Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday's Three on Poetry

Today's post features a trio of poetry videos, also known as videopoems.

"Ark" ~  Videopoem by Allen Wheeler (J. Allen and B. Wheeler). The poem is by Ed Madden, poet laureate (2015-2019) of Columbia, South Carolina, and is taken from his collection Ark (Sibling Rivalry Press, March 15, 2016).

My thanks to Moving Poems.

City of Columbia Poet Laureate Page 

Sibling Rivalry Press Page for Ark

✭ "Ghazal Before Morning ~ Videopoem by Marc Neys (aka Swoon). The poem is by Colleen Michaels (read and listen to the text); the voice belongs to Nic Sebastian.

Ghazal Before Morning from Marc Neys (aka Swoon) on Vimeo.

My thanks to Swoon.

Nic Sebastian's Very Like a Whale

✭ "I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast"~ Videopoem from Motionpoems. The film uses work from Melissa Studdard's debut collection I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast (St. Julian Press, September 2015).

My thanks to Motionpoems.

I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast from Motionpoems on Vimeo.

April is National Poetry Month, which is now in its 30th year!

Diesel Book Store 30 Videos for 30 Days (2010)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesday Artist: Abigail DeVille

I'm interested in telling invisible history
about groups of people that occupied 
a space that no longer exists . . . .
~ Abigail DeVille

A plaster cast of her face is tucked into a planter, in the corner of a patio, into a trash heap she creates at a site where children play . . . The image belongs to artist Abigail DeVille, who transports her sculptures in a trash-laden cart she pushes through the streets of New York City, making "interventions" — the sitings of the casts — the means to draw attention to those she describes as "forgotten", people pushed out by gentrification and development. For DeVille, her art project is about both "[the] reclaiming of a space" and "an exercise in acknowledgment" of identity and culture. Her narrative is personal and ongoing.

Featured in the following Art21 video about DeVille's project is her work Harlem River Blues (2014). Born in the Bronx, DeVille, who describes herself as "an archaeologist looking for clues in contemporary society for the infinie and eternal"*, lives and work in New York.

DeVille was a 2014-2015 Radcliffe Institute Fellow; her exhibition at Radcliffe, "The Day the Earth Stood Still", was on view from January 30, 2015, through February 24, 2015. She exhibits throughout the United States and abroad. 

Earlier this year, DeVille was a Visiting Artist at Virginia Commonwealth University.

DeVille's work has been spotlighted in ArtForum, ArtMatterArtNet NewsThe Brooklyn Rail, and The New York Times, among other publications.

Abigail DeVille on Tumblr

Abigail DeVille at Johannes Vogt Gallery and Michael Rein

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Reading the Picture (Poem)

Reading the Picture

      after Zalmai's photograph of Ali*

Read it any way you like
but don't miss the hint
of a smile where fear, too,
rises like Iraq's mountains,
even after you've left them

behind. After the mountains
there are desert, broad plains,
and rivers finally giving way
to the sea that refuses to turn
you back toward what is lost.

You spend the night in a tent
near a village called Roszke,
its gun-staffed border of razor
wire the one thing holding you
up. Well, that, and your wait

for the bus and the queue for
food and the uncle who is gone
from your side. When your uncle
is all you have left and it is cold
and raining, food in your hand

naturally goes uneaten, and you
don't pretend a boy won't cry.

Ali doesn't.

Ali's uncle doesn't.

A man with a camera never does.

2016 © Maureen E. Doallas

* When I look at this refugee boy, I see myself. ~ Zalmai, a professional photographer whose moving picture of the refugee boy Ali, who was in line for food when he became separated from his uncle, was taken in 2015. 

Zalmai's film with Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights WatchDesperate Journey, was screened this March at the Human Rights Film Festival in London. (See video below.)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday Muse: New Texas Poet Laureate

I don't write poems to offer answers or to preach
or anything like that. I write poems because that's
the way I move through the world. . . .*
~ Laurie Ann Guerrero

The 2016 State Poet Laureate of Texas is Laurie Ann Guerrero. Guerrero, also the honorary 2014-2016 Poet Laureate of the City of San Antonio, succeeds Carmen Tafolla. (Guerrero's appointment was announced at the time Tafolla was named.)

