Wootini est. in 2003 is an art gallery showcasing works in the Pop Pluralism movement and art items derived from works such as Designer Vinyl Figures. We also occasionally create our own limited 3D vinyl figures. Come visit our brick-and-mortar store.

12th November 2009

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MINUS SOUND RESEARCH 4 Artist Spotlight: Drew Robertson “Phon”

The MINUS SOUND RESEARCH 4 show is still showing in Wootini Gallery. This show won’t be around for long, so come out and see some of the incredible artwork from INCREDIBLE artists (and musicians!)

Artist Name: Drew Robertson
Band: Phon


Tell me about your background. Where you’re from, where you grew up, what interested you as a kid.
I grew up in Charlotte, NC. My parents both worked so I spent a lot of time with my grandparents who would pick me up from school or take care of me during the summer. My grandmother was a crafts painter and my grandfather was a high school teacher who taught among other things drafting and wood-shop. I was always encouraged to create and make things. If I had an idea my grandfather would help me make it come to life. 

How long have you been performing music and how long have you been with your band?

I have been performing music since I was fourteen years old. The first band I was in was a Germs cover band. I was fourteen and the other kids were all sixteen or seventeen. I was in various punk bands throughout highschool and discovered noise at about the same time.

Was there one defining moment that made you choose music (and/or art) as a profession and life style, or did it happen over time as the sum of many smaller moments - or in a completely different way?
I thought my whole life i was going to be an artist. I loved art as far back as I can remember, I went to college for it, I recieved praise for it and some money and then I hit a wall. I got burnt out. I felt like I had been doing nothing but painting for fifteen years. This is when i decided to introduce sound as an inspiration or a medium for my art. 

When did you find yourself getting into visual art?
Childhood.

What has been your biggest influence in the art world (both music & visual)? Where do you find inspiration for both your music and your visual art?
My biggest influence in the art world comes from the fluxus and conceptualist camps and derivations there of. My idols are John Baldessari, Tony Oursler, Mike Kelly, and sound artists like Stephen Vitiello, Nicolas Collins, and Rolf Julius. My music influences are from all over the place. Where do you find inspiration for both your music and your visual art? I find inspiration in comedy. I find inspiration in technology, and of course in other artists’ work. Most often I am inspired while commuting home and listening to a good album in the car.

What mediums do you prefer to work in?
I like to come up with ideas. After the idea has formed I choose what media to use.

Do you have a routine or process that you like to work through?
No.

Is there a particular piece of art that you are most proud of? (In other words, do you have a favorite?)
Right now I am quite proud of the sound installation that Phon recorded for The Team Lump Show: DIY Rapture at Cell Space in London.

How did you get involved with the Minus Sound Research show?
I have know Maria for a while since we both used to work at Schoolkids Records. She asked me and I was honored to be a part of the show.

Have you shown your art in any shows or galleries previously?
Yes, I have but its has been quite a long time since my personal solo artwork has been presented. This show is the first I’ve participated in for maybe five or six years.

What would you say to someone who is new to this show?
Thanks for looking.

What would you say to someone who saw this show last year?
Thanks for coming back.

Do you get something different out of visual art than you do from music? Or do you see a direct correlation between the two art forms?
For me they are tied very closely.

Anything else you want to share about this upcoming Minus Sound Research Show?
I am very proud to be a part of this show.

Tagged: minus sound researchwootini gallerydrew robertsonphonnorth carolinacarrboroart gallerymusician

25th October 2009

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MINUS SOUND RESEARCH 4 Artist Spotlight: Maria Albani “Organos”

Artist Name: Maria Albani
Band: Organos


Tell me about your background. Where you’re from, where you grew up, what interested you as a kid.
Born in Long Island, New York. Grew up in Florida (Orlando,St. Petersburg, Tampa). Chapel Hill/Carrboro, NC resident since 1995. As a kid my interests were music, art, animals, rollerskating, dirtbomb fights, and hanging out with the grown ups.

