Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday Short

Today's short is Looking at Liebling, about the great American photographer Jerome Liebling (1924-2011). The video was made for Mike Hazard of the Center for International Education.

Steven Kasher Gallery presented earlier this year the exhibition "Jerome Liebling: Matter of Life and Death". Liebling's daughter, filmmaker Rachel Liebling, curated the show.

James Estrin, "Look Again, With Love and Liebling", Lens Blog, April 11, 2014 (This article is illustrated with Liebling's images.)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for Gebo and the Shadow (2012) by Portugal's Manoel de Oliveira. Drawing on themes of duty, poverty, and truth, the film is based on a 1923 play by Raul Brandao (1867-1930) and stars Claudia Cardinale, Jeanne Moreau, and Michael Lonsdale. The film, recently shown at Anthology Film Archives, New York City, is in French with English subtitles. 

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ One hundred forty-five drawings by writer Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) have been compiled in the newly released Kurt Vonnegut Drawings (Monacelli Press, May 13, 2014). The selection was made by the novelist's daughter, painter Nanette Vonnegut; Peter Reed, a friend of Vonnegut who has written extensively on the latter's work, contributed to the volume. A touring exhibition of the drawings is planned.

See Vonnegut's screenprints and sculpture.

✦ Art historians Till-Holger Borchert and Joshua P. Waterman have published The Book of Miracles (Taschen), a facsimile edition of Renaissance illuminations that depict fantastic and miraculous phenomena. Reproduced in its entirety, The Book of Miracles includes a description of the manuscript, which was created around 1550; a complete transcript of the text, and an introduction in which the codex is viewed in its cultural and historical contexts. Images are available at the link.

Cover of The Book of Miracles

✦ The porcelain and mixed media work of Janice Jakielski are fun, imaginative, and often beautiful and haunting (see, for example, her Sweet Melancholia and the Case for Infinite Sadness). (My thanks to Hannah Stephenson for the link to Jakielski's Website.)

✦ You'll find an interesting if too brief interview with artist, architect, and writer Maks Velo at the British Council blog Voices; read "Imprisoned for Henry Moore influence: interview with Albanian artist Maks Velo".

✦ Edited by Barry Rosen and comprising three slipcased volumes, Chihuly on Paper (Abrams, April 2014) brings together glass artist Dale Chihuly's graphite, charcoal, and acrylic works on paper. The set includes an illustrated chronology, an essay by New York writer and poet Nathan Kernan, and a list of collections.

Crafting-a-Future, under the auspices of Craft Alliance in St. Louis, is a mentoring program in contemporary craft media for high school students. Paired with local artists working in jewelry, metals, glass, fiber, clay, and graphics, the students learn field-specific concepts and techniques, build a portfolio, and exhibit. Students in grades 9-12  are eligible to apply for the program. Classes are held on Saturdays from September through May.

Craft Alliance on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Exhibitions Here and There

Todd Knopke has installed two site-specific fabric installations in the atrium of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York. Collages, the floor-to-ceiling installations are on view through July 20. Read a description and view images of "Todd Knopke's Deluge" at FLLAC's blog Off the Wall; you'll find a link in the article to a sneak peek.

FLLAC/Vassar on FaceBookYouTube, and Vimeo

✭ Santa Fe's Museum of Contemporary Native Arts is presenting through July 31, 2014, "ARTiculations in Print: Prints from the Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts". The selection on view includes work by Rick Bartow, Wendy Red Star, John Feodorov, Lillian Pitt, Truman Lowe, Marie Watt, and others who collaborate with Crow's master printer Frank Janzen.

Printmakers at Crow's Shadow (Use this link for information about the artists and for images of available work.)

MoCNA on FaceBook and Twitter

Bronx Museum, New York, is the site of "Art is Our Last Hope", the first solo show in the United States of Brazilian artist Paulo Bruscky. The exhibition of 140 artworks encompasses video, photographs, works on paper, and sculptures. Images of art works may be seen at the exhibition link above.

Martha Schwendener, "Hope Under the Grip of Oppression" (Arts Review), The New York Times, January 10, 2014

Antonio Sergio Bessa, "Paulo Bruscky" (Introduction and Interview), BOMB Magazine, Fall 2013

Bronx Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Ceramist Kathy Venter is exhibiting her impressive life-size sculptures in "Kathy Venter: LIFE" at Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Washington. Continuing through June 15, the solo exhibition, a survey, includes a first-time-on-view series MetaNarrative. Venter creates her figures by hand-coiling and pinching from bottom to top, using no molds and no internal armature for support. Her surface treatments are inspired by Tanagra figurines from Ancient Greece. 

John K. Grande's exhibition catalogue, published last year by The Gardiner Museum, where the exhibition originated, is available. 

Cover of Exhibition Catalogue

Video of Artworks at Gardiner Museum, Toronto, 2013

Bellevue Art Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Contemporary work by North Carolina potter Alexander Matisse is being shown at Memorial Art Gallery at the University of Rochester, New York, in "Alexander Matisse: New Ceramics". On view through June 8, the ceramist's beautiful new works (see the 43-page online exhibition catalogue of stoneware) are being shown in conjunction with "Matisse as Printmaker: Works from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation"; Henri Matisse is Alexander Matisse's great-grandfather. The latter show includes more than 60 etchings, monotypes, aquatints, lithographs, and linocuts.  

East Fork Pottery (Founded by Alexander Matisse in 2010), Marshall, North Carolina 

Memorial Art Gallery on FaceBook and Twitter

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Art Goes to the Cats and Dogs

Dogs and cats, too many of which find themselves in "foster care", can no longer be bought and owned; they must be "adopted". They're no longer pets but "companion animals". And, like their human "parents", who, on separating, may or may not be awarded "visitation rights" with their felines or canines, the cats and dogs themselves can be named in wills and inherit property, depending on their state of residence. Some even get to sue if subjected to too much emotional distress.

Well, let's hear for the cats and dogs!

