Artist talk opening night

welcome and thanks for coming, for those that know me i would like to remind you – that i am thomas ferrella


self-proclaimed curmudgeon

nay sayer and master opinionator

firstly i would like to thank margaret lemay, proprietor of marzen gallery and integrated art group, margaret has impeccable taste and hence my show…hahahaaaaa…..but seriously margaret is a champion of local artists, and i give her a huge thanks and a virtual  hug for that, also to augusta for doing a lot of the heavy lifting in making this show happen, brilliant writing and a beautiful presentation, and tess for her opinions and honesty – two things that i truly treasure in people

and another person that I am so grateful for is enrique rueda my dearest of friends, an amazing woodworker who shared his ‘secrets from the army’, gave an immense amount of time and knowledge to this project and of course what i love – more strong opinions

and as all great art shows should, this one begins with a poem

america is a ghost in a void bent into the sum of our mistakes
where shadows wander in the darkness unseen teetering on the edge of chaos
merchants of certitude deliver holy capitalism
              -- where war follows money and money follows war … endless wars

this is the business that is our america
the sinister face of aggression hidden by a veil of empathy
detached from reality the conspiracy of extreme beliefs are hijacking the new narrative
amplified - dangerous - misinformed
              perplexing a common decency

the deep fire where angels come to drown is our legacy
the abyss of endless sorrow
the deconstruct of our naked humanity
the isle of denial

              our america                              from my poem - america is a ghost

artists have become the last of the truth sayers, we cannot rely nor could we ever rely on our politicians to fulfill this role, nor our courts or police, lawyers or religions or sports figures or even comedians… we are being guided by the misinformed, the over politicized righteous zealots, where everyone’s opinion matters, where everyone is right and no one listens, it is up to us the artists to create some sort of reality check here, to guide us on what’s real to make us see, to make us really see, it is up to artists to process the world with all of its warts and interpret and present it head on, and i mean all of the arts – visual, musical, poetry, dance etc…for the arts are what makes us human, it is the highest form of our shared humanity yet it continues to get dummied downed, it continues to get politicized – hell we even politicized a virus – why not the arts? we have underfunded the arts in our schools and we are disregarded by the ‘illuminati’, but hopefully just hopefully artist will guide us back to a path of common decency, where there is real truth, love, forgiveness and empathy – just maybe

einstein said “creativity is intelligence having fun”, i am not sure about the intelligence side of things, but one thing that is very clear is that i am sure having fun

many artists talk about their “work” and i know it is a figure of speech, but in no sense do i consider this work, for me this is simply a form of play that gives me great pleasure, i have been fortunate in this lifetime to have had multiple passions that have carried me along on this journey and being an artist is one of them, to create with a sense of freedom, to not hesitate in using any medium, i am not bound by any construct or dogma or branding, i am not bound by any university, art school or peer pressure or capitalist pressure for that matter – i am extremely fortunate to be in this position and to create in this way and if you look into ferrella world you will recognize this in my art, i see this diversity and curiosity as a strength

the illusion of permanence project started with a walk along lake michigan where i found a charred piece of driftwood that already had beautiful sensual lines defined by fire, waves and wind, i worked it a bit then mounted it on a drift brick from the same lake and eventually traded it for a getzen 900s eterna trumpet, for which i believe, i got the better of the deal…  from there i started paying more attention to burning wood in campfires, but also in prairie and forest fires and saw these beautiful forms come to life, I then began intentionally burning and sculpting pieces, but always deferring to the fire to dictate the form, my intent was to show something that was simply beautiful, but of course my sub conscious bubbled forward and hence a little commentary on politics, the environment and sex emerged, ‘permanence’ is such a word of finitude, of course nothing is permanent except time and even then einstein might have an opinion on that, clearly everything is evolving and disappearing in this fluid journey but this show captures our current timeline, which has been falsely influenced by man’s arrogant use of resources and makes us witness to these rapid changes… the take home message – normal is ephemeral

thanks for coming and please join me afterwards at my bluestem jazz event this evening at café coda. the zacc harris sextet is playing and i guarantee it will be stunning

happy to take questions….