American Art – Part I of IV: William B. Hoyt
“It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.” – Adrienne Rich, American poet, essayist, and feminist, who was born 16 May 1929.
Some quotes from the work of Adrienne Rich:
“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you…it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre: ‘I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.’
Responsibility to yourself means that you don’t fall for shallow and easy solutions–predigested books and ideas…marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short…and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be ‘different’…The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.”
“Lying is done with words, and also with silence.”
“Poetry is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.”
From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Barbara Lee
Born 16 May 1947 – Barbara Lee, an American vocalist and member of The Chiffons.
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: The Beach Boys
16 May 1966 – The Beach Boys release “Pet Sounds,” one of the best and most influential albums in the history of popular music.
Artist Talantbek Chekirov was born in Kyrgyzstan in 1971. According to one critic,“Chekirov’s paintings show varied aspects of beautiful and decorative art; his works are extracts of his rich and broadly situated ideas concerning the ideal notion of beauty in painting. Therefore, it is of little surprise that such dissimilar genres as landscapes and stylized antique nude paintings are represented in his work.”
“The world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me.” – Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua, Chicana scholar of cultural and feminist theory and author of “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza,” who died 16 May 2004.
Some quotes from the work of Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua:
“Nobody’s going to save you. No one’s going to cut you down, cut the thorns thick around you. No one’s going to storm the castle walls nor kiss awake your birth, climb down your hair, nor mount you onto the white steed. There is no one who will feed the yearning. Face it. You will have to do it yourself.”
“I change myself, I change the world.”
“Do work that matters.”
“In trying to become ‘objective,’ Western culture made ‘objects’ of things and people when it distanced itself from them, thereby losing ‘touch’ with them.”
“We are taught that the body is an ignorant animal intelligence dwells only in the head. But the body is smart. It does not discern between external stimuli and stimuli from the imagination. It reacts equally viscerally to events from the imagination as it does to real events.”
“The struggle is inner: Chicano, indio, American Indian, mojado, mexicano, immigrant Latino, Anglo in power, working class Anglo, Black, Asian–our psyches resemble the bordertowns and are populated by the same people. The struggle has always been inner, and is played out in outer terrains. Awareness of our situation must come before inner changes, which in turn come before changes in society. Nothing happens in the ‘real’ world unless it first happens in the images in our heads.”
“It isn’t easy being green.” – Kermit the Frog (also known as Jim Henson), the most famous Muppet, who died 16 May 1990.
A few croaks – I mean quotes – from Kermit:
“Time’s fun when you’re having flies”
“It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice.”
“A best friend is someone who makes you laugh, even when the jokes aren’t funny.”
Born 16 May 1906 – Alfred Pellan, a Canadian painter.
“And a human being whose life is nurtured in an advantage which has accrued from the disadvantage of other human beings, and who prefers that this should remain as it is, is a human being by definition only, having much more in common with the bedbug, the tapeworm, the cancer, and the scavengers of the deep sea.” – James Agee, American writer, journalist, film critic, poet, screenwriter, and author of “A Death in the Family,” for which he won the 1958 Pulitzer Prize (posthumously), who died 16 May 1955.
Some quotes from the work of James Agee:
“Some people get where they hope to in this world. Most of us don’t.”
“How far we all come. How far we all come away from ourselves. So far, so much between, you can never go home again. You can go home, it’s good to go home, but you never really get all the way home again in your life. And what’s it all for? All I tried to be, all I ever wanted and went away for, what’s it all for?
Just one way, you do get back home. You have a boy or a girl of your own and now and then you remember, and you know how they feel, and it’s almost the same as if you were your own self again, as young as you could remember.
And God knows he was lucky, so many ways, and God knows he was thankful. Everything was good and better than he could have hoped for, better than he ever deserved; only, whatever it was and however good it was, it wasn’t what you once had been, and had lost, and could never have again, and once in a while, once in a long time, you remembered, and knew how far you were away, and it hit you hard enough, that little while it lasted, to break your heart.”
“And somewhat as in blind night, on a mild sea, a sailor may be made aware of an iceberg, fanged and mortal, bearing invisibly near, by the unwarned charm of its breath, nothingness now revealed itself: that permanent night upon which the stars in their expiring generations are less than the glinting of gnats, and nebulae, more trivial than winter breath; that darkness in which eternity lies bent and pale, a dead snake in a jar, and infinity is the sparkling of a wren blown out to sea; that inconceivable chasm of invulnerable silence in which cataclysms of galaxies rave mute as amber.”
“In every child who is born, under no matter what circumstances, and no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again.”
American Art – Part II of IV: Karen Offutt
Artist Statement: “As and artist, I am very aware of my environment which invites me to be a constant observer. I see potential in everything and my emotional reaction guides me to the specific inspiration. There are different aspects to my painting, for example technical skill, creative freedom and emotional truth. My goal is to create work that guides all these elements in a direction that moves me.”
A Poem for Today
By Alice Notley
The late Gracie Allen was a very lucid comedienne,
Especially in the way that lucid means shining and bright.
What her husband George Burns called her illogical logic
Made a halo around our syntax and ourselves as we laughed.
George Burns most often was her artful inconspicuous straight man.
He could move people about stage, construct skits and scenes, write
And gather jokes. They were married as long as ordinary magic
Would allow, thirty-eight years, until Gracie Allen’s death.
In her fifties Gracie Allen developed a heart condition.
She would call George Burns when her heart felt funny and fluttered
He’d give her a pill and they’d hold each other till the palpitation
Stopped—just a few minutes, many times and pills. As magic fills
Then fulfilled must leave a space, one day Gracie Allen’s
And hurt and stopped. George Burns said unbelievingly to the doctor,
“But I still have some of the pills.”
American Art – Part III of IV: Margaret Wozniak
New York sculptor Margaret Wozniak was born in Poland and studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Krakow. Originally working in bronze, she now devotes her time exclusively to clay, a transition that allows for wider scope, freedom of expression, and the exceptional use of color. Each work is handbuilt and meticulously painted with carefully formulated glazes.
A Second Poem for Today
“Cartoon Physics, part 1,”
By Nick Flynn
Children under, say, ten, shouldn’t know
that the universe is ever-expanding,
inexorably pushing into the vacuum, galaxies
swallowed by galaxies, whole
solar systems collapsing, all of it
acted out in silence. At ten we are still learning
the rules of cartoon animation,
that if a man draws a door on a rock
only he can pass through it.
Anyone else who tries
will crash into the rock. Ten-year-olds
should stick with burning houses, car wrecks,
ships going down—earthbound, tangible
where they can be heroes. You can run
back into a burning house, sinking ships
have lifeboats, the trucks will come
with their ladders, if you jump
you will be saved. A child
places her hand on the roof of a schoolbus,
& drives across a city of sand. She knows
the exact spot it will skid, at which point
the bridge will give, who will swim to safety
& who will be pulled under by sharks. She will learn
that if a man runs off the edge of a cliff
he will not fall
American Art – Part IV of IV: Robert Armetta
In the words of one writer: “American painter Robert Armetta considers himself a classic realist, and his work has won numerous awards, including one from both the Portrait Society of America and the Art Renewal Center. His paintings have also appeared in several publications, including a full-length article in ‘Artist’s Magazine’ and, most recently, in the book ‘Portrait Painting Atelier,’ which features one of his portraits on its cover.”