Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thought for the Day

[. . .] even if the darkness precedes and follows
us, we have a chance, briefly, to shine.
~ Arthur Sze

Quoted from Arthur Sze, "The Chance" in 365 Poems for Every Occasion (Academy of American Poets/Abrams, 2015), page 401 (This poem is in the December section.)

Arthur Sze, Chinese American Poet, Translator, Editor; Recipient, Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, Jackson Poetry Prize, American Book Award, Western States Book Award (Translation); Guggenheim Fellow, Witter Bynner Foundation Grantee, National Endowment for the Arts Fellow; Pulitzer Prize for Poetry Nominee

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for The Blues Society, an in-progress feature-length documentary about a collective of Memphis blues lovers, both artists and legendary musicians, who created in 1966 the Memphis Country Blues Festival. The film, due out in spring 2018, combines archival materials and music footage with interviews. The director is Augusta Palmer.

Learn more about the documentary at its now-closed Indiegogo site.

Friday, April 28, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Cross-cultural exchanges among artists and how artists conceptualize them are examined in art critic Marcus Verhagen's Flows and Counterflows: Globalisation in Contemporary Art (Sternberg Press, February 2017). Read an excerpt at Sotheby's Institute of Art. Verhagen is a member of the faculty of the institute.

Cover Art

Sotheby Institute of Art on FaceBook, Instagram, and Vimeo

"Slow Time: Marcus Verhagen Discusses Globalisation and Time" (Art Monthly)

Video Introduction to Marcus Verhagen

✦ Photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi's black-and-white images of nature are both sensual and contemplative. See "'I take portraits of gods': the Photography of Nobuyuki Kobayashi — In Pictures" at The Guardian (March 22, 2017). Also see the video interview below with images from his 2014 exhibition in Finland, "Portrait of Nature — Myriads of God":

Nobuyuki Kobayashi on FaceBook

✦ Artist Adele Wagstaff shows others "How to Paint an Artist from Life", Part 1 and Part 2, at Artists & Illustrators magazine.

✦ Personal data lends itself to some surprising artistry, as Rachel Lynne Wilkerson reveals at Curator magazine. The year-long Dear Data is the project of information designers Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec. See the Dear Data Website. A 300-page Dear Data book is available.

✦ Quilter Louise Maughan James is the recipient of the Grand Prix - First Prize at the 2017 Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival at Tokyo Dome. See a selection of the quilts that were on display, including the prize winner. (The Grand Prix winner also can be seen in this post from Okan Arts.)

✦ Congratulations to Leigh Yawkey Woods Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin, for being recognized for the second year in a row as a National Medal Finalist for museum and library services. The award, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, celebrates museums providing innovative public service. To receive the award is considered a great honor.

Information About 2017 National Medal Finalists

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✦ The video below, from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., shows conservator Amber Keer preparing a Gene Davis painting for re-stretching. She is sewing strips of canvas onto the tacking margins. For more about the treatment, see the Eye Level blog post, "Art Conservation: Stretching a Very Large Gene Davis Painting". The museum recently concluded an exhibition of the Color Field painter's work, "Gene Davis: Hot Beat".

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, continues through June 18 "The Rachel Lambert Mellon Collection of Jean Schlumberger". The exhibition features more than 140 of the artist-jeweler's exquisite works, which were donated  to VMFA by philanthropist Rachel Lambert Mellon (1910-2014). Some of the objects are being shown for the first time. See a preview of the show below and in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Additional images are at the exhibition link above.

Jean Michel Schlumberger (1907-1987) at Tiffany & Co.

✭ Minnesota's Northern Clay Center, in Minneapolis, is presenting an "Amy Sabrina [Myers] Retrospective" from May 12 to June 25. Amy Sabrina, who died in 2013, lived and worked on a 35-acre farm in Dalbo, where she made pottery inspired by nature and celebrated in solo and group shows throughout the United States. The exhibition offers examples from throughout her career.

NCC on FaceBook and YouTube

✭ Works by 51 contemporary artists, including Beth Cavener, Shepard Fairey, and Kehinde Wiley, who graced the pages of the art magazine Hi-Fructose is on display in "Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose" at Ohio's Akron Art Museum. The group exhibition, which runs through May 7, includes oil paintings, drawings, ceramic and bronze sculptures, video, and mixed-media works created using new and traditional artistic processes and addressing such issues as social justice, war, and sexuality. A complete list of the artists represented in the show, as well as links to their Websites, is available at the exhibition link. The show travels in June to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California.

Akron Art Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ The exquisite studio glass of the renowned Harvey Littleton (1922-2013) can be seen in "From the Fire" at Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, North Carolina, through August 27. Including loans from the Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC), Chrysler Museum of Art (Norfolk, VA), Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY), and private collections, the exhibition celebrates Littleton's contributions to and influence on the studio glass movement (now in its 55th year) and examines current and innovative processes in contemporary glass.

American Studio Glass Movement (Corning Museum of Glass)

CAM on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ "Hot Metal Modern: Design in Pittsburgh and Beyond" concludes its long run at Carnegie Museum of Art on June 1. The installation, intended to showcase Pittsburgh as a major design center, features a wide range of design object from the Pittsburgh area and relates the stories of innovation and industry behind them.

Carnegie Museum of Art on FaceBook, Instagram, and Vimeo

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday's Three on Art

Today, Thursday's Three presents a trio of recently published or forthcoming art titles.

Gustave Caillebotte: Painting the Paris of Naturalism, 1872-1887 (Getty Publications, 2017) ~ Michael Marrinan, professor emeritus at Stanford University, offers an in-depth study of both the life and artistic development of French painter Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) in the context of 19th Century urban life in upper-class Paris. In addition to establishing connections between the artist's painting and literature, commerce, and technology, Marrinan explores how upper-class cultural life in Paris influenced and shaped the painter and his work. The 416-page book includes 116 color and 78 black-and-white illustrations.

Cover Art

East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography (Yale University Press/National Gallery of Art, March 21, 2017) ~ This 288-page book with 222 color and black-and-white images, focuses exclusively on "eastern photographs that helped shape America's national identity" and documents the effects on the landscape of industrialization, war, and tourism. More than 180 images from 1839  to 1900 — from daguerreotypes, salted paper prints, tintypes, cyanotypes, and albumen prints to stereo cards and photograph albums — are featured. Also examined are connections to other media, such as the paintings of Albert Bierstadt and the photographs of the Moran brothers. The authors are Diane Waggoner of the National Gallery of Art, Russell Lord of New Orleans Museum of Art, and Jennifer Raab of Yale University.

Cover Art

The publication accompanies an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art (on view through July 16) that will travel to the New Orleans Museum of Art (October 5, 2017 - January 7, 2018).

Read "National Gallery of Art Features Earliest Photographs of Eastern American Landscapes" at Fine Books & Collections blog (January 6, 2017).

Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, July 2017) ~ James Delbourgo's Collecting the World is the first biography of Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) to be based on the full range of the wealthy society physician's writings and collections, which became the foundation of the British Museum, the world's first free national museum. (Sloane left his entire collection to King George II for the nation; his gift was accepted on June 7, 1753, with royal assent establishing the British Museum.) Delbourgo is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University.

Cover Art

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday Artist: Catherine Opie

Can I get you to look at an image for longer than a second?
~ Catherine Opie

A photographer who says she "likes to stare", Catherine Opie trains her sight on the minority groups and sub-communities of our culture. Her work is intended to "create a platform for people to recognize themselves" and to get viewers to think about such subjects as attitudes, child labor, relationships, social conflicts and inequality, and discrimination. And while she admits she "can be political", she also says her interest is much more anthropological.

Below is another in Louisiana Channel's excellent series of video interviews with artists: "Catherine Opie: A World Beyond Selfies". Interviewed in January 2016 at her Los Angeles, California, studio, Opie discusses the challenges of being a photographer today and her approach to her subjects.

Opie's photographs are exhibited internationally, and her work can be found in numerous collections, including those of the Guggenheim Museum, Hammer Museum, The Israel Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The MacArthur Foundation, Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, Tate Gallery, Whitney Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery.

Opie currently is a professor of photography in the art department at UCLA.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

'accidentals (recalculated)' (Videopoem)

Australian poet and filmmaker Ian Gibbins is responsible for the text, video, sound, and performance of "accidentals" (Niteshifter Productions, 2016), embedded below, a videopoem that Dave Bonta at Moving Poems describes as "brilliant" (I agree!). The videopoem was a finalist in Carbon Culture Review's 2016 Poetry Film Contest.

Gibbins's other videopoems, found at Vimeo, include "sensurious", shortlisted for The Red Room Company's New Shoots Poetry Prizes 2016; "12 Sights of the Sea"; and "situs inversus viscerum totalis", part of a multi-media exhibition on art and health, "Body of Evidence", at Adelaide Convention Centre last summer. (See an alternative version of the video that was projected onto the center's windows during the exhibition.) "Situs inversus" also was shown in December 2016 at the 5th International Video Poetry Festival, in Athens, Greece.

Gibbins, who has a doctorate in zoology, has a fascinating background that includes work as a professor of anatomy and as an internationally recognized neuroscience researcher. Since retiring from academics, he has devoted himself to poetry, electronic music, and such other pursuits as windsurfing.

Gibbins's poetry has been published in Best Australian Poems 2008 (see his poem "Field Guide" in the Poetry section of Gibbins's Website), Found Poetry Review, Right Hand Pointing, and other publications, and it has been shortlisted for The Australian Book Review Poetry Prize (2007), Newcastle Poetry Prize (2010), and 5 Islands Press's Ron Pretty Poetry Prize (2014). His debut collection of 45 poems, urban biology, was published by Wakefield Press / Friendly Street Poets in 2012. Gibbins also is the author of The Microscope Project: How Things Work (2014), containing 17 poems and color images by Catherine Truman, Deb Jones, and Gibbins; and Floribunda (2015), which features 13 poems and 19 full-color drawings by Judy Morris. Each of the collections is available to order via Gibbins's online shop.

Ian Gibbins on FaceBook

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday Muse: Derek Walcott

For every poet, it is always morning in the world.
~ Derek Walcott

The preeminent poet, Nobel Laureate, and playwright Derek Walcott (1930-2017) died last month at the age of 87. It is especially fitting during National Poetry Month to remember this great and gifted poet, whose work the writer Teju Cole has described as "written with a painterly hand, stroke by patient stroke."*

For those unfamiliar with Walcott's work, one of the best introductions to the man and his writing is the video interview below, "The Sea Is History, A Conversation with Derek Walcott", which was conducted in November 2010 at Hart House Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Walcott reads from his work and discusses his life and views on identity, culture, and language with English professor Christian Campbell. 

Another good interview is Bill Moyers's "Derek Walcott — A Conversation with the Great Caribbean-Born Writer", part of the series A World of Ideas. The poet's comments about "America as empire" and "the black man's dream" are notable for their currency today. Walcottt also reads from his poetry. A transcription is available at the link. Here's a video excerpt from that interview, in which Walcott talks about the human condition:


Walcott's poetry collections include his debut book 25 Poems (1948) and his final Morning, Paramin (Farrar, Straus, 2016). Between those two works, he published more than two dozen other volumes, among them, In a Green Night: Poems (1962; later, In a Green Night: Poems 1948-1960, 1969), The Caribbean Poetry of Derek Walcott and the Art of Romare Beardon (1983), Omeros (1990), several compilations of selected poems, including The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013, and White Egrets (2010). Walcott published in a wide range of literary periodicals, from Caribbean Quarterly to Poetry to Tamarack Review. He wrote some three dozen plays, one of which, Dream on Monkey Mountain, was awarded with an Obie Award. In addition to his 1992 Nobel Prize, Walcott received a MacArthur Foundation grant, a Royal Society of Literature Award, and the Queen's Medal for Poetry.


* Teju Cole, "Poet of the Caribbean | 'The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013'", The New York Times, February 21, 2014

Emily Temple, "The Writing Wisdom of Derek Walcott", Literary Hub, March 20, 2017

Derek Walcott Profiles Online: Academy of American Poets, The New YorkerNobel Prize, and Poetry Foundation

Jonathan Galassi, "Remembering Derek Walcott", Work in Progress (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux),  March 244, 2017

Peter Armenti, "Literary Treasures: Derek Walcott Reading His Poems (1986)", From the Catbird Seat, Poetry & Literature at the Library of Congress, March 23, 2017

Edward Hirsch, "Derek Walcott, The Art of Poetry No. 37" (Interview), The Paris Review, Issue 101, Winter 1986

A number of Walcott's lyrical poems can be found easily online.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Thought for the Day

How do we get back to the struggle over the future? 
I think you have to hope, and hope in this sense is 
not a prize or a gift, but something you earn 
through study, through resisting the ease of despair, 
and through digging tunnels, cutting windows,
opening doors, or finding the people who
do these things. They exist. [. . .]
~ Rebecca Solnit

Quoted from Rebecca Solnit, "An Afterword", in Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, With Possibilities (Haymarket Books, 2016), page 142 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday Short

Following is Grow (2017), an animated short by Nejc Polovsak of Slovenia, narrated by Graham Tracey and written by Will Jarvis. The sound design and music are by John Black. 

(My thanks to Cinematic Poems, where I first saw the short.)

