Sunday, January 25, 2009

Playing for Change!

President Obama is not the only agent of change. Artists worldwide like these good people from Playing for Change - Peace Through Music are binding together to become an upstoppable force for a better world. While you listen to this wonderful song, think about the possibility for good that our world village can now accomplish. Then, find a way to add your voice! Stop watching the news and worrying! Stand up and make something for PEACE, JUSTICE, and a BETTER FUTURE. The momentum is there- join it!

Heres is a Bill Moyer's interview with PFC founder Mark Johnson on this Project.

Great Resource for Obscure Films from Europe

Check out this great online resource for European Film called Europa Film Treasures. What a well of inspirational resources for our new media artists!

First National Teaching Artist Research Project

Do you teach art? If so, join this research project from the University of Chicago. Here more information from the press release I received:

If you are a teaching artist in any discipline (visual arts, music, dance, theater, writing, etc) or manage teaching artists, register for the First National Teaching Artist Research Project at

The Obama campaign pledged to advance arts education and to create an ArtistsCorps, and that means the coming years will be important for teaching artists. What we learn through this study will help assure that new policies and practices create meaningful opportunities and real support for artists who do extraordinary work but who have rarely been recognized. Whether you teach in a school or a community site (a church, a prison, acommunity art center, a youth or social service agency or a street corner), what ever your art form, whether you teach adults or children, we want to learn about your experience. The more artists we include in this research, the more inclusive, accurate, and helpful the study will be.

This study focuses on teaching artists who live or work in the metro areas of Boston, Providence, or Seattle, in Chicago, and in these California communities -- the Bay Area (Alameda and San Francisco Counties), Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz, Salinas, Bakersfield, and Humboldt County. So, if you're a teaching artist, or if you run a program that hires teaching artists, and live or work in one of our study site areas, please use the above link to sign up!

Even if you are not a teaching artist, everyone can help us by forwarding this email to all of your contacts who are.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or ideas of ways that we can reach out to more teaching artists. All those who complete the survey will be given a free CD of two amazing stories about teaching artists from Ira Glass' radio program 'This American Life'.


Nick Rabkin

Teaching Artist Research Project

NORC at the University of Chicago

1155 E. 60th St.

Chicago, IL 60637

House Made of Stone Stands to Help Those Who Help Others

Tina Firesheets, News and Record reporter, has a new story out The Stone House, a retreat in Mebane, NC created for community activists and others. Check out the story online.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Almost as Good as Obama's Speech

My son just shared this video with me. It's by Brett Dennen. The song is called "Ain't No Reason" off of his album So Much More. It's powerful. Listen to the lyrics carefully and watch the video all the way through.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Andrew Wyeth Passes

Andrew Wyeth has died at age 91. I just looked through a wonderful book on his art and noticed how he created so much over the 1940s to the 1990's. His work remained consistent and has a timelessness to it. I remember looking at an 8MM film on his work in Junior High School. As a kid, he was the second artist I fell in love with after Norman Rockwell.

This painting of his is at the NC Museum of Art and shows a young boy running down a hill. It was painted after the death of his father, N.C. Wyeth. I have been told the hill represents his father. I connect with this work having lost a father, step-father, and grand-father - all men who meant a great deal to me. I know the loss his family is feeling. His work remains on many a wall, but more importantly in the hearts of minds of so many.

I raise my brush in silent tribute to a great artist.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's the message that matters not the medium

This video reminds me of my childhood when I made dioramas and played with that oily clay. Take a moment from your busy life to enjoy this quiet song by the Weepies and this imaginative claymation.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Simply Put: Art is the Cure

Rich, a young British artist, has started a movement with the simple but profound statement: Art is the Cure. Being creative helped save him from the darker demons and as he shared this fact he has found others who it has helped as well. Check out his website and consider buying one of his t-shirts or joining his facebook group.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Put this on your new year's resolution list

Found this on Eric Wilson's blog Artevist. Worth Sharing

Student Participants Needed for Project on Cluster Bombs

"Landmine" by Bill Fick

THE CLUSTER PROJECT is an online collaborative art exhibition that surveys the social, historical, financial, and technological underpinnings of cluster bombs. The web exhibition will display some 22 installations (or rooms or bomblets) made by a variety of artists using animation, illustration, photography, video and other techniques.

For one of the works called WHAT THE PEOPLE KNOW, we invite teachers to help us involve student artists and journalists from around the country in interviewing citizens in their communities.

While the United States has traditionally manufactured, sold and used the great bulk of cluster bombs around the world, it’s citizenry knows virtually nothing of the weapons, nor does it want to know. It is this combination of complicity and ignorance that The Cluster Project seeks to confront.

One of the works in the project, What the People Know, involves student media-makers questioning people in their communities. These will be simple man-in-the-street interviews in which subjects are
asked, “What is a cluster bomb?” They are then invited to discuss whatever they know about cluster munitions. The resulting material will then be sent to The Cluster Project where it will be collected and brought together in an exhibition installation.

Our goal is to gather responses from all fifty states.

For university teachers of video production and related subjects, this assignment can take as little as a single class period. We will help provide information for the classroom context that explains both the nature of cluster munitions and the aims of this project. We will also include a brief protocol for the production shoot including the required questions and issues regarding location and approach.

Students from any discipline can participate, but they must have access to video and audio equipment and have a basic knowledge of field production.

All collaborators and institutions involved in the project will be credited.

Students participating in What the People Know should benefit from their collaboration in a national art project, their practical
experience in the documentary tradition and a greater awareness of their nation’s role in the use, sale and development of dangerous weapons.

