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I am humbled and very grateful to have received this lovely testimonial from Jannie Ledard.
I have recently asked Hannah to update and redesign my website. I was indecisive about choosing a style that would speak to me. Hannah made it very easy. She patiently explained the different approaches. Being an artist herself, she knew how to choose the perfect words to express my vision. When I posted my new website on FB, I received endless written and oral compliments!
I highly recommend Hannah for her artistic taste and great professionalism!
In all cultures, men are brought up to be “masculine” and to disregard and repress those aspects of their temperament that the culture regards as “feminine,” whereas women are expected to do the opposite. Creative individuals to a certain extent escape this rigid gender role stereotyping. When tests of masculinity/femininity are given to young people, over and over one finds that creative and talented girls are more dominant and tough than other girls, and creative boys are more sensitive and less aggressive than their male peers.
Csikszentmihalyi points out that this psychological tendency toward androgyny shouldn’t be confused with homosexuality — it deals not with sexual constitution but with a set of psychoemotional capacities:
Psychological androgyny is a much wider concept, referring to a person’s ability to be at the same time aggressive and nurturant, sensitive and rigid, dominant and submissive, regardless of gender. A psychologically androgynous person in effect doubles his or her repertoire of responses and can interact with the world in terms of a much richer and varied spectrum of opportunities. It is not surprising that creative individuals are more likely to have not only the strengths of their own gender but those of the other one, too.
It was obvious that the women artists and scientists tended to be much more assertive, self-confident, and openly aggressive than women are generally brought up to be in our society. Perhaps the most noticeable evidence for the “femininity” of the men in the sample was their great preoccupation with their family and their sensitivity to subtle aspects of the environment that other men are inclined to dismiss as unimportant. But despite having these traits that are not usual to their gender, they retained the usual gender-specific traits as well.
Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention is a revelatory read in its entirety, featuring insights on the ideal conditions for the creative process, the key characteristics of the innovative mindset, how aging influences creativity, and invaluable advice to the young from Csikszentmihalyi’s roster of 91 creative luminaries. Complement this particular excerpt with Ursula K. Le Guin on being a man — arguably the most brilliant meditation on gender ever written, by one of the most exuberantly creative minds of our time.
There are many reasons to see art — to get a taste of something beautiful, to engage in new ways with today’s pressing questions, to escape to another era of the past, to see for a moment through another person’s eyes. Yes, there are probably infinite reasons to spend some one-on-one time with an artwork or four this holiday season, but today we’re focusing on one reason: healing.
Art can reveal, shock and delight, that much we know — but sometimes it has the ability to go deeper than the senses, to shift something inside us that is hard, if not impossible, to pinpoint or explain. For some, art has a certain spiritual or therapeutic power to change the viewer just by holding them in a certain time and place. Experiencing art can often be more otherworldly than a church, restorative than a yoga retreat, soothing than a day at the spa. We’ve compiled a list of 11 art destinations that, more than the average museum, intentionally cater to both the senses and the soul, in one way or another.
Check one out if you’re feeling particularly tapped out this holiday season, or whenever you want to treat yourself to a transcendent aesthetic experience. Behold, 11 art spots that will please your senses and soothe your insides. Let us know what we missed in the comments.
1. Rothko Chapel
Visitors at the Rothko Chapel, Houston, 1977. Completed in 1971, it was designed in collaboration with American painter Mark Rothko and contains fourteen of his black paintings. (Photo by Romano Cagnoni/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Where: Houston, Texas What: Founded by Houston philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil, Chapel is a non-denominational sanctuary combining the powers of spirituality and art. It is part spiritual retreat, part modern art museum, part human rights center, featuring a series of dark purple and black works by Mark Rothko. Vibes: “We are reasserting man’s natural desire for the exalted, for a concern with our relationship to absolute emotions,” wrote Barnett Newman, whose sculpture “Broken Obelisk” sits outside the chapel.
“[The paintings are] sort of a window to beyond,” explained Suna Umari, whose worked at the Chapel for over 30 years. “[Rothko] said the bright colors sort of stop your vision at the canvas, where dark colors go beyond. And definitely you’re looking at the beyond. You’re looking at the infinite.”
Where: Catron County, New Mexico What: The piece of land art, made by sculptor Walter De Maria, features 400 stainless steel poles with pointed tips arranged in a rectangular grid amidst a vast New Mexican vista. The sculpture, which is meant to be both walked through and viewed, interacts with the surrounding landscape, creating an immersive experience best seen at sunrise and sunset.
