Jul 13, 2016

Werifesteria and other available works

I had such a great visit and opening with Myplasticheart for the opening of Werifesteria, I cant believe it  was so quick. The turnout was simply amazing and I am thankful for all who came out for it, near and far. It has been a honor to curate the show and to work with these talented ladies! If you missed the reception the exhibition runs until August 2nd and pieces can be viewed and purchased direct from Myplasticheart's site! (Pssst…they also have some of my little hearts)

The gallery also took some really great photos, all of which can be viewed on their flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/myplasticheart/sets/72157668013884223

I am now on my way to my next adventure, one that takes me away from the Internet for a while. If you have been looking for any of my one of a kind pieces please feel free to contact some of the galleries I partner with. Below are a few direct links to galleries carrying my work:

Stranger Factory NM: This just in, pieces from Japan are back in the states and available through the gallery as well as a few other creations and collabs - http://www.circusposterus.com/product-tag/lana-crooks/

Archimedes Gallery OR: Pieces from Lore are still available but contact the gallery to inquire -

Clutter Gallery NY: Clutter has some of my limited edition plush and a special Luke Chueh Bear head at the moment - https://shop.cluttermagazine.com/products?result=lana+crooks

Arch Enemy Arts PA: Pieces from Imaginary Menagerie 3 are available to view and purchase here - http://www.archenemyarts.com/#!imaginarymenagerie3/q0r4t

Also SDCC is right around the corner… that means a collab from myself and Scott Tolleson will be available from booth 5139!

Jul 5, 2016

Opening July 8: Werifesteria

If you are in the NY area, come out to Myplasticheart this weekend! I will have a selection of works at Werifesteria, a small group fibers exhibition about the mysterious woods. Most of the artists will be in attendance (myself included)!

July 8th 7-10pm - August 2nd
210 Forsyth St
NYC 10002

Sign up for the preview at preview.myplasticheart.com

May 6, 2016

May Exhibitions

I have been quite a busy bee this spring and I have a number of exhibitions opening very soon.

May 6th @ Stranger Factory Gallery, Albuquerque NM

5 Year Anniversary Exhibition
For this exhibition I have teamed up with Kathie Olivas to create a series of custom Batgirl Olives. I have also contributed some fabric elements to a few other figures (as antlers seen below). 

Batgirl Olive

May 7th @ Archimedes Gallery, Cannon Beach, OR

Kelly Denato, Melita "Missmonster" Curphy and I storm the Oregon Coast for the town's Spring Unveiling festival. We explore myth and things that may hide in the mists. I will be in attendance so if you are in the area please stop by to say hello!

Preview list is now live as well so please email info@archimedesgallery.com

Adonis (detail)

May 14th @ Clutter Gallery, Beacon, NY

Bear in Mind
A custom group exhibition where artists were asked to transform Luke Chueh's blank bear head. 
I myself took the form into a very fibrous direction…

Apr 5, 2016

Monsters & Misfits IV Opens in Tokyo

The Twins, Kappa, Anemone & Spring Jackalope

All the monsters and misfits have gathered at Shibuya Hikarie in Tokyo, Japan this April! I created four  one-of-a-kind creatures for the exhibition. Kathie Olivas, Brandt Peters and I also created a handful of collaboration pieces as well. All pieces are now available from Tomenosuke online. 

Stay tuned, later this week I will be sharing process and details of each of my sculptures for this show. Until then please enjoy Tomenosuke's lovely videos from the set up and opening reception:

Building the Exhibition

Opening Night

Mar 9, 2016

Upcoming Spring Exhibitions!

As soon as 2016 hit I was off and sewing! Diving back into a full time art frenzy, I recently completed (and shipped) the work for my first exhibit of the year!

Monsters & Misfits IV: April 1 - Tokyo, Japan

I am beyond thrilled to be exhibiting in this installment of Monsters and Misfits! I was able to do some epic collaborations with Kathie Olivas and Brandt Peters as well as some larger scale one of a kind sculptures. 

While I can not show all that I contributed, there have been quite a few sneak peak images posted to the Stranger Factory instagram and the Monsters and Misfits FB page. 