How long have you been performing music and how long have you been with your band?I started playing bass in 1996 with a band called Pleasant. I began playing bass in other bands as well: Un Deux Trois, Gerty, & Tennis & the Mennonites. I currently play bass in the band Schooner. My musical project Organos (the one I am representing for MSR) is 2 years old, and is a solo recording project in which all instruments & vocals are done myself. 

Was there one defining moment that made you choose music (and/or art) as a profession and life style, or did it happen over time as the sum of many smaller moments - or in a completely different way?
Music & art are things I have always been involved in. I have never made a solid decision of choosing both as a life style or a profession. They are elements that exist in my life, no matter where I am or what else may be going on. I see both music and art as outlets and ways to communicate things I do not have words for. No defining moments…

When did you find yourself getting into visual art?
When I was very young. I remember when I was a toddler, I would often sit for hours and draw. I didn’t have siblings growing up, so it kept me very entertained. I use to tell my mom all of the time, that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I’m not sure where that came from or that I really understood what that meant. I just remember drawing as being something I always wanted or felt like doing from a very young age.

What has been your biggest influence in the art world (both music & visual)? Where do you find inspiration for both your music and your visual art?
In the art world, I am influenced by Modigliani, bright colors, spirits, women, and animals. My musical influences are too many to name. I find inspiration for art in fantasy. In things that I wish were real or around me that I could touch or talk to. In music, I am inspired by the challenge of piecing instruments and words together. 

What mediums do you prefer to work in?
Pastel chalks, acrylic paints, acetone transfers, & collographs.

Do you have a routine or process that you like to work through?
A routine for maybe how I work on art? Coffee, loud music, & animal interruptions. A routine to write and record songs? One instrument at a time, words written and placed last, & more animal interruptions.

Is there a particular piece of art that you are most proud of? (In other words, do you have a favorite?)
No favorites. I am proud, in that I do not get hung up on torturing myself with whether or not I think something is good. I love the process of making something, and sharing it with others. I am proud to not have fear about that.

How did you get involved with the Minus Sound Research show?
I am the co-creator/co-curator of Minus Sound Research. John Harrison of North Elementary is the other 1/2 of MSR. About 5 years ago, our bands were on tour together, and we were talking about our art, and how many other musician friends we knew who also made art. We were discussing how some of these artists were making really interesting work, but weren’t showing it. We came up with the idea to put a show together featuring visual art from artists who were maybe more known for their musical endeavors. It kept growing from there, as this is our 4th year.

Have you shown your art in any shows or galleries previously?
I have shown in the Carrboro Arts Center, Wootini, had some traveling university print shows, and curated a few art shows in nontraditional places around Carrboro, NC.

What would you say to someone who is new to this show?
Minus Sound Research is a rotating artist collective, with new artists/musicians every year. Each artist will show 5-7 new (never been seen before) work. At the opening, there will be a CD given out for free that features 1 song per artist’s band/musical project. We believe this may add some further insight to visual art being presented. 

What would you say to someone who saw this show last year?
More great work by different musicians, in a lovely gallery that supports new ideas and helps bring them to the community!

Do you get something different out of visual art than you do from music? Or do you see a direct correlation between the two art forms?
I’m driven by the same forces to create art & music. The art is a more frantic/fast-paced mission for me. Making music is more calming to me. I generally swap back and forth between the two, but I’m almost always doing one of them. 

Anything else you want to share about this upcoming Minus Sound Research Show?
Support Local Art & Music! 

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The MINUS SOUND RESEARCH 4 is ON DISPLAY NOW at Wootini Gallery in Carr Mill Mall until December. Come by and see it!

Tagged: wootini gallerynorth carolinacarrboroartmusicminus sound research

19th October 2009

Video

Limited Super7 Figures: A tour! 

We’ve got a small stock of serious treasure including prints from Dora Drimalas, Brian Flynn, and more.

Come and visit our brick & mortar store. 
http://www.wootini.com
http://www.twitter.com/wootinigallery
http://www.facebook.com/wootinigallery

Tagged: wootini gallerynorth carolinacarrborosuper 7vinyl figures

15th October 2009

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MINUS SOUND RESEARCH 4 Artist Spotlight: Mas Sato “The Sames”

Mas Sato - The Sames

Artist Name: Mas Sato
Band: The Sames


Tell me about your background. Where you’re from, where you grew up, what interested you as a kid.
I was born in Flushing, Queens NY and spent the majority of my childhood in the quiet suburb of Port Washington on Long Island. Growing up I enjoyed riding my bike, pretending to be a ninja, playing with G.I. Joe’s, reading manga from Japan, and drawing. My dad was an architect working in NYC so from early on, he exposed me to a lot of design and architecture. At the time, I wasn’t terribly interested in it but I must have absorbed it because I find myself returning to those things for inspiration. My mother was a stay-at-home mom, who until recently practiced piano daily. Both my dad and mom were musical and really encouraged and supported all of my musical endeavors. 

How long have you been performing music and how long have you been with your band?I started taking piano lessons when I was about five. I struggled to improve because I hated practicing. In fourth grade, I picked up the alto saxophone and around middle school I got pretty serious on that instrument. I played in all the performing groups (jazz band, concert band) all through high school. I even went to the Orange Bowl and Rose Bowl Parade with our H.S. marching band. Sometime during my sophomore year in H.S. I picked up the guitar and that was it… the beginning of the end:) I played in a heavy metal/thrash cover band in H.S. and played in a heavy blues outfit Cody Cods with my buds from Duke until 2003. During the recording of a Cods album, I met Zeno Gill, and played bass with the Sames from 2001 to 2006. I have since played with North Elementary and participated in the recording of Berandals. I currently play bass with Nathan Oliver.

Was there one defining moment that made you choose music (and/or art) as a profession and life style, or did it happen over time as the sum of many smaller moments - or in a completely different way?
After graduating from college, I made a conscious decision to pursue a lifestyle that would be allow me to continue playing music. I of course had aspirations of making it big with a band but I was pretty content with having some 9-to-5 job and playing music in some capacity. However, I was selective with my 9-to-5 and chose jobs that were related to design. I bounced around jobs in t-shirt screen printing, graphic design, and architectural drafting. Around 2004, this girl Jeannine who I was dating (she’s my wife now :) made me do this writing exercise where I visualized myself in my dream job, with dream co-workers, utilizing all of my skill sets. That helped me realize that where my passion and professional aspirations intersected was in furniture design/production. So I found where I wanted to work, went after a position, and I work there now. I was extremely lucky to have found the job, and I am forever indebted to Jeannine for helping me through that. 

When did you find yourself getting into visual art?
Around 2004, I started experimenting with stencil / aerosol paint art. I’ve been a fan of poster makers (Ron Liberti) and graffiti artists (Futura 2000, Banksy, Logan Hicks) and I was really interested in mimicking the screen printing process with the use of stencils. I liked that there was a mixture of controlled and uncontrolled elements to stencil art. There was the predictability of the stenciled image but the unpredictability of how the aerosol paint was going to land: no two images were the same. I also liked that there was this painstaking disciplined part of cutting out the stencil but in the end the application of the paint was fast, immediate and free. 

What has been your biggest influence in the art world (both music & visual)? Where do you find inspiration for both your music and your visual art?
I would say that my peers who are busting their asses to get their music or art out there — out of their mind and into the world — are my biggest influences. Additionally, in no particular order, here are the people and things that I look to for inspiration: modern architecture, sculptor Isamu Noguchi, Japanese carpentry and joinery, hip-hop/soul/funk, NYC, geometry, Chopin, Zen Buddhism, origami, Raleigh designer Holly Aiken, the way things were back then, and playing with my daughter. 

What mediums do you prefer to work in?
I prefer to work with wood. For the MSR4 show I used Baltic birch plywood for most of my pieces. Baltic birch is the material I also use for my line of kid’s furniture (www.inaiinaiba.com). While there is nothing special about it like most wood (i.e. lack of interesting grain, and color), the material is very durable, stable and consistent. The generic quality of Baltic birch makes it challenging to do something interesting with it. My next creative endeavor will be sculptural furniture pieces with intricate veneer patterns. 

Do you have a routine or process that you like to work through?
Every piece of mine starts off as a kernel of an idea, or a gesture of some sort. Then I mull over how the piece would look while thinking about how it would function in some utilitarian way. In the process of balancing form and function, I’ve usually added things and taken away things. And, in the end my hope is that I’ve peeled away all the layers so that what I have left is a succinct expression of that original idea. Then I obsess over the details in its construction. By the time I actually get around to building, I’ve built the piece in my mind a half of a dozen times. I also make a point of drawing my pieces in CAD; it helps me flesh out details that I may have overlooked. 

Is there a particular piece of art that you are most proud of? (In other words, do you have a favorite?)
My favorite piece is always going to be the one that I’m about to make. I’m the most excited about a project when it’s still incubating in my head and is on the verge of materializing. 

How did you get involved with the Minus Sound Research show?
One day at North Elementary practice (probably in 2006), I showed John (Harrison) a stencil piece that I had done. I guess he kept me in his mental Rolodex of musician/artists and he asked me to participate in this year’s MSR. To which I said “hell yes.” 

Have you shown your art in any shows or galleries previously?
Nope, this is my first time. 

What would you say to someone who is new to this show?
This is an eclectic show of artwork created by local musicians who also express themselves through visual art. 

What would you say to someone who saw this show last year?
Please come check out this year’s show. The featured artists are different from past years and there’s a variety of media represented in MSR4. 

Do you get something different out of visual art than you do from music? Or do you see a direct correlation between the two art forms?
In visual art — well, at least for me — I have an opportunity to be consumed by the whole process of creating (or should I say discovery), from it’s inception to the delivery of the piece. There’s something very gratifying about being on that ride. The tendency for me, however, is to be a bit more self-conscious creating in this isolated bubble but I usually manage to push through that. That in itself is another gratifying accomplishment. With playing in bands, I really enjoy the collaborative nature of creating. The “fabric” that’s woven amongst musicians in a band is constantly mutating but following an arc, a sound if you will, that somehow everyone agrees on (most of the time). Every player brings something unique so it’s really hard to have an idea what the end result might be whether it’s a song or an album. There’s something very electric and exciting about collaborating with others. 

Anything else you want to share about this upcoming Minus Sound Research Show?It’s awesome, you need to check it out.

Tagged: minus sound researchwootini gallerymas satothe samesbadnbandmusicartgallerycarrboronorth carolina

12th October 2009

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MINUS SOUND RESEARCH 4 Artist Spotlight: John Kurtz “Bull City”

Artist: John Kurtz

Band: Bull City

Tell me about your background. Where you’re from, where you grew up, what interested you as a kid.
I grew up in chapel hill, born and raised in fact. I liked playing outside, fishing, blowing up GI Joes and bb guns and knives and throwing stars - typical stuff for when you have two older brothers (also a younger sister, but she was less of an influence at that time). There was always a piano and a guitar in the house, and I loved messing around playing a bit. Similarly, there was always time to draw and be creative around the house when we weren’t just chopping up the outside world.

How long have you been performing music and how long have you been with your band?
I’ve been playing music since I was 11 or 12 I think, and with Bull City since… maybe… 2007? But I’ve always had friends with guitars and spent time around the campfire playing bluegrass tunes and such, as well as trying to write and record my own stuff.

Was there one defining moment that made you choose music (and/or art) as a profession and life style, or did it happen over time as the sum of many smaller moments - or in a completely different way?
While I definitely consider art and music a major part of my lifestyle, and I love to be creative and play music, I wouldn’t say that there was a “moment”. I just always felt the need to pick up a guitar or draw something or write, no matter what else is going on. For example, I work in a crazy office in new york with about 200 other brokers shouting at each other, but the paper in front of me always fills up with sketches and shapes, and I find it pretty easy to get lost in that.

When did you find yourself getting into visual art?
I was always pretty into art and art classes growing up- I suppose I have the arts programs in chapel hill public schools for that to a large extent.

