Friday, December 18, 2009

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

Christmas Badge
I am dedicating this week's "All Art Friday" to my celebration of "12 Days of Community"* and thus highlighting a baker's dozen of artists I recommend you get to know. For today's post, I use "artist" expansively—to encompass visual artists, writers and poets, and performance artists.

☆ Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian ~ I learned about Farmanfarmaian just two days ago, via Mosaic Art Now. She's an Iranian artist of extraordinary talent. The write-up and images of her work at MAN tell and show you all you need to know for your initial introduction. If you are not dazzled sufficiently by MAN's images, take a look here as well. Read about her exhibition in London, A Geometry of Hope, and pick up her memoir A Mirror Garden, co-authored by Zara Housmand.

☆ L.L. Barkat ~ If you spend even a few minutes on one of Barkat's blogs — Seedlings in Stone, God in the Yard, Love Notes to Yahweh, or Green Inventions Central — you will come away wondering how this marvelous and seemingly indefatigable writer escaped your attention before now. Barkat is the author of the spiritual memoir Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places and the newly released collection of poems InsideOut. When she puts her hand to paper, she leaves behind words that imprint like an etching.

☆ Ellen Jantzen ~ Ellen Jantzen's digitally manipulated photography is the product of a boldly creative two-dimensional graphic sensibility and an even deeper need to create. Jantzen's sensitive "Patricia — Vanishing Mother Photo Essay" was published last month in The Hektoen International Journal of Medical Humanities (5th Vol., November 2009). Her essay shows the decline of Patricia Jantzen, Ellen's mother-in-law, as she slips more deeply into dementia (she has Alzheimer's) and out of this world as we know it. Jantzen currently is showing, through January 31, 2010, at the New York Hall of Science in Digital '09: Mysteries in Science, organized by Art and Science Collaborations Inc.

☆ Stephen Alvarez ~ An award-winning National Geographic Magazine photojournalist for 14 years, Alvarez is a visual story-teller of uncommon talent. His Picture Stories blog, where he posts studio work, individual photos from his travels around the world, and video essays, will leave you in awe. His subjects range from exploration to religion and culture to conflict and its aftermath. The latter are especially moving. Alvarez also has produced work for Time, Adventure, and Travel holiday, among other publications, and offers his work through Zeitgeist gallery. His Website is Alvarez Photography.

☆ Mila Kagan ~ A member of Flux Studios, in Mt. Rainier, Maryland, Kagan, according to her Artist Statement, examines in her "sculptural investigations. . . the juxtaposed relationships" among the mix of materials she uses in her art: soft black rubber, strands of white glass, transparent procelain, metal. Transparency, opacity, tensile strength, brittleness, gravity, flexibility: all are tested in Kagan's creation of a large body of thematic work addressing the "deconstruction" of the female body, the abstraction of "maternal space", the use of feminine adornment, and cell imagery and "the barely visible". Images of Kagan's remarkable work can be seen here.

☆ Wendy Maruyama ~ I was introduced to the work of California furniture-maker Maruyama through the artist's collaborative and powerful "Tag Project: In Search of Cultural Memory", profiled in an American Craft magazine blogpost on October 5, 2009. The daughter of second-generation Japanese-Americans, Maruyama increasingly focuses her work on issues of ethnicity, identity, and gender. Both the "Tag Project" — involving the replication of 120,000 tags representing World War II internees from San Diego and Chula Vista — and her video You're a Sap, Mr. Jap, are an effort to embrace and explore a history that until recently had been lost to her: the United States' internment in 1942 of Japanese-Americans on issuance of the war-time decree Executive Order 9066.  Maruyama's Website is here; click on Portfolio to view her various multi-part projects, such as the Kyoto series and Turning Japanese.

☆ Robert Ayers ~ The Manhattan-based Ayers writes A Sky Filled With Shooting Stars, an aptly titled blog about all things art: interviews with leading and up-and-coming contemporary artists, books, galleries, museums, art fairs, and performance art. Ayers himself is an artist and writer, a passionate advocate for contemporary arts, and a teacher, curator, producer, promoter. He contributes regularly to ARTnews and and is the New York correspondent for Total Theatre (London) and Eikon (Vienna). He has his fingers all over art, literally and otherwise.

☆ Geoff Wisner ~ A Brooklyn resident, Wisner blogs at A Natural Curiosity and Words Without Borders, where he writes about African literature in translation. Harvard-educated, Wisner is an essayist and book reviewer (The African, The Boston Globe, Wild Earth, Transition, among others) and the author of A Basket of Leaves: 99 Books That Capture the Spirit of Africa. He has worked for the legal defense of prisoners in South Africa and served as assistant director of the U.S. Office of the International Aid Fund for Southern Africa. Photos from his travels, posted here and on Flickr, take us to Paris, Manhattan, St. Lucia, Brazil, Haiti, Italy, Malawi, Nepal, and Zimbabwe. Take some time to explore his sites; they are worth your effort.