For information about the State Poet Laureate position, see my post on Karla K. Morton, the state's 2010 Poet Laureate. (Another source is the Poet Laureate page at the Texas State Historical Association. Also see the legislative text.)

On April 11, 2016, Guerrero is scheduled to join poets Malachi Black and A. Van Jordan for a reading at Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., as part of the program "The New Sonneteers". 

* * * * * 
. . . names, people, places, experience. This is
the palette for my art, how I stretch my eyes awake.
I want to be awake always. . . .**

Texas native Laurie Ann Guerrero is the author of A Crown for Gumecindo (Aztlan Libre Press, 2015), a collection of linked sonnets, journal entries, and meditations on the loss of her storytelling grandfather Gumecindo, and the grief she experienced; and A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying (University of Notre Dame Press, 2013). She also has published the chapbook Babies under the Skin (Panhandler Publishing, 2007), winner of the Panhandler Chapbook Award.

Guerrero's beautifully crafted poetry encompasses her Tejana background (Native American [Comanche], Mexican, and Spanish and German) and deep sense of place. Love, women and empowerment, community, motherhood and family relationships, tradition, racial injustice, gender identity and discrimination, loss and absence, and longing number among her subjects. As she told interviewer Steve Bennett, while talking about her 2013 collection, "The tongue is sensual, it's sexual, it's voice and language and silence. I give voice to all kinds of things in my poems — sexual abuse, infanticide, suicide — so that tongue becomes so many things, mainly a disruption of silence." She is highly politically aware and unafraid to use her poems as a means to call out injustice.

Here are lines from two poems by Guerrero; they are striking for their visual richness — the sharpness and physicality of the imagery — and for depth of feeling.

In my hands, it's cold and knowing as bone.
Shrouded in plastic, I unwind its gauze,
mummy-like, rub my wrist blue against the cactus
of it buds. Were it still cradled inside
the clammy cow mouth, I should want to enchant it:[. . .]
~ from "Preparing the Tongue" in A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying

[. . .] Tears,
like mercury in the hollow of my
belly, like water burning through a well.
I hear the slosh as if I am a child
swollen with milk. [. . .]
~ from "The Mesquite" in A Crown for Gumecindo

Poems by Guerrero have appeared or are forthcoming in such periodicals and journals as The Acentos ReviewBellevue Literary Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Chicana/Latina Studies, Feminist Studies, Huizache,  Indiana Review, LA Review of BooksLiterary MamaLuna Luna, Naugatuck ReviewPalo Alto Review, Poetry, Seminary Ridge ReviewTexas Monthly, Texas Observer, Texas Poetry Review, Voices de la Luna, and Women's Studies Quarterly.

Guerrero's writing is found in Entre Guadalupe y Malinche: Tejanas in Literature and Art, edited by Ines Hernandez-Avila and Norma Ella Cantu (University of Texas Press; reprint, February 2016). She was one of several editors of Texas Poetry Calendar (2014), and her collection A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying is featured in Jesse Zuba's The First Book: Twentieth -Century Poetic Careers in America (Princeton University Press, 2015).

Named to the annual Debut Poets roundup by Poets & Writers magazine (see "Ten Years of Debut Poets"), Guerrero is the recipient of the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012), for A Tongue in the Moth of the Dying; an International Latino Book Award (2014), for Best Poetry Book, One Author, in English (Latino Literacy Now); and grants from Artist Foundation of San Antonio, AF Donors Award for Literary Arts (2013), and Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation (2013), founded by Sandra Cisneros. She served in Fall 2014 as the Harman Writing Fellow at Baruch College. In addition, she is a Canto Mundo Fellow and Macondo Writers' Workshop member. 

Guerrero was inaugural (2014) Poet-in-Residence at Palo Alto College, San Antonio, where she conducted creative writing workshops, took part in public readings and discussions, and represented the college as its "ambassador". She is the Literary Arts Director/Writer-in-Residence at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.


Photo Credit: Aztlan Libre Press

All Poetry Excerpts © Laurie Ann Guerrero

* Quoted from Steve Bennett Brief at My San Antonio (See link below.)

