Magazine just did a photo shoot in her Georgia home for their Winter issue due out in January. My special thanks goes out to you, Carla for your ongoing support and for sharing a few images of my work installed and included in your collection.

Photos by: Carla Kantola

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Solo Exhibition at Guillotine Post

Saturday night at the Guillotine Post Gallery was a wonderful success! Thanks so much to those of you who were able to come out and help us celebrate. The gallery was filled and I was honored to share my work with everyone. I was reminded by several fans that it had been too long since I had a show in Atlanta. Most of my exhibits are located outside of Georgia, so this one-woman exhibition closer to home is definitely a special treat for me. To keep up with events and future exhibitions in your area featuring my work, please visit my site.

For those of you not able to make it out to the opening, we're sorry to have missed you! If you are in Atlanta over the next month, please stop by and view the work M-F anytime between 9a-6p. AND, thanks to our incredible professional photographer Rick Newby, we will soon have shots from the event to share with you online as well. Please be sure to check my website and sign up here to receive blog updates!

My special thanks for your time and all of your continued support.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pie in the sky

Every time I look up to the sky, I see something new and am in awe.
During a break from the studio today I found a "pie in the sky".

Highlighting Guillotine Post

This weekend I will be attending the opening of my solo exhibition at Guillotine Post in Atlanta. Sixty paintings will be included in this exhibition and I'm really looking forward to celebrating with many of you on Saturday night.

Since the event is just about here, I wanted to take a moment to to highlight the incredible hosts of my exhibition.

While Guillotine Post acts as a part-time gallery in Midtown Atlanta, it is primarily a full service video post production facility. They provide state-of-the-art video editing and finishing for commercial spots and promos as well as long-form broadcast projects. They are also known for their award winning corporate presentations, documentaries, music videos, and independent film work. One of the great things about the Guillotine is that the staff is compiled of musicians, offering original music as an option to library music.

A few of their most recent projects include "Sneak Peeks" & "Bitcoms" for TNT and TBS. The Digital Content division of TNT and TBS Originals chose Guillotine Post to create these "sneak peeks" for their original series shows. Writer/Producer Belinda Loft worked with Guillotine staff editors Christo Harris, Michael Koepenick and Michael Curtis to create Sneak Peeks for The Closer, Saving Grace, The Bill Engvall Show, My Boys, Heartland, and The Company. The Sneak Peeks are 4 minute excerpts of next week's shows that fans can check out on the web and be "in the know" as to what the upcoming shows will be about. Check out the Sneak Peeks and Bitcoms on TNT and TBS. Watch the spot!

Due to the success of their web-based Sneak-Peeks, VP of Digital Content TNT/tbs, Matt Bunting also asked the team to create a series of "Bitcoms", which are essentially four and a half minute synopses of sitcoms or "itty bitty sitcoms" as Belinda likes to call them. She and the Guillotine crew cut Bitcoms for Tyler Perry's House of Payne, The Bill Engvall Show, and The Office.

"The challenge of the Sneak Peeks is to give fans an idea of what the upcoming episode will be about without giving away any crucial clues, " says Koepenick. "The tricky part
about the Bitcoms is trying to keep them funny despite the fact that the plot points are often the driest parts of the comedies".

Watch an excerpt!

Michael is certainly an inspired individual I look forward to interviewing for an upcoming InnerView session. You won't want to miss it or the show this weekend!
See you there!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

InnerViews Series Launch

InnerViews: A Creative Interview Series

This morning I sat still in the October sunlight. I listened to the wind chimes and leaves scraping and tapping on the ground, watching them swirling in a chaotic dance. I was inspired by the combination of the warmth of the sun, the cool wind having its way with whatever it could move, and the sounds gently filling my ears.
I closed my eyes during this perfect moment and pictured my next painting.

Inspiration comes in many forms. Some of my most recent inspirations have led me to a place where I am excited to begin interviewing many inspired individuals. I'm pleased to announce and launch my creative interview series, InnerViews.

