Wednesday, May 31, 2017

'The Art of Listening' (Music Documentary)

Directors Michael Coleman and Emmanuel Moran have produced a documentary, The Art of Listening (2017), that takes us on a sound journey during which some 40 composers, singers and songwriters, sound engineers, and producers talk about making music. A soundtrack and complete list of participants are available at the film link above.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

'The Cracked Jug' (Videopoem)

Inspired by an ancient Mesopotamian jug in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England, the videopoem The Cracked Jug, directed by Suzanne Cohen, is based on a poem by Shakira Morar. The narrator of the film, Morar, from Headington School, Oxford, was the 17-year-old overall winner of the 2016 Poetry for Peace project. 

Created by Oxford poet Jenny Lewis and Iraqi poet Adnan al-Sayegh, the Poetry for Peace project seeks to promote improved relationships between English-speaking and Arabic-speaking communities. More than 60 students ages 11 - 17 were involved in the 2016 project, in addition to The Poetry Society, the Ashmolean Museum, the Foreign Office, and the Commonwealth Office. Morar's poem and four others have been translated into Arabic and will be published by the Foreign Office in the Poetry for Peace 2016 Anthology.

The poetry film was produced by The Poetry Society, a 4,000-member arts organization representing British poets and poetry nationally and internationally.

"The Place for Film in Poetry", Jenny Lewis Website, January 18, 2017

The Poetry Society on YouTube and Vimeo

The Poets House Oxford on FaceBook

Adnan al-Sayegh on FaceBook

Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday Muse Asks Did You Know?

Today's post is another in a periodic series featuring items about artists, writers, poets, and poetry that you may or may not know.

Did You Know . . .

✦ The Women of Appalachia Project published in March 2017 Women Speak: Spoken Word Selections from Throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia (see image below). The chapbook presents work by 25 poets, storytellers, and musicians.

✦ Oklahoma's new state Poet Laureate is Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Ph.D. She succeeds Nathan Brown (2015-2016). In addition to being a poet, Mish is an essayist and short fiction writer, as well as a literary scholar. She is a contributing editor for Oklahoma Today magazine and Sugar Mule: A Literary Journal; editor for Mongrel Empire Press; and director of The Red Earth Creative Writing M.F.A. program at Oklahoma City University. The award-winning writer's most recent poetry collection is What I Learned at the War (West End Press, 2016).

Jeannetta Calhoun Mish Website

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish on FaceBook

James D. Watts Jr., "ARTS: Jeanetta Calhoun Mish Named State Poet Laureate", Tulsa World, March 24, 2017

✦ Salt Lake City's Paisley Rekdal has been appointed Poet Laureate of Utah. She succeeds Lance Larsen (2012-2016). The creator and editor of Mapping Salt Lake City, a nonprofit community project based on Rebecca Solnit's Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (University of California Press, 2010), the award-winning Rekdal, who also is an essayist, memoirist, and nonfiction writer,  teaches at the University of Utah. Her most recent poetry collection is Imaginary Vessels (Copper Canyon Press, 2016) (see image at left). Forthcoming is Rekdal's book-length essay The Broken Country: On Trauma, a Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam (University of Georgia Press, September 2017).

Paisley Rekdal on FaceBook and Twitter

Paisley Rekdal Profiles at Academy of American Poets and Poetry Foundation

"U. English Professor Named Utah Poet Laureate", Deseret News, May 1, 2017

University of Arizona Poetry Center, "Bookmarked: Paisley Rekdal", February 1, 2017

✦ The marvelous and beloved illustrator Maurice Sendak, who died five years ago (1928-2012), credited children's achievement of catharsis through fantasy as "the best means . . . for taming Wild Things. It is my involvement with this inescapable fact of childhood—the awful vulnerability of children and their struggle to make themselves King of All Wild Things—that gives my work whatever truth and passion it may have." (Maurice Sendak,  Caldecott Medal Acceptance Speech, 1964)

Sendak's famous book Where the Wild Things Are was titled originally Where the Wild Horses Are. While he could draw Wild Things, he had to admit to his editor  that "the whole horse thing wasn't going to work out." (Stacy Conradt, "10 Things You Might Not Know About Maurice Sendak", Mental Floss, February 18, 2015)

✦ The nearly 11,000-square-foot American Writers Museum opened May 16 in Chicago, Illinois. Among its multimedia installations is the Word Waterfall and The Surprise Bookshelf, and a wall of quotations with an interactive "do-it-yourself dialogue generator". The galleries include "A Nation of Writers" and "The Mind of a Writer". (Jennifer Schuessler, "An Everyman Museum to Celebrate American Writers", The New York Times, May 8, 2017)

American Writers Museum on FaceBook and Instagram

✦ According to A Decade of Arts Engagement: Findings From the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, 2002-2012 (National Endowment for the Arts, NEA Research Report #58, January 2015), 6 percent of American adults did creative writing in 2012, while 15 percent had taken a creative writing class or lesson. The proportion of the U.S. adult population that read poetry in 2012 was 6.7 percent, down from 8.3 percent in 2003 and 12.1 percent in 2002. Women (8 percent) were more likely than men (5.2 percent) to have read poetry.