** Quoted from Guerrero's "28 Contemplations" at The Best American Poetry Blog (See link below.)

Laurie Ann Guerrero Poetry Online: "Brownies of the Southwest: Troop 704" and "Last Meal: Breakfast Tacos, San Antonio, Tejas", Both at Poetry Foundation; "A Meal for the Tribe", "Roosters: Homecoming", and "Early Words for My Son", All at The Poetry Center at Smith College; "Preparing the Tongue", "Cocooning", and "My Mother Will Take a Lover", All at Acentos Review; "Babies under the House" and "Ode to el Cabrito", Both at Voices de la Luna (pdf; p. 5); "My Mother Woke a Rooster" at LA Bloga; "Like Jesus" at Seminary Ridge Review (Autumn 2013; pdf; see page 104)

Guerrero's poem "Babies under the Skin" can be found in Wingbeats II: Exercises and Practice in Poetry (Dos Gatos Press, 2014), edited by Scott Wiggerman and David Meischen.

Also see the excerpts (pdf) from A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying at Notre Dame Press.

Read Guerrero's "Stealing the Crown: Sonnet as Vessel: Plan for Building" (Part 1), "Sonnet as Sustenance" (Part 2), "Sonnet as Resting Place" (Part 3), and "Sonnet as Reconciliation" (Part 4), The Best American Poetry Blog, 2015.

Read Guerrero's "28 Contemplations between San Antonio and Washington, D.C.", The Best American Poetry Blog, August 31, 2015.

Guerrero's article "Birthing the Warrior: Poetry as Illumination" can be found in Women's Studies Quarterly (read an excerpt).

Laurie Ann Guerrero on FaceBookTwitter, and Tumblr

James  Courtney, "Getting to Know Texas Poet Laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero", San Antonio Current, October 28, 2015

David Martin Davies, "Texas Matters: Laurie Ann Guerrero, San Antonio's Poet Laureate, Talks About Her Struggle", KSTX San Antonio, May 22, 2015 (Audio Available)

My San Antonio, "Poetry Helps Laurie Ann Guerrero Deal with Grief", May 5, 2015

Lauren Moriarty, "Lasting Impressions: Laurie Ann Guerrero | Poet Laureate Uses Words to Impact Community", San Antonio Magazine, August 2014

Steve Bennett, "Guerrero's Poetry Starts 'in the Gut'", My San Antonio, May 30, 2014

Xelena Gonzalez, "Letras Latinas Exclusive: Laurie Ann Guerrero", Letras Latinas Blog, March 27, 2014

Virgil Blanc, "Poet Guerrero Discusses Inspiration", Yale Daily, March 6, 2013 ("What keeps me writing is the inspiration I've had from living in my body, for so many years, . . .")

Writing on the Air, Interview, March 7, 2015 (Audio Available)

Kathi Stafford, "The Journey: An Interview with Laurie Ann Guerrero", Poets' Quarterly, September 1, 2012

Review, "Laurie Ann Guerrero's 'A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying'", Indiana Review, November 2014

ALP Page for A Crown for Gumecindo (A video is on the page.)

University of Notre Dame, "Notre Dame Announces Winners of Two National Literary Prizes", May 29, 2012

UNDPress Page for A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying (An excerpt is available to download. Also see the video.)

Video, TEDxSanAntonio, "What I Learned from My City" (2014)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thought for the Day

Some of the blessings that our parents give us . . .
outlive the  death of memory.
~ Jonathan Kozol

Quoted from Jonathan Kozol, The Theft of Memory: Losing My Father, One Day at a Time (Crown Publishers, 2015), p. 271 (Read an excerpt from The Theft of Memory.)

Jonathan Kozol, Educator, Writer, Activist

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for Acadian Brown Cotton: A Cajun Love Story, a documentary by Sharon Gordon Donnan and Suzanne Chaillot Breaux. The film examines the history of the origins and use of natural brown cotton in Southwest Louisiana, especially by the people of Acadiana, who handed down from mother to daughter a dowry of handspun and handwoven Acadian brown cotton blankets.

A DVD is available.

The film's next screening will be October 19-23 at the Textile Society of America's Symposium 2016,  "Crosscurrents: Land, Labor, and the Port", in Savannah, Georgia.

Friday, March 25, 2016

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., began March 20 and ends April 13. If you can't be in town to take in the blossoms along the Potomac, consider commemorating the event with the official 2016 poster by illustrator and graphic designer Thomas Burns of Gainesville, Florida. Burns is an adjunct professor of illustration at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Thomas Burns
2016 National Cherry Blossom Poster
18" x 24"

✦ Don't miss the stellar work of book artist Beth Curren, who also is a printmaker, a watercolor painter, writer, and teacher. Her artwork, in both two and three dimensions, is, she says, meant to be handled and incorporates a range of multimedia, from handmade paper and collage to block prints and calligraphy. 

✦ Some 3,900 pages of Paul Klee's personal notebooks can now be found online.

✦ The largest (3.5 acres) street art park in Baltimore, Maryland, is in development by the nonprofit Section1. (Scroll down on Section1 site to read about the project.)

✦ A new book covering the career of photographer Vik Muniz (see image below) was published in late February by Delmonico Books/Prestl. A selection of more than 150 color illustrations is included. Muniz will talk about his work and sign copies of the book March 30 as part of the Artist Dialogue Series at the New York Public Library. A major retrospective of close to 120 Muniz photographs is on view through August 21 at Atlanta's High Museum.

Cover Art

The book Vik Muniz is available through Amazon and other booksellers.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Hand-painted sculptural measuring rulers by Josephine Halvorson will be in place at Storm King Art Center May 14 through November 13. The bright yellow, black, and red rulers installed for the exhibition, "Outlooks: Josephine Halvorson", are 12 feet to 36 feet tall; described as "equal parts art object and perceptual tool", they will be placed in relationship to natural and artistic landmarks on Storm King grounds. Located an hour north of New York City, Storm King Art Center officially opens for the season on April 6. Check the center's Website for a video that documents the artist's process and the installation of her work.

Josephine Halvorson at Art21 and Sikkema Jenkins Co.

Storm King on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram

✭ Michigan's Saginaw Art Museum is featuring Belle Yang in "Crossing Cultures: Belle Yang, A Story of Immigration". Continuing through June 4, the exhibition relates through Yang's paintings her stories as immigrant (she came to the United States from Taiwan at age 7) and artist. 

Saginaw Art Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ Rutgers University's Zimmerli Art Museum has mounted "Infinite Opportunities Offered in Color", an exhibition of prints by Helen Hyde (1868-1919) and Bertha Lum (1879-1954), who traveled to the Far East to learn from masters the Japanese methods and techniques for carving, coloring, and printing. Both Hyde and Lum gained recognition for color woodcut printmaking. The exhibition runs through July 31. See a selection of images of Hyde's and Lum's prints in the exhibition.

Zimmerli Art Museum on FaceBook

✭ New York City's Forum Gallery is presenting a selection of beautiful new paintings by Alyssa Monks in "Alyssa Monks: Resolution", on view through May 7. The award-winning Brooklyn-based artist, who exhibits nationally and internationally, studied painting in Florence, Italy, and currently teaches and lectures around the United States. She's an adjunct professor at New York Academy of Art. Images may be viewed at the exhibition link. Monks's work also is in the group show "Hour by Hour" at Q Art Salon, Santa Ana, California, through April 22.

Here's "The Beautiful Awful", a 2015 TEDxIndiana University talk that Monks gave about her artistic development. The video includes images of her most recent work:

Alyssa Monks Website

Alyssa Monks on FaceBook

Notable Exhibition Abroad

✭ The Normandy Impressionist Festival gets underway April 16. Promoting a range of educational activities, the festival presents art exhibitions and musical, theatrical, literary, and other multidisciplinary events across Upper and Lower Normandy. In addition to exhibitions of Impressionist masterpieces, the festival includes work by contemporary French and foreign artists who have been invited to interpret this year's theme, "Impressionist Portraits". The festival concludes September 26.

The festival Website offers a preview of initial exhibitions

Normandie Impressionniste on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thursday's Three on Literature and Poetry

Thursday's Three presents a trio of new titles to put on your current and future reading list.

Thoreau's Wildflowers, edited by Geoff Wisner (Yale University Press, March 22, 2016) ~ Containing more than 200 black-and-white drawings first created by the marvelous Barry Moser for his 1979 book Flowering Plants of Massachusetts (University of Massachusetts Press), this book presents a selection of Henry David Thoreau's nature writing and an essay by Ray Angelo, "Thoreau as Botanist".

