Contemporary Expression

What is Home to You?
October 3, 2009, 8:43 pm
Filed under: artwork, Living An Artful Life,, symbols
While we were enjoying several hours at The Celebration of Cultures I read that a public art project was underway from the Scarritt Bennett’s Gallery F.

As we approached , you could hear the paper singing in the wind. Lines of paper, catching the wind like prayer flags. The question was profoundly simple, “What is home to you?”
Visitors to this celebration of culture and the participants representing were all asked to consider the home that is their constant.
I immediately knew my response. Home to me is where my love, my hope and my safety sit. Where my play and my work have meaning and where the earth and sky bring me color and light. I drew on my paper a symbol that artist Victoria Boone taught me that means ‘heaven’ but looks a bit like a dog with pointy ears. The sacred Zia Pueblo symbol, a star that points to home and symbolizes my tribe and a flower grounded, not picked but settled in the earth.

What would your paper home-flag have on it?
What is home to you?

Here are some more videos from Celebration of Cultures for your Enjoyment:


It’s not going to jump up into your mouth

I have been overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” I need to be doing, want to be doing, or think I should be doing. I have a pretty good routine but them I get bored and get off the routine and chase nothing for a while.

This time of year the robins start coming back into our garden and I am reminded perennially of their simple process.


They love to study the situation, they look from the trees and then walk along the surface of the lawn. They turn their head and listen for the worms moving below. And then just in time, they snap the food up and move on to the next situation.


As a person working as a fundraiser and manager in the non-profit sector, I feel like that robin. Always looking and then snapping up the food when you hear it moving up to the surface.


What I am also reminded of by these happy birds is just as clear;
don’t dig a 10 foot hole looking for the worm,
don’t expect it to jump up into your mouth.


Indelible: The Photographs of Lalla Essaydi
December 27, 2008, 11:40 pm
Filed under: artwork, Frist Center, Living An Artful Life, symbols, The Art Files
Lalla Essaydi – Converging Territories #10, 2005
Chromogenic print, 48 x 60 in.
Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts opened in the Gordon Contemporary Artist Project Gallery and exhibition of 17 photographs by Moroccan artist, Lalla Essaydi. The images will be on view through January 29, 2009. The multi-layer complex images are created in what she calls workshops. Essaydi gathers with as many as 20 women and girls in her family’s country home where they sit for lengthy sessions during which the artist covers their skin and often their clothing and the walls around them , with an elegant Arabic calligraphic scripts.
The act of combining the female craft of henna body painting and the traditional male art of Arabic calligraphy is a subversive act. By doing so , she ignores long-standing gender associations of both art forms and the hierarchical distinctions between them. Be sure to pick up a copy of overview of this work by Trinita Kennedy, associate curator during your visit.
January 8, 2009 6 :30pm LECTURE: “Unspoken Words: Contemporary women Artists from the Middle East and North Africa”
FREE in the Frist Auditorium
Dr, Maryam Ekhtiar, senior research associate in the department of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will explore art produced by women from the region with a particular focus on Lalla Essaydi. All the artist use calligraphy as their chief mode of expression as the grapple with issues of gender, socio-political orientation and cultural identity.
Lalla Essaydi – Les Femmes du Maroc #36, 2007
Chromogenic print, 48 x 60 in. Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York
As I prepare for what I consider to be a new phase in my own artful life I have been drawn back to Lalla’s photographs now on a third visit to the Gordon Contemporary Gallery at The Frist. The thoughtfulness of her work is intense. 2009 in my studio will brings a new chapter of symbols, history and advocacy. I hope you can find the time to visit this show and find a way to create your own subversive act of hope and art in the new year.

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September 25, 2008, 12:45 pm
Filed under: arts funding, artwork, Living An Artful Life, Nancy VanReece, symbols, The Art Files

The Art Files may be suspended for Out & About Newspaper … more later

victoria boone told me something once …
April 28, 2008, 1:55 am
Filed under: branding, Living An Artful Life, symbols, The Art Files

Victoria Boone Says: