Tag Archives: Mecca Normal

Interview

LA artist Keith Dugas interviewed me for a series on his blog. Great to see his selection of my paintings!

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Update: solo art show

I’ve dropped a few hints about my solo art show in the spring, but we’re not quite ready to officially announce it! Here are a few more hints, but I’m not going to confirm or deny anything in comments

The city in question: I can safely say that I may have sold more paintings to people living in this city than any other.

The yet to be named gallery is supportive of the Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change. I believe they see the benefit of cultural activists of our ilk having a place (outside of the USA) to work on projects that intend to change the world. I hope they see it’s in their / our best interest on many levels.

Mecca Normal will perform at the opening.

We’ll be doing a newsletter / press release email soon to tie a buncha things together. David’s graphic novels, my art show, online painting sales milestone (900 sold with 300 in stock = 1200 paintings in 4 years), playing Bikini Kill shows, the Free Artist Residency, and last year’s live album from the mid-90s — Riot Grrrl era.

We’ve always done our own press / publicity for our music and book projects (D-I-Y since 1984)*, but I haven’t spent much time looking for press for the paintings. Early on I contacted The Jealous Curator and I’m still, some years later, savouring her appreciation of my work.

“Oh my word, I love these portraits so, so, so much.” September, 2017

I’ve done a couple of email interviews, but a press release is basically David and I compiling content that can be reproduced by the media in advance of coming events.
In the past four years, I’ve focused on painting (and not so much the push required to escalate exposure / sales). I completely love the way this situation on FB works. I get to paint lots, I have an enthusiastic audience and appreciative buyers. File under: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Yet, I have 300 paintings here, I may need to move out of Vancouver, and I want to get going with the Artist Residency.

So, yes I am hinting at a plausible inevitability that when more people see my paintings, you’ll wish you’d bought a few. Also, this week’s near record sales (18 ?) remind me that post-sale production, packaging and shipping take time and adding rehearsals, art / music events, purchasing property, moving, potentially more interaction with the media, and getting the artists residency up and running. I only have so much time and there may be both scarcity and upheaval in how paintings are sold (and for how much).

As with Mecca Normal’s trajectory, the wildness of the ride depends on factors beyond our control, but the essence of our adventures can be applied to our other projects in a myriad of ways.

* Mecca Normal has appreciated and benefited greatly from publicity generated by the record labels we’ve been on including K Records, Matador Records, Kill Rock Stars and Artoffact Records.

$100 USD paintings currently available

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photo: 2020 selfie

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Interior Designer Special

$100 USD // $130 CAD
11 x 14″ acrylic on canvas panel
800+ SOLD

INTERIOR DESIGNER SPECIAL:
FREE shipping 4 – 6 paintings (USA & Canada)

Hundreds of Paintings Available

“Oh my word, I love these portraits so, so, so much.”
The Jealous Curator

CUSTOMERS:
– painting instructors from the Yale School of Art, the University of British Columbia and the Art Institute of Chicago
– painters whose work has been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Biennial, 2014 in New York City
– art critics for Artfourm Magazine and the Winnipeg Free Press
– interior designer in ‘cottage country’ Ontario
– architect in Atlanta
– a few indie rock luminaries including (Kathleen Hanna and Tobi Vail of Bikini Kill, Tara Jane O’Neil, Julie Doiron, Johanna Fateman)

SHIPPING:
up to 6 for $15 USD to USA //$15 CAD in Canada – email me for Interior Designer Rate! Vancouver – delivery or retail pick up at E. Broadway and Victoria Drive

CONTACT:
meccanormal@hotmail.com

 

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New York Times features on Riot Grrrl

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Mecca Normal entry in the New York Times Riot Grrrl Listening Guide

New York Times Popcast: The Return of Bikini Kill and the Long Tail of Riot Grrrl

3 minute Mecca Normal segment of the New York Times Popcast about Riot Grrrl features “I Walk Alone”

We recorded “I Walk Alone” as it was written, and released it in 1986 on our first LP on Smarten UP! — the label I created using the same name as my fanzine (subtitled: a How to Change the World Publication). The album was re-released by K Records in the mid-90s.

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The first LP (Smarten UP! Records, 1986) includes “I Walk Alone” re-released by K Records

“I Walk Alone Live” in 2015

Smarten UP! zine by Jean Smith mid 1980s, Vancouver

Smarten UP!, my mid-80s zine was “a How to Change the World Publication”

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Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill) Network, Toronto, 1992

It was interesting to hear one of the participants in the podcast lamenting the lack of live recordings of some of these bands, which is why David and I are thrilled about the new “LIVE in Montreal, 1996” album (Artoffact Records, 2019) which includes “I Walk Alone” as part of a 3-song feminist medley.

“I Walk Alone” has been in our set for most of the 35 years we’ve been playing. I almost always leave the ‘stage’ to go into the audience to sing it, something that has not been recorded and released until now.

Listen on Bandcamp Man Thinks Woman / Strong White Male / I Walk Alone “Live in Montreal, 1996”

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Video: Introduction

We have the evidence! Political art can change the world!

 

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Video: paintings available

$100 USD portrait paintings available (14 x 11″ acrylic on canvas panel). Music by Mecca Normal (Jean Smith and David Lester).

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Videos

I made two new Mecca Normal videos today using my paintings. They’ll be linked to upcoming Normal History columns for Magnet Magazine.

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