Big Window

a quick glimpse of something beautiful

Street Art for a Cause

Gaia-street-art-audubon-mural-project Endangered Harlem by Gaia, photo by Tara Murray[/caption]

This weekend in NYC my friend AQ and I took a slow bus through Harlem. We got to see some of the endangered bird murals sponsored by the Audubon Society. I’d read about the Audubon Mural Project, but it was fun to search for them out the window of the M4.

Pinyon Jay by Mary Lacy (Audubon street murals)

Pinyon Jay by Mary Lacy (Audubon street murals)

Here’s a story about the project from the New York Times. For a great set of photos by Tara Murray and Lois Stavsky, check out the Street Art NYC blog. The art is done by well-known grafitti artists such as ATM, Gaia, Hitness, and Iena Cruz. The Audubon Mural Project now depicts over 300 species of birds that are identified as either endangered or climate-threatened by the Audubon Society. On their site you can find a map of some of the murals in Upper Manhattan.

Filed under: Art, Current Events, Science, Travel

Next Stop: National Poetry Month

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Maira Kalman designed the 2017 National Poetry Month poster. Get yours on the POETS.ORG site.

April 1st marks the beginning of National Poetry Month. If you’re crazy enough to try writing a poem a day during April, home base for this dizzying enterprise is NaPoWriMo.Net. They will offer writing prompts and encouragement all month long. Write About Now is leading a 30/30 group on facebook with prompts and feedback loops. Other sources of inspiration include:

As you discover other NaPoWriMo 2017 sites, please share them in the comment section, and I will add them to this list.

Filed under: Poetry

Michael Cutlip: Collage with Boing

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Only recently I found the art work of Michael Cutlip. Am flipping over it. He combines collage with a sense of playground.  See his site for much much more. 

Filed under: Art, Web

Begin to See: Photographers of Black Mountain College

Although Black Mountain College no longer exists, the Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center continues to celebrate that unique community of artists in Asheville, NC. A current exhibit, Begin to See, features photography by artists who are best known in other media. The list includes: Josef Albers, Hazel Larsen Archer, Josef Breitenbach, Harry Callahan, Trude Guermonprez, Robert Haas, Clemens Kalischer, Barbara Morgan, Beaumont Newhall, Nancy Newhall, Andy Oates, Robert Rauschenberg, Aaron Siskind, Cy Twombly, Stan VanDerBeek, Susan Weil, and Jonathan Williams. If you’re in Asheville this spring, perhaps check out these related events, as well as the exhibition.

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Filed under: Art, Current Events, Film, Photography, Travel

Look Up, Seattle

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Chromatic Crystalization, Westlake Park, Seattle

 

The bold colors of artist ELIZABETH GAHAN may take spectators by surprise. Chromatic Crystalization is an installation done in 2013 in Westlake Park, Seattle.

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Starting in August 2017, a new exhibit of Gahan’s work will be completed in Auburn, Washington. It will be part of a new public art series called Art on Main.

Gahan has a flare for building with vivid color. Perhaps one could describe her work as the meeting of origami, sculpture, and gigantic hibiscus. For more about the art of Elizabeth Gahan, click here.

Filed under: Architecture, Art, Current Events, Travel

Maureen Drennan

Photographer Maureen Drennan was featured in a recent Huffington Post piece on artists repositioning themselves for the upcoming Trump presidency. I was moved by her strength and faith in the power of the artist.

“I believe the role of an artist is more important than ever and ideally should compel and challenge us to think in different ways. Artists can be powerful dissenters and transgressive to political and societal conventions.

Good art often comes from an uncomfortable place. While it can be painful to explore, the creation and consumption of such art can be very therapeutic. In such a divisive time that we live in, the hardest thing we can do is to show compassion to those in opposition to our beliefs.”

Although Drennan’s art does not read as perhaps obviously political, there is an immediacy and an unapologetic honesty that graces her portraits. She explains,

”I feel enormously privileged to be an artist and to have met and photographed such inspiring people. My goal is to deepen my understanding of other people’s experiences and share those stories with a wide audience. Stories and narrative foster empathy and compassion, something that is sorely needed during this contentious time of anti-immigrant rhetoric. My advice to fellow artists is to not be afraid to explore things that are uncomfortable.”

This year Conveyor Arts published a book of Drennan’s work, the sea that surrounds us, and it is currently in its second printing. Find out more about Maureen Drennan on her website. 

Filed under: Art, Books, Photography

Nina Chanel Abney

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A recent article in the Huffington Post asks 21 contemporary artists what it will be like to be practicing during the Trump presidency. Nina Chanel Abney, whose work already boldly addresses issues concerning human rights, police brutality, and Black Lives Matter, sees the upcoming era as demanding more. Much more. In the interview, Abney asserts:

“Artists should not be safe. We are in the unique positions, through our respective mediums, to elicit a response without using violence or direct action. Why not push the boundaries?”

Abney is know for her courageous confrontations of social injustice. She was refered to as one of the “Next Irascibles” by Paper Magazine. Abney’s first solo show, Royal Flush, opens on Feb. 16, 2017, at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

Filed under: Art, Current Events, Travel, , ,

NYC Recast as a City of Women

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From The New Yorker magazine: What if the New York City subway map paid homage to some of the city’s great women? 

 

I love this map from Rebecca Solnit’s new book, Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas (University of California Press, 2016) which was co-edited by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro. Like so many of life’s most wonderful things, I was made aware of this map by Maria Popova in her blog, Brainpickings. Having read several of Solnit’s books in the past, I’m really looking forward to reading this one, especially since I’ve lived in New York and love it. And of course there’s my love of trains!

If I were still a college professor, I can imagine creating a whole course around this one map. I think it would be the best class ever.

Filed under: Current Events, Design, Travel, Writers

MAYDAY Magazine’s LGBTQ Issue

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The most recent issue of MAYDAY Magazine features LGBTQ poets, writers, and artists. Heartfelt thanks to the guest editors, Chad Dimock and Amy King, for including my poem “The Heights” in this issue.

Filed under: Poetry, Writers, , ,

Entering the Kusama Universe

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This is the last week for Houstonians to go spelunking in the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the MFAH. The show features two of her famous Infinity Rooms, Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity and Love Is Calling. If there’s any doubt about Kusama’s rock star status in the art world, take note of the myriad postings of her social media hashtag, as well as the 24 hour visitation on Saturday. O brave new world!  For more on the Houston exhibit, check out Houston Arts & Culture and the MFAH website.

 

Filed under: Art, Current Events, Travel, , ,

Watership Down

Intrude Installation by Amanda Parer

The rabbits have landed in Houston. These gigantic bunnies are art by Amanda Parer, and they will be up for only one week at 1600 Smith Street, downtown.(Photos by Arie via flickr)

Intrude Installation by Amanda Parer

Filed under: Art, Current Events, Travel,

National Poetry Month 2016

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I’m way behind, but here’s my annual list of daily prompts for National Poetry Month:

Inlandia Institute

NaPoWriMo

Poetic Asides

Found Poetry Review

 

Filed under: Poetry

Punk Trumpet (revised)

googlemagenta-1018122_1920made of magic
magenta-colored plastic

this song
limps with an instep

muscling in the brass
sound with its punk mind-set

I’d say it’s like murder
with an ostentatious backstory

or it’s smashed music
sizzling like an old concept

mashing
to pulp the whittled judicious

biscuits and iconic
red eye gravy.

Filed under: Poetry

Prompts to Fight the Blank Page Freeze Burn

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Here’s a list of sites with prompts to help with NaPoWriMo 2015:

NaPoWriMo

http://www.napowrimo.net/

Found Poetry Review

http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/blog/pomosco-celebrating-national-poetry-month-2015/

Poetic Asides

http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2015-april-pad-challenge-guidelines

30 Day Poetry Challenge

https://www.facebook.com/30dpc

Vince Gotera

http://vincegotera.blogspot.com/

This is a list in progress so please suggest other sites, and I will add them.

Mr. Freeze as he appears in The New Batman Adv...

Mr. Freeze as he appears in The New Batman Adventures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Filed under: Poetry

Who Will Write a Poem a Day for NaPoWriMo 2015?

napowrimoIt’s almost April – once again. And time to face the cruelty known as NaPoWriMo. Who wants to try writing a poem a day starting tomorrow? I’m trying to gather some muster myself. Leave me a link if you’re planning to blog your poems.

Filed under: Poetry

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