Friday, July 31, 2009

See video of GRAFFITI opening

Tonight's opening at ARTSPACE was eye popping color dynamite for a delighted large crowd: the artworks are so good; some pieces by ELSE and PUBERT are marvelously site specific. They seem to have enjoyed their time in our city. The works from the TimeOut gallery also on display showed various styles of this art from tagging to portraiture. The third floor's photography exhibits were also well done and well received. I especially appreciated how the photographer of Banksy's work not only showed an enlargement of his work but also a photo of the site itself. Silva's photos are always special and those of Memphis graffiti in this group were eye catching. I confess that I just didn't sit and watch Robert Trudeau's documentary...perhaps because I was having trouble catching the narrative amidst the noisy I'll return and do that plus take a closer look at the graffiti that the Artspace patrons added to the "brick wall", look at the special jewelry in Giftspace, and enjoy the vibrant colors of the exciting, well executed art pieces.

I did shoot some video with my Flip type camera and uploaded it to YouTube: "Graffiti at ARTSPACE" is the title; or look at "artsmaven75". The above photos show my attempt to graffiti with acrylics the toy car I gave to Dr. Tobin Grigsby, the Graffiti show sponsor.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

GRAFFITTI at Artspace

Tomorrow, Friday pm, Graffitti will open at Artspace. Artists, ELSE and PUBERT are featured along with thier local Job Corps team whom they mentored these past 2 weeks. Megan Clark and Josh Porter have set their works in an interesting pseudo-urban environment. After hearing the panel discussion upon the artists' arrival, I'm looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labor. Please join us on Friday night and bring your friends to experience this artform that is now entering the mainstream via advertising media and film, et al that has recently been celebrated at formidable art institutions such as the Tate Modern.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Graffitti artists: ELSE & PUBERT

When you're involved in something, you become aware of it everywhere. The Exhibition committee has been talking "graffitti" for months, and on my recent trip to France, I found myself evaluating the graffitti found mostly in the larger cities. The above delightful work was on a river wall in Rouen.
On Tuesday night, I was fascinated by the vast amt. of information given by the Graffitti show panelists: ELSE, PUBERT (the artists in residence), a photographer who tried to photograph the graffitti artist, Banksy's, work in post-Katrina New Orleans and told us of the "grey ghost" who covers up this kind of work with an ugly gray splotch, w. Robt. Trudeau's tales of finding local graffitti and his introduction of a local graffitti artist.
After the discussion, I was asked whether I really thought graffitti was "art" and should be in a gallery. I believe it has more credibility when site specific, and the work being done here is specific to the Artspace gallery. As for it as an "art", its being created by people who consider themselves artists, so its art. Graffitti to me reflects the way many young people view their environment, their life situations. I see "tagging" as their way of making a mark on this world, of saying I'm here, look at me. As an Exhibition Comm. member, I think we have 2 kinds of shows: those that offer glimpses of where we've been, and those that try to peer into the future. I'm not sure which "Graffitti" is as I'm sure somewhere youngsters are again creating a new and different artform that reflects their experiences, different from those of these artists.

Helen Brown

Last Tuesday, Ira and I attended funeral services at First Presbyterian in Shreveport for Helen Brown. Her son Jim's eulogy was so perfect, and seeing his daughter Campbell with her children, the other handsome family members as well, made me think of how proud, and rightfully so, Helen was of her family.
I have great memories of Helen and especially treasure the many voyages to Europe and the Caribbean that we shared w. her and Jim. Though Jim had had bypass surgery, he and Helen were game for anything...we'd often wander with them through a city discovering museums and palaces not in the guidebooks. We'd be seated for dinner at large tables and Helen in her wonderful way would plumb everyone's life histories, and they'd be totally charmed and delighted by her interest. With Helen present, conversation flowed easily.
She was in many ways my role model as a lady who not only guided and supported her family, but also interacted with her community and friends in ways that promoted mutual growth. She was open to new possibilities, yet treasured tradition. She will be missed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Visiting Provence and Normandy

Shot too many photos w. my new camera, but there was so much visual manna that I was greedy. The above are Ira's photos taken in the Ardeche and St. Remy. Provence photos are really drenched w. sunshine though I used a 200 ISO most of the time...the whites and yellows are blinding, the shadows so deep. Its been taking all my Photoshop skills and heaps of time to work on them. So many Roman and medieval sites to see, as well as a visit to St. Remy and the hospital, St. Paul de Mausole, to enjoy Van Gogh's environment...what a thrill to stand in his bedroom, look out that barred window. Art therapy is a part of the treatment that the present patients are given.

We left the Princesse de Provence after a week on the Saone & Rhone, and traveled via TGV to Paris to board the Cezanne, moored on the Seine near the Eiffel Tower. Loved the train; it was smooth, fast, quiet as it moved through fields of rape, wheat, some lavender, sunflowers, etal. How I wish we had train service easy and comfortable to get from one locale to another.

As we sailed up the Seine through Normandy, the grapevines disappeared, and fruit trees were in the landscape, and we had short, sudden downpours of rain nearly every day. I guess its like English weather... We were atop a high hill, exploring the ancient Chateau Gaillard, when one storm hit and we not only put on our rain parkas but also huddled in a covered passageway leading to a keep. Ira had short bursts of rain when he visited Omaha and Utah beaches and the sad sight of the vast American cemetery, so big that one end can't be seen from the other end.

We're disappointed that this German riverboat co. that we've been booking ourselves and clients with is ceasing operations after 2009. We enjoyed its very European style and pace and will miss the talented professional staff aboard each of the 4-5 boats we've been on.