Friday, February 29, 2008

Go, See

Janet Jarman. Matamoros, Mexico, August 1996; color print. Courtesy of Janet Jarman

Maybe it is the big heavy doors, or the silence that greets you when you step into the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, but visiting carriers a certain weighted expectation. On my most recent visit I discovered "Picturing the World" a photographic group show pulled from UNC School of Journalism's alumni. There are pictures there that still haunt my memory. Like an unassuming picture of a building-nothing special until you notice a few small figures falling, then you notice a whiff of smoke and you realize you are witnessing the 9-11 Twin Towers Attack, but without the sound, or fury of the memories we all share as a nation. The scale makes you feel like a god standing next to the building- oh but we could have been god's and caught those poor souls falling like leaves of a pin oak. This picture disturbs me still.......

Then there is the picture above; a beautiful young child, illuminated by the morning's sunlight. But the dirt on her face betrays her as not from our safe, clean suburban world, rather she is a poor child living with her family on an Mexican trash dump waiting for the mornings delivery.

To see this works, like traveling, is to have your heart stretched to new dimensions. Be sure to see it before it closes in April, 2008.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Artist Pair Provokes Thought with New Show

I have admired Juan Logon's work for some time. I remember his abstracted Klansmen images from some years ago- tucking them into my visual memory filed under "respect." Shamefully, I just learned that another artist-friend Susan Harbage Page was married to Juan. Susan and I had met as photography jurors and developed a professional friendship which I also filed under "respect." So it goes without saying that I recommend their concurrent shows of new work at Dalton Downtown Arts Initiative (DDAI) titled Postcards from Home by Susan Harbage Page and Unintended Relations by Juan Logan on display from January 22 - March 14, 2008 at Clinton Jr. College, Dalton Gallery, Dalton, SC. Both artists explore the issue of race and racism from their own unique perspectives - an issue still embedded in the American Psyche. Take a moment to read Duke University Dr. Laurel Fredrickson's essay on their work. Then Go see their work in person and open your own files.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Restless, Searching, Hard Charging Mind

A Moment by Phil Hansen

Phil Hansen is one of the most innovative, hard working, thoughtful artists I have come across in my search for content for this site. Phil has had his 15 minutes of fame on an after-the-news entertainment news show, but his lasting value is in his search for meaning (there is some) and the bounderies of art (there are none.)

Check out his site and take a moment to read the background on each unique piece. While his search for content needs to continue pushing forward, his website and technical ability has arrived and is among the best out there.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Learning to Talk (and listen) Across Oceans

Imagine talking across the English Channel to someone without the use of a land line, cell phone, or satellite phone. This ability has existed since WWII. The Sound Mirror Project is working to make it possible once again.

I found this project on Social Design Site and found it amazing and engaging. I have seen something like this at Discovery Place in Charlotte but never imagined it would work across an ocean.

Wouldn't it be great if these could be constructed across all kinds of barriers and walls to allow people to talk- free and naturally-without censor, cost, or control. I hope this project gets its needed funding. Check out the other projects linked into the small pictures in Social Design Sites Banner.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Like a Time Capsule

Like capsules of lives, the still images of documentaries move across the top of this site, . Pick one and you are likely to see yourself reflected; college lovers learning to be parents, a soldier realing from the after shock of war; middle aged adults caring for a father while their children watch. There is more, much more here. Listen to John Prine and blow up your TV, then turn onto the artists here, people like you and me brave enough to make art from the strings and stuffings of our collective soul.