Friday, December 30, 2016

The Best Worst Year of My Life

Of my 44 years on this earth this past one has undoubtedly been the most bizarre...and fruitful...and confusing...and disturbing...and wonderful?

In January I moved into my current art studio in an office suite turned art venue in what is now known as the Pinellas Arts Village. I became Gallery Coordinator for Studios at 5663 and began serving on the Artist Selection Committee for the arts district. In the meantime I took on curating the art and artists for a few venues on site and in downtown Saint Pete. I applied for my first ever artist grant. I was not awarded it, but learned a great deal in the process and have already applied for next year's round. I began volunteering, leading groups of LGBTQ Youth in expressive art sessions.

Musical genius and iconic creative Prince died, leaving me and so many stunned with shock and to learn a new kind of mourning many of us were perhaps unfamiliar with...that of someone we never actually knew. Prince's music, style and persona shaped so much of how I viewed life and what I aspired to do with it. His songs gave me permission to be me. They transcended gender or sexuality and made me feel one with the world. A day without Prince music in my studio is rare.
But Prince was not the only one taken from us in 2016. The deaths kept coming and many of them ruthlessly chipped away at the youths of us Gen-X'ers. Right up until these last few days, which took George Michael and Carrie Fisher. At times it seemed the year would not allow us to catch our collective breath.

This year's election barreled over us like a reckless tank, crushing everyone in its path, inciting blatant racism, misogyny, homophobia and xenophobia and tearing apart long-standing friendships as if they'd never mattered to begin with. Bernie Sanders filled the hearts of  Liberals like me with energetic hope for real change. We were saddened when he conceded but then many of us readied ourselves for another historic presidency...this time by a woman. Instead we witnessed a cartoon character of a contender who against all reason became our next President elect, leaving us with not an embarrassment of riches, but a richness of embarrassment.

But, politically speaking, many lessons were learned as well. I learned that some Liberals can be equally dismissive and hateful and that some Conservatives can step up to the plate and show kindness and respect...support, even. I ventured into many grey areas. At my favorite pub I stand before a giant confederate flag and sing along to old tunes and look upon a crowd of many colors, sexual identities and orientations. Yes, it can be confusing and I am hopeful the flag will someday be gone, but I know that I am welcome there. There's a pride flag there as well, on the door and not as large, but it is there. And there's drag bingo as well...as I said...confusing. It is a place in transition; a crossroads, of sorts. Grey areas are real.

This was the year homophobia and hate came to my door and into my home, literally. While not a "crime" technically, the cowardly anonymous hate letter my partner and I received invaded our privacy and the sanctity of our home. I have been the subject of disapproving stares and unkind words as well as exclusion due to living true to who I am...but I never had that hate follow me home and walk so effortlessly through my doorway.

If I knew who the small person who wrote the misinformed and misguided letter I would thank them today. I would, because if not for their bitter act we would not have come to know so many of our neighbors who stood beside us in support. From such ugliness, camaraderie and fellowship were born. Never will I keep quiet or cower in the face of hate.



This was also the year I was selected to showcase my work at an event for an internationally renowned museum and painted my first (of I hope many) mural in the city of St. Pete. But among all of the good that out-weighed the bad and weird one cannot be surpassed. 2016 was the year when I said "I do." before close friends and family to the love of my life. It only took us nearly 20 years...but I would wait another 20 if I had to. No amount of celebrity deaths or orange imbeciles winning the White House could overshadow making a life commitment to one's soulmate and knowing that while many may still disagree, our union is legally binding and recognized the same as any other.

The year twenty thousand and sixteen taught me much about myself, what I can endure, overcome and achieve. It also showed me that kindness and joy is abound in the oddest places, if you bother to look. All in all 2016 was a mixed bag of treasures and turds. Here's lookin' at ya, 2017!

Last Painting of 2016

Well, here it is...the last painting of 2016.

Ouch, acrylic and ink on canvas, 11" x 14"
Original and prints available

This year leaves most of us in need of a little healing. I could think of no better (or hopeful) symbol for that than E. T. the Extraterrestrial's glowing finger. Silly, I know.
Prompted (because "inspired" feels an odd word) by what feels like unprecedented cultural loss in 2016, of generation x youth, specifically, expect a series of Save the 80's Latin Pop paintings and a group show art call in the coming weeks/months.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Call for Art: Zen


What best way to come down from the mad rush of the holiday season than with a show about inner-peace? Zen will focus on images which convey wellness and balance.

