Friday, October 31, 2014

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Driftwood is an unusual choice for jewelry, and Nina Morrow has made a specialty of creating bracelets, bangles, pendants, rings, earrings, and necklaces from driftwood found on the banks of the Rio Grande (she lives in Santa Fe). The wearable results are as unique as they are stunning. See Morrow's portfolio.

✦ The documentary Art and Craft, about art forger Mark Landis, is screening at film festivals around the country. Here's the official trailer for the film, directed by Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman. Following its release, the documentary will be issued on DVD; it will air subsequently on television.

Art and Craft on FaceBook

✦ The natural world finds an inspired place in the woven forms of the largely self-taught sculptor Karen Gubitz. Following her legal career, Gubitz took up art full-time, subsequently winning awards for her work around the country. See her portfolio, which includes The Grand Gathering, an installation for ArtPrize 2014 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

✦ Hammer Museum at the University of California Los Angeles presented in 2012 the first museum survey in the United States of the sculpture of Poland's Alina Szapoczikow. Included in the exhibition by this significant but not so well-known sculptor were Szapocznikow's carvings in Carrara marble and assemblages in polyester resin; in all some 60 sculptures and 50 works on paper were on view, in addition to photographic works. Complementing the exhibition, "Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955-1972" (see a slideshow), was a program on the late Polish poet and Nobel Prize winner Wislawa Szymborska, presented for "cultural context". Listen to audio of that program; the speakers include poet and scholar Piotr and UCLA professor Roman Koropeckyj. Also available is this unusual remix incorporating the reading at Hammer.

Hammer Museum on FaceBookTwitter, and Vimeo

✦ Ohio's Toledo Museum of Art offers a digital edition of its exhibition catalogue "The Great War: Art on the Front Line". The show concluded October 19.

✦ Are you an arts instructor or otherwise interested in visual literacy? Take time to browse The Visual Literacy Toolbox: Learning to Read Images. The site includes online activities, lesson plans, a "bank of questions" to generate explorations of the components of visual literacy, and strategies for using the toolbox.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Opening November 8 at American University's Katzen Arts Center is "The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper, 1949-1992)". Featuring some 40 artworks, many never viewed publicly before, the exhibition includes the great Richard Diebenkorn's pencil and ink drawings on paper, collages, and watercolors created over four decades. The show will be up through December 14.

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, c. 1958-1966

The exhibition will travel to Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, California, where it will be on view June 6, 2015 - August 23, 2015; it will conclude at Montana Museum of Art & Culture, The University of Montana at Missoula, from September 24, 2015 - December 12, 2015. A 128-page catalogue with 88 full-color images (Kelly's Cove Press) accompanies the exhibition (see image below).

Catalogue Cover

Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993)  Catalogue Raisonne

AUArts on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Opening today at Ohio's Toledo Museum of Art is "Speaking Visual: Learning the Language of Art", on view through January 25, 2015. The exhibition features artworks from the museum's own collection to instruct viewers in methods for and approaches to art interpretation.

November 5-8 the museum will present "The Art of Seeing: From Ordinary to Extraordinary", the 47th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association. The public is welcome to attend the conference, which convenes with academic researchers, educators, museum professionals, artists, and business thought leaders discussing how people increasingly are communicating with visual language. The keynote speakers are David Howes, an anthropology professor and director of Concordia Centre for Sensory Studies, Montreal; ceramist Magdalene Odundo; Dr. Joseph Rosen, a plastic surgeon with Dartmouth Medical School; museum educator Philip Yenawine, director of education, MoMA; Nick Sousanis, co-founder of The Detroiter arts and cultural Webmagazine; Stephen Apkon, founder of Jacob Burns Film Center; Lynell Burmark, who won Stanford's Walter Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching; and artist Aminah Robinson. The sessions are free. 

Toledo Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ While it's closed for expansion, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is showing around the Bay Area. Among its offerings is "Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California", on view through April 12, 2015, at Oakland Museum of California. The show is about four creative communities: the circle of artists who worked with, influenced, or were influenced by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in the 1930s; painters and photographers, including Richard Diebenkorn and Mark Rothko, Minor White and Imogen Cunningham, associated with the California School of Fine Arts in the 1940s and 1950s; faculty and students at UC Davis in the 1960s and 1970s, including Wayne Thiebaud and William T. Wiley; and the Mission District artists of the 1990s and forward. Five videos related to artists whose work in in the exhibition are on the exhibition page.

