In the Main Salon. . .
Diana Bower: Posters & Prints
Diana writes: Posters call our attention to an event or a product for sale or something important going on in the world. They can have lots of words, or few, or none at all, as in the young cows we posted all around the LOVE DOG CAFE reminding people of the HEIFER PROJECT BENEFIT to be held there.
Broadsides can be sort of mini-posters, celebrating the publication of a new books (HANDS AT WORK), or quotes from poets (RUMI, SHAKESPEARE, ETC.) as shown here.
Most of the posters, and all of the prints in this show are made by relief printing, the most direct form of printing. A carved block, or pieces of type (wood or lead) are inked and pressed into slightly dampened 100% rag paper. This pressing is most efficiently done with a letterpress, such as my Vandercock SP-14 proof press.
Images to follow
~ Diana Bower
In the Cabinet. . .
"Degenerate" ceramics and German Modernism
Entartete Keramik, 1919-1939
Russel Barsh: Growing up on the fringes of New York City in the 1950s, surrounded by the children of war veterans and recent immigrants from Eastern Europe, I was given the impression that everything German was bad.
It was not uncommon for my classmates' parents to have concentration camp tattoos on their forearms. They were Czechs, Poles, Russians or -like my family- Lithuanians. My father, whose parents had arrived just a generation earlier and died in Garment District sweatshops, was drafted in 1942 and saw four years of combat as a front-line medical officer. Anything remotely German upset him-food, language, literature. I barely noticed that my maternal grandparents' home was furnished with German art that had been fashionable when they married in 1907; or that the family seemed ashamed of uncle Benjamin, a German-born shopkeeper and toy-maker who was especially kind to me. Yiddish was often spoken in his household but High German was ridiculed. My uncle Isaac (who advised NASA about space exploration) got grief for associating with German rocket engineer Werner Von Braun. (To the mortification of some of my relatives, he introduced me to German astronomer Willy Ley, who encouraged me to become a scientist... and thus began to make me suspicious of my family's ethnic attitudes.)
As my interests in ceramic arts grew years later, I nonetheless sought the roots of modernism in France, the British Isles and the United States: Arts and Crafts, L'Art Nouveau, and American Art Deco. I assumed that Germany was responsible for the Nazi version of Socialist Realism, for kitschy steins, and little more. It was a revelation for me to stumble, almost literally, over the bold colors of Kurt Wendler's "Indra" pattern, which in 1919 previewed Art Deco; and from there to discover the protean creative power of German women ceramicists that invented much of the look and feel of what today we regard as "modern" in clay.
German modernism inspired artists throughout the West until 1939. It is decidedly not "Nazi" art; on the contrary, many of the artist were persecuted for supposedly degrading German culture or for refusing to obey government edicts on the proper teaching and practice of art. How ironic that our North America view of history has associated the Nazi repression of modern art almost exclusively with painters - and mainly French, Spanish, and Russian painters at that who were also predominantly men (e.g. Matisse, Chagall, Picasso, Lissitsky, Kandinsky) - when the Third Reich also imprisoned or deported a comparable number of German ceramic artists as well that were mostly women. Indeed, a fair examination of the European art scene in 1933 would show that Germany was producing and exporting them most diverse and distinctive modernist ceramics of any country. This would end with the German invasion of Poland and Czechoslovakia; but artist such as Evan Zeisel and Marguerite Friendlaender re-established their influence as innovators in the countries to which they were forced to flee.
Images to follow.
~ Russel Barsh
In the Quiet Room ...
The quiet room is a beautiful place to read, study, and reflect. It is a peaceful and now more cozy than ever with these beautiful quilt creations hanging and changed each month. Come visit the "quiet room." Thanks to Anