Intiman’s CAUGHT: Beyond the Theatre

Poster for Intiman Theater's Caught by Christopher ChenImagine yourself at an art exhibition viewing the installation of an internationally known artist. This is how the play CAUGHT begins, a compelling work for those who relish unconventional narratives and conceptual art.  The audience is a part, not apart, from the action of a “labyrinthine exploration of truth, art, social justice and cultural appropriation, where nothing is as it first appears.”

You’re here to hear the artist, Lin Bo, give a gallery talk. He is enjoying wide exposure and his work has come to greater prominence because of an article published about him in the New Yorker. Having been imprisoned in China for a single work of art, Lin Bo is telling his side of the story. If you think this sounds sort of like Ai Weiwei, You’re headed in the right direction. Bo’s character was partially based on the dissident artist’s life.

The cast and director of Intiman Theatre's CAUGHT: (from left to right) Narea Kang, Jonelle Jordan, Justin Huertas, director Desdemona Chiang, and Bradford Farwell. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka for Intiman Theatre.
The cast and director of Intiman Theatre’s CAUGHT: (from left to right) Narea Kang, Jonelle Jordan, Justin Huertas, director Desdemona Chiang, and Bradford Farwell. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka for Intiman Theatre.

Lin Bo talks about contemporary art and artists in China. He describes how in China, One Million Artists face censorship and suppression. Scenes of Tiananmen Square, Mao, the Cultural Revolution, uproar and protest spill from his mouth.

Now, imagine yourself caught inside of an ever-changing narrative of multiple viewpoints circling around The Truth and Other Lies. This play, does exactly that, it takes the audience not down but through the “rabbit hole” of perception. Continue reading “Intiman’s CAUGHT: Beyond the Theatre”

Bird Week: Put a Bird On It!

The Seattle Public Library is partnering with the Seward Park Audubon Center for Bird Week, April 23-30, in celebration of the center’s 10th anniversary and the National Audubon Society’s 2018 Year of the Bird.

Long before Portlandia made it a meme, artists and craftspeople have been adorning their work with birds. One of the earliest known artworks is a 30,000 year-old sculpture of a water bird carved from a mammoth tusk. By the time John James Audubon began painting his famous Birds of America in the early 19th century, birds had been the subject of paintings, sculptures, weavings, jewelry and many other art forms for millennia.

You too can join this hallowed artistic tradition and celebrate Bird Week by creating your very own bird-centric art pieces Continue reading “Bird Week: Put a Bird On It!”

Here’s Looking at You!: Documentary Films about Artists

An artist’s life can be as compelling as the work they produce. A documentary, at best, strives to render a portrait of the artist as honestly as possible. This, of course, is as close as any of us will get to being in the same room with a person whose life and work draws us in.  What will you find that you do not, already, know?  Will this new view enhance the experience of the art or detract from it?

Continue reading “Here’s Looking at You!: Documentary Films about Artists”

#BookBingoNW2017: Art and Artists

What is art, anyway? Merriam-Webster defines it as “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.” With such a broad definition, there are many different directions readers can go with this particular Book Bingo square. Here are a few strategies for filling this square:

Fiction

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A few authors, such as Tracy Chevalier, Susan Vreeland and Irving Stone, have made a name for themselves writing historical fiction about art & artists. Titles like Girl With a Pearl Earring, Girl in Hyacinth Blue and The Agony and the Ecstasy are some of the more famous titles in this genre. However there are hundreds of great fiction titles about art and artists – some well-reviewed recent titles include A Piece of the World, The Goldfinch, The Blazing World and The Blue Guitar. Find more fiction about art and artists in the Library’s collection by using the subject headings “Art—Fiction” and “Artists–Fiction

Biography/Memoir

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Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2017: Art and Artists”

Ralph Steadman: Evocative Frenzy

I am unceasingly inspired by the artistic wizardry of Ralph Steadman, particularly his knack for evocative frenzy. Though clearly an expert draughtsman, he’s made a career out of twisting conventional imagery with a demented cartoon sensibility. What appears at first in his work to be frayed and chaotic ends up revealing character with a greater degree of expression impossible with straight realism.

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Bathing in his splatters and scribbles is a great recipe for creator’s block, and luckily the Seattle Public Library recognizes the necessity of such work. Here are a few essential Steadman volumes in the collection: Continue reading “Ralph Steadman: Evocative Frenzy”