Oil on Canvas
Collection SFMoMA
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Schorer
© Estate of Elmer Bischoff
Photo Credit: Ben Blackwell

SF MoMA on FaceBook, Twitter, and Tumblr

Notable Exhibition Abroad

✭ A group exhibition, "This is Me, This is Also Me", opens November 6 at McMaster Museum of Art, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. On view through March 14, 2015, the show presents the work of  thirteen artists whose work focuses on self-representation and self-portraiture. Included are photographs, paintings, drawings, prints, installations, sculpture, and video art addressing ideas about displacement, doubling, recognition, mis-recognition, and memory and counter-memory in autobiographical art. Featured are works by Carl Beam, Rebecca Belmore, Deanna Bowen, Cathy Daley, General Idea, Doug Guildford, Jin-Me Yoon, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Kent Monkman, Edvard Munch, Grace Ndiritu, Andy Warhol, and Joyce Wieland. The exhibition includes a curators' edited collection, Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography (University of Toronto Press, 2014). A panel discussion is scheduled for November 27; a discussion with three of the artists is planned for March 12, 2015.

McMaster Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gorgeous Persian Calligraphy

A man with skill has at every fingertip
a key to the lock of daily sustenance.

The Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C., has created a short video to accompany an exhibition about the beautiful nasta'liq script. The exhibition, "Nasta'liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy", on view through March 22, 2015, includes examples of the calligraphy dating from 1400 to 1600. (I saw the exhibit last week and can attest that nasta'liq may be the most beautiful calligraphy I've ever seen. Several examples are written aslant. The colors, especially the golds and blues, and the ornate papers are visually stunning.) 

The calligrapher in the video is Manzar Moghbeli.

Masters and Pupils of Nasta'liq

For events related to the exhibition, including lectures in December by Harvard University's David J. Roxburgh and Ohio State University's Dick Davis, see this list.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Wonder: Miles and Miles

...These installations so ethereal they become 
like these frozen layers of light....
~ Gabriel Dawe, Mixed-Media and Installation Artist

If you've ever wondered what an artist can do with ordinary sewing thread and a pole, wonder no more. Just be amazed. The installation artist Gabriel Dawe of Dallas, Texas, who came to the United States by way of Mexico and Canada, has created for the "State of the Art" exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art a 20-foot-tall sculpture, plexus no. 27, comprising thread that he has stretched between the ceiling and the floor so that subtle shifts in color occur as the eye moves across the piece. In the short below, Dawe explains the "Zen-like process" and concentration needed for this work, which required an estimated 40 miles to 60 miles of sewing thread in 16 colors. His dialogue with the space in which he worked was "the most challenging" aspect of the installation's creation, producing an artwork that "is almost kinetic". A photograph, he says, does not do justice to the work's richness.

The Crystal Bridges exhibition, in Benton, Arkansas, remains on view through January 19, 2015. Download the State of the Art mobile app on iTunes. To see more of the artworks in the exhibition, click on the exhibition link above.

(My thanks to PBS NewsHour Art Beat for the link.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Calculation (Poem)


There is nothing like sleeping
in the middle of a queen-size bed,
sheets tucked tight, comforter close
against slight shoulders. Once
your arms were blankets enough,
my back to your chest never
in the way. Too soon we were
staking twin claims, your side
and mine battling new divisions,
neither of us knowing how to
calculate all that we were missing.

© 2014 Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Muse Reads 'Catholic Boy Blues'

. . . if you learn how to listen to the deepest part
of yourself,  that's where the most important words
that are yours come from. . . .*
~ Poet and Writer Norbert Krapf

Cover, Catholic Boy Blues
Photograph by Author's Pastor Given to Parents in 1950s

For former Indiana Poet Laureate** Norbert Krapf, it took nearly 50 years of listening to the deepest, locked-away part of himself to address the profound abuse to which his Catholic parish priest subjected him when Krapf was a child. During the period of that abuse, the priest took the photograph (see image above) that became part of the cover art for Krapf's 2014 autobiographical collection Catholic Boy Blues (Greystone Publishing), and gave it to Krapf's parents. That haunting photograph, an evocative visualization of the painful words comprising Krapf's poems, contains both dark secret and starker truth. Krapf wrestles with both over the course of his four-part collection by assuming four dramatically different yet intertwined voices: the boy who suffers sexual abuse, the man who sets upon the "healing journey" that requires reconciling the boy to the adult he became, the priest whom Krapf allows to engage in dialogue with the boy, who finds in himself the extraordinary courage to speak back once and for all, and a wise figure Krapf calls "Mr. Blues". The latter speaks in four voices, too — friend, advice-giver, counselor, mentor — that if they could be sounded as one, might best be described as "savior", for Mr. Blues ultimately helps the boy Krapf was and the man Krapf is today to "break free" of "the language of pain" to sing as "one with the spirit inside me" where hope and forgiveness, even love, reside. Mr. Blues teaches boy and man to see that

there's always a hopeful boy inside the man.
Deep down lives a hopeful boy inside the man
won't quit fighting till he comes out best he can.

In that final "Love Song for  Mr. Blues" from which the above lines are quoted we find all the reasons Krapf is able to survive his harrowing journey.

* * * * *

Catholic Boy Blues, Krapf's twenty-sixth book, is dedicated to "my sisters and brothers of any age in all lands abused by priests or other authority figures". As anyone who pays even slight attention to the news knows, an enormous group of Catholics and former Catholics — Krapf now known to be among them — suffered a silencing, only now starting to be reversed, because of the presence of priest-pedophiles in their church. Krapf movingly describes that silence:

Not even the great
visionary wordsmiths
Isaiah and Jeremiah

had to find words
to tell their people
how it feels

for a boy
to be so defiled
by a priest

that for fifty years
he keeps his mouth shut
even to those he loves.
~ "Not Even Isaiah and Jeremiah" 

In his acknowledgment in the Preface that his "responsibility and mission as a poet" oblige him to share the "dirty little secret" with the public, Krapf, now 70, bears startling witness to art's power to save when, as the persona Mr. Blues says in "Mr. Blues Wakes Up", we can "sing it straight".

* * * * *

Krapf draws this collection of poems from the 325 that, he writes in his Preface, "began to come, with volcanic force, night and day". His recognition that "the time had come to testify" and his inspired approach to handling his difficult subject make for explicit and emotionally complex writing. Indeed, the voices in Catholic Boy Blues resound with anger, "heavy hurt", resentment, the shame and sorrow of "dirty old memories", descriptions of gut-wrenching violations by a priest who "taught the apprentice hunters / what it means to be hunted" ("Priest as Hunter"), and heart-felt feelings of abandonment and despair, perhaps, most sadly, because he had "parents who had no clue about the plot" ("Little Boy Blue Playbill") of the story Krapf was living. More than once I had to put aside my reading, so filled I was with revulsion and anger at what Krapf the child was subjected to:

[. . .]
Nobody to speak to me
or for me, nobody to see

where his hot hands went,
nobody to help me vent. 

Not to have any voice.
Not to have any choice.

To be left all alone
sore to the bone.
~ from "The Boy to the Man He Became"

The collection is no easy read. In relating his experience along "the rocky road toward forgiveness and healing", Krapf holds nothing back to ensure that as we travel with him, we don't miss the photographs he's taken and exposed, as in "The Hand" ("The hand that reaches / for the altar boy's crotch // rubs oil on the forehead / of the dying....") and poems such as "Pedophilia Nursery Rhyme", its title alone speaking volumes. And the questions Krapf asks — "Where Was God?", "You Wonder?", "Nuns", "Who Needs Dante?" — are the same we ask ourselves while reading. We cheer at poems such as "Cut the Crud, Priest" and "The Boy Shoves Back", and, like Krapf, we, too, want to hear the priest "Singing in the Slammer".

Remarkably, despite the "lasting memories" of his life-altering experience during childhood, Krapf finds refuge and solace, here in the perceptive, insightful person of Mr. Blues—the figure we all need in our lives. In "This Is Not the End", it is Mr. Blues who makes clear that even though "[n]obody in any of these stories, / wherever they take place, will // live happily ever after", it is possible that "if people / can summon what it takes to tell // the truth, they can live together and help others find their voice":

 One voice singing by itself can
   sound awfully small, but several

voices lifting as one can make
      a chorus that sings a mighty song.

In Catholic Boy Blues, Norbert Krapf adds his own huge and important voice to the choir. Long after his poetic aria has come to its end, his listeners will still hear his songs of lamentation and rejoice in jubilation "at growing together" in love that clears us a path out of our pasts.

* 2008-2010 (Read Monday Muse profile. Krapf has received a number of honors, most recently the 2014 Glick Indiana Authors Award (Regional).)

Norbert Krapf on FaceBook

Note: Norbert Krapf has recorded an essay, "A Boy Who Finally Spoke Out", that will air in the near future on NPR's "All Things Considered" program. Check Krapf's FaceBook page or Website for details. The essay also will be available at the site of the Indianapolis Spirit & Place Festival. Krapf's essay "Poetry and the Blues", which he wrote for the Indiana Author Awards site, is available on the site's blog. (My thanks to Norbert Krapf for this additional information.)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thought for the Day

. . . the sound of change is silent. . . .
~ Drew Myron

Quoted from "Break" in Drew Myron's Thin Skin (Push Pull Books, 2013) 

Drew Myron writes at Off the Page.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Short

Today's short is a feature about "Common Thread: The Anou Residencies", which resulted in a collection of six bespoke hand-woven rugs inspired by Berber heritage, surroundings, and personal stories. The artisans, who all live in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, collaborated with designer Sabrina Kraus Lopez of the United Kingdom to produce new designs and approaches based on the traditional weaving techniques of the Amazigh culture. The rugs were on view at last month's 2014 London Design Festival.

Anou is an online platform in which the crafts of the Amazigh people are fair-trade sold.

(My thanks to the British Council for the link to the film.)

Friday, October 24, 2014

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Painter and sculptor Hayal Pozanti has made her first prints at Tamarind Institute. The abstracted geometric forms in her colorful lithographs and monoprints are intriguing. Also not to be missed: the prints in Tamarind's exhibition "LandMarks: Indigenous Australian Artists and Native American Artists Explore Connections to the Land", which concluded last month. Watch a video about the show.

