Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday Short

Today's short is "Samurai Song", a Robert Pinsky poem read by its author to accompaniment of music. The video is part of Pinsky's "The Art of Poetry" online course on edX; Pinsky conducted the eight-week course in 2014 in conjunction with Boston University. Among others are the poems "Gina Samba", "The Hearts", "Antique", and "Street Music".

Friday, May 29, 2015

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Elegance is a distinguishing characteristic of the beautiful, sculptural forms created by Australia's Meredith Woolnough, who came to my attention via FaceBook. Woolnough uses embroidery or other  threads, pins, and glass rods on paper in a process all her own. Her work takes its inspiration from nature—ammonites, ginkgo, coral, ferns, leaves, water lilies—reflecting its beauty, fragility, and ephemerality. Imagine her work on the cover of a book! Woolnough's new work can be seen in a major exhibition opening in August at The Milk  Factory Gallery in Bowral, NSW. 

Meredity Woolnough on FaceBook

✦ A former bank in Chicago is slated to become Stony Island Arts Bank. Artist Theaster Gates, who is based in Chicago, paid the city $1.00 for the space, which will open during the Chicago Architectural Biennial (October 3, 2015-January 3, 2016) in which 60 international studios will participate.  Gates talks about his project in this video (filmed in 2012).

CAB on FaceBook

✦ Paper artist Helen Hiebert offers a highly affordable array of paper weavings. Don't miss her artists' books or the many interesting posts and videos on her blog.

Helen Hiebert on FaceBook and YouTube

✦ Smithsonian Libraries' Artists Books Collection is now online. It's a treasure!

✦ Spend some time in the natural world with fine printmaker Sarah Horowitz who, in addition to gorgeous prints and drawings, makes hand-printed and bound artists' books and collaborates with Tavern Books (one recent cover was for We Women by Edith Sodergran). Horowitz's imprint is called Wiesedruck. Watch an Oregon Art Beat profile of the artist. Horowitz's exceptional prints are available through Froelick Gallery, Portland, Oregon.

✦ The woven metal artworks of Michelle Mckinney are exceptional and exceptionally beautiful. McKinney, whose exhibition "Held" at Northcote Gallery, London, concluded in mid-April, recently began making "ghost editions" of her woven metal work; these are limited-edition, signed images; reimagined as negatives, they are printed with archival inks. They're eye-catching!

Michelle Mckinney on FaceBook

✦ InterVarsity Press has released J. Scott McElroy's Creative Church Handbook: Releasing the Power of the Arts in Your Congregation (2015). McElroy, founder of the nonprofit New Renaissance Arts Movement, addresses the use of live art, dance, media, film, and video; structuring and launching an arts ministry; establishing an artists-in-residence program in a church; working with outside artists; inspiring, empowering, and leading artists in church; interactive arts projects; and much more. 

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ In Washington, D.C., George Washington University's Luther W. Brady Art Gallery continues through July 17 "Art in the Making: A New Adaptation". The exhibition presents work by teachers and students of three New York City art institutions and their counterparts at GWU's Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. Work by Helen Frankenthaler, Jackson Pollock, Kit White, and others represents the New York City institutions; work by Gene Davis, Jules Olitski, and others represents the Corcoran School. 

Brady Gallery on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Porcelain installations drawing on nature and technology are featured in "Dawn Holder: Several Collections of Commemorative Plates", continuing through July 19 at Ft. Smith Regional Art Museum, Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Holder's interest is in "the ways local populations alter, cultivate, and mythologize the landscape around them." In creating her installations, she uses utilitarian light-switch plates and outlet covers, assembling them in repetitive grids and enveloping them in porcelain flowers, creating a striking contrast between what we use and consume and how it affects our lives. Images of Holder's Sunset (2104), Sunset (2014), Value Scape (2014), and Sprout (2015), Street View (Dream Homes) (2015), and Compendium of Arkansas Plants (2015) are at the exhibition link above.

FSRAM on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ The future as depicted in fantastic murals, digital prints, and drawings by Japanese pop artist Chiho Aoshima is cause to pause while visiting Seattle Art Museum's "Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World". The ticketed exhibition of dreamscapes, continuing through October 4, imagines both darkly and surrealistically the artist's vision(s) of how reality might look as the world grows older.