What has been your biggest influence in the art world (both music & visual)? Where do you find inspiration for both your music and your visual art?
I think probably the far side cartoons by gary larson influenced me a great deal in how I think about visual art. I love the more complex works of great artists- I love to see Picasso, Miro, Chagall, Escher, Dali, Max Ernst, O’Keefe- any time you can see the actual works instead of in a book or photograph, its pretty stunning stuff. But as far as being a technician, I think I’m pretty limited by lack of practice and teaching. So most of my stuff comes back to looking like line drawings and good ole gary larson cartoons. Love that stuff.

What mediums do you prefer to work in?
For the past few years I’ve spent most of the little time I’ve had to pursue visual art in ceramic… it is probably my favorite medium because of its versatility, and the way you can often blend form and function in a way that’s very difficult to do in other media. Nothing in this show is “functional”, unless you wanted to use the slab pieces as tiny plates… which is fine, if you want… but I think that’s part of what originally drew me to ceramic.

Do you have a routine or process that you like to work through?
My process is… get fed up with never doing anything in ceramic or painting or drawing besides doodling, make myself do it, and get really excited about it, hopefully produce some works that I’m excited about, then trail off again. That’s been the model so far. Working on that. 

Is there a particular piece of art that you are most proud of? (In other words, do you have a favorite?)
I have two little whale-titled pieces that I quite like for some reason. I don’t know why, I just find the forms kind of amusing. I like humor in art. Sometimes it makes me feel better when I think my pieces aren’t really any good, I think of how it looks like something strange or funny, name it accordingly, and presto! I like the piece, it seems to live again in my imagination.

How did you get involved with the Minus Sound Research show?
I know Maria and Harrison, and we’ve always kind of interacted on a musical level or artistic level perhaps, without our worlds ever really overlapping. So I was very pleased when they offered me the opportunity to be involved here.. it feels very validating.

Have you shown your art in any shows or galleries previously?
I have never really had anything in a proper show, as far as my visual art goes. I’ve donated pieces to charity auctions and stuff like that, but I (ahem) still give a lot of stuff I make to my mom. (Or keep it, and try to eat off it. ‘Is this glaze food-safe? I hope so… this plate has holes in it. This is not as utilitarian as I’d hoped’)

What would you say to someone who is new to this show?
I would, as a fellow Nubian to this show, tell them that they should come out and see and hear what is all around them in the Triangle. Its just brimming over with people being creative, and I think that’s amazing- even after growing up and living there most of my life. Also, I would tell them to not be alarmed if my pieces look out of place. There are some real artists here people! Try to focus on THEIR work, it is really really amazing stuff.

What would you say to someone who saw this show last year?
If you saw it last year, I would say, Bravo- I did too, glad you came back. IT was great, and I think it will be great again. Keep supporting local music and art- it’s the only thing that separates us from the beasts. That and fire. And a handful of other things, but that’s really it.

Do you get something different out of visual art than you do from music? Or do you see a direct correlation between the two art forms?
I think just being creative is very good for the soul… whether its musical or visual, theres something that just cant be re created by anything else… One great distinction for me is the transient nature of music, and how if you didn’t have a recorder on, many times whatever you just played, no matter how great it may have been, can be gone. I like the record of visual art, and how easy it can be to see the growth and evolution of an idea on paper or in clay. Its possible with music too, but theres an immediacy about how that happens in visual art that’s really fun to follow. Also, I make up a bunch of songs that I forget immediately. And something changes when you hit record, something makes it impossible to make the same sounds and words come together as they did just moments before.

Anything else you want to share about this upcoming Minus Sound Research Show?
Thanks for reading these responses. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve doubtless lost interest in the works I’ve provided, but that’s OK. I’m just glad to be here. Viva la MSR4!

Tagged: bull city,wootini gallery,msr4minus sound researchjohn kurtzcarrboro

11th October 2009

Video

Wootini Gallery Feature: LIZ.

This is Liz. She works at Wootini. Hear her talk about, you know, well, working at Wootini.

Tagged: wootinigalleryartliz foxcarrboronorth carolina

8th October 2009

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MINUS SOUND RESEARCH 4 Artist Spotlight: John Harrison “North Elementary”

John Harrison of NORTH ELEMENTARY

Artist: John Harrison

Band: North Elementary


Tell me about your background. Where you’re from, where you grew up, what interested you as a kid?
Born and raised in Matthews NC. As a kid I was interested in radios, drawing, books, TV and sports.

