Wednesday, December 6, 2023


“Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these.” -Ovid

The time in which we live is fraught. Of this there is no debate. We seemingly move from one catastrophe to the next at times, lurching from war to disease to the breakdown of the climate around us. And yet, to live in so-called simpler times would be to give up many of the things that make our time safe and convenient. We live in an age of medical science, where illness and injury no longer mean certain death. We live in a time of information and technology, bringing the world to us from the comfort of our homes. We live in a world that is increasingly enlightened, although at times it feels like we are moving in the wrong direction. Are these complex times? Of course. But perhaps that complexity is what comes of advancement.

Michael Ballou joined us from Brooklyn where he was between shows. The artist describes his typical habit as working on many little things at once and pulling them together when it comes time to exhibit. For his most recent show, he created a bird mural that was applied to window panes allowing light to come through it into the gallery space. On an adjoining wall, he placed a rubber stamp mural and completed the exhibit with two “word bags” and a few other miscellaneous pieces including his own drawings. Ballou creates ink drawings using broken tree branches. This adds an element of unpredictability and the drawing takes on its own life. To hear more about his work, listen to the complete interview.

Nathan Hoks spoke to us from Chicago following the recent publication of his latest book of poems titled Nests in Air. He reports that the experience of the pandemic has differed throughout various parts of the city. For him personally, the last year or so has been rather pleasant, allowing him to skip the commute and teach from home. Nests in Air was largely written in 2013 and 2016 and much of the theme is about the compression one might feel in the home space. Although written before the pandemic, the subject matter is easily related to the experience of getting through lockdown at home with one’s family. To hear more including live readings, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Live in the moment, appreciate its many advances.

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. Michael Ballou was reading the works of Ovid when we spoke. Follow this link to learn more about the writings of Nathan Hoks.


Elsewhere Funded Family Residency in Paonia, Colorado is currently accepting applications. Four artists will be chosen to complete a 10 day residency that includes a $1000 stipend that can be used for childcare, bills, travel/material costs or for summer camp fees in the area for children. Families will be housed in one of a few spaces and two families will overlap during the residency period giving the opportunity for collaboration, shared childcare/meals and more. For complete details, visit the website. Deadline for applications is December 17.


Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius, and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius. His book, Making it in the Art World, is available now with bonus content here.

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