Nejc Polovsak Website, Twistedpoly

Friday, April 21, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ New York-based Heide Hatry, who exhibits throughout the United States and abroad, was the subject last month of a feature in Hyperallergic, where I first learned of her work.  Her many projects include Icons in Ash, a series of remarkable portraits that Hatry creates from the ashes of the deceased. A selection of the memorial portraits currently is on view through May 12 in "Heide Hatry: Icons in Ash: Cremation Portraits" at Ubu Gallery in New York City. (See exhibition checklist in pdf.)

Visit the Website devoted to Icons in Ash, where you can view Hatry's mosaic portraits, cinerary drawing portraits, cinerary photo transfer portraits, and pet portraits (the latter can be made using any of the techniques for humans' portraits). A 268-page book (see image below), A Collaborative Conceptual Artist's Book (Station Hill Press, 2017), with 19 images, is available.

Cover Art

Hatry has produced some 200 artist books and has edited more than 24 books and art catalogues. She is known for body-related performances and work that uses animal flesh and organs. 

✦ Japanese artist-designer Shota Suzuki's metal art is exquisite. See images of the work, which takes its inspiration from nature and includes sculpture and jewelry. Suzuki had a solo exhibition at Ippodo Gallery in March.

Shota Suzuki Metal Arts on FaceBook

✦ Megan Mead's custom paper pet portraits are charming, beautifully cut, and affordable. Mead talks with Ann Martin at All Things Paper. See her work at paperpups on Instagram and visit her Etsy shop, Paper Pet Art. (My thanks to Ann Martin for the post.)

Ann has brought to blog readers' attention as well the creative and whimsical bespoke pet portraits of paper artist Kathryn Willis of Memphis, Tennessee

✦ UK-based Sarah Purvey, who exhibits widely in New York and London, creates beautiful ceramic sculptures. Her black-and-white vessels especially draw my attention. New work by Purvey currently can be seen through May 6 at New Craftsman Gallery, St. Ives, Cornwall.

Sarah Purvey on FaceBook and Instagram

✦ The video below is Surface Folds: Yukiya Izumita Clay Wares. Izumita combines the techniques of origami and sculpture to craft his beautiful layered-paper works.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Some 120 woodcuts, lithographs, mezzotints, and drawings by M.C. Escher are on view at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin. The works in "M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion", which continues through May 28, are from a large private collection from the Herakleidon Museum, Athens, Greece. Also included in the exhibition are early figure drawings, lesser-known book illustrations, Italian landscapes, and both architectural fantasies and tessellations.

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum on FaceBookInstagram, and YouTube

LYW Art Museum Blogpost "The Buzz About Escher"

✭ In New Orleans, Louisiana, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art is presenting paintings by the primarily self-taught sculptor and painter James Michalopoulos, who draws his inspiration from the city itself. (He's especially known for his New Orleans houses.) On view through July 16, "Waltzing the Muse: The Paintings of James Michalopoulos" features work from throughout the artist's career. Michalopoulos describes his styles as "an abstraction of the figurative; I like color, volumetric shape and graphic lines. While one may recognize the subjects of my paintings, through my work one discovers the spirit of them."*

* Quoted from Press Release

James Michalopoulos Paintings and Prints (Website)

Ogden Museum on FaceBook

✭ African American artist Sonya Clark's new, site-specific installations and performances exploring hair as an indicator of race and social status, a symbol of age and authority, a statement of contemporary style, and an object of beauty and adornment can be seen in "Follicular: The Hair Stories of Sonya Clark" through May 14 at Taubman Museum of Art, in Roanoke, Virginia. This is a major solo exhibition that includes live performances of Translations, in which a Richmond, Va., African American hair stylist, Kamala Bhagat, reinterprets a historic African hairstyle on Clark's head.  A selection of images is available at the exhibition link above.

A catalogue, The Hair Craft Project (see image below), co-winner of ArtPrize 2014, is available to order. (One of the stylists in the full-color-photo-and-essay book is Kamala Bhagat.)

Image of The Hair Craft Project Publication

Sonya Clark on FaceBook and Instagram

Taubman Museum on FaceBook and Instagram

✭ Pennsylvania's Philadelphia Museum of Art is showing phulkari, ornately embroidered textiles from Punjab, in "Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection". On view through July 9, the exhibition also includes traditional phulkaris from PMA's own collection, as well as phulkari-based high-fashion ensembles by Indian designer Maninsh Mahotra. Following is a trailer for the exhibition:

A 96-page publication with 95 color illustrations accompanies the exhibition (see cover image below).