Vibes: “Seen from the porch, the rods marched away in phalanxes to the south. As the sun sank over our right shoulders, the metal spikes started to glow in the golden light. Their pointed tips took fire first, like candles, but soon the spikes themselves lighted up, top to bottom, as if glowing from within,” wrote Cornelia Dean in The New York Times. “For me, it was as if a piece of formal music, a Bach invention, perhaps, had taken material form and was playing before my eyes, not my ears.”
4. The Great Gallery of Horseshoe Canyon
Where:Canyonlands National Park Maze District, Utah What: This remote Utah canyon is known for its collection of Barrier Canyon Style rock art — a distinctive style of pictographs and petroglyphs thought to be over 6,000 years old. The mecca of ghostly figures has been dubbed The Great Gallery, though the space feels more like a forbidden sandstone temple. Vibes: “They were strangely shaped with neither arms nor eyes and standing up to 4 feet high,” said David Kelly in The LA Times. “One figure had feathers dangling from his arms. There were insect-like creatures and butterflies. Were they men, spirits, symbols? No one knows, so scientists refer to them as anthromorphs and describe the art as Barrier Canyon style, after the original name of this place.”
5. Storm King Art Center
Where:Hudson Valley, New York What: 500-acres of hills, fields and endless green expanses serve as home to 100 massive sculptures, yielding an adult art lover’s version of a giant, zenned-out playground. Vibes: “The view made me think that Ralph Waldo Emerson, an inspiration to the Hudson River School painters (whose work Storm King’s founders originally intended to house here in the 1960s), must have been nearby when he wrote: ‘The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough,'” wrote John Motyka.
Where: TriBeCa, New York What: The collaborative Sound and Light Environment, made by composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela, lives on the third floor of a TriBeCa building, housing within it “a time installation measured by a setting of continuous frequencies in sound and light.” The very long term, ongoing exhibition opened in 1993 and runs until 2015. Vibes: “Visiting The Dream House can be a baffling, delirious experience,” wrote The Observer’s Andrew Russeth. “The room is soaked in purple light. Huge speaker stacks emit a constant, potent drone, which music critic John Rockwell called a ‘cosmic throb.’ It is often very hot, but it is not uncomfortable. There are pillows, and you can recline, letting the sound work on you. It’s really something.”
8. The Integatron
Where: Landers, California What: In 1957, believing that he was following orders of visitors from planet Venus, George Van Tassel built a structure supposedly capable of rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel due to the intermittent magnetic fields inside the space. The large white dome now serves as a site for quartz sound baths, where visitors can recline in the acoustically perfect sound chamber and feel the vibrations of musical quartz bowls. Vibes: “It’s 105 degrees outside, and sunlight is streaming in through 15 windows ringing the rotunda,” wrote The LA Times’ Scott Gold. “Somehow, it is not hot, not in here. The notes clash over your head, some in breathtaking harmony, some in startling dissonance. Just when you’re starting to see patterns in the grain of the wood in the soaring ceiling, it’s over. There is silence, and no one moves. The acoustics are so good you can hear a man swallow from across the room. It has been either the shortest or the longest half-hour of your life.”
9. The Isamu Noguchi Playscape
Where: Atlanta, Georgia What:Noguchi constructed this severe, minimalist playground in 1976 in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, discarding prescribed methods of “playing” for something more imaginative and exploratory. The avant-garde sculptor toys with the space between art and experience, equipment and sculpture, object and landscape, seriousness and play, letting each viewer — kid or adult — encounter the unusual art experience in his or her own spontaneous way. Vibes: “Kids are challenged to decide how to creatively play with these oversized objects,” said Robert Witherspoon of the City of Atlanta’s Public Art Program. “It’s not scripted what to do on the climbing cubes, play mound, and jungle gyms — you have to improvise.”
Where: Marfa, Texas What:In 1986, artist Donald Judd opened a contemporary art museum with permanent and public exhibitions which are linked to (and inseparable from) the surrounding landscape, turning the entire city of Marfa into a dreamy space somewhere between an artistic fabrication and real life. It includes John Chamberlain’s mangled automobiles and Judd’s maze of 100 milled-aluminum boxes, each the same size yet with slightly different interiors. Vibes: “It takes a great deal of time and thought to install work carefully,” Judd wrote in his first catalogue. “This should not always be thrown away. Most art is fragile and some should be placed and never moved again. Somewhere a portion of contemporary art has to exist as an example of what the art and its context were meant to be. Somewhere, just as the platinum iridium meter guarantees the tape measure, a strict measure must exist for the art of this time and place.”
Thank you to everyone who came out to support the artists!
The votes are in!
$50 gift certificate
It was a close call between many panels
but Melanie’s panel won by one vote.
Thank you to Brenda
and everyone at Roxy Ann
for being part of our program!
Fall Class Lineup
Fused Glass: Dichroic Jewelry
One Saturday Afternoon
Grab attention with beautiful dichroic glass jewelry you make yourself! Cabochons for necklaces or earrings; they all will dazzle your friends!Learn to cut them so they come out perfect every time. Compatible glass and lots of dichroic glass is included.
Make several pieces for $55
Glass Fusing Basics
October 11th & 18th
Two Saturday Afternoons
Learn one of the fastest growing mediums in glass! In this two week class you’ll complete a 4″ tile and a small fused & slumped plate. Covers firing programs, volumn control, prepping kiln shelves and ware and much more!
All supplies are included.
Painting with Frit
Learn to use frit, hand pulled stringers and confetti to quickly add dimension and a painterly quality to your fused glass art.
Find out how easy it is to develop your sketches from photos and other inspiration. These panels can be a great reference guide for future projects.
All frit, confetti, stringers, glass and lunch are included.
Glass Fusing Basics or equivalent is required.
Flowers of Hope Fusing Workshop
Even if you’ve never done any glass fusing before you can make an 8″ x 8″ fused panel to donate to Flowers of Hope.
$10 buys you a base piece of glass, access to all frits, stringers and noodles, hanging hardware and firing. Come in and try your hand at fusing and find out how easy and fun it can be. You’ll also be doing a wonderful thing for a woman going through a tough time.
TRY FUSING! Workshop
The same class only you get to keep it! Learn about using frits, stringers and noodles in this easy workshop! $15
October 18 10am-12n
November 15 10am-12n
Is there a class listed on our website that you would like to take that isn’t scheduled yet? Send me an email and let me know. That’s how I know when to schedule our classes. If you have 5-6 people we can schedule private parties.
Bring in your fused work and we will fire it for you!
Projects small enough to fit on a 7″ shelf: $ 5.00
One or more projects on a 13″ round shelf: 8.00
Fuse + Slump on 13″ shelf: 12.00
Projects on a 20″ shelf: 11.00
Fused + Slump on a 20″ shelf: 14.00
Long Bubble Squeeze add 3.00
Come join our morning workshops on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 10a – Noon. Use our tools and workshop space. $10 for 2 hours! Call to reserve your space. You can do a Flowers of Hope panel during any of our workshops…or a “Try Fusing” panel to get you started in fusing. You can also schedule bigger projects. Contact us for more information.
Artists pictured left to right: BACK ROW: Lisa Taylor (Dublin, CA), Andrea Moni (Irvine, CA), Ben Rosenberg (Portland, OR), Deborah Shapiro (Tigard, OR), Patrick Kernan (Portland, OR), Georganne Watters (Rhododendron, OR), Bethany Rowland (Portland, OR), Reed Clarke (Portland, OR), Evan Degenfelder (Lebanon, OR), Joseph Besch (Portland, OR) MIDDLE ROW: Michael Kelly (Beaverton, OR), V.E. Long (Angwin, CA), Soo Ock Ryu (Katy, TX), Ellen Soderquist (Dallas, TX), Alexandra Becker-Black (Portland, OR)FRONT ROW: CCC’s Kristin Shauck, Founding Director of the Au Naturel international competition and Charles Froelick, the 2014 Au Naturel juror and owner/director of Froelick Gallery in Portland, OR. ALSO IN ATTENDANCE: James Archer (not shown, Portland, OR), Annie Heisey (not shown, Portland, OR)
The opening reception of Clatsop Community College’s eighth annual juried art exhibit, Au Naturel: The Nude in the 21st Century was held Thursday, January 30, 2014 in the CCC Art Center Gallery.
This year, artists from 28 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands submitted nearly 800 images for consideration. After careful deliberation, this year’s juror, Charles Froelick chose 57 works of art representing 45 artists from 17 states in addition to artists from Canada and Germany.
Seventeen of the selected artists were present for the reception, including artists who traveled from California and Texas. During the opening reception, juror Charles Froelick gave a gallery talk and awards were announced, including cash prizes, purchase awards, and three workshop awards, which are supported by submission fees paid by all artists who entered the competition. The Bridgewater Bistro, Clemente’s Restaurant, and Dairy Maid generously provided hors d’oeuvres and Erickson Floral Company provided a stunning bouquet for the reception. Thanks also to the Astoria Coffee House and Bistro, the Fort George Brewery & Public House, and the Cannery Pier Hotel for their support.
This year’s Au Naturel exhibit will remain on display in the CCC Art Center Gallery, 1799 Lexington, Astoria, through March 20, 2014. All visitors are invited to cast a vote for the People’s Choice award, which will be announced at the close of the exhibition.
The Au Naturel exhibit is free and open to the public. The CCC Art Center Gallery is located at 1799 Lexington Avenue, Astoria. The gallery is open Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm and Saturday, 11am-4pm; Sundays and holidays by appointment only.
Annie Heisey, of Portland, OR, whose work was selected for first place in the 2012 competition, won first place again this year for her mixed media piece Haunted.As second place, Mr. Froelick selected a graphite drawing entitled Subtle Drama by Susan Boehm of Lake Geneva, WI. Nick Reszetar of Milan, MI, was awarded third place for his conté on mylar piece entitled Javon Twice.
Charles Froelick speaks to a gallery full to capacity of visitors attending the reception.
All of the artists selected to participate in the 2014 exhibit were invited to submit proposals for the solo show and workshop awards, which were reviewed by the art faculty. From among these submissions, V.E. Long of Angwin, CA, was chosen for the solo show award as well as a workshop award. V.E. Long’s solo show entitled Cakes, Nudes, and Bowling Balls will open the CCC Art Center’s 2014-2015 exhibition season next fall.
Cynthia Lahti of Portland, OR was also selected to teach a workshop that will focus on the creative process, experimentation, and risk-taking, which will be held during the next academic year (time and date to be announced). Ellen Soderquist of Dallas, TX was selected to teach a workshop entitled Gesture: The Essence of Figure, which was held Friday, January 31, 2014.
By Eve Margo Withrow, 57 contributed posts
View all Eve Margo Withrow's posts. About the author: Using mixed water media and collage, I paint surrealistic impressions reflecting the essential feeling ingredients of an experience. My clay sculptures explore natural processes of life from organic form to perspectives gained while navigating the flow of human experience. See Eve's listing at the Southern Oregon Artists Resource to learn more and make contact.
IN THE PLAZA GALLERY
By Dick Warren
Hold on to your hats! The Plaza Gallery is showing the work of Eve Withrow, perhaps the most dynamic, exciting painter in the Valley.
The exhibit is not for an afternoon’s rest, but more like a roller coaster or windstorm. The wonder is that Eve has a secure hand on everything and the threat of chaos is carefully controlled. Using water media, a delicate medium, and collage, she somehow manages to create images in color and line in particular, at their strongest and most expressive.
The paintings are anything but delicate. The fact that finally they are secured within their frames is testament to her statement that her art is to “finally remind us of the benevolent patterns of the Universe”. The compositions somehow hold together in their frames.
Eve is familiar to many at the Manor. She has been painting and teaching in the Valley for some time. Her work is highly regarded all over the West where she has exhibited constantly. Eve is a director of the successful Art and Soul Gallery in Ashland, and has been in the Members Gallery at the Rogue Gallery and Art Center in Medford for many years.
Eve will talk about her work at a reception on Wednesday, June 5 at 5:00 p.m.
Begin with lots of art & activities on the lawn of Jville’s historic courthouse!
Anne Brooke, founder of the Art Presence Art Center, is setting up tables on the lawn in front of the gallery where kids can play with different mediums to whet a personal taste for creating art. Kids who complete a work of art get a free ride on the Jacksonville trolley! The gallery’s current exhibition is a beautiful show of member works called “Coastal, By-the-Sea” with – you guessed it – a seashore theme. There will be additional children’s games & activities, face painting, Wildlife Images and much more!
“Nautilus,” handpainted silk wall hanging by Judy Elliott on display at Art Presence
On the other side of the historic Jacksonville Courthouse, SOAR member Cathy Gallatin and her chalk artist compadres have begun the process of creating five chalk art masterpieces! We’ll post shots of their progress throughout the day…
Chalk artist Cathy Gallatin and Britt Festival staff member Sara King Cole setting up some shade for the day.
We’ll post shots of the progress of Cathy’s chalk art piece throughout the day!
Chalk artists setting up their grids early this morning.
Cross the street to enjoy today’s specials at the C Street Bistro, a fabulous house smoked pork chile verde torta ($8) or a classic Caesar salad ($6). Chef Paul Becking, who earned his degree in art, was trained by culinary icon Julia Child and his pulled pork is the talk of the town! Take advantage of the great price on this special version today only and see a classic piece of metal sculpture by Jacksonville artist Cheryl D Garcia.
If you’re coming from the other side of town…
There will be live music on Third Street, where Art Presence and SOAR member Judy Elliott will be demonstrating the art of handpainting silk in her booth, filled with her handsewn kimonos and Happi coats (the hip-length version of a kimono). Also showing his beautiful black and white photography is Ron Moore. You can see more of her gorgeous silk wall hangings at the Art Presence Art Center.
Judy Elliott of Dragonfly Designs West shows her newest Kimono…
One of the silk pieces Judy will be transforming into a wall hanging beofre our eyes today!
Judy models her newest Happi Coat
There will also be live music on California Street next to Pico’s and on the Courthouse lawn throughout the day, and additional food vendors, including the Frau Kemmling Schoolhaus Brauhaus and Front Porch Barbeque.
Walking across town, you can enjoy many beautiful antique and classic cars parked along California Street, Jacksonville’s main drag. Don’t forget to stop in to some of our wonderful retailers, including Willowcreek Gifts, now under the new ownership of Jo Parker.
A few of the classic cars parked on California Street today
WillowCreek Gifts owner Jo parker welcomes you!
Once you’ve gotten to the other end of town, stop in at the GoodBean to cool off with a famous Jacksonville Thrill (or another of their lovely hot weather coffee and tea beverages) and see stunning forals in watercolor by Jacksonville artist Elaine Frenett, a watercolor piece by the artist who started the GoodBean’s art tradition 20 years ago, Wynn Pedersen, and another wall hanging by Judy Elliott called Tropical Splendor. The GoodBean, previous winner of the Best Coffee in Oregon competition, is sponsoring this years event, and the judges are in town for a practice session leading in to the June 22nd preliminary competition, also at their Jacksonville cafe.
Elaine Frenett’s spectacular watercolor florals at the GoodBean
Tropical Splendor, by Judy Elliott, at the GoodBean
Best Coffee in Oregon judges at the GoodBean to do a practice tasting for the June 22 preliminaries, to be held at the GoodBean
From 11:30 – 2:30, enjoy some homemade strawberry shortcake, a Taste of Strawberries, and old-fashioned strawberry festival at the Jacksonville Presbyterian church.
The featured “taste” is a wine walk from 12-4 pm, where for $25 you can taste the finest offerings from local wineries at various businesses and locations around town. Participating wineries include 2Hawk Winery, Adit Public House, Belle Fiore Winery, Caprice Vineyards, Cliff Creek Cellars, Daisy Creek Vineyard, Dancin vineyards, Devitt Winery, EdenVale Winery, Grizzly peak Winery, LaBrasseur Vineyard, Ledger David, Pebblestone Cellars, Quady North Winery, Serra Vineyard, Soloro Vineyards, South Stage Cellars, Umpqua Tasting Room, Valley View Vineyards and Weisinger’s Winery.
So, join us in Jacksonville to enjoy a day of arts and culture as we celebrate a new season of the Britt Music Festival together!
Updates coming soon…have to get back out there and see how everyone’s art demonstrations are coming along!
C Street Bistro, chockers full of happy patrons…
People getting their Wine Walk tickets…
This time juggling with two partners…and a very good (and loud) band next to them. NIce work with many distractions in play…
As always when Jacksonville hosts a citywide event, gussied up ladies are seen strolling around in their finery.
Our neighbor Josh juggles with a partner
Wow! Judy sure is making quick work of her lily pond scene…
Jaime Bryn’s guitar is starting to take shape!
Taylor Conlin is painting kids with painted faces. Kids are having their faces painted right around the corner!
Cathy Gallatin’s piece is coming along fabulously!
JN Garrett is making beautiful progress on her chalk piece, too…
Laila Dzene’s chalk art in progress, and looking great! They’re having a little lunch break with food from C St. Bistro as we post these shots…
These young ladies rock the house!
Kathleen Hoevet discusses her photography with visitors to the Art Presence Art Center gallery
FREE TROLLEY RIDE FOR A BUNCH OF KIDS ALREADY!!
Anne Brooke encourages the kids trying their hand at watercolors.
Fun with art! …and balloons…but he didn’t seem quite as excited about that as he did working on his creation…
Art Presence member Randall Grealish and his lovely wife Tara watch their nephews making art…
What could be better than kids making art on a summer afternoon with finished pieces drying already?!
