The Art of the Journey

What do January and December have in common? The letter r, as in near or at the end of a journey. From January to December of this year, we have been on an artistic journey with the year-long Begin Bold End Inspired series focusing on the creative process. Each month offered an opportunity to explore resources that assist in the growth and development of artistic skills and knowledge. We covered a lot of ground!

Begin Bold End Inspired
Break open this beginning like the seed that it is! A New Year’s cold, hard exterior is full of all the necessary nutrients to carry you through to a nourishing end. Continue reading “The Art of the Journey”


Humans have been making art of the earth and out of the earth for millennia. In the contemporary world these works are, variously, known as Earthworks, Land Art and Environmental Art. The inspiration found in nature is limitless. For some artists inspiration isn’t enough; they have to get their hands dirty! Stone, soil, water, sand, air and trees are just some of the materials used to re-shape the natural landscape.

You can get an introduction to the subject by viewing Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art and by reading The Spiral Jetty Encyclo: Exploring Robert Smithson’s Earthwork through Time and Space.

Time, temperature and seasonal cycles transform earthworks revealed in Projects by Andy Goldsworthy. For Ra Paulette, caves are his canvas. Check out the film, Cave Digger. You’ll find a self-taught sculptor who transforms interiors of hillsides into sandstone sanctuaries. Continue reading “E(ART)H”

Activist + Artist = Artivist

Artists make things and make things happen. Activists stir the public pot and ignite social change. They agitate, demonstrate, boycott and protest. Artivists react and respond to current and historical events through acts of creation and have been doing so for a long, long time.

See for yourself! A People’s Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements provides the long view and brings perspective to Global Activism: Art and Conflict in the 21st Century. Two other timely titles include Politics is a Joke: How TV Comedians are Remaking Political Life and Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation.

On all levels of society, artists move people to action through images and/or language. You can learn about the role of activist artists in Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life and Culture Jamming: Activism and the Art of Cultural Resistance.

Stories of how artists have responded to injustice can be found in:

This very day, in the streets, in theaters, museums, on screen, stage and page artists engage the public, create opportunities for discussion, providing opportunities that help facilitate understanding of the key issues that we face as a world community. Willing or unwilling, in support or opposition, we play a part, are a part of the great drama of life.

See how artivists get active, become involved and leave their mark on the world. Check out the resource list Activist + Artist = Artivists.

~ posted by Chris

The Artist in Fiction or Creating Your Own Story

Sometimes it is hard to separate the two, don’t you think? I mean the hard-baked idea of what an artist is or is not. The journey of an artist becoming an artist may be singular, but it is accompanied by a lot of noise!

Do you chart your own path or are you casting about for an identity that will fit? Masked or unmasked, imaginary or realistic, we hold in mind the idea of an artist, the ideal kind of artist we aspire to be and the one we encounter in the mirror.

You, already, have it all! An artist is creator and creation in constant flux and motion. There is a huge art eco-system encompassing Sunday painters, internationally-recognized artists and everyone else in between. While there are multitudes of artists, one story counts and that is the one you are creating. Continue reading “The Artist in Fiction or Creating Your Own Story”

You Can Judge a Book by Its Cover!

By blind jury, fifty iconic books were selected for inclusion into the OPEN●SET exhibition now on view at the Central Library until October 28.

This exhibit showcases finely crafted bookbinding. Unlike mass produced books, these handbound books will last for centuries! The title of the show is a clue to the kinds of covers that have been created. Open means that the artist had free reign to create a cover of their choosing. Set refers to a specific title, in this case David Esslemont’s out-of-print title, Inside the Book.  Bookbinders were charged with designing a cover for the contents of a book that shows you how to design, print and publish your own book. Continue reading “You Can Judge a Book by Its Cover!”