Friday, February 29, 2008

Crashing SWAN Day

Well here I was pondering how to start this blog when the door bell rang! It was my friendly UPS lady, who my dog (Crash, who crashed into our lives about 8 years ago, pictured here in a goofy "clown" outfit I brought him for Halloween) just adores. And a quick note for other costume-crazy dog owners, the hat would not stay on his head.
  • What she had for me was the two SWAN Day T-shirts that I ordered! What is Swan Day? It's a project of another organization that I belong to - The Fund For Woman Artists. They decided that women artists don't get much respect or money, which is so very true, so we need a day to celebrate them - Swan Day - Support Women Artists Now, which is March 29th this year. YOu can get more info if you go to this website: http://www.womenarts.org/swan/
What can YOU do for SWAN Day? They have all sorts of ideas on the website, including this one - send a woman artist a check! We'd all like that thank you very much!! I think I'll see if my female artist friends could join me for lunch and I'll pick up the tab! Who says there's no free lunch? OK, OK, it will be free for them but not for me. Maybe the old saw should be restated as "There's no free lunch if you're picking up the tab."
  • But speaking of tabs, if you have weekend plans, include the arts in them. Go see a play put on by local actors, go to a gallery to see work by local artists, go listen to local musicians play and/or go to a poetry or literary reading. We need to support our local artists in whatever media they work in our communities.
If you're in Sacramento, go see The First Thread, BPP's new, totally awesome show at California Stage (behind the gray fence at 25th & R Sts). It's truly an amazing theatrical experience - a movement play without any words. Check out the website here: www.beyond-pro.org. Other shows that have gotten good word of mouth is the production of Bus Stop at the Actor's Theatre of Folsom directed by my friend Maggie Upton. Then there's the wacky Moliere play that's performed in French in Act 1 and then in English in Act 2 produced by California Stage at The Space.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Art & Words

I can't believe that February is almost gone - just 5 more days left. But then again there's much in this wide world that I can't believe - organized religions, most politicians, what passes for popular culture on TV and at the movies. Speaking of which I hold the distinction of NOT seeing any of the movies nominated for the Oscars! But at least last night I was at the font of pop culture watching part of them on TV. I freely admit that I'm more of a fashion hound than a movie lover, so seeing what costumes are being worn is half the fun for me!
  • and now in a complete 180, let's blog about words and art. There is an excellent yahoo group called Digital Fine Art group from whom I get a daily digest. The recent thread on it has been about words and art. How words can be used strictly as "part" of the art, used chiefly as part of the structure of the piece or how words can be used in a more illustrative manner in art work. Being both a writer and a visual artist, it makes perfect sense to me!
then I stopped to think how I've used words in artwork in both ways. Here is a piece based on a PR photo I shot for Beyond the Proscenium Productions for our production of Richard Foreman's Symphony of Rats. I knew that the local papers wouldn't print something so "arty", and so big thanks to the two actors in the photo from left to right: Jessica Pierce and Blair Leatherwood. But then there are times when I don't want the viewer to read all the words, but just want the words to echo a theme or suggest something to the viewer like this (Power of Words) from my recent solo show at Asylum Gallery here in Sacramento: In the past when I've used words in art, I did so instinctively without really thinking. But thanks to the wonderful artists who have been posting on the subject - Joe Nalven, Delores Kaufman, Linda Levy, James Niles and many others. It's made me look more closely at how I've used words and to what effect.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Baaaaad Blogger

  • Yup, hanging my head in shame right now. You should see how pitiful I look, especially without make up on today. On second thought, Never mind. I could go on and on with excuses, but I'd rather just be here now!
My solo show is only up at Asylum Gallery (behind the gray fence at 25th & R Sts) for one more weekend, so time is running out to see my big-ass digital work like this one
  • It's called Message 3 and is an abstraction of another piece in the show.
Buy even more exciting is the new show that Sacramento Theatre Experiment has created and that Beyond the Proscenium is producing. It's called First Thread and is directed by Nick Avdienko our artistic director. Putting my theatre reviewer hat on I'd call it a great example of a theatrical movement performance piece. Yes, it's more than a modern dance concert. But I hesitate to call it a play in that there is no spoken text, but subtext galore! BPP has been faulted for doing shows with little or no narrative, but this is a first for the company!
  • And if you really, really crave some kind of story to go with it, just make one up! That's right, it's OK to do that (for those of you out there that need permission). As the International Theatre Director Robert Wilson says, every audience brings their own stories to the theatre.