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Jacqui Oakley 2014
At the end of October I was happy to be one of the artists invited to contribute to Garrison Creek Bat Co.’s Fall Classic art show at SMASH, Toronto. This show was a bit out of the ordinary, with each artist given our own handcrafted wooden baseball bat from Garrison Creek to do with as we please. The results from everyone covered a huge range from carnivalesque strength tester bats to bat weapons, and the media was just as weirdly varied with ball point pen, Swarovski crystals, cardboard and even sprinkles giving a good show. It was great to see the variety and get together with a bunch of talented friends from my old art college.
Garrison Creek Bat Company was founded in 2012 by Dave Murray, C.R. Fieldhouse and Ryan Christian. They were also the ones to get all the artists together and put on a such great event – thanks guys! If you are a baseball fan be sure to check them out. Their uniquely crafted wooden bats combine style and design with a quality, handmade aesthetic. They are quite beautiful.
Of course how could you have a baseball bat show without balls. Thank God Erin McCutcheon was around to make a huge pile of beautiful porcelain baseballs with which one could work out their frustrations in the “Strike Zone” a hand-chalked target that participants could chuck a ball at). Loud fun times were had by all especially my friend Meg shown in full action below. Below that is Jamie Lawson being framed by his bat colourful bat “Lucille” and Darren Booth’s hand-lettered, “Glory & Consequence”. Next we have Dushan Milic’s hilarious sprinkle covered “Pocky #12″ (don’t lick it, it’s covered in glue) and Irma Kniivila’s “untitled” zombie battle artwork. It’s a good call to keep a bat around for just such an emergency. Lastly, the very inventive and “love tester” style arcade game “Batter’s Box” by Darryl Graham. This fella actually worked and there was many a sad face after getting pegged as “noodle-arms”.
Here’s some great photos of the crowds that night at Smash by Julia Breckenreid. Thanks Julia! She has a great blog post about it to so be sure to check it out. Below the crowds we have a Dave and Erin manning the ever important drink table. Below that we have Julia Breckenreid‘s, “Keep Your Eye on the Ball” a great piece were she turned her bat into a moveable fragmented sculpture. So fun to play with, but really striking looking too and framed nicely by Erin McPhee‘s, “The Beer & Whiskey League” prints.
Above: the lovely detail in Jon Todd’s “The Garden” with its wonderful lizard and Bryce Huffman’s doom laden piece, “The Deep”. Then we have Dave Murray’s Raccoon print and Pete Ryan’s screen printed bat with its donkey and bear baseball players. Just lovely work and I have no clue how you screen print a baseball bat.
The night was surrounded by amazing salvaged furniture and elk heads. This chap really added to the atmosphere.
Art above by Joe Morse “The Bat Speaks for Itself” which was all drawn in ball point pen. Crazy. Joe’s work is always astounding. I still remember how inspiring his life drawing classes were at Sheridan Collage.
Below here’s some shots of my bat, “Monkey Totem” which was made with cardboard a lot of glue gunning and then painted. It was really great to have an opportunity to do something so different. Hope you like it. I will do a proper post about the process for it soon.
Here’s a list of all the great artists in the show. Sorry that I didn’t get pics to show of everyone’s work but you can check out their website’s listed below:
Rob Baytor http://
Darren Booth www.darrenbooth.com Julia Breckenreid www.breckenreid.com
Graeme Cameron www.basecampx.com Sandra Dionisi www.sandradionisi.com
C.R. Fieldhouse http://
Leslie Gauthier http://
Patrick Gray www.grayillustration.com Adam Hilborn www.pkartdept.com
Bryce Huffman www.brycehuffman.com Irma Kniivila http://
Jamie Lawson http://
Erin McPhee www.erinmcphee.com Dushan Milic www.dushanmilic.com Joe Morse www.joemorse.com
Dave Murray www.davemurrayillustration
Thanks to Garrison Creek Bat Co. and Dave Murray for all their work and to SMASH for letting us take over their space. Thanks for all of you who came out. It was such a fun night. I think there’ll be another show coming up in the spring so look out for it. I want this bison head.