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Readiness300: Readiness

"Lead With Readiness"

By Christopher Hill Morse
Currently available archivally matted and framed, 18"x 14" for $200.

My wife and I submit slides of our color etching to half a dozen national art and print competitions each month. We feel honored when one gets in. Often we wonder what the show looked like and try to imagine a huge and powerful "World of Art" beyond our week to week arangement of trying to make a living in the arts doing as many as thirty arts and crafts shows each year. We particularly find it interesting when we note differences between what sells well to our yearly arts and craft show audience of about two million people and what gets into the national shows and competitions.

Our work is a celebration of our public lands and we work in many styles to celebrate this. One of the most successful pieces that I have from the standpoint of national shows and competitions is also one that seems to have discovered some difference between "The Art World" and "The General Public."

"Lead with Readiness," is an etching and aquatint inked a la poupee on a single plate. It depicts a hiking light bulb named A. Bulb Body (spoken quickly pronounced able body) striding into a mountainous landscape past other light bulbs laying unlit on the ground and a huge pair of hiking boots standing like a memorial statue. The hiking light bulb (known to his friends as Abe), is a new character in three of my works and represents the endless source of energy that we aspire to have. His sassy stride into the landscape inspires one to get out more often. He has the knack to find his way into show after show and wins recognition in national print and art competitions, yet he only finds a few homes each year from his reception with the general public. Granted, the piece is surreal. The general public seems to meet surrealism with suspicion however once they "get it," they love it.

Lead With Readiness was very successful in national competitions, yet it was hard to sell to the general public at arts and crafts shows. Check below on it's Provanance! With all this love from the art world, how then to find homes for these children of mine! Perhaps museums will be the final homes for my series with A. Bulb Body. We give free archival framing to museum purchases. Perhaps the jurors who found merit in my work might also like the piece for their own collections! It is impossible not to believe that the future for my hiking light bulb friend is bright!


"Printwork '2K," Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NY,
Juror: Marilyn Symmes, Curator of Drawings and Prints at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 8/26-9/30/00.
"2000 National Small Works Exhibition," Schoharie County Arts Council, Cobleskill, NY, Honorable Mention, 6/2-7/7/00.
"In Dreams: The New Surrealists," Altamira Galleries, Raleigh, NC, 3/3-5/6/2000.
"67th National Members Exhibition," Prince Street Gallery, Society of American Graphic Artists, NY, NY, Winner: $150, 6/11-30/99.
"Mayfair's 1999 National Juried Fine Arts Exhibition," Open Space Gallery, Allentown, PA, Honorable Mention, 6/3-7/3/99.
Art Association of Harrisburg, 71st Annual Juried Exhibition 1999, Harrisburg, PA, Winner: 2nd prize prints/graphics,
Juror: Fereshteh Daftari, Curator, Museum of Modern Art, 5/22-6/24/99.
"1999 National Small Works Exhibition," Canton Artists' Guild, Canton, CT, Winner: P.T. Buonocore award, 4/2-4/25/99.
"Innovations in Printmaking," John A. Cade Center for Fine Arts Gallery, Anne Arundel College, Arnold, MD, 3/15-4/22/99.
"27th Bradley National Print and Drawing Exhibition," Heuser Art Center, Bradley University, Peoria, IL, 2/26-4/11/99.
"National Printmaking 1999," The College of New Jersey Art Gallery, Ewing, NJ, 1/20-2/17/99. Winner: purchase award.
"1st Mid-Atlantic Small Print Exhibition," Washington Printmakers Gallery, Washington, DC,
Juror: Eric Denker, the Curator of the National Gallery of Art, 8/4-8/30/98.