Catalogue Cover Art

PMA on FaceBook, Tumblr, and Instagram

✭ Open through July 9, the exhibition "Focus: Katherine Bernhardt", at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, features a recent series of paintings in which Bernhardt juxtaposes common, everyday objects (e.g., household products, fruit, toys, cigarettes, food) that float atop solid grounds of color. Bernhardt, of Brooklyn, New York, depicts popular, consumer culture in a simplified and flat style, and often uses odd combinations of things as well as mixed styles of painting in a single work.

Katherine Bernhardt, Windex cigarettes basketball, 2016
Acrylic and Spray Paint on Canvas
120" x 96"

Read an interview with Bernhardt at Artspace.

Katherine Bernhardt at ArtNet, ArtsyCanadaSaatchi Gallery, and Xavier Hufkens

The Modern on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

Thursday, April 20, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Duy Huynh, A Mindful Garden, 2016
Acrylic on Wood Panel
30" x 30"


I am so pleased today to present Duy Huynh in my Artist Watch column at Escape Into Life. Duy's work first appeared at EIL in 2010. 

Born in Vietnam and currently a resident of North Carolina, Duy took to art as a way to cope with the difficulties of being a refugee and adapting to his new surroundings in the United States and his new language, English. Once Duy discovered how he could use his art to communicate and, as he says, "make a connection", art became his passion and life's work.

Today's Artist Watch column features nine images of Duy's poetic and contemplative paintings, five of which he painted this year; his Artist Statement, and a brief biography. Just click on the Artist Watch link to see why Duy has become so beloved an artist.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wednesday Artist: Laurence Edwards

I tend to work in very basic and raw environments—the elements are 
always present. My body influences the work, and the environment
 it's in does also. The sculpture is the meeting place. [. . .]
~ Laurence Edwards*

I first learned about British sculptor Laurence Edwards when his 14-foot work Beast of Burden, an altarpiece installed in 2012 at Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh, Suffolk, was featured in an ArtWay visual meditation by freelance fine art curator Meryl Doney, who specializes in exhibitions in cathedrals, churches, and other challenging spaces. I was taken immediately by Edwards's work, and particularly by the emotional range that seems to be imbued in his pieces — dark, haunting figures (primarily male) that cannot be ignored. That Edwards often situates his sometimes greater-than-life-size figures in natural surroundings complements and enhances their effect. (See the Archive on his Website.) To see these evocative figures in person must be a truly remarkable, even moving, experience.

The wonderful film A Thousand Tides (2016), below, helps explain my reactions. In the short, Edwards describes how, in 2016, he bid farewell to one of his extraordinary, site-specific, life-size bronze figures, A Thousand Tides, when he decided to vacate his Butley Mills studios (near Orford), which he had maintained for 15 years and where he had built a foundry. Edwards also talks about his conceptual approach and casting techniques. 

(A more complete description about the creation and final disposition of A Thousand Tides is found at Edwards's blog, and includes a number of sketches and images. For additional photographs, see the section Recent Work at Edwards's Website.)

Born in Suffolk, England, Edwards did post-graduate work at London's Royal College or Art and studied casting with Sri Lankan master founder Tissa Ranagsinghe. His artistic talents have led to numerous solo exhibitions and group shows in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Spain, and the United States, as well as commissions for site-specific installations in Spain and Germany, among other places. More recently, he was the subject of The Work of Laurence Edwards by former curator John Sheeran. Edwards's awards include being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors (2012). 

Not content to work solely in bronze, Edwards experiments with clay and organic materials, such as grasses, and has been constructing immense heads, documenting his progress on his blog. 

Edwards also draws and paints, both in oil and watercolor. I'm especially drawn to the latter. (See the Drawings and Paintings section of his Website to view his nests, birds, portraits, and landscapes.)

Edwards's current foundry and studio, where he can be found from March through June, are in Halesworth, in northeast Suffolk. 


* Quoted from "Q&A with Laurence Edwards" in Art Collector (Australia), 2015, accessible in the Recent Press section of the Laurence Edwards page at Messum's gallery in London. That same page shows exhibition catalogues and other publications featuring Edwards's work.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

'the one about the bird' (Poetry Film)

Based on poet and visual artist Melissa Diem's poem, the one about the bird was filmed in Ireland and was a finalist for the 2013 O Bheal International Poetry Film Competition; it also was screened in 2013 at Belfast Film Festival (Ireland), Filmpoem (Scotland), and Timeline (England). That same year, it was awarded Honorable Mention at The Body Electric Poetry Film Festival in Colorado (United States) and was a finalist at La Parola Immaginata - Trevigliopoesia (Italy).