SAM on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ A show of contemporary artists — emerging, mid-career, and established — connected to Cleveland, Ohio, and cities in Pennsylvania and Michigan opens June 12 at Cleveland's Museum of Contemporary Art. On view through September 6, "How to Remain Human" is described as an expansive, immersive look, through a wide variety of media, of what it means to be of, acting in, and experiencing the world. A series of public programs complements the exhibition and a comprehensive catalogue with commissioned essays on each artist will be available for free download once the exhibition begins. Images may be viewed at the exhibition link.

MOCA Cleveland on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Opening today at Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, New Jersey, is "Michael Burris Johnson: Grid Paintings". The show, which continues through June 28, is part of the Monmouth's "NJ Emerging Artists Series". In his Artist Statement, Johnson says, "Each painting conjures an image from deep silent regions of existence, pulled from under the heart. There is an effort to find passage—beyond memory, past the senses' horizon—to pass through a rigid structure and hold in tact an honest affirmation of life."

See images of Johnson's Grids at his Website. Depicted in the promotional image above at Sisyphus (at left) and Patience. These are lovely oils on canvas.

Monmouth Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

Thursday, May 28, 2015

'The Trials of Spring'

Bread, freedom, social justice. . . These were the goals of the 2011 revolution known as Arab Spring. In director Gini Reticker's The Trials of Spring (Fork Films, 2015), a multimedia initiative comprising six shorts, the role and stories of women agitating for social change and civil rights in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria, are brought to vivid light. Below is the trailer for the film, whose world premiere takes place June 12 at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York.

The Trials of Spring on FaceBook

Human Rights Watch on FaceBook

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday Wonder: A Fly Geyser

Today's wonder is a fly geyser in Black Rock Desert in Nevada. It is, according to Friends of Black High Rock, human-made, the result of test drilling for water in 1964. The geothermal test well was not capped properly; calcium carbonate deposits left behind when scalding water issued forth then built up over the years. The colors are from algae on the deposits.

The video was taken from the sky, because the geyser is on private property. Even though is not a natural phenomenon, it's impressive and beautiful.

(My thanks to my friend Randall David Tipton for the links to the video and additional photos. A long version of a video of the geyser is available on YouTube. The Snopes site indicates the formation is five feet high and 12 feet wide.) 

Terrell Johnson, "The World's Most Amazing Places: Fly Geyser", Weather, June 18, 2013

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ballooning Arachnids (Poem)

Ballooning Arachnids

Refusing to walk on your own
eight legs, you spin eerie silk air
balloons as thin as microchips,
your tethered webs of angel's hairs
a billowing net criss-crossing
waterlogged landscape to shelter.

Your armies of earth cousins throw
up their snag lines by the thousands,
some catching your threads. Others,
escaping tunnels to ground level, drown,
strands stretched to breaking point.

Naturally, you travel a mode faster
than walking, currents lifting spinning
orbs dense as the deep black velvet
skins of your trampolining bodies.
You float for a while before pulling
the cords of your three-sided parachutes.

© 2014 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem is a response to this past week's news articles about the "rain" of millions of spiders in Australia's Southern Tablelands. The spiders'  linked webs produced a landscape that seemed to be covered in snow. The phenomenon observed is called "ballooning". It is truly a natural wonder. Read "The Science Behind Australia's Spooky Spider Rain" in The Washington Post, May 19, 2015. Articles also appeared in National Geographic magazine and The Oregonian, among other news and science publications.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Monday Muse: #readwomen2015 (3)

As I did in 2014, I am committed in 2015 to reading as many books by women as I can. Below are writers (some, such as Chana Bloch, Judith Ortiz Cofer, and Kate Schmitt, are new to me) I've read since the start of the year and recommend. Join in the project and share online and promote your titles using the hashtag #readwomen or #readwomen2015. 


✭ Mary Jo Bang, The Last Two Seconds: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2015)

✭ Chana Bloch, Swimming in the Rain: New and Selected Poems 1980-2015 (Autumn House Press, 2015)

✭ Barbara Crooker, Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press, 2015) Read my review.