Pom Pom's Teahouse and Sandwicheria, St. Pete invites Tampa Bay artists to submit entries for its upcoming exhibit Zen. Artists may submit up to 5 quality images (at least 500x500 and no larger than 1000x1000 pixels) of available small works. Each entry should measure no smaller than 8" x 8" and no larger than 16" x 20".  All work must be properly wired and ready to hang on a display system upon delivery (no sawtooth hangers, wire only.).
Zen will run from February 6, 2017 through the month of March. Commission split is 30%, with 70% to the artist. Please submit images along with Title/Medium/Size info for each to: jgascot@gascot.com
Submission deadline: Sunday, January 22.
Acceptance emails will be sent by Wednesday, January 25. 
All accepted works must be delivered on Sunday, February  5, 5:00 pm.
An opening reception for this exhibit will be held on Saturday, February 11, 6-9pm during St. Pete's Second Saturday Art Walk.

If you wish to receive email notifications about future artist calls or if you are submitting for this one please join the Artist Call email list via the link below:

Call for Art: La Gran Frida


The Cider Press Cafe, St. Pete and I (as curator) invite Tampa Bay artists to submit entries for its upcoming exhibit La Gran Frida. 
This group exhibit will begin its run during Frida's last month at the Dali Museum (just minutes away). It will focus on themes and imagery directly or indirectly inspired by Frida Kahlo, the artist, her story and/or her works. You may submit up to 10 quality images (at least 500x500 and no larger than 1000x1000 pixels) of available works. Each entry should measure no less than 10" x 10". There is no size limit and medium to larger works are encouraged and welcome. All work must be properly wired and ready to hang upon delivery.

La Gran Frida will run from February 28th 2017 through April 30th, 2017. Commission split is 30%,with 70% to the artist. Please submit images along with Title/Medium/Size info for each to: jgascot@gascot.com
Submission deadline: Sunday, February 12.
Acceptance emails will be sent by Wednesday, February 15. 
All accepted works must be delivered on Saturday, February 25th, 10 am.
An opening reception for this exhibit will be held on Saturday, March 11, 6-9pm during St. Pete's Second Saturday Art Walk.

If you wish to receive email notifications about future artist calls or if you are submitting for this one please join the Artist Call email list via the link below:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mother's Burden

Mother's Burden (dedicated to The Mothers of the Movement), acrylic and ink on canvas
24" x 30", available.
I wanted to create a piece that honored mothers of color (specifically Black mothers) at this time in history. Much is said about a woman's work never being done, and mothers in particular. Not enough is acknowledged about the burden of Black mothers in the turbulent sociopolitical climate we live in.

Religious imagery served as inspiration, once again. Black Mary gazes upon a black figure, too grown to protect within the safety of her arms. He is both Christ (all seeing) and Black Man (all eyes on him). She wears the crown of thorns, symbolizing burden and inflicted pain. She lactates freely, symbolizing an uncontrollable instinct to nurture. The dove in her hand is a symbol of the peace she must find within to stand strong and unwavering in the face of circumstances beyond her control.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Call for Art- Equality FL Gala Held at St. Pete

2017 Equality FL Gala held at St. Pete Juried Auction
The Equality FL Gala held at St. Pete auction committee is seeking artists to participate in its annual Juried Silent Art Auction Exhibit as part of Equality FL St. Pete’s annual fundraising gala. The Silent Auction shines a spotlight on Florida’s diverse and talented LGBTQ and Ally visual arts community at this important event. The Equality FL Gala held at St. Pete is our largest fundraiser of the year. By bringing artists, their works and buyers together for a spirited evening of bidding and showcasing fine art, this event aims to benefit both Equality FL’s mission and donors.
All 2-D, 3-D, and fine craft artists, 18 years or older are eligible to submit. Deadline for submissions is February 15, 2017. 2D works should be singular (1 hung panel). Limit of three high-resolution image submissions per entrant.
Visual artists working in all styles and media are invited to apply, including painters, sculptors, ceramicists, fiber artists, jewelers, and photographers. Works will be selected by a jury panel of art professionals who may also invite artists who are eligible to participate.
This year’s 20 Year Anniversary Celebration will be held at the magnificent Mahaffey Theatre on Saturday, April 15, 2017 from 7pm. The Silent Auction exhibit will be presented in the Grand Ballroom of the Mahaffey Theatre. As in previous years, sold-out attendance is expected. Artists donating juried works valued at $250 or greater may choose to be compensated with 2 Gala tickets ($250 value) or receive up to 30% back on the final price paid.

