Archive for the ‘abstract’ Category

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balm “destination” postcards & baker’s anniversary show

November 15, 2007

Show Opening Friday, Nov. 16th, 5-8 p.m.

Art Affair Gallery, 7th & High St, Baldwin, KS

BALM artists & Baker’s Anniversary Show

Beautiful pieces by area artists in all price ranges for gift giving.   Other featured artists include Karen Jacks, Vernon Brecha, Heather Smith Jones, Darin White, Jane Flanders,  Shannon White, D. S. Dunlap, Sam Wagner, Anh Sawyer…  Continue the conversation we began at the original “destination” original art postcard gathering with us.   Please ask questions, as artists love to talk about their artwork. 

View art postcards from other artists and exhibits online to understand the whimsical history and ideas behind “art as postcard”.  The concept celebrates personal voice, the beauty of handmade gifts, accessible artwork in matters of scale and economy, art as visual communication and thought provoking and what is more fun than the idea that one can theoretically or actually put a stamp on a gift and mail the original expression — no styrofoam peanuts, standing in long lines at the post office, reams of giftwrap, issue with wrong size or repeat gift — simple and thoughtful.   If you are truly inspired, then you can make your own art card as well and send or give yours to a friend.

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Call For Entries – BALM Destination Postcard Show – Art Affair Gallery

October 12, 2007

BALM is pleased to announce its call for entries for the Destination Postcard Show, which will be showing in the Art Affair Gallery in Baldwin, KS in mid November.  Entries will be judged and chosen on interest, aesthetics, creativity and quality.  Postcards must represent a Destination theme, however this is interpreted.  Postcards should remain in the realm of 4″ x 6″ and may be two sided.   

Postcards can be mailed or dropped off and must arrive BEFORE Saturday November 9th, 2007. 
We will limit entries as required.  Please enter no more than 3 postcards.  The gallery is requiring all work must be for sale.  If we already have your postcard, please let us know if you want it included for sale and what the price will be.  Please remember that your price must include the 40% amount that the gallery requires. 

We will announce the show opening date and reception at a future time.  Please contact us with questions at email or phone

Below is the original postcard for the desitation gathering.

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Hope – The Theme of Now

September 9, 2007

                                                           Harvest of Hope

Hope is such a powerful word and amazing thing to grasp.  We have been dealing with this theme lately with the ongoing battle with cancer that our son Caden is fighting.  Shannon produced a painting called Harvest of Hope based on events surround his stem cell harvest.  She is also working on a series of finding Hope in Hopeless Places that is ongoing.  Darin is working on a sculpture about the events surrounding his illness and the hope that we have.  There is an event that some balm friends are putting on coming up in October that relates to Art and Hope, that will benifit an AIDS charity and we would encourage you to be involved if there is any way that you are able.  Hope Lawrence describes itself as: 

“Hope Lawrence exists to give hope to those in need by connecting the arts community of Lawrence, KS to the plight of those ravished by the AIDS epidemic as well as other social concerns.  It is our belief that the arts can play an important role in bringing attention to problems that have been overlooked for far to long.  Everyone has something unique they can offer, and as artists we can lend our voice and talents in order to bring some relief to those who are suffering.

Our first Hope Lawrence event will take place on October 6th and 13th from 3:30-5:30pm in the basement of the Lawrence Community Center.  For two hours on these two Saturdays we will come together to paint, sculpt, and draw around the theme of Hope.  This will be a communinal creative experience where each person will work on their own piece but in a collective setting where we can get to know one another and see each others works in progress.  In addition to our individual pieces we will also have the opportunity to work on a collective mural.  The event will culminate on October 20 when we will hold an auction/street sale where we will sell the pieces in order to raise money for a charity addressing the issue of AIDS in Africa.  We will announce which charity here at this blog in the coming weeks.”  See Original Post

Without hope it is impossible to really live life.  So for this end we would say give hope to those who do not have it, so that they to can live a full life.  Do whatever part you can to make someone’s life a little better. 

Even though we have physically not been able to have a gathering for balm recently, we want to encourage you to keep creating.  We want to thank those in the art community that have reached out and encouraged us in many ways.  We would love to see what you are working on.  Send us your updates of what is going on in your life.  If you have an upcoming show, a spoken word reading, a short film, a new design, a painting, a print, a new musical piece, a sculpture, a weaving, a thought, new writings, or anything else you would deem creative, let us know about it.  Keep creating…hope.

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Compelling Article by Dana Gioia, Chairman for NEA, a Wall Street Journal Editorial

August 22, 2007

The Impoverishment of American Culture
And the need for better art education.

BY DANA GIOIA
Thursday, July 19, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDTThere is an experiment I’d love to conduct. I’d like to survey a cross-section of Americans and ask them how many active NBA players, Major League Baseball players, and “American Idol” finalists they can name. Then I’d ask them how many living American poets, playwrights, painters, sculptors, architects, classical musicians, conductors and composers they can name. I’d even like to ask how many living American scientists or social thinkers they can name.
Fifty years ago, I suspect that along with Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax, most Americans could have named, at the very least, Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Arthur Miller, Thornton Wilder, Georgia O’Keeffe, Leonard Bernstein, Leontyne Price and Frank Lloyd Wright. Not to mention scientists and thinkers like Linus Pauling, Jonas Salk, Rachel Carson, Margaret Mead and especially Dr. Alfred Kinsey.I don’t think that Americans were smarter then, but American culture was. Even the mass media placed a greater emphasis on presenting a broad range of human achievement. I grew up mostly among immigrants, many of whom never learned to speak English. But at night watching TV variety programs like the Ed Sullivan Show, I saw–along with comedians, popular singers and movie stars–classical musicians like Jascha Heifetz and Arthur Rubinstein, opera singers like Robert Merrill and Anna Moffo, and jazz greats like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong captivate an audience of millions with their art.

The same was true of literature. I first encountered Robert Frost, John Steinbeck, Lillian Hellman and James Baldwin on general-interest TV shows. All of these people were famous to the average American–because the culture considered them important. Today no working-class kid would encounter that range of arts and ideas in the popular culture. Almost everything in our national culture, even the news, has been reduced to entertainment, or altogether eliminated.

The loss of recognition for artists, thinkers and scientists has impoverished our culture in innumerable ways, but let me mention one. When virtually all of a culture’s celebrated figures are in sports or entertainment, how few possible role models we offer the young. There are so many other ways to lead a successful and meaningful life that are not denominated by money or fame. Adult life begins in a child’s imagination, and we’ve relinquished that imagination to the marketplace.

I have a reccurring nightmare. I am in Rome visiting the Sistine Chapel. I look up at Michelangelo’s incomparable fresco of the “Creation of Man.” I see God stretching out his arm to touch the reclining Adam’s finger. And then I notice in the other hand Adam is holding a Diet Pepsi.When was the last time you have seen a featured guest on David Letterman or Jay Leno who isn’t trying to sell you something? A new movie, a new TV show, a new book or a new vote? Don’t get me wrong. I have a Stanford MBA and spent 15 years in the food industry. I adore my big-screen TV. The productivity and efficiency of the free market is beyond dispute. It has created a society of unprecedented prosperity.

But we must remember that the marketplace does only one thing–it puts a price on everything. The role of culture, however, must go beyond economics. It is not focused on the price of things, but on their value. And, above all, culture should tell us what is beyond price, including what does not belong in the marketplace. A culture should also provide some cogent view of the good life beyond mass accumulation. In this respect, our culture is failing us.

There is only one social force in America potentially large and strong enough to counterbalance this commercialization of cultural values, our educational system. Traditionally, education has been one thing that our nation has agreed cannot be left entirely to the marketplace–but made mandatory and freely available to everyone.

At 56, I am just old enough to remember a time when every public high school in this country had a music program with choir and band, usually a jazz band, too, sometimes even an orchestra. And every high school offered a drama program, sometimes with dance instruction. And there were writing opportunities in the school paper and literary magazine, as well as studio art training.

I am sorry to say that these programs are no longer widely available. This once visionary and democratic system has been almost entirely dismantled by well-meaning but myopic school boards, county commissioners and state officials, with the federal government largely indifferent to the issue. Art became an expendable luxury, and 50 million students have paid the price. Today a child’s access to arts education is largely a function of his or her parents’ income.

In a time of social progress and economic prosperity, why have we experienced this colossal cultural decline? There are several reasons, but I must risk offending many friends and colleagues by saying that surely artists and intellectuals are partly to blame. Most American artists, intellectuals and academics have lost their ability to converse with the rest of society. We have become wonderfully expert in talking to one another, but we have become almost invisible and inaudible in the general culture.