While our legal and other relationships to the cats and dogs in our spaces continue to evolve, one thing never seems to change: the animals fascinate as subjects for the artists among us. Celebrating that fact is Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin, which opens on June 22 "In the Company of Cats and Dogs".

And what a mix of animal art on view! For the historians, there will be pre-Columbian ceramics and ancient Egyptian sculptures; for literary types, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and books; and for those with a solidly art-centric focus, prints, paintings, and photographs.

Takahashi (Shotei) Hiroaki
Cat Prowling Around a Stake Tomato Plant, 1931
Woodblock Print, 20-7/8" x 13-7/8"
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Gift of Stephanie Hamilton in Memory of Leslie A. Hamilton

From the old to the very new, the exhibition will feature dogs and cats as mythological, religious, political, and moral figures and symbols; examine the role of animals in inspiring such social movements as animal welfare and hunting and land rights; and spotlight depictions of dogs' and cats' interactions with humans (the field of anthrozoology studies).

And not to go unstated: No one will have to worry about barking, meowing, biting, fighting, or cleaning up messes on gallery floors.

Work in the show comes from the Blanton's own collection, as well as collections of Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Menil Collection, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, San Antonio Museum of Art, Yale Center for British Art, Harry Ransom Center at University of Texas at Austin, and private collections. Featured artists include Albrecht Durer, William Blake, Francisco Goya, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, Edward Hopper, Louise Bourgeois, and William Wegman.

The museum has created several exhibition-related programs: a talk by psychologist Hal Herzog, who studies animal interactions (August 16) and is the author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals (Harper, 2010), and a showing of the 3-D documentary Canine Soldiers by filmmaker Nancy Schiesari (August 21).

The exhibition concludes September 21.

Stephnie Strasnick, "Cat Art vs. Dog Art: A Showdown at the Blanton Museum", ARTNews, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday Wonder: 'Living Symphonies'

This summer, Forestry Commission England and Sound and Music are presenting Living Symphonies, an immersive sound installation by composers James Bulley and Daniel Jones. The composers' concept is to demonstrate "an ever-changing symphony" created by the ecosystems of four forests' wildlife, plants, and atmospheric conditions. The locations are Thetford Forest, Fineshade Woods, Bedgebury Pinetum, and Cannock Chase.

To realize the concept, each location was surveyed to identify its flora and fauna. The results of the survey were then used to build a model of the particular forest's ecosystem that encompasses and mimics the real wildlife's behaviors and movements, as well as temperature, wind, rain, and sun conditions captured onsite with a weather station. Every animal, tree, and plant is described with its own unique musical instrumentation and motifs (for example, cello harmonics represent a butterfly's movements). The "interactions" of those sounds issue from all-weather speakers embedded invisibly in forest undergrowth and the canopy. Read the journal by the project's artists, which documents research, recording sessions, and other project-related activities.

The "performance" of the musical composition for Thetford Forest began May 24 and will conclude May 30. The musical composition for Fineshade Woods begins on June 20 and ends June 26. The "living symphony"of Cannock Chase can be heard from July 26 to August 1, and that for Bedgebury Pinetum from August 26 through August 31. See the Visit page of the Living Symphonies Website for brief descriptions about the forests and maps.

Art director Patrick Fry designed the project's beautiful limited-edition poster illustrated by Katie Scott.

The video also can be seen on YouTube.

Living Symphonies on FaceBook

Sound and Music on FaceBook

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Closing In (Poem)

Closing In

     after Lisa Hess Hesselgrave's 'Hot Sky'

The wild closes in
the moment the sun
idles in its profusion

of mauves and reds.
With the blush of air,
I harbor blue to slow

the progress of time
that thickens roots
and deepens the char

of lost afternoons.
I trip over the orange
that tricks the moon

to appear a too-soon
omen of blurred visions
to come, tongue lolling

in heat-fed sleep. Dark
carries its own night
dreams. How I see

the sea become a field
of frost-licked snow,
sky the arms holding it

back from my mouth
athirst in fear. I mean
to find my own way out.

© 2014 Maureen E. Doallas

This ekphrastic poem, inspired by Lisa Hess Hesselgrave's painting Hot Sky (found in the section of Hesselgrave's Website titled Night and Day) was first published at TweetSpeakPoetry as part of the Image-ine series.

Lisa Hess Hesselgrave on FaceBook

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday Muse: Idaho's Writer-in-Residence

Poets are people who like to get the truth out
and shine the light into dark places.
~ Poet Diane Raptosh*

Diane Raptosh is Idaho's current Writer-in-Residence. The successor to novelist Brady Udall (2010-2013), Raptosh began her term July 1, 2013; she will serve through June 30, 2016.

Raptosh is the thirteenth writer to be awarded the position.

In addition to teaching composition, creative writing, and literature at the university level, Raptosh conducts writing workshops and readings and lectures on poetry widely and in many different venues, including prisons, juvenile detention centers, and women's safe houses. She directs a program in criminal justice/prison studies as well. Since assuming her role as Writer-in-Residence, she told the Idaho Press-Tribune*, she has "been out with people more, raising awareness about things poetry can do and the topics poetry can take on."

Information about the Writer-in-Residence position and the selection process is included in my August 30, 2010, post about Brady Udall. Raptosh's principal duties are to present four public readings a year and attend special events throughout the state. 

* * * * * 
. . . Listening carefully is a good practice
for staying tuned in. . . .
~ Diane Raptosh**

Idaho-born Diane Raptosh is the author of American Amnesiac (Etruscan Press, 2013), a book-length dramatic monologue in mostly unrhymed and untitled couplets in which, as Raptosh describes it, "[t]he protagonist wakes up one day and wonders what the heck has happened in this country and how can I go on?"*** Raptosh's other collections are Parents from a Different Alphabet (Guernica Editions, Essential Poets Series, 2008), Labor Songs (Guernica, Essential Poets Series, 1999), and Just West of Now (Guernica, Essential Poets Series, 1992, 1995).

In addition to poetry, Raptosh writes essays and short fiction. She told the Idaho Stateman that ". . . writing poetry is more interior. It gives me the opportunity to take the inner life to the outside. . . ."

Raptosh is both a lyrical and a prose (or narrative) poet and creates blends with prose or hybrids of traditional or adapted formal forms (for example, ghazals). Among the themes found in her poetry are self and identity, memory, communication, place (home), love, loss and death, conflict, history and myth, past and present. The environment and its degradation, nature, and the western landscape also find resonance in her work.

Following is the opening stanza of Raptosh's lovely poem "Sky with Proviso":

        after Neruda
I want to ask you to walk with me
toward no movement and not
saying a word        I want to
see if we can cover hard ground
like muledeer on tiptoe
ears pricked against far
dry heat      I want to know
if we can arrive [. . . .]

Poems by Raptosh have been published in more than four dozen journals and literary periodicals, including Blast FurnaceFragLit, Hartskill ReviewLos Angeles Review, The Meadowland ReviewMichigan Quarterly ReviewOccuPoetry, Pif Magazine,, and Women's Studies Quarterly.

Work by Raptosh also has appeared in at least 20 anthologies, among them Sinatra: ... but buddy, I'm a kind of poem (Entasis Press, 2008), Classifieds: An Anthology of Prose Poems (Equinox Publishing, 2012), The Glenn Gould Anthology,  Mamas and Papas: On the Sublime and Heartbreaking Art of Parenting (Sunbelt Publications, 2010),  New Poets of the American West (Many Voices Press, 2010),  The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets (The Backwaters Press, 2013), and Verse/Chorus: A Call and Response Anthology (Jamii Publishing, 2014). Additional anthologies in which Raptosh has published are found in the Books section of her Website.

Currently a professor of English at The College of Idaho, where she holds the Eyck-Berringer Endowed Chair, Raptosh served a one-year appointment (2013) as Boise's first poet laureate (read "Professor Named Boise's First Poet Laureate"). Raptosh's American Amnesiac was longlisted for the 2013 National Book Award. She has received three fellowships in literature from Idaho Commission on the Arts (2007, 2001, 1991) and completed residencies in the literary arts at Banff Centre and The Studios of Key West. In addition, in 2013 Educe Journal nominated for a Pushcart Prize two of her poems from her manuscript Torchie's Book of Days (slated to become Raptosh's next book), and Boise Weekly presented her with a honorable mention for a fiction piece in 101 words. 


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Diane Raptosh (Press Kit)

All Poetry Excerpts © Diane Raptosh

* Quoted from Idaho Press-Tribune Feature Article (See link below.)

** Quoted from CutBank Literary Magazine Interview (See link below.)

*** Quoted from Poets' Quarterly Interview (See link below.)

Diane Raptosh Poems Online: One Untitled Poem from American Amnesiac in Press Kit for Diane Raptosh; Two Untited Poems from American Amnesiac at OccuPoetry; "Weather Watch", "Distance, Weather and Bad Light", "Scale", "Transcriptions, Rancho Paradise Motor Park" I-III), "Great Aunt at the Guitar", and "Sleeping with Emanuela", All from Just West of Now: Poems at GoogleBooks; Labor Songs at GoogleBooks; "Love's Matters: A Symposium" ("Husband", "World Affairs", "Story Problem", "Fight Choreography", "Affliction", "Betrayal") at FragLit; "Name Change" (Excerpt from American Amnesiac) at The Newer York; "Sky with Proviso" at Idaho Statesman; "Numbers Ode" at Blast Furnace; "Neck and Neck", "Parts of Speech", "Plosion", All at; "Monogamy", "The Information Age", "Condition", "Interior Design", "Everything", "The Mother of Her Second Daughter", "The Diva Regina's Soliloquy", All at  Mudlark (Electronic Journal of Poetry & Poetics); "Elations" at Best Poem; "What Wittgenstein's College Friend Frank Says", "Art Must Be Useful to the People", "Interspecies", All at Sleet Magazine; Two Untitled Poems from American Amnesiac at Spiral Orb; Untitled Poem from American Amnesiac at Poetry 365 | Off the Shelf; "Materfamilias" and "Milk", Both at Arabesques Review

Boise Arts & History has posted "Diane Raptosh: Selection from American Amnesiac" on Vimeo (April 2014). (Poem's Text)

Diane Raptosh Blog

Diane Raptosh on FaceBook and Twitter

Dana Oland, "Boise's Poet Laureate Diane Raptosh Puts the City Into Poetic Perspective", Idaho Statesman, May 18, 2013 (As the city's poet, Raptosh was asked to write three poems, one each on the topics of environment, community, and enterprise.)

Boise City Department of Arts & History, "City of Boise Announces First Poet Laureate", January 15, 2013

Brad Carlson, "Writer Diane Raptosh Reaches Out", Idaho Press-Tribune, January 26, 2014

Allison Linville, "Interview: Diane Raptosh", CutBank Literary Magazine, January 7, 2014

*** Nin Andrews, "Interview with Diane Raptosh", Poets' Quarterly, October 13, 2013 (This is a particularly good interview in which Raptosh discusses American Amnesiac, which she admits is "challenging". A link is included to three audio recordings by Raptosh.)

