Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Alternative Exhibition Spaces (Artists Keep Inventing)

One of Richard Shelton's paintings, on large pieces of destructed buildings. At Temporary Space LA.
It’s no longer news that San Francisco is becoming more and more inhospitable to artists and other members of the working class. Many of us are leaving. The rest are scrambling, praying, and looking for new ideas. Dave & I started a public exhibition space in our living space. (Not a new idea, but not especially common either.) It’s just a stop-gap, until we find a more compatible community, which for us is probably going to be Los Angeles. 

Gallery visitor with iPad for enhanced viewing (point it at the art and it gives you more info on the piece, including preliminary drawings.) Work by Richard Shelton. At Temporary Space LA.

On a recent scouting mission to LA, we stumbled across an art opening at Temporary Space LA, which is (temporarily) at 5522 Wilshire Blvd. There was coffee, live music, and a big solo show of work by Richard Shelton. Temporary Space, like BigCrow, is about “creating an alternative art economy.” How refreshing! They were also started by artists, in this case Richard Shelton & Stacie Meyer. Unlike our invitational group shows, they are doing solo shows by mid-career artists and they have some cool tech-assisted art-viewing ideas that I’ve never seen before. They also encourage and facilitate direct collector to artist communication.

Gallery visitors at Temporary Space LA. Works on paper by Richard Shelton.
The best part of the experience for us (David W. SumnerPamela A. HeydaJohn W. Wall, and yours truly) was the enthusiastic response from the gallerists when they found out we were artists from SF. We were welcomed, given freebies, invited to submit, and encouraged to move down to LA. 

Wow. OK. We’ll be back.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Met launches 'The Artist Project,' a new online video series

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today the launch of a new online video series, The Artist Project, in which 100 artists respond to works from The Met’s vast collection, which spans more than five millennia and cultures throughout the world. Beginning March 2015, for one year, the Met will invite 100 artists—local, national, and global—to choose individual works of art or galleries that spark their imaginations. In this online series, artists reflect on what art is, what inspires them from across 5,000 years of art, and in so doing, they reveal the power of a museum and The Met. Their unique and passionate ways of seeing and experiencing art encourage all museum visitors to look in a personal way.

Trailer here:

Over the course of five seasons, The Artist Project  will share the perspectives of one hundred artists with the public, telling us what they see when they look at The Met.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pi Day and St. Patrick's Day Parade

The weekend has something for everyone:

For the non-math types among us, Pi Day is the annual celebration of the mathematical constant that’s the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, or 3.14. So, every March 14, museums around the Bay Area host Pi Day-themed celebrations; this year, you’ll find parties at the Exploratorium and Mountain View’s Computer History Museum.

 If that’s not your scene, head to Mission Pie, which will sell slices for $3.14 on Saturday, or to the SoMa StrEat Food Park, which hosts the Pi Day Puzzle Party at 7 p.m.

The weekend and St. Patrick's Day Events:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

'Letters to Afar' at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Entering the darkened gallery at the Contemporary Jewish Museum where “Letters from Afar” is showing is like entering a time capsule made up of your grandfather’s home movies.   Young girls with 20’s bobbed hair smile at the camera, another young woman applies makeup. Young men pose in front of a car, children tumble out of school, full of life and mischief. Other images portray the traditional world of the Hasidim and the Shtetl – men wearing the top hats and the forelocks of Orthodox Jews. The clips recall the tumbledown wooden houses and synagogues of impoverished shtetls and their threadbare residents.

 One film was made by the great Yiddish linguist Alexander Harkavy, who came to the city of Nowogrudok (now in Belarus) to document how the money raised by his landsmanshaft — a hometown organization abroad — was being spent on orphanages, hospitals, and schools.

These amateur movies, were made in the 1920’s and 1930’s, were shot by American Jews returning to their Polish homeland to visit friends and family. What makes the images almost too painful to watch is the knowledge that a decade or two later, those who remained in Poland would be dead.

These people, excited to see a relative from America and delighted by the new found ability of the camera to capture images on film, have no idea of what awaits them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

'Seduction: Japan's Floating World,' now open at the Asian Art Museum

“Seduction: Japan’s Floating World,” works from the John C. Webber collection, now open at theAsian, brings you all the glitz, glamour, drama, eroticism and entertainment of Edo Japan. Fifty works from ukiyo to kimonos to scrolls to objects d’ art allow us to enter this world of sex for sale - delightful, deceptive, decorative and for most of the women involved in the sex trade, exploitative and ultimately tragic.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Spare a rose, save a child

Buying a dozen roses is a traditional way many people say "I love you" for Valentine's Day. But what if that token of affection also meant saving the life of a child with diabetes?

For the first time this year, it does! All you have to do is be a part of a new grassroots effort called "Spare a Rose, Save a Child."

A small group of our friends in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) came up with an idea to use social media for a bigger "social good" and help make a difference, and it's caught on like wildfire not only in the DOC but also across broader health communities.

The idea is simple: instead of buying the typical "dozen roses" that's so popular on Valentine's Day, you buy 11 (which is still romantic, we promise!). Then, you donate the value of that single extra flower to help a child with diabetes in the developing world. Your loved one still gets flowers, and you both show some love to someone who needs it.

Seriously, it's THAT easy!

Of course, there's nothing that says you can't donate more than just the cost of a rose! That's just a starting point.

What's the value of a rose, by the way? Well, it varies depending on where you live and the type of store you're buying from, and it costs a little more right now due to V-Day inflation, but generally it costs anywhere from $2-$7.

Your donation goes to the International Diabetes Federation's Life For A Child program, which processes contributions and sends them to established diabetes centers for ongoing clinical care and diabetes education these children need to stay alive.

The cost of a single rose is more than enough to make a difference, IDF reports. Just $1 a day provides a child with:

regular insulin
quality blood glucose monitoring equipment (meter, strips, lancets)
essential clinical care
up-to-date diabetes education materials
specialized diabetes training for medical staff

On Twitter, the hashtag for this effort is #sparearose.

The American Diabetes Association is doing a flower-related effort of its own for Valentine's Day, using TrialPay as a way for flower-buyers to donate $18 of the total purchase price to the ADA.