✦ Artwork by Daehyun Kim (a.k.a. Moonassi) recently graced the cover of the literary periodical Prairie Schooner. The Korean artist, who lives in Seoul, studied painting but calls his black-ink Moonassi drawings his "life-time project". The series is highly imaginative, full of unspoken narrative, and just waiting for a poet's interpretations. The artist has been involved in a number of fascinating collaborations; one involves Korean singer, songwriter, and actress Han Hee Jung. Kim also has done illustrations for The New York Times, among other publications.

Moonassi on FaceBook and Tumblr

✦ For artists with scientific inclinations: American Physical Society fellow Dr. J.R. Leibowitz's Hidden Harmony: The Connected Worlds of Physics and Art (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008; see image to right). Intended for a general audience, the book presents the disciplines as creative processes and includes numerous art images and their complements in physics.

✦ The Guggenheim Museum has made more than 40 additional art texts available to read on the Web, bringing the total number of free exhibition publications to 109. The first 65 were released digitally in 2012.

✦ Weaver Peggy Osterkamp, who also is a textile scholar and a teacher who has published books for both beginners and professionals, creates beautiful and inspired work, which includes fine wearables and gorgeous Japanese-influenced artworks. Her sculptural ruffle pieces of silk are especially beautiful. Currently, Osterkamp, who lives in Greenbrae, California, is showing her Four Veils at a juried Textile Society of America exhibition that continues through January 4, 2015. 

✦ Watch this video featuring Matthew Ritchie talking about his just-concluded exhibition "Ten Possible Links" at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York City. Ritchie's paintings, wall drawing, and sculpture, as well as a film, Monstrance, were inspired by Ritchie's work with philosopher Graham Harman. The music in the video is from Monstrance, which was composed and performed by Bryce Dessner; an excerpt from the performance is available at Ritchie's Website. (My thanks to ArtInfo for the video and this introduction to Ritchie's work.)

Exhibition Checklist

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Alabama's Coleman Center for the Arts presents the functional and somewhat whimsical baskets and woven sculptures of Mary Jane Everett in "American Castles", on view through January 9, 2015. Everett's work incorporates found objects that reference the land and rural farm structures (silos, grain bins, etc.) and farm tools or machine parts (hay rakes, chicken wire, tractor seats and gears, disc blades, brake rotors, and the like, all repurposed) of Mississippi and Alabama. The fibers she uses come from kudzu vine, feed sacks, sisal, and naturally grown reed. Work by Everett can be found at Asheville Art Museum (see her Wheels, 2004) and in other collections.

Coleman Center on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ A late 13th Century or early 14th Century Chinese-made tea-leaf storage jar — Chigusa — is the single object in "Chigusa and the Art of Tea in Japan", an exhibition at Princeton University Art Museum that continues through February 1, 2015. Organized by the Smithsonian's Freer and Sackler galleries in Washington, D.C., the exhibition reveals how the functional stoneware jar, acquired its value as a Chinese antique during the 700 years it was in Japan. 

Tea-Leaf Storage Jar, Named Chigusa, Mid-13th C. to Mid-14th C.
Southern Song or Yuan Dynasty, 1260-1368
Stoneware with Iron Glaze
41.6 cm High, 36.6 cm Diameter
Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Purchase

Princeton University Art Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Work by Lynda Benglis, Carol Bove, Nick Cave, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Lari Pittman, and Yinka Shonibare is on view through November 30 at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in the exhibition "Earthly Delights". Drawn from MCA's permanent collection, the paintings, sculpture, and installations of all eight artists address social issues through beauty. 

MCA on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

✭ In the "Lone Star Portraits" installation at Amon Carter Museum of American Art, on view through May 17, 2015, you'll find Texas artists' self-portraits paired with those of close friends, relatives, and colleagues. The featured artists in the exhibition are Dickson Reeder (1912-1970), Murray Bewley (1884-1964), Olin Travis (1888-1975), and Sedrick Huckaby. The latter paints quilts as backdrops for portraits. View the artworks.

Amon Carter Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

✭ The art of Cincinnati-based artist Bukang Kim will be presented in "Bukang Kim: Journey", opening December 13 at Cincinnati Art Museum. The exhibition, which will continue through March 15, 2015, will encompass the Korean-born artist's 40-year career.

Bukang Y. Kim, Morning Calm, 1988
Mixed Media on Canvas
Gift of Dr. Young Ghon Kim, Bukang Yu Kim, and Family

CAM on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday's Three on Art

Today, Thursday's Three presents a trio of art-related videos.

✦ Filmmaker and photographer Oguz Uygur, born in Turkey but a resident of the United States, created this short, originally for a promotional piece, to demonstrate his parents' talent in paper marbling, which is called Ebru in Turkish. The marbling is exquisite.