✦ Locust Grove, Oklahoma, is the headquarters of the nonprofit Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry (ROMP). Its "Poems in the Pasture" project, described as "a walking meditation and poetry-writing or thinking or reading exercise in the field next to the museum", features a small labyrinth mowed into the field that includes "stops along the way to read poetry, consider various ideas, write and enjoy the natural world." The museum offers exhibits and a variety of events. Next-door is a Poet's Retreat space.

✦ Since November 8, 2016, the Langston Hughes poem "Let America Be America Again" has been viewed at least 280,000 times on the Academy of American Poets Website. (Alexandra Alter, "American Poets, Refusing to Go Gentle, Rage Against the Right", The New York Times, April 21, 2017) 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Thought for the Day

From now on, my mind's autumn!
~ Robert Lowell

Quoted from Second Stanza of "The Ruined Garden" in Imitations (1961) in Robert Lowell Collected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), Frank Bidart and David Gewanter, Eds., page 238

Robert Lowell (1917-1977), American Poet, Translator, Playwright; U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poery to Library of Congress, 1947-1948; Winner, Pulitzer Prize, 1947 and 1974; Winner, National Book Award, 1960

Helen Vendler, "The Two Robert Lowells", The New York Review of Books, April 20, 2017

Max Liu, "Robert Lowell at 100: Why His Poetry Has Never Been More Relevant", The Guardian (Books Blog), March 2017

Frederick Seidel, "Robert Lowell, The Art of Poetry No. 3" (Interview), The Paris Review, Winter-Spring 1961

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday Short

Today's short is Mike Olbinski's Pulse. The time-lapse, shown at this year's TED2017 Film Festival, captures the remarkable power of a storm.

Mike Olbinski Website

Mike Olbinski Photography on FaceBook and Instagram

Friday, May 26, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Invented by Danish artist Thomas Wilfred, Lumia is "a form of light art that looks like textured smoke," explains Louis M. Brill at his blog Sacred Lumia. Brill's own light art can be seen at Lumia Vista Art Gallery. Brill's Artist Statement also can be found there.

✦ Dallas, Texas-based photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales has produced a remarkable series of images of sites along the Underground Railroad, 100 of which are collected in Through Darkness to Light | Photographs Along the Underground Railroad (Princeton Architectural Press, 2017). The 192-page photographic essay, which visually documents a 1,400-mile path, features 100 color and 13 black-and-white illustrations, as well as a foreword by Andrew J. Young and a brief history of the Underground Railroad by Fergus M. Bordewich. The dark and haunting series, selections of which have appeared in online and print publications, is traveling throughout the United States and Canada through January 2022. (The exhibition comes to Griot Museum of Black History, St. Louis, from June 16 to August 11.) A generous set of the images has been reproduced in Claire Voon's Hyperallergic article "Photos Evoke the Terror and Hope of the Underground Railroad" (April 25, 2017). Also see the photographs on Michna-Bales's Website and at LensCulture.

Cover Art

Jeanine Michna-Bales on FaceBook

Traveling Exhibition Information

✦ Visual artists in the United Kingdom have formed the Artists' Union England.

✦ The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, is the recipient of more than 100 sculptures, 150 works on paper, thousands of photographs, and a New York City loft apartment from the estate of pop artist Marisol (1930-2016). Read Colin Dabkowski's article in The Buffalo News, "Famed Pop Artist Marisol Leaves Vast Estate to the Albright-Knox" (April 25, 2017).

