INDU: Commensalists and Hand Me Downs Mixed media installation 12 ft x 12 ft x 12 ft 2008
This work came from an earlier residency at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in 2006. I finished cutting the plates and printing the prints that came from that residency, while I was in residence at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2007. This installation was created for the 2008 AIR Exhibition that brought back all the participating artists for a show. I combined a large drawing, archival digital C-prints, woodcut prints, commercial mesh banners and ephemera to create the effect INDU had on me in 2006.
This work has been featured in a National Parks Publication,
Escape 3: Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll 11 inches x 15 inches x .5 inc 2008
In this third and final volume of the Escape Series, the artist lands on Duval Street in Key West during a charming festival called Fantasy Fest. It is a cautionary tale with seven maps, seven pop ups, seven prints and accompanying stories from the Key West Citizen’s Police Briefs. Hard to believe, but I assure you, it is all true. I have seen it.
Book block is sewn with a kettle stitch using plywood covers wrapped in white denim with a plain brown wrapper. The endsheets are katazome paper. The edition size is 20.
This book is dedicated to a long time friend, Rick Reasin.
“escape*… restrictions apply,” 11 inches x 15 inches x .5 inc 2003
This is Tom Virgin’s first artist’s book. It is the first of three books examining the concept of “escape” in the context of a trip from Miami to the Florida Keys. During the course of this journey (escape* part one) the artist views various landmarks that break up the miles between Card Sound Road and the 7-mile Bridge. Also addressed along the way are more metaphorical walls, bridges, and escapes of another nature.
“escape*… restrictions apply” is printed on Arches 88, containing 17 pages. The book block is sewn with a kettle stitch, and glued into blue denim covered wood covers, with Japanese Katazome paper end sheets. The book is 11 inches x 15 inches x .5 inch. Fonts used are arial and Scott Ulrich’s Cheap Signage. Content includes an essay by the artist, seven digitally colored original woodcut prints by the artist, and maps showing the location of the images in the prints by Mile Marker in the Florida Keys. Facts and figures about the Keys follow the essay and prints.
The work pictured here is a series of prints taken from repeated trips to the Florida Keys, visiting a long time friend. Sadly, my friend has passed away, but the friendship and experience of seeing the Keys as a native still lingers. The works begin on Card Sound Bridge and move south and west to the Seven Mile Bridge. The second group goes from Big Pine to just south of Key West. The third group runs around the main drag in Key West, Duval Street. These images are a snapshot of what happens during a Duval Crawl during Fantasy Fest. These images are gathered into the Escape Series of artist’s books as well.
Each print is 16 inches by 20 inches, edition of 20, woodcut relief prints on Japanese papers (except ATG and the Card Sound Bridge and Tracy and Bahia Honda Bridge, 30 inches x 34 inches).
This National Park is nestled between Gary, Indiana and Michigan City Michigan spanning almost 20 miles across the southern shore of Lake Michigan on Indiana’s northernmost border. Nestle is probably not the word I should use to describe the relationship this 15,000 acre park has with its neighbors. It is hidden in urban sprawl that spans the southern edge of the Park. A residency there in 2006 had a profound effect on my relationships with the National Parks System, so much so that the images became part of another artist’s book: “INDU: Commensalists and Hand-me-downs.” INDU is the National Park’s acronym for the Park’s longer name, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. My work from this residency is featured on the Parks website (http://www.nps.gov/indu/supportyourpark/2006-Artist,-Tom-Virgin.htm) and in a U.S. Publication about AIR programs in all the National Parks (Drawing New Audiences, Expanding Interpretive Possibilities www.nps.gov/bicy/supportyourpark/upload/-0339415.pdf).
An artist’s residency at Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2007 was a rich experience, kitty corner across the world from what I am used to. The Cascades are incredible, volcanoes popping up from the ground, from California through Washington State. I came with the hope of creating an homage to Hokusai and the people of Portland. I left with renewed friendships from my youth and new friendships with Portland’s finest.
All images in this series 16 inches x 20 inches, black ink on Japanese paper, edition of 20.
In 2005, in the middle of the real estate boom in South Florida, I began taking photographs of of buildings that fell victim to the need for more land to build on. One of these buildings was a humble apartment building, no more than 15 units, at most. Latin music, parties, children’s voices, the smell of barbeque grills and more vanished literally overnight. Knowing that my apartment of over 15 years may well have been the next complex to go led me to do this series of prints of the semi-demolished building. This was 3029 S.W. 27th Avenue, Coconut Grove, Florida. As I write this, it is a large condominium building with several vacant units.
Each of the prints in this series is 16 inches by 20 inches, in an edition of 20, black ink on Japanese paper.