Friday, December 9, 2011

Atomic Lime Project! New show! Holidays! Yay!

Hello lovelies. We missed you! Since you last heard from us, we have all been working hard in our bizarro, professional lives (you know, the ones that pay the bills n stuff) and, in the meantime, we have come one step closer to world domination by establishing three working studios in our respective cities of residency in order to do what we love most, making art!

For the holiday season, we are pleased to announce that we have a new show opening up tomorrow, Saturday, December 10th from 6 to 9pm at a lovely gallery/shop called The Artful Living Group in Carolina Beach. Here's their website to get you more acquainted. The show will feature the new work we've all created in our own separate studios, so the results will be a surprise (even for us!). The show will be up through the month of December, so if you can't make it to the opening, please feel free to check it before the new year!

As per usual, we've created a Facebook event that we encourage you to RSVP to. In addition to the ability to view and purchase the fruits of our artistic endeavors (Hey, what says "I respect you enough not to get you presents at the mall" on Christmas better than gifts of NC-made sculpture, furniture, jewelry, and 2d art?), we have kidnapped local musician Sean Thomas Gerard of the band Onward, Soldiers to grace your ears with acoustic goodness through the duration of the opening.

Come out and see what we've all been working on the past 6 months. Celebrate art, music, community, and the holidays with us from 6-9pm tomorrow, right here:
112 Cape Fear Boulevard, Carolina Beach, NC 28428

In case you're not convinced yet, take it from Artful Living Group's owner, Chris Higgins:

"How's this sound for an Atomic Lime Project drink....Atomic Lime Sunset - Tequila, cranberry juice, triple sec, a bit of sweet sour mix, lime with a grand marnier floater"

See you at the opening!

Atomic Limes

Sunday, September 18, 2011

iMuchos Gracias!

Hello. I just wanted to thank everyone for coming out to our show at Bottega! We had a good time and hope you did too. We love Wilmington and it seems as though the feeling is mutual. We'll be back, and it will be an amazing time once again.
Justin B.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Many thanks to everyone who came out to the reception on Friday!  It was awesome to see old friends and family while making new ones.  The night was amazing, and definitely the best time I've had in Wilmington in a long time.  Thank you so much to everyone at Bottega for all of their help and to Charlie the Horse for rocking out!
Here's a little bit of press you might enjoy whilst you sit on the toilet today....

The show stays up until Sept. 16th, so there will be plenty of time for all of you good looking people to show your faces!

Until next time, happy Monday everyone!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

All This Talk About Atomic Lime Has Got Me Thinking....

It’s been two and a half years since Eric and I jumped in my 1999 Chevy Malibu on voyage to Charlotte, NC to see an Andy Warhol exhibit.  A few months prior, he and I sold out in a holiday exhibition at ECU.  That week made me think a lot about what happens after art school.  So that December I sat at my computer every night reading as much as I could to figure out how artists survive post-academia.  I compiled all of my notes into a neatly organized binder labeled “Justin’s Plan For World Domination.”  In this notebook there were a hundred pages of ideas on how to market yourself as and artist, but one thing I had read was to surround yourself with other like-minded artists.  With Eric being one of my closest friends in art school, naturally I brought this idea up to him on our trip to Charlotte.  The birth of Atomic Lime Project started with this simple sentence, “So... This might be the dumbest idea ever, but I think it’s pretty good, but also kind of stupid.”

Before it was called Atomic Lime Project, our group and it’s structure was just Eric and myself taking more road trips to Charlotte and Raleigh throwing ideas of world domination at each other.  At one point in time, this collective was going to be a political party that would overthrow the government of a small country and somehow from there we’d own the world.  The final, and probably the best foundation we came up with was a small, tightly knit, group of artists.  From there we would try to recreate the things about art school that are beneficial to the evolution of an artist - critiques, collaborations, and comradery.  Together we’d have exhibitions, a website that would allow viewers to see our work and what we’re up to, updates on other art events in North Carolina, and community awareness for issues we care about.