✦ Native American artist Starr Hardridge (Muscokee Creek Nation), appearing in the exhibition "Return from Exile" (see Exhibition roundup below), uses pointillism and beadwork to create his beautiful work (view his portfolio), which also includes figurative "stories" and allegorical abstractions. His artwork can be purchased through Blue Rain Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

✦ Below is the trailer for the documentary Blurred Lines: Inside the Art World, featuring such artists as Marina Abramovic, Rashid Johnson, and Taryn Simon. For more information, read Alina Cohen's "A Documentary Introduction to the Art World, With Star Power and Obvious Ideas" at Hyperallergic.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ The traveling exhibition "A Dangerous Woman: Subversion and Surrealism in the Art of Honore Sharrer", featuring 45 paintings as well as sketches, prints, drawings, photographs, and ephemera from the figurative artist's archive, opens June 30 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and continues through September 3. The exhibition, which closed May 21 at Ohio's Columbus Museum of Art, then goes to Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, where it can be seen from September 21 through January 7, 2018. A 176-page catalogue, featuring a critical reassessment of Sharrer (1920-2009), 125 color illustrations, and an introduction by the artist's son Adam Zagorin, is available.

Catalogue Cover Art

PAFA on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ Contemporary Southeastern art by Native Americans can be seen in "Return from Exile", a traveling exhibition now on view through August 11 at Cherokee Heritage Center, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Thirty-two Native artists are in the show (see 50 images of the artists' work), which addresses the themes of removal, return, and resilience and resistance. 

In the video below, one of 15 in which participating artists talk about their work, ceramicist Mel Cornshucker (Cherokee), of Tulsa, Oklahoma, talks about his background and his work Oklahoma — We're OK. Cornshucker works in stoneware, porcelain, and raku clay.

Exhibition Schedule

Cherokee Heritage Center on FaceBook

✭ Drawing on its extensive cultural collections, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin is presenting through July 16 "Stories to Tell", featuring more than 250 items, including manuscripts by David Foster Wallace, Julia Alvarez, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Henri Matisse's Jazz; the spirit photographs of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; and the hat accompanying the green "curtain" dress that Vivien Leigh wore in the film Gone With the Wind. Watch a video preview of the exhibition.

Ransom Center on FaceBook and YouTube

✭ Currently on view at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center, Washington, D.C., is "Together: The Work of Paula Ballo Daily and Brian Dailey", the second installment of an annual exhibition focusing on an artist's or artists' responses to living life with cancer. On display are Paula Ballo Dailey's found object/mixed-media sculpture, watercolors, and selected journal entries (Paula Ballo Dailey died in 2016), as well as Brian Dailey's mixed-media works responding to the loss of his wife. An artist and curator talk takes place May 31, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the gallery. The exhibition concludes June 24.

Pictured in the exhibition announcement above (from left): Self-Portrait, Adrift — Notes of a Woman, and The Innocent, all by Paula Ballo Dailey.

Joan Hisaoka Gallery at Smith Center on FaceBook and Instagram

✭ There's still time to see "Rafael Soriano: The Artist as Mystic" at McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts. On view through June 4 are more than 90 paintings, pastels, and drawings organized to show Soriano's works in the Cuban geometric abstract style; his transitional, experimental paintings from the 1960s and 1970s; and his mystical paintings from his mature period. A selection of images is available at the exhibition link above. A bilingual (English-Spanish) catalogue with contributions from American, Cuban-American, and Cuban scholars accompanies the show. The exhibition travels to the Long Beach Museum of Art in June and to the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University in October.

Catalogue Cover Art

Rafael Soriano (1920-2015)

Read "Soriano Rediscovered: The Artist as Mystic" in Cuban Art News. (The article features an interview with curator Elizabeth Goizueta.) Also see "From Cuba to the Cosmos with Rafael Soriano" in Boston Globe.

McMullen Museum of Art on FaceBook and Instagram 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Catching Up With Artist Watch Artists 6

Following is the sixth in a periodic series about the careers and recent activities of artists I have showcased in my monthly Artist Watch column at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life. Congratulations to all on their many noteworthy successes!

✦ Tina Spratt, Somerset, England (December 17, 2015, Artist Watch) ~ Tina's gorgeous painting Slumber was selected for the 12th International ARC Salon Exhibition at New York's Salmagundi Club (May 12 - June 1); the show travels to the MEAM Museum, Barcelona, Spain this fall (September 23 - November 27). Tina's was one of 82 contemporary realist works selected from 3,100 entries from 63 countries. Tina's Cocooned was pre-selected to appear in the "Figurativas 17" exhibition at MEAM.

✦ Amy Pleasant, Seattle, Washington (May 19, 2016, Artist Watch) ~ Amy's paintings can be seen through May 30 in "A Humble Gathering: Kelsey Willis and Amy Pleasant" at the Dallas Public Library.

✦ Maggie Matthews, West Cornwall, England (September 17, 2015, Artist Watch) ~ Maggie's Painting the Seasons collection goes on view at Cornwall Contemporary from July 5 to July 31.

