Friday, July 31, 2015

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

The relationship of creative initiatives to learning and neuroscience are examined in How Creativity Works in the Brain (July 2015), a recently issued 41-page report from the National Endowment for the Arts. Among the report's conclusions: "[C]reativity has implications for human health and well-being as fundamental as the ability to move a limb or recall information."

✦ The 2015 Jerusalem Season of Culture kicked off July 27 with In-House Festival, in which artists and audiences meet in homes in Jerusalem, and continues through September 4. Established in 2010 as a "celebration of creativity", the initiative this year involves more than 3,000 Israeli and some 240 international artists in events at galleries, performance spaces, markets, museums, historic sites, and homes throughout the city. Among the festival components: Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival, August 30 - September 4; Contact Point, at the Israel Museum, August 6; Knock Knock, Prima Royale Hotel, August 10-13; Frontline, off-stream music, August 17-20; and Under the Mountain, a public art festival, beginning August 25.

Season of Culture on FaceBookTwitter, and YouTube

Season of Culture Blog

✦ Swiss-born Silvia Heyden, who died March 2, 2015, and was the subject of the Kenny Dalsheimer documentary A Weaverly Path: The Tapestry Life of Silvia Heyden (see my post of April 25, 2012), left behind two weavings. Her family invited friends to cut the beautiful tapestries from Heyden's loom. Watch "Cutting Silvia's Final Tapestries from the Loom - July 4, 2015":

✦ Textile artist Sue Rangeley creates some of the most beautiful and unique pieces I've seen. She extends her bespoke embroidery, beadwork, silk appliqué, and hand-painting to one-of-a-kind accessories such as purses and embellished belts, clothing (including wedding fashions), pillows, quilts, and painted screens, and framed art. She exhibits internationally and conducts masterclasses. Her most recent book is Embroidered Originals.

Read an interview with Sue Rangeley at TextileArtist.

✦ Inspired by fairy tales, nursery rhymes, poetry, and nature, illustrator and printmaker Nick Wonham creates charming multi-colored prints (linocuts) in limited editions. Two books with his illustrations have been published, two more have been completed, and two others are in progress.

Nick Wonham on FaceBook

✦ German textile artist Dagmar Binder hand-makes her felt pieces of fine merino wool and silk. Her work includes fine art objects, theatre costumes, clothing, and fashion accessories. She conducts workshops in Berlin, other European countries, and North and South America. See her wearable art and objects/installations.

Dagmar Binder on Pinterest

✦ Below is an interview with painter Joan Semmel, from Artforum's 500 Words series. Semmel's most recent show was the survey "Across Five Decades" at Alexander Gray Associates in New York City.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Installation artist Liza Lou has created at Wichita Art Museum a shimmering landscape of glass beads that measures 150 square feet. Her Gather (one million) is composed of 9 million beads, varying in their shades of gold, which Lou has threaded onto cut stainless steel wires. Bundled together, the beaded wires look like sheaves of harvested wheat. On the museum walls are other "fields" of glass beads that suggest Kansas skies and sunsets. The installation is on view through September 13. 

See Kitchen, a beaded installation that took the artist five years to complete.

Liza Lou on FaceBook (Images of the Wichita installation may be seen on Liza Lou's FB page.)

Liza Lou at White Cube and Mnuchin Gallery

Wichita Art Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ An outdoor botanical sculpture, the new work Quilt Square (Tulip), and the earthwork Tulips, both by Virginia Poundstone can be seen through October 25 in "Flower Mutations" at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut. Also on view are a new glass sculpture by Poundstone and her wall print Rainbow Rose (2013), in addition to objects from her personal collection and other artists' works that have inspired Poundstone's own. Read or browse an illustrated eight-page pamphlet (pdf) about the exhibition that includes an interview with the artist and a checklist of artworks on view.

Virginia Poundstone, Rainbow Rose, 2013
Digital Image Printed on Vinyl
22' x 24'
© Virginia Poundstone

The exhibition is part of the museum's Circumstance series that shows how artists "use context to articulate their work." Read more about the series in the news release for the solo exhibition.

The Aldrich on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Hawaii's Honolulu Museum of Art recently opened "Artists of Hawai'i 2015", presenting work by seven artists (Alison Beste, Elisa Chang, Jesse Houlding, Akira Iha, Emily McIlroy, Lauren Trangmar, and Maile Yawata) and one artist collective (.5ppi). Chosen from among 249 entrants, the artists were given nine months to create work for the biennial exhibition. Included are prints, photography, paintings and drawings, sculpture, and mixed media work. (Click on each of the links above to see the individual artist's contributions. My favorite is Emily McIlroy.) The show continues through October 25.

