Sunday, December 27, 2020

Thought for the Day

Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement, 
[to] get up in the morning and look at the world
in a way that takes nothing for granted. [. . .]
~ Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907 - 1972), Jewish Theologian and Philosopher; Activist, U.S. Civil Rigihts Movement; Writer

Obituary, The New York Times

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Art for Advent — Fourth Sunday

On this fourth Sunday in Advent, art historian James Romaine discusses African American artist Harriet Powers's Bible Quilt and how the quilt, comprising 11 panels organized in three rows, can be read. Powers, according to Romaine, expected viewers to understand her "visual sermon" and to read it with "a spiritual consciousness."

The video derives from Romaine's Seeing Art History classroom discussion of the artist, a former slave, and her work. See "Art for Advent 4: Harriet Powers, Reading the Bible Quilt" on YouTube.

Seeing Art History

Harriet Powers 

Bible Quilt (1885-1886), Smithsonian National Museum of American History

ARTSTOR's "The Enduring Significance of Harriet Powers's Quilts

Kristin Urban, "Harriet Powers: A Black Female Folk Artist Who Regained Her Glory", DailyArt Magazine, July 10, 2020

Thought for the Day

. . . even when tomorrow is no sure thing, when bodies fail, when dreams recede, when the world shrinks to the four walls around us, there is still something expansive that blooms in darkness. . . .


Quoted from Erik Jacobs, "Home", Emergence Magazine, December 13, 2020

Erik Jacobs, Award-Winning Photographer; Adjunct Faculty Member, Boston University Center fr Digital Imaging Arts

Thursday, December 17, 2020

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life


Sarah Summers, Tree Peonies, 2020

I am delighted to feature the work of freelance illustrator and designer Sarah Summers in December's Artist Watch for the international online arts magazine Escape Into Life.

Sarah, who lives and paints in the picturesque Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom, has an extensive portfolio of work that appears on a wide range of commercial items, including fabrics, stationery, jigsaw puzzles, and holiday ornaments.

For today's Artist Watch, Sarah kindly shares with us six images that convey her abiding interest in native plants and wildlife and express her deep appreciation of the countryside where she lives and has her studio. Also included are a brief Artist Statement and a short biography.


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Art for Advent — Third Sunday

Art historian James Romaine continues today, on the  third Sunday in Advent, his classroom discussion of African American artist Harriet Powers and takes up the Pictorial Quilt, that, in Romaine's words, is "a sermon made material". As the images of the quilt in the YouTube discussion show show, various panels depict Bible stories, including those of Job and Jonah, but they also seem to visualize more recent events known to Powers. Through quilting, the artist, Romaine points out, turned a formerly oral tradition into "a strategy of visual story telling".

Powers's quilt is dated 1895-1898.

Seeing Art History

Thought for the Day

[. . .] This is really what grateful living is: returning to the noticing of all that is sufficient. All that is extraordinary. All that already is in our lives – enough to take our breaths away – and using that to help us get through life in a way, through difficulty, through challenge…uplifted, enamored.[. . .]


Quoted from Video Transcript of "Grateful Voices: Kristi" at A Network for Grateful Living, December 2020 

Kristi Nelson, Executive Director, A Network for Grateful Living; Author, Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted (Storey Publishing, November 2020)

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Art for Advent — Second Sunday

Today, on the second Sunday in Advent, art historian James Romaine discusses African American artist Harriet Powers's The Redemption of Cain, part of her "sermon in patchwork" known as the Bible Quilt. On this particular panel of the quilt in which Cain appears, Powers visualizes the corrupting power of the Devil and the redemptive power of God.

Seeing Art History

Thought for the Day

[...] Let us remember those who have died for justice; 
For they have given us life.
Help us love even those who hate us;
So we can change the world.
~ Cesar Chavez, 'Prayer of the Farm Worker's Struggle'


Quoted from Cesar Chavez's "Prayer of the Farm Worker's Struggle" in Fr. Richard Rohr's "A Migrant Movement for Justice" at Center for Action and Contemplation, December 3, 2020

Cesar Chavez