✦ Alexandra Eldridge (January 19, 2017, Artist Watch) ~ The contemporary Nuart Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, is host to Alexandra Eldridge's solo exhibition "the land of dreams is far better", opening tomorrow and continuing through June 11. Alexandra's poetical images (the exhibition title comes from a line by William Blake and the works are inspired by a Carl Jung metaphor) are composed of venetian plaster, collage, and photographs printed from vintage glass negatives.

Alexandra Eldridge, The Witness Bird
Mixed Media on Panel
30" x 40"

✦ Kazaan Viveiros, Washington, D.C., Area (May 15, 2014, Artist Watch) ~ Kazaan was commissioned to do a portrait of German singer-songwriter Bernhard Karakoulakis (aka Boo Hoo) for the cover of his 2017 album Lushly. (See the Commissions section of Kazaan's Website for more information about the CD cover.) Kazaan's new series of acrylics on paper is Circlescapes. (Also see Kazaan's page at Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, Virginia.)

Lushly CD
Cover Art by Kazaan Viveiros

✦ Elke Vogelsang, Hildesheim, Germany (August 18, 2016, Artist Watch) ~ Elke recently celebrated her sixth anniversary of her business as a photographer.

✦ Noel Paine, London, England; Vienna, Austria (August 20, 2015, Artist Watch) ~ Noel is exhibiting a selection of his recent, smaller paintings and new drawings in "Evolving Moments" at Gallery 54, Mayfair, London. The show closes June 3. Noel also has made available images of some of his work for duvet covers and iPhone case covers. His images also appear on towels, mugs, pillows, and other products.

✦ Page Turner, Roanoke, Virginia (October 16,  2014, Artist Watch) ~ Page will be exhibiting in "Immediate Present", a group art show, at the Mormon Arts Center Festival, New York City, from June 29 to July 1. The exhibition of paintings, photography, video installation, and sculpture features contemporary LDS artists represented in the permanent collection of the Church History Museum.

✦ Salma Arastu, Berkeley, California (January 16, 2014, Artist Watch) ~ Salma presented "My Journey towards God through my Art" on May 13 at the Pacifica Institute, Albany, California. Her work is featured at the Your True Greetings company, which uses her paintings and calligraphy to serve the needs of Muslim communities in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

✦ Sophie Ploeg, South Gloucestershre, United Kingdom (November 19, 2015, Artist Watch) ~ Sophie's painting The Guest was selected for the annual exhibition of the Society of Women Artists, Mall Galleries, London, July 4-9. Read the details.

Sophie Ploeg, The Guest
Oil on Linen
61 cm x 46 cm (24" x 18")

In addition, Sophie's painting The Tapestry was selected for the summer exhibition of the Bath Society of Artists. See the show through July 15 at Victoria Art Gallery.

Links to all the artists' Websites can be found in their respective EIL column.

If you've been featured in Artist Watch and are interested in sharing your accomplishments, please drop me a line periodically.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday Artist: William Kentridge on Time

[M]oments of coherence, of understanding and changing
the world, [are] the most we can hope for.
~ William Kentridge

Five years ago, South African draughtsman, sculptor, and filmmaker William Kentridge created a fascinating, immersive, five-channel installation, The Refusal of Time (2012). Synchronized video projections show live action, animation, and dance; audio feeds comprise both music and sound; a kinetic sculpture (dubbed "the elephant") "breathes". Visual images and megaphones also are featured.

As Kentridge explains in the video below, the piece visualizes time while at the same time upsetting our notions of how we mark time's passage. The installation "uses the metaphors scientists use when they're doing their deepest thinking about time." It is not, however, "a scientific lesson in time"; rather, Kentridge says, "It's much more about to what extent do we escape our fate? To what extent are we heading towards our fate[,] whether we like it or not? Can we change the world on our way or is this all illusory?" The Refusal of Time references not only the science and the philosophy of time but also colonial wars and revolts, cinematic history, Einstein's theory of relativity, Greenwich Mean Time, and South African theatre. 

Kentridge was interviewed by Christian Lund when the artist's work, a joint acquisition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, opened in February of this year at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, where it continues on view through June 18. Featured in the video are excerpts from Making Time, Catherine Meyburgh's 2011 film about the creation of The Refusal of Time.

