June 2018, Knoxville, Alphabet Series

About a year ago, I submitted a piece of art for a show, had it accepted, and then rejected during the hanging of the show, being told it was controversial and might have a negative reaction by the expected audience. I decided I needed to have some more control for showing my art and also wanted to increase my exposure beyond a few pieces per year. I signed up for a show at the Emporium in Knoxville, TN and the earliest I could was June 2018. The amount of work in preparing this show completely overshadowed my original motivation, but I am glad that it got me moving.
After I signed up for the space, I started thinking, wow, those are big walls, what am I going to show and how am I going to make all my pieces??? I had already embraced the concept of series in a few of my pieces (see Dreamscape 2 in the other pieces, so all I needed was a new concept. I ended up picking the alphabet as a concept and thought that 26 smallish pieces would fit nicely on the long wall. This series concept would also allow the replacement of individual pieces if necessary. Next, I had to derive a design that allowed me to easily make the large number of pieces, so I could focus on the ideas and not on the construction. A 3/4” plywood back provided a stable base for attachment and a simple, varnished frame of ¼” walnut plywood was easy to attach before or after construction as needed. The designs also incorporate my handmade paper and required several new batches. As I got going, I settled on only 2 sizes, with the larger being either horizontal or vertical. Half way through, I also realized that the show could easily be hung on two rows of picture hanger hooks, all placed the same distance apart for easy installation. Now I was off and running.
I found that some letters were easy and I had many, many ideas for them. Other letters were difficult and I almost left some gaps in the series. I used a large dictionary to I scour for words and I also scoured antique shops for parts and pieces and looked in all our dusty and unopened cabinets. Some of the components I have had for 20 or 30 years and some were newly purchased. All of them have a story which I am willing to share. Overall, the show took me about 9 months to assemble and I was glad to finish. We hung the pieces in our living room wall to see how things fit together. My wife said, “I want to keep this series after the show and hang it back right here”. I negotiated and we agreed that I could sell the 26 pieces, but had to sell them as an entire group and not individually. They are priced at $2600, which is obviously $100 each. The pieces are also available individually and priced at $100 each for the 8×8 pieces and $150 for the 8×16 pieces. As pieces are sold, I will make replacements for my series using new ideas. I have lots of further ideas and it will be fun to start acquiring the components for new pieces.
I am offering custom made-to-order alphabet or number pieces where the buyer selects a letter and can also supply the concept and components. These would be priced at $125 to $150 depending on complexity. The buyer has the option of not buying the finished piece. However, if you don’t buy it, everything becomes my property. Don’t expect me to give you back your favorite rubber ducky.
Anyway, enjoy and thanks for looking, Bruce Bunting, Knoxville, June 2018



There are 9 other pieces of art included in the opening, which are not officially a series. These are for sale separately, at the prices marked.
MY OLD TRUCK, hand made paper, metal truck, the winged angle truck heads for heaven, 13x13x3, $300
SMOKY MOUNTAIN RESCUE, hand made paper, found objects, if you are from Tennessee, you realize that little ladies often need help, 12x18x4, $250
E1 Feed Us
FEED US PLEASE, wood, ceramic dogs, preserved dog biscuits, dog biscuits are peanut butter and wheat bran, preserved with shellac, the first batch I made were stolen by a mouse in our barn, $200
DREAMSCAPE 2, PAIN AND UNCERTAINTY, knotty walnut, found objects, after I learned about some of the side effects of cancer treatment, 14x18x2.5, $250
SMUSHED SCORPIONS SHANT STING, hand made paper, plastic truck, objects from Mexico, I bought a wire scorpion and a road runner when hiking at Big Bend National Park, 10x10x4, $200
D1 Cars and Cockroaches
CARS AND COCKROACHES, plastic pieces, skulls, wooden beads, hand made paper, two very durable life forms, autonomous cars and cockroaches, 12x12x2, $200
C1 Siren Song
SIREN SONG, hand made paper, burial dolls, three burial dolls ride in a boat made from a little purse, on paper waves, 10x10x2, $200
B1 Tempus Fugit
TEMPUS FUGIT, wood, handmade paper, bone, a type of art known as memento mori,  12x17x2, $300
A1 Quo Vadis
QUO VADIS, 15x12x1, maps and hand made paper, a bigger version of ‘O’ from the alphabet series, $150