Friday, December 8, 2023


As we cross over into a new year, we carry with us not only the impressions left by the year we leave behind but also our hopes and fears for the time ahead. We cannot live outside the present moment. The past is irretrievable and the future lies in perpetual darkness. All we can do is sit within the bounds of an instant while sketching out a way forward. To be conscious of our own precarious position within the vast universes of space and time, and our fate to navigate the choppy seas of chance is to live bravely from the moment we wake up each day.

Cary Smith recently exhibited a show at Fredricks & Freiser in Chelsea. Smith found his way to the gallery following the death of Hudson, the beloved New York gallerist who formerly represented him. After including his work in a few art fairs, Fredricks & Freiser slowly cultivated a full representational relationship with the artist. Of Hudson, Smith remembers a man who was patient and still when it came to his gallery. Rather than push a sale, he allowed visitors to engage with the art on his walls in their own terms and who nurtured his artists as well as the larger community. Hudson inspired artists to produce the best possible work they could, Smith says. The current exhibit at Fredricks & Freiser approaches both rooms at the gallery. In the larger front room, Smith exhibited mid-size, bright, gregarious paintings that differed strongly from each other. In the more intimate space of the rear room, the work was more homogeneous and limited. This representation of opposites explores in some ways the instantaneity of our internet culture. Smith’s process involves finding and exploring unique themes, sometimes for many years.

Breeze Smith is a percussion musician and visual artist who creates some of his own instruments. Presently he is working with a group called Cosmic Vibrations playing percussion. For this endeavor, he uses electronics and looping as well as a method called “application” in which percussive objects are placed on the percussion instruments to create a more complex sound. Smith captures the overtones and undertones of application in sound loops allowing him to use many layers of sound in order to create improvisational music. Smith’s visual art crosses over many media including welding, woodworking, and stonework. Often his work results in unique instruments or sound installations. Smith’s music is recorded and he is often asked to play with others for live performances. He has done a handful of film soundtracks, a genre which he enjoys and would like to pursue further. Smith’s recording SightSoundingBackDrop+8 incorporates sounds that influence him in such a way as to bring life to them. His recordings make heavy use of sound looping to meld sounds of nature with Smith’s own percussion. Many of Smith’s recording can be purchased online or streamed via YouTube. In terms of visual art, Smith is currently compiling sculpture pieces, particularly kinetic sculpture. The ability of kinetic sculpture to produce incidental sound in tandem with the environment in which it is placed influences Smith’s work. His sculpture incorporates found objects, particularly those that can create sound. His work is intended to be used and played with. To hear some of Smith’s audio creations, listen to the full interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Do not go forward trepidatiously. Rather seize on each moment and drink in all the life it has to offer. Create change and beauty all around you. Happy New Year.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Cary Smith listens to books while he works. One memorable title is The Dropper by Ron McLarty. Breeze Smith carries with him always the book Myths to Live By by Joseph Campbell

Opportunities / Open Calls

OSTEN Biennial of Drawing invites artists to submit to their 2018 showing in Skopje, Macedonia. Winning artists will have their work exhibited and receive free accommodation. More details available at the OSTEN Biennial website. Deadline for submissions is April 30.



Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.



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