"The Writers' Block for March 31st - Diane Raptosh", Audio Interview,, March 29, 2011

Reviews of American Amnesiac at NewPages Book Reviews (February 2014) and Weave Magazine (September 28, 2013)

Ahsahta Press

The Backwaters Press

Etruscan Press

Etruscan Press Page for American Amnesiac

Guernica Editions

Guernica Editions Pages for Parents from a Different Alphabet, and Just West of Now, and Labor Songs

Idaho Writer's League

Jamii Publishing

Log Cabin Literary Center

Lost Horse Press

National Book Foundation

Writer-in-Residence Page at Idaho Commission on the Arts

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thought for the Day

Without even noticing,
I'm in the present tense.
~ Poet Dan Gerber

Quoted from "Crocus", Poem by Dan Gerber in Sailing Through Cassiopeia

Six Poems by Dan Gerber, Narrative Magazine, July 2, 2010

George Kalamas, Review of Sailing Through Cassiopeia (Copper Canyon Press, 2012), Rain Taxi, Fall 2013

Sarah Branz, "An Interview with Dan Gerber", Through the 3rd Eye, February 7, 2013

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for the documentary To Kill a Sparrow by award-winning freelance Iranian photojournalist Zohreh Soleimani. Soleimani's film, produced by the Center for Investigative Journalism in California, tells the tragic story of Soheila of Afghanistan who, at age five, was married to an elderly man to compensate for a crime committed by Soheila's older brother. Soheil fled to be with the man she loved and subsequently was arrested and imprisoned for adultery.

To Kill a Sparrow was an Official Selection of ECU 2014.

Read about Soleimani's introduction to Soheila and the former's decision to document the young woman's story at To Kill a Sparrow. The report "Jailed for Love", from PBS Newshour and CIR, is included on the same page.


Solemani is the author of Zoroastrians in Iran.

Friday, May 23, 2014

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Temple University Press in March published Jane Golden's and David Updike's Philadelphia Mural Arts @30, which looks at the history of Philadelphia's Mural Arts Program, founded in 1984, and its influences on society, individuals, and communities. For an interesting post on the book, read David Updike's "Appreciating Philadelphia's Mural Arts @ 30" at North Pilly Notes blog.

✦ Relationships, embodiment, and containment are the thematic threads woven within and throughout the organic sculptures and fiber art of Michigan's Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk, chair of Calvin College Art Department and director of its Art Education Program. View her more than half-dozen galleries of images on her Website. I am taken especially with her beautiful Sanctuary and Body Bag series.

✦ Illinois master calligrapher Timothy R. Botts, who worked more than three decades as a book designer, claims Sister Corita Kent as a major influence on his art. See his lovely work in his online gallery. Botts accepts commissions for visual interpretations of texts, wallpieces, murals, and handmade and handbound books.

✦ The rhythms of New Orleans are at work in printmaker and sculptor Steve Prince's visually rich linoleum (lino) cuts. See Prince's The Making of Second Line for Michigan (for ArtPrize 2012).

✦ New York City's A Blade of Grass provides resources to artists who "demonstrate artistic excellence and serve as innovative conduits for social change." See the Overview on ABOG grants (for individuals and organizations) and artist fellowships. (My thanks to Austin Kleon for the link.)

✦ For a wonderful online exhibition of Chinese painting and calligraphy, visit the Seattle Art Museum's  interactives site, featuring essays, forums, images, and much more.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ In the first museum exhibition of its kind, the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City, is presenting "Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography". On view through September 14, the loosely thematically organized show of 170 objects (10 video works) by more than 80 artists from 20 countries looks closely at how contemporary jewelry artists manipulate and use digital images to reveal changing views of beauty and the human body, examine social, political, and cultural issues, perceive memory and desire, and question issues of identity. Among the exhibiting artists are Wafaa Bilal, Jiro Kamata, Kara Ross, Joyce Scott, and Noa Zilberman. A fully illustrated, 288-page catalogue published by Officinia Libraria is available. See images at the exhibition link above. The press release for the show offers additional details.

MAD Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ "Richard Estes's Realism" opened yesterday at Maine's Portland Museum of Art. Organized with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the show features more than 45 works by Estes, described as "the foremost practitioner of American photorealism" and "renowned for his precise, crystalline style." Paintings of Manhattan and other cities and natural sites and several rare portraits are on view in the five-decade survey, which continues through September 7. A catalogue is available.

The exhibition will travel to SAAM in October.

PMA on FaceBook and Twitter

✭  Amon Carter Museum, Ft, Worth, Texas, continues through July 6 "June Wayne: The Tamarind Decade" (1960-1970), which features more than a dozen prints the late artist (1918-2011) created while overseeing Tamarind Lithography Workshop (now Tamarind Institute). The prints, in various states or versions, reveal Wayne's deep knowledge or printmaking. See images of three prints: Three Observers (1963), At Last a Thousand II (1965), and To Get to the Other Side (1967), all lithographs.

June Wayne at Tamarind Institute

June Wayne Obituary, The New York Times

Amon Carter Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

✭ "The Art of the Louvre's Tuileries Garden" opens June 14 at Oregon's Portland Museum of Art. The exhibition, which will continue through September 21, celebrates the art, design, and evolution of the famous garden in Paris and will feature more than 100 sculptures, paintings, photographs, and drawings by European and American artists of the 17th-20th centuries. Works by Pissarro, Manet, and Cartier-Bresson, among others, will be on view. Lectures, plein air painting, family activities, and other related events are planned. 

Portland Art Museum on FaceBookTwitter, and YouTube

✭ On June 14, Mississippi Museum of Art, in Jackson, opens "Norman Rockwell: Murder in Mississippi", a look at Rockwell's preliminary drawings, photographs, preparatory oil sketch, and finished painting ("Murder in Mississippi") relating to the death in June 1964 of three civil rights activists. LOOK magazine asked Rockwell to illustrate the magazine's investigative cover story, "South Justice", about the incident. The exhibition, which also is a look at Rockwell's creative approach, will run through August 31.

MS Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday's Three on Poetry

National Poetry Month (April) has come and gone but there were so many events and so many wonderful items on the Web that there is no doubt some of us missed a few. Thursday's Three, therefore, offers a trio of poetry-related posts that are worth a look and a listen.

✭ In his interview with The Dooryard, Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea urged new readers of poetry to "relax". He also encouraged readers to "move on to some other poem" if the one you're reading "confuses you". Great suggestions! Read "'I am a man saying something to other men and women.' Talking with Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea".