This mutual estrangement has had enormous cultural, social and political consequences. America needs its artists and intellectuals, and they need to re-establish their rightful place in the general culture. If we could reopen the conversation between our best minds and the broader public, the results would not only transform society but also artistic and intellectual life.

There is no better place to start this rapprochement than in arts education. How do we explain to the larger society the benefits of this civic investment when they have been convinced that the purpose of arts education is to produce more artists, which is hardly a compelling argument to the average taxpayer?We need to create a new national consensus. The purpose of arts education is not to produce more artists, though that is a byproduct. The real purpose of arts education is to create complete human beings capable of leading successful and productive lives in a free society.

This is not happening now in American schools. What are we to make of a public education system whose highest goal seems to be producing minimally competent entry-level workers? The situation is a cultural and educational disaster, but it also has huge and alarming economic consequences. If the U.S. is to compete effectively with the rest of the world in the new global marketplace, it is not going to succeed through cheap labor or cheap raw materials, nor even the free flow of capital or a streamlined industrial base. To compete successfully, this country needs creativity, ingenuity and innovation.

It is hard to see those qualities thriving in a nation whose educational system ranks at the bottom of the developed world and has mostly eliminated the arts from the curriculum. Marcus Aurelius believed that the course of wisdom consisted of learning to trade easy pleasures for more complex and challenging ones. I worry about a culture that trades off the challenging pleasures of art for the easy comforts of entertainment. And that is exactly what is happening–not just in the media, but in our schools and civic life.

Entertainment promises us a predictable pleasure–humor, thrills, emotional titillation or even the odd delight of being vicariously terrified. It exploits and manipulates who we are rather than challenging us with a vision of who we might become. A child who spends a month mastering Halo or NBA Live on Xbox has not been awakened and transformed the way that child would be spending the time rehearsing a play or learning to draw.

If you don’t believe me, you should read the studies that are now coming out about American civic participation. Our country is dividing into two distinct behavioral groups. One group spends most of its free time sitting at home as passive consumers of electronic entertainment. Even family communication is breaking down as members increasingly spend their time alone, staring at their individual screens.

The other group also uses and enjoys the new technology, but these individuals balance it with a broader range of activities. They go out–to exercise, play sports, volunteer and do charity work at about three times the level of the first group. By every measure they are vastly more active and socially engaged than the first group.

What is the defining difference between passive and active citizens? Curiously, it isn’t income, geography or even education. It depends on whether or not they read for pleasure and participate in the arts. These cultural activities seem to awaken a heightened sense of individual awareness and social responsibility.

Art is an irreplaceable way of understanding and expressing the world–equal to but distinct from scientific and conceptual methods. Art addresses us in the fullness of our being–simultaneously speaking to our intellect, emotions, intuition, imagination, memory and physical senses. There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories or songs or images.

Art delights, instructs, consoles. It educates our emotions. And it remembers. As Robert Frost once said about poetry, “It is a way of remembering that which it would impoverish us to forget.” Art awakens, enlarges, refines and restores our humanity.

Mr. Gioia is the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. This article is a condensed version of his June 17 commencement address at Stanford University.

See original article here

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Designs From Life

August 5, 2007

So, as noted in our last post the reason we bailed out on the last gathering was that our amazing son Caden came down with childhood cancer.  Events like this tend to make one rethink everything about life.  I always prefer to play to my strengths rather than weaknesses (maybe this is a weakness?).  After trying to absorb the effects that this was going to have on our family’s life, I thought about if there was anything that I could do about this situation.  Realizing that I was completely and not just completely, but COMPLETELY unable to do anything about neuroblastoma in myself.  It was a not-so-nice-I-think-I-would-like-to-stop-the-world-and-get-off-for-a-while feeling.  So besides praying (which is very worthwhile, and highly recommended) I wanted to do something.  I decided that I would collect the paraphernalia from the events surrounding the cancer that Caden is fighting and produce a sculpture.  Shannon mentioned in the last post that I was working on a sculpture, but I forgot to post a sketch.  This is a rough sketch, but I think it embodies some of the ideas I am trying to address.  I am using the actual items that Caden sees daily, or when in the hospital.  I am basically making a history of the event in this way.  I am going to insert them (aesthetically of course) into clear resin and have them surround the object in the middle, which I am hoping will be the glass encapsulated preserved tumor.  I know, I know this may sound a little bizarre to some.  I think it is more about facing fear, and knowing that whatever we go through, no matter how painful, we can do it.  So ‘what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger’?  Maybe that is how life is.  The truth is in how we respond to what we are given, rather than what we are given.  I would love to say I haven’t had any fear in this whole ordeal, but that wouldn’t be true.  I appreciate the prayers of those who are praying, as we can feel them in a real way.  Caden has been wonderful throughout this whole situation.  His attitude is excellent and his smile is infectous.  We are so blessed to have him.  We are taking steps, small ones maybe, but steps to learning how to face our fears, to overcome them and realize that even though we don’t like it, we can learn from them and be better off even than before.

