Archive for the ‘installation’ Category

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clouds are easy to love

August 21, 2008

A few people involved in b.a.l.m. are going to have work shown on the ceiling at the Alley Gallery a Percolator Project during the new show, “clouds are easy to love”.


Opening Friday, August 22
7 to 10 p.m.
poetry by Peter Wright
music by Karl Ramberg
& more
food & drinks, art inside and out

The exhibition features work by

Charlene Boehne
Anne Bruce
Christa Dalien
Natalie Anne Dye
Lisa Grossman
Chantel Guidry & Laurie L. G. Troyani
Andrew Hadle & Amanda Schwegler
Christina Hoxie
Dave Loewenstein
Justin Marable
Molly Murphy
John Reeves
Ailecia Ruscin
Samuel Smith
Beatrice vonHolten
KT Walsh
Bernadette Rose Zacharias

Related cloud events:

August 28 @ 7:30pm
A presentation by Channel 6 meteorologist Jennifer Schack on the science of clouds.

September 18 @ 7pm
Artist talk

And a cloud watching fieldtrip, date tbd.

Exhibition will be on view through October 4 Saturdays & Sundays 12-6pm.

Location:
Look for the green awnings in the alley between the Lawrence Art Center and Ninth Street.

:: be sure and look up ::
_____________________________________________________________________
seen in a cloud

"seen in a cloud"

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Confessions of a Garage, Hospital, Studio Artist

May 12, 2008

My former studio space has a new tenant!

Artist’s like to share their work with people, but sharing can take on multiple meanings in the day to day life and space an artist inhabits.  Does your garage double as your studio and share space with bicycles, cars, and household necessities like mine does?  I organize a garage sale each year to militantly protect my precious territory from ever encroaching outgrown children’s equipment that threatens my art space.  My husband has graciously offered to make me movable walls for my studio to make my space seem separate and serene.  May they expand and not contract.  My former studio, which is now inhabited by my son now doubles as a guestroom complete with bunkbeds and CARS comforters.  Guests must love children.  I have also enjoyed participating in an open studio painting class at the Lawrence Arts Center from Louis Copt to stay connected with other artists while motivating myself toward deadlines.  I must function in multiple working capacities to maintain my artistic life, but I am not willing to “let it go”.  Give it up for the right reason or for a short time, maybe, but not just let it go…  This creative life is something worth keeping and sharing.  Sharing in a variety of ways, as mentioned above.

PRAYER CHAIN papercuts by Shannon White 2008

MAHATMA CADEN leftover tempera on construction paper by Shannon White 2007

Last year my son was in the hospital for a third of the year, so I had to be satisfied with sketching in my sketchbook, using his leftover tempera paint on construction paper to paint his portrait off of his palette during hospital craft time, scavenging and drawing on the backs of slightly used disposable hospital gowns, and finally letting Henri Matisse’s and Peter Callesen’s paper cuts inspire me to make my first small scale installation work out of construction paper.  The theme and title for this installation was SIMPLE MEDIUM, and it already had its first showing.  I am still transferring the year’s small sketches into large paintings and bodies of work, into finished drawings, multiple completed series, and finally beginning to show them.  These challenges have inspired me to innovate, to expand my visual vocabulary to reflect recent experiences, to keep creating, expressing and sharing.  I have three group shows in the next few months (KS, CO & Bleeker Street, NY), work in an Oklahoma gallery, a portrait I am finishing and am hoping to have some solo shows, soon.   The past year was worth its weight in paint and relationships, shared time and space.  In tight spaces and seemingly hopeless places, vision can thrive.  The intensity of emotion, the condensation of concept, the urgency of expression can increase in these pressurized environments.  Capsules of life emerge.  Records of personal culture, inner turmoil, everyday life, the hope we hold onto surface and vitrify to be kept and read like cuneiform tablets preserved through fires.  This very difficult process is how we determine what is truly worth keeping and sharing.  May you all keep creating, living and sharing from whatever environment is available to us at the time.

FOUR FIGURES IN THE FIRE papercuts by Shannon White 2008

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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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A Dialog with the Director and Invitation to “An Abstract Alphabet: New Work by Stephen Johnson”

June 21, 2007

We were blessed greatly yesterday to have the opportunity to sit down with the wonderfully enjoyable  Saralyn Reece Hardy the director of the Spencer Museum of Art who in our humble opinion has done wonders for the museum as well as the art and artist’s of Lawrence, KS.  Her no nonsense approach, quick smile and charm but even more importantly her true love of the arts, has quickly positioned her as a liaison between the museum world and the artists in the world.  I would love to go more into our meeting, but we hope that this is an interview waiting to happen, as this was not the purpose of this visit.   During our discussion which ranged all over the board from the down and out of the world and how we as artists can assist them rather than use them, to ways how the Spencer is positioning itself in the community, to kids with their joys and trails and of course art.  Besides being an amazing resource of individual artists, Ms. Hardy suggested that we attend the opening of Stephen Johnson’s new show  “An Abstract Alphabet: New Work by Stephen Johnson” which is tonight May 21, 2007 at 5:30pm at the Spencer Museum of Art. 

Don, the artfully knowledgeable security guard showed us to “The Prints of Roger Shimamora” (which I highly recommend as well) and afterwards to the Stephen Johnson show. 

Roger Shimamora Kabuki Party 

I was struck, by Mr. Johnson’s since of humor and love of resin.  The basis of the pieces are from abstract descriptions of the alphabet.  Amazing landscape type paintings with a physical ladder, wrapped items that start with “w” to french fries flung on to a colorfield.  Perhaps the most intriguing piece to me was one I got right away without having to look at the title, which was entitled M – Meditation on the Memory of a Princess.  I asked Don where the pea was.  He promptly responded that it was hanging above the pink 8 layered blow up mattress.   We hope to see many of you tonight!  Below is the article reproduced from the Spencer Museum of Art website.

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An Abstract Alphabet: New Work by Stephen Johnson
May 19 – August 5, 2007
Central Court

Expanding on Robert Rauschenberg’s playful curiosity with new materials, Marcel Duchamp’s concept of the “ready-made,” and Jeff Koons’ modus operandi of art as readily accessible, Stephen Johnson’s An Abstract Alphabet explores new ways of pulling abstractions from the real. Originally developed as a concept for a children’s book in 2001, this alphabet series has evolved into a body of work that uses a range of materials and interchanges collage, painting and sculpture. For each letter of the alphabet, Johnson has taken an ordinary object and made it unfamiliar, removing functionality to reveal the metaphorical associations that lie within. The Spencer is delighted to present the public debut of this work. The accompanying book, A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet, will be published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Children in fall 2008.

Press:

johnson 1  Stephen Johnson B 

Johnson 3  Johnson 4

original article________________________________________________

 

 

 

    Johnson 1
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