"Monday Muse: Vermont's Poet Laureate", Writing Without Paper, June 18, 2012

✭ What could be better than free verse? New York City's The Village Voice set up a Dial-a-Poem line with number prompts that connected callers to recordings of poets reciting their poems. The poets included David Lehman, Philip Levine, Tom Sleigh, Joshua Mehigan, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Victoria Redel, Jonathan Galassi, Marie Howe, John Allman, Suzanne Cleary, Donna Masini, Billy Collins, and Edward Hirsch. Read "The Poetry  Issue: Free Verse — A New York Miscellany" for the text of the poems and the recordings.

Bob Hicok's "To Roanoke with Johnny Cash", which ends with the line "And the road was the color of him", appeared at Acid Free Pulp. Try reading it aloud to get a sense of its rhythm.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Artist Lecture with April Gornik

I think it's so important for people to be taught
 what makes art powerful.
~ Painter and Printmaker April Gornik

Find an hour to listen to this informative lecture by American painter April Gornik. Using many images of her work, including her drawings, Gornik talks about her artistic process, sources of influence and inspiration (nature especially), concept of "binaries", materials, thematic details, and specific land-, sky-, and seascapes, including Virga, a recent addition to Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection. 

Delivered at SAAM, Washington, D.C., on April 1 of this year, the lecture is the second honoring James F. Dicke II, the lecture sponsor.

April Gornik Website (Paintings and Prints)

April Gornik at Crown Point Press (Prints), Danese Corey,  Magnolia EditionsMarlborough Gallery, Pace Prints

April Gornik at Smithsonian American Art Museum

April Gornik on FaceBook

Annette Hinkle, "Inspiring Spaces: A Visit to April Gornik's Studio", The Sag Harbor Express, October 2, 2013

A Sky Filled with Shooting Stars, "'Oh, that's mine!' - Robert Ayers in conversation with April Gornik", May 2009 (Interview)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Instructions for a Cheesy Poem (Poem)

Instructions for a Cheesy Poem

Imagine writing a poem
that looks like Swiss cheese.
Will the empty spaces
before and after every stanza

always be the words
you'll never say to me?
Think! What metaphor will
invoke the creaminess

spread thick on your tongue
as you eat herb-studded goat
cheese? Will thin orange shreds
of cheddar stuck in the grater

stand for the piles of confetti
you had me sweep up last week
in the rain? If the poem stinks,
how will you avoid the cries,

"Oh, no, not more limburger!"
You'll need to watch for patterns,
like how you'll rhyme gouda
when you mean to praise Buddha.

If you have to count syllables,
you'll need to choose spring
cheeses — the floral of brin d'amour
for May's new love, maybe

St. Nectaire for its grassy aroma.
You won't want the poem to go on
long. Somewhere in that last line
place a third course and more wine.

© 2014 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem, with a few changes, was written for last month's poetry theme — cheese — at TweetSpeakPoetry.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Muse Reads 'A Kind of Dream'

Cover of A Kind of Dream

If, as Shakespeare wrote in "Rape of Lucrece", "Thoughts are but dreams", we might count ourselves especially lucky to read the thoughts that Kelly Cherry has written down in A Kind of Dream: Stories (Terrace Books/University of Wisconsin Press, 2014). In her latest book of fiction, Cherry shows us through the experiences of five generations of a Madison, Wisconsin, family "such stuff / As dreams are made on" (Prospero in Tempest) — birth, growing up, love, sex, marriage, parenthood and family — and denied — failure, violence, loss, death. That last theme, death, is a continuous thread in the novel, steadily unreeled, imagined and not, connecting (because of its inevitability) all generations past, present, and future. 

Though part of a trilogy (the other two novels-in-stories are Cherry's My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers, published in 1990, and The Society of Friends, issued in 1999), A Kind of Dream stands solidly on its own. As the last book in the trilogy, it also echoes that earlier mentioned theme of all things coming to their end in due time.

The arrangement of the wittily titled, interrelated stories begins with an inventive prologue that introduces us to family members in the style of dictionary entries (with abbreviated grammatical descriptors: n. for noun, Compound subj. for compound subject, adj. for adjective, abbr. for abbreviation, etym. for etymology, etc.) and closes with an epilogue in which dogs, and in particular the small dog Virgil (note his name), offer a beautiful view of eternity. The cohesive narrative moves swiftly along as each family member's story, or some piece of that story, is told. The shifting perspectives of the stories together reveal a vision of life as it can be lived in its biggest, smallest, most intimate, and most vulnerable moments, at beginnings, middles, and ends. The endings, notably, are bittersweet; while they can be and are mourned, they also become occasions for taking stock of and acknowledging all that was hoped for and can be celebrated: the work of art that is life itself.

The principal characters are Nina, a writer (and more); Nina's husband Palmer, a historian; Nina's adopted daughter Tavy, a 20-something painter and the unwed mother of Callie, a wise child with musical talent; and BB, Nina's niece who is an actress and the mother of Tavy, and BB's husband, the filmmaker Roy, who are in Mongolia making a movie. These characters are vividly realized, multi-dimensional, invested with dialogue, actions, ups and downs, and especially emotions that are true-to-life. They have a down-to-earth straightforwardness that allows room for growth without the constraint of sentimentality.

I found in A Kind of Dream many things to like, apart from apt characterizations and multiple perspectives. Perhaps because she is a poet, Cherry writes with a wonderful economy that propels the storytelling. In the "Prologue: On Familiar Terms", for example, Cherry's use of many short sentences to "define" her characters is entirely appropriate to the lexicon she's crafted. Cherry "gets" women and their relationships, and writes of them in ways tender and frank. She includes cultural and literary allusions and makes use of double meanings and plays on words or phrases (e.g., "Shooting Star", "The Only News That Matters") that demonstrate her considerable wit and facility with words. She can surprise, drawing you in and setting you up for an ending you don't necessarily expect, as in "Story Hour". She is lyrical — "From her kitchen window she saw the bare limbs of the lilac pulling on long gloves of snow." ("Faith, Hope, and Clarity", a tour-de-force chapter) — and often funny — "Larry did not get up. When your second ex-wife tells you she thinks of you as roadkill, you do not get up." ("Story Hour").