Cover Art 

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

simulacra (April 2017) ~ A poetry collection by Airea D. Matthews, winner of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets. Matthews's manuscript was selected by poet Carl Phillips, who describes her debut as "rollicking, destabilizing, at once intellectually sly and piercing and finally poignant". 

Publishing this month, on March 29, is 2015 winner Noah Warren's The Destroyer in the Glass (Yale University Press). Also selected by Phillips, this collection explores themes of human isolation and need for connection.

Cover Art

Selected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay: An Annotated Edition (Yale University Press, April 26, 2016), edited by Timothy F. Jackson ~ Included are previously unpublished manuscript excerpts, poems, prose, and correspondence. Poems appear as printed in first editions. Dr. Holly Peppe, Millay scholar and literary executor, contributes the introduction.

Cover Art

Read an interview with Holly Peppe at Penguin USA blog.

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Edna St. Vincent Millay Society

Yale University Press on FaceBook, Twitter, and Tumblr

Yale Books Unbound (Blog)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday Artist: Imran Qureshi

My work is always about the here and now.
* * *
Violence is not a strange thing for anybody in the world.
~ Artist Imran Qureshi

In the video below, painter Imran Qureshi of Pakistan, who is known for his meticulous technique, which draws on Qureshi's deep knowledge of motifs, symbols, and ornamentation of Mughal miniature painting, talks about his artwork, its themes, and, in particular, how even the colors he chooses reflect "how things are affecting me." 

A resident of Lahore, Qureshi was a participant in 2015's 56th Venice Biennale. In 2013, Deutsche Bank named Qureshi its "Artist of the Year". Qureshi's works can be found at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art (see the video about the 2013 site-specific work, The Roof Garden Commission) and abroad in such cities as London, Berlin, Paris, and Melbourne.

Two of Qureshi's large installations, And They Still Seek Traces of Blood and This Time Where the Twin Streams of Time Begin to Merge, were on view in Paris last year and can be seen in "Idea of Landscape", continuing through April 24, at Kusten Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg, Denmark. 

The interviewer in the video was Roxanne Bagheshirin Laerkesen of Kunsten Museum.

My thanks to Louisiana Channel for the video link.

Imran Qureshi at Art in Embassies (U.S. Department of State), Covi-MoraGalerie Thaddaeus RopacHatje CantzIkon Gallery

Imran Qureshi in "Violence and Creation", Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, 55th Venice Biennale (2013); and in "The Great Game", 56th Venice Biennale (2015)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

At the Greek-Macedonian Border (Poem)

At the Greek-Macedonian Border

In fog the tent tops
look like wind-swollen burqas,

simple makeshift shields
that limit sideways vision.

Someone stirs, rises,
emerges to stoke embers

of the camp's fires, flames
lighting the border between

there, where the sea stilled
after parting, and here,

where wire and chainlink
corral children and mothers

who fail to rescue
but one brown egg for breakfast.

2016 © Maureen E. Doallas

This poem was inspired by Yannis Kolesidis's photos of a refugee camp at the border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and by Reuters Paris Pix and AFP Photo Department's images, all from March 11, 2016, and seen at Tom Clark's blog, Beyond the Pale.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday Muse: Spring Poetry Readings

Today's post highlights some of the many upcoming poetry readings around the country. (Be sure to explore the links; there is excellent poetry to be discovered if you are unfamiliar with the poets listed.)

✭ This spring, the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series at Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., brings us "The New Sonneteers": Malachi Black, Laurie Ann Guerrero, and A. Van Jordan, on Monday, April 11, 7:30 p.m. 

Sir Andrew Motion, currently teaching in The Writing Seminars, Johns Hopkins University, appears Monday, May 9, 7:30 p.m. (Read Bret McCabe's article "British Poet Andrew Motion Settles Into Life in America as a Professor at Johns Hopkins" in HUBatWork, January 22, 2016.)