It was on our way back to Greenville from Raleigh, blasting Beck’s “Girl” when Eric and I almost missed an exit because we were so stoked we had the layout of our new project.  And that’s exactly what it was, a new project for us to work on.  We told each other that we needed to start thinking of other artists we could approach for recruitment... GOOD artists.  We each had one person in mind, but neither one of us mentioned him in our long list of shot-down friends.  Despite his lack of being mentioned it was almost fate that our good friend Justin Campbell was at the studio late-night when we returned to Greenville to unload art supplies.  After carrying a shanty-town’s worth of wood into my studio, Eric and I called Campbell over, gave him the pitch that made him our first recruit.

For months we had lunch, dinner, and drinks at Christy’s Euro Pub, Sup Dogs, or at someone’s abode.  We needed to figure out a name for the group and a plan for the future of the group.  We had plenty of random-ass names that we couldn’t get a unanimous vote on.  I went home one day getting very frustrated with it and just started writing down any word that came to mind.  When I had finished the list I decided to make a gin and tonic before putting words together, “But shit, I forgot we don’t have any limes for a gin and tonic - oh, I should right down lime.”  After I made the drink I looked down at a stack of CDs and saw U2’s “How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.” (Yes, I listen to U2)  And given the impact that the word “atomic” had I figured I’d write that down.  The next day I called Justin Campbell and gave him a list of five name ideas, he agreed on Atomic Lime Project and it only took a few minutes to convince Mr. White.
After the bad-ass name, we needed to put our thoughts into action.  We got this website, Eric and I had “Form & Dysfunction” in Greenville and Wilmington.  Campbell continued showing in Wilmington and Greenville.  And more recently, we’ve got our newest member, Melina Reed.  But finally, we've put together our first exhibition as a group, “Atomic Lime Project” at Bottega from July 22nd to September 16th in Wilmington, NC.  More information can be found at our facebook event page.  Hope to see you lovely looking kids there.
Justin B.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Melina's Studio Update 1: A Balancing Act

Preparing for a gallery show is something like the evolution of a tiny universe. It begins with coarse fragments that, alone, do not speak greatness. These are simply nondescript pieces that will eventually build upon one another to create something that speaks for itself.

Behind any given universe, a certain level of respect is demanded of the artist responsible for creating it. Sure, a pile of copper scraps doesn’t look like much, but an understanding of the potential of said scraps exists within the artist's mind. My approach to metalwork is this: evolution is both inevitable and is also my greatest ally. Following this mantra, you will never find me creating a blueprint for a finished product from, very literally, square one. Rather, I control the size of the initial chaos - the scraps - and allow inspiration to guide the rest.

It is my belief that as artists, we are vessels equipped with the ability to channel a creative energy outside ourselves in order to produce physical representations of that energy. Essentially, we are completing a circuit between initial inspiration and resulting piece. This is where respect is a powerful tool: our ability to listen is just as vital as our ability to control. To master individual artistic form, a balance is to be reached between the two, and each artist seeks unique methods to create it.

My own methods begin with respect for details, no matter how small. Sanding a 1/4" copper disk to perfection is just as important as doing the same to a 1 1/2" pendant. Both elements will play a vital role in their eventual universe. What's important is not to fear the minute detail's potential to go unnoticed. It is my experience that the smallest piece can have the largest impact, and learning to harness the immense energy packed into such a tiny element can be an incomparably powerful tool to an artist.

Equally as important in finding a balance between respect and control with regards to artistic evolution is utilizing the right tools. Sometimes, acquisition of the right tools can be very, very financially painful.

My newest purchase: Paragon SC2 Kiln
Take this kiln, for instance. Yes, it cost me a pretty penny, and yes, it sat in my virtual shopping cart for months before I finally built up the courage to press "purchase."

The truth is, if we are serious about what we do, we must sometimes make serious sacrifices and commitments to amplify our creative output. I like to think of this kiln as a megaphone for my artistic voice. It is the epitome of control and respect, as its results vary from firing to firing.

A process called "enameling" turns powdered glass to sheet glass on the surface of metal inside the kiln. These are the beginnings of my enameling workstation, where I have already learned that regular exercise of my persistence and patience muscles is yet another important method in finding artistic balance. The magic of a kiln is that its results can either be meticulously controlled via exact time/temperature documentation, or it can be freely operated in order to produce unique results upon each firing. Not surprisingly, I opt for the latter. With this freedom, however, comes a sizable margin of error.

