Tim Spelios


Born in Chicago in 1954, Tim Spelios grew up in Normal, Illinois. After receiving a BFA at the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign, he went to San Francisco where he met his wife, artist Caroline Cox. They soon moved to New York City together. Spelios has been playing drums, experimenting with sound, building sculpture and making collage from photographs and words on found printed matter since the 1970s. He and his wife Caroline ran the infamous Flipside gallery in Williamsburg for five years. Spelios has taught at the University of Illinois and Pratt institute. He had three solo exhibitions at Studio10 gallery in 2011, 2013 and 2016. For the last ten years he and Matt Freedman as "Endless Broken Time," a storytelling, drawing and drumming duo, performed regularly at Studio10 in Bushwick Brooklyn, and other art spaces and museums on the East Coast. Spelios has shown at University of Illinois, Chicago; LIU Brooklyn campus; Islip Art Museum; Lesley Heller Gallery; Exit Art; Five Myles; The Drawing Center; and has recorded on the Knitting Factory label and plays with David Weinstein in the duo "Impossible Music."


Project Description

Putting It All Together

The Tree of Life Grant would allow me to organize, archive and preserve my artwork from the last 45 years. Piles of almost assembled collages sit tucked away in scattered storage boxes and file drawers; this organized disarray has become the norm. More than half of my photo collages have not been completely finished, and are only loosely tacked together. They need to be slowly and carefully fastened down properly with archival glues and pressed flat. The individual pieces also need to be numbered and organized by date and size (there are thousands of collages). In addition, glassine interleaving sheets need to be cut and placed between individual works.

While weeding through a hoarders dream of cut out paper shapes, I will also create several one of a kind, handmade books. These books will be composed of tipped-in original collage from the last forty-five years. Some books will also include my cut and paste, fragmented word poems. Similar to the collage, the poems' individual words are culled from found printed matter. The artist book format is ideally suited for my work because the collage would not need to be enlarged or reduced from the actual size. The Tree of Life Grant would help pay for the archival backing paper and two sided rolls of archival adhesive, de-acidification materials, and numerous sizes of archival storage boxes. The grant would also allow me to acquire tools and materials for bookbinding and provide the time and money for bookbinding classes and research.