Friday, July 30, 2010

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

A World of Art via Video

Annenberg Media offers an exceptionally fine group of art-related videos on demand: "A World of Art: Works in Progress". Described as "a video instructional series on art appreciation for college and high school classrooms and adult learners", the selection of half-hour programs on contemporary artists should find favor with anyone interested in creativity and art-making, as well as critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving. The series, which covers painting (Hung Li, Judy Baca, Milton Resnick, June Wayne), photography (Lorna Simpson), multi-media (Lorna Simpson) sculpture (Beverly Buchanan), video (Bill Viola), and performance art (Goat Island, Guillermo Gomez-Pena), is educational without being stuffy or high-brow; it takes us directly to artists' studios and print-making facilities, and allows them to speak in their own words about their sources of inspiration, methods, techniques, and aspirations. The program on June Wayne, which I recently watched, was one of the very best I've seen. Enjoy! The time you invest is well-spent.

The series is produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Check this catalog to browse other offerings.

Call for Artists to Share Their Stories

NOTE: Wednesday of this week brought the sad news that Chris Al-Aswad, founder of and immensely talented powerhouse behind Escape Into Life, had died. His funeral is tomorrow in Chicago. Chris' sudden death came as a shock to all who knew him, both online and off. He had just turned 31 on July 16.

I told Chris several weeks ago that I was planning to post the brief item below. (I didn't have the heart to delete it today, because it represents how Chris used social media to bring attention to others through their own stories.) His reply was a typically Chris response: "Awesome. That means so much to me." As someone noted on Twitter yesterday, the first and last thing Chris always said was, "Thank you."

I knew Chris only in the virtual world. It was one to which he gave every day, all day, and what he gave is very real. I marveled at Chris' drive and energy, the demands he placed on himself to identify and feature the very best in the arts, especially the visual arts and poetry, the huge community of creative resources he built at Escape Into Life (he created it in 2009 to honor his late mother, Rosalind Al-Aswad, also an artist), his constant encouragement, unfailing politeness, and enormous store of knowledge. He was himself a very talented writer. He lived life with rare passion. (A very good interview he gave in late 2008 is here.)

Those who wish to offer condolences to Chris' family or share thoughts or memories may sign a Guest Book here or post to his FaceBook page.

* * * * *
If you're an artist, chances are you have a story to tell about your creative life — some "art history" to share or maybe a favorite technique or tool that aids your work. Escape Into Life is inviting all artists to contribute stories, as well as several images of artwork, to its online journal project: "Lives of the Artists". There's no deadline. The journal will be updated continually as your stories come in.

For the latest published autobiographies for "Lives of the Artists", go here.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, is showing works by influential American portraitist Alice Neel (1900 - 1984) in "Alice Neel: Painted Truths". This major retrospective, which continues through September 17, includes showings of a documentary about the artist that was directed by Alice Neel's grandson Andrew Neel, as well as a film by American-French video artist Michel Auder that shows Neel painting a pregnant nude. 

✭ D. Wigmore Fine Art, New York City, is presenting "Op Out of Ohio: Anonima Group, Richard Anuszkiewicz, and Julian Stanczak in  the 1960s" through September 3. 

The show of more than 30 paintings from 1959-1970 by Richard Anuszkiewicz, Julian Stanczak, and the Anonima Group's Ernst Benkert, Francis Hewitt, and Edwin Mieczkowski includes four paintings from the Museum of Modern Art's 1965 op art exhibition, the groundbreaking "The Responsive Eye". A New York Times review of the exhibition is here.

Image above left: Edwin Mieczkowski, "Iso-Local", 1965, acrylic on masonite, 24" x 24", signed, titled and dated verso; D. Wigmore Fine Art

Images for the MOMA's "The Responsive Eye"

Video, "The Responsive Eye, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (Mike Wallace narrates.)

Wikipedia's Op Art

✭ The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., is showing "June Wayne's 'Dorothy Series'" through September 13.  Wayne, a master printmaker who founded Tamarind Lithography Workshop, created in 1975-79 with Ed Hamilton of Hamilton Press a set of lithographic narratives about the life of her mother Dorothy Kline, a women's rights campaigner with a successful sales career (in corsets). In creating the series, Wayne used photographs, contents of scrapbooks, and such ephemera as a pair of heels and a handbag. 

A video of "The Dorothy Series" is available for single viewings on Wayne's Website

Wayne's "Palomar Series" is here. Other images of Wayne's extraordinary work is here.