One night, several hours of enameling resulted in a slew of dull orange-coated pieces. Annoying? Very. But lessons were learned: not all elements of metalwork can be guided by inspiration alone. Some require hours of research, be it physical testing or calling the enamel distributor and asking for help.
With persistence and patience comes balance.

Evolution of the same shade of transparent enamel. Success on right.

These methods only skim the surface of what will likely be a lifelong process of learning how to properly handle the balance of respect and control within my own artistic universe. In the meantime, I will be mindful of my progress from show to show, festival to festival, attempting to capture what balance I have gained with hopes to transfer it into each piece that I create. Most important is to know when to listen, and also, not to forget when to reward oneself for a hard day's work.

2 a.m. cookie session after a long studio day
Stay tuned for more updates from my fellow members of Atomic Lime Project. We will be hard at work the next three weeks preparing for our July 22 art opening at Bottega. If you missed the event on facebook, you can find it here. Til next time, internet.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Atomic Lime Project w/ Special Musical Guests Charlie The Horse

Check it out! Atomic Lime Project is proud to present our first ever collective exhibition. Come out to Bottega Art & Wine, located at 208 North Front Street, Wilmington NC, on July 22nd for the opening reception, featuring a special musical performance by members of Charlie The Horse. You can check out their music here: Also, if you're on the Facebook, let us know you're coming, by clicking here.

The show will be up from July 22nd to September 16th, so if you can't make it to the opening, drop by any time or come out to the closing to see all our work. We'd love to see your beautiful faces!

Stay tuned for some sneak peeks on the goings on at Suite 16 studios (our top secret headquarters) over the coming weeks.

Monday, May 23, 2011

An Honored Introduction by Melina Reed

Hi everyone! In light of my recent acceptance into the Atomic Lime Project family, I’d like to tell you all a bit about myself to get you more acquainted with me and my decision to join this incredible group of artists.

My name is Melina Margaret Reed, born to James Forrest Reed and Jonna Mary Reed on May 24, 1986. I am from a very small town just off the shore of Lake Erie known as Chardon, Ohio.
The average annual snowfall in Chardon is 106 inches. Scenes like this are not unusual between the months of October and April:

In my early adulthood, I decided that six months of snow were no longer beneficial to my state of mind. It was time to get the hell out of the cold in favor of warmer climates, which landed me here: - Wilmington, NC

As my body began to thaw in these warmer climates, my heart and mind followed suit. As a result, I have lived in North Carolina for nearly five years. I have since become a devoted student of English in pursuit of an eventual master’s degree in some written discipline (yet to be decided) in favor of teaching community college upon graduation. I owe that decision to my auspicious time at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, where I became passionate about writing under amazing professors such as Marlowe Moore, Dylan Patterson and Margo Williams. Also at CFCC, I cultivated my skills as a metalsmith under the tutelage of Melissa Manley. See her work here. The University of North Carolina in Wilmington has seen a continuation of that passion as I wrap up my final year of undergrad with plans to begin master’s work in the fall of 2012.

Since my aforementioned scholastic renaissance, I had been searching for an outlet with which to share my overflow of creative energy. To my delight, an incredible opportunity knocked in early 2011.

When the members of Atomic Lime Project approached me with interest in adding me to their collective, there was no deliberation as to what my answer would be (I believe it was “HELL YES!”, actually). I am honored to call myself a member of this group.

Atomic Lime Project represents something vital to an artistic community. Deep within the heart of every artist is a strong desire to tap into the universal rhythm of all other artists: to promote each other, to create together, to express ourselves as a collaborative whole in order to show the world our Truth. As we work together to invigorate, resuscitate, and revitalize the artistic community in Wilmington and the surrounding areas, we will become pillars of support for the artistic community. Sharing this role as a member of Atomic Lime Project is as epic for me as…. well, this moment:

I hope this doesn't require a caption...

Nonetheless, I will never forget my humble beginnings out of a corner of Marlowe Moore’s dance studio, where I worked for several months to produce all of the work that you see on my artist page.

My first studio: where it all began.

Looking to the future, I will dedicate much of my summer to cultivating what Atomic Lime Project is getting ready to launch in the coming months. Stay tuned to catch sneak peaks into the goings on at the Atomic Lime studio. Also, be prepared to hear from me regularly. In the words of Onward, Soldiers Sean Thomas Gerard: "I can't keep my thoughts to myself, my head's entirely open."