Honolulu Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ The centennial celebration "Charlotte Collects Elizabeth Catlett" opened July 18 in Charlotte, North Carolina, at Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture. Continuing through December 31, the exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth includes examples of Catlett's two- and three-dimensional works and photographs from throughout Catlett's life. 

If you are unfamiliar with Catlett's work, this video offers a brief introduction:

Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)

Gantt Center on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky at Lexington is presenting "Bottoms Up", a sculpture survey, beginning September 12. On view is the work of such well-known artists as  Alexander Calder, Sol LeWitt, Tony Matelli, George Rickey, Lucas Samaras, and Rachel Whiteread. The works range from the figurative to the abstract, the small to the monumental, the personal to the industrial. The show will run through December 20.

The Art Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

Thursday, July 30, 2015

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Lisa Ann Watkins, Grace, graphite pencil, 12" x 18", 2013
© Lisa Ann Watkins


You'll find me today at Escape Into Life, where I'm delighted to post a new Artist Watch column that spotlights artist Lisa Ann Watkins of the United Kingdom.

Lisa specializes in pet portraiture and also paints wildlife. Her portraits of dogs, which are the subject of today's Artist Watch, as well as her images of cats, horses, and tigers and other wildlife, demonstrate Lisa's expert use of graphite, colored pencil, pastel, and watercolor pencil. What I especially appreciate about Lisa's work is how she imbues every portrait with the animal's personality and mood. It's no wonder that her finely detailed, technically skilled, and sensitive work has helped raise funds for animal conservation around the world.

Today's Artist Watch feature includes seven of Lisa's wonderful dog portraits, an Artist Statement, and a brief biography, as well as links to Lisa's Website and exhibition galleries.

Lisa Ann Watkins on FaceBookTwitter, and Instagram

What's On the Easel. . . Blog

Also see Escape Into Life's related poetry post "Dog Days 2015".

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Motion Poems' 'The Mother Warns the Tornado'

Below is a stellar new videopoem from MotionPoems. Watch, then read the text of Catherine Pierce's "The Mother Warns the Tornado". Pierce's wonderful poem captures beautifully the profound, visceral emotions a mother summons to protect her child, even against the ravages of nature.

The film was made by Isaac Ravishankara in partnership with VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

Catherine Pierce and Isaac Ravishankara talk with Maggie Roy about the film. 

Catherine Pierce is the author of the award-winning collection The Girls of Peculiar: Poetry (Saturnalia Books, 2012) and Famous Last Words (Saturnalia, 2008). Her third collection, The Tornado Is the World (Saturnalia), is due out in 2016.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Muse: Poets on Poetry

Below you'll find a new edition of my occasional series Poets on Poetry, which highlights interviews or feature articles in which poets speak about poetry as vocation, ways that poetry differs from other kinds of writing or from recitation and performance, poetry in translation, and the meaning of poetry in their own and others'  lives.

✦ "Poetry is one of the largest, most beautiful, most intimate and most effective ways of participating [in public life]." ~ Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2015-2016

Juan Felipe Herrera's has written more than two dozen poetry collections, including, most recently, Senegal Taxi (University of Arizona Press, 2nd Ed., 2013).

Juan Felipe Herrera on FaceBook

✦ "I think poems are urgent. . . are necessary. . . Poems can save lives, they can change the way we see the world and the way we define ourselves. . . ." ~ Fatimah Asghar

Quoted from "Interview with Fatimah Asghar", The Blueshift Journal, June 13, 2015.

Poet, writer, performer, photographer Fatimah Asghar is the author of the forthcoming chapbook Medusa, They Would Sing (YesYes Books, Fall 2015). She also is co-creator of the "first bi-lingual spoken word poetry group" REFLEKS, a Kundiman Fellow, and a Young Chicago Authors instructor.

✦ ". . . Any story told for it own sake is not poetry it seems to me. We all have stories to tell. It's the complexity of the human heart that I think is poetry's subject—the complexity of the human experience. I think the best poets writing today represent that complexity in the broadest, deepest sense. . . ." ~ Marie Howe

Quoted from David Elliott, "The Complexity of the Human Heart: A Conversation with Marie Howe", AGNI Online. (This interview is from 2004.)

Marie Howe's poetry collections include The Good Thief (Persea Books, 1988), What the Living Do (W.W. Norton, 1999), and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (W.W. Norton, 2008). She is co-editor of In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic (Persea Books, 1995).

Marie Howe on FaceBook

✦ ". . . The fatal problem with poetry: poems. . . ." ~ Ben Lerner

Quoted from Ben Lerner, "Diary: On Disliking Poetry", London Review of Books, Vol. 37, No. 12, June 18, 2015.

Ben Lerner's most recent poetry collections are Mean Free Path (Copper Canyon Press, 2010) and Angel of Yaw (Copper Canyon Press, 2006). His most recent novel is 10:04 (Faber & Faber, 2014).

