Look Up, Seattle

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Chromatic Crystalization, Westlake Park, Seattle

The bold colors of artist ELIZABETH GAHAN may take spectators by surprise. Chromatic Crystalization is an installation done in 2013 in Westlake Park, Seattle.

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Starting in August 2017, a new exhibit of Gahan’s work will be completed in Auburn, Washington. It will be part of a new public art series called Art on Main.

Gahan has a flare for building with vivid color. Perhaps one could describe her work as the meeting of origami, sculpture, and gigantic hibiscus. For more about the art of Elizabeth Gahan, click here.

Maureen Drennan

Photographer Maureen Drennan was featured in a recent Huffington Post piece on artists repositioning themselves for the upcoming Trump presidency. I was moved by her strength and faith in the power of the artist.

“I believe the role of an artist is more important than ever and ideally should compel and challenge us to think in different ways. Artists can be powerful dissenters and transgressive to political and societal conventions.

Good art often comes from an uncomfortable place. While it can be painful to explore, the creation and consumption of such art can be very therapeutic. In such a divisive time that we live in, the hardest thing we can do is to show compassion to those in opposition to our beliefs.”

Although Drennan’s art does not read as perhaps obviously political, there is an immediacy and an unapologetic honesty that graces her portraits. She explains,

”I feel enormously privileged to be an artist and to have met and photographed such inspiring people. My goal is to deepen my understanding of other people’s experiences and share those stories with a wide audience. Stories and narrative foster empathy and compassion, something that is sorely needed during this contentious time of anti-immigrant rhetoric. My advice to fellow artists is to not be afraid to explore things that are uncomfortable.”

This year Conveyor Arts published a book of Drennan’s work, the sea that surrounds us, and it is currently in its second printing. Find out more about Maureen Drennan on her website. 

Nina Chanel Abney

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A recent article in the Huffington Post asks 21 contemporary artists what it will be like to be practicing during the Trump presidency. Nina Chanel Abney, whose work already boldly addresses issues concerning human rights, police brutality, and Black Lives Matter, sees the upcoming era as demanding more. Much more. In the interview, Abney asserts:

“Artists should not be safe. We are in the unique positions, through our respective mediums, to elicit a response without using violence or direct action. Why not push the boundaries?”

Abney is know for her courageous confrontations of social injustice. She was refered to as one of the “Next Irascibles” by Paper Magazine. Abney’s first solo show, Royal Flush, opens on Feb. 16, 2017, at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

NYC Recast as a City of Women

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From The New Yorker magazine: What if the New York City subway map paid homage to some of the city’s great women? 

 

I love this map from Rebecca Solnit’s new book, Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas (University of California Press, 2016) which was co-edited by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro. Like so many of life’s most wonderful things, I was made aware of this map by Maria Popova in her blog, Brainpickings. Having read several of Solnit’s books in the past, I’m really looking forward to reading this one, especially since I’ve lived in New York and love it. And of course there’s my love of trains!

If I were still a college professor, I can imagine creating a whole course around this one map. I think it would be the best class ever.

Entering the Kusama Universe

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This is the last week for Houstonians to go spelunking in the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the MFAH. The show features two of her famous Infinity Rooms, Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity and Love Is Calling. If there’s any doubt about Kusama’s rock star status in the art world, take note of the myriad postings of her social media hashtag, as well as the 24 hour visitation on Saturday. O brave new world!  For more on the Houston exhibit, check out Houston Arts & Culture and the MFAH website.

 

Punk Trumpet (revised)

googlemagenta-1018122_1920made of magic
magenta-colored plastic

this song
limps with an instep

muscling in the brass
sound with its punk mind-set

I’d say it’s like murder
with an ostentatious backstory

or it’s smashed music
sizzling like an old concept

mashing
to pulp the whittled judicious

biscuits and iconic
red eye gravy.

Prompts to Fight the Blank Page Freeze Burn

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Here’s a list of sites with prompts to help with NaPoWriMo 2015:

NaPoWriMo

http://www.napowrimo.net/

Found Poetry Review

http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/pomosco-celebrating-national-poetry-month-2015/

Poetic Asides

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2015-april-pad-challenge-guidelines

30 Day Poetry Challenge

https://www.facebook.com/30dpc

Vince Gotera

http://vincegotera.blogspot.com/

This is a list in progress so please suggest other sites, and I will add them.

Mr. Freeze as he appears in The New Batman Adv...
Mr. Freeze as he appears in The New Batman Adventures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where Gaming Meets Poetry

elegy for a dead world

A new video game called “Elegy for a Dead World” takes the gamer on a journey and the result is poetry. The game, developed by Dejobaan Games and Popcannibal Games uses classic poems by Keats and Shelley. Read more about the poetics of gaming on Harriet.

Re-envisioning Cash

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I love this Huffington Post story about graphic designer Travis Purrington, who wondered: what would our money look like if we dropped the dead white guy theme? Here’s a summary of the project:

As part of a master’s thesis design project at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland, Purrington developed new versions of U.S. currency. He based his designs on his study of other world currencies and America’s currency history.

The resulting bills use imagery from the arts, nature, and science. Specifically Purrington samples the DNA helix, farmland, circuit boards, and the art of Alexander Calder. Beautiful!

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Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space

There are so many ways to learn about our world. Take, for instance, Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, an awesome children’s book about the galaxy.

With writing by quantum computer scientist Dominic Walliman and designed and illustrations by Ben Newman, this is a wonderful way to make discoveries. Science should be a revelation of wonders, and this book delivers.

Just to give credit where credit is due, I found this book via Brain Pickings, a blog by Maria Popova that shares super wonderful content on a daily basis.