Diem reads the poem. She also provided the visual images. Colm Slattery provided sound production.

the one about the bird (A poetry film) from Melissa Diem on Vimeo.

Text of Poem

Melissa Diem Website

Melissa Diem Page at Vimeo

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Muse: Summer Writing/Poetry Festivals

It's not too early to begin thinking about and reserving your places for poetry and writing festivals scheduled for late spring and summer. Below are six such noteworthy festivals.

Mass Poetry Festival, May 5-9 ~ For its 9th annual festival in Salem, Massachusetts, the nonprofit Mass Poetry Festival offers nearly 100 poetry readings and professional development workshops, poetry slams, open-air readings, a small press and literary fair, and panel discussions. Scores of local and nationally known poets come together to support and discuss poetry. Looking for new collections by the state's contemporary poets? See the New Books section of the Website.

Mass Poetry on FaceBook

Iowa Summer Writing Festival, June-July ~ The 31st annual festival in Iowa City, Iowa, offers week-long and weekend workshops in fiction and nonfiction, memoir, short story, essay, children/young adult, and other writing. Workshops in poetry include "Writing the Short Poem" (June 17-18), "Think Twice/Think Again: Making Poems from Inspiration & Calculation" (July 9-14), "Spill Your Guts: A Confessional Poetry Workshop" (July 15-16), and ""Poetic Immersion: An Intensive Course for Beginning Poets" (July 16-21). Details about all the programs and the faculty can be found at the link. A print catalogue (see image to right), featuring illustrator Claudia McGehee's art on the cover, is available.

Iowa Summer Writing Festival on FaceBook

Chautauqua Writers' Festival 2017, June 15-18 ~ Lia Purpura and Marcus Wicker join Diana Hume George, Beth Ann Fennelly, Stewart O'Nan, and Ann Pancake, plus songwriters Scott Minar and Bruce Dalzell, for this summer's festival in Chautauqua, New York. The festival is sponsored by Clarion University, Penn State Erie, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, and Monmouth University.

Chautauqua Institution on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

Brave New Voices — International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, July 19-22 ~ Scheduled in San Francisco's Bay Area, the 20th Annual BNV festival for teams of young poets comprises four days of workshops, slams, community service, and civic participation events. Many festival activities are free and open to the public. The festival is sponsored by Youth Speaks.

Brave New Voices YS on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

The New York City Poetry Festival, July 29-30 ~ Attended by several hundred poets, this event, primarily on the 172-acre Governors Island, involves five boroughs and includes The Poetry Brothel, Typewriter Project, and Children's Poetry Festival for ages 2-18.

New York City Poetry Festival on Twitter

2017 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, June-August ~ Celebrating 25 years, the 2017 festival at Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, Connecticut, includes readings and concerts, as well as conversations with poets, poetry jams, musical spoken word performances, and book signings. This year's featured poets are Billy Collins (June 21), Jamaal May and Tarfia Faizullah (July 9), Cornelius Eady (July 19), Mark Doty and Eileen Myles (August 6), and Ocean Vuong (August 16). "Young Poets Day", on August 16, presents the winners of the "Fresh Voices Poetry Competition". Events are ticketed. Details for events involving featured poets are provided at the separate links above.

Hill-Stead Museum on FaceBook and Instagram

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Art for Holy Week: Easter Sunday

Concluding his Art for Holy Week series, Dr. James Romaine presents for Easter Sunday Albrecht Durer's woodcut print The Resurrection (from The Large Passion). The 1510 print, Romaine explains, visualizes, through three points of view, the spiritual purpose of the devotional narrative image, that is, how sense of sight can be transformed by faith (is seeing, in fact, believing?) and how faith can be the foundation for a transformed sense of vision.

Romaine wrote and narrates the series.  

Seeing Art History

Art for Palm Sunday
Art for Holy Week: Monday
Art for Holy Week: Tuesday
Art for Holy Week: Wednesday
Art for Holy Week: Thursday
Art for Holy Week: Friday
Art for Holy Week: Saturday

Thought for the Day

Belonging creates and undoes us both.
~ Padraig O Tuama

Quoted from Transcript of Krista Tippett Interview with Padraig O Tuama at OnBeing (March 2, 2017)

Padraig O Tuama, Theologian, Poet, Mediator, Healer, Writer; Leadeer, Corrymeela Community, Northern Ireland

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Art for Holy Week: Saturday

In this, the seventh video in the Art for Holy Week series, art historian Dr. James Romaine explains how Albrecht Durer's 1521 drawing The Lamentation of Christ demonstrates the artist's experimentation with pictorial composition and mark-making techniques to produce for viewers a sacred narrative image of strong visual immediacy and intimacy.