And, as are Shakespeare's plays, Kelly's A Kind of Dream is more than the sum of its stories. By its end, I came to think of the book as a metaphor for ideas, creativity, and the endurance of the artistic life and the work we aim to leave behind. If we're lucky, inspiration overrides our fits and starts and ultimately shows us a way to make real what we only imagine. What can seem like a dream — not wholly explicable, frequently fraught, always interpretable, changeable over time — is engaging the idea at its source. That can be hard work; it takes passion to see a dream to its end, to make it into something, and an uncommon willingness to let it go once you're beyond it.

. . . when you've learned to see what's in front of you and you decide to paint it, the world rushes in on you. I imagine a newborn feels like this, inundated, confused, and frightened. Shapes, colors, composition, perspective fly toward you like a flock of birds. . . It's not easy just to stay standing and keep looking. And then you realize that what you thought was an assault has become an embrace; the painting-to-be surrounds you, and you are in a place of enormous possibility. This is what it is like to make art. Of any kind, I'm sure of that. . . . (Tavy in "The Autobiography of My Mother(s)" in A Kind of Dream)

I don't say of many works of fiction that I dream of spending more time with them but I have the feeling that A Kind of Dream could make for a particularly rich second reading.

Kelly Cherry first came to my attention when she was appointed Virginia's state poet. I wrote a profile of her (read my Monday Muse post of January 24, 2011), later interviewed her (read my post of May 16, 2012), and eventually reviewed her ninth chapbook Vectors (read my post of February 4, 2013). It was inevitable, it seems, that I migrated to her fiction. 

A prolific and award-winning writer, Kelly has published more than 30 books, not only chapbooks and full collections of poetry but also other novels and short stories, nonfiction (an autobiography and books on writing), and translations of classical drama.  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Thought for the Day

It is the not-yet-born
we are up against.
They will be the first to forget us.
~ Irish Poet Dennis O'Driscoll

Quoted from "Not the Dead", Poem by Dennis O'Driscoll in Dear Life (Anvil Press, 2012)

Dennis O'Driscoll, 1954-2012

Dennis O'Driscoll Obituary, The Telegraph, January 14, 2013

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday Short

Today's short is a stop-motion animation of drawings of women's faces, "Women Who Sit: A Collaboration". The 15 drawings are by painter and installation artist Karina Puente, who was the 2013 Artist-in-Residence at A Room of Her Own Foundation. She was assisted by animator Rebecca Scheckman, who also did the camera work and editing.

Puente's work encompasses figurative and abstract paintings and portraiture.

View Puente's fine work in Gallery 1, Gallery 2, and Gallery 3 of her Website.

Karina Puente on FaceBook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Friday, May 16, 2014

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

Eleanor Annand paints on steel and also creates scribed and abraded drawings on paper. One of her loveliest paintings is Silt (2013). Annand, whose exhibition of paintings and drawings concluded at Penland Gallery on May 11, uses reptitious mark-making, she says, "as a means to clear my mind and allow for focus." One of her intentions is to reveal "common themes [that] create connections we can use to find deeper understanding in one another." Definitely an artist to watch!

Eleanor Annand's Resume

✦ The British Council and University College London have launched Museum Training School, the goal of which is "to provide arts and heritage professionals from around the world with the skills and knowledge necessary to increase the sustainability and growth of museums and galleries." Summer classes will take place in London.

✦ Watch the slide show at the link that follows to see what happens when house paint is dripped into a huge fish tank: "A NASA Engineer Turned Artist Whose Canvas Is a Huge Fish Tank" (Wired, April 1, 2014). More images of Kim Keever's series of gorgeous images are at homemade artwork. Keever has had numerous solo shows and exhibited in scores of group shows. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Hirshhorn Museum, and Chrysler Museum (Norfolk, Virginia), among others. Here's a video of his Small Mountains 03, shot in a water-filled aquarium (Keever also composed the music):

Kim Keever at David B. Smith Gallery, Denver, Colorado

Kim Keever on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ A collection of photographs and writing by late photojournalist Chris Hondros, Testament (powerHouse Books), was published in April. 

✦ Our National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., was the recipient last year of Vincent Van Gogh's Green Wheat Fields. Details about the 1890 oil painting indicate that it was in the Virginia home of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon until its donation to NGA. If you visit, ask if the painting is still on view.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ In conjunction with Sculpture City Saint Louis 2014, the Saint Louis Art Museum is presenting through September 7 "Sight Lines: Richard Serra's Drawings for Twain". Taking up one block in downtown St. Louis, Twain is a site-specific work comprising seven 40-foot steel plates and a single 50-foot plate that together form a quadrilateral. Serra's drawings and photographs for the sculpture, the artist's first public commission in the United States, present a 360-degree view of the site and its relationship to the installation's form. Included in the exhibition is a steel model.

SLAM on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Twenty-five years of work by Tony Feher has gone on view at Ohio's Akron Art Museum. Continuing through August 17, the exhibition reveals the huge range of everyday materials that Feher uses to create art: bottles of colored water, marbles, pennies, shelves, Styrofoam blocks, crates, paper cups, plastic bags, and assorted packing items, to name a few. Feher's selection of found or throwaway objects is not ad hoc; he chooses everything for both its visual and structural qualities, and with attention to color and light and form. A catalogue featuring Feher's sculpture, installations, and two-dimensional work accompanies the show (see cover image at above right).

Akron Art Museum on FaceBook

New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, will open "Local Color: Judy Chicago in New Mexico 1984-2014" on June 6. Drawing from the museum's collection, private collections, and the artist's studio, the exhibition, which will run through October 12 and is one of a series of events marking Chicago's 75th birthday, will include large-scale public projects of the artist, such as her mural-sized oil paintings from Power Play (1982-86), and smaller personal artworks, ranging from objects she's made for Passover Seder to porcelain sculptures memorializing household cats. A catalogue will be available.

NM Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube 

Notable Exhibitions Abroad

✭ A large survey of the work of the marvelous sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard opened May 4 at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England. On view through April 1, 2015, the exhibition — part of the 100-day-long Yorkshire Festival —  includes more than 40 sculptures and drawings from the last two decades of the artist's career. A conversation with the artist about her work is planned. A catalogue including an interview is available. See the exhibition trailer.

YSP on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

✭ "Robert Mapplethorpe" opened in late March at the Grand Palais in Paris. The exhibition of more than 200 images, from the early 1970s to Mapplethorpe's death in 1989 continues through July 13. The first video below introduces the show; the second is a discussion with Patti Smith.

Grand Palais on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Continuing through June 8 at Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, St. John's Wood, London, is "Roman Halter: Life and Art Through Stained Glass". More than 70 works, including Halter's collaboration with Henry Moore, Reclining Figure,  are featured. (At the exhibition link, you'll find information about the late artist (1927-2012), who was a Holocaust survivor, and the work on display.) 

Roman Halter, Reclining Figure, 1986
Colored Glass and Cast Aluminum in Six Sections
121 cm x 182.9 cm (47.6" x 72")
Edition of 7
After Henry Moore's Original Idea for Stained Glass Window

Obituary in The Telegraph, February 29, 2012

Ben Uri Gallery and Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Kazaan Viveiros, Night Garden, 2014
Acrylic on Panel, 36" x 24"
© 2014 Kazaan Viveiros
Please Do Not Copy Image

Please join me today at Escape Into Life, where I've posted a new Artist Watch feature.

It gives me great pleasure to present the paintings of Kazaan Viveiros, an artist who first came to my attention in 2010. I'm especially pleased that Viveiros is sharing some of her new work with us.

At the new Artist Watch post, you'll find images of Viveiros's work, her Artist Statement, information about her background, and some of the galleries where Viveiros's paintings are on view.

If you're in the Washington, D.C., area this summer, make a reservation for dinner at the restaurant The Landing, where a number of Viveiros's paintings are hanging.

Viveiros also is among a group of artists participating in the Art Advisory program at Smith Center Center for Healing and the Arts.

Read my All Art Friday post of January 15, 2010, which includes a feature on Viveiros who, at the time, was exhibiting at the Athenaeum in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia.

Kazaan Viveiros Website

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Richard Tuttle Interview

Artists, they're from nature; they come out of nature,
they're like the clouds that just happen.
~ American Artist Richard Tuttle

In the video below, post-Minimalist artist Richard Tuttle talks with Marc-Christoph Wagner at Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen. Tuttle offers an intimate, deeply personal view about being an artist and about the importance of having art in life.

A recent Artist-in-Residence at Getty Research Institute, Tuttle is a painter, sculptor, and printmaker whose work, found in museums throughout the world, also includes drawing, installations, furniture, and artists' books. He is intuitive, interpretive, subtle, and unconventional in his approach.

Tuttle lives and works in Maine, New Mexico, and New York.

Exhibition "1, 2, 3 | Richard Tuttle", March 14, 2014 - April 26, 2014: Images of New Works (The show included textiles, works on paper, and sculpture.)

Art Basel Conversations | Artist Richard Tuttle on Vimeo

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hungry (Poem)


the woman on her back      bathed
in gold        curve of silken skin

black seeds         one at a time
carried up to the moon      shimmering
its light could hypnotize

ivory fingers        spirals in a mouth
of velvet        the silence
ravished              and between breaths

little pieces of rose petals on tongues
roots of emerald threads — the lace of the earth
you would unbind

not by accident
the beds in the garden      stripped
and rock-hard

© 2104 Maureen E. Doallas

With my thanks to L.L. Barkat, who provided the words, each one of which you'll find somewhere in her beautiful new collection Love, Etc.

This poem has been published, with audio, at The Poetry Storehouse.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Muse: New Hampshire's Poet Laureate

. . . the language of poetry isn't only the translation
or expression of experience; the language of 
poetry is experience. . . .*
~ Alice B. Fogel

New Hampshire's current Poet Laureate is Alice B. Fogel. Formally nominated in November 2013, Fogel was appointed to the five-year position and began serving in January of this year. She succeeds the late Walter E. Butts, who held the post from March 2009 through March 2013. Forgel's term concludes in 2019.

In making the appointment, which for the first time includes an annual honorarium, New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan cited Fogel's ability to "[help] convey the human relationship to the natural world in a way that all poetry readers can appreciate." Fogel says her goals as the state's "abassador for poets" are to bring more poetry to more people, get more people reading poetry, and collaborate with in-state arts organizations to promote poetry within and without the state.**

Information about the honorary position, which has no specified duties, is found in my January 10, 2011, post about Walter Butts.

* *  * * *
. . . I write poems to make new things out of language. 
Words are my paint, my clay, my dance steps. I like how they taste, 
look, sound, move, feel, interconnect, come with history, association, 
archetype, surprise. I love how they can be molded and altered, 
rearranged, punned with, and onomatopoeiaed. . . .***

Alice B. Fogel is the author, most recently, of Interval: Poems Based upon Bach's Goldberg Variations (forthcoming in 2014 from Schaffner Press), which was awarded the Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature, and the best-selling poetry collection Be That Empty: An Apologia for Air (Harbor Mountain Press, 2007). 

Fogel also has published Strange Terrain: A Poetry Handbook for the Reluctant Reader (Hobblebush Books, 2009), which she based on a program she devised for New Hampshire Humanities Council. Her objective in writing the book was to make poetry as accessible as possible.

Fogel's other, earlier poetry collections are I Love This Dark World (Zoland Books, 1996) and Elemental: Poems (Zoland Books, 1993).

Her poetry, Fogel toward a Valley News interviewer in 2013 (see link below), is not "about my life. . . I'm much more interested in perception and different takes on reality and how we can express the inner life we share with the whole planet." To that end, Fogel takes as her themes nature (especially), human consciousness and awareness, relationship or connectedness, memory, time's passage, love, loss, joy.

In her carefully, elegantly written poetry, Fogel makes much of language, layers images and allusions to show rather than narrate what is happening, uses metaphor, similes, and syntax to heighten emotional effect or influence meanings, writes sometimes entirely in third person, and sometimes does not punctuate. Cadence and music are noteworthy. While critics apply such descriptors as "complex" and "intelligent" to her poems, Fogel says that a poem is not complete until it is read (Amoskeag Journal "Author Spotlight"). Multiple readings of Fogel's poems tend to reward. 

Rather than offer a complete poem here, I've chosen a selection of lines from a variety of Fogel's poems to give a sense of how beautifully she creates images and how musically she works her words:

". . . With my body like a brine spiraling. . . ." (from "Variation 1: Yhwh")

". . . I brewed the rutilated / light till it refracted in the wells between comets rocketing. . . ." (from "Variation 1: Yhwh")

 ". . . that dry crackling of pallid / corn stalks clacking. . . ." (from "To the Bone")

". . . Dark, darker, the syrup / darkening under midnight's departing moon: the comet / moonlighting, the sap—moonshine. . . ." (from "Sweet Vein")

". . . To crush sloughed leaves / with slim sounds no louder in heaven // than none — migrate / through tunnel skin meant to briefly // burrow in — emerge / clean removed and hunt whole again." (from "Variation 6: Snake")

Poems by Fogel have appeared in The Boston Globe and scores of prestigious magazines, journals, and literary periodicals, including Adanna, Atlanta ReviewBarrow StreetChelsea Magazine, Crab Creek ReviewCrazy HorseGreen Mountains Review, Iowa Review, LettersMassachusetts Quarterly, Minnesota ReviewNotre Dame Review, PleiadesPloughshares, Poetica, Poetry DailyPoetry NorthwestPoet's Choice (from Robert Hass), SpillwayTriQuarterly Review, and Yale Letters.

Some of the anthologies that include Fogel's poems are Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poets on Art 2013A cappella Zoo #8: Spring 2012 (Volume 8),  2008 Poets' Guide to New HampshireBedside Guide to No Tell Motel Vols. 1 & 2 (No Tell Motel, 2007), Best American Poetry OnlineClaiming the Spirit Within: A Sourcebook of Women's Poetry (Beacon Press, 2001), Rattapallax 5 (A Journal of Contemporary Literature) (Ram Devineni, 2001),  Under the Legislature of Stars: 62 New Hampshire Poets (Oyster River Press, 1999), Poet's Choice (Ecco Press, 1998), and Best American Poetry (Collier-Macmillan, 1993).

A lecturer in English at Keene State College, Putney, Vermont, who also teaches students with learning disabilities, Fogel is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1997); has been nominated at least six times for a Pushcart Prize; and has been honored with an Alligator Juniper Writing Award and a Daniel Varoujan Award for an unpublished poem (nontranslation) (New England Poetry Club). She completed in 2012 a residency at Carl Sandburg National Historic Site, Flat Rock, North Carolina.

For her company Lyric Couture, Fogel designs one-of-a-kind clothing (what Fogel calls "collaged artwear") of repurposed materials.


Photo: Keene State College

All Poetry Excerpts © Alice B. Fogel

* Quoted from Keene State College News of Fogel's Appointment (See link below.)

** Quoted from "An Interview with New Hampshire Poet Laureate Alice B. Fogel", Video, Hobblebush Books, February 6, 2014 (Video is below.)

*** Quoted from Alice B. Fogel's "Poetry is an Art, Or: How to Not 'Get' Poetry", in Gwarlingo, 2013 (Here, Fogel shares a chapter from Strange Terrain.)

Shelly Angers, "Alice Fogel Named NH Poet Laureate", The Forum, November 30, 2013

"Alice Fogel Named N.H. Poet Laureate", Poetry Society of New Hampshire, November 20, 2013 (pdf)

"Alice B. Fogel Named New Hampshire Poet Laureate", Keene Sate College News, November 20, 2013

Alice B. Fogel Resume 

Alice B. Fogel Poems Online: "Disturbance" in Audio at Alice B. Fogel Website; "The Riven House", "To the Bone", and "Variation 22: Equivocator", All at Alice B. Fogel Website;"Sweet Vein", "To the Bone", "Morning Glory", and "Variation 16: Actor", All at Alice B. Fogel Website; "House of Hoarding" at Amoskeag Journal (read "Author Spotlight"); "Variation 1: Yhwh" at The Best American Poetry Blog; "The Self, Falling" at Magdalansminimarat's Blog; "Hearts" in The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel - Second Floor at GoogleBooks; "Awakener" at CHEST Journal; "The Doubtful House" and "The Glass House", Both at Construction Magazine; "House of Clothing" at No Tell Motel; "Variation 6: Snake" at Mayday Magazine; "The Necessity" at Compendium; "The Closet", "The Playhouse", and "The Riven House", All at Spittoon 3.4

Melannie Plenda, "Poetry Opens Doors for Alice Fogel", SentinelSource (The Keene Sentinel), November 30, 2013

Nicole Smith, "Alice B. Fogel and the Mystery of Poetry", Valley News, September 27, 2013 (Fogel discusses her poetry handbook and her writing process, her background, and publishing experience, as well as several manuscripts she is writing.)

Beth Beasley, "New Sandburg Poet to Work with Youth", BlueRidgeNow, March 4, 2012

Eileen Tabios, "Be That Empty: Apologia for Air by Alice B. Fogel", Review, Galatea Resurrects, July 20, 2008

Review of Strange Terrain, World Class Poetry

Review of I Love This Dark World,  Publishers Weekly, April 1, 1996

Alligator Juniper

Beacon Press

Poet Laureate Page at New Hampshire State Council on the Arts

New Hampshire Page at Academy of American Poets

Oyster River Press

Poetry Society of New Hampshire

Schaffner Press