The British Columbia Lions Society for Children with Disabilities/Easter Seals is in the art news again! This time they are undertaking the Terracotta Warriors Art Project. For me – it’s a perfect opportunity to chase art. The British Columbia Lions Society connects the enjoyment of art with the satisfaction of giving to a worthy cause. They have given us Eagles in the City, Spirit Bears in the City and Orcas in the City. In the past, I had fun chasing animals – now I will be chasing Warriors. You’re invited to join me!
You may recall, my May 11th post – Anonymous. Good new! I chased down the artists. The signage was in front of me all along – just a few yards from the artwork. It was easy to miss, I told myself. What surprised me was that the artwork had been there since 2010. How many times had I walked past without a glance? Which proves my initial premise – chasing art is a delicate business. You must keep your eyes and heart opened to the possibilities that surround us!
Project: Studio in the City – Viewfinder
Installed: May 2010 at Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver, Canada
Lead Artist: James Koester
Chasing Art is a delicate business. You must be on the alert at all times – you never know what you will find “in the bushes.” Today, I found metal work in the midst of greenery. At this point, the artist(s) remains anonymous. The only hint was the phrase “night after night.” The chase continues!
“It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance . . . and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.” Henry James (April 15, 1843 – February 28, 1916)
Henry James may have died in the early part of the 1900’s but his ideas are alive and well, especially in Naples, Italy. Antonio Manfredi of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum has taken matters even further when it comes to defending the art process. He is aggressively protesting government cutbacks and lack of support for the cultural sector. Aggressive is not the word – perhaps forceful, even destructive. He is making a stand by burning art. Media reports state that the only hostages taken are works of art with the blessing of the artists. Séverine Bourguignon’s La Promenade, a floral canvas valued at approximately $9,000 to $13,000 CAD, was the first to burn on April 19, 2012. According to the Guardian, Manfredi has 1000 works which are in jeopardy.
Antonio Manfredi is serious – his establishment, Casoria Contemporary Art Museum (Cam), is in dire need of funds. The Italian government has made difficult fiscal choices. Art and culture are easily sacrificed during times of economic upheaval. But there’s another side. Cam is located in a socially deprived part of Naples. If Cam shut the doors, the whole community would suffer from the closure.
“This is a war. This is a revolution. And in a revolution, there are winners and losers.“
The problem is real and, undoubtedly, there are winners and losers. I do not have any answers but I know that our economic vitality is closely linked and dependent upon our cultural heritage. I hope the burning stops! We need all the art that is created.
What if these paintings had been burned?
Art requires philosophy, just as philosophy requires art. Otherwise, what would become of beauty?
May 1st originated as an ancient spring festival. It is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane, the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night and various other northern European pagan celebrations. As time passed, and Europe became Christianized, May Day transitioned into new traditions. Today, my Metropolitan Museum of Art calendar displayed Gauguin’s A Farm in Brittany 1894. What a great way to celebrate the coming of spring. And coincidentally, a print of A Farm in Brittany has a special place in my kitchen, because the colours and subject matter always lift my spirits.
In the year 1893, Paul Gauguin left the warmth and sunshine of Tahiti to return to France for a two-year stay. This would mark his last visit. Yet it was time well-spent for Gauguin experienced an artistic shift in his work. The summer of 1894, Gauguin traveled to Brittany. Breton culture, with its lingering remnants of a pagan past, pleased Gauguin’s creative tendencies for the primitive and exotic. In A Farm in Brittany, Gauguin applied short, horizontal strokes of paint on the farmhouses, a reminder of his earlier, Impressionist works. The dramatic colours are compelling and striking.
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (June 7, 1848 – May 8, 1903) led a difficult and complex life beginning in Paris and ending in Polynesia. Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne and Vincent Van Gogh were friends and colleagues. Stay tuned for more on the life of Paul Gauguin.
One last note – I have found that The Metropolitan Museum of Art calendar, which is published every year by Workman Publishing Company, Inc. is an essential tool in my art studies.
The art of writing a note begins with the choice of note paper. Stationary stores are a treasure trove of possibilities. Today, I found Pomegranate notes that highlight Romare Bearden, an American painter (1911-1988). These watercolours came toward the end of his life, when he used the lush tropical backdrop and unique cultural attributes of the Caribbean island of St. Martin.