Romaine wrote and narrates the series.

Seeing Art History

Art for Palm Sunday
Art for Holy Week: Monday
Art for Holy Week: Tuesday
Art for Holy Week: Wednesday
Art for Holy Week: Thursday
Art for Holy Week: Friday

Saturday Short

Voices Poster for World Premiere

Today's short is the trailer for Voices Beyond the Wall: Twelve Love Poems From the Murder Capital of the World, which received its world premiere March 5 at the Miami Film Festival, and has since been screened elsewhere, including April 5 at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia; and April 7 at St. Mark's Church, Philadelphia.

The moving story related in the film, directed by Brad Coley and executive-produced by James Franco, takes place in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, a city infamous both for its poverty and violence and the location of the orphanage for girls, Our Little Roses. It is in that orphanage that dozens of girls, ages 1 to 18, receive food, shelter, and medical attention and, through poetry taught by Episcopal priest and poet Spencer Reece, find the means to heal their devastated lives. The documentary follows two of the eldest girls who graduate from Our Little Roses, documenting their efforts to create a future for themselves in the same city they fled from. The poems of the girls, who talk about their abandonment and having to relearn to trust, are interwoven throughout the film. (Read more about this wonderful film at the link above. Also see my Saturday Short post of June 15, 2013.)

A collection of the girls' poems, Counting Time Like People Count Stars (Tia Chucha Press), edited by Spencer Reece, is slated to publish this December. Reece and Luis J. Rodriguez contribute essays; Marie Howe provides the Foreword and Richard Blanco, the Afterword. A portion of every copy sold will be returned to Our Little Roses.

Voices Beyond the Wall at Miami Film Festival

Voices Beyond the Wall on FaceBook

Spencer Reece on FaceBook

Our Little Roses on FaceBook

Joan Chrissos, "The Priest Who Healed Orphans with Poetry", The Washington Post, April 3, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Art for Holy Week: Friday

Continuing his Art for Holy Week series, art historian Dr. James Romaine explores for Good Friday the Albrecht Durer engraving The Crucifixion (from The Engraved Passion). The 1511 engraving shows us how Durer's creative treatment of Christ's crucifixion evolved from narrative subject to spiritual experience of event participants and, ultimately, to use of darkness and light to describe the spiritual battle between grace and evil.

Romaine wrote and narrates the series.

Seeing Art History

Art for Palm Sunday
Art for Holy Week: Monday
Art for Holy Week: Tuesday
Art for Holy Week: Wednesday
Art for Holy Week: Thursday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Glass artist Dale Chihuly's first major garden exhibition in New York in a decade opens April 22 at the New York Botanical Garden. The exhibition, "Chihuly", will feature some 20 installations, in addition to drawings and works charting Chihuly's artistic process. The exhibition will continue through October 29. An interactive guide is available. Special weekend and evening programs, as wells as film showings, art programs for children, and poetry are planned. Details about the exhibition, which is ticketed, and related events can be found at the exhibition link.

NYBG on FaceBook and YouTube

✦ Washington, D.C.-area artist Foon Sham is exhibiting through August 13 at AU Museum at Katzen Arts Center at American University. The show, "Escape: Foon Sham", features two monumental, horizontal, and vertical tunnels, including the site-specific Escape, which viewers may enter to experience. Foon created Escape to address refugee and immigration issues.

Foon Sham, Escape, 2016
Pine Sculpture, 14' x 622' x 5'
Gallery Neptune and Brown

Others exhibiting at the Katzen this spring are Elzbieta Sikorska, Carlos Luna, Sharon Wolpoff and Tammra Sigler, and first- and second-year MFA candidates.

Information About Spring Exhibitions

Art at the Katzen Blog

AU Museum at the Katzen on FaceBook

✦ Applications for 6-month residencies at Glen Foerd on the Delaware are being accepted by The Center for Emerging Visual Artists for any period between June 2017 and June 2018. The application deadline is April 28. Go here to sign up/log-in and get details. The CFEVA is based in Philadelphia.

CFEVA on FaceBook

✦ Photographer Rocio De Alba's beautifully conceived project "There is a Crack in Everything" takes as its subject women of all demographics who have been in recovery for at least 10 years. The ongoing project recently was featured at The New York Times's Lens blog.

✦ Earlier this year, The Arts Fuse introduced a new feature, "The Arts on Stamps of the World".  Each day's column is archived. All the columns are worth a look and a read.