✦ ". . . I believe poetry is also a bridge between solitudes. At its best, it transports us — through the nonlinear and irresistible persuasion of music and metaphor — into a state of receptive empathy, the closest thing we can get to truly understanding what it's like to see the world as someone else does, to live inside another's skin. . . ." ~ Elizabeth Austen

Quoted from Elizabeth Austen, "How Poetry Can Help Us Say the Unsayable", Opinion, The Seattle Times, May 9, 2015

Elizabeth Austen, Washington State Poet Laureate, 2014-2016, is the author most recently of Full Circle: My Journey Through Infertility and Miscarriage (Westbow Press, April 2015) and Every Dress a Decision (Blue Begonia Press, 2011).

✦ "Once in a while I get an uncontrollable urge to shatter the myth about the idea of fluency in translation. In my world of translation, fluency doesn't exist. My history is a misfit. . . ." and "I write my poems with the same tongue that I translate with, so my creative work and translation are closely intertwined. Translation often sticks its tongue out when I write my own poems. It's one of those unavoidable tics." ~ Don Mee Choi

Quoted from Emily Yoon, "An Expelled Tongue: Translating Kim Hyesoon" (Interview), Asian American Writers' Workshop, June 16, 2015

Whiting Foundation Award winner Don Mee Choi is the author of the debut collection The Morning News Is Exciting (Action Books, 2010) and the chapbook Petite Manifesto (Vagabond Press, 2014), as well as Freely Frayed,==q, & Race=Nation, part of Wave Books' Wave Pamphlets. Her second collection is the forthcoming Hardly War (Wave Books, April 2016).

Also see the interview "The PEN Ten with Don Mee Choi", PEN America, November 25, 2014.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Thought for the Day

There is so much Everything
that Nothing is hidden quite nicely.
~ Wislawa Szymborska

Quoted from "Reality Demands" in The End and the Beginning (1993); Included in Map: Collected and Last Poems (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)

Wislawa Szymborska, 1923-2012; Polish Poet, Poetry Editor, Translator, Columnist; Winner, 1996 Nobel Prize for Literature

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday Short

Today's short is Avebury, by John Siddique, with music by John's musical alter ego beautifulnoiseskin. The piece was inspired by Derek Jarman's Journey to Avebury (1971) with music by Coil.

Friday, July 24, 2015

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ In October, Graywolf Press will publish critic Sven Birkerts's Changing the Subject: Essays on the Mediated Self. Available to preorder through Amazon, the book examines the relationship of artistic imagination to attention and how digital technologies are affecting how we experience art and read literature. 

Sven Birkerts on Twitter

✦ The beauty created with feathers and a small scalpel is astonishing. Read about Chris Maynard's artistic techniques and browse his feather designs at Featherfolio. Maynard most recently exhibited at Patricia Rovzar Gallery in Seattle, Washington.

Featherfolio on FaceBook

✦ Glass sculptor Matei Negreanu, a native of Romania, views glass as "first and foremost the raw material" of his artworks. Never content to rest on his successes, he explores the potential of glass to be transformed.

✦ Painter Jeremy Miranda has a talent for creating images full of narrative possibility. He draws his inspiration, he says in his Artist Statement, from photographs he collects, as well as his own sketches, plein air studies, and memories. His most recent exhibition was at Parts Gallery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (My thanks to friend Hannah Stephenson for introducing me to this artist.) 

✦ I first saw an image of Natasha Zeta's promising work at Blue Fifth Review. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh in studio arts and nonfiction writing, the emerging artist works for Aperture Foundation and for New York Foundation for the Arts' Immigrant Artist Program. In addition to drawing and oil painting, Zeta works in sculpture and photography. See her Tumblr and Behance sites for images.

✦ Leaves, stones, wood, and occasionally crochet as embellishment are the principal materials with which Susanna Bauer works. The German-born artist is exhibiting through August 25 in a group show at Le Salon Vert in Geneva, Switzerland. She'll also be in attendance at October's Affordable Art Fair, Battersea, London. Bauer is represented by Badcocks Gallery, Cornwall, United Kingdom. Read "See Susanna Bauer's Incredibly Delicate Crochet Leaf Sculptures" at Artnet News, June 19, 2015.

Susanna Bauer on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ Meet paper artist Tara Galuska:

(My thanks to Ann Martin at All Things Paper.)

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ An exhibition of William Morris blown-glass and sculpted vessels, "William Morris: Native Species", from the George R. Stroemple Collection continues on view through September 6 at Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, Neenah, Wisconsin. See selected works at the artist's Website.

Bergstrom-Mahler Museum on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Still lifes by Carol Thompson are on show through October 4 at Museum of Nebraska Art, University of Nebraska at Kearney. Taking their inspiration from nature, the serene oil paintings feature flowers, birds' nests, branches, and other finds from Thompson's farmstead.

Carol Thompson, White Still Life, 2015
Oil on Canvas, 30" x 30"
Artist's Collection
Carol Thompson on FaceBook

MONA on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Unique and beautiful examples of contemporary Japanese ceramics from the Carol and Jeffery Horvitz Collection continue on view through April 1, 2016, in "The Resonance of Clay" at Arizona's Phoenix Art Museum. Among the artists whose work is being exhibited are Fukumoto Fuko and Fujikasa  Satoko.

PAM on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Opening August 2 at Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts, is "Little Dreams in Glass and Metal: Enameling in America, 1920 to the Present". On view through November 29, the first traveling exhibition in more than 50 years to survey the field, "Little Dreams" includes work by 90 artists, among them Kenneth Bates, Karl Drerup, Doris Hall, Edward Winter, Jade Snow Wong, Jamie Bennett, and June Schwarcz. The approximately 120 objects include wearable jewelry and large enamel-on-steel wall panels.

J. Esteban Perez, Burning Sunset, 1970
Enamel on Copper, Silver Wire, 9" x 9"
Photo Credit: Courtesy Enamel Arts Foundation

Fuller Craft Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

Notable Exhibit Abroad

✭ The United Kingdom's Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, continues through November 1 "Listen to the World", featuring the intricate paper cuts and screen prints of Rob Ryan. The show includes new work being shown for the first time, along with such significant works as The Map of My Entire Life (2012) and Can We? Shall We? (2010). A YSP exclusive, a limited-edition, multi-colored laser cut, Our Sub Atomic Love Story, is available through YSP's shop. (See Ryan's post of July 2 on his blog for details and images or visit the YSP Shop.)

Here's a sneak peek:

Rob Ryan on FaceBook and Twitter

YSP on FaceBook, Twitter, and Vimeo

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thursday's Three on Art

Today's column offers a trio of quotes, among many others I've marked, from photographer Sally Mann's memoir Hold Still (Little, Brown, 2015), Nancy Princenthal's biography Agnes Martin: Her  Life and Art (Thames & Hudson, 2015), and Annie Cohen-Solal's biography Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel (Yale University Press, 2015). I read all three books recently and recommend them to anyone interested in these artists' lives.

✦ ". . . a sense of disappointment and defeat is the essential state of mind for creative work." ~ Agnes Martin, quoted in Agnes Martin (page 258) from Martin's "On the Perfection Underlying Life" in Writings (page 68).

✦ ". . . when we allow snapshots or mediocre photographic portraits to represent us, we find they not only corrupt memory, they also have a troubling power to distort character and mislead posterity." ~ Sally Mann, quoted from Hold Still (page 308).

✦ Mark Rothko ". . . aimed to offer the public not just a painting but also a whole environment, not a simple visit but a true experience, not a fleeting moment but a genuine revelation. This compelled him to innovate. . . ." Annie Cohen-Solal, quoted from "The Long-Awaited Chapel" in Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel (page 193).

Agnes Martin (1912-2004) at Pace Gallery

Mark Rothko (1903-1970) at The Art Story

Annie Cohen-Solal Website (The Website includes a number of interesting videotaped interviews with Cohen-Solal, whose biography of Rothko was first published in 2013 in French.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Writer L.B. Gschwandtner recently posted on her Facebook page a Tom Hanks narrated film, Boatlift: An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience, about the lower Manhattan evacuation by boat of some 500 million people on 9/11. Produced and directed by Eddie Rosenstein, it is an extraordinary testament to Americans' ability to come together in a crisis.

The stirring film, made with support from philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, premiered September 8, 2011, on the tenth anniversary of that horrible day. 

The "9/11 Tenth Anniversary Summit: Remembrance | Renewal | Resilience" launched a national movement, Road to Resilience, a Website with much to offer.

I think it's important to watch this film. To remember. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Burden (Poem)


The mattress shifts,
its weight the least of the burdens
on the back of the man who is crossing
the border he has re-crossed
a thousand times in his sleep—

Syria to Turkey, Syria to Serbia, Syria
to Hungary, to Romania, to Croatia:
Name anywhere bordering land
with no ocean to cross,
where barbed wire cut in the haze
of the mortar smoke falls suddenly,
like wounded doves.

The mattress slips.
Its protective plastic wrap sweats,
and the man from the town of Tal Abyad
can't help but recall how the hands
of his wife and two daughters slipped
their only gold rings
into the purse of their smuggler.

The mattress is
what the man carries—
not always the welcome home
upon the old snail's back.