Jurors:
Cory Allen- Gallerist and public relations for fine art and entertainment. www.cacanet.com
John Gascot- Auction coordinator, curator, painter and workshop leader. www.gascot.com
Sara Norine- Fiber artist, photographer and workshop leader. www.saranorine.com

Display:
All artworks must be securely mounted and ready for display as follows:
-Three-dimensional artworks must be stable or securely mounted to a free-standing base.
-Artworks on paper must be framed under glass or Plexiglas.
-All wall-hung pieces must be ready to hang with secured, closed eyehooks and wiring.
Application Deadline: February 19, 2017
Acceptance Notifications: February 25, 2017
Delivery/Collection: by April 10, 2017. Artists outside the Tampa Bay region are responsible for shipping to the Equality FL St. Pete offices Attn: John Gascot, Auction Coordinator via signature required delivery confirmation method. Shipped works must arrive in a substantial, reusable container and a prepaid return shipping label. The Auction Committee will not be responsible for damage to artwork due to insufficient packing material or container if returning artwork as it was originally shipped. Artists will be notified immediately of work that arrives damaged. While all reasonable efforts will be made to protect consigned works from accidental damage or breakage, Artist agrees to consign work at their own risk. Artist may insure their work at their own discretion.
Annual Gala and Auction Date: April 15, 2017, Mahaffey Theatre
Submission: Submit up to 3 high-resolution (at least 500x500 and no larger than 1000x1000 pixels) images of proposed artworks to jgascot@gascot.com


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Support My LGBTQ Youth Expressive Art Program

I am an artist.
I am also a gay man. An OUT gay man. A married-to-another-guy out gay man.  A very FORTUNATE and GRATEFUL man.

As a kid I never dreamed I might be able to say those words. While we've come a long way in matters of LGBTQ awareness, tolerance and equality the sad reality is that we've not come nearly far enough. There are kids today who still cannot imagine saying those words. LGBTQ youth is still subject to ridicule, bullying and descrimination. 
As an artist and adult human member of the LGBTQ community I feel it is my responsibility to reach out and give back in the best way I know how...through art. Art saved and shaped my life and I believe it can do the same for others. It facilitates expression, confidence and self-esteem. The workshops provide a safe environment for creative social interaction and sharing.
I am volunteering my time to create an ongoing LGBTQ Youth Expressive Art Program (at NO COST to participants). I offer creative workshop sessions via a variety of venues which are easily accessible to participants. The program launches with my first workshop on 11/14/2016. In this early stage I am not only volunteering time but taking on the expense of art and creative materials as well. That is where you come in. 
I am just one guy doing his best to do his community and the world-at-large a solid. I too have pressing bills and other matters which demand my time, but believe passionately that investing in our youth sets into motion a whirlwind of positive change.
Your support will help provide materials like canvas, papers, paints, brushes and more. These are the tools which will empower the participants in my program. These are the tools with which they will grow, express...and conquer. 
Here I spell this wish out with utmost gratitude and set it out into the world with the great hope that it will raise the funds that will allow me to run this Expressive Arts program for its first year (now through the 2017 calendar year). 
Click the button below to donate.
Creativity and Kindness,
John Gascot



Thursday, October 6, 2016

How Surreal is This?? Gascot at the Dali

Photo credit: Linda Costa Photography

St. Petersburg, FLA, 10/6/2016– On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, The Dalí Museum’s Zodiac Membership Committee will exhibit Latin Pop artist John Gascot as one of the 12 featured artists in its “The 12 Days of Dalí” event, taking place at the Museum from 6-8:30pm.
This annual event invites members of The Dalí to meet with and view work by local artists and artisans. Each of the 12 Zodiac committee members has selected an artist to showcase. The Museum Store will also be open and offering members a special 25% discount on Store merchandise. Tickets for the event are $15 and available to Dalí Museum members & their guests on TheDali.org.
The Zodiac Membership Committee is an all-volunteer group that supports the mission of The Dalí Museum by building meaningful relationships with members, fostering new interest in the membership program, and helping to strengthen ties between the Museum, its members and the arts community. The original Zodiac Group was created in France in 1932 and consisted of 12 patrons who each sponsored Salvador Dalí for one month of the year. In exchange, patrons received a work of Dalí’s produced during that same month. In the spirit of these forward-thinking patrons, The Dalí’s Zodiac Membership Committee was formed in 1996.
On the evening of the event, Gascot will unveil 6 new works before Dalí Museum members and their guests. The works, executed in his bold and colorful signature Latin Pop style, will range in size and narrative. Taking on subjects both reflective and current, he aims to inspire positive and spirited conversation with and among attendees. “I hope my pieces will take the viewer on a mini-journey of my artistic progression. Thematically I plan on reaching back into the past, touching on something of the moment and looking forward into the future.” The artist says. “I also will take this prestigious opportunity to challenge myself by sharing evolution of style through the materials used in at least one of the new works. As artists we should be ever evolving and I welcome the chance to share a glimpse into mine with The Dalí’s audience.”
About John Gascot:
Latin American/Caribbean artist John Gascot spent the first 12 years of his life in Puerto Rico, a fact to which he attributes his love of bold color. While he creates in a variety of styles, including Painterly and Geometric Abstractions, Latin Pop paintings are his signature. He affectionately coined the style Latin Pop after years of unsuccessful attempts at categorizing the work as one genre or another. The series combines elements of Pop, Cubism and Folk and is often flavored with a Latin/Global sensibility.