InnerViews is an ongoing series of interviews with artists, designers, architects, musicians and other inspired individuals world-wide. The goal of InnerViews is the promotion of an artist's work and life, and the presentation of news, events, and inspirations that will help create and foster international networking throughout the greater community of artists. It is hoped that, through these interviews, we can find insight, focus the spotlight on the pulse of what promotes inspiration, and as an infinite cycle bring that inspiration back to others because of what they think, create and/or do. Some of the interviews will take place online, some in person, and some via podcast or video. In all instances, shared links, photos, videos, or music will accompany the interviews whenever possible.

Interviews are already being lined up with incredible artists in Scotland, the Netherlands and cities across the U.S. I hope you will find inspiration from each interview that we have. If you are interested in being interviewed in a future InnerView session or know someone who should be included in a future InnerView, please contact me through my website.

What inspires you? Who inspires you?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Intern/Assistant Needed

Intern/Artist Assistant Needed

I once wrote a paper in college on "How to Procrastinate". I turned it in several days late and received an 'A'!! I couldn't believe it. I followed my own directions in my 'how to' paper and really earned that 'A'! It still makes me smile. Most of us know that it's no fun to procrastinate though. When something doesn't seem that important or we know it's really important, but feels overwhelming, it's easy to put it off indefinitely. Luckily I haven't had to turn in a college paper for years, but I am still practicing procrastination from time to time.

Things have become increasingly busy over the past few years and while I've been feeling extremely blessed, I've put off asking for help and hiring an assistant for way too long. I procrastinated my initial search up until last week and finally posted an official ad to find my incredible new assistant. I'm hopeful that I will have some great candidates to interview soon. If the saying is true- "timing is everything", then I will have waited just long enough to have the right person apply and for me to hire.

If you are or know of someone interested in an Art Assistant Internship position, please ask them to contact me through my website.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Shio Inspires

Image:"Shio" ©2007 Jennifer J L Jones

Now that I'm starting to barely catch on as to how blogging works, I realize what fun it can be to share snippets of news here and there.

Each week I try to touch base with most of my galleries and find out the latest. This past week one of the things I learned is that Stellers Gallery in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida sold one of my paintings created in July titled "Shio"(30"x70"). The collector was so captivated by this painting, that she has decided to redesign one of the rooms in her home in Florida around this piece. When I hear how my work inspires and brings out creativity in others, it inspires me all over again. What a wonderful cycle and one of the ultimate forms of flattery. Hopefully I will receive a photograph of the art installed in the newly designed room once it is completed. If so, I will look forward to sharing it with you on this blog. I hope all of you reading this find inspiration in your surroundings!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Heart to Heart Silent Art Auction

'Heart to Heart' School in Rural Cambodia : Silent Art Auction

I have been invited to participate in an upcoming silent art auction as part of the American Assistance for the Heart to Heart School in Rural Cambodia Project. This is the main fundraising event to raise the $13,000 necessary to construct the school in Cambodia. The Auction will feature photography, ceramics, paintings and prints in a wide range of styles and values from local and national artists.

The two paintings I have selected to donate are:
"Verdant Landscape I"
Image: ©Jennifer J L Jones


"Verdant Landscape II"
Image: ©Jennifer J L Jones

In January ABC News aired a story about an organization that builds schools in rural Cambodia, called American Assistance for Cambodia. One of this organization's many efforts - The Rural Schools Project - has built over 300 schools in rural areas of Cambodia since 1999. The project aims to repair damage done during the Khmer Rouge regime, when all institutions, including schools, were banned, and the people were forced into communist slave-labor farming communities.

Jennifer and Michael Schwartz were blown away by this news segment, and after doing some further research on their own, they decided to undertake a year-long fundraising effort (from Valentine’s Day 2007 to Valentine’s Day 2008 – hence the name “Heart to Heart”) to raise the $13,000 necessary to build one of these schools.

And why this project? They feel very passionate about the power of education and are excited about being able to do something with such a tangible and impacting result. The Cambodians in these villages are living in extreme poverty, and the young, uneducated girls are at serious risk of being kidnapped for the sex trade. This program gives these children a school - equipped with teachers, books, computers and Internet access - and with it, a future.

It's my hope that those of you in the area will come out to support such a worthy cause and add some new artwork to your collections!

View the ABC News story that started this whole adventure.

Read short history about the Cambodian genocide.

Find out more about Bernie Krisher, the founder of American Assistance for Cambodia.

Want to become more involved? Visit the American Assistance for Cambodia website.