All Art Friday
The work of artists Terry Dixon and Robert Morris make up "Re-Enslavement Revisited", a mixed-media exhibit inspired by Douglas Blackmon's Pulitzer Prize-winning book Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (Anchor Reprint, Paper, 2009).
Part of the D.C. Public Library's celebration of Black History Month, the show opens February 1, at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (901 G St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001; 202-727-1213), and runs through the end of the month. The opening reception on February 1 is scheduled at 6:00 p.m.; the artists will be available to discuss their work.
Comprising mixed media and abstract digital images with acrylics, oils, pastels, and inks, the artwork offers a unique perspective on how African-Americans were forced to work for no remuneration during the period Blackmon covers in his book. "African Americans were re-enslaved through a systematic, corrupt and venal system that bought and sold men to corporate interests throughout the South," says Robert Morris. "The exhibition seeks to reawaken the souls of those who were never given proper burial, voice or acknowledgment of their unbridled suffering so clearly documented by Doug Blackmon." (Reproduced here with the artist's permission is Terry Dixon's "Re-Enslavement". Copyright © 2010 Terry Dixon)
Integral to the exhibition are video interviews with Blackmon that describe how government and judicial systems worked in tandem with industrial corporations to achieve re-enslavement.
Related activities during the exhibit include a slide show and talk with the artists, at 5:30 p.m. on February 23, and a talk and book sale-and-signing by Blackmon at 6:00 p.m. on the same evening.
Born in Washington, D.C., Terry Dixon lives and works in the greater Chicago area. Art comes to him naturally; his mother is an artist and his father was an advertising director. Dixon received his B.F.A. from the Atlanta College of Art and his M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He describes his art as interdisciplinary, an integrated mix of abstracted painting, photography, computer art, video, and electronic music. His painting style, he says on his Website, is "sometimes aggressive and sporadic and then slows down to a smooth sense of control." Even line and brushstroke, he adds, is "a free flowing idea" deeply rooted in sight and sound, especially jazz, and influenced by African art and culture, as well as political and social issues.
Featured in the May 2, 2005, American and European editions of BusinessWeek magazine's homage to "Photography's Golden Age", Dixon was cited as one of the next up-and-coming artists to consider collecting. He was singled out for his techniques of combining photography with abstract painting.
Exhibition work by Georgia artist Robert Morris includes "Long March", Baylane", and "Middle Passage". The latter mixes acrylic on gesso board with news articles from the era announcing the arrival of slave ships sailing into the Savannah harbor. Unfortunately, Morris does not have a Website; however, images of both "Baylane" and "Middle Passage" can be viewed here by scrolling to the bottom of the page.
This is superb work that addresses a deeply unsettling period in America's history.
A multi-part PBS series based on Blackmon's book is being developed by National Productions and is slated to broadcast in 2011.
You have just tonight and tomorrow to catch the last two performances of Incorruptible! by the Spot-LYTE Company (Lorton Youth Theatre Ensemble), the resident theatre company at the Workhouse Arts Center, Lorton, Virginia. A comedy set in the Dark Ages in France, Incorruptible! tells the dark tale of French monks struggling to save their monastery from economic ruin and themselves from an onslaught of lies, thievery, and mistaken identities. Show time is 8:00 p.m. Ticket information is here.
Three exhibits continue at the McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, Virginia: New Synergy: Sculpture by Nicole Fall, Terry Schupbach-Gordon: Artist Books, Prints and Drawings from Catbird (on the Yadkin Press), and New Works by Gretchen Schermerhorn. All three shows run through March 6. Additional information is here.
Transhuman Conditions opens tonight at Arlington Arts Center; the reception is 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. The exhibit, which runs until April 3, features the work of 10 artists (from Maryland, Virginia, New York, Texas, Canada, and the United Kingdom) who have been asked to think about the future of the human body. The catalogue for the show includes essays by Joel Garreau, senior writer for The Washington Post and author of Radical Evolution, and curator Jeffry Cudlin.
February at The Phillips Collection is for lovers of Georgia O'Keeffe. In addition to the exhibition of more than 100 of O'Keeffe's works, three related programs with curators are scheduled. On February 3, 5:30 p.m., Emily Fisher Landau, director of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum joins museum curator Barbara Buhler Lynes and Elizabeth Hutton Turner, University of Virginia professor and vice provost for the arts, for a behind-the-scenes look at how the exhibition was created. On February 11, at 6:30 p.m., Turner returns for a discussion about O'Keeffe's approach to abstraction as a method. Then on February 18, at 6:30 p.m., Ruth Fine, curator of special projects in modern art, National Gallery of Art, discusses O'Keeffe's early charcoal drawings, watercolors, and pastels. All three talks are free to members.
The film I Remember Better When I Paint, recorded in part at The Phillips Collection, will be screened on February 13 at 2:00 p.m. Filmmaker Berna Huebner will lead a discussion of the documentary, which provides testimonials about the positive effects of at on the quality of life of Alzheimer's patients.
Applications for the 2010 Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards competition are available now. Better known as the Trawick Prize, the annual juried competition offers $14,000 in awards, including $10,000 for first prize. Details are here.
Museums and More
If you enjoy museums, be sure to take a look at MuseumStuff. Lists are organized by dozens of art, history, and science subjects.
Inspirations for Art and Craft for Aid to Haiti
Design Sponge shows you how to make fabric-covered buttons to show your support for Haiti. The buttons carry the message, "Help Haiti".
Some other art-related ideas are:
✝ HaitiHouses ~ This is an art project for children who want to raise money for Haiti.
✝ Art Creation Foundation for Children ~ This is a nonprofit arts organization for the education and personal growth of children in need in Jacmel, Haiti. Jacmel was hard-hit by the January 12 earthquake. (An article and UNICEF Radio conversation with an aspiring artist served by the foundation is here.)