2015 © Maureen E. Doallas

I have always been struck by the images of many millions of Syrian refugees carrying their mattresses on their backs as they seek to flee the violence in their country. The English newspaper The Guardian recently featured just such a photo, occasioning this ekphrastic poem.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Muse: New Wyoming Poet Laureate

My poetic philosophy is to communicate
in as few words as possible a poetic idea.*
~ A. Rose Hill

Wyoming's new Poet Laureate is A. Rose Hill, appointed by executive order July 9. She is the seventh person to assume the position, and the third to be named by Governor Matt Mead.

Hill succeeds Echo Roy Klaproth, whose term of service began in January 2013. Information about the honorary appointment is contained in my Monday Muse post dated April 26, 2010, which profiles David Romtvedt, the state's fourth official poet.

Hill gives many poetry readings and conducts poetry workshops.

* * * * *
I wanted to write memories for my family. And poetry
was the easiest way to get those memories on paper.**

A. Rose Hill has been a writer since the mid-1970s; however, she has not published a full collection of poetry.

Hill's poetry, written in free verse reflects her focus on family and community, life in the West, and nature. (See the section in Resources titled A. Rose Hill Poems Online.)

Hill's work has been published in Emerging Voices: Journal of Literature and Art, a publication of Western Nebraska Community College. (See the section below titled A. Rose Hill Poems Online.)

Two anthologies that include Hill's work are Leaning into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West (Houghton Mifflin, 1997; Mariner Books, Reprint, 1998), containing her poem "Chokecherry Jelly", and Woven on the Wind: Women Write about Friendship in the Sagebrush West (Houghton Mifflin, 2001; paper, 2002), containing "The Gift" and "Barefooting Summer". Hill's poetry also is in the chapbook Wyoming Journeys (Volume 2) (WYOPoets/Wyoming Writers, 1995)

Hill received in 2015 an honorable mention in the annual Neltje Blanchan award competition of the Wyoming Arts Council. She was named 2012 Wyoming Senior Poet Laureate by California's Amy Kitchener Angels Without Wings Foundation. Hill's poem "Chemo" received honorable mention in the 2008 free verse poetry contest of Wyoming Writers. In addition, Hill was given in 2002 an Emmie Mygatt Award, which is presented to a Wyoming Writers member for outstanding service.


Photo Credit: Wyoming Poets

* Quoted from Wyoming Poets Profile

** Quoted from James Chilton, "Sheridan Woman Named Newest Wyoming Poet Laureate", Wyoming Tribune Eagle, July 11, 2015.

Office of the Governor, "Governor Mead Names Rose Hill of Sheridan as New Poet Laureate", News Release, July 9, 2015

"Governor Names Rose Hill of Sheridan as New Poet Laureate", Press Release at Basin Radio Network, July 9, 2015 

"Governor Mead Names Rose Hill of Sheridan as New Poet Laureate", Wyoming Arts Council, July 9, 2015 (This comprises the governor's press release, which was picked up and published in many news outlets throughout the state.)

"A. Rose Hill Named as Wyoming Poet Laureate", Wyoming Tribune Eagle, July 9, 2015

A. Rose Hill Profiles Online: Wyoming Poets and Writing Wyoming

A. Rose Hill Poems Online: "Grandma Tol' Me Long Ago" at Wyoming Poets; "Song of Wyoming" at Wyoming Public Media (Audio Only); "Painted Ladies" (Page 60) in Emerging Voices (2011; pdf); "Grandma Tol' Me" (Page 5), "A Search In Vain" (Page 14), "Cassie in the '40s" (Page 31), All in Emerging Voices (2009; pdf); "Commitment 1990" and "Afterword 1993" (Page 29) in Emerging Voices (2006; pdf)

Windbreak House/The Wind Anthologies (This site provides information about the two anthologies mentioned in the profile above.)

Writing Wyoming (A photo of the governor's office when Hill was appointed is here.)

Wyoming Arts Council (Photos are available on the council's FaceBook pages.)

Wyoming History (Wyoming State Historical Society)

Wyoming Poets (FaceBook)

Wyoming Writers Inc. (Hill is a charter member of the organization, a nonprofit devoted to educating and encouraging writers in any genre, professional or not.)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Thought for the Day

An enemy is one whose story we have not heard.
~ Gene Knudsen Hoffman*

* The quote is attributed by some to Gene Knudsen Hoffman. Others attribute it to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Leah Green of The Compassionate Listening Project cites in her tribute to Hoffman a 2001 letter in which Hoffman wrote that she'd found a motto for the project: it was the title of one of her essays.

Gene Knudsen Hoffman, 1919-2010, Pioneer of the Concept of Compassionate Listening; International Peace Activist; Poet, Essayist, and Author, Compassionate Listening (Friends Bulletin Corp., 2nd Ed, 2013)

The Compassionate Listening Project on FaceBook

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for the documentary Cyber Seniors. Inspired by two sisters' high school project, the film follows a group of senior citizens (the oldest is 93) who venture onto the Internet with their teen mentors' help. Directed  by Saffron Casaday and produced by Brenda Rusnak, the film proves that age need not be an excuse to get connected.