Here is a progress and detail of Anemone:

Show information: A Circus Posterus Exhibition at Shibuya Hikarie, Tokyo
Tomenosuke + Circus Posterus (T+CP) is delighted to announce Monsters & Misfits IV, an exhibit of new work presented in collaboration with Tomenosuke-Syoten. This is the first Monsters and Misfits in Tokyo (Japan) and will be on display at Shibuya Hikarie at Creative Space “8/” from April 1st – 7th.
Monsters and Misfits IV will feature returning artists Brandt Peters, Kathie Olivas, Amanda Louise Spayd, Chris Ryniak, Andrew Bell, Stan Manoukian, and Carisa Swenson. Shing Yin Khor, Leslie Levings, Lana Crooks, and Kevin Titzer join the returning exhibition as new additions to the roster.

This museum level exhibition will bring you through a parade of strange and fantastic creatures and characters from these top contemporary designers, toy makers, and fine artists. This year’s group of Circus Posterus' artists and guests present a hand-made sideshow of beady eyed night critters, devils, reptilian oddities, mouse kings, kappa skulls, ghost children, and more that promise to leave you awash in starry-eyed wonder. The fourth installment of this show features primarily hand made toys and sculptures inspired by cryptozoology and an idealized, re-imagined animal kindgdom. Andrew Bell, Stan Manoukian, Kathie Olivas, Brandt Peters, Amanda Louise Spayd, and Chris Ryniak will be attending the opening reception on April 1st.

To purchase original artwork and, or view the Monsters and Misfits IV exhibition online, please visit www.tomenosuke.com on April 2nd (11 AM local Tokyo time) when the web preview is launched. Please contact Tomenosuke.com directly for any Monsters and Misfits IV purchase related questions.

The exhibit will run April 1st to 7th at Shibuya Hikarie in Tokyo, Japan, with an opening reception on April 1st.

Shibuya Hikarie (Creative Space “8/”)
2-21-1 Shibuya
Tokyo, Japan

Also opening in the coming months (with more info and images to come):

Imaginary Menagerie 3: April 1st @ Arch Enemy Arts - PA 

Lore: May 6th @ Archimedes Gallery - Cannon Beach, OR

Bear in Mind: May 14th @ Clutter Gallery - NY

Oct 19, 2015

Conventions, releases and available works

Slowly but surely I am getting back to work after taking 3 months to recover from double jaw surgery If you are curious about all of the specifics about the surgery I have been keeping a blog on the subject: lanasfaceoff.blogspot.com

New Site!
You may notice lanacrooks.com looks a little different… besides a long over due update I have changed some things around. Larger thumbnails, newer work is now highlighted (older works are now in the "archive", and it is finally mobile responsive. I was a fan of the old layout but I had to get with the times and the smart phone won in the end. I have a few more pieces to edit and add but all in all its ready for visitors.

I was unable to attend this year's NYCC and Designer Toy Award ceremony but I did recieve some great news from the event! Gary Ham and I are the recipients of another DTA! Best Non-Plastic goes to the Sylvan Plush!!!

He's a little shy…
I am super shocked by this award and am completely appreciative to be receiving it! This was a handmade edition of 10 pieces and in the next month or so I will release the very last of the run.

Later this month I will be headed to Illuxcon in PA! Since I am now cleared to fly I thought it would be a great first outing. I know many artists that participate in this imaginative realism convention / art show and this will be my first time attending. My work will be represented at the Everyday Original booth (www.everydayoriginal.com)

DesignerCon is also fast approaching (Nov 21 & 22) and I again will be there, sharing a booth with Scott Tolleson! I am unsure what I will have on hand this year but will post specifics as the event gets closer.

Available Works:
If you are in the market for an original sculpture please check these locations:

Here I release smaller originals on an almost bi-monthly basis. Check my instagram (@lanacrooks) for specifics on each release.

Stranger Factory / Circus Posterus
There is still a handful of works from my Mourning Apparitions exhibit (with Kathie Olivas and Michele Lynch)

Now to get back to work!

Jul 8, 2015

Mourning Apparitions: Now Showing at Stranger Factory!