Read "June Wayne Isn't About to Mellow Out" and view an audio slide show with Wayne (the latter includes her fabulous tapestries).

Tamarind, now a division of the College of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico, celebrates 50 years in September. Jim Dine has created several special commemorative prints. Tamarind's print inventory, by artist, is here.

✭ The Seattle Art Museum is exhibiting through August 29 "Everything Under the Sun: Photographs by  Imogen Cunningham". Be sure to watch the video on the exhibition page. For other current exhibits at the museum, go here.

✭ The American Craft Council show, the largest juried craft show in the West, opens in San Francisco August 13 at Fort Mason Center. It closes August 15. Details are here.

Prospect New Orleans

Contemporary art curator and writer Dan Cameron conceived and founded in 2007 U.S. Biennial, Inc., a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City whose express purpose is to contribute to New Orleans' revitalization by creating an infrastructure that supports and promotes art tourism: Prospect New Orleans. The idea, according to Cameron, is to "make Prospect New Orleans a model example of how art can promote social justice and be a catalyst for the revitalization of a historic American city." (In the video below, Cameron explains what the organization intends to accomplish. An Art:21 interview with Cameron is here.)

The organization's first  iteration of an art biennial, Prospect.1, described as the largest biennial of international contemporary art in the U.S., was held from November 2007 to January 2008. It attracted 42,000  visitors (22,000 from outside New Orleans) and generated more than $23 million in economic activity. Many of the works exhibited drew directly from New Orleans' culture and traditions. Prospect.2, for which Cameron is again the curator, is slated to open November 5, 2011, and run until February 3, 2012. It is expected to double the number of visitors and produce even greater economic and cultural benefits for the city. As with Prospect.1, the next biennial will seek to "galvanize local art creation and entrepreneurial activity"; it will showcase work of 62 artists from more than 20 countries, including 10 from New Orleans and 35 who are U.S.-based; each artist will be assigned a dedicated exhibition space in one of 16-20 venues around the city.

Cameron is also director of visual arts for New Orleans' Contemporary Arts Center, the principal venue for Prospect.1 and a site for group shows and solo exhibits by such artists as Luis Cruz Azaceta.

A more recent initiative is The Prospectors Club, created to provide a fundraising base and outreach support for Prospect.2. Its membership is limited to women who live in the greater New Orleans community who would like to become "arts ambassadors", promoting the biennial to residents and helping visiting artists and tourists feel welcome. Among planned Prospectors Club events is a tour of local artists' studios and curatorial lectures. (Complete details about the Club are available on Prospect's Website.)

In addition, anyone may join Friends of Prospect New Orleans, which offers a range of benefits, depending on membership levels.

Prospect New Orleans on Twitter

Prospect New Orleans on FaceBook

Dan Cameron Introduces Prospect New Orleans from Newgray Design & Consultancy on Vimeo.


Glynn said...

Maureen -- thank you for these updates and finds. I hate to hear about Chris al-Aswad -- but your words frame a kind and loving tribute.

Nancy said...

Hi Maureen, I didn't know about the series, "A World of Art: Works in Progress." Thanks for the alert. I plan to keep this link and return to watch several of the episodes.

M.L. Gallagher said...

So many treasures!

thank you -- and thank you for such a beautiful tribute to Chris al-Aswad.

Some time ago in a guided meditation I met up with myself at 87 -- I asked me what she had to tell me and she said -- The best is yet to come!

I'm looking forward to my June Wayne days! I loved her interview.

Pretty awesome.

Thanks once again Maureen for filling my world with such gems.

jenne said...

For the most part all any of us can do is to thank you profusely for the example you set with your dedication and selflessness in art, this blog, and life. You are an inspiration to me and many others. I didn't know about Chris and I'm sending a link to your blog to my brother. I'll make it a point to visit that site. I wanted to mention to you that you might enjoy my deceased cousin's work-- quilter Holley Junker, who died on Thanksgiving three years ago of breast cancer. xxxj

Maureen said...

Thank you all for visiting and commenting. I appreciate your generous words.

Jenne, your late cousin's work is so wonderful. I learned two of her quilts are in the Smithsonian American Art Museum here in D.C., although not of view. I was able to find some images via a Google search. What a loss to the artistic community.

S. Etole said...

I thank you, too, for bringing these remarkable people into our lives. I'm pondering the saying you left in your comment ...