John’s Latin Pop paintings combine various global influences in contemporary narratives, blurring cultural lines which divide us. He strives to create art that is accessible and promotes diversity while simultaneously celebrating and challenging social and gender roles dictated by various cultures. His work is in various collections across the US and Europe. 

Call for Artists: Big Joy!


No gift is as meaningful as one which reflects the person who receives it.  
No gift is as personal as that which was made by creative hands. 

Pom Pom's Teahouse and Sandwicheria, St. Pete invites Tampa Bay artists to submit entries for its upcoming exhibit Big Joy!  Artists may submit up to 5 quality images (at least 500x500 and no larger than 1000x1000 pixels) of available small works. Each entry should measure no smaller than 8" x 8" and no larger than 16" x 20".  All work must be properly wired and ready to hang on a display system upon delivery (no sawtooth hangers, wire only, please).
Big Joy! will run from December 5th through the month of January, 2016. Commission split is 25%, with 75% to the artist. Please submit images along with Title/Medium/Size info for each to: jgascot@gascot.com
Submission deadline: Friday, November 25.
Acceptance emails will be sent by Monday, November 28. 
All accepted works must be delivered on Sunday, December 4, 5:00 pm.
An opening reception for this exhibit will be held on Saturday, December 10, 6-9pm during St. Pete's Second Saturday Art Walk.

If you wish to receive email notifications about future artist calls or if you are submitting for this one please join the Artist Call email list via the link below:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

American Family

American Family, acrylic and ink on canvas, 16" x 20"

This painting, from my "Se Habla Espanol" solo exhibit reflects on the changing face of the American family and the blurring of cultural lines in modern US society. It is available from my Etsy store.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Frida del Mar/Frida of the Sea

Frida del Mar, acrylic and ink on canvas, 12" x 24"

This painting, from my solo exhibit Se Habla Español includes Latin iconography as well as recurring symbols of healing throughout my work such as water, sea (seashell) and the lotus. She is currently available from my Latin Pop Shop online store.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016

Call to Makers: Pinellas Arts Village Holiday Market


We are proud to bring to life a new holiday tradition. The First Annual Pinellas Arts Village Holiday Market will transform the heart of Pinellas Park's creative district into a charming outdoor holiday bazaar where you will find unique locally-made gifts for your friends and family. Shop while enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of the season.
On Saturday, December 17, 2016, 12-6 pm head on over to the Pinellas Arts Village (5600-5700 blocks, Park Blvd. N., Pinellas Park, FL). You'll be glad you did!

We are now accepting vendor applications in the following categories:
Fine and/or Functional Crafts, Stationery, Jewelry, Apparel, Home and Garden Decor, Kids, Bath and Body, Vintage or Antique Apparel, Collectibles and Furnishings.

APPLY HERE!

UPDATE: We have reached our 20% market allowance for jewelry makers. Jewelers are still welcome to apply if they wish to go on our waiting list, should spots become available.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Call for Artists: Top of the Pops



The Cider Press Cafe, St. Pete and I (as curator) invite Tampa Bay artists to submit entries for its upcoming exhibit Top of the Pops. 
This 3-6 artist group exhibit will focus on popular culture themes explored and executed in the Pop Art style. You may submit up to 10 quality images (at least 500x500 and no larger than 1000x1000 pixels) of available works. Each entry should measure no less than 10" x 10". There is no size limit and medium to larger works are encouraged and welcome. All work must be properly wired and ready to hang upon delivery.

Top of the Pops will run from November 7 th 2016 through January 7th, 2017. Commission split is 25%, with 75% to the artist. Please submit images along with Title/Medium/Size info for each to: jgascot@gascot.com
Submission deadline: Monday, October 24.
Acceptance emails will be sent by Wednesday, October 26. 
All accepted works must be delivered on Saturday, November 5, 10 am.
An opening reception for this exhibit will be held on Saturday, November 12, 6-9pm during St. Pete's Second Saturday Art Walk.

If you wish to receive email notifications about future artist calls or if you are submitting for this one please join the Artist Call email list via the link below:

Call for Artists: Homegrown: Art of Florida

Art by Bob Canning

UPDATE: 8/16/16
Due to an overwhelming number of submissions for this exhibit, this  call is now CLOSED.
Please consider joining the Art Call email list at the end of this post to receive notices as new calls become available.
The Cider Press Cafe, St. Pete and I (as curator) invite Tampa Bay artists to submit entries for its upcoming exhibit Homegrown: Art of Florida. 
This 3-6 artist group exhibit will focus on Florida themes such as wild/marine life, Florida landscapes, the Florida lifestyle or art created with materials which are indigenous to the state.   You may submit up to 10 quality images (at least 500x500 and no larger than 1000x1000 pixels) of available works. Each entry should measure no less than 10" x 10". There is no size limit and medium to larger works are encouraged and welcome. All work must be properly wired and ready to hang upon delivery.