The series closes out with "Lineage: From the Black Arts Movement to Cave Canem" on Monday, June 13, also at 7:30 p.m. The concluding event will feature Kwame Alexander as moderator of a conversation with poets Nikki Giovanni, Haki Madhubuti, and Sonia Sanchez. Following the discussion, a reading with Toi Derricotte, Gregory Pardlo, Kyle Dargan, and Rachel Eliza Griffiths will highlight Cave Canem's role in promoting African-American poets and poetry. Tickets are required.

Black Arts Movement (1965-1975)

Folger Poetry on FaceBook

✭ For the Reading Series at the Michener Center for Writers, University of Texas-Austin, poet Jane Miller, a visiting professor on the campus this spring, will read on Thursday, April 7, 7:30 p.m.  

✭ Spring poetry readings at The Writer's Workshop, University of Nebraska-Omaha, feature Lee Ann Roripaugh on Monday, March 28, 7:30 p.m (read the program flyer) and William Trowbridge, Monday, April 11, 7:30 p.m. (read the flyer). Both events are in the UNO Art Gallery, Weber Fine Arts Building.

✭ New York City's St. Mark's Church sponsors The Poetry Project, which on Monday, May 23, 8:00 p.m., holds workshop readings led by Barbara Henning, Rachel Levitsky, and Matt Longabucco.

The Poetry Project on FaceBook

✭ Appearing at The Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University on Wednesday, March 30, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., are Marilyn Hacker and Deema Shehabi. The event is part of the Barnard Women Poets Series. Hacker and Shehabi began corresponding via poems they exchanged by e-mail from 2009 to 2012 and subsequently published as a sequence of renga, Diaspo/Renga (Holland Park Press), in 2014. The reading is free and open to the public.

Women Poets Programs, Barnard College

The Heyman Center on FaceBook

Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State University announced in January the spring lineup for "The Art of Poetry" series. Paola Corso and Abby Minor already have appeared. Concluding the series is Lisa Sewell of Villanova University and author of Impossible Object (The Word Works, 2015), who will read on Wednesday, April 6, 12:10 p.m.

✭ The Holloway Reading Series at University of California-Berkeley feature Anna Moschovakis on April 6 and Frank B. Wilderson III on April 13. Both readings are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Holloway Series in Poetry on FaceBook

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Thought for the Day

Love someone who does not deserve it.
~ Wendell Berry

Quoted from Wendell Berry's poem "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front" from A Country of Marriage (Harcourt Brace, 1973; reprint, Counterpoint, 2013). The poem also is included in The Mad Farmer Poems (Counterpoint, 2014).

Read Omid Safi's reflection on Berry's poem at On Being. (The text of the complete poem is there.)

The Berry Center, New Castle, Kentucky

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday Short

Today's short is the trailer for Blue Alchemy: Stories of Indigo, a 79-minute documentary that examines the fascinating history of "blue gold", indigo, described as "a blue dye that has captured the human imagination for millenia."

The feature-length film includes on-location photography in India, Bangladesh, Japan, Mexico, El Salvador, Nigeria, and the United States. Filmmaker Mary Lance researched and taped stories of people who use indigo, such as a Japanese textile artist, dyers among the Yoruba of Nigeria, and dye-makers in Bengal in South Asia. (Read the film synopsis.)

A DVD is available.

Blue Alchemy on FaceBook

Friday, March 18, 2016

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ From the realm of the remarkable: photographer Vik Muniz's series of pictures, Sandcastles, drawn on grains of sand. Read The New York Times feature about Muniz's collaborative project with Coelho Marcello, "At M.I.T., Science Embraces a New Chaos Theory: Art".

✦ Yesterday's Artist Watch column at Escape Into Life presented a selection of images of beautiful watercolors by Shell Rummel.

✦ Wonderful paper sculptures by Olga Skorokhod are featured with Ann Martin's interview with the artist at All Things Paper. (My thanks, Ann.)

Olga Skorokhod on FaceBook and Instagram

✦ Forthcoming May 24 is Georgia O'Keeffe: Watercolors (Radius Books/Georgia O'Keeffe Museum). The book includes text by Amy Von Lintel and images of nearly 50 watercolors produced between 1916 and 1918, during O'Keeffe's years in Canyon, Texas. Most of the featured images are full-scale color reproductions.

✦ The 2016 Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail, a sale and tour of clay studios in Western Massachusetts, takes place April 30-May 1. Meet 22 fine potters: Mary Barringer, Hayne Bayless, Molly Cantor, Stephen Earp, Lucy Fagella, Sheilagh Flynn, James Guggina, Megan Hart, Tiffany Hilton, Robbie Lobell, Donna McGee, Francine T. Ozereko, Alison Palmer, Gabrielle Schaffner, Eric Smith, Constance Talbot, Tandem Ceramics, Sam Taylor, Mike Vatalaro, Todd Wahlstrom, Tom White, and Adero Willard. A brochure (pdf) is available.

A Pottery Trail on FaceBook

✦ March is Women's History Month and, in my expansive definition, that includes art history. Recently introduced through Broad Strokes, the blog of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, is the Colombia-born, now New York City resident Fanny Sanin. (Read "Balancing Act: Fanny Sanin's Paintings".) Represented in the collections of the United States Department of State (Art in Embassies Program), Sanin is a painter and printmaker, known for her meticulous geometric abstractions and vivid color sense. In the video below, Sanin talks about her artistic process with Gerardo Reyes.

See a selection of Sanin's work at Durban Segnini Gallery.

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Continuing at the Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut, through April 24 is "And Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations". With the aim of depicting nearly four centuries of African-American history, the exhibition features 40 quilts from members of the Women of Color Quilters Network. Included are quilts narrating the stories of Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglas, and the Tuskegee Airmen. A video is available at the exhibition link. Co-organizers are the Cincinnati Museum Center and National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The exhibition will travel to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia, where it will be on view from September 19 through January 1, 2017.

Bruce Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ The work of photographer Lewis Hine (1874-1940) is on view through April 24 at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. The exhibition, "The Likeness of Labor" includes Hine's images of the working conditions of child laborers and complementary photographs by Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, and other photographers who used a documentary style to advocate for social reform.

Lewis Hine Photographs at the Getty MuseumNational Archives, New York Public Library

VMFA on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Drawing on its permanent collection, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, has mounted "Matter and Force", a look at how artists use such materials as clay, dirt, paint, and wood to visually represent the natural world. Works by artists including ceramist John Balistreri, Russell Crotty, and landscape painter Neil Welliver (1929-2005) may be seen through August 7.

Kemper Museum on FaceBook and Twitter

✭ In Santa Fe, the New Mexico Museum of Art plays host to the traveling exhibition "Medieval to Metal: The Art and Evolution of the Guitar", on view through May 1. The show, featuring 40 instruments and a range of photographs and illustrations, examines the art, history, and cultural influence of the guitar. The exhibition is drawn from holdings of the National GUITAR Museum, which is slated to have a permanent home in 2018. The show will travel to Sonoma County Art Museum, Haggin Art Museum, Butler Institute of American Art, and other venues.

National GUITAR Museum on FaceBook and Tumblr

New Mexico Museum of Art on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ Save the Date! Opening April 23 at Marin Museum of Contemporary Art is the 7th Annual Altered Book & Book Arts Exhibition. To run through June 4, the event will feature a live auction of all the artworks. 

Marin Museum on FaceBook

Thursday, March 17, 2016

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Shell Rummel, New Terrain, Watercolor on Paper
6.5" x 7.5"
© Shell Rummel
Used With Permission


I am especially delighted to feature the work of Shell Rummel in today's Artist Watch feature at Escape Into Life.

A fine artist and designer, Shell is a visual storyteller whose distinctive style, characterized by elegant color palettes and fluid lines, is reflected in all her work. Her passion for creating beautiful work and her attentiveness to all aspects of her many product lines has made her not only a favorite of fine art collectors but also a successful brand in home decor, gift, and domestic and international markets.

Today's Artist Watch column features a representative selection of Shell's artwork, her Artist Statement, and a brief biography. Also included are links to Shell's Website and social media sites.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday Artist: Berlinde De Bruyckere

Life is beautiful even if we have to deal with fear and pain.
It makes it easier if we take care of each other and
 if we have a language with each other to communicate
 about pain, suffering and fear.*
~ Berlinde De Bruyckere

Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere is a sculptor with a special interest in the human body and human frailty. Composed of wax, wood, wool, horse hides and hair, fabric, and other media including watercolor and gouache, De Bruyckere's works, including her drawings, challenge our visual perceptions and our notions of beauty and repulsion, strength and fragility. Her "portraits", as she sometimes calls her sculptures, are often profoundly moving evocations of fragmentation and vulnerability, of metamorphosis and transformation, of suffering, and of need for connection. View a selection of images of De Bruyckere's sculptures and installation.