Mourning Apparitions opened this past weekend at Stranger Factory in Albuquerque! For the month of July I get to haunt the gallery space with Kathie Olivas and Michele Lynch.
I thought I would take this opportunity to go over my process for this exhibition and explain how ghosts became the theme.

Stage One: Inspiration
I usually start by making lists. I love lists. I love scratching things off of lists more. But this is a hunt for ideas. Word brainstorms that work in tandem with music. I listen to a lot of music when I work and I try to create playlists that fit the general mood.

For this exhibit I had a few songs left over from Adventure Awaits (April 2014 exhibit at Clutter) that I kept re-listening to. One was Lord Huron's "The Ghost on The Shore".

The lyrics floated around my head for a while:
I'm just a man, but I know that I'm damned
All the dead seem to know where I am
All who sail off the coast ever more
Will remember the tale of the ghost on the shore

I started assembling a playlist that gave me the same vibe as that song. At the time winter was in full swing, everything was icy and white and had been that way for a few months. The perfect setting for a haunting soundtrack. (You can find the full soundtrack on Spotify: Playlist called Ghosts under Lana Crooks Direct Link )

Once I have that started I pop in some headphones and head to the museum. Find some specimens, make more lists, watch some movies, get the brain moving.

Stage Two: Organization
By now I have lists….LOTS of lists. Lists for colors, words, titles, elements, common themes. I start grouping things that stand out or brings an immediate image to my brain. I expand on the words or phrases that work best together to get more of an image. I take specimen names and file them away for later, continue building that playlist and begin a series of tiny doodles. Basically becoming a shut in…

Stage Three: Research

I do a lot of research when making my pieces. It's my favorite part, makes me feel like Im uncovering mysteries. It's as close to my childhood dream career of archaeology as I will get. I have access to a fabulous specimen lab and use it as much as possible. 
Taking measurements, photos, notes, draw patterns and collect pantones (for later fabric and dye matching). This process usually spurs new ideas…and yes, I listen to my playlist the whole time! Who knows what specimen will call out in a way I didnt see before when paired with the right music.

Stage Four: Limbo
I actually spend a lot of this time fiddling around on pinterest. Look for more color inspiration, putz with the patterns I drew at the labs, general busy computer works.  I decide on an over arching scheme, each piece will have its own thing going on but hopefully relates to a bigger picture. This is where the ghosts really haunted my studio.

Stage Five: Hunt and Gather
I begin to pull materials for the first few pieces. I scour antique stores for any elements that want to fit. Order fabrics, organize the things I already own and "get my arse in gear"

Stage Six: CreateI am not saying that all the other steps aren't work but this is where you just do it already. All the research and time spent playing around with materials lead to this. Prop up the sketch book, organize the desk, and turn up the music…this may take a while. Each piece leads to the next and things begin to take shape. Lots of hand sewing, cutting, adding small details, drawing new details, starting over, doing it again, waiting for dye to dry, making all the pieces talk to each other, and getting very little sleep.

Stage Seven: Completion

I have now gone thru some 12 step action (denial, anger, ect…) but those pieces are now done! The work has it's soul, its ready to move on. I give it a name, take its photograph and send it out to live a new life. It's both exciting and sad but now its time to start again. Below are some of my offerings for Mourning Apparitions, the full exhibit can be found on the Stranger Factory website (currently under "Now Showing"): www.strangerfactory.com

Bleeding Heart
Apparition: The Song
Apparition: The Escape
Mourning Dove No. 4

Stage Eight: The Lost Stage….or prepping for the opening

Most of my involvement usually ends after I send the piece into the world. Sometimes I go to work the opening and hang the show with the gallery. I had the opportunity to head out for this one. Kathie and I  installed all the pieces and made all the pieces look their best for opening night. If you have not had much contact with a gallery, they are a lot of work. Openings don't just happen. I am always glad to help out for exhibits, it is rewarding to see all the work together as a collection. Images from opening night are coming soon!

Thank you to everyone at Stranger Factory for having me! Thank you to all who came out to the opening, to those who have ever picked up a piece, asked for a sketch, liked my progress, followed my work and who have enjoyed what I do. I could not have done it without the support.