Monday, September 6, 2010

Sloup #7: August 2010

Your name or the title of your organization:
Eric Ryszkiewicz | proprietor of “Commerce Information Entertainment”

What you will do with your Sloup Grant:
I will use a sloup grant to fund 100 copies of an EP titled “daydream lullaby: daydream vacation”. This will consist of an albums’ worth of instrumental music that is a follow-up to “daydream lullaby: sleep | wake | delete”. Funding will primarily go towards the production of handmade packaging and CDR duplication. This will include a custom digipak with letterpress and/or screen printing for the text and graphics. The music on this release can be performed by a single player, and there will be some live performances to promote it. The music consists of many layers of intricate, sparse guitar work, and may appeal to fans of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and other modern composers. It will come out in late 2009 or early 2010. This is Sloup’s second and LAST CHANCE to fund this project!

What is important about receiving a Sloup Grant?:
I am not known in St. Louis as an artist or musician. More important than the monetary award, I believe that being able to promote this project as somehow receiving the sloup stamp of approval will provide more visibility. Peer recognition, folks! I will return the favor by noting sloup as a sponsor.

A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals:
I don’t have time for a band, and am far more interested in creating music as art than live entertainment. I’m doing a series of related music and media projects with a focus on making good use of the resources that I have available, and in a way that appeals to the artistic, music, literary, and crafting communities.

A previous project of yours, and some ways it both succeeded and failed:
Several years ago, I built a human-powered vending machine as a Halloween costume. This was essentially a large, frame-mounted cardboard box with casters, a plexi-glass front window, coin slot, snack retrieval door, and a panel on which a variety of food items were displayed. I’d intended on attending the Central West End costume contest, but wound up going to a house party instead. Once the initial novelty wore off, most people were pretty content to ignore me, especially if I wasn’t moving around. I thought it would be a lot of fun (it was), but spent most of the time drinking beers alone in a cardboard box.

Who is your favorite artist this month?:
Reading this weeks’ New Yorker got me thinking a lot about how much I enjoy Chuck Close.



1. Pig Slop Studios - ( aka Chloe Bethany ( , Rebecca Estee (, Zak Marmalefsky (

2. We want to turn our loft space into an open studio environment. We would use the grant money to buy materials and hardware to construct movable walls: sturdy surfaces for hanging on and leaning against that can be moved during events and games.

3. If we won the lottery we would have all sorts of income tax to deal with. But, truly, what we love about SLOUP is that it is not only a way to potentially gain funding for great creative projects, but also a way to reach out and make connections. By applying for a SLOUP grant, we raise awareness about our project, and get to take advantage of a super grass-roots process where individuals can act on their opinions and make decisions as members of a community, a community we are want to become an active,organizing part of.

4. We are a we. Our creative goals are nebulous and striped. As three post-college St. Louis transplants from other cities, we are attracted to this venture collaboratively as a way to construct a home for ourselves where we will feel free to make and be made in an environment of shared support. We each, in our own way, have fallen in love with this dear city and we want to create a home that both engages and gives back to the growing creative community. Our ambition for Pig Slop Studios is to create affordable studio space for St. Louis artists as well as a common community meeting space for neighborhood groups and events. Given the construction of walls, we will have room for 5-10 artists in addition to ourselves, at affordable and flexible prices and availability. We also plan to operate installation spaces for shared use.

5. Chloe collaborated on a large sculpture with her friend this spring. First, they built the frame for a room. Then they covered it with peach colored pleather. They hung the insides with mulitcolored yarn, peppered the floor with a deep layer of wood shavings, and installed drawings and objects beneath the vaulted, tetrahedrical ceiling. It was a successful project in that both parties felt as though some part of them was expressed, to the end of something greater than its parts. Strange maintenance men had seances there, and the weather pulled the the pleather from the roof. The piece was well received and filled the makers with pride. However, there were some failings in its construction. Their union was tenuous and argument filled. They yelled at one another, and were uncomfortable on ladders.

6. John Porcellino, Chris Martin,

************** Also if you are interested in a studio or doing an installation please email us! Or come visit at 2700 Cherokee!


Your name or the title of your organization:
The Urban Studio Café

The project: L-Ink.