How long have you been performing music and how long have you been with your band?
I’ve been performing music since 6th grade where I started playing trombone. In high school I laid down the trombone for drums and continue playing in rock bands and picking up guitar and songwriting in college. I’ve played in many bands over the years, most notably The Comas (1998-2002) and my current band North Elementary (2000something - present day).

Was there one defining moment that made you choose music (and/or art) as a profession and life style, or did it happen over time as the sum of many smaller moments - or in a completely different way?
I suppose I always knew it would be in my life. The role it has played has differed over time in my life as opportunities and perspectives have changed. It is immensely important to my well being. It’s a way in which I find relation to the world around me that makes sense to me. Creating is addictive to me - from thoughts and ideas to the process of creating the work until there is tangible evidence of ideas. The original thoughts and motivations that initiate the process are the parts I am addicted to - the final product is evidence of that addiction, not the end goal. At various points in my life I’ve been able to support aspects of my life via my music/art but most of the time it is not the biggest wage earner in my life. I do remember the first time I was able to pay my rent from an art showing….it was a very cool feeling. Most of the money my music/art makes for me goes back into those endeavors. It is certainly a lifestyle vs. profession if a label is needed.

When did you find yourself getting into visual art?
As a kid I loved to draw - so I guess at a young age. In my mid twenties I started painting again and had showings. Over the last 6 or so years I’ve mainly been interested in screen printing, photography, film, painting on canvas and wood.

What has been your biggest influence in the art world (both music & visual)? Where do you find inspiration for both your music and your visual art?
I’m influenced by other musicians and artists and their works (books, songs, paintings, films) - girls - being outside/nature - friends - good and bad times - being humbled - being excited and overwhelmed - boredom - personal insights/observations - daydreams - things that happen in my head as I sleep. Laid Dixon - Ron Liberti - Sara Bell.

What mediums do you prefer to work in?
Spray paint, house paint, screen printing, stickers, wood, canvas, acrylics, photos, film 

Do you have a routine or process that you like to work through?
Not really - I just dive in really - I dont measure or perfectly center things (I eyeball everything) - as pieces feel like they are being done I place them around my house anywhere I can find a spot and usually determine if they are done when they don’t bother me. This can take a while often times and many finished pieces are sometimes the 3rd or 4th versions of a similar work painted on top of each other. It seems to be more of a process in which I find the parts of things I don’t like, not creating things I like - a bit like carving out a finished piece not building one.

Is there a particular piece of art that you are most proud of? (In other words, do you have a favorite?)
Most of the time the last piece I do is my favorite as it was closest to the process which is what I enjoy. There was a painting I sold at the first MSR show call “Lazynaut” I really liked. As far as the pieces in this years MSR show I’m pretty fond of “The Owls of New York” as it wasn’t really intended or created as a show piece (it was a scrap/test print for another screen print project) and was my workspace floor for a while that turned out to be really cool looking to me. 

How did you get involved with the Minus Sound Research show?
I curate the show with Maria Albani - we created the idea in a van while touring 5 years ago.

Have you shown your art in any shows or galleries previously?
Yes - mainly coffee shops and even the Carrboro Town Hall

What would you say to someone who is new to this show?
Thanks for coming - check out all this cool stuff! 

What would you say to someone who saw this show last year?
Thanks for coming back - check out all this cool stuff! 

Do you get something different out of visual art than you do from music? Or do you see a direct correlation between the two art forms?
Well both really. To me both add perspective on the motivations that initiate both mediums. More insight and options to create and relate to the world around me. Music can be very visual to me. The visual art is not really musical for me but there is often times more going on in my head than just staring at a piece as you look at it. 

Anything else you want to share about this upcoming Minus Sound Research Show?
Come on out and enjoy yourself……start a band and make some visual art and you could one day be an artist in MSR!

Tagged: john harrison,north elementarywootini gallerycarrboronorth carolinaminus sound researchartmusic