American Art – Part I of IV: Kirsten Stingle
Artist Statement: “I believe that storytelling connects us to one another and explains who we are. A fine arts degree in theater strengthened my desire to express common threads of the human experience and honed my understanding of imagery and gesture as powerful narrative tools.
Similar to stagecraft, ceramics is a natural extension of my narrative impulse. Working with clay allows me to create a world in which, if I am attentive, a story can unfold. I work with the human form because while it is instantly approachable, the presentation of its inner psyche can be infinitely complex. To further the narrative, I employ found objects in my ceramic work and extend their implication into a new context.”
American Art – Part II of IV: Cynthia Feustel
In the words of one critic, “Cynthia Feustel is best known for expressing inner beauty, hope and strength of the human spirit, particularly that of women, through her color choices, brushwork and dynamic use of light. Her sensitive portrayal of her subjects showcases her ability to capture the profound and quiet reflection of a single moment in time.”
American Art – Part III of IV: Kenney Mencher
Kenney Mencher earned a B.A. in Art History from the City University of New York, an M.A. in Art History from the University of California, Davis, and an M.F.A. in Painting from the University of Cincinnati.
American Art – Part IV of IV: Misha Malpica
Artist Statement: “I am a mixed media artist, living in the mountain town of Ruidoso, New Mexico. Enamored with the Southwest, my work focuses primarily on the people and the animals that live here. My color palette consists of warm, rich earth tones with a splash of turquoise or red. I’ve been sculpting in various mediums for over forty years and every creation is different. I create each sculpture one at a time and decorate them with feathers and vintage beads and other beautiful adornments. I can’t help myself, I just love the beauty of an iridescent pheasant feather, the sparkle of an old bead, the design of a button. Threads and fibers, ribbons and fringe, I add each element to make the sculpture unique. Currently I am exploring clay. I am in love with the texture and versatility of clay. Holding my breath as I open the kiln, it’s like Christmas morning! My studio is brimming with paints and stains and feathers and furs and beads and found objects. My inspiration surrounds me.”
Here is the Artist Statement of Brazilian painter Patricia Ariel (born 1970): “Whenever I wanted answers or inspiration for life and art, it was not in the mundane or in the ordinary life that I looked for them, but in the unlimited world of my inner reality. This world, inhabited by mysterious places and people, has its own stories, its own rules, its own wisdom. I am only the storyteller.”
“Research experts want to know what can be done about the values of poor segregated children; and this is a question that needs asking. But they do not ask what can be done about the values of the people who have segregated these communities. There is no academic study of the pathological detachment of the very rich.” – Jonathan Kozol, America writer, educator, activist, and author of “Death at an Early Age” and “Savage Inequalities,” who was born 5 September 1936.
Some quotes from the work of Jonathan Kozol:
“A dream does not die on its own. A dream is vanquished by the choices ordinary people make about real things in their own lives.”
“I have been criticized throughout the course of my career for placing too much faith in the reliability of children’s narratives; but I have almost always found that children are a great deal more reliable in telling us what actually goes on in public school than many of the adult experts who develop policies that shape their destinies.”
“There is something deeply hypocritical in a society that holds an inner-city child only eight years old ‘accountable’ for her performance on a high-stakes standardized exam but does not hold the high officials of our government accountable for robbing her of what they gave their own kids six or seven years before.”
“I always want to tell these young idealists that the world is not as dangerous as many in the older generation want them to believe…The [people] for whom I feel the greatest sadness are the ones who choke on their beliefs, who never act on their ideals, who never know the state of struggle in a decent cause, and never know the thrill of even partial victories.”
“Placing the burden on the individual to break down doors in finding better education for a child is attractive to conservatives because it reaffirms their faith in individual ambition and autonomy. But to ask an individual to break down doors that we have chained and bolted in advance of his arrival is unfair.”
“‘Evil exists,’ he says, not flinching at the word. ‘I believe that what the rich have done to the poor people in this city is something that a preacher would call evil. Somebody has power. Pretending that they don’t so they don’t need to use it to help people-that is my idea of evil.’”
Here is the Artist Statement of English painter Martha Parsey (born 1973): “My paintings are large and figurative, often diptychs or a number of canvasses, made without preliminary sketches or any other devices- just using my eyes and a pencil, drawing straight onto the bare canvas. Working on bare canvas means that whatever I paint remains. This gives the process of painting an element of risk, a kind of performance in the making of it. Although areas of my paintings are rendered in great detail I allow unpainted areas to give the viewer room to form a discourse with the image, granting them access to the inner world of the picture, whereby the pictures take on a life in the eyes and mind of the viewer.”
Died 5 September 1922 – Georgette Agutte, a French painter.
From the American Old West – Part I of II: Jesse James
From the American Old West – Part II of II: Crazy Horse
“A very great vision is needed, and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.” – Crazy Horse (Lakota Tashunke Witko, literally “His-Horse-Is-Spirited”), Native American visionary and war leader of the Oglala Lakota, who died 5 September 1877.
Australian Art – Part I of II: Megan Roodenrys
Australian Art – Part II of II: Tricia Migdoll
Artist Statement: ”Growing up with the National Gallery of Victoria at my doorstep, I could not help but be enchanted by the arts.
Primarily self-taught, I began painting in 2002, inspired by the great masters of art and seeking to wed the contemporary with the traditional.
I paint anything that moves me, reflecting my love of natural beauty, spirituality, and humanity.
I lose myself in the process of painting and feel at times an instrument expressing the highest of emotions. My passion is to share this deep connection to Love with the viewer.”
A Poem for Today
“Tea for my father”
By Michael Hofmann
I think of his characteristic way
of saying ‘tea,’ with his teeth
bared and clenched in anticipation.
It is not his first language nor
his favourite drink, so there is
something exotic about both word
and thing. He asks for it several times
a day, in the morning and afternoon
only. Mostly it is to help him work.
He likes it very strong, with cream,
in mugs, and sweetens it himself.
He puts it on the window-sill in front
of his table, and lets it grow cold.
Later on, I come and throw it out.