Friday, September 24, 2010

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

Museum Day

Tomorrow, September 25, is Museum Day in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere throughout the United States. To find out if museums in your area are participating, go here, select your state, and then go see some art. Admissions are free with a Museum Day ticket.

Artist Kaziah Hancock and Her Project Compassion

The founding artist and president of the nonprofit organization Project Compassion, Kaziah Hancock raises goats and sheep on her Utah ranch. When she's not busy with her animals, she brings out her paint brushes, intent to "bring mood and feeling to the canvas."

What Hancock creates on her canvases are expressive, deeply moving portraits of American soldiers killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. She paints them for and at no cost to the soldiers' immediate families — her way, Hancock explains, of saying thank you to those who have "paid the ultimate high price." In an introductory letter about the project, Hancock says that when she began the project, "it was just a simple act of kindness from one human to another." As word spread, as more soldiers died, as requests for portraits increased, she added other artists and administrative volunteers to keep the project going. 

Hancock has painted hundreds of portraits since launching her initiative in 2003. (See images of some of  Hancock's portraits in the Gallery section here and in the Project Compassion galleries for military personnel and law enforcement officers.) She and other volunteer artists — Clancy DeVries of Newport Beach, California, JoAnn Musser of Taylorsville, Utah, Ann Marie Oboron of Bountiful, Utah, and Alexander Selytin of Pleasent Grove, Utah — have more than 3,000 more portraits still to paint. To paint these portraits, Hancock says, "is not a labor but a privilege."

Initial project donations have been exhausted. Currently, Hancock is trying to raise at least $750,000 to continue Project Compassion for another 10 years. She's donated dozens of her own paintings worth many thousands of dollars, proceeds from sales of which go directly to the project. Donations, which are tax-deductible, may be sent to Project Compassion/Soldier Fun, P.O. Box 153, Manti, UT 84642. They also may be made online. E-mail:

Hancock's non-project Website features oil paintings in such categories as "Street People", "Legends" such as James Dean, "Unsung Workers", and several series, including "Signature Strokes", "Raw Expressions", "Masters", and "Spirit of the West". 

The video below provides an introduction to Hancock and her Project Compassion:

FAQs about Project Compassion can be found here.

A documentary about Kaziah Hancock, screened at this month's DocUtah Film Festival, has been produced by Kathleen Dolan; its director is Amy Duzinski Janes

Hancock also has been the subject of many articles, including this one by the United States Department of Defense.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ The Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame is presenting through November 14 "Parallel Currents", an exhibition of contemporary Latin American art owned by Ricardo Pau-Llosa, a Cuban-American poet, art critic, curator, and professor. Pau-Llosa's collection is stunning, as can be seen in this photo-essay produced for PBS Newshour. He says of his collecting, "I can't conceive of my life without the art no more than not being a writer and a poet. I find walls have a destiny, and the destiny of a wall is to have art on it."

A profile of Pau-Llosa, in which he discusses the influences on his writing and his discovery and collection of art is here. Also visit Pau-Llosa's Website.

On October 15, Pau-Llosa will be giving a talk in connection with "Parallel Currents" at the Art Museum of the Americas/Organization of American States, in Washington, D.C.

✭ Opening on October 23 at the Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is "For my best beloved Sister Mia: An Album of Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron" (image at right). The exhibition, which runs through January 2, 2011, includes more than 70 photographs.

✭ In San Diego, "New Realities: Jerry Uelsman + Maggie Taylor" opens October 2 at the Museum of Photographic Arts. The exhibit of 60 photomontages by Uelsman and Taylor will be on view until January 30, 2011. Taylor, who is married to Uelsman, began using in 1996 a computer and a scanner to create her fascinating color images. In contrast, Uelsman creates extraordinary black-and-white images. A documentary interview with Uelsman is here. (Scroll through images in third row to locate video.)

✭ The New Orleans Museum of Art is exhibiting through October 24 "Ancestors and Descendants: Ancient Southwestern America at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century", 73 photographs and 84 Native American artifacts (Navaho and Pueblo textiles, pottery, jewelry) from the little-known and rarely seen George Hubbard Pepper Native American Archive at the Middle American Research Institute, Tulane University. Pepper collected the images and artifacts between 1985 and 1905. 

A New York Times review of the exhibition is here. Information about Pepper's photograph collection in the Smithsonian Institution's Research Information System is here.

William Stafford Documentary

The widely admired poet William Stafford, who was a conscientious objector in World War II and believes that war is a human choice, is the subject of a documentary, Every War Has Two Losers, by Haydn Reiss. The film is described as a "poet's meditations on peace" and "based on the [poet's] journals". PBS broadcast the documentary beginning last month; a complete, national broadcast schedule is here. The film is available now on DVD. (My thanks to Edward Byrne of Valparaiso Poetry Review for bringing this feature to readers' attention.)

The trailer for the film is below.


Red Letter Believers said...

I watched the Hancock video. Wow. It really brings home the reality of war. The goat farmer artist was something honoring those fallen soldiers.

And Love all the links. I will spend time clicking today...

Kathleen Overby said...

So much here. Hancock's likenesses must bring much comfort to the family. They are warm with personality.

I loved the lady sittin' rockin' on the porch in the art collection. :)

M.L. Gallagher said...

I agree with Stafford, war is a human choice.

such richness in what you share today -- and Museum weekend -- how cool is that!

A. Jay Adler said...

Stafford is the author of many favorite poems, none more so than Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing

The sun, the earth, the sky, all wait.
The crowns and redbirds talk. The light
along the hills has come, has found you.

Notice what this poem has not done.