Past Truck Show Events
On First Friday Art Walks, MENSK provides an alternative experience to the gallery, for both artists and the appreciating public. We rent a U-Haul truck for a day and let an artist tranform it into a unique environment for the public to experience. Theater groups, photographers, dance troupes, 2D artists, installation artists, performance artists, bands.. all are welcome and encouraged to exercise their creativity:
Melissa Davenport, of LornaFilms, created a documentary about the process of blueberry farming in Maine. The 36 minute film was captured the events during a season of blueberry farming "from blossoms to burn". Watch film here: click me
Artist's statement [direct from his website clintfulkerson.com]:
"For this past First Friday Art Walk in Portland, I was asked by the local arts organization MENSK to come up with an art show of some sort using a U-haul Truck as my portable gallery venue, which we parked in the epicenter of the Art walk across from Space Gallery, near my studio in the Artist’s Studio Building and MENSK Headquarters at Think Tank co-working space.
My idea was to use the interior of the truck as a studio from which I painted on clear mylar sheets taped to a piece of old plexiglass hanging at the door of the truck. People could walk by and see me painting live through the plexi, and talk to me if they wanted. Once I was done with a painting, I taped it to the side of the truck in a crude overlapping display of my progress throughout the 4 hour event. I called my event “Painting in the Future Perfect” because before and while I was painting I kept thinking “by the end of the night I ‘will have painted’ between 0ne and dozens of potentially wonderful or horrid paintings.” In the future perfect tense one talks about the past in the future.
The event was fun and interesting, and I had many conflicted feelings about it. I felt a bit vulnerable because I chose to be really spontaneous in a public setting- I didn’t plan what I would be painting, I was constantly observed, there was this feeling that I was showing off but I didn’t really have anything spectacular to do besides what I normally do hidden away in my studio, except using brighter colors and larger in scale. The immediacy of creation, showing, and then talking to people combined and condensed the various aspects of being an artist such as working in the studio, self-critique, peer critique, public response and attending an opening. All of this during one 4 hour period condensed an artistic cycle that usually takes months, which really took me out of my comfort zone, and it was a great experience."
"Vitamin M Squared are collaborative happenings between Mike Rich and Martha Fournier. We thought that our spontaneous Mandala collaboration for this MENSK Truck Show would inspire others about the knowledge of Mandala, and enlighten others to awaken and exercise: Creativity, Growth, Focus and Peace.
The back layer, Air: sky with clouds. spraypaint
The middle layer, Circle and Pattern: Mandala. spraypaint, acrylics, paintpens, stencils
The front layer, Nature and Earth: trees with expansive roots, birds in the sky, green fields, reflections, and mountains. spraypaint, acrylics,paintpens, stencils
Outside the truck we had photocopies of Mandalas covering the sides of the Truck, and Performance Art as we spraypainted on the clear mylar our message to the people on that chilly November First Friday evening: MANDALA!"
The premise behind my work stems from research that I published while I was in optometry school examining color perception across varying illumination.. My colleagues and I were interested in how our visual system judges an object to be the same color while the illumination changes across as scene. My experiment involved making hundreds of color prints of very subtly different hues, folding them into various shapes, and displaying them to subjects in lightboxes that varied in the color of their illumination but were standardized for brightness and contrast. If we presented a red object under a blue light, for example, and then asked the subject to choose the object that was the same color from a series of red objects under a yellow light, the subjects would reliably pick a red object that was yellower than would be predicted by traditional color constancy theory. This bias would be even more dramatic if the objects themselves happened to be the same color as the illuminant. It’s logical to assume that the illumination of a scene influences our perception of color, but it was interesting to discover that at even a basic physiological level, with all other factors standardized, our judgement of color is biased towards our perception of the illumination much more than would be predicted by a constant ratio of reflectance between object and background.
I use Photoshop to sample colors directly from photographs. The original photographs are both film and digital. Some prints retain elements of the original photograph for texture or reference. No colors are altered, but amongst areas of similar color, my judgements are biased towards the perceived overall illumination, and by doing so I hope that the finished pieces retain more of their scenic quality as opposed to looking simply like a work of graphic design.
"Installation art has always been more interesting to me as an environment than an object, more place than thing. Incorporating as many senses as possible eases that process of emersion into a place. Also darkness, lots of darkness."
Mariah built a very secretive installation. She blocked off the back of the truck completely and the public had to step up to peep holes to peer into her creation. She used sound, light, and fabric to create a multi-sensory installation.
Artist Amy Jorgensen collaborated with dancer Leigh Tillman to create The Heart Compartment. They used their bodies, a projector, and line drawings to ask the public: "WHAT IS INSIDE YOUR HEART?" The artists used physical movement to express 36 different sensations that occur in the center of the chest. The 'compartment' was covered with a white screen where each of the 36 movements/sensations were depicted with a line drawing. These 2D drawings provided the public with a chance to interact with the art by sending their answer via text message to MENSK. Answers are at the bottom of the page!
The 36 Sensations of The Heart Compartment:
2. A Slow Death
3. A Lot of Back and Forth
4. So Much Sadness
6. Waiting For Time to Pass
9. Cruelty Brought on by Insecurity
11. Controlling the Uncontrollable
12. Lusty Impatience
13. Self Doubt
14. A Floating Sensation
15. Eff Off
17. A Bridge
19. Unexpressed Anger
20. Fear of My Own Greatness
22. Darkness with a Glimpse of Light
23. I Don't Have a Heart
25. I Can't Say the Truth
28. Split in Half
29. A Sense of Balance Between Self/Other
30. Old Wounds, Unhealed
31. Your Ass
32. A Fierce Desire to Escape
34. A Morass of Misunderstanding
36. Clear-Headed Hope
The truck this month was filled with the creativity of artist Sean O'Brien. He used this dark time of year to his advantage and used UV lights to create a wide variety of illuminated patterns. Two of the pieces were interactive and required the participants to move the light source around to create a new image. For more of Sean's work, please see
*First Friday Memory* Walk was a collaborative and interactive mobile art installation for November First Friday Art Walk. The interior cab of a 10ft. U-Haul truck was converted to a hand drawn map of Portland, ME. When parked, visitors were invited onto the truck to activate the map. This was accomplished by writing a significant personal experience or memory on a sticky note and then affixing it to the specific location it took place. The act of documenting the public’s memories and/or experiences creates a static and physical local history map.