Thursday, November 15, 2007

Frontier Implosion, Las Vegas!

Damn I love exploding buildings! The historic Frontier Hotel imploded at 2:30AM on November 13th. We scored an amazing view of the spectacle after bluffing our way into a "Press Only" parking garage across the street... Check out Jimmy's YouTube video of us on the scene!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Las Vegas Wedding!

On September 29, 2007, I participated in a circus-themed extravaganza love-fest of a wedding, and married my love Jim Slonina.

Jim is an actor and currently works as a clown for the Las Vegas spectacle "Le Reve", so we pulled in the circus theme with an air-jumper, popcorn and cotton candy machines, Steve August juggling, and Maria the Snake Babe with an 8-foot boa constrictor. The ceremony began with my friend Marah running down the aisle to stage-whisper to the groom that the minister had a flat tire and she couldn't make it. So while Jim made an embarrassed apology to the crowd, our good friend Claudio Carneiro (an amazing Brazilian clown) stood up from the audience to save the day, doing magic tricks in the aisle and taking over as minister. There was lots of gags mixed in with the true lovey-dovey moments, culminating in an interruption during the "Speak now or forever hold your peace" bit, when Renaldo, an acrobat in a karate costume, ran down a hill and attacked. You can check it out at the photos at the link below:

Jim & Robin's Wedding Pics

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I Heart Austin, Texas!!

I am currently in Austin, TX, working on a mural project for Gatti's Pizza, and managing to get in just a little sight seeing as well...

Bat Bridge, Austin TX

The Mexican Freetail Bat is the mascot of Austin, after the city accidentally built a perfect bat habitat along the bat's migration route from Mexico. The city considered them pests at first and tried to get rid of them, but Austin citizens fought to save the bats and now "bat bridge" is a big tourist attraction. 1.5 million bats summer in the long thin recesses under Congress street bridge, rearing their babies before heading back to Mexico. At sunset they swoop out in a massive group to fly east up the river feeding on 20,000 pounds of bugs a night!

It was cloudy the night we visited the bridge, so they did not make their dramatic flight, but stayed close to home, darting over our heads to feed on mosquitoes.

The Cathedral of Junk, Austin, TX

Something amazing has been growing in Austin, hidden in the backyard of a small, nondescript South Austin home. It is the Cathedral of Junk! Refuse is lovingly attached together into rooms, towers and walkways to climb and play in.
Vince is the creative genius behind the cathedral.

My Austinite friend Thor climbing one of four towers....

The view from the top!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"State of Dress" Exhibit!

The July / August exhibition of "State of Dress" at the New York Mills Cultural Center in Minnesota marks the first one-woman showing of this series. On display were 40" X 60" photographic prints on canvas of all the "Dress" sculptures so far...

Pinecone Dress survives the journey...

"Pinecone Dress' was shipped here for the exhibit, from the MacNamara Foundation Arts Residency in Maine where it was created. This is the first time an actual "dress" has been displayed in addition to photographs of the work. The tough nature of pine cones made this possible. I was amazed when we opened the crate at how well they had weathered the long journey.
Here is my friend Hope lending a hand touching up the dress with the back-up pine cones I mailed with the dress from Maine.

"Leaf Dress" paintings

In addition to the "State of Dress" exhibit in the main gallery, the front of the cultural center held some of the two-dimensional work I also created while an artist in residence in Maine. While on break from creating "Pinecone Dress", I collected plant life around the island and preserved it on canvas to create these "Leaf Dress" paintings.

Here is a close-up from the large "Leaf Dress" painting, with blackberry leaves preserved in their red fall color.

"Collecting Kisses"

Also on display is the new work, "Collecting Kisses". This is an interactive installation of three dress paintings on which viewers are encouraged to leave their lipstick kiss prints. Many ladies and a couple men took me up on it during the opening, and I hope the art continues to collect kisses during the run of the show.
Luckily for me, Wendy DesChene was the visiting artist to the NYMRCC while I was in town. She was an enormous help to me during the installation of the "State of Dress" exhibition.
Please check out her amazing artwork at

Monday, April 09, 2007


Spamalot comes to Vegas, fresh from its run on Broadway. It is showing in the sister theater to Le Reve at the Wynn, which meant we were lucky enough to be invited to the premiere opening bash. It was a really fun chance to support our new friends in the cast (pictured above with buddies Ed, Tony and Ashley). Plus, I got to meet and hang out with Robin Williams, one of my big faves, as well as meet Steve Martin, and the whole Monty Python gang, including another big fave John Cleese!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Stardust implodes!

I have to say, I love Las Vegas! Where else could I go to a Barrack Obama rally one day, and a Nicky Hilton wardrobe unveiling the next? Another bonus: imploding buildings!!! Here I am with my man Jim, who gets geeked out at all things explosive. We camped out on the roof of the Wynn Casino parking garage for three hours to get a prime spot to film the historic Stardust Casino implode -after 48 years on the Las Vegas strip. It was an amazing spectacle, with 5 minutes of fireworks culminating in a pyrotechnic countdown, with flares spelling out "10, 9, 8..." on the full height of the building. We then watched the crowd on the strip run from the dust cloud, until it rolled towards us, covering our car and sending us sprinting inside. We had to wait another 3 hours for the Star"dust" to clear, so we ran around inside the Wynn until 6AM with some of the awesome, fun cast of "Spamalot", the new Monty Python musical at the Wynn. Viva Las Vegas! (click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Casino Chips!

Here I am drilling holes in over 1000 casino chips in preparation to link them together. I am working on the floor of a room in my friend Kent's house, which he has generously donated to me to use as my studio. Thanks Kent!!

Here are the chips once they are linked. At this point I am using a garment tagging gun to hold them together, for it's ease of execution and "invisible" linkage, but I will see if the results are strong enough once the dress starts to take shape...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Casino Chip Dress, Las Vegas NV

I am back in Las Vegas and I am planning on making Nevada's dress project out of casino chips, to honor this state's unique gambling history. This will be a time consuming endeavor! Upon completion I plan to photograph it out in the desert to bring in the natural beauty and vast landscapes surrounding Nevada's sprawling cities. I wish to thank Wendy and all the folks at the Gambler's General Store in Las Vegas for their very generous donation of casino chips for the project!
Here I am at the Gambler's General Store picking out my casino chips a kid in a candy shop!