Homegrown will run from September 5th through November 5th, 2016. Commission split is 25%, with 75% to the artist. Please submit images along with Title/Medium/Size info for each to: jgascot@gascot.com
Submission deadline: Monday, August 22.
Acceptance emails will be sent by Wednesday, August 24. 
All accepted works must be delivered on Saturday, September 3, 10 am.
An opening reception for this exhibit will be held on Saturday, September 10, 6-9pm during St. Pete's Second Saturday Art Walk.

If you wish to receive email notifications about future artist calls or if you are submitting for this one please join the Artist Call email list via the link below:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Swimming with Lillies

Swimming with Lillies, acrylic and ink on canvas, 12" x 16"
Available from Latin Pop Shop.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Impromptu Prince Sketches

I did many minimal quick Prince sketches at the studio yesterday. Only 7 made the cut. Here they are.
They are 5" x 7", matted and ready to frame. Only $15 each with Free Shipping.
Available through Latin Pop Shop. Check them out.

SOLD








Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Call for Artists: Bow Wow Meow!

Boston Martini, acrylic and ink on canvas, 12" x 16", available


Pom Pom's Teahouse and Sandwicheria, St. Pete invites Tampa Bay artists to submit entries for its upcoming exhibit Bow Wow Meow!: Art Exhibit for Friends of Strays.  This is exhibit, benefiting Friends of Strays' emergency medical fund, will focus on the two types of animals rescued, housed and cared for and adopted out at the non-profit shelter; cats and dogs. Anything from realism, portraiture, whimsical and even abstracted depictions will be considered in the jurying process. You may submit up to 5 quality images (at least 500x500 and no larger than 1000x1000 pixels) of available abstract works. Each entry should measure no smaller than 8" x 8" and no larger than 30" x 40". All work must be properly wired and ready to hang on a display system upon delivery (no sawtooth hangers, wire only, please).

Bow Wow Meow! will run from October 3rd through December 4th, 2016. Commission split is 40% (curator/charity), with 60% to the artist. Artists may choose to voluntarily donate a greater percentage to Friends of Strays. Please submit images along with Title/Medium/Size info for each to: jgascot@gascot.com
Submission deadline: Friday, September 23.
Acceptance emails will be sent by Monday, September 26. 
All accepted works must be delivered on Sunday, October 2nd, 5:00 pm.
An opening reception for this exhibit will be held on Saturday, October 8, 6-9pm during St. Pete's Second Saturday Art Walk.

If you wish to receive email notifications about future artist calls or if you are submitting for this one please join the Artist Call email list via the link below:

Friday, July 22, 2016

Best of the Bay Awards

Hello all!
The Studios at 5663 and myself have been nominated for Creative Loafing's annual Best of the Bay awards. I ask that you consider taking a few minutes to cast your votes in support of our endeavors. It is greatly appreciated. And tell your friends and fams to vote too! I've included a sample below.
VOTE HERE.



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

#AllLivesMatter vs. #BlackLivesMatter

That all lives matter is implicit in the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Those who continue to add a "MOST" at the end of #BlackLivesMatter are either unable or unwilling to comprehend how dismissive the #AllLivesMatter response is. You would not walk into a Pediatric Cancer benefit holding a sign that says "Adults with Cancer Matter Too!" because you already know they do. So clearly the operative word that people continue to have an issue with is "Black". 
I'm well aware that this image is neither decorative nor easy to view (for many), but it is a sincere artistic expression of my outrage towards the #AllLivesMatter movement which is being used to negate and erase the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the USA. It symbolizes the regression in which we seem headed as a nation to the days of blatant racism as a way of life.

Limited edition of 25 per size.
Each print is signed and numbered by the artist.
Printed on archival Enhanced Matte Fine Art paper.
50% OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OF THESE PRINTS WILL BE DONATED TO #BlackLivesMatter.

Prints available from Latin Pop Shop.


#AllLivesMatter, mixed media on canvas, 16" x 20"
Original available.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Friday, July 8, 2016

Morena

Morena, acrylic on canvas. 12" x 24"
Available from Latin Pop Shop

Still Want to Keep Silent About Cops Who Hate?