☆ Anne Marchand ~ Washington, D.C., artist Marchand blogs at Painterly Visions about artists, art, and art exhibitions throughout the metropolitan area and beyond. Born in New Orleans, educated at the University of Georgia, from which she received a Master's of Fine Art, and well-traveled (Europe, Central America, Asia), Marchand paints bold, evocative, color-saturated abstractions in oils and acrylics, as well as city-scapes that reveal her observer's eyes for architectural shapes and her sensibility of the play of light against dark. Her gorgeous paintings are in numerous corporate and private collections and she has exhibited widely throughout the United States and in Mexico. This year Marchand received an Artist Fellowship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and has been awarded numerous other honors. Marchand also teaches private art classes. Click here to see Marchand's paintings and here to view her installations.

☆ F. Lennox Campello ~ Lenny, as he is known far and wide, lives and breathes art, and has a lot of fun doing it. He is an artist of enormous talent, an influential art critic and reviewer, a former gallery owner, a "good friend" to a huge number of people, and a blogger. His Daily Campello Art News is on everyone's morning reading list and ranges over everything from local gallery or museum "happenings" to international art exhibitions. He writes intelligently, provocatively, and sometimes irreverently about artists, art, and show openings and offers both insightful criticism and commentary about the global visual arts scene. His opinion counts; artists get excited when he writes about them. His Website is here.

☆ Jane Franklin ~ Franklin is artistic director of the widely recognized Jane Franklin Dance, a nonprofit organization supported by Arlington County, Virginia, through its Cultural Affairs Division, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, among other groups and private sponsors. The group is known for its unique approach to performance art, collaborating with visual artists, musicians, media, and members of the community on projects presented on stage, outdoors, in neighborhood venues, and in classrooms where dance education performances and workshops are presented for Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools and Arlington County Schools' Humanities Project. Franklin's company draws into its partnerships people of all ages and talents but especially senior adults and youth. It debuted internationally in 2008 at Foro Performatica, a conference/festival at the Universidad Las Americas Puebla Mexico; was awarded in 2008 a Community Foundation for the National Capital Region Creative Communities Initiative Grant; and tours for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Paul Mellon Arts in Education Program and the Virginia Commission for the Arts Tour Directory. The group's 2010 schedule includes the premiere of "Of Bones and Bridges" for which local artist Novie Trump is creating a bridge that will be integrated in the performance.

And to make this a Baker's Dozen:

☆John Allsopp ~ British realist painter Allsopp is participating in the Help For Heroes project, which raises money to support members of the Armed Forces who have been wounded in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other parts of the world. A percentage from the sale of giclees of his portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, whom Allsopp painted to mark her diamond anniversary in 2007, goes to Help for Heroes. The giclees (high-resolution digitally scanned images printed on canvas or fine art papers) are produced by Abacus Fine Art printers in Cumbria, North West England, and are signed by Allsopp. They are available only through Allsopp via his Website. His blog is here.

* At High Calling Blogs, we're celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 Days of Community by highlighting the blog(s) or Website(s) of people other than ourselves or people we think you should know about. As our friend Glynn says, this is something we should be doing anyway, all the other 353 days of the year.

This is the twelfth piece to appear under the 12 Days of Community badge. The others are:

Day 8: "Ann With No 'e'"


Manorhousefineart said...

Thank you Maureen,

Your write up! is appreciated. Have a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous 2010.
We will meet up again on other networks..

John Allsopp

Louise Gallagher said...

I briefly popped into a couple of your 'discoveries' and know I have to spend the weekend getting to know these amazing people.

Thanks once again for opening doors to new worlds!

L.L. Barkat said...

Wow! I can't believe you already made it to 12! Amazing. Truly.

Thanks for the warm words about my writing. Very, very touching (well, to me. :)

Geoff Wisner said...

Many thanks for sending people my way!

Diane Walker said...

Thanks so much for the pointer to Farmanfarmaian; LOVE her work!

Anonymous said...

I went out to the net to see Monir Shahroundy Farmanfarmaian”s beautiful mosaics. She is a master of the art. It's hard to believe that both she and Andy Warhol got their start from Bonwit Teller’s art department. I admire that she has continued to try to create art in Iran. It also very interesting to find out that she was part of the Pollack-Rothco circle of friends. Her work is timeless in its beauty. I was really surprised to find mosaic art online . Another one of your twelve that really moved me was the Masking Reality series by Allen Jantzen. Her digital fantasy photos are amazing in the degree and scope that she can design new creatures and give life to a universe that is so organic in nature.The third of the twelve is the incredible F. Lenox Campello. I like the fact that each 2010 rendering from his old sketch book of action nudes is renergized by placing it in the center of more dynamic negative space.