Judy finished these two incredible silk wall hangings today!
Looked like she might make a sale at the end of the day, too.
Laila’s finished chalk art
Jennifer’s (almost) finished chalk art – and can you believe this is her first?! Well done, Jen!
Cathy’s larger piece looks great, but will take longer to complete. She’s still working out there and it’s 6:40. I hope she’s got water…better go check on her when this live blog is done…
Taylor’s finished chalk art
Jaime touches up the border on her finished chalk art
Another portion of Cathy’s original chalk masterpiece in progress
Laila and Jennifer put the finishing touches on their pieces
Laila’s Jacksonville scene with classic cars – finished and signed!
Jennifer’s finished portrait of Anne Brooke painting – finished and signed!
Taylor’s kids with faces painted – finished and signed!
Jaime’s rockin’ guitar players – finished and signed! Jaime was hired by the Britt to do another piece of a saxophone at a later date when they saw this one – nice work, Jaime!
Tired and well-roasted from working on a 96 degree day, Cathy is presses on to finish her centerpiece with Laila’s help.
Late passers by stop to admire the finished work
Cathy puts the finishing touches on the wine glasses and Laila paints outlines for definition
It was hot, there was art, and wine, and summer dresses, and a lot of wonderful people in Jacksonville today. Everyone I spoke with had a great day. I hope you were one of them, but if you couldn’t make it this year, I hope you will come join us to celebrate the opening of the Britt Festival’s 2014 concert season! Signing off for tonight…
Morning after update, with the largest piece of chalk art completed and signed…Click any image in the post to see a larger view – view this one first, and then stop at the courthouse to see all these lovley chalk art pieces before they’re gone! Many thanks to the Britt Festival for this artistic addition to their opening celebration festivites – a fabulous taste of summer by Cathy Gallatin.
Hannah, editor of Art Matters! writing…I went to the Rogue Gallery and Art Center this afternoon to attend a meeting of southern Oregon arts leaders. It was a fabulous time of exchanging ideas and affirming our mutual desire to bring our arts community closer together and make a greater case for the value of art to the broader community. You’ll be hearing more about the ideas we’ve had and what we’re planning soon…
After the meeting adjourned, I stayed a little while longer to look at the Elements show, and I have to say that I did not know that fiber arts could be so very well done, so truly artful. The quilted pieces on display range from intricate embroidery to painted silk, from garments to wall art, and from abstract to landscape to figurative. Definitely a fabulous display of the broad range of creativity possible with fabric, needle and thread! This show will only be up for another week, ending next Friday, so I strongly recommend you go see it soon if you haven’t already. You’ll be glad you did!
Here’s a quick look around the show…
Elements “Title Wall”
Every one of these works deserves a close-up examination…
The felted piece (irregular edges, left) is really interesting
Incredible variety in work with quilted fabric
Fabulous garmet designn
More diverse treatments in subject, technique and style
Cool garment piece flanked by a landscape in painted silk to the left and a lovely abstract on the right
Brooke is such an asset to the southern Oregon art community, and it’s always wonderful having the opportunity to spend time talking art with her
Although the plots of many musicals have been built around love stories and comic devices, a growing number can be identified as “message” musicals. Whether commenting on religious persecution, racism, controversial medical issues, interfaith, interracial, and same-sex relationships, the creative teams for many shows have given their audiences new opportunities to discuss the political issues of the day. Here’s Rose Marie Jun (known primarily for her role as Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show) performing Harold Rome’s “Sing Me A Song With Social Significance” from 1937’s Pins and Needles, a musical revue performed by members of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU).
On August 1, 2001, the DREAM Act was introduced by Senators Dick Durbin and Orrin Hatch. Since then, immigration reform has faced a rough and rocky uphill battle.
Less than six weeks after the bill’s introduction, the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon sent the nation into a tailspin of paranoia, xenophobia, and most particularly, Islamophobia.
As the United States launched wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States Armed Forces offered many immigrants a path to citizenship (according to Wikipedia, in 2009 an estimated 29,000 members of the military were foreign-born immigrants who were not yet American citizens).
On April 23, 2010, Governor Jan Brewer signed Arizona’s controversial SB1070 into law, making it a state misdemeanor for an alien to be in Arizona without carrying the necessary identification documents on his person.
Although the House of Representatives passed the DREAM Act on December 8, 2010, it failed in the Senate.
