Friday, October 31, 2008
I was talking to my old friend, Jon Coffelt today. He was one of my early supporters in the books arts. He had the gallery AGNES in Birmingham, Alabama for years. You can read about it in Wikipedia. It was one of the few galleries that collected and showed artists books. What a wonderful place. I flew down, put up my show and had a wonderful visit, way back when. He lives and works in New York City now. He will be having a show here in the spring called COMMUNION. Stay tuned for more info. What I really wanted to tell you is that he has agreed to be the curator for the 10th anniversary of Reader's Art! What a great idea! My early friend and supporter chosing the show. I loved the idea. As we get closer, you will hear more.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
An interview with Minneapolis Sarah Haig about Words Unspoken: breaking the cycle. Sarah recently moved to Minneapolis from upstate New York to pursue and Master of Fine Art degree. The installation will be on exhibit November 7-December 20, 2008 in ArtSpace at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church, 1620 E. 46th St., Minneapolis and part of the show Leap of Faith 4: let peace reign.
Sue: Tell me about Words Unspoken: breaking the cycle.
Sarah: It is a large scale installation that makes visible and present the anonymous words of survivors of abuse.
Sue: What sorts of materials is it made out of?
Sarah: It is sheets of muslin, Plexiglas, photos, drawings and words. The muslin is huge, hung from the ceiling. It was stained, burned, ripped to create the right energy for the words.
Sue: Where did the words come from?
Sarah: The words were anonymously donated by survivors of abuse. I made this while living in a small town in upstate New York, where everybody knew everbody. I put the word out that I was looking for people’s stories.
Sue: Did you advertise? Send emails to groups?
Sarah: No, I just told a few people who told a few people who told a few more. Then I began receiving letters and emails. In the end I received 12 responses.
Sue: Did you edit them?
Sarah: No, I used them exactly as they were written.
Sue: Even the poetry? That was donated?
Sarah: Yes, a surprising number of the responses were in the form of poetry. I wondered if it was somehow easier for some of the people to deal with their experience that way.
Sue: Did you know the respondents?
Sarah: No. It’s a small town, so I could guess…but really, it was an anonymous response. I wanted it to remain that way because, really, the abuser and the abused…they could be anyone.
Sue: What kinds of responses have you gotten to Words Unspoken?
Sarah: The public responses seem to fall into three categories: sympathy with the victims; personally relating to the experience; appalled. Some people just didn’t get it, or were so uncomfortable that all they could do was make a bad joke and leave. But more people came up to me wanting to add their experiences to the show.
Sue: Have you done that? Add their experiences to the show?
Sarah: No, but there is on going work with the show and I do invite anybody to contribute their own stories. I am still in contact with a few people who ultimately identified themselves to me. I started a conversation with one person in particular who is very successful. We are having an ongoing conversation about how overcoming the fear and pain of the abuse has helped and empowered her. I hope to use something from this conversation to supplement the show.
Sue: What do you want people to “bring away” from the show?
Sarah: Mostly I want people to become more sensitized, more aware of the prevalence of abuse. I want people who have not experienced abuse to understand that anyone, and surely someone they already know, has experienced this. And for those who have survived abuse, I want them to understand that they are not alone.
Sue: What are you working on now?
Sarah: Oh I am in the frustrating stage of creativity: gathering information. I have sent letters to 70 shelters asking if I may distribute index cards, soliciting whatever residents or clients of the shelters want to tell me. I don’t yet know what form the art will take…but it will take some form and give some voice to another under-recognized population.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
We will be showing the trailer for Iraq Paper Scissors, a documentary by Sara Nessman during Leap of Faith: let peace reign, opening November 7, 5-9pm.
Paper, Scissors, Iraq follows the transformation from uniform to pulp, from battlefield to workshop, and from warrior to artist.
Filmmaker Sara Nesson documents Iraq War veterans and their transformative involvement with the Combat Paper Project.
We will be showing Combat Paper Portfolio IV as part of the show, as well. Things are shaping up! Stay tuned for more news!
The murals are painted by Sul, the words evidently provided by David.
Monday, October 6, 2008
We here in Minneapolis can get real hot under the collar about politics. We really like the candidates we like. We really believe in helping one another. The ideal combination of grass roots and gentle governance seems to be what we seek. In that spirit, the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization supports and assists homeowners and renters in many ways. One of the ways has been their support of Elise Kyllo's work with residents. For the past two years Elise, with neighborhood support, warm bodies, paint brushes and free paint from Valspar, has been muraling oft graffitied walls. That's Elise in the green sweater, more or less free of paint. Saturday night, gallery supporters and mural participants came from far and wide to celebrate her contribution to the livability of this neighborhood, to look at the slide show of her murals, to look at All Things Electoral, drink locally brewed beer and to eat the 10 pizzas donated by the Chatterbox Pub .
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The artists for Leap of Faith: Let Peace Reign have been chosen. Although the show does not open until November 7, you can begin to get an idea of who's who by checking out their websites.
James Michael Lawrence
You will also notice, in the side bar, that the great podcast experiment has begun. There are 2 audio segments. One is the first actual podcast, an interview with James Leonard about his WAR BONDS performance. The other audio is the audio from my show, JUST LOOKING. The script for JUST LOOKING was developed from a nationwide survey of retail looking behavior. The performers are Susan Hensel, Tom Cassidy, Mark Carlson, Sandy Beach and Alison Morse. Enjoy, and rest assured that the audio quality will improve as our equipment improves.