Seyit UYGUR { Ebru Artist } from oguz uygur (ozzie) on Vimeo.

Uygur creates documentaries, music and promotional videos, and independent movies. To see more of his work, including videos and photographs, visit his Website.

(My thanks to The Paris Review Daily blog for the video link.)

✦ Korea-born sculptor, performance artist, and installation artist Jung Ran Bae demonstrates in the video below how she created sculptures for "Teater-Totter: Human Betweens", an exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, on view through April 2015. Read "Jung Ran Bae Breathes a Dream Into the Museum" at the museum's blog.

✦ The Mark Rothko painting Black on Maroon (1958), one of the artist's Seagram murals donated to Tate Modern in 1970, was defaced with graffiti ink in October 2012. The video was filmed over the 18 months required to restore the painting, which returned to public view on May 13, 2014.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

On the Street: The Faces of Women

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is an artist and, like too many of us, a woman who has been subjected to gender-based street harassment. Her ongoing public art project is Stop Telling Women to Smile. In the video below, Fazlalizadeh describes her project to give women back a voice that addresses their harassers. Additional posters can be seen on Fazlalizadeh's Website.

The video, filmed and edited by Dean Peterson of Brooklyn, New York, was a winner in Smithsonian Magazine's 2014 In Motion Video Contest.

Read Tasbeeh Herwees's article for Good (October 15, 2014), "A Street Art Festival that Puts Women on Walls". Other articles about the art series have appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Gothamist.

Stop Telling Women to Smile on Tumblr

(My thanks to Good, where I learned of Fazlalizadeh's project.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Water Sign (Poem)

Water Sign

I look for the hidden
river, watch for some sign
it is quickening in the unknown
place, meaning to feed the roots,
soften the ground. Let us dig.

© 2014 Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Muse: Invitation to 'The Mischief Cafe'

Mischief : noun : playful misbehavior

Cover Art for The Mischief Cafe

Have you ever been afraid to write a poem? Do your English students complain that they just don't "get" poetry? Have your poetry-writing workshop participants tired of the same time-worn approaches to sharing and revising their work? Are you dreading that writers' retreat for which you've been tagged leader of entertainment? Do you want to start a poetry group in your community (at the library, in your home, for kids at a homeless shelter, for seniors at your church) but haven't a clue how to do it? 

You need an invitation to The Mischief Cafe! Its menu is long, its seating potentially unlimited and geographically diverse, and one local visit will never be enough, because the menu changes along with the cafe owners.

The Mischief Cafe is conceptbook, and initiative. The concept is the inspiration of TweetSpeak Poetry regulars who have enlivened Webspace by creating a hugely welcoming destination for anyone curious about or already seriously involved in all things poetry. It's fully adaptable, the way all good ideas are, turning on the notion that if you take poetry out of its ivy-covered ivory towers, you'll find new readers and create poetry lovers for life. . . so long as you promise to serve teas (or coffee), cinnamon toast (with and without raisins), and generous helpings of fun with words.

The book, a newly released T.S. Poetry Press title, describes the idea, includes poems* by T.S. Poetry Press authors, and has pages that are blank except for possible titles at their tops. (How those blank pages get used — to illustrate a poem, to keep track of writing tips and prompts, to make poem stacks — are up to the book's readers and your cafe's regulars.) Best of all, the book provides some how-guidance for cafe start-ups. (You won't need Kickstarter or Indiegogo, though we'd like to think either could be tapped successfully for our next innovation in poetry.)

The initiative is open to anyone anywhere in the world who's willing to make toast, pour tea, and tie on a poetry barista's apron. But beware: This is not a job but a passion. . . for thinking, listening to, talking about and writing, sharing, teaching, and reading poetry. You'll want an open mind to visualize how you, your friends, and TweetSpeak Poetry together can create a successful gathering in-home for live readings, poetry journaling, ekphrastic exercises, and video closeups.

* * * * *

Where, when, and how?

Beginning this month, The Mischief Cafe, the initiative, is going on the road with a member of the TweetSpeak Poetry team, who will be bringing real tea and toast to a poetry barista's home. The mischief and merry-making will be up to the attendees (poetry in motion, anyone?). 

But don't think you have to wait for that team member to bring the traveling cafe to your part of the country, or that you have to go to the trouble of hitching a ride east to New Jersey, west to Seattle (shaping up as the second stop for the traveling cafe), or some yet-to-be-Googled place in the middle with Ted Kooser. The Mischief Cafe is about poetry in place: your place, their place, and mine. The book itself is one tool to help you launch your own version of the cafe. Just in case, however, another toolkit is available to help you make the most of a grand opening, and a few well-considered playlists have been assembled for your juke box fans (keep a supply of quarters on hand).

Below you'll find a few more ideas.