There are, of course, countless police officers who do the right thing. For them I am grateful beyond words. There is also a national epidemic of police murdering black men in this country and that should not go unrecognized. We live in a country where things like Affirmative Action can be deemed "reverse discrimination" but we still cannot tend to this issue of systemic mass murder against men of color.
The following was posted this past evening by Lowell PD Chief Steven Bukala (confirmed by Grand Rapids police department as shown in the images we captured of our interactions). This type of behavior, attitude, belief...whatever you want to call it, SHOULD BE KNOWN.
#BlackLivesMatter





Thursday, July 7, 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

La Vedette de America: Iris Chacon

Long before J-Lo's derriere (or Beyonce's or Kim Kardashian, for that matter) was the thing of many a man's dreams and sent women running to surgeons in search of a larger bumper...La Vedette de America (America's showgirl) hypnotized viewers with her moves and...wears. Iris is  a beloved icon of Puerto Rico who pushed the envelope of female sexuality and entertained the masses on her weekly variety show for over a decade. She also appeared in films and numerous telenovelas (soap operas) and toured the world as a showgirl/entertainer headliner.

Iris Chacon, acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24", available



Monday, June 13, 2016

A Canvas on Wheels: NOMAD Art Bus & St. Pete Pride

I have been dying to share this bit of info for a while now. I am honored and super-excited to announce that I have been invited to be the guest artist for NOMADstudio Art Bus' first ride down the St. Pete Pride parade. I will lead a team of volunteer painters in transforming this magnificent vehicle into a rolling canvas featuring a Latinpop design of my very own. I feel humbled and inspired, but mostly....PROUD. I hope that the end result brings some much needed smiles and comfort to our entire community.



Monday, June 6, 2016

Call for Artists: Shapeshifters: Abstract Works

Alegria, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24"
Pom Pom's Teahouse and Sandwicheria, St. Pete invites Tampa Bay artists to submit entries for its upcoming exhibit Shapeshifters: Abstract Works. Over a century after its inception, abstract art continues to delight, baffle and challenge viewers. Arguments about its merit can still be overheard at museums worldwide. This exhibit invites the artist to depart from all that is logical and representational.   You may submit up to 5 quality images (at least 500x500 and no larger than 1000x1000 pixels) of available abstract works. Each entry should measure no smaller than 8" x 8" and no larger than 30" x 40". All work must be properly wired and ready to hang on a display system upon delivery (no sawtooth hangers, wire only, please).

Shapeshifters will run from August 1st through September 4th, 2016. Commission split is 25%, with 75% to the artist. Please submit images along with Title/Medium/Size info for each to: jgascot@gascot.com
Submission deadline: Friday, July 15.
Acceptance emails will be sent by Monday, July 18. 
All accepted works must be delivered on Sunday, July 24, 5:00 pm.
An opening reception for this exhibit will be held on Saturday, August 13, 6-9pm during St. Pete's Second Saturday Art Walk.

If you wish to receive email notifications about future artist calls or if you are submitting for this one please join the Artist Call email list via the link below:

Friday, May 27, 2016

Boy

Boy, acrylic and ink on canvas, 16" x 20"
Limited edition prints available through Latin Pop Shop on Etsy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

El Velorio de Doña Mary

A "velorio" is a wake. In Puerto Rico (as in many Latin cultures) the body of the deceased is often laid out for viewing at home. Neighbors, friends and family gather to pay their respects or say last goodbyes. There is always food and often music. Crying, singing and laughter are all sounds heard at a velorio.
I remember going to my first one at around 5 years of age. Doña Mary (Mrs./Ms. Mary) lived two houses away from us. She was heavy-set and dark skinned with wiry wild hair. She was loud. Her voice, no matter how sweet her words, always sounded chastising. As a child, I was afraid of her. But my mother was not. My mother befriended Doña Mary and while neighbors steered clear of her she was often at our house. I can close my eyes and imagine myself looking out our front door and seeing the backs of Mom and Mary swinging on porch rocking chairs and chatting away over a strong cup of cafe negro.
Doña Mary's son lived with her. He was greasy and lazy...and abusive. I don't know whether she had other children or where they might have been but one day my mother received a phone call from, of all places, the morgue. Her number had been found as emergency contact in Doña Mary's wallet. She had been struck and dragged by a bus less than a mile from our homes and my mother was called down to identify her body. Not long after, we had to go pick up her belongings (or perhaps someone took up a collection, it was so long ago and I so young) from her place of work. She was a cafeteria lady at an elementary school. Much to my mother's surprise all of Mary's co-workers knew who she and I were when we arrived. She spoke to them about us as if we were her daughter and grandchild.

The imagery in this painting romanticizes her wake just a bit. Her house was drab and there were perhaps less flowers or ceremony. Unshakable, for some reason is the memory of mosquito netting draping over her casket to keep bugs at bay during what was probably a nearly-summer month. Unforgettable also is the fact that at the time Mom was unemployed and we did not have much money so we could not afford flowers from the florist. A Peace Lily plant (given to her by Doña Mary) had just come into bloom. Those were the flowers we took to the wake.

