American Art – Part I of II: Susan Clinard
In the words of one critic, “Susan first touched clay at the age of 19 when she took a sculpture class in college. She can recall the immediate sensory connection she made with the material; the smell, its texture and shadows. Her love for art did not begin there; she remembers always drawing and making “things” as a child and throughout her youth. To this day, Susan will argue that her formal training as an art student was only part of what made her a creative spirit. Living a life immersed in the diverse people and environments around her is what gave her the insight, ideas, and the inspiration she now possesses.
Susan received her degree in Sculpture and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1995. After college she moved to Chicago to live with her sister Wendy Clinard, a professional dancer/choreographer/painter. Her strong bond with her sister helped her grow immensely as a visual artist. Their mutual respect and admiration of one another’s work has led to several collaborations.
Another important influence during this period was Susan’s experience working as a caseworker for foster children in Chicago. Working on the front lines in the community, schools, hospitals, and justice systems allowed her to see humanity in a way nothing else before it had. She began sculpting the things she saw, people she knew; as if keeping a journal. She was moved by the stories of inequality, fear, compassion, and courage. At this time Susan realized that sculpture was the unquestionable voice that would allow her to be true to herself while giving back to her community.”
From the Music Archives: Don Wilson
Born 10 February 1937 – Don Wilson, an American rock guitarist and member of The Ventures.
“A deception that elevates us is dearer than a host of low truths.” – Alexander Pushkin, Russian writer of the Romantic era and author of “Eugene Onegin,” who died 10 February 1837.
Some quotes from the work of Alexander Pushkin:
“I have outlasted all desire,
My dreams and I have grown apart;
My grief alone is left entire,
The gleamings of an empty heart.
The storms of ruthless dispensation
Have struck my flowery garland numb,
I live in lonely desolation
And wonder when my end will come.
Thus on a naked tree-limb, blasted
By tardy winter’s whistling chill,
A single leaf which has outlasted
Its season will be trembling still.”
“Two fixed ideas can no more exist together in the moral world than two bodies can occupy one and the same place in the physical world.”
“He filled a shelf with a small army of books and read and read; but none of it made sense. .. They were all subject to various cramping limitations: those of the past were outdated, and those of the present were obsessed with the past.”
“And these days I’ve come to prefer the more steady Bordeaux. I am no longer up to champagne from Ay: it’s like a mistress: sparkling, flighty, vivacious, wayward – and not to be trusted. But Bordeaux is like a friend who in time of trouble and misfortune stands by us always, anywhere, ready to give us help, or just to share our quiet leisure. So raise your glasses – to our friend Bordeaux!”
“Want of courage is the last thing to be pardoned by young men, who usually look upon bravery as the chief of all human virtues, and the excuse for every possible fault.”
Born 10 February 1936 – Olwyn Bowey, a British painter.
“When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it.” –
Boris Pasternak, Russian poet, novelist, translator, author of “Dr. Zhivago, and recipient of the 1958 Nobel Prize for Literature “for his important achievement both in contemporary lyrical poetry and in the field of the great Russian epic tradition,” who was born 10 February 1890.
“February, Take Ink and Weep”
February. Take ink and weep,
write February as you’re sobbing,
while black Spring burns deep
through the slush and throbbing.
Take a cab. For a clutch of copecks,
through bell-towers’ and wheel noise,
go where the rain-storm’s din breaks,
greater than crying or ink employs.
Where rooks in thousands falling,
like charred pears from the skies,
drop down into puddles, bringing
cold grief to the depths of eyes.
“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.” – Alex Haley, American writer, author of “Roots: The Saga of an American Family” and co-author of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” who died 10 February 1992.
Some quotes from the work of Alex Haley:
“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage- to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness. ”
“Racism is taught in our society… it is not automatic. It is learned behavior toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics.”
“The main thing you got to remember is that everything in the world is a hustle.”
“Find the Good and Praise it.”
“‘Is this how you repay my goodness–with badness?’ cried the boy. ‘Of course,’ said the crocodile out of the corner of his mouth. ‘That is the way of the world.’”
“I certainly wasn’t seeking any degree, the way a college confers a status symbol upon its students. My homemade education gave me, with every additional book that I read, a little bit more sensitivity to the deafness, dumbness and blindness that was afflicting the black race in America. Not long ago, an English writer telephoned me, asking questions. One was, ‘What’s your alma mater?’ I told him, ‘Books.’”
“So Dad has joined the others up there. I feel that they do watch and guide, and I also feel that they join me in the hope that this story of our people can help alleviate the legacies of the fact that preponderantly the histories have been written by the winners.”
“Know what I mean, Vern?” – Jim Varney, American actor, comedian, musician, writer, and voice actor best known for his role as Ernest P. Worrell, who died 10 February 2000.
Here is how one critic describes the artistry of Welsh painter Michael de Bono: “Michael de Bono is a self-taught painter living and working in Cardiff. He was born in Caerphilly spending his early years among the hills and dales of Llambradach. This harmonious environment fostered an appreciation of the gentle vitality of nature over the frenetic dislocation of the industrialised cityscape. His interest in the elegance and primacy of nature manifests within his beautifully rendered figurative subjects, the intimacy of which invites us to reflect freely upon their narrative context.”
”Poetry is a search for ways of communication; it must be conducted with openness, flexibility, and a constant readiness to listen.” – Fleur Adcock, New Zealand poet and editor, who was born 10 February 1934.
The young are walking on the riverbank
arms around each other’s waist and shoulders,
pretending to be looking at the waterlilies
and what might be a nest of some kind, over
there, which two who are clamped together
mouth to mouth have forgotten about.
The others, making courteous detours
around them, talk, stop talking, kiss.
They can see no one older than themselves.
It’s their river. They’ve got all day.
Seeing’s not everything. At this very
moment the middle-aged are kissing
in the backs of taxis, on the way
to airports and stations. Their mouths and tongues
are soft and powerful and as moist as ever.
Their hands are not inside each other’s clothes
(because of the driver) but locked so tightly
together that it hurts: it may leave marks
on their not of course youthful skin, which they won’t
notice. They too may have futures.
A Poem for Today
By John Crowe Ransom
Beautifully Janet slept
Till it was deeply morning. She woke then
And thought about her dainty-feathered hen,
To see how it had kept.
One kiss she gave her mother,
Only a small one gave she to her daddy
Who would have kissed each curl of his shining baby;
No kiss at all for her brother.
“Old Chucky, Old Chucky!” she cried,
Running across the world upon the grass
To Chucky’s house, and listening. But alas,
Her Chucky had died.
It was a transmogrifying bee
Came droning down on Chucky’s old bald head
And sat and put the poison. It scarcely bled,
But how exceedingly
And purply did the knot
Swell with the venom and communicate
Its rigour! Now the poor comb stood up straight
But Chucky did not.
So there was Janet
Kneeling on the wet grass, crying her brown hen
(Translated far beyond the daughters of men)
To rise and walk upon it.
And weeping fast as she had breath
Janet implored us, “Wake her from her sleep!”
And would not be instructed in how deep
Was the forgetful kingdom of death.
American Art – Part II of II: Paul G. Oxborough
In the words of one writer, “Paul Oxborough was born in Minnesota, USA in 1965. He began his studies at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design before entering a four-year apprenticeship at the Atelier Lessuer; a rigorous program that adheres to a stringent French academic tradition.
The range of Oxborough’s subject matter seems unlimited and varies from intimate interiors illuminated by flickering candles to laconic landscapes drenched in the noonday sun to a child’s face touched by the first rays of morning light.”