Sculpture Design for Caden   IMG_7676

darin m. white 2007 Copyright

All Rights Reserved

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Art & Life Update

July 28, 2007

Lately, we have been challenged with the juncture of our art and our life.  Our four year old son mr. c was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, which has caused us to rearrange our artistic schedule and look at life with wonder.  This is the cause of our delay in the parabolic b.a.l.m gathering.  If you would like to find out more about his situation, we welcome you to visit his site.  We process each day in the hospital and at home and these unfamiliar and uninvited happenings in expressions of all sorts — words, emotions, prayers, sketches, questions of existence and connectedness.  D is collecting medical paraphenalia to make a sculpture about this ordeal.  He is also involved in helping others produce their work and running our businessS is encouraged in her pursuit of affirming people even in or especially in seemingly hopeless situations through painting and otherwise.  For her, sometimes the art is a life of caring for our son and the family, enjoying the beauty of time together, seeing beauty in others, and other times it is creating a painting.  She is gathering the radiology scans right now, and doing artwork with little C as part of his therapy.  She appreciates clients’ understanding about time frames on portraits she is finishing. 

IMG_7739  IMG_7742

We have been affirmed in so many ways from so many people during this passage.  There is beauty to be found in and on the other side of the suffering because of the discoveries it brings.  About life, love and goodness.  While there is not as much time for us to sculpt and paint right now, we are seeing and creating artistically.   We are being formed by these experiences.

IMG_7743 IMG_7738 IMG_7741

There is so much artwork around the CMH and RMH that has enriched our lives and given us comfort, that we wanted to document and share a few pieces.  Without it our days would seem a little bleaker, like a world without color or variety or hope.  We love the personalities which are expressed and the benefits we have received from them sharing their creativity with us.  We thank Children’s Mercy Hospital for investing and presenting this artwork, as well as the Ronald McDonald house and all of the respective donors.   We are constantly learning about the connections there are between creativity and healing.  Mr. C benefits from music therapy times in CMH and times making crafts of all sorts.  Engaging in creativity seems to comfort, soothe, mirror, occupy, divert, give expression to emotions and draw out hope and life.  It is a productive way of bringing a tangible beauty to raw pain and emotions and engage with others.  We are exploring these parts of artistic expression as well, personally, and with others.  We have also found a couple outlets for artists or people who want to use art for healing.

IMG_7727 IMG_7737 IMG_7745IMG_7732 

We want to connect with all of you and update those of you we have not spoken with personally about this situation.  We plan to have gatherings for artists, still, and want to hear from you about what you are working on, going through, excited about and how that influences your work as well.   Please contact us with ideas or about hosting the next gathering.   We appreciate those of you who linked Mr. C’s website on yours, so that more people will know the situation that he is in. 

IMG_7736 IMG_7733IMG_7731 IMG_7725

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PARABOLIC P ART Y invitation – An evening of artistic discovery

June 23, 2007

Please pass the parabolic art and conversation.  Come explore with us through childlike creativity this graceful, physical and abstract form found all around us.  We plan to play with the themes of art inspired by sound, sight, movement and light.   Bring yourselves, possibly a pertinent work, your creativity, and a bowl of food.  Art lovers are welcome.  We will provide noodles of all sorts to eat and to sculpt.  Contact us for details. 

Parabolic P ART Y invitation AN EVENING OF ARTISTIC DISCOVERY

click image for invite

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