Cyber Seniors on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Friday, July 17, 2015

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Forthcoming is Alex Katz, This Is Now (Yale University Press, August 14, 2015), featuring images of work dating to the 1950s and including essays by curator Michael Rooks, art critic Margaret Graham, and artist David Salle, as well as poems by John Godfrey and Vincent Katz, the artist's son who also is an art critic, curator, and translator. The publication, featuring 100 color illustrations, is focused on Katz's landscape paintings and their themes of nature, perception, time's passage, and notions of the sublime. The catalogue accompanies the exhibition "Alex Katz, This Is Now", on view through September 6 at Atlanta's High Museum.

Cover of Alex Katz, This Is Now Catalogue

Alex Katz Website

✦ Do you know about W.A.G.E.? That acronym stands for Working Artists and the Greater Economy, a New York-based activist organization founded in 2008 that is "focused on regulating the payment of artist fees by nonprofit art institutions, and establishing a sustainable labor relation between artists and the institutions that subcontract their labor." See the list of institutions currently W.A.G.E.-certified.

W.A.G.E. on FaceBook and Twitter

✦ The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin now has an open-access policy that  it issued recently in conjunction with the launch of "Project REVEAL"; one immediate result is free access to more than 22,000 images of materials in its manuscript collections. The images, which anyone may use for any purpose, without restrictions or fees, are available through the digital collections portal. The center does request that public use of the images include attribution. Read the center's announcement.

✦ You'll want to take more than a single look at the work of mosaic artist Jeanne Opgenhaffen.

✦ Take some time to browse Sonya Clark's Website. Clark, chair of Virginia Commonwealth University's Department of Craft/Material Studies, works with hair, beaded prayers, cloth, combs, and other materials, creating finely made and profound installations and objects. Clark's Three-Fifths (2010) is in "Featured Objects" through July 30 at Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington. 

✦ Today's video from Art21 features ceramic sculptor Arlene Shechet, subject of a 20-year survey, "All At Once", at Institute of Contemporary Art Boston through September 7. Shechet talks about her artistic practice and techniques in making cast paper reliefs.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ New York City's AFA Gallery opens "Electric Storm" on July 9. The exhibition presents more than 20 functional sculptures by artist and actor Tanya Clarke, who addresses current ecological issues using such materials as steel and hot, hand-sculpted colored glass. The full exhibition is on view through July 23, after which available works may be seen in the showroom through August 30.

Visit Clarke's Liquid Light Website.

AFA Gallery New York on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ California's San Jose Museum of Art continues "Jose Clemente Orozco | Figure Studies" through August 23. The exhibition showcases 23 figure studies, many for the first time, loaned by the Michael Wornick Collection. An in-depth presentation is available online: Introduction, Jose Clemente Orozco's Studies in the Michael Wornick Collection, The Collector's Perspective (An Interview), Works in the Exhibition (Slideshow), Related Murals, Biography, and Additional Resources.

San Jose Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ On view through August 30 at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University is "Colour Correction: British and American Screenprints, 1967-75", drawn primarily from the museum's own print collection. Included are more than 100 works by 40 artists, including Andy Warhol, Eduardo Paolozzi, May Stevens, Richard Anuszkiewicz, William T. Williams, and Liliane Lijn. A slideshow and audio guide are available at the exhibition link.

Nasher Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Continuing through November 15 at Indianapolis Museum of Art is "Michelle Grabner: Weaving Life Into Art", the artist's first solo museum show. Grabner is an abstract painter, installation artist, sculptor, and photographer and also draws and works in video. She's a curator, professor, and critic as well. For this exhibition, the museum is presenting work in all her media, including a monumental installation of her weavings and sculpture; debuting is Grabner's new photographic series inspired by the 2014 season of the Indianapolis Colts. In addition to other events involving the artist, the museum is sponsoring a master class for current BFA and MFA students on October 29. 

Michelle Grabner at James Cohan Gallery

Indianapolis Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Opening July 30 at Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, is "The Summer of '68: Photographing the Black Panthers". The exhibition, which will remain on view through October 30, spotlights the important work of photographers Pirkle Jones (1914-2009) and Ruth-Marion Baruch (1922-1997), whose images, given to the museum in 2013, are presented for the first time.

View a video produced for an exhibition of Baruch's photos:

Norton Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thursday's Three on Art

Today's column highlights three art-related sites to explore.