✭ Claudia Emerson, late wife (Louisiana State University Press, 2005)

✭ Claudia Emerson, Opposite House: Poems  (Louisiana State University Press, 2015)

✭ Jeannine Hall Gailey, The Robot Scientist's Daughter: Poems (Mayapple Press, 2015)

✭ Jane Hirshfield, The Beauty: Poems (Knopf, 2015)

✭ Laura Kasischke, The Infinitesimals (Copper Canyon Press, 2014)

✭ Janet R. Kirchheimer, How to Spot One of Us: Poems (CLAL, 2007)

✭ Marge Piercy, Made in Detroit: Poems (Knopf, 2015)

✭ Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014)

✭ Wislaw Szymborska, Map: Collected and Last Poems (Hougton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)

✭ Donna Vorreyer, a house of many windows  (Sundress Publications, 2013)

✭ Nancy Willard, The Sea at Truro: Poems (Knopf, 2012)


✭ Dawn Potter, A Poet's Sourcebook (Autumn House Press, 2013)  Read my review

Essay Collections

✭ Jane Hirshfield, Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (Knopf, 2015)

✭ Jane Hirshfield, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (Harper Perennial, 1997)

Memoir, Autobiography, Biography

✭ Judith Ortiz Cofer, The Cruel Country (University of Georgia Press, 2015)

✭ Alexandra Fuller, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness (Penguin Books, 2012)

✭ Alexandra Fuller, Leaving Before the Rains Come (Penguin Press, 2015)

✭ Helen McDonald, H is for Hawk (Grove Press, 2015) 

✭ Kate Schmitt, Singing Bones (Zone 3 Press, 2014) Read my review.

✭ Tracy K. Smith, Ordinary Light: a Memoir (Knopf, 2015)


✭ Kelly Cherry, Twelve Women in a Country Called America: Stories (Press 53, 2015) Read my review.

✭ Rachel Cusk, Outline: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015)


✭ Sarah Helm, Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2014)

✭ Martha Hodes, Mourning Lincoln (Yale University Press, 2015)

True Crime

✭ Marcia M. Gallo, 'No One Helped': Kitty Genovese, New York City, and the Myth of Urban Apathy (Cornell University Press, 2015) (I use the category "True Crime" for convenience. This meticulously researched, highly readable book is about so much more than the crime committed in 1964. Note: The author uses in the book's Epilogue part of a poem I wrote about Kitty Genovese.)


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Thought for the Day

. . . You do some violence to private emotion
and private thought when you reduce [these]
to simplicities of public conversation.
~ David Brooks


Quoted from Interview with David Brooks in The Washington Post (Religion in Metro Section), May 9, 2015

David Brooks, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times, and Author

Brooks's most recent book is The Road to Character (Random House, April 2015). Visit The Road to Character Website.

David Brooks on FaceBook and Twitter

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saturday Short

Today's short, from KQED's "Deep Look" science series, explains how hummingbirds fuel up and fly. A high-speed camera was used to film the birds.

Additional information about hummingbirds is found at the KQED blog.

Friday, May 22, 2015

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Artist Rafael Rozendaal has a new project, Abstract Browsing, which uses a free Google Chrome plugin to turn Websites into colorful compositions that can be turned on or off instantly. Read Rozendaal's interview at DIS Magazine. See more of Rozendaal's Websites.

✦ Textiles, paper ephemera, paint, embroidery, and sometimes photographs are the principal materials for Laura Edgar's artworks. Edgar specializes in embellished fashion fabric design and offers a wide range of hand-made products. She also conducts workshops in textile arts.

Laura Edgar on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ Open a window into painters' palettes, a series, Das Meisterstuck, by Matthias Schaller.

✦ The Feather and Bone series (2013-2014) by mixed-media artist, surface design teacher, and author Jane Dunnewold of San Antonio, Texas, began, according to Dunnewold, as photographs. These beautiful assemblages invite a closer look. Also see her series The Lyrical Thread (2012), Etude (2011), and Sacred Planet (2009-2010). Visit Dunnewold's Gallery, too. Watch an informative talk Dunnewold gave in 2013 for The McNay Art Museum's "Artists Looking at Art" program. She addresses the importance of daily practice, as well as her process and techniques, what she calls "the projected story" that informs her art-making, and her deep appreciation of the natural world.

Jane Dunnewold on FaceBook

✦ The hour-long BBC documentary Moominland Tales: The Life of Tove Jansson is wonderful. Jansson (1914-2001) was a Finnish painter, illustrator, novelist, and comic strip author.

