Sunday, June 25, 2017

The First Show

Sandy Rosbeck's Heavy Metal Chair,Schools Out was a
big hit
Day 3 (6/25/17)

Last night we had our first opening at the Old Town Hall Studio & Gallery. After a year of renovation and planning the night was finally here. We are very proud of how everything turned out. We had set out to develop a gallery space that would be friendly and inviting. Our unofficial slogan is “Serious art in a not so serious environment. Our first show lived up to that promise. The artists that participated in this show were selected because they had somehow helped to make the gallery a reality. That made for a very eclectic show with some artists who were seasoned professionals while for others it was there first time showing. The quality of the work was wonderful running the gamut from figurative to totally abstract. Each artist had also been given a Samsonite folding chair from the original hall to alter and decorate. They did not disappoint. Like the artwork the chairs went in many different directions from representational to abstract. One artist created a Heavy Metal chair while another altered hers to represent crackers and cheese. Others took a more conventional route and did paintings and drawings on their chairs. We lined them up in such a way as to simulate how they would have been set up for board meetings. The chairs were a big hit. We also had installed a loft/lounge where you can get away and relax while taking in the surroundings. It is a great space for children to play with games and coloring materials. We are hoping to develop it further as time goes on. The old cigarette machine that we converted to an “Art in the Box” was a big hit. It took awhile but once people started getting small art others had to give it a try. We had no idea what to expect going into the event. We had kind of dropped the ball on advertising since we had been so busy with everything else. As it turned out we had a nice group that attended. Everybody seemed to have a good time and to finally see the gallery filled with art and people made all the hard work worth it.
View from Above

I love Dan Hernandez's watercolors.

A sculpture by Chris Hindle

Emma Larson's Watercolor 

An Airbrush by Mark Nelson "Government Issue"

Grant Van Driest's Paint Peel Chair

Sally Van Driest's "Curl"

Nate Urness's "Fold Up, Face Out

Kay Jelenik's "Go with the Flow"

Tieva Campbell's "Midnight Snack"

Eileen Urness' "Bits & Pieces"

Jim Burton's "Grousspapp(Grandfather)"

Grant Van Driest's Paint Peel Chair

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top of the Hill Project (Part 1)

Brinno TLC 200 Pro with Case
Day 2 (6/13/17)
Several years ago I came up with the idea of making time lapse videos to illustrate what I was trying to achieve with my art. The idea was to set up a camera facing north and capture the changes in color and shadow as the sun moved across the sky. The problem was that when I first conceived the idea to do a twenty four hour time lapse required expensive equipment and a lot of video editing know-how. I had neither. Then in 2014 I found the solution in the “Brinno TLC 200 Pro”. It was a self contained time lapse camera with HD quality, about the size of a regular camera and was capable of at least twenty four hour recording. I haven’t as yet tested its limits but with new batteries and a once every ten seconds exposure I am able to get an easy forty-eight hours. It also has an available protective case which allows recording in severe weather and a certain amount of freedom from watching it. The TLC 200 may not fit the needs of a professional videographer but was perfect for my project. The next question was just where to set up the camera. Any public location would require almost constant monitoring to make sure the camera wasn’t disturbed or stolen. I finally decided that “the top of the hill” on the farm I grew up on would be the perfect place. It was always a magical place growing up and holds many fond memories. It also has four distinct directional views so I decided to do one time lapse video from each direction and a paper piece to go with it. Since the farm is five to six hours away availability did pose a bit of a problem. Over the last three years whenever I got over there I would set up the camera. Finally, I got four directional videos that were usable and a bunch more that were just fun. Perhaps someday I will make a compilation video of those.
Brinno TLC 200 Pro

The Top of the Hill

First set up

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Shootout at the Hall

Rocket Balloons
Day 30 (2/5/17)

As winter limps along I thought I would do a quick update on the hall. We have been slowly finishing the painting. Except for some touchups most of the gallery area is finished. The last month we have been working on the studio space. We are trying to keep it as bright and airy as possible since it is a rather small low space. It has been going slowly because we have to deal with the cold. There has been time for fun however. One Sunday Wade and his parents showed up at the hall with their Nerf guns or what Wade calls “beu guns” and an epic shootout ensued. We had also purchased some balloon rockets and between the two we had a blast. We are looking forward to more battles between shows. Today we started spattering the floor in the studio. It will take awhile because of drying time which is even longer because of the cold weather but once it is done we can start setting up the studio. We also put most of the steel bars back up on the windows. We plan on using them as a hanging system to reduce the amount of nails that have to be hammered into the paneling. With each task we finish we get a little closer to being able to start showing art. 
The battle ensues

Wade heads for high ground
The Battle

Painting the studio


Jackson at work

Putting up the bars

Two down, five to go

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

After the Snow

First Snow
Day 29 (12/26/16)