In July of 2011, the California DREAM Act provided access to private college scholarships for state schools to students who were illegal immigrants.
In August of 2011, the state of Illinois authorized a similar plan for legal as well as illegal children of immigrants.
During a Republican Presidential primary debate on January 23, 2012, Mitt Romney concisely described his plan for dealing with illegal immigration using the politically loaded term “self deportation.”
During 2012, Glenn Beck tried to stoke conservative outrage with frequent references to the phenomenon of anchor babies.
On June 15, 2012, President Obama made the following statement about immigration reform.
Barely six weeks into 2013, Bay area audiences witnessed the world premiere of a fascinating new musical that deals with immigration reform. How did the project come about?
Following passage of the California DREAM Act, the Marsh Youth Theatre in San Francisco embarked on creating a new piece of musical theatre which focused on undocumented students living in the Bay area who lived under the constant threat of deportation. Using the methodology and techniques of the Voice of Witness Education Program, members of MYT’s Teen Troupe gathered oral histories for In and Out of Shadows from people in their own social circles as well as those referred to them through community organizations such as:
AB540 Clubs at City College of San Francisco
SOMCAN (South of Market Community Action Network)
Leadership Public Schools in Richmond
ASPIRE (Asian Students Promoting Immigration Reform and Education)
J. Adan Ruiz as Juan in the Marsh Youth Theatre’s production
of In and Out of Shadows (Photo by: Katia Fuentes)
Backed by additional funding from NALAC (National Association of Latino Arts and Culture) and the Creative Work Fund, the show’s musical score (composed by MYT Director Emily Klion and George Brooks) was inspired by the sounds of jazz, hip hop, and Mexican mariachi music. As director Cliff Mayotte notes: “For many of the performers in this production, these stories are not disembodied tales, but accurate reflections of their day-to-day experiences. There is real power in being able to tell your own story and real power in bearing witness to the person telling it.”
Bianca Catalan and Angelina Orrelanos are two of the
teenagers in In and Out of Shadows (Photo by: Katia Fuentes)
Playwright/poet Gary Soto was tasked with transforming the oral histories collected by the students into a piece of theatre about the experiences of undocumented teens living in the East Bay communities of Richmond and Pinole. As he recalls:
“As a Mexican-American author of 40-plus books, I have a large readership among Latino youth (arguably the largest in the country) and have visited more than 400 schools during the last 20 years. Elementary through college, students know something about my writing. The focus of my visits has been schools in the San Joaquin Valley (which houses a large undocumented workforce in rural labor). I’ve also visited lots of schools in the Los Angeles basin and am aware of the struggles among urban youth. For several years I was a board member of the CHA House, an educational program that brings youth from their small hometowns (Coalinga, Huron, and Avenal) to study at UC Berkeley. I have never asked, but I suspect that about half of the parents of these children are undocumented.
In and Out of Shadows is not dumbed-down theatre; it’s really clever theatre. There’s music, there’s dance, we have a squirt gun incident, and we’ll be throwing candy into the audience. It was worrisome to me that some groups weren’t represented because they wouldn’t come forward (not one Chinese student was interviewed). There may be risk, but we don’t think La Migra (the border patrol) would show up to gather up some of the kids and parents in the audience.”
Playwright, poet, and author Gary Soto
In and Out of Shadows is filled with stories about kids who didn’t want to change their name when they snuck across the border, teens who went on vacation in Mexico and were stopped by immigration authorities when they tried to reenter the United States, and those whose families consist of documented and undocumented immigrants. From the hard-working Filipino-American mother who is arrested and threatened with deportation after her employer is investigated for failure to pay his taxes to the affable jock from British Columbia, the evening is peppered with Tagalog, Spanish, Spanglish and other languages commonly heard in the Bay area.
Louel Senores and Deanna Palaganas (Photo by: Katia Fuentes)
Whether one focuses on the young man with no skills (other than his abundant charm) or the girl who wants to become a doctor; whether one looks at the pair of boys who want to become DJs or the Indonesian girl who tells her friends about her native country, as the students struggle to prepare their personal statements for an AB 540 conference at UC Berkeley, they share what it was like to have to be sedated with cough syrup or crawl through sewers in order to enter the United States.
And what do these children look like when they become adults? Here’s the founder of Define American, Jose Antonio Vargas (who, in 2008, was part of the Washington Post’s team of Pulitzer prize-winning journalists who covered the shootings at Virginia Tech), as he recently testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
In an op-ed piece published in The New York Times, Vargas stressed that:
“There are no words to describe just how much stress and heartbreak my immigration status, and my choice to go public with it, has caused my grandmother. Because of her I almost did not speak out about being undocumented. But it was also because of her — and my grandfather, who died in 2007, and my mother, whom I have not seen in almost 20 years — because of all their sacrifices, that I will be able to speak in Congress. I am here because of them.”