✦ My friend Randall David Tipton mentioned  Rick Bartow (Wiyot Tribe) in a post, and that sent me back to an Oregon Art Beat feature on the artist. If you don't know this wonderful artist's work, visit Froelick Gallery. Bartow's cedar sculpture commissioned for the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C., is We Were Always Here (2012) (see a photo here). Bartow's retrospective, "Rick Bartow: Things You Know but Cannot Explain", which features more than 100 of his works, continues through August 9 at Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon. A wide range of related programs are scheduled. Below is a short video from NMAI in which Bartow talks about his inspirations:

Bartow's Prints at Crow's Shadow

Exhibitions Here and There 

✭ "Shirin Neshat: Facing History" has opened at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. The exhibition, which runs through September 20, features Neshat's series of photographs Women of Allah, which first brought the artist to international acclaim; her lyrical and  mesmerizing video installations; and two monumental photographic series, The Book of Kings (2012) and Our House Is on Fire (2013). A catalogue of the same title as the exhibition (see image below), published by Studio A, Alexandria, Virginia, accompanies the show.

Catalogue Cover Art

Watch "Shirin Neshat: Art in Exile" on YouTube. Also watch Neshat's TED Talk.

Shirin Neshat Catalogue at Studio A on FaceBook (You'll receive a sneak peek at this link.)

Hirshhorn Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., continues through September 13 "The Memory of Time: Contemporary Photographs", a selection of work acquired by the museum with the Alfred H. Moses and Fern M. Shad Fund. Divided into five sections — "Traces of History", "Time Exposed", "Memory and the Archive", "Framing Time and Place", and "Contemporary Ruins" — the exhibition showcases 76 artworks from the early 1990s to the present. Among the 26 international artists featured are Idris Khan, Chuck Close, Adam Fuss, Carrie Mae Weems, Vera Lutter, and Uta Barth. Eleven images are available on the exhibition page. Carrie Mae Weems will deliver "The Diamonstein-Spielvogel Lecture" in September. A catalogue accompanies the show (see image below).

Catalogue Cover Art
Chuck Close, Kara, 2007

NGA on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Drawn from collections about ballet, modern dance, opera, musical theatre, comedy, dramatic theatre, and variety theatre, "Grand Illusion: The Art of Theatrical Design", continuing through July 25 in the Performing Arts Reading Room Gallery of the Library of Congress, presents finished renderings, works in progress, technical drawings, and designers' research materials on theatre production. Also featured are correspondence among designers and collaborators about scenery, costumes, and lighting. Some designers whose work is included are Robert Edmond Jones (1913-1943), Frederick Loewe (1901-1988), Tony Walton, and Boris Aronson.

LOC on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

The Textile Museum, at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., is presenting through August 9 "Unraveling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories". The largest exhibition in the museum's history,  the show features more than 100 textiles covering 2,000 years and five continents. Items on display including clothing, adornments, and fabrics with personal, cultural, political, and social implications. A print catalogue (see image below) is available as a downloadable digital publication (pdf).

Catalogue Cover Art

View online "Unraveling Identity" at ISSUU (an exhibition gallery guide) and "Identity Markers" (expanded label information).

The Textile Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and Tumblr

✭ Working with curators of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 13 museum outreach committees created a shortlist of artists who address nature as their subject matter. Work by the identified artists forms the fourth installment of NMWA's "Organic Matters—Women to Watch 2015", opening June 5 and continuing through September 13. Including the mediums of photography, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, and video, the exhibition features work by Dawn Holder, Jennifer Celio, Andrea Lira, Francoise Petrovitch, Jiha Moon, Goldschmied & Chairi, Lara Shipley, Rebecca Hutchinson, Mary Tsiongas, Rachel Sussman, Mimi Kato, Ysbel LeMay, and Polly Morgan. (Take time for these artists' Websites, which feature some superb work.)

NMWA on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Kay Juricek, Letter, Acrylic on Board, 10" x 12"
© Kay Juricek


You'll find me at Escape Into Life today, where I've posted a new Artist Watch column featuring the still lifes of Kay Juricek, of Denver, Colorado.

Inspired by the beauty of her garden and her many collections of cherished objects, such as seashells and glassware, Kay paints with an eye for colors and shapes. To view her work is to experience a moment of quiet and stillness.

My Artist Watch feature includes images of seven of Kay's still lifes, her Artist Statement, and a brief biography. 

Currently, Kay is studying with Denver painter and teacher Kevin Weckbach. She is a former student of renowned Nebraska landscape artist Keith Jacobshagen.

Kay Juricek's Website

Kay Jurick on FaceBook

Colorado Artists Guild