Endangered Harlem by Gaia, photo by Tara Murray[/caption]
This weekend in NYC my friend AQ and I took a slow bus through Harlem. We got to see some of the endangered bird murals sponsored by the Audubon Society. I’d read about the Audubon Mural Project, but it was fun to search for them out the window of the M4.
Here’s a story about the project from the New York Times. For a great set of photos by Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky, check out the Street Art NYC blog. The art is done by well-known grafitti artists such as ATM, Gaia, Hitness, and Iena Cruz. The Audubon Mural Project now depicts over 300 species of birds that are identified as either endangered or climate-threatened by the Audubon Society. On their site you can find a map of some of the murals in Upper Manhattan.
Although Black Mountain College no longer exists, the Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center continues to celebrate that unique community of artists in Asheville, NC. A current exhibit, Begin to See, features photography by artists who are best known in other media. The list includes: Josef Albers, Hazel Larsen Archer, Josef Breitenbach, Harry Callahan, Trude Guermonprez, Robert Haas, Clemens Kalischer, Barbara Morgan, Beaumont Newhall, Nancy Newhall, Andy Oates, Robert Rauschenberg, Aaron Siskind, Cy Twombly, Stan VanDerBeek, Susan Weil, and Jonathan Williams. If you’re in Asheville this spring, perhaps check out these related events, as well as the exhibition.
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you are planning to writing a poem a day in April, there are sources of inspiration all around. Starting in the most obvious place, check out the NaPoWriMo site. You will find everything you need to get started. Add your blog to the list of participants and join the community of writers.
There are also poetry prompts being published on blogs across the Internet. Check out:
When stuck (which will be soon enough) I plan to use The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice by Kelly Agodon and Martha Silano (Two Sylvias Press). Feel free to share your fave NaPo links here.
The current exhibit at Rice Gallery is “Garden Object,” an installation by Rosario Hurtado and Roberto Feo, who run a design studio called El Ultimo Grito. The garden they’ve created at Rice is rather otherworldly, as gardens go. Here’s a link to the “making of” video, definitely worth 2 minutes of your day. For more information, including the artistic statement, visit the Rice Gallery site.
In the median of Montrose Boulevard, a colorful tube of art graces my morning drive to work. The tunnel by Patrick Renner stretches a city block in front of the Art League Houston. It’s fun whizzing by this wonder before I’m fully awake.
Starting in September Doug Aitken’s art will take a journey by train. Here’s an excerpt about the project:
Aitken’s Station to Station: A Nomadic Happening tour will travel to 10 different locations by rail on a train the artist himself designed that is intended to be a “kinetic sculpture [that will] act as a cultural studio,” according to an announcement released today. The artist will curate a site-specific event at each of the Station to Station stops thanks to contributions from the likes of experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger, artist Liz Glynn, and digital media artist Aaron Koblin. The tour will also feature music from Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dirty Projectors, Twin Shadow, and Dan Deacon.
If only Houston were one of the lucky cities! So cool. And beautiful.