Artifex Press ~ Looking for digital catalogues raisonnes? Devoted to the digital publication of catalogues raisonnes, Artifex, launched in 2012 and based in New York City, is offering, for an unspecified period of time, free subscriptions to its compilations of works of Chuck Close (Chuck Close: Paintings 1967 - Present),  Jim Dine (Jim Dine: Sculpture 1983 - Present), and Tim Hawkinson (Tim Hawkinson). It plans to produce online catalogues raisonnes on the work of Tara Donovan, Robert Irwin, Agnes Martin, and Richard Tuttle, among other artists. See the Events page for news of panel discussions, demonstrations, and launches. Earlier this week, for example, Artifex presented panel discussions on preparing and publishing digital content and researching artists working in nontraditional media.

Artifex Press on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram

Art Crit Zingers ~ This site describes itself as "a curated project that invites practicing visual artists . . . to submit the most memorable remarks said to them during studio visits and critiques." The best submissions may be compiled in a future publication.

Art Crit Zingers on Instagram

ARLIS/NA ~ Founded in 1972 by a group of art librarians, the Art Libraries Society of North America collaborates with others arts and information groups to further the goals of art information professionals. Moderated subscriber discussions of arts information issues (e.g., image management) are conducted at ARLIS-L. Among online features are a job listing service, internship opportunitieslearning modules, a section that receives and reviews information about new arts publications (including multimedia and technology reviews), research and reports, and art documentation. Also see the section Career Resources.

ARLIS/NA on FaceBook and Twitter

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

'This Little Light of Mine'

Fannie Lou Hamer

Below is the trailer for the inspiring documentary short This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer (2015), directed by Robin Hamilton. It is being screened today at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Washington, D.C., as part of the March on Washington Film Festival, which continues through July 25. Post-screening, a panel discussion is scheduled that will involve Hamer's daughter Vergie Hamer Faulkner, Robin Hamilton, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia; Rev. Ed King, who founded the Mississippi Democratic PartyDorie Ladner, an organizer of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); and civil rights activist Dr. Leslie McLemore, who created the Hamer Institute @COFO at Jackson State University. 

The film tells the story of Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977), granddaughter of a slave and the youngest of 20 children born to impoverished sharecroppers. During the Civil Rights Movement in America, Hamer brought her leadership to bear on efforts to win African-Americans the right to vote in Mississippi. She challenged the all-White delegation to the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, refused to concede to the compromise proposed, and gave impassioned testimony about her despicable treatment as an activist (she lost her job, suffered a horrific beating in a county jail, and endured death threats and attacks on her family members). She went on to speak out about poverty, founded a land cooperative (Freedom Farms Corporation) for poor farmers, and continued speaking out against discrimination and oppression. 

By anyone's standards, Fannie Lou Hamer was a remarkable woman.

In addition to footage of members of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which Hamer helped create and organize, the documentary features speeches by the activist and interviews with SNCC members.

In making the film, Robin Hamilton restores the voice of Fannie Lou Hamer, endowing her with the importance she deserves in the historic movement to give all African Americans their human rights.

Robin Hamilton, making her directorial debut with the film, is the owner of ARoundRobin Production Company.

The documentary also is an official selection of the Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival and will be shown on August 12.

Follow the Fannie Lou Hamer - A Film site for news and screenings, as well as blog postings.

Hamer Institute on FaceBook

Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville, Mississippi

Articles of Interest:

Anne Rooney, "50 Years Ago Today, Fannie Lou Hamer Spoke Out for Freedom", Ms. Blog, August 22, 2014 (A clip of Hamer's testimony before the Credentials Committee is available here. It is taken from the PBS documentary Freedom Summer.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

'I Don't Fear Death', Sandra Beasley Videopoem

Several years ago Bill Moyers asked former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove to name poets under 40 whose work she follows. Among the names cited in "Rita Dove's List of Young Poets to Watch" was that of Sandra Beasley, who recently published her third poetry collection, Count the Waves (W.W. Norton, June 2015). 

Below is Beasley's "I Don't Fear Death" from I Was the Jukebox (W.W. Norton, 2010; Reprint, 2011), awarded the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize. Beasley provides the voiceover.

Sandra Beasley also is the author of the debut collection Theories of Falling (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2008), recipient of the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize (the judge was Marie Howe); and the memoir Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life (Broadway Books, Reprint, 2012).

Beasley's blog is Chicks Dig Poetry.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Muse: Creative Work on Race

Reconciliation and healing are two words we hear frequently when tragic events, such as the recent murders at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, South Carolina, threaten peace of mind and deepen an already deep rift among races and cultures. And many of us turn to the arts to reconcile and heal because the arts not only help us to express our identity and make sense of what we are unaware of or do not understand; they also serve to reveal to us our own flawed selves.