Learn (v.): To acquire knowledge of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience.
Ink (n.): A pigmented liquid or paste used especially for writing or printing
Incorporated (adj.): Formed or united into a whole

What is L-Ink.?
The Urban Studio Café is collaborating with local artist Stan Chisolm to teach youth in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood how to screen print through a program called L-Ink. In addition to making their own work, students will also be creating t-shirts and tote bags for the café and participating in Chisolm’s Moneybags project, which uses art to examine the concepts of wealth, worth and currency. L-Ink. will also feature field trips to local artists’ studios. The program will culminate in an art opening featuring the work of the youth. Youth will receive the proceeds from the sale of their artwork. Students will also receive a stipend for successful completion of the program.

This will allow the opportunity for students to see how their skills can apply to both the professional art and business worlds. At the end of the eight weeks, the cafe will host an art opening featuring the work of the youth, which will be displayed at the cafe. Youth will receive the proceeds from the sale of their artwork.

The sale of the merchandise created in L-Ink. will help The Urban Studio continue to provide more art programs and services for the Old North St. Louis community.

The seedlings for the concept of this project were planted last March when we won a Sloup grant to purchase the actual YUDU screen printer, and have spent the past few months researching other teen arts programs around the country to find out how we can create an impactful program. We’ve been writing proposals and seeking out artists and organizations to work with us.

We are now all set to go, but we need your help to raise a few more dollars for supplies. We’d like to buy tote bags, t-shirts, ink, and screens so that we can dust off the YUDU and move forward with L-ink.

What is important about receiving a SLOUP grant?
I think we can all agree that Sloup is magical. Even losers are winners, because the proposal writers can come to the dinner and engage the other soup-eaters in discussion about their project. The folks who attend are all kick-ass individuals who make up a supportive community and can become a resource for artists and arts organizations. Sloup exemplifies the power that grassroots community efforts can have to affect change through the redefinition of the relationship between funders and recipients. Urban Studio Café and Sloup have an especially loving relationship because we won the first Sloup grant ever. Woot! (And we think Maggie and Amelia are effing amazing.)

A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals:
In the summer of 2007, I started working at The Urban Studio teaching photography and media literacy to teens. This summer job turned into a passion for the Urban Studio’s neighborhood. I love Old North St. Louis, home to Crown Candy Kitchen, because of its strong sense of community, character, and diversity. However, due to years of disinvestment, the neighborhood lacks local businesses, job opportunities, community gathering spaces, and positive outlets for youth.

After spending time working with the community, we decided to work on creating a solution that addressed the aforementioned issues while showcasing the strengths of the neighborhood. This experience birthed The Urban Studio Café, a non-profit, social venture café that opened in September, 2009. Profits from coffee and food sales will ultimately generate sustainable funding for The Urban Studio’s youth art programs. The Urban Studio Café creates jobs for low-income individuals, fosters a sense of creativity and possibility, and strengthens social bonds while serving a quality cup of joe. Now that the café is up and running, our goal is to become a community arts hub. We would like to have neighbors view the café not only as a place for lunch, but also a place to get the creative juices flowing.

A previous project of yours, and some ways it both succeeded and failed:
A previous project was Picture the Future, a darkroom photography summer camp for youth ages 11-16. The youth produced powerful photographs and were able to explore their city through the lens. Success! Unfortunately, we couldn’t continue providing the program the following summer because of lack of funding..

Favorite artist of the month:
Definitely Stan Chisolm. Mastermind extraordinaire and future Urban Studio Café screen-printing program instructor.


Jenny Murphy

Please describe the artistic project a Sloup Grant would help you accomplish:
Imagine an amazing toolbox that can be hitched to a bike, pedaled to your door, and then opened to reveal the simple tools you will need for any basic furniture-fix-up project (this scenario also includes a cyclist ready to offer design and build advice!)

If awarded a Sloup Grant, I would use the funds to purchase the supplies to build a small portable workshop bike trailer for Perennial, a new non-profit in St. Louis that serves as an educational and supply resource for creative reuse. While I will salvage most of the materials to build the trailer, I would use the Sloup Grant to purchase a new set of tools and supplies to travel in the workshop.

What is important to you about receiving a Sloup Grant, instead of, say, winning the lottery or getting an NEA grant?
With Sloup you get a real sense that the community supports your project. For Perennial, this is especially important since the organization hopes to be a resource for the St. Louis community. Knowing that even a small percentage of our community members are interested in spreading ideas of creativity and sustainability, would be a great boost as we develop the organization.