Contact either Erich Woodrum or Bob Paris below:

Erich Woodrum, producer of What The People Know,

Bob Paris, director of The Cluster Project (and Assistant Professor in Kinetic Imaging at VCU’s School of the Arts in Richmond, VA),


Too much coffee mixed with a powerful movie on the transience of life ( Benjamin Button) caused me to stay awake all night last night. In the middle of these episodes of insomnia, I often despair about growing old and useless. This morning's light brings to me a story in the paper on Joshua Silver, a grey beared physicist, who has invented a way to bring affordable prescription grade eye glasses to the poor around the world. By self-injecting small amounts of silicon into the lenses, these glasses can be adjusted by the wearer. Wow! Hundreds of thousands of these have already been distributed worldwide. The US military have bought thousands to give away in Africa. His business, Adaptive Eye-care is selling these glasses at about $19.

Whenever I get down- like last night- something like this comes along to remind me that one is never too old to make a difference in the world. Maybe I am biased but I also believe the creative mind, put to work for good, is the antidote for many late night despairs. Except for opthomologists, billions more worldwide will live (and sleep) better because Joshua Silver believed an idea could make the a better place.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hope Man Peace Man Blog

You may have heard of this blog written by one man in Gaza and another just outside in Israel, they call themselves Peace Man and Hope Man respectively. Peace man is trapped amid the violence in Gaza. Their blog was featured on NPR yesterday. Here is a link to the blog. Be sure to see the earlier post here on the Arte.TV site that shows life on both sides through video and interviews.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bail Out Biennial Opens Jan. 16th

LINCOLN (blood currency portait) by Severn Eaton

The first (and perhaps only) biennial to address the current economic "crisis" or "scandal," the 700+ billion dollar bailout, capitalism, global economy, postindustrialism,greed and profit. Organized by elin o'Hara slavick and Jeff Waites
with special thanks to Nancy Kitterman. Housed in a big empty space with high ceilings and tall windows surrounding
the room, Bail Out Biennial is located in downtown Durham – a post-industrial city that is struggling to revitalize itself in the midst of a global economic meltdown. The exhibition is free. Artists pay for their own shipping. Unlike
most biennials, this one was put together quickly from a simple call for submissions, has no budget, and will require plywood sheets to be screwed into the existing wooden pillars from the old tobacco pouch production factory to
make walls for all the art. Speaking of the art, 26 artists were selected for Bail Out Biennial, representing
10 states and 4 countries. The work includes: giveaway spoofs on previous biennials and Duchamp – free bail out bonds and pins that state how much each of us is paying for this bail out, $2,296.84; the story of shrimp and how this
luxury item becomes a common commodity on our tables; dot matrix portraits of the men on our paper money, made from the artist's blood; large color photographs of found rainbows, minikins, homeless people holding what they
keep, demolition derbys, empty condos and undeveloped gated communities; paintings of pennies from heaven, a gargantuan pig, communist and capitalist symbols on paper plates, wringing hands, dead powerful men; and more.
How can and do we respond to the economic, political and social world around us as artists at a time of heightened frenzy and pending doom? Can art shed some light on the current situation or poke some holes in the dull screen of it
all? Can we make beauty out of nothing, humor out of tragedy, critical understanding out of superficial materials, a sense of wonder, purpose or awe out of crumbs? Can these works compel viewers to action in order to begin shift towards a new and different economy of desire, cooperation, and possibilities?

Show runs January 16 - March 15, 2009

OPENING RECEPTION Friday, January 16, 6 – 9 pm

Open Monday - Saturday 10am - 6pm and Sunday 12-5pm or by appointment 967-7700

Lauren Adams, Becca Albee, Joshua Bienko, Clare Britt, Ann Chwatsky, María DeGuzmán,
Severn Eaton, Lorena Endara, Paul Evans, Peter Eversoll, Cathryn Griffin, Michael Itkoff,
Andrew Johnson, Geoffrey Owen Miller, Susan Mullally, Shaw Osha, Conor Peterson, elin
o'Hara slavick, Susanne Slavick, Hiroshi Sunairi, David Tinapple, Julie Thomson, Paul
Valadez, Stacy Waddell, Jeff Waites, Karen Frimkess Wolff
At Golden Belt, 807 East Main Street, Durham, NC 27701, Building #2
Questions? eoslavic at

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Went fishing.... caught database!

Being totally exhausted today from the last three days of physical work, I went "fishing" online for new art and activism resources ( Yes, I am total bore.) and man did I catch a big one. It is a database of resources for groups and individuals working all around the world on art that has a goal of social change. Put together by the International Centre of Art for Social Change, this database is worth reviewing.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Join our Face Book Group

I have gained so much support from this blog over the last year. My sense of isolation as an activist artist has been erased and replaced with motivation after discovering all the wonderful efforts of other artists. I want to expand that experience to other artists by starting a face book group that will allow like minded artists and creative types an opportunity to network, offer support, and give free brainstormings. Here is the direct link: I am not sure it will work unless you are signed in to face book. If not, just search "Make Art Like You Care" on Face book and join the group.

Here to a year filled with new possibilities.

Time to wake up and see past the dead zone.

The news of bombs coming in to and out of Gaza is everywhere. I think we in the West have developed a dumb ear and blind eye to the suffering from this part of the world. We seem to think that it has always been so and always will be so.

Enter from France and GazaSderot. Through interviews with everyday people living in Gaza and in Sderot -just next door to Gaza but in Israel, they are attempting to surpass the dead zone created by the same old news. Their broadcasts have been watch worldwide. Even more importantly they have been seen in both the Gaza and Sderot communities and have been for some the first time they themselves have seen past the news and rhetoric. Take a moment to watch these broadcasts. was filming right up until the current explosion of conflict.

If we are to make the world a better place we must first open our eyes and engage our minds to the suffering around us and end the dead zone that begins first in our minds and hearts. It is from this internal dead zone that all the rest springs. These videos provoke us to let in the light