An artist whose work is exhibited internationally and found in museum collections throughout the world, Kentridge is well-known for his animated films based on charcoal drawings. A printmaker, he also works in photography, collage, and books; designs stage sets; and has produced and directed opera. A witness to the dismantling in the 20th Century of apartheid in South Africa, Kentridge uses art to explore such subjects as time's expansion and contraction, colonialism and totalitarianism, and the consequences of political control and oppression. Among Kentridge's most recent projects is the Centre for the Less Good Idea, an arts foundation in Johannesburg, South Africa, that he describes as a "safe space for uncertainty, doubt, stupidity and, at times, failure." (Read Cristina Ruiz's article "Kentridge Opens Johannesburg Space for Artists to Learn by Failing" in The Art Newspaper, April 13, 2017.)

The publication William Kentridge | The Refusal of Time (Editions Xavier Barral;Har/Bklt, 2013) is available through booksellers.

William Kentridge at Art21 and Barbara Krakow Gallery

William Kentridge on The Refusal of Time at SFMoMA. The installation was shown at the museum from December 16, 2016, through April 2, 2017. The video was produced by the Metropolitan Musuem of Art.

Watch a video on the SFMoMA Website that shows how Kentridge reworks charcoal drawings to create stop-motion animations. Also see the YouTube video Pain & Sympathy, from Art21, in which Kentridge discusses how artists draw on tragedy as subject matter and how the act of drawing can itself be an act of compassion.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

'Night Court' (Videopoem)

Poet Erica Goss recently made her second videopoem, Night Court, below, doing all of the filming, recording, and editing over two weeks. The poem is from her collection of the same name, which received Glass Lyre Press's 2016 Lyrebird Award. 

Goss, former Poet Laureate of the City of Los Gatos, California (2013-2016) and widely published, also is the author of the chapbook Wild Place (Finishing Line Press, 2012) and Vibrant Words: Ideas an Inspirations for Poets (Pushpen Press, 2014).

(My  thanks to  Dave Bonta, who posted the videopoem to his Moving Poems Website.)

Another version of "Night Court", created by Marie Craven and narrated by Nic Sebastian, can be seen at Gnarled Oak online.

Erica Goss on FaceBook

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Muse: Poet Melissa Green

[M]y battle to find language again after a series
of shock treatments destroyed my attachment to it....
~ Poet Melissa Green

A lover of poetry since childhood, Melissa Green also suffered depression at approximately two-year intervals. In 2013, she decided to have a dozen shock treatments and for four years thereafter "had no language"—and no memory of having written anything. In Conversation with Melissa Green (Penny Ante Productions), below, by Green's friend Melissa Shook, the poet describes what it took to "put things back together after [they'd] been destroyed" so that she could "become a poet again." With strength and determination, Green found her way through mental illness and what she suffered because of her shock treatments by making things with her hands and doing what she had never done before. 

Green, who studied with the great Derek Walcott and Joseph Brodsky while in a masters program at Boston University, is the recipient of a Lavan Award (Academy of American Poets) and a Norma Farber Award (Poetry Society of America, 1989). She lives in Massachusetts.

(My thanks to Cynthia Haven's blog, The Book Haven, where I first saw the documentary short and discovered Green's wonderful poetry.)

Poetry by Melissa Green

Magpiety: New & Selected Poems (Arrowsmith Press, 2015) (Read Janeil Page's review, "Why Magpiety? Because the Poet Has So Much More to Say", at Consequence magazine. M. Lock Swingen's review is available at Rain Taxi.)

The Marsh Poems

Fifty-Two (Arrowsmith Press) (This is a limited-edition chapbook of six-line poems. Read a review at New Criterion.)

Squanicook Eclogues (Reprint, Pen & Anvil Press, 2010) (This was Green's debut collection. Read a review at Anna Livia Review blog.)

Melissa Green's poetry has been published in Agni Online, The Best American Poetry, Little Star, The New Republic, The New York Review of BooksThe Paris Review, Poetry Daily, and other literary periodicals. See the blog Melissa Green Poems, which Green closed in 2012, for some of her poems.

Memoirs by Melissa Green

The Linen Way (Rosa Mira Books, 2013) (This is available on Kindle. It details her friendships with Walcott and Brodsky and her struggles with depression. Read an excerpt at Parnassus Poetry in Review. A review is available at Nerobooks.)

Color Is the Suffering of Light (W.W. Norton, 1995) (This is available via resellers.)

Green also is the author of the novel Tres Riches Hours de la Belle Heloise.


Recording Session: Melissa Green (April 2015) in the Poetry Room Listening Booth (2015)


Soundings: On the Poetry of Melissa Green (Arrowsmith Books, 2016) The book's editor is Sumita Chakraborty, who describes the contents of Soundings on his Website. A 2017 review by Mary Germaine is available at Break Water Review.)

Melissa Green on FaceBook (See her videos on FaceBook.)

