Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tara S remembers Kurt...

Kurt was my best friend in high school. We attended Huntington Beach High school together. He was a year ahead of me. We spent almost every day hanging out..I had a crush on him. But he just liked me as a friend. And that was fine. I remember him showing me one of his first drawings he'd done as a small child, of a house burning. It was beautiful, of course. I have so many memories of amazing adventures we had, breaking into the old power plant on First St. in Seal Beach. There we found amazing old rusted cogs and bolts. We used those in art projects. We made up stories and puppet shows. We cooked together. Too many stories to tell. The picture of him at the prom is with Kathy Raines, whom he absolutely loved. She was one of a set of twins, Kathy and Karen, who were also dear friends... I have been looking for Kurt for years. The last time I saw him was when he was living in some big house in Long Beach and I remember he was really getting into drumming at that time. We had grown apart, as I was living in Hollywood. I have a few photos of Kurt, I will try to find them and scan them--sitting on the lawn at Huntington Beach High School. It says on this site that he went to Marina. But that was only his first year. Then he transferred to H.B.U.H.S. I kind of thought that he'd passed on, as I was unable to find him. But now that I've found this site and have confirmation I feel very sad to think he didn't live a long life. I would have loved to introduce him to my sons. I'm in shock.

-- Tara Strohmeier

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A sonic slice out of time, Kurt's Jam, 28 March 1987... and a bit more

Kurt's Jam  

For a few years in the mid-late 1980s, Kurt hosted a loose -- make that wild and woolly  -- series of extremely informal jam sessions in his old live/work space on Anaheim Street in Long Beach. This track is the first of likely many we will be posting in coming months as we work through the big box of cassettes that Kurt left behind...

This very rough, super lo fi, totally improvised jam session was recorded on a crummy boombox in March of 1987. Kurt was playing drums and joined by Michael Tracy, Steve Becker, Richard Black, Don Green, and TK Major.

Do the Dance with Me

You can download different formats from this track's home on the Internet Archive: http://www.archive.org/details/KurtsJam-DoTheDanceWithMe

Another slice...

This track is a bit less chaotic than the first track from Kurt's Jam... it's a (still quite informal) multitrack recording that features Kurt playing two passes of various percussion instruments, with TK Major supplying guitars, vocals, and keyboards.

13th Bar Blues

You can download your own copy from the Internet Archive: http://www.archive.org/details/13thBarBlues

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New images! New gallery!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Now that time has passed and all we are left with of Kurt are our fading memories and his artwork, the art takes on new meaning. His passing didn't change the way people who never knew him will view his artistic output, but for those of us who had the singular experience of knowing this person, we all have new eyes with which to see Kurt's drawings.

This new perspective comes partly from the realization that now there is an ending to the narrative each work contains. I think that even friends of his who don't have any particularly academic critical skills can sense the narrative nature of even the most abstract of his images. Something about Kurt's need to voice his opinion; his ease of entertaining the group; his very being as a form of essential storytelling. He would blossom when given a soapbox or a stage. This all manifests as a structured theatricality in the work; as though he were directing you through the layers of meaning, in a specific order of unveiling: beginning, middle, and now, end.

The other thing we see now as opposed to then, us who knew him, is that there will finally be no recognition during his life; one of those promises which always lay just ahead, even in the waning years. Somehow this was always something which flitted around like so many of the other strands of his life and had an effect even after it was apparent it would never be realized. We all knew his talent could have given him a career if he had been someone else with the same gift and just a little ambition, a quality he railed against with his whole being.

So these drawings now simply just exist. Free of even the artist himself who had protected them so fervently. And yes, that is what they all are: drawings. Even the ones that had been painted on contain at least some fine lines in pencil, crayon or pastel. The spidery lines which make up the lacework of the compositions echo his seeming tenuousness, yet they gesture and combine to boldly claim the only ambition he took seriously: making his marks matter in a primal and effortless way. Whether beating a drum or covering a page in lines and images, it is the statement that the integrity of the thing itself is its singularly meaningful value as if assigning any further value robs it of this integral power and immediacy. Kurtism.

-- David Bradshaw, September 8, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kurt Schnyder's ART SHOW November 6th 2009 Fort Myers Florida


Kurt started making art very early. As a small child, he was discovered rummaging through wastebaskets, looking for objects to incorporate into fanciful creations. Coloring books and the usual children’s art supplies were of no interest to him.

In elementary and high school, teachers recognized his talent and wanted to track his progress. He resisted, seeming to regard this as an attempt to categorize him and somehow capture and limit his art.

In college, he accepted the guidance of and association with his art instructors and at least one of them remained a life-long friend. For one school art show, he enlisted his brother to help him throw sand on strips of lath nailed to a wall (and, presumably, to help clean it up).

Kurt had no interest in pursuing a degree in art because he feared university training would attempt to channel his creativity. Instead, he worked as a house painter, decorator, and muralist and continued to make art. He seemed driven to explore and master every artistic medium he could.

Music was another field he enjoyed; even his cooking sometimes employed sophisticated techniques developed on his own. He was a graceful, agile, and daring athlete who loved to entertain children and who carried a childlike sense of fun and wonder throughout his life.

Kurt hated to part with his art and never considered a work finished. This show is the one way his friends and family can finally share the art of Kurt Schnyder.

We hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kurt died one year ago today. I still find myself including him in vague plans for the future, but I have to content myself with memories. I am very aware of the powerful influence he has had on me and many other people, and I am grateful for it. In so many ways I am what I am because of who he was. There was no one like him. What a guy...

-- Michael Tracy

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Thirty years ago Kurt shared his talents with me in a band...

Thirty years ago Kurt shared his talents with me in a band, recording and performing in Long Beach and Orange County.

He played hand drums. I was the girl singer. Kurt was a Bohemian. I was not, and didn't even play at it all that well. No matter. When we sang and played together it was all good.

I'm honored to have been able to share his vivaciousness and talent for that moment in time.

-- Dianna (D.J.) Gould-Saltman