The opening reception of Clatsop Community College’s seventh annual juried art exhibit, Au Naturel: The Nude in the 21st Century, was held Thursday, March 7, in the CCC Art Center Gallery.
Artists pictured left to right: Denise Weir (Edmonds, WA), Jim McComas (Superior, CO), John Whitehouse (West Linn, OR), Bethany Rowland (Portland, OR), Sebastian Hyde (Oakland, CA), Lisa Ackerman (Astoria, OR), Jessica Marshall (Corvallis, OR), Paul Rutz (Portland, OR), Alexandra Eyer (Gold Beach, OR), Rhoda Draws (Mill Valley, CA), Ted Chilles (Portland, OR), Patrick Kernan (Portland, OR), Jessica McCoy (Claremont, CA), Rob Bibler (Salem, OR) with CCC’s Kristin Shauck, Founding Director of the Au Naturel international competition. Photo by David Homer.
This year, over 600 images were submitted for consideration by artists from 26 states and Canada, Mexico, China, Morocco and the United Kingdom. The 2013 show includes 52 works by 47 artists from 16 states and Canada.
Fourteen of the selected artists were present for the reception, including artists who traveled from as far away as San Francisco and Claremont, California, and Superior, Colorado. This year’s juror Clint Brown, Professor Emeritus at Oregon State University, gave a gallery talk. During the opening reception, awards were announced including cash prizes, a purchase award, a combined solo show and workshop award, and four additional workshop awards. Awards for this competition are supported by submission fees paid by all participating artists. Bridgewater Bistro and Clemente’s Restaurant generously provided hors d’oeuvres and Erickson Floral Company provided flowers for the reception. Thanks also to the Astoria Coffee House and Bistro and the Cannery Pier Hotel for their support. A No-Host Post-Reception party at the Astoria Coffee House and Bistro was held immediately following, and on Friday, March 8, Mr. Brown gave a presentation titled “Nude vs. Naked” to an audience of students, faculty, staff and community members.
This year’s Au Naturel exhibit will remain on display in the CCC Art Center Gallery, 1799 Lexington, Astoria, through March 28. All visitors are invited to cast a vote for the People’s Choice award, which will be announced at the close of the exhibition.
For the first time in the history of the Au Naturel competition, an artist has been awarded first place for the second time. Michael Reedy, of Ann Arbor, MI, whose work was selected for first place in the 2009 competition, won first place again this year for his mixed media piece Expulsion. As second place, Mr. Brown selected a conté, pastel and charcoal drawing entitled The Source by Robert Bibler of Salem, OR. Grace Benedict of Lafayette, IN was awarded third place for her colored pencil drawing entitled Cradle. All of the artists selected to participate in the 2013 exhibit were invited to submit proposals for a solo show award. From among these submissions, Paul Rutz of Portland, OR was selected by the art faculty. In conjunction with his solo show, scheduled to open the 2013-2014 exhibition season, Dr. Rutz will also lead a workshop instructing participants in his unique approach to artmaking.
In addition to cash prizes and the solo show award, multiple workshop awards were announced. Jessica McCoy, Assistant Professor at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA was chosen to lead a workshop on color theory, and Jennifer Cutshall, an accomplished mural painter in Portland, was chosen to lead a workshop that will deal with abstraction of the figure. Grace Benedict, who teaches at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN and Cathy Locke, who teaches in the graduate department at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, were both invited to teach workshops in the coming academic year. Cathy Locke’s graphite drawing on mylar titled Torso 4 was selected for this year’s purchase award by art department faculty and will become part of the College’s growing permanent collection.
To view images of the award winning artwork as well as those of this year’s exhibit and prior exhibits, visit www.aunaturel.com. Visitors to CCC also have the opportunity to view the purchase awards from previous Au Naturel exhibitions in the Dora Badollet Library. For library hours, call 503-338-2466.
The Au Naturel exhibit is free and open to the public. The CCC Art Center Gallery is located at 1799 Lexington Avenue, Astoria. The gallery is open M-F, 8am-6pm and Saturday, 11am-4pm; Sundays and holidays by appointment only. Please note special Spring Break hours from March 25 through March 28 of 11am-4pm.