The Art of Protest: The Language, Music and Images of Civil Discontent

Joining a protest is personal and a public event. People from all ages and all walks of life take to the streets calling for societal change. Throughout history worlds of people have marched, from handfuls to millions with voices raised, through cities and towns.

When The People Speak, heads turn. Everybody is filled with a heightened awareness. What message is being sent? Who is speaking as a shouting crowd of onlookers responds? From a singular voice to multitudes, the sounds of a protest command attention. There is more than one way, however, to be heard.

Artists speak through their work, seeking to capture the tenor of their times. A protest march can be a dramatic affair incorporating music, chants, costumes and signs. A throng of people stride through the center of town, disrupting business, blocking traffic, calling attention to a cause. How do you know they’re coming? Drumbeats and chants sound through the air long before the first row comes into view. Continue reading “The Art of Protest: The Language, Music and Images of Civil Discontent”

Library Podcasts with a Seattle Focus

Last week I highlighted some of the diverse podcasts the library has to offer on it’s website with no library card required. I wanted to discuss some of the other things offered on the Library Podcast page, specifically the variety of discussions on Seattle and Seattle history.

In Fall of 2019, the Library hosted discussions on the hidden history of the Space Needle, including Space Needle Redux: Knute Berger and B.J. Bullert Eye the Needle. Continue reading “Library Podcasts with a Seattle Focus”

Virtual visits: Art collections and experiences online

Uncertainty about safe and healthy travel these days has caused many of our plans to be interrupted or canceled. For hours we had planned itineraries, scheduled exhausting (but fun!) days, and made must-do, must-eat, and must-see lists, but sadly those lists will remain unchecked for now. The strolls we imagined we would take in renowned parks and sites? Not going to happen. All the delicious food we were supposed to enjoy in the quaintest of restaurants and cafés? Still untried. And the paintings, sculptures, and other pieces of art that we planned to visit and study in world-famous museums? Luckily we can see those by virtual means.

Photo of Musee d'Orsay and Pont Royal
Musee d’Orsay and Pont Royal, by Daniel Vorndran / DXR

Continue reading “Virtual visits: Art collections and experiences online”

Library Resources on Compassion

“Compassion” and “empathy” have become self-help buzzwords lately, with the recent rise of TED-talk superstars like researcher, author, and speaker Brené Brown. But what does it actually mean to practice compassion towards oneself and others, and how can we use these tools to take better care of our relationships? Here are some library resources for practicing self-compassion and compassion towards others whose messages ring especially true during times of social crisis and isolation.

Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and your World With the Practice of RAIN, by Tara Brach
This book is currently a popular Peak Pick, and although it’s not available to be checked out in person for the time being, it is still accessible online with your library card! Written by celebrated mindfulness instructor Tara Brach, Radical Compassion teaches readers a mindfulness practice called RAIN – Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture – designed to help us become more compassionate towards ourselves. You might find Brach’s tools helpful if you are dealing with loss of a loved one or a past relationship, working through past trauma, or simply trying to cope with the ongoing trauma of living during a pandemic. Continue reading “Library Resources on Compassion”

Now Showing: Artists and Their Works on Screen

We get it: you’re stuck. Your productivity levels are low, imagination exhausted, and creativity, well, not entirely there. Everybody has those days! Yes, even the great and genius creators of art in their prime. So take a seat, and watch their trials and successes unfold in these biopics available on Kanopy and Hoopla with your Seattle Public Library card. They might even help in getting you out of that rut.

Frida Movie PosterFrida Kahlo is depicted on Frida, in which the Mexican Surrealist painter’s life is explored–from her youth to her relationships with others, most notably with fellow artist Diego Rivera. It follows the triumphs and tragedies in her personal and professional abilities. The film received multiple nominations and awards in the United States and internationally.

Séraphine follows Séraphine Louis, a French painterSéraphine Movie Poster with humble beginnings. She regarded her painting to be an experience deeply inspired by religion and nature. When an art critic begins to encourage and support her talent, the painter’s circumstances improve, but not for long. The film received multiple César Awards, the French national film awards.

Loving Vincent Movie PosterLoving Vincent presents Vincent van Gogh’s life through the eyes of his acquaintances after the artist’s death. If you are not drawn in by the tragic story of van Gogh, the techniques used to produce the film might invite you to stay. Considered an animation, the movie itself is the combined effort of more than one hundred artists from around the globe, showing each frame as an oil painting on canvas in the same style as van Gogh. Continue reading “Now Showing: Artists and Their Works on Screen”