✦ The New York City 2017 ArtExpo, billed as "the world's largest  fine art marketplace" of artists, galleries, and publishers takes place April 21-24 at Pier 94. Prints, paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, glass art, and more will be on view.

ArtExpo on FaceBook and Instagram

✦ Visit New York City's Rubin Museum of Art through May 8 and use the opportunity to learn about the sacred sound of OM and record your voice at the OM Lab, where "the largest collective chant of OM ever generated" will be made. The final compilation of voices will be featured in the Rubin's exhibition "The World Is Sound", opening June 16. A state-of-the-art recording booth set up in the interactive lab allows any visitor to contribute.

Listen as Rosanne Cash explains "Why I Om":

Exhibition Resources and Related Events

Rubin Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

Rubin Museum Blog

✦ Photographer Robyn Lea has published Dinner with Georgia O'Keeffe: Recipes, Art & Landscape (Assouline, April 25, 2017), which joins her earlier art and food book Dinner With Jackson Pollock: Recipes, Art & Nature (Assouline, 2015).

Cover Art

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Visitors to Washington, D.C.'s Freer | Sackler Galleries will want to take time to see "Inventing Utamaro: A Japanese Masterpiece Rediscovered". On view through July 9, the exhibition reunites for the first time in nearly 140 years at the same location Kitagawa Utamaro's Snow at Fukagawa, Moon at Shinagawa, and Cherry Blossoms at Yoshiwara. The immense Snow had been missing for nearly 70 years until it resurfaced in 2014 at Okada Museum of Art, Hakone, Japan.

Kitagawa Utamaro, Moon at Shinagawa* (Detail)
Japan, Edo Period, ca 1788
Painting Mounted on Panel; Color on Paper
Freer Gallery of Art, Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1903.54

* Also known as Moonlight Revelry at Dozo Sagami

Kitagawa Utamaro, 1753-1806

Freer | Sackler Galleries on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ The Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, is presenting the student-curated "Art in Focus: The British Castle—A Symbol in Stone" through August 6. On view are a selection of more than two dozen paintings showing castle depictions in art and, in particular, the castle's historical role, place in the landscape, architectural development, and literary associations. Specific castles featured include Windsor, Corfe, and Dover. Among the paintings, displayed salon-style in the Long Gallery, are works by John Constable, John Martin, Richard Wilson, and Henry Pether. A student-written booklet about the exhibition is available.

John Hamilton Mortimer, West Gate of Pevensey Castle, Sussex
c 1773-1774
Oil on Canvas
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund

Yale Center for British Art on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ A selection of pastels by Louis I. Kahn (1901-1974) from his children's collections has been mounted at Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. The works in the exhibition, "The Color of Light, The Treasury of Shadows", were made between 1950 and 1952 while Kahn was Architect in Residence at the American Academy of Rome and traveled and sketched on visits to monuments and public spaces in Italy, Greece, and Egypt. 

Louis I. Kahn, Temple of Horus, Edfu, Egypt, 1951
Collection of Alexandra Tyng

Kimbell Art Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ On view at the University of Michigan Museum of Art are 2013 photographs by alumna Ernestine Ruben of the industrial complex known as Willow Run, in Washtenaw County, Michigan. The complex was designed by Ruben's grandfather, the Detroit architect Albert Kahn, for Ford Motor Company, and was the manufacturing site of B-24 Liberators during World War II. The exhibition, "Ernestine Ruben at Willow Run: Mobilizing Memory", features Ruben's "overlaid interior views of the factory with imagined glimpses into [Ruben's] body's interior landscape." Featured with the photographs is an original film by Ruben and videographer Seth Bernstein with a score by composer Stephen Hartke. The exhibition concludes August 20. A selection of images is at the exhibition link. See additional images of the installation at UMMA.

Here's a trailer for "Willow Run Project":

Ernestine Ruben on Vimeo

UMMA on FaceBook and YouTube

✭ Works by 13 artists deeply affected by 9/11 can be seen in "rendering the unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11" at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The artists, whose works include paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and video, are: Blue Man Group, Gustavo Bonevardi, Monika Bravo, Eric Fischl, Tobi Kahn, Donna Levinstone, Michael Mulhern, Colleen Mulrenan MacFarlane, Christopher Saucedo, Manju Shandler, Doug and Mike Starn, Todd Stone, and Ejay Weiss. The exhibition also may be seen online: Each of the names is listed at the exhibition link; clicking on each name brings up a photo and information about the art and artist, as well as a reflection on the horror of September 11, 2001.

9/11 Memorial & Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube