Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Radio Interview, this Friday February, 27th

One of my participants for my Red Chair project was a woman who opened "Feminique Boutique", an upscale destination for sexuality and romance enhancing products and services in West Chester, PA. She is also the host of a weekly radio program, "Sex and Sensibility with Jill McDevitt" on WCHE 1520 am radio. Ms. McDevitt has been brave enough to ask me to be a guest on her program this Friday afternoon, September 27th. The topic she has chosen is "Naked photography, Art or Porn".
From her website:
Sex and Sensibility with Jill McDevitt is a the venue for intelligent
conversation about all things sex, with a variety of interesting guests
from polyamorists to sex therapists, prostitutes to gynecologists.

Hostess Jill McDevitt is a local sexologist and owner of Feminique
Boutique, a female-oriented sex shop in West Chester, PA. She has a B.A. in
Sexuality, Marriage, and Family and is now earning an M.Ed in Human

So this should be an interesting interview, taking the photographer who has been photographing the nude for 25 years and who has been called a pornographer by the Perkasie Borough council, and asking him his thoughts on the subject.
Now anyone who knows me knows that I will get out my soapbox and will go on for hours about art, pornography and censorship. The program is only 30 minutes long and they are accepting callers so I need to keep my comments brief. Easier said than done. If you are interesting to hear me try not to make a fool out of myself, please tune into WCHE Their website has a live feed and it should be interesting. This is your chance to call in and ask me any questions about my art or the political ramifications of art and pornography that you want answered. Well at least to hear my side of the story anyway.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hello again- Yes, two posts in a row, can you imagine. But this is important. Since President Obama was sworn in, there has been a flurry of activity in the White House, from GitMo to the economy, his new administration has be tirelessly tying to get us out of the hole the last administration dug. Was it a hole or a grave?, anyway so while reading more art news I cam across this article on Art Bistro. I am copying the article below.

Valerie Atkisson / ArtBistro February 04, 2009

One of the most controversial measures of President Obama’s stimulus package is his aid to the arts. “Singers, actors and dancers can stimulate audiences, but can they stimulate the economy? The authors of the current stimulus package seem to think so — they have included $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $150 million for infrastructure repairs at the Smithsonian.” says Elizabeth Blair, NPR.

That is a lot of money to the NEA, a government agency that has be limping along for decades on a shoestring budget. Who will head up the NEA? Obama has not named his choice yet. We will have to wait and see who the NEA chief will be.

Artists and arts organizations have been struggling in this recession. Many have closed their doors due to a dry up in private donors. NPR points out:

“Michael Kaiser, head of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, says the arts industry is made up of thousands of small organizations, so they don’t always make headlines when they go bankrupt.

“The arts as a totality in this country employs 5.7 million people,” Kaiser says, “so we’re not a small sector of this economy. Our employment levels are important to this economy.”

The Obama administration seems to agree. Bill Ivey, former chair of the NEA, was on the president’s transition team. He says the agency is included in the package because it already has a system in place for moving money into the economy.

“The NEA really can give away money efficiently and effectively and quickly through a very responsible, peer reviewed, grant-making process,” Ivey says."

As part of The New Deal President Roosevelt stared the WPA that gave thousands of artists jobs. Al Giordano reports, “To get the United States out of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt launched various stimulus programs to get people to back to work, most importantly, from 1935 to 1943, the Works Progress Administration (WPA). As part of the WPA, the Federal Arts Project (FAP) created work for 5,000 of America’s best artists who painted murals and posters, sculpted and created more than 225,000 works of art, mainly in state and local government buildings. (Contrast that 225,000 number over eight years with the just 119,000 grants by the NEA over 38 years, and you can get an idea of the scope.)”

Obama supports the arts and this stimulus package makes that clear. We have yet to see how the money will be used. Perhaps much depends on the next NEA cheif.

So as an artist I applaud President Obama sticking to his guns and promoting the arts. Even closer to home, I hope to be applying for a grant to help finish my Red Chair series of images. I have photographed 60 people so far and need at least 40 more to complete the shooting process. Interested??

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cézanneand beyond comes to Philly

Well, this post will get us back on the art track!
My wife and I are members of the Philadelphia Art Museum. For less than $10 a month we have a family membership which gets us admission to the museum, special members tickets to exhibitions and of course a discount in the gift shops!
If we weren't members we probably would miss so many wonderful exhibitions.
Opening on February 26th is "Cézanne and Beyond". An exhibition about the importance of Cézanne in France and on the art world.
From the museums website:
This exhibition features forty paintings and twenty watercolors and drawings by Cézanne, displayed alongside works by several artists for whom Cézanne has been a central inspiration and whose work reflects, both visually and poetically, Cézanne’s extraordinary legacy. These artists include Max Beckmann, Georges Braque, Pierre Bonnard, Charles Demuth, Alberto Giacometti, Arshile Gorky, Marsden Hartley, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Fernand Léger, Brice Marden, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, Giorgio Morandi, Pablo Picasso, Liubov Popova, and Jeff Wall.

So whether you've never been to the Philadelphia Museum of Art or have been to the museum a hundred times, there is always something wonderful and enlightening to see, feel and enjoy. It is a great way to expand your horizons and give back to the local arts community.
For more information, check out he museums website for their calendar of events. PMOA