If you haven’t yet heard about it, our friend Jennifer has put together a wonderful exhibition called Exposing Scars. It opens this week at the Women’s Museum of California in Liberty Station. Please join us (if you can) on Friday night for the opening!

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Links:

http://artinspireschange.blogspot.com/

Hey all…

I have been gone for a little while (online) though I have been here. Consider it a little summer break, perhaps? More than anything, it has been the work of conviction in my life. I wrote a little about it here:

Angry

I hope you are challenged and encouraged! And I am planning to get back into regular posts next week.

I missed the day yesterday, even though I had plenty of time to post. Oh well.

First off, thanks again to everyone who came to the Arts Fellowship on Tuesday night! It was a great discussion about identifying as an artist, and I believe we only scratched the surface on that one. If I ever get to artist interviews (someday) I will ask this question over and over – “Do you call yourself an artist, why or why not?”

I also want to encourage everyone to take some time in the next month to do some “breathing exercises.” That means get away from all that distracts you, get to a place that inspires and refills you, and don’t forget to saturate yourself in the type of art you want to make.

Lastly, to add yet another really cool set of art pieces made from paper, here is a video about artist and professor Eric Standley (from Virginia Tech). Thanks once again to the Colossal art blog for highlighting this to me. And I have to admit, I now want a laser paper cutter.

 

 

 

 

The weather is staying warmer outside (though it is still pleasant), so why not a little winter here at the end of July? The video linked below by Vimeo poster Ivanov Vyaceslav) shows the creation of snowflakes under a microscope. Beautiful!

LINK

Continuing our journey into winter, how about an igloo? But not just a regular igloo, but a wonderfully colorful igloo from Canada. Thanks to Brigid Burton of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and her daughter Kathleen Starrie and boyfriend Daniel Gray, this beautiful creation was made:

More photos of the igloo can be found here.

 

This Wednesday a slight departure…

I heard this yesterday morning and I was touched, especially by the last narrative song called “Waiting on June” (listen in to about 7:30). Holly Williams is the grand-daughter of Hank Williams and is (obviously) a country style singer. Generally I am not the biggest country music fan (sorry), but this singer-songwriter performs in such a candid and intimate way here that I completely forgot about genre. And the lyrics, the rhymes and inside rhymes, are beautiful!

Thanks to NPR for hosting and posting this, and I hope that it encourages everyone, especially those who are married!

Link to Video

Link to Download Audio

 

I know, you are asking yourself a number of questions. I have heard of this thing called Google Glass, but now Google is taking on another material? Are these the cheaper version for the masses? And what does this have to do with art?

When I learned about this project I wondered many of the same things. And then I became intrigued. And then I wanted to know the potential use for us, the artists of this latest digital age. So here is a brief synopsis – Google engineers wanted to put Virtual Reality (VR) into the hands of more people. Most people are either 1) not interested or 2) not interested in spending a lot of money. The concept is to create VR goggles (if you will) that can be made for, say, around $10. How? By using cardboard…and a couple of other items, most important of which is a smart phone.

The intriguing part of this approach is that they have created an open-source type phone application specifically made for people to play around with. Obviously this would be great fun for anyone into video games desiring to step into them. But what if….we visual artists took control.

Paintings could become experiences.

Movies could be completely interactive.

Music could add a visual journey.

Poets could read their poetry to their readers as close to in person as possible.

Now you are asking if I have gone mad? Perhaps. But it does make you wonder about the future of the art world and where it can go. All photos above are directly from Google’s website. Here is the link…

On another note, has anyone seen this Kickstarter campaign? I suppose having a bunch of these digital art displays would make changing the gallery around much easier.

Wonder Wednesday: The Fox’s Den

Alright, I will admit it. I love paper. If it isn’t a trend thus far on the blog it will be apparent after a year or so. I am always amazed at what artist’s can do with paper and bending, folding, wrapping, and gluing. This is another spectacular example of what can be done.

These photos are of a series of window displays the life of a fox, or, as the artist describes it, the fox moved into the store windows. The fox itself is made from leather, but everything else is paper. Wow.

The artist is Zim & Zou, a French Design Studio made up of Lucie Thomas and Thibault Zimmermann. Here is a link to their website and here is a link to the project on Behance. They operate out of Nancy, France. The above photos are by Nacho Vasquero.

Wonder Wednesday: Degenerate Art

While expanding their empire in Europe, the Nazi party regularly collected famous works of art from museums and governments, as well as from the Jewish people that they moved and later imprisoned. Much of the art of the time period was influenced by ideas that are now commonplace in art; expressionism, dadaism, abstraction, the Bauhaus movement, anything having to do with jazz. The Nazis affiliated the popularity of these movements with the Jewish art salesmen of the time, equating them to lesser forms and more debase behavior.

Modern art was perceived by many of the Nazi leadership as “degenerate,” or not representative of the ideals of the Aryan race. The regime created a large exhibit to shame and ridicule these works of art, to bring the public in line with their views. It traveled throughout the Nazi territory crammed into tight spaces and overrun with people. In fact it was one of the most scene art exhibits of all time. And after the exhibit was through, the Nazi leadership sought to destroy many of these works and many others that were never displayed.

The Neue Galerie in New York is currently hosting an exhibit to present the subject called “Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937.” Images from the gallery give a sense for what was lost and what it was being replaced with. One room features empty frames for works that were destroyed, along with some images of what they might have been. In another room the large works favored by the Nazi’s are arranged in such a way as to overshadow the degenerate art crowded into the corners. It is a sobering reminder of how culture can be commandeered, altered, and destroyed at the hands of leaders.

It  is a wonder to me this Wednesday that we have the freedom to create and express without anyone threatening to remove our works of art. At the same time, we as Christians can be quick to label or reject art from our culture. Would we, if given the power, label the works of art in our culture in the same way the Nazis did? Does it make you as uncomfortable as me that my answer to that question is “I’m not sure”?

Art is an amazing piece of communication, a representation and an idea at once. As leaders in our spheres of influence, in the realm of art that we encounter, how can we be ambassadors for God and engage with the art? Do we ask the deeper questions about what the art is and why it’s in favor before we judge it? Does that give some insight into why our culture feels about the church the way it does?

Beloved art community, we have a difficult calling; to at once love and act righteously, to call for repentance while we repent, and to make sure that no one walks away from us not knowing the almighty love, grace, and power of God. Have you been critical and negative when you were called to be kind and patient? Let’s all ask for forgiveness and for the perspective of God – to love the creators around us the way our Creator does.

If you are interested, here is a not so great version of a documentary about Degenerate Art from an exhibit at LACMA in 1993: