Pussy Riot members meet Ann Arbor Artists

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Submitted by Artist WCA Member Carol Morris

September 18th Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina, two of the founding members of Pussy Riot, the Russian art collective, visited Ann Arbor as part of a U.S. tour. Sponsored by a LennonOno grant for peace; they are young women, ages 24 and 26, vigorous, focused and determined. On Thursday they appeared publicly at the Michigan Theater and on Friday morning I attended a private meeting with them and a group of artists and prisoner advocates. The meeting was about Michigan’s success in recent years in bringing art workshops to the incarcerated.

Nadia and Masha are gathering information for their foundation Zona Prava (Zone of Rights.) After suffering hard labor for two years in a Russian prison they were impressed by our art workshops here. Nadia said Russian inmates are only allowed pen and paper and never any art supplies. University of Michigan Prison Creative Arts Project and Youth Arts Alliance promised data and information to help Zona Prova make arguments to the Russian government about the value of art workshops in rehabilitation.

As an art workshop volunteer for over a decade, I was pleased to present Nadya and Misha with sets of my anti- Putin collages. They are taking them back to Russia and reproducing them for distribution.( One collage is posted on Pussy Riots’s Twitter page.) As an artist, I feel appreciated for a good cause, Zona Prava.

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WCAMI and Arts Alliance Michigan at the Columbus Invitational Arts Competition

WCAMI is honored to be invited to participate in cooperation with the Arts Alliance Michigan, in the Columbus Invitational Arts Competition, to be held at the King Arts Complex, 867 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Columbus Ohio June 12 – August 24.

The Columbus Invitational Arts Competition was started in 2012 to recognize groups that combine excellence in art with an exceptional commitment to the community.  This year, for the first time, the competition expands to include entries from Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana.

Three art works will represent WCAMI: Down River, an encaustic painting by Birgit-Hutteman-Holz, See/Hear/Speak/Do No Evil, a photo by Patricia Izzo and a mixed-media sculpture by Martine McDonald entitled The Sacred Melancholy. 

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Saturday. What a Day!

What a day indeed. To begin the day I stopped at Sandra Perlow’s beautiful studio in downtown Chicago with the WCA members who were down from Finlandia University; Phyllis Fredendall, Melanie Houghton, and Shelby Winter. Sandra donated a painting to the raffle at the Gala this year, so it was wonderful to see and hear about her process. It is amazing to see how many layers of fabric, paper, and paint make up her paintings.

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The Feminist Art project panels also took place all day at Columbia College just two blocks from the hotel. This years panels focused on themes surrounding motherhood. The panels were really thought provoking presentations and were followed by even better conversations.

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After the TFAP panels it was time to prep for the award ceremony and Gala. These cartfulls are just a glimpse into the work that director Karin Luner does every year to make these events happen. THANK YOU to Karin.

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This year 6 women received awards: Phyllis Bramson, Harmony Hammond, Adrian Piper, and Faith Wilding were honored with Lifetime Achievement awards and Janice Nesser-Chu and Hye-Seong Tak Lee were given the President’s Award for Art and Activism. The Gala celebration following was beautiful. Photos of that part of the event will come later.

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A special Thank You to all the volunteers who made this event possible. As a volunteer run organization, WCA could not do it without you!

CALL FOR ART Half the Sky: Intersections in Social Practice Art

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The Women’s Caucus for Art’s International Caucus has created a wonderful opportunity for women artists to showcase their work in China. Links at the bottom of the page will take you to the call for art. The following is from the Caucus’s webpage:

“WCA’s International Caucus has created a global opportunity for BOTH women artists and essayists.   We are so very fortunate to offer this unprecedented, art-based cultural exchange for women artists and essayists in the US to exhibit and share their work with women artists in China at LuXun  Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang. Luxun Academy is one of the premier art academies in China. We are also privileged to have some amazing jurors:  Alma Ruiz, Senior Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art – Los Angeles, for the art and Terri Weissman, assistant professor of Art History at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for the essays.

Call for Art Theme/Background
Almost a half-century ago, Chairman Mao Zedong, who famously said “Women hold up half the sky,” believed women’s active participation in reform would solve China’s economic and societal challenges. More recently, women and men leaders across the world are calling for women’s voices to be heard in all decision making. The theme is now a movement, a documentary, a musical recording. Michelle Bachelet, head of UN Women, opened the UN Commission on the Status of Women 2013 conference by extolling the benefits of being 53% of the world’s population.  “Women do not need permission, they simply need to speak and act.”

Artists are encouraged to interpret this theme broadly. What does it mean to be the majority of the world’s population? What must women do to hold up their “half”? How do women from different cultures interpret this responsibility, this call to action? How do we encourage and support each other through art?”

 

Visit http://wcainternationalcaucus.weebly.com/call-for-art-half-the-sky-intersections-in-social-practice-art.html

to learn more about this exciting exhibition and to enter your art. The entry deadline is October 6th.

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Grand Rapids Artist T’Alyne Makes the Environment Her Cause

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WCA-Michigan member artist T’Alyne is clearly in her element when it comes to water and the environment. Two recent shows in Michigan, Clouds and Waterfalls (Grand Rapids Arts Council, 2012) and Then There was Water (Open Concept Gallery, 2011) emphasize her continuing fascination with this ubiquitous yet precious substance.  She is currently working on a new body of work about water and the environment as a visiting artist in Colorado, and has also recently shown her work in a solo exhibition entitled Clouds at the Webb School in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Living in Michigan surrounded by fresh water, I continually observe and am fascinated by its constantly changing form while it trickles, seeps and flows.  I discover patterns when it freezes, I am spellbound when it floats in the air…it represents a precise process that has its own natural timing and organization.

T’Alyne studied printmaking and foundry art at Arizona State University, graduating with an MFA in 2000. She has since built an impressive resume as a visiting artist and artist-in-residence both in Europe and in the U.S. and feels this experience has been a defining influence on her art practice. She has had residencies at Camac Centre D’Art, Marnay-Sur-Seine, France; Fourwinds Atelier Aurielle, France; Virginia Center for Creative Arts in Amherst, VA; Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; and at the Webb School, Knoxville, TN.

Her abstract works, which are composed of powdered pigment suspended in water-based varnish on fiberglass paper and wood, are meant to capture the temperament of her surroundings and to reflect the changing environment. She has been influenced by Mark Rothko, Richard Diebenkorn, Laura Owen, Joan Mitchell and the French Surrealists.

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T’Alyne views her artistic mission in part as a social one. She values the establishment of personal connections and hopes to be instrumental in building awareness of the importance of the environment to society and culture through communication with the public at all levels of art awareness.t'alyne lake

Through my work as an artist, I want to establish personal connections and be a part of the collective consciousness implementing awareness. Building up our inventory of experiences that support the value of creativity and cultural heritage to the lives of citizens is key.”

For more information about T’Alyne and her work, go to http://www.studiotalyne.com.

Continue reading “Grand Rapids Artist T’Alyne Makes the Environment Her Cause”

Entry Deadline Sept 2nd: Eye On The D

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The Women’s Caucus for Art is now calling for artwork for the exhibition “Eye On The D.”

This show focuses on the rich multi-textured character of the city of Detroit in the midst of radical change. Whether it’s the current physical landscape, evolving neighborhoods or political makeup, show us evidence of a re-imagined terrain. What is the next chapter in the story of this quintessential American city, or what whispers not to be forgotten? Detroit’s historic artistic achievements are monumental – the architecture of Albert Kahn and Eliel Saarinen, the auto industry’s design revolution, the public murals of Diego Rivera and the intensely personal work of Frida Kahlo, the music of Motown and Hip Hop. Recent creative momentum has given voice to a new vision of the city in this post-Fordian post-modern era and gained national and international attention. How do you see the city of the future, the city in your imagination, what inspires you about Detroit?

Last year the Michigan Chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art organized a Detroit Art Tour for attendees of the National WCA Summer Board Meeting. Response was so great that the Michigan Chapter organized this show to instigate a national response to our city, and to hear from artists from around Michigan and especially from Detroit about how they see this time of crisis and regeneration.

JURORS
Detroit artists Bethany Shorb and Cynthia Greig

ARTISTS’ RECEPTION
Friday, November 1

EXHIBITION
555 Gallery, Detroit, MI
November 1-21, 2013

SUBMISSION
Deadline is September 2nd.

The Late Entry Deadline is September 6th.

To Enter:
http://www.entrythingy.com/d=miwca.wordpress.com#dashboard

Strawberries and Cream :)

Bright and squirrelly this morning Brenda Oelbaum and I hopped into her car for a trip to South Bend, Indiana. Why South Bend you ask? Because the Indiana chapter of the Women’s Caucus for Art invited Brenda to come down and speak to their members about her art. I always love traveling to meet up with other WCA chapters and members because it allows me to take advantage of the immense network of female artists in this organization. Each woman I meet becomes a new sister, mother or grandmother figure that makes the greater art world feel so much more homey.

The Mishawaka (say that ten times fast) library provided space for the talk and nine ladies showed up to see and discuss Brenda’s work from her university days to her most recent Venus of Willendorf Project. There was much laughter over her “Axis of Evil” installation at Ann Arbor Art Fair and the “Does this make my (blank) look big?” series.

After the presentation, chapter president Helen Geglio hosted us for dinner at her charming home. The rugs, felted pillows and eclectic cheer of the home gave me the impression that Helen had a soft spot for textile art in her heart, which was confirmed as she showed us her most recent art experiments. These “sketches” were beautifully layered compositions of patterned fabrics quilted into a blanket of seeds. Looking forward to what these “sketches” will sprout into! Helen’s husband and Anna Bowers, another WCA member, also joined us for the delicious dinner of grilled chicken and asparagus, fresh guacamole, pasta salad, and a dessert of cake topped with strawberries and cream. Yum!

Thank you to the Indiana chapter for hosting us for this day of art and community!

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