Until high school, I knew I was going to be a doctor or a chemist. Then puberty and the humanities hit (“Oh the humanities”), and I wanted to be an artist and a poet and—for a short time, anyway—a candlemaker. Hey, it was the early 1970s.
I was born in Central Falls, Rhode Island, and reached school age in the early era of nuclear war sirens, attended Latin Mass in a French-speaking parish (talk about the mysteries), and graduated from high school in Medfield, Massachusetts in the cusp between the Counter-culture ‘60s and the Disappointing ‘70s. After college I worked in publishing, as a writer and an editor. Still, my main interest in writing was not technology or business writing, but poetry and short fiction; for example, while in college, I published a chapbook, The Book of Washline Prayers (which blessedly has passed from this world), and in 2000 I produced a chapbook, The P. I. Poems (which works pretty well—I hope). But I had also been caught by the plastic arts from early days, and several years ago I started doing ceramic work again, to which I added furniture making, and then began pursuing a number of assemblage concepts that I had been thinking on and sketching out, in some cases, for a couple of decades.
Ceramic work was a big deal for me in my high school days in Medfield, Massachusetts, and art, generally speaking, was a big focus. I had set off to college to get into the fine arts program, which was pretty good at Southeastern Massachusetts University, now called University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth). But either I wasn’t good enough or there were simply too many applicants (or both), but fortunately, there weren’t enough applicants for English, and, well, I had also emphasized literature in my high school electives, so I took the English track, figuring on transferring. Instead, I stuck with English, and helped expand the Creative Writing curriculum, and became the co-editor of Temper, the literary and arts annual, and then got money from the student government for a bi-monthly arts and literary tabloid called Issue, of which there were three, as it were. Still write poetry and fiction, albeit slowly.
So, after college, I started earning my living in publishing, and most recently as Principal of DRG Publications, a company serving the connected content market with strategic technology and business development research, analysis, and editorial content, with special focus on digital rights management and the editorial process within electronic publishing. Until recently, too, I’d been an Associate Editor for The Gilbane Report, an IT/content management analysis monthly published by Bluebill Advisors; this effort changed over time, including being acquired by Outsell, Inc., and I remain a Senior Analyst, Affiliate, with Outsell’s Gilbane Group. I’ve tried the e-commerce/dot-com stuff from the inside, too, including a stint as Director of Content Development for NetMarquee, Inc., an Internet direct marketing start-up. From 1993-1997, I was the Editor-in-Chief of EMedia Professional, and I had earlier served as the top editor of several other electronic media-oriented periodicals, including Multimedia/CD Publisher and New Media News. Before that I had worked as a book editor of various stripes, since 1979.
I started getting back to art work a few years ago, fitting in clay work at Mud Flats when I could. I was also lucky to have the use of a good friend’s wood shop when he was working on site, and lucky too, later, to find some studio space of my own. Thus Arch Art was born.
I’ve been building one-of-a-kind art lamps and furniture that usually involve ceramic elements (often arches, hence the name), woodworking, and lighting elements, and I’ve done series that could be called “semi-production” that I’d be happy to repeat, especially if I find contracts I like. My main work focuses on assemblage, ever respectful of the great and unique work of Joseph Cornell, but drawn nonetheless, and doubtlessly with the bravery of the fool, to explore the poetry image aspects of assemblage.
Trying to balance my professional work with my art work has been a challenge, both in terms of time demands and income consequences, but I’ve started getting my art work out to juried shows and in front of galleries, and more importantly (except when the mortgage is due), I’m loving making things.
By the way, do you know anyone who might want me to write a white paper about the role of XML in Web content management? I’m not cheap, but I am very good, and, heck, I’ll even consider throwing in a discount on my art, to sweeten the deal.