Thank you Rachel Herr (see pg 30 on link!) for capturing these candid moments last evening at Art Lotto’s artists/judges/sponsors Private Party. What a fun evening of looking and admiring and chatting and fun. It was a great sight to see all eyes glued to the walls of the Artful Dodger in admiration of the diverse talent that surrounds us. Portraits will be up through the month of August.
“I’m interested in the gaze, in what it holds and hides, in its metaphysic. With this piece, I wanted to work with the gaze of two, both Laura’s and that of Seneca’s, a stoic philosopher from antiquity. So, there is a bit of theater to the piece, a theater of silence perhaps. Laura, you can say, plays the lead and she’s brought something both fierce and vulnerable to it.” ~Michael
Michael Trocchia might as well just start a revolution. He has been pumping out creativity with every beat of his heart since I met him. The kind of man you walk away from feeling a wee bit smarter. If you don’t believe me, do yourself a solid and grab a cup of coffee, click this link to The Dirty Napkin and press play. You’ll here his voice ooze through the speakers and you’ll be left wondering which is smoother: him or your coffee. Michael has had a heavy hand in many intellectual happenings. You may have seen his films in the Super Gr8 Film Festival, heard him read at countless poetry readings, stumbled upon his published writing in several journals and blogs (like here, and here, and here, oh and here too aaaand here). You may have attended a play he adapted and directed at Court Square Theater called Stephen Crane’s The Blue Hotel in which he also curated an art show inspired by the plot. You may have been a student in his Philosophy class at JMU or witnessed a romantic glare exchanged between him and his lovely wife. But it wouldn’t have been until this year, that you would have seen the art work of Michael Trocchia outside the walls of his home. In January, he held his very first solo art show at Black Swan in Staunton, Va. His show was a collection of portraits inspired by real life ‘characters’. Prior to this show he mainly painted other types of characters: “imaginary people, fictional people, characters dreamed up…ones that belonged to a story never written,” Michael describes. When this year’s Lotto sign ups came around, he was definitely on my radar. Looking at his work is reminiscent of reading his poetry in that it paints us a picture, except this time, literally. For Art Lotto, Trocchia randomly selected the name of Laura Thompson and we will see his version of her come August. Fellow artist Elliott Downs will be portraying Michael.
Second year Lotto participant, Ben Fraits, ain’t skeerd to try something new. This year, Ben is working on a portrait of photographer, Pat Jarrett. Both Ben and Pat took home an Art Lotto award in 2012. Ben won the Out-of-the-Box award last year with his photo/scrabble piece concoction of Anne Hogan and Pat won the Oh Snap! Photography Award with his portrait of Elliot Downs.
“I’m not exactly sure what inspired the idea for my art lotto piece this year, I wanted to think a little more ‘out of the box’ I guess. However, I was quite excited when I drew Pat Jarrett’s name from the cup. Knowing him from around town and learning more about the artist himself, I needed something to solidly represent him, something chiseled into time, something strong, that has a little weight behind it. I needed to create a work that would define Pat in a way that it might be cemented into resembling the solid artist, photographer that he has been over many years. I think I’ve found this in this portrait..
Defining the legend.. (wait for it)” ~Ben