What up y'all.

Guess who's back in the building. It's Kai Huang with another track for the children. Man, so it's been a minute since I've checked in with you all here on the EMW blog, so my apologies for that. I took some time to do some away rotations out in the Bay Area, CA. Saw some patients. It was cool. But at the same time, it's wonderful to be back here in home sweet Cambridge, MA, fam. Get back on this blog game.

Alright so y'all might know that for a few months now, we've been hosting different artists here in the main gallery space at EMW. During my time away, our friend the very talented Alahna Watson had an exhibit here entitled g.r.i.t.s. (Girl Raised In The South). I was super bummed to have missed it, but I heard it was bomb af. Shouts to that girl and shouts to all of Jamaica Plain.

Today though, I want to recap an event we had just earlier this week. Gallery openings usually take place on the first Friday of each month and have thus been dubbed Fresh Fridays by our creative director Jeff Cott AKA Kid Koala (so called because of his striking resemblance to the tree-dwelling marsupials native to Australia). Due to scheduling issues, however, this month's Fresh Friday took place on the second Thursday... this Thursday, January 8.

The feature artist was our friend and colleague Brian Chan, who is a craftsman of otherworldly genius. He mostly came up in the MIT and Mass Art scenes and now works over at the MIT Hobby Shop. "Hmm. A craftsman?", you say. What does he do exactly? Man, it's kind of tough to describe what the man doesn't do. He does 3D printing. He makes musical instruments. He makes swords. He folds some of the most intricate origami known to man. If you don't believe me, g'head and type "brian chan origami" into Google and see what happens. He also made this fucking Ironman suit and has been known to sleep in it from time to time:


So, I warn you. Do not attempt to run up on this dude at home. It's not gonna end well for you. I'm saying, don't let the friendly Asian Hufflepuff demeanor fool you... my man really doesn't fuck around when it comes to his art, son. NOBODY IS SAFE.

Actually nah lol he's a really nice dude though. He gave a brief artist's talk and took questions from the audience and we'll have that segment as well as a more in-depth one-on-one interview up shortly, so stay tuned. Our video editing team is still playing Skyrim. But word, it was marvelous having Brian in the space to share his passion with us and I'm honored to count myself among his fans and admirers. To be there and to witness the level of detail in this man's work was really something awe-inspiring. I just imagine this dude locked up in his basement eating nothing but Nongshim ramen from H-Mart for like five months straight, muttering sheepishly to himself the whole time, lost in a parallel universe of unhinged creativity. Then he showers and emerges from the cave like Lazarus and fucks everybody's heads up with whatever new project he was cooking up down there. Crazy. That's EMW for you, man. Props to that dude and to everyone who came through. Gallery hours coming.

Alright I'm gonna get back to video editing now. And by video editing, I mean Skyrim. Peace. To check out more photos from the gallery opening, peep our Facebook.

Love, Kai

OH WORD, and Brian's running a 3D printing and design workshop this Saturday, January 17, y'all. Sign up here! https://openartlabbrianchan.splashthat.com/

EMW’s First Open Art Lab: Stop Kitten Kicking, Fold Origami by Iris Cutler

Dear Pedestrians,

Saturday was our very first Open Art Lab, and I really, really, really liked it. Sometimes art is a grand and laboriously intentional endeavor (or intentionally unintentional one). And, other times it’s an excuse to kick it with the fam. With this fam, obligation is no weighty tombstone. You’re never lassoed to Venus when your heart says Pluto or told you have thirty seconds to find your #2 Ticonderoga. Play can be productive, and things that are fun to be fun can be fruitful.

For instance, at the Art Lab I made a friend. I don’t remember his name, but that doesn’t matter. He was a strong looking guy with memorable chest hair who, in the right light and the wrong places, could intimidate with ease. I definitely assumed he’d stand a respectable distance from the bucket of markers, a toxic sandpit for manly manliness, but it’s awesome how wrong I was. He was the only person who came in and just started folding up origami cranes without needing guidance. The dude told me the story of why he’s such a black belt crane-folding master, and it’s because he’s the best person ever. Check it: he said that when he was younger, he’d pick up trash if he saw it on the street (PAUSE which is a totally underrated feat because, let’s be real, if I saw trash, there’s a one in five chance I’d relocate it to the trash can, and I went to college, y’all PLAY), and if the trash was foldable, he’d craft a crane and place it close to where he found it.

Gaff's Unicorn

Here’s the adorable part. One day, he walked onto a train in Boston, found trash, folded it to a crane, and placed it on the window sill, per usual. Soon afterwards, a great, big, grumpy man stormed in scaring the apps off his phone, yelling, yelling, yelling. He ended his call in a fury and was about to probably kick a kitten when he looked over and saw the tiny trash crane. He took his great, big, grumpy fingers and delicately picked up the crane by its tail, took a seat, rested the crane on his open palm, and sat with it until getting off at his stop.

DON’T YOU WANNA MAKE TINY TRASH CRANES ALL THE TIME NOW??! OMG real time, no joke, some TP just flew off the butt of a garbage truck that just rolled through (also remembering I forgot to take my trash out). TOTALLY A SIGN: ‘bout to crane the WORLD #stopkittenkicking.

Anyways, shit like this makes me want to art-lab every day. And, I’m not even playing up the ridiculous amount of skill that was swimming in the room. Watch out, world. Dancing meets graphic design meets photography meets videography meets beats meets illustration meets BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE WHO WANNA LOVE AND BE LOVED IN THE BEST WAYS THEY KNOW HOW.

If you read this, I really, really, really hope to see you at the next Open Art Lab (every third Saturday, 1-4pm). Shit’s gorgeous, in a manly origami kind of way.

Love, Iris