For a new non-profit in St. Louis that is slowly developing, the Sloup Grant is a great way to receive funding for smaller more immediate projects that will allow us to reach out in the St. Louis community while we work on getting larger funding for permanent space and such.

A little about yourself and what led you to your current creative goals:
Moving to St. Louis from Dallas, TX in 2005 to pursue a Bachelors of Fine Art from Washington University, I fell in love with the city and decided to make it my permanent residence after graduating in 2009. During my final year of undergrad I began working on a project called, Perennial: Restoration + Rehabilitation and have been working to bring the project into reality ever since. Developing out of my concern for our culture's irresponsible consumption and waste, I created Perennial to serve as a resource for the St. Louis community to learn eco-friendly ways to creatively reuse objects and reduce waste.

I hope to open a workshop/retail space in St. Louis where people can take classes in creative reuse and restoration, purchase eco-friendly supplies, have a space to freely create with our tools and the support of our reuse staff, and experience an alternative to a typical consumer environment in our donation-based store. There are even a few more layers to the project, so check it out here: or talk to me!

I feel that my creativity is directly linked to my resourcefulness and sensitivity to our culture’s irresponsible consumption. For me, the ability to create makes a sustainable lifestyle accessible, and I can’t wait for Perennial to serve as a catalyst to foster a creative eco-conscious culture in St. Louis.

A previous project of yours, and some ways it both succeeded and failed (this can be entirely unrelated to your proposal):
When I was around the age of 9, my friend and I decided to build a raft to float down a creek near our houses. We built a platform out of wood collected from our garages and alleys and tied pool noodles to the bottom of the raft so it would float. We even constructed a sail from an old broomstick and sheet that rose from the center of the raft.

The final structure was magnificent in our nine-year-old eyes, and we were utterly disappointed when we made it down to the creek and discovered it was not a seaworthy vessel. We salvaged the raft from the creek and decided that we didn’t need water to have our adventure. Balancing the raft on our skateboards we sailed the alleys and streets of our neighborhood.

Although our plan to build a functioning raft failed, our uninhibited creativity and playfulness allowed us to find solutions to the problems at hand and realize our vision. This kind of resourcefulness and creativity has always been a part of my life, and I hope to share it with as many people as possible.

Who is your favorite (any kind of) artist this month?
I am currently in love with the work of Nightwood, a Brooklyn based home décor business that specializes in reconstructed furniture and textiles. Myriah Scruggs and Nadia Yaron use salvaged wood, found furniture, and vintage and sustainable textiles to create beautiful furniture that has been deconstructed and reconstructed into pieces that have a rustic, raw, and beautifully warm and unassuming presence.

I have been seriously jealous of them for a few months now. Genius.


Dani Kantrowitz

I am making a video adaptation of Paul Monette’s novella, Sanctuary. The author is quoted in the editor’s notes: “It’s been on my mind for a long time, that there aren’t enough tales and fables that take into account the gay and lesbian…Ours is a mythology invisible to history.”

Published after Monette’s death, the book tells the story of a forest protected by a selfless witch’s spell that can change the mind of anyone who comes across its borders with harmful intentions. It is the brave love story of a Fox and a Rabbit, and the coming of age tale of a would-be Wizard. Sanctuary was intended to be part of a larger collection (along with Monette’s poetry, fiction and autobiographical writings) playing with the tensions between memoir and fiction. Using a variety of mediums (video, photography, puppets, interviews and found footage, all with varying degrees of theatricality) I hope to place Sanctuary in this context again.

A Sloup grant is important because it comes from (and was created by) people who realize they can support creative projects in their city collectively, not with a ton of money, but by building relationships and talking with one another.

Over the past few years I have become increasingly interested in American art and writing dealing with AIDS. For my Masters Thesis project I produced an hour-long video piece, Our Vanishing Wilderness: a photo slide show of myself and my close friends set to a voice over narration I wrote using various works (memoirs, novels, poems, etc.) that seemed to tell the story of an artist looking back on a lost relationship. Because the sources for the script remain entirely ambiguous unless you are extremely well versed in the genre of American AIDS literature I’m not sure that Our Vanishing Wilderness can do what I hope this new project will. That is to say, in this ongoing work I want to give an audience more direct access to my inspirations and sources and the ways in which I’m finding them, fantasizing about them, and ultimately, using them.

My favorite artist this month is Andre Romao, a young artist I met in Germany over the summer, who is working on a project called The Vertical Stage.

No comments:

Post a Comment