Claudia Rankine's remarkable Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014), for example, is a damning narrative series that shows how entrenched and insidious discrimination is in America; video treatments of African-Americans' experiences exposed in Rankine's widely and deservedly praised prose poems and essays give us much cause to step back and take stock of racism, our contributions to it, and to ask ourselves what responsibility each of us has to identify and overcome our particular biases and to engage in activism leading to positive social change for all.

Rankin's book is just one of a number of creative initiatives that take race or ethnicity as their subject and long-term relationship-building as a possible goal. Take a look at the following and consider how you might use your own imaginations, creativity, and leadership abilities to promote frank, open, and honest discussions in your communities, whether physical or online.

✭ The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi has created The Welcome Table, a program that uses small-group retreats and storytelling as the means to improve race relations community-wide. An online program brochure describes a three-part process involving reflection, listening, and relationship-building in partner communities through the sharing of personal stories; education and discernment aimed at uncovering hidden biases and inequities, and understanding their consequences; and training and action to address specific local issues. That process can be duplicated in any community in America. A 15-minute video introduction explains the program and its objectives. A documentary about The Welcome Table is in production.

Among a number of excellent resources on the site is the handbook We Are the People We've Been Waiting For: Equipping Communities to Heal Themselves, available online as a pdf. 

William Winter Institute on FaceBook

✭ The Website Love Has No Labels offers a "Hidden Bias Test" and suggests ways to spot and stop bias and prejudice in all its hurtful, divisive forms.

✭ Storytelling also is at the heart of a recently launched community project in Richmond, Virginia. Called Battery Park Stories, the initiative aims to bring together residents of different ages and races to share what they know of their neighborhood's history and legacy and, most important, to bridge acknowledged cultural divides as people move in and out of the area. Recently, NPR's "Community Ideas Stations" featured the community in "Storytelling Project Brings Diverse Neighbors Together". (Audio and a transcript of the group's discussions are included at the link.)

Ideas Station

✭ How do we "transcend the stuff that doesn't lend itself much poetry" in our lives? A conversation in 2011 about a white male poet's use of a black female's body led Claudia Rankine to create "The Open Letter Project", a Web forum that invited writers to share how racial differences affected their artmaking and how art failed to help them "adequately imagine" responses to challenge racism's detrimental effects. Out of that initiative came the collection The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind (Fence Books, 2015), which was edited by  Rankine, Wyoming author Beth Loffreda, and artist Max King Cap; Rankine and Loffreda also contributed the anthology's introduction. Included are letters and essays by more than 40 writers and art by a dozen artists on the issue of racism and its consequences.

Read poet and essayist Muriel Leung's excellent review of The Racial Imaginary at The Blood-Jet Writing Hour. She describes the anthology as a mix of "as many collisions as there are connections" in perspective and concludes that the responses "end so that the dialogue [the book] has started may continue off the page." Communities of co-creators might consider how to use the book to jump-start their own conversations and creative approaches to the issue.

Fence Books Page for The Racial Imaginary (Note: There is a link, "read it now", on the page that allows the book to be read online.)

✭ The multimedia performance piece One Drop of Love, written and performed by actor, producer, and educator Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, explores how belief in the concept of race affects even our most intimate relationships. Here's a look at a segment from the show, which uses historical data and personal interviews between a father, daughter, and other family members to examine how racial attitudes and beliefs form and are perpetuated:

Read a one-page summary of how One Drop of Love can be used to educate and promote discussions in schools, churches, and other venues.

One Drop of Love on FaceBook

Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni on YouTube

✭ Another project co-curated by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni is Mixed Roots Stories, which, as its title suggests, promotes awareness of "otherness" or "the mixed experience", whether in race, culture, or ethnicity, through the sharing of stories.

✭ Steven F. Riley's non-commercial Website, Mixed Race Studies "provides a gateway to interdisciplinary. . . English language scholarship about the relevant issues surrounding the topic of multiracialism." The term "Arts" is in the long list of categories covered.

✭ The Stronger Together Website features initiatives of organizations in Northern Ireland that work primarily with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to share knowledge and information, provide a shared resource to service providers, and identify opportunities for partnership and innovation in arts and culture, education, health and well-being, and employment.

✭ The grassroots course White People Challenging Racism "seeks to build a racially just society [by] providing the information, skills, and resources needed to spur people to action in standing up against racism." Comprising five weekly two-hour meetings led by pairs of trained facilitators, the workshop is available to adult education programs, college and universities, teachers, law enforcement and other public service agencies, social service groups, and others. A variety of films and videos, books, role-playing, and other resources are used.

✭ The Mixed Remixed Festival brings together writers, artists, musicians, actors and other performers, and filmmakers to celebrate people of all races, creeds, and genders. Members of multi-racial or mixed or blended families may watch live performances, listen to panel discussions, or take part in acting and writing workshops to share or explore their own experiences.