Decor? Perhaps some Image-ine place mats or napkins will do (print up a dozen or so). Theme? Consider how many slices of Emily Dickinson's Black Cake you'll need or, if the weather's chilly, whether a thick word soup, heated to perfection, will suit everyone's tastes. Greet newcomers with a tray of top 10 poetic picks, perhaps baskets of poetry fortune cookies (if hungry guests are inclined to be poetry futurists or just feel lucky), a box of haiku for the minimalists or story cubes for prose poems, or a mixed bag of ingredients for list-form poems. A bowl of poetry salad might be needed for those vegans in the group, and a supply of recipes, school lunch menus, and weekly newspaper sections could be kept at the ready to create erasure or found poems. Always finish the evening off with chocolate or WordCandy.  Whether you serve spam on arrival or boxed to go, concoct a sampler of the sweet and savory, or send your guests out the door with a poetry postcard or your cafe's pre-printed calling card (It's time to take poetry home—for life!), your offerings are bound to appeal so long as you don't limit your creativity. Keep it simple or go whole hog. Just don't stress, and have fun!

To help others who might be struggling during their cafe's pre-construction phase, record experiences in your cafe's kitchen and at your tables (remember, there are blank pages in The Mischief Cafe) and then share the experiences online (perhaps on a dedicated FaceBook group page?); that way, we all will learn from each other. Everybody is going to want to taste what you've made, so long as it's not always served from the same spoons. 

* Disclosure: Several poems from my collection Neruda's Memoirs are included in The Mischief Cafe.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Thought for the Day

And what is empty turns its face to us /
and whispers:
"I am not empty, I am open."
~ Tomas Transtromer

Quoted from "Vermeer" in The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Transtromer, Selected and Translated from the Swedish by Robert Bly (Graywolf Press, 2001)

Tomas Transtromer, Swedish Poet, Writer, Translator, Winner of 2011 Nobel Prize in Literature

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Short

Today's short introduces ongoing research in Howard Weiner's' laboratory at Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, into the role of the immune system in aging and development of Alzheimer's disease. The short, one among video competition winners uploaded to the NIH Director's Blog, features some of the researchers working to treat and prevent the disease. The song about the research is set to "Cups Song" from the film Pitch Perfect.

Other "Cool Videos" on the site (and on YouTube) include shorts about heart attack, discoveries to improve health, metabolomics, and myotonic dystrophy.

Friday, October 17, 2014

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Specializing in contemporary Latin American artists, All We Art Cultural exChange comprises an art studio and gallery in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. Launched this past summer with an exhibition of Venezuelan contemporary art, the multidisciplinary arts venue also features a Venezuelan craft store. The business owners plan to open a cafe so that the spaces become "a place of encounter" and discovery (in addition to art/design exhibition, shopping, and "encounter" spaces, All We Art aims to provide cultural services and programs.) All We Art participated in the international art fair (e)merge and currently is showing, through November 9, the work of Anrika Rupp, who works both in Caracas and Miami. Exhibitions are monthly.

✦ I shared last month on social media this online image gallery for "Life: Magnified", an exhibition that continues through November at the Gateway Gallery at Washington Dulles International Airport. It is too good not to include here. See the 46 photos in person or do the next best thing and go online. The images are remarkable, and include a relapsing fever bacterium on red blood cells, the cerebellum, a human liver cell, a mammalian eye, a brain with Alzheimer's disease, gecko toe hairs, skin cancer cells from a mouse, HIV, and the mouth parts of a lone star tick (pictured below). The exhibition is a joint effort involving the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, American Society for Cell Biology, and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's Arts Program

Mouth Parts of Lone Star Tick
Igor Siwanowicz, Janelia Farm Research Campus
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, Virginia
Courtesy "Life: Magnified" Exhibition

✦ Her oils on Metrocards are just 2-1/8" x 3-1/4" but are surprisingly detailed. Painter Maud Taber-Thomas of Washington, D.C., and New York City, began making the tiny works in 2011, while living in the latter city. A graduate of the New York Academy of Art, where she studied classical painting, Taber-Thomas is drawn to the historic and the literary, as demonstrated by her lovely "Orlando Project", inspired by Virginia Woolf's novel, and specializes in portrait-painting. Browse her Website for inspiration. See Taber-Thomas's work at Susan Calloway Fine Arts in Washington, D.C.

✦ It's no wonder Joan ("Joe-on") Belmar is the recipient of arts grants and fellowships. Chile-born and now a citizen of the United States, Belmar is an immensely talented painter who works with such materials as mylar, acetate, vinyl, plywood, and plastic to "play with light, transparencies and the sculptural qualities of these elements" to explore and reference memories, perceptions, and changes over time and distance. It's clear from looking at images in his online gallery and at images of his various series that Belmar likes to experiment, and he does so to wonderful effect. His works on paper, so full of abstracted narrative, are worth a long look. Washingtonians can see his solo exhibition "Chords" at Addison/Ripley Fine Art through October 25. A slideshow of Belmar's intriguing work is available online at Adah Rose Gallery.

✦ It's true that everything has a purpose, and sometimes more than one, as these wonderful collages and drawings by Steve Greene prove. Greene likes to use old supply catalogues in his work, which he says are full of "random poetry". (My thanks to Paris Review Daily for the introduction.)

✦ In the brief video below, issued in September as part of the Art21 Exclusive series, the remarkable photographer Sally Mann, who lives in Virginia, talks about her relationship to Virginia Franklin Carter (1894-1994), the African-American who helped raise her and her siblings. Mann describes Carter as possibly "the single most important person in my life." The video includes images from Mann's Deep South series. The images are available in Deep South, published in 2005. Mann will be releasing next year a memoir, Hold Still (Little, Brown & Co./Hachette Book Group, May 12, 2015), which will include photographs and be available as an e-book and audiobook.

Art21 Profile of Sally Mann

Gagosian Gallery Profile of Sally Mann

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ "Brides of Anansi: Fiber and Contemporary Art" continues through December 6 at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia. The exhibition features beautiful examples of the artistry of women of the African Diaspora. Work by Xenobia Bailey, Sonya Clark, Januwa Moja, Senga Nengudi, Nnenna Okore, Joyce J. Scott, Adejoke Tugbiyele, and Saya Woolfalk is featured. The fiber media include yarn paper, glass, metal, synthetics, and textiles. (Take some time and browse the artists' Websites.)

SCMFA on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ In Huntsville, Alabama, Huntsville Museum of Art continues through January 18, 2015, "Ginny Ruffner: Aesthetic Engineering", a exhibition of large mixed-media works by the glass artist, who is based in Seattle, Washington. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition. Ruffner is the subject of the feature-length documentary Ginny Ruffner: A Not So Still Life. (See my post "Ginney Ruffner: Not So Still" for a sneak peek and other information about the documentary.)

Catalogue Cover

HSV Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, is presenting "The Lyrical Line: Prints by Jacques Villon and Stanley William Hayter" through December 21. The exhibition features prints by the French and British printmakers, respectively, which were donated to UVA by T. Catesby Jones. 

Short Biography of Jacque Villon

Short Biography of Stanley William Hayter

Fralin Museum of Art on FaceBook and Twitter

Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, also part of UVA but off-campus, is showing work by Ricardo Idagi (Meriam) of Melbourne. Titled "Gurari - Saltwater Drinker", the exhibition includes nine sculptures, made of such materials as raffia, feathers, beer cans, and wrought iron. The exhibition concludes December 21.

Kluge-Ruhe on FaceBook

The African American Museum in Philadelphia is devoting the next several months to "Stephen Hayes's Cash Crop". On view through January 5, 2015, the exhibition includes a life-size installation of 15 chained forms representing 15 million men, women, and children who endured the "Middle Passage" (see the image at the exhibition link; the sculptures are inspired by the Brookes slave ship, a diagram of which is in the British Library); historic slave dockets loaned to the museum by the Delaware County Bar Association; and objects from Lest We Forget Black Holocaust Museum of Slavery. A video of Dario Moore's series of vignettes, "Sacred Slave Stories", told in dance also will be available for viewing. 

Diagram of Brookes Slave Ship (1789)

African American Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Page Turner, Cloak & Dagger, Assemblage, 10" x 4" x 4", 2012

Please join me today for my new Artist Watch feature at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life. I'm especially pleased to present Page Turner, whose wonderful assemblages under bell jars I first saw at an art show curated by Judith HeartSong.

Page's constructions are entirely hand-made. Her choice of materials, which reflect a background steeped in the domestic arts, are inspired and sometimes quite delicate. At the exhibition I attended, I spent considerable time just looking at her tiny works, which are so evocative as to be unforgettable. Their social commentary can be profound.

At EIL today, you'll find images of eight of Page's sculptures, Page's insightful Artist Statement, a detailed biography, and links to a museum and arts center where Page will be exhibiting next year. Page has been enjoying a considerable amount of well-deserved attention since last year. Please watch for her forthcoming catalogue. It promises to be a keepsake.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Wonder: The 'Earthscapist'

Once I've created a piece, I feel like it's moved
through me and I can let it go. I don't feel
an attachment. I feel complete.
~ Artist Andres Amador

His tools may be simple and his medium a creation of nature but his ephemeral artworks rely on geometry and fractals. Self-described "earthscape artist" Andres Amador, who understands the art of letting go, says his creations are all a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Listen and watch as he talks with a KQED Arts interviewer about creating his wonders in the sand, which Amador calls "playa paintings".

Additional videos are available on Amador's Website.

Andres Amador's Playa Painting Workshops

Andres Amador Arts on FaceBook 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Columbus was discovered (Cento)

Columbus was discovered

The night I burn my novel
Smoke polkas above the pines
Because a fire was in my head
And someone called me by my name
By what he found
Strewn by hands:

Treasures, gone missing

I went out to the hazel wood
Up the lift shaft of the air
Without branches or roots
Or even a sky to hold on to

Our lit cage rising weightless
With lights
That touched all of her

Every intersection is a promise, fabulous
Redden and ripen and burst and come down

Though I am old with wandering
Would ransom the fading hours
I had a latecomer's
Right, to live life out

I crept home to sweet common flowers
Cupped hands lighthouses of flight
The road a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor

This is a revision of a cento I wrote and left in the somments section of the TweetSpeak Poetry post "Top Ten 'Dip Into Poetry' Lines". Capitalization and punctuation is my own.

Here are the sources of the lines, in order:

Title "Imagination" by James Baldwin

1 "Nature's Gold" by Dave Malone
2 "Nature's Gold" by Dave Malone
3 "The Song of the Wandering Aengus" by W.B. Yeats
4 "The Song of the Wandering Aengus" by W.B. Yeats
5 "Imagination" by James Baldwin
6 "Taken" by LW Lindquist
7 "Taken" by LW Lindquist
8 "The Song of  the Wandering Aengus" by W.B. Yeats
9 "Opera Bouffe" by Philip Gross
10 "Gathering Leaves in Grade School" by Judith Harris
11 "Gathering Leaves in Grade School" by Judith Harris
12 "Opera Bouffe" by Philip Gross
13 "Traffic in Phoenix" by Claire McQuerry
14 "Taken" by LW Lindquist
15 "Traffic in Phoenix" by Claire McQuerry
16 "Late Summer" by Jennifer Grotz
17 "Late Summer" by Jennifer Grotz
18 "The Song of the Wandering Aengus" by W.B. Yeats
19 "That the mistle thrush" by John Daniel Thieme
20 "Raisins for Being" by Roald Hoffman
21 "Raisins for Being" by Roald Hoffman
22 "Raisins for Being" by Road Hoffman
23 "Across the Border" by Sophie Jewett
24 "Constellations" by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum
25 "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes

The TweetSpeak Poetry post contains the links to text of all the poems.

Although I included in the comments cento Sara Teasdale's "I ween the knights forgot their words / Or else  they ceased to care", from "A Ballad of the Two Knights", I elected not to include them in the cento here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Muse: Documentary on NYRB

Our only truth is narrative truth,
the stories we tell each other and ourselves.
~ Opening Narration of The 50 Year Argument

Poster for The 50 Year Argument

A new documentary about The New York Review of Books, titled The 50 Year Argument (HBO, 2014), premiered in the United States at the end of September on HBO. The documentary about the storied periodical, co-directed by Martin Scorcese and David Tedeschi, examines — via archival and original verite footage, contemporary interviews, personal anecdote, and excerpts from published long essays and poems — how NYRB came to occupy a special place among thinkers, the well-read, and the curious. 

Among the writers, musicians, critics, historians, and politicians who appear in the film are Joan Didion, Colm Toibin, Norman Mailer, Derek Walcott, Susan Sontag, Vaclav Havel, James Baldwin, Gore Vidal, and NYRB's founding editor Robert Silvers.

Here's the trailer.

HBO Docs on FaceBookTwitter, and YouTube

Read an interview with Robert Silvers in The Guardian (June 7, 2014). Silvers has been NYRB's editor since 1963, its launch year.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thought for the Day

Art is that chalice into which we pour
the wine of transcendence.
~ Stanley Kunitz, 1905-2006, American Poet

Quoted from "Instead of a Foreword: Speaking of Poetry" in Stanley Kunitz, Passing Through: The Later Poems New and Selected (W.W. Norton, 1995)

Chris Busa, "Stanley Kunitz, The Art of Poetry No. 29", Interview, The Paris Review, Spring 1982

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, "Stanley Kunitz, Poet Laureate, Dies at 100", Obituary, The New York Times, May 16, 2006

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday Short

Arion Press of San Francisco demonstrates in today's wonderful 13-minute short how it created with hand-set type, printed, and hand-bound its limited edition of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, its 100 publication. Speaking is Andrew Hoyem, publisher and designer. A labor of love, Leaves of Grass, which includes an introduction by Harvard professor Helen Vendler, is a remarkably beautiful hand-made book. 

The video, described as a pilot for a full-length documentary about Arion Press, was filmed at Arion Press and M&H Type, which is the oldest and largest type foundry still existing in the United States.

Arion Press currently is producing poet Jorie Graham's What the End is For*; due out in November, the collection of poetry will be letterpress-printed. It will feature 16 color prints by painter Julian Lethbridge and an introduction by Helen Vendler, who is also responsible for the selection of poems. Also underway is production of Giuseppe di Lampedusa's 1958 novel The Leopard. Go to New and Forthcoming for additional information.

Tours are available at Arion Press. Its gallery space is open weekdays to the public.

* The title comes from that of Graham's poem of the same name in The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994 (HarperCollins, 1995).