Also of Interest

"On Joseph Brodsky and suffering through, by Melissa Green" (52 Men Podcast) at Louise Leonard Website (2017)

Leslie McGrath, "Still a Maker: A Profile of Melissa Green", AWP magazine (2016)

Askold Melnyczuk, "Second Opinions: Vesper Sparrow at Dawn", Drunken Boat (2016)

David Rivard, "'I've Been Awhile Away': The Poetry of Melissa Green" (Review of Magpiety), Agni Online (2016) 

Sumita Chakraborty, "Violet  and Violent: A Conversation with Melissa Green", Los Angeles Review of Books (2016)

Daniel Evans Pritchard, "MAGPIETY: An Interview with Melissa Green" at Woodberry Poetry Room (2015)

Toni Nicolas, "Walcott Introduces Author of Magpiety!", St. Lucia Star (2015)

"'Magpiety': getting to the bottom of it." at The Book Haven Blog (2015)

"Poet Melissa Green: Virgil would still be proud" at The Book Haven Blog (2014)

"Q&A with poet Melissa Green" at Rosa Mira Books Blog (July 2013)

"An Interview with Melissa Green" at Tim Jones's Books in the Trees Blog (2013)

 "Melissa Green; A place from Words", The Ottoman Estate Blog, September 24, 2010 (A recording by Green also is available here.)

Nora Delaney, "The Poetry of Melissa Green", Jacket 37 (2009)

Melissa Shook at Joseph Bellows Gallery

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Thought for the Day

Forgiveness is not a form of forgetting. It is,
rather, a profound form of remembering.  . . .
~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Quoted from Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, Made for Goodness and Why This Makes All the Difference (HarperCollins, Reprint 2011)

Desmond Tutu, Theologian (Anglican), Human Rights Defender, Nobel Peace Prize Winner (1984), First Black African Archbishop 

Desmond Tutu on FaceBook

Mpho Tutu, Daughter of Desmond Tutu; Executive Director, The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation; Episcopal Priest 

Mpho Tutu on FaceBook

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Short

I don't like to take photographs of people who are sad.
I somehow have this misguided therapeutic idea that
it's my role in the universe to make people feel better.
~ Elsa Dorfman

Film Poster

Today's short is the trailer for Errol Morris's documentary The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography (2016). Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dorfman, who was most interested in "the surfaces of people", took photographs for 35 years, using an unwieldly, weighty (240 pounds) Polaroid 20"x24" camera. The subjects of her large-format portraits included families, Beat poets (e.g., Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky), folk and rock stars (e.g., Bob Dylan), and other notables. Before retiring, she invited Morris to her studio to share her memories and give him a look into her archives.

The 76-minute film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and Independent Film Festival Boston and officially opens June 9 in Boston.

The B-Side at Neonrated on FaceBook and Instagram

Elsa Dorfman Website (Dorfman describes her Website as her "obsession".)

Elsa Dorfman Photography on FaceBook

Read Mark Feeney's article "'The B-Side' Could Be Early Birthday Present for Photographer Elsa Dorfman", Boston Globe, April 21, 2017.

Also see Sara Cravatt's "Celebrated Portraitist Elsa Dorfman Takes Her Final Giant Polaroids" at American Photo. Included is an 8:54-minute radio segment with Dorfman.

Friday, May 19, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Three years after debuting her sphinx Sugar Baby in "A Subtlety" at Brooklyn's Domino Sugar Refining Plant, Kara Walker is taking on two new public works projects. Read Doreen St. Felix's feature article "Kara Walker's Next Act" at Vulture to learn what's on Walker's artistic radar.

✦ How does an artist respond to a war that has ravaged his country? Damascus-born artist Wissam Al Jazairy paints the reality of Syria. Watch a short film featuring Al Jazairy's  paintings.

Wissam Al Jazairy on Tumblr and Flickr

Syria.Art on FaceBook

Read Diana Al Rifai's "Anatomy of a Revolution Through Art" at Al Jazeera; and "Wissam al-Jazairy" at Syria Untold. 

✦ Nancy Perloff, author of Explodity: Sound, Image, and Word in Russian Futurist Book Art (Getty Research Institute, 2017), explores zaum, an experimental language used by Russian painters and poets, in an interview with The J. Paul Getty Trust's president Jim Cuno. Both audio and a transcript of the interview are available at the iris, The Getty's blog.

Cover Art

✦ Work by England's MacKenzie Thorpe is on view through May 29 at New York City's AFA Gallery. For information and images, see the gallery's exhibition page for Thorpe.

Mackenzie Thorpe on FaceBook

AFA Gallery on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✦ Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has crafted a response to the humanitarian crisis caused by conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. His Law of the Journey, on view through July 1 at the National Gallery in Prague, is featured in Hyperallergic; read Dorian Batycka's "Ai Weiwei Floats a New Project About the Refugee Crisis".

✦ Following is the trailer for Linda Hatendoft's The Cats of Mirikitani (Brightwide Films), a film about an elderly homeless man, Jimmy Mirikitani, who uses art to heal from the trauma he suffered during WWII and on the streets of New York City, especially after 9/11. The documentary won numerous awards following its 2006 premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

ArtHouse Films

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ In New York City, The Grolier Club continues through July 29 its exhibition "The Revival of Calligraphy: 1906 to 2006". Drawn from public and private collections, the show features calligraphic art by more than 70 Western artists. The San Francisco Public Library's Richard Harrison Collection of Calligraphy & Lettering and private collectors are among those who have loaned calligraphic art for the show. Read about the exhibition at the blog of Fine Books and Collections magazine. A full-color catalogue is available.

The Grolier Club on FaceBook and Flickr

✭ Next up in Penland School of Crafts' John & Robyn Horn Gallery, Penland, North Carolina, is "Within the Margins | Contemporary Ceramics". Opening May 30 and running through July 16, the exhibition is curated by Steven Young Lee.

Penland on FaceBook and YouTube

✭ More than 1,000 artifacts, images, video clips, music, and oral histories comprise "Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers: Reinventing Charlotte and the Carolina Piedmont in the New South", an 8,000-square-foot "centerpiece" exhibition at Levine Museum of the New South. Charlotte, North Carolina, and its 13 surrounding counties are the exhibition's focus, illustrating profound changes in the South since the Civil War. The museum has created six "environments" that offer visitors interactive, hands-on experiences in a one-room tenant farmer's house, a cotton mill, a mill house, a chapel that was within one of the first African American hospitals in the South, a Belk department store, and a lunch counter for local sit-in leaders; the sixth installation includes an opportunity to see and touch seed cotton. A selection of installation photos is available at the exhibition link above.

Installation Photo: Barber Shop

Levine Museum on FaceBook and Instagram

Museum Blog

✭ On view through September 4 at Missouri's St. Louis Art Museum is "In the Realm of Trees: Photographs, Paintings, and Scholar's Objects from the Collection". Presenting photographs, paintings, and decorative works by Chinese artists,  the exhibition also features contemporary photographs by American Michael Cherney, the set titled Sacred Tree on Mount Lu, mounted on a folding screen; acquired by SLAM in 2016, this exhibition marks the first time the set has been shown. Ink monochrome paintings on hanging scrolls and scholar's objects that depict trees as revered subjects also are exhibited. SLAM's curator of Asian art, Philip Hu, curated the exhibition. Cherney is based in Beijing, China.

Michael Cherney at Photography of China and Qui Mai

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✭ In the East Building Tower of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., you'll find "Theaster Gates: The Minor Arts", a new body of work, continuing through September 4. Featured are Gates's towering library constructed of old copies of Ebony magazine; a landscape painting created from roofer's tar on yellow Naugahyde; the floor of a Chicago high school gym; and other works repurposed from the outdated and left-behind, yet acquiring value through the stories they tell us. The exhibition is free. A related, comprehensive monograph about Gates, which includes a survey by Lisa Lee, an interview by Carol Becker, and Gates's own writings, as well as 220 illustrations, is available.

Monograph Cover Art

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Sharon Wolpoff, Dave, 2013
Oil on Linen
22" x 22"
© Sharon Wolpoff


I am delighted to introduce the work of Sharon Wolpoff in my new Artist Watch column at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life.

Sharon, who began her art training at age 5, has a master's of fine arts degree in painting from American University, Washington, D.C., and has also studied fine jewelry design, tapestry weaving, beadwork, and printmaking. In addition, she is a skilled hands-on healer. A native of Washington, D.C., she maintains her studio in Kensington, Maryland.

You'll find in today's Artist Watch column eight images of Sharon's paintings as well as Sharon's Artist Statement and biography. The images are all selected from Sharon's upcoming exhibition at the National Institutes of Health, "Sacred Thresholds & Other Spaces: Glimpses of Italy"; their appearance at EIL marks their first showing anywhere.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday Artist: Thomas Hirschhorn

I try to give form to what I can't accept:
that someone else can decide for me what
I should do, see or think.
~ Thomas Hirschhorn

"I see life as a possible collage," says the award-winning Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn, whose large-scale work, which makes use of such ordinary materials as cardboard, duct tape, and plastic bags, never hides the violence, destruction, and gruesomeness of our world. Using the collage technique to interpret and critique, to "create a new world" from what already exists, Hirschhorn aims, he says, to reach "strangers, passers-by, and people from other cultures" to engage their senses in ways that open them to questions of moral responsibility, mass production and consumerism, aesthetics, and social justice issues.

