January 13, 2012

2012 is the year of the renaissance

Posted in Look, Make tagged , at 10:53 pm by onetinyacorn

The New Year always lends itself to both sentimentality and the sense of a fresh start, which I love. Time to take stock, shunt all of the bad stuff, and start anew. A very dear and talented friend of mine and myself have had a trying 2011 wherein neither of us spent much time in our studios. We have declared 2012 the year of the Renaissance—want to join us? Dive in—there’s no better time to start. To a wonderful new year!

Make Art Not War

(Image by Shepard Fairey. Think he’ll sue me? No, I actually love him, litigious hypocrisy aside).

October 28, 2010

Street Art Gallery

Posted in Look, Make tagged , , , at 12:36 am by onetinyacorn

unurth is an amazing gallery of street art. Go ahead and click the link, I’ll wait…

See?!! I think that it’s crazy that people in the U.S. can be arrested for creating works of art like that. Would you rather look at a grey concrete wall, or a gorgeous mural? A lot of this art is created in dilapidated neighborhoods—empty storefronts, boarded-up buildings—that could use some re-invigoration. Issues of community revitalization, giving voice to the marginalized, and the reclamation of space are all touched upon through street art.

September 28, 2009

Roadtrip, Part 2

Posted in Look tagged , , , , , , at 10:36 pm by onetinyacorn

We followed the Mississippi River towards Minneapolis, and stopped at the sculpture garden outside of the Walker Art Center. My favorite work was Dan Graham’s Two-way Mirror Punched Steel Hedge Labyrinth (fourth image): depending on which side you were looking at, you could see other viewers, a reflection of yourself, or a combination of the two in varying levels of translucence. Aside from being a technical marvel, I loved what I perceived to be the commentary on surveillance and self-absorption inherent in the work. Later, I ate the most amazing portobello mushrooms with toasted goat cheese and balsamic vinegar reduction…mmm….

We continued on to Pipestone National Monument, with a lovely walk around the area where Native Americans still quarry for the stone that they use to make pipes. There are offerings of tobacco tied to trees, gorgeous prarie grass, and gorgeous pinkish-red stone walls jutting towards the sky.

November 9, 2008

Artists Image Resource

Posted in Look, Make, Shop tagged , , at 1:20 pm by onetinyacorn

I attended Pittsburgh’s Handmade Arcade yesterday, which is always a fun mixture of art demonstrations, lovely handmade crafts, and yummy baked goods. I was mostly eyeing the practical items–wallets and notebooks, for instance–but I ended up buying a photograph by Jennifer Howison. She turns little wooden finger puppets into a large cast of characters with paint, then photographs them. I had a hard time choosing just one, but settled on the one with whose characters I felt a certain resonance.

See the figure on the far right, the one that looks a little out of place next to the others? That’s me. I mean that in a quirky, good way, not a sobbing-in-a-psychiatrist’s-office kind of way.

Artists Image Resource was there, too, screenprinting postcards and huge copies of the front-page news on the morning that Obama’s election was announced for free! If you’re in Pittsburgh, they have open studio sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. I haven’t been there yet, but they’re a non-profit, artist-run organization that is commited to educational programs. Sweet.

October 28, 2008

"Something Pretty"

Posted in Look tagged , at 7:12 am by onetinyacorn

My very first blog post! I’m coming onto the scene like it’s 1999.

I thought I’d begin this little adventure with a word about the title. Sometimes, when I’m bored and searching on the internet, I just want to find something pretty. Or beautiful, or awe-inspiring. There’s that ache to be inspired, to find something transformative.

If there’s one thing I believe in, it’s the importance of art. There’s a lot to hate about the “art world”, from pretentious gallery shows to gushing, pseudo-philosophical reviews of the same. But too often, I think that art is dismissed as peripheral, superfluous. I need beauty in the world. I am often inspired by non-profit organizations’ use of art as a community-building project, from the neighborhood murals I see here in Pittsburgh, to Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project, to Zana Briski’s project of bringing cameras to kids in Calcutta (documented by the film, Born into Brothels).

I walk home from work a lot, camera in hand. It presents a new way of looking at things: slowly, deliberately. And I notice little pieces of everyday magic. Two recent findings: someone suspended autumn leaves with twigs and copper wire, in a halo around a tree trunk. Another is a mossy staircase leading to a wrought iron gate, covered in leaves. It looked like a portal.

Art is a portal.

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