In the video below, the artist talks about her influences, methods, and materials. 

The exhibition "Berlinde De Bruyckere | No Life Lost" runs through April 2 at Hauser & Wirth in New York City. Featured is a series of new works on paper, Met tere huid ("Of tender skin").

My thanks to ArtWay for the link.

Berlinde De Bruyckere at Hauser & Wirth, Hanstheys, Gemeente MuseumSaatchi Gallery

* Quoted from Berline De Bruyckere Education Kit  (pdf) for "We Are All Flesh" Exhibition

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Five Haiku for Spring in Washington, D.C.

a cold front moves through
pink cherry blossoms skitter—
we chide early spring


ice cracks like knuckles
Potomac River chirrups
high spring overflow


Japanese tourists
sip tea under cherry trees
the parade begins


cherry blossoms peak
pink fireworks set off the rush
best view: waterfront


spring season kicks off
pink ties to Japan blossom
it's cherry tree jazz

© 2016 Maureen E. Doallas

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday Muse: 'BaddDDD' Poet Sonia Sanchez

What has given me life has been my poetry. . . .*
~ Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez is a poet, a playwright, an activist, and a scholar and lecturer. Author of more than 16 books, including Morning Haiku (Beacon Press, 2010) and Homegirls and Handgrenades (White Pine Press, 2007; 2nd Ed., 2015), Sanchez also has written children's books, made numerous audio recordings, and edited several anthologies. Formerly Laura Carnell Professor of English and Women's Studies at Temple University, Sanchez has received such prestigious awards as the Robert Creeley Award (2009), the Poetry Society of America's Robert Frost Medal (2001; read "A Poem for Jesse"), and the Langston Hughes Award (1999).

Last week, on March 8, a documentary, BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez (California Newsreel), aired nationally on PBS World Channel America ReFramed. The 90-minute documentary by Barbara Attie, Janet Goldwater, and Sabrina Schmidt Gordon features readings, jazz-accompanied performances of Sanchez's work, and appearances by the late Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni, Ruby Dee, Yasiin Bey, and Ursula Rucker, among others. It's an excellent examination of Sanchez's literary contributions, her social activism (in 2006, she helped organize the "Granny Peace Brigade"), and her leadership, especially in the Black Arts Movement. Here's the trailer, which shows Sanchez performing one of her works:

A slightly longer preview is available at Attie & Goldwater Productions Website.

The film already has received awards at BlackStar Film Festival, African Diaspora International Film Festival, and Pan African Film Festival. It will be screened March 17 at Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, New York; April 1 at Annapolis Film Festival, Annapolis, Maryland, April 2 at Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; and April 4 at Like Jazz Film Festival, Newark Women in Media, East Orange, New Jersey. (See the calendar for additional screenings.)


* Quoted in Cynthia Dagnal-Myron's article "Poet, Activist, Icon Sonia Sanchez: Still 'BadDDD' as Ever", HuffPost Entertainment, March 1, 2016.

Sonia Sanchez on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Read Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn's interview with filmmaker Sabrina Schmidt Gordon at Los Angeles Review of Books, February 15, 2016.

baddDDD Sonia Sanchez on FaceBook

Poetry Society of America Robert Frost Medalists

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Thought for the Day

. . . some of us have to get out there and see things.
~ Clive James 
on Needing to Leave Home to Write*

* Quoted from "Clive James on Dying, Poetry, and the Wonders of the English Language", Part Two of Clive James Conversation with Paul Holdengraber, Lit Hub, March 2, 2016 (Listen to Part One.)

Clive James, Australian Poet, Translator, Essayist, Novelist, Memoirist, Literary Critic 

James published Sentenced to Life (Picador) in 2015.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saturday Short

Today's short, Themes & Variations, created by Ziye Liu, uses 3D animation to transform the work of contemporary artists Yayoi Kusama and Ai Weiwei. The soundtrack also is by Ziye.

My thanks to TED blog for the link.

Ziye Liu Blog