El Velorio de Dona Mary, acrylic and ink on canvas, 30" x 40". available

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New "Boxed" Series

I am in the process of starting a new series I'm calling Boxed. I stumbled upon this concept while painting pedestals for our studio gallery. I'm quick to announce new series because I feel like it's  a good thing to put out into the world thoughts and concepts that excite us. Sometimes I make premature announcements and a concept loses steam and falls by the wayside, but there's no harm in that. I feel strongly, for a number of reasons that this one will see the light of day and possibly then some.



I'm a fairly good recycler of things and pride myself in not being terribly wasteful. I do forget to shut the water off while brushing my teeth...nobody's perfect. Whenever possible, I pack my own artwork for shipping, using already used boxes. Sometimes they're boxes I've received things in; sometimes they're moving boxes still hanging out in our garage from previous moves.

It was one of these moving boxes that I split open and used in place of a tarp when painting the pedestals for our gallery. After 3 or so uses I began to fall in love with the outlines left behind and the wheels began turning in my squeaky, but still functioning brain. My first thought was to simply create large "industrial" decorative abstracts which I could offer at a lower price point (given their size) due to a lower production cost afforded by reusing materials rather than buying large canvases. I was also motivated by the idea of getting the chance to paint large with ease of storage. With this goal in mind I put paint to can-, wait no, cardboard.

As the first piece started to evolve the materials (not only used cardboard, but bits of tape and labels) inspired thoughts about what a moving box means. They hold our prized possessions, hopefully keeping them safe in transit. They hold and carry our lives (necessities as well as cherished items and memories) from one place to another; sometimes again and again, sometimes across the planet. They perform an incredibly important role in our life journeys yet we view them as dispensable and insignificant items. Only children seem to find new meaningful, if only temporary, second lives from them as forts or robot costumes. As a child I remember we would use them as sleds with which to slide down grassy hills. This is what I wish to explore with this new series. Who knew I'd be going on about a cardboard box like this?

At the moment I envision the pieces being abstract, but that is not to say that fragments of representational images won't make an appearance. I am also interested in possible collaboration or input from sources...meaning, I might ask that recently-relocated people provide me with a box from their move and incorporate narratives of their moves (reasons for the relocation, hopes for their new home or details about the items the box carried) into the works. Boxed is but an itty bitty newborn art baby right now and I hope to watch it grow and blossom into something substantial.

I hope all of this made at least a bit of sense. I am off to play with boxes.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

ArtMode 2017/Call to Fine and Style/Fashion/Beauty Artists


The Studios at 5663 (5663 Park Blvd, Pinellas Park, FL) will proudly host ArtMode 2017: Art Meets Fashion on Saturday October 22nd, 2016 (time TBA). This will be the inaugural presentation of what is planned to become a yearly event at the Pinellas Arts Village/Creative District. We are currently accepting submissions from local and regional designers and fine artists who wish to create and showcase 5-10 piece micro-collections of original and unique artwear. Collections may be Avant garde in nature, but they must be wearable, not costumes. Proposed collections may be submitted by teams comprised by members of any given combination of the aforementioned art and style fields or by individual creatives. Everything from artful daywear to dramatic evening pieces and statement jewelry will be considered for showcase in the jurying process. If it’s wearable and artful, it will be considered.
Please submit photos and sketches with a brief description of collection concept as well as a list of team-members (if group submission) to event organizer John Gascot: jgascot@gascot.com
Selected samples of past works which might help support your eligibility or concept are also welcome.

Submission Deadline: Friday July 1, 2016
Notification: All submitting will be notified of acceptance or otherwise by no later than Friday July 15.
Show Date: Saturday, October 22, 2016.
A fee of $25-$50 per collection (depending on size) will apply to final round artists/designers who commit to showcasing at the event. All fees will be applied to promotion and execution costs.
SUBMISSION IS FREE.

Monday, April 25, 2016

May U Live 2 See the Dawn

I've written so many times about my icon of icons, Prince. If you are a long time reader of this blog you can probably imagine how I must be feeling at the moment. My life has not come to a halt, as I didn't personally know the man, but I have shed a few tears and am deeply saddened to know that I will never again feel the excitement of standing a few feet or rows away, seeing him work his magic on a stage. I will never await, with anticipation, the release of new purple music. I will never again be inspired by a Prince song, just written. I am thankful for the vast catalog he left behind and what might be to come if the vaults are opened and its contents released.

Farewell, Prince.

May U Live 2 See the Dawn (Farewell, Prince)
acrylic and ink on canvas, 16" x 20", original and prints available.
Limited edition prints available.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mr. John's Summer Art Camp @ 5663

My Summer Art Camp will kick off on the week of June 13th through 17th with a week long camp comprised of 2-project 2 1/2 hr sessions lead by Studios @ 5663 artist Loy Khambay-Correa and myself. After the initial week I will be offering camp sessions comprised of creative projects and activities on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays 10am-12pm.


Paint Camp with John & Loy
Monday-Friday, 1:30-4:00 pm
June 13th-17th, 2016
Ages 5-12
$30 per session per child includes all art and creative materials, project guidance, light snacks & juice.

Mr. John's Summer Art Camp
Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays, 10am-noon
June 20th through August 19th, 2016
Ages 5-12
$25 per session per child includes all art and creative materials, project guidance.

Spaces limited. Book today.
Email: jgascot@gascot.com
Pay by phone: 727-313-2250
Paypal: http://paypal.me/gascot
A minimum of 1 session non-refundable payment is required for reservations. Weekly or session by session payment accepted from that point on.

Paint with Mom this Mother's Day!


This Mother's Day (Sunday, May 8th, 2016) I will be offering two Paint with Mom paint party sessions. The first is a Brunch Paint Party 11am-1pm at my Latin Pop Shop Studio located at 5663 Park Blvd. in Pinellas Park, FL. The second will take place at Pom Pom's Teahouse in St. Pete, FL 3-5pm. Click on the links below for details on what is included and to make reservations. You can also use the Buy Now button provided (please specify "brunch" or "afternoon" session in your order details).

$40 per person includes:
-1 12" x 16" canvas per guest
-all paints and creative materials
-project guidance and hosting
-bagel/muffin/juice/tea spread for brunch session or first pitcher of sangria for afternoon session


Mothers' Day Paint Party
Paint with Mom Brunch Party
Pom Pom's Mothers' Day Paint Party

Monday, April 18, 2016

Best Weekend Ever

How is it that on a Monday I have rolled out of bed, achy, exhausted and worn out yet smiling from ear to ear; invigorated and fueled with excitement?
I blame the best weekend ever.

I don't usually make a huge deal of my birthday, however, this year I decided, back in January upon moving into my new art studio, that I would like to celebrate it by throwing myself a Grand Opening. Some dear long time friends from all over the country made travel arrangements to join us for the occasion. It was a plan.
In the interim, we juried 5 artists into our studio complex. With over half the available studios occupied it the event took a life of its own and it made perfect sense to plan for a Studios @ 5663 Grand Opening. And so we did.

We worked hard at promoting the event. Our director of Cultural Affairs, Debra Rose and I gave many a tour of the studios and developing Pinellas Arts Village. Our studio artists spread the word and so did their friends and their friends' friends and so on. We did television and newspaper interviews. We spread invitations around town and blasted the news on social media. But as anyone with any experience planning an art opening or event knows, there is no guarantee when it comes to attendance.

Because nothing I ever do ever seems to go off without some sort of glitch, I arrived at the studios Saturday afternoon in time to let the caterers in to discover our building had no electric power.
Don't panic, John. Don't panic.
The electric company predicted the issue would be resolved by 6:30pm. Our event was to begin at 6:00pm, of course. I watched nervously as early arrivals began to gather outside of our doors. Not only did we have no lights with which to SEE the art, it was now beginning to warm up inside. We are in Florida, after all.

As 6 o'clock struck, we had no choice but to open up and apologetically welcome guests into the building. "There is electricity next door, so if you'd like to check out their collection first and then come back...we will have live music as well...he he." People seemed undaunted by the conditions at hand. They had heard the buzz about our little growing artist village and wanted to be a part of it. It isn't every day you see visitors so determined to see art that they provide their own lighting. This was the case, exactly, as person after person switched their cell phones to "flashlight" and began illuminating our walls. This community seemed ready to receive what we came to offer.


The final outcome of the Studios @ 5663 Grand Opening exceeded every expectation and hope I had. My night was officially made when word reached me that our parking lot was full and people were having to park on side streets. What?? We had a full and happy-to-be-there house! The positivity was palpable. Visitors spent time with the art and engaged with the artists. They are invested in what is here and what is still to come. That is all the validation and assurance that we are moving in the right direction we need.

I want to thank my fellow Studios @ 5663 artists Kim Alderman, Bob Canning, Linda Costa-Cheranichit, Loy Khambay-Correa and Isis Navarro as well as Debra Rose, Directors of Cultural Affairs for the city of Pinellas Park for all of their hard work and support. It is invigorating and empowering, sharing common visions and goals for the Pinellas Arts Village. I would also like to thank the city and community who have rallied behind us. The Pinellas Arts Village and creative district is an investment from which we assure you will see many returns.