With the snow and cold weather things have slowed down at the hall. Two weeks ago we had braved the cold and started putting up the voting booths into the loft. They are going to be used as shelves to store artwork. Last weekend it was so cold that we knew the heat pump wouldn’t have a chance warming up the entire space from below zero so we didn’t even try. Last Monday morning I had a bit of a scare when I found out that the power had been out in Belgium. I immediately raced over to the hall and found that the breakers had tripped when the power came back on. The good news is that after almost twelve hours without power the crawlspace and bathroom were both within tolerable limits. I am supposed to get an alert from Weenrgies but didn’t get anything until about ten the next day apologizing for any inconvenience. Monday night I went back over and checked again and everything was working fine. Today I had the day off and it was forty degrees so I decided to go over and finish the voting booths and do some painting. I was the first time it had been warm enough to paint all month. I managed to finish the loft area and put a last coat on the west wall. I was impressed with how quickly the heat pump warmed the space when it wasn’t approaching zero. I found I was really excited about going over and doing some work. Sometimes a guy just has to pound some nails.   
Warming up 

Sizing thing up

The Install

Ready to be trimmed out

Cold day at the Hall

This is inside

Finished Loft

From the Loft

Getting closer to opening

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Industrial Door

Our New Door
Day 28 (12/4/16)

The weather is starting to take a turn for the worse. I know that some people are hoping for a white Christmas but I am hoping that the whole winter stays warm and mild because I have things to get done. One outdoor project that we needed to finish was the door. The original door was pretty rough looking and the window had been replaced with a piece of Plexiglas that rattled every time you closed the door. We had looked into a replacement door but since it was not a standard size all of the options were very expensive. We had started working on the door about a month ago by covering the bottom with aluminum diamond plate. We liked it so well we decided to cover the whole door with it. We also decided we wanted to tint it green to match the other outdoor trim. There was not a local outlet for the diamond plate so I started looking on line. At first it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. I was able to find reasonable priced diamond plate but the shipping was outrageous. Finally I found a source that had both reasonable prices and reasonable shipping. At the same time I ordered a 24X24 sheet of tempered, thermo pane glass for the window. The diamond plate arrived in just a couple of days but I did have to wait awhile for the window since it had to be custom made. While we were waiting, we researched keyless entries. We wanted something that would complement the industrial look while offering the convenience of keyless entry. We finally decided on a Schlage lever handled system and found it on sale at Menards. Friday, I got the call that the glass was finished so we decided to get it done as soon as possible. Like so many things in this project we didn’t exactly know what to expect once we got started. Saturday we prepped everything and made a list of last minute supplies we would need to get it done. We got up early this morning and made a quick trip to Sheboygan to get the last of the supplies and by eleven we were back at the hall and ready to start. I started by drilling the diamond plate and painting it. I then worked on cutting the trim for the window. We had already installed it and caulked it on Saturday. We also put weather stripping around the inside of the door. By one o’clock we were able to start putting the aluminum on the door. Except for having to cut out a little for the hinges it went remarkably well. After we had the plating screwed on we were able to start trimming out the window. Considering that the original had not been made for the thermo pane it also went well. Finally we had to install the keyless entry. We both had concerns on how well it would fit into a door of that age. Eileen had been reading up on it so when it was time to put it on it all fit together like a charm. By the time we were done it was getting very slushy but it was completed and snug. We loved the way it looked and were able to cross another task off our list.

Drilling the screw holes

Starting to Paint


I love this stuff

The original Door with new window

Adding the Diamond Plate

Trimming out the Window

The finished door with keyless entry

View towards the Road

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Big Blue Ceiling

The Ceiling is mostly finished
Day 27 (11/27/16)

It was Thanksgiving vacation so that means four days to work on the hall. The latest big project has been painting the ceiling. Eileen had started on the area over the loft a while ago so our goal was to get it finished by the time we had to go back to work. We had looked into hiring it done but when we got the estimate of fifteen hundred dollars we decided it was something that we could do ourselves. We purchased a rolling scaffolding and paint and managed to do it for three hundred and fifty dollars and now have scaffolding for painting and insulating the outside. It proved to be a good week to work on hall because we were also able to monitor our new heating systems. It wasn’t real cold yet but most of the week was in the high thirties to low forties. I have set the bathroom and crawlspace heaters at around forty-five degrees. It may be a bit warm but we both agreed that we would rather pay a little more for heating than risk having to replace plumbing if the electricity went out. We were really happy to see that on sunny days we get quite a bit of heat gain. We also got to use the heat pump system in the rest of the building and it worked great. I am sure it will work even better when we get a chance to insulate the building. The entire week was not only about ceiling painting. While Eileen was painting I worked on wiring and while I was painting Eileen worked on some of the many other details we need to finish around the hall. At the end of the week we had indeed finished painting the ceiling and now have another major project crossed off from the list. The next big project will probably be lighting. We had thought about hanging track lighting around the hall but are now thinking that we can mount them directly on the ceiling without a problem. Slowly but surely it is starting to become the studio/gallery that we envisioned.  
Heating up the Hall

Floor of the Loft

Floor over the Water Closet

Eileen's find from under the hall

Half done

Last of first coat

Eileen working on entryway

Last Coat

Almost Done

A lot of Art

Finished Ceiling

Petitioners Bench