Trained as a graphic designer, Hirschhorn, who lives and works in Paris, France, and is considered both an influential and uncompromising artist, exhibits his often political work throughout the world; moreover, his work can be found in the permanent collections of such museums as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition to sculptures, drawing, paintings, and assemblages, Hirschhorn creates videos and art for public spaces.

Below is a Louisiana Channel interview with Hirschhorn, conducted by Kasper Bech Dyg at Kunsthal Aarhus, in Denmark, in January 2017. 

Thomas Hirschhorn at ArndtArt 21Gladstone Gallery, and Stephen Friedman Gallery

See Angelo A. Ludin's insightful film about Thomas Hirschhorn's Gramsci Monument, a project at Forest Houses in the Bronx, New York. Also read Veronica Simpson's feature article about the project, "Thomas Hirschhorn: 'The Gramsci Monument, like all monuments, is made for eternity'" at Studio International.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Poet Charles Coe

A "Boston Literary Light for 2014", poet Charles Coe is the author of All Sins Forgiven: poems for my parents (Leapfrog Press, 2013) and Picnic on the Moon: Poems (Leapfrog Press, 1999). Many of his poems have been published in literary periodicals and anthologies. Recipient of a poetry fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a Fellow of St. Botolph Club of Boston, and 2016-2017 Artist-in-Residence for the City of Boston, Coe's work also has been set to music by such composers as Beth Denisch and Robert Moran ("Requiem for Edith", 2009).

Coe, co-chair of the Boston chapter of the National Writers Union, published a novella, Spin Cycles (Gemma Media), in 2014. That novella is included in Inspired Journeys: Travel Writers Searching for the Muse (The University of Wisconsin Press, 2016). 

Coe also is a jazz and popular vocalist who travels widely recording and performing his work.

Roberto Mighty's short documentary about Coe, Charles Coe: Man of Letters, follows.

Charles Coe: Man of Letters from Roberto Mighty on Vimeo.

Roberto Mighty's short Peach Pie, based on Coe's poem "Fortress", had its debut in June 2016 at the California International Shorts Festival. It also was featured at the 2016 Los Angeles Short Film Festival.

Charles Coe on FaceBook

Charles Coe, "A Son's Songs", The Boston Globe, June 16, 2013

Read Coe's poem "A Poem for Happy Endings" at Solstice magazine.

Listen to Coe read "Billy Pilgrim Reflects" on YouTube video.

Ryan Pait, "Poet-in-Residence Charles Coe Still Believes in Libraries", The Chautauquan Daily, July 12, 2016

Jane Dornbusch, "Thanks to Father's Influence, This Poet Is Well Versed in Cooking", (The Boston Globe), October 31, 2007

Boston Mayor's Office, "Ten Artists Selected for Boston Artists-in-Residence Program", October 3, 2016

Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday Muse: John Rule, Poet

Below, Sarah Moore Chrychel relates in her 33-minute documentary, Witch Hazel Advent: The Story of an Ozark Poet (2012), the life of poet and peace/environmental activist John Rule, who, with his wife Margaret, lived off the grid in their home, "Frog Bayou", in Arkansas's Ozark Mountains. Though Margaret became ill with Alzheimer's disease, Rule cared for her under less-than-ideal conditions for almost 10 years; ultimately, he was forced to place her in a nursing home, where she died in 2009. Subsequently, Rule became an activist.

Chrychel, Rule's granddaughter, tells his story, interspersing it with his poetry and interviews. Her film was made for her master's degree in journalism, which she received from the University of Arkansas.

Chrychel, who lives in Fayetteville, is a video producer at Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History at the University of Arkansas.

Witch Hazel Advent, The Story of an Ozark Poet from Sarah Moore Chyrchel on Vimeo.

Sarah K. Moore on FaceBook

Pryor Center on FaceBook

Ozark Poets & Writers Collective on FaceBook

Hear John Rule read some of his poetry at his former blog John Rule: An Arkansas Poet.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thought for the Day

what could be lighter in a knapsack
~ Abdellatif Laabi

Quoted from Fragment of a Forgotten Genesis (1998) in In Praise of Defeat: Poems by Abdellatif Laabi (Archipelago Books, 2016), trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith, page 395

See the May 6, 2017, Thought for the Day for another quote by the poet.