Hey-o- thanks for coming to my show if you did. And if you didn't, I'm sure you were doing something really lovely. Like talking to a potted plant (they need that, they can't go out) or fixing a breakfast with those plums you were saving in the icebox.

The last weekend of the show is here now-- you can see it at The Arsenal on Saturday, September 18 from 1pm-5pm AND on Sunday from 10am-3pm. Sunday is VivaCalleSJ, a huge open streets festival, so please don't drive that day. No, really. It will not be fun for you. If you can walk, roll, ride or skate, it WILL be fun for you.

After that, I am taking the show down and putting most of it up in my studio. It is up to you how much I take home with me (please contact thearsenalSJ@gmail.com to schedule an appointment and buy some of it, please.) I am doing an OPEN STUDIO at The Alameda Artworks with my buddy Sara, and a whole lotta other artists in their spaces. That's September 25-26. Lots of artists will be out doing their thing that weekend for Silicon Valley Open Studios. I may even have some Jumbo Jibbles stuff out. Or some prototypes!

The Alameda Artw

orks is at 1068 The Alameda in San Jose. You can't see it from the street- it's behind Recycle Bookstore. If you walk in from the street, you can also see my artwork in the window display on the children's side of the bookstore. There's parking on the street and in the lot behind our studio. Look for the colored doors. My studio #12 is through the red door between the bike and bus murals (another way you can get here). Then the PINK DOOR, then #12!

I hope it goes without saying, but please wear a mask so we don't have to be safety wardens. Wear a cute one. If you don't have one, order one of mine on JUMBO JIBBLES and I'll go outside and hand it to you.

That's me, painting the window for Recycle Bookstore back in March. It hasn't rained since then so it all still looks fresh. MY GOD!

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After the pandemic times, this is the biggest thing that's happened to me (that is positive) in a long time. My art isn't about anything deep or important, unless you think rolling your eyes in pleasure or feeling the subtle shift from feeling like you're just alive to feeling like you are full of life isn't important. I am so lucky that I'm a person who can get excited about literal trash on the street. People make fun of that plastic bag scene*

from American Beauty but guess what-- plastic bags ARE kind of beautiful blowing around. Yes, they are trash. Yes, they will be stuck in a tree- but at that exact moment they fill with air and look like they are billowing of their own will, it is pleasant. There is a podcast I enjoy called Everything is Alive, where the host interviews a different inanimate object every week. You get to hear about their experiences, as they give you a view of life with the limitation of immobility and treatment at the hands of humans. The first episode is with a soda can, and let me tell you I SCREAMED at the end. When I was little (before kindergarten) I had imaginary friends and would also grant humanity to just about every non-living object around me. We make all these things, some we need and some that we absolutely don't, but once they exist it would be wasteful not to be thankful and appreciate them as pieces of matter that are now in our world. Do I think there is too much? Oh heck yeah. But like the Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA or the collections of Lego Lost At Sea, we can derive enjoyment from our imperfect behavior and creations. We've made a big mess, and hopefully it's possible to change and clean it up, but in the interim, to stave off hopelessness, look at that puddle or pile and appreciate how it has changed what was once to what is now.

Rag Soup & Sugar Sandwiches opens tomorrow at 2pm-5pm at The Arsenal in Japantown. Come say hi. And follow me on insta at @artwormsbrown.

*Come on, that character was a teen. TEENS FEEL THINGS and it is beautiful. Let's all forget that Kevin Spacey was in that movie and just remember Annette Bening just acting the hell out of each scene with her roses.

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The art show I've got coming up is a two-person exhibition with Alyssarhaye Graciano. We're both known around town mainly for our fiber-based business. I'm known as the carrot lady from Jumbo Jibbles and she's known for her knitting at Black Sheep Made. Both of us also make art* but are known for our business- we'd like to change that.

So we've been put together because of this fiber-assumption, but what we're working on isn't necessarily what's expected. While most of my artwork so far has included fabric, I'd say only about 10% of the work I'm showing does. And while Alyssarhaye's does include yarn, it definitely isn't knitted.

So what's up with this name? Rag soup and sugar sandwiches are spare recipes either made to spare time or with the bare minimum. They make use of scraps or items that usually wouldn't be the main course. The materials she and I use fit into this category. She's saying goodbye to being known for knitting by creating pieces that literally cut up yarn and turn it into something else. My paper technique is a method I've used on fabric, and many of the pieces look like a pile of kitchen scraps.

During the pandemic, I started keeping all the paper and cardboard and flat pieces of plastic that would have gone into the recycling. Part of me really thought this was the end of civilization and I might need to use this stuff as art supplies to make things last longer. Yes, I assumed that as society crumbled around me I would still be making sculptures. Eyes on the prize, all the time.

My two and a half-D sculptures are made with paper, watercolored then cut out into flouncy curves. After the initial piece is cut out, there is a little line of color still left on the scrap pieces. I cut that out too, collecting a nest of particolored twigs and ribbons. Anything with color left on it gets cut. I've got a box for the big curls, thin strips, and occasional "pebble" (anything larger than 1/4" that can be cut in a vague circle. Lately I have been more choosy about what I keep, but

I'll never forget that weird mix of feeling like I had this treasury of inputs while also making art out of trash. It was a self-delusion that helped me through a shitty time.

A sugar sandwich is filling for a little while, but you can't live on it. [Insert wry comment about being an artist here.] Maybe that's a little too on-the-nose- come look at my art, like it, buy it, leave it, but then you go back to real life. Art is what comes after the basic needs are met. This art is trying to be the meal that gets you there and also the prize at the end.

RAG SOUP & SUGAR SANDWICHES opens at The Arsenal this Saturday, August 28th from 2-5pm. The gallery is open when the art store is open. If you'd like to schedule a private viewing you may contact the gallery. If you'd like an artist tour, same! I would love to host people at their convenience, and small groups can take their time.

*Yes, I understand the products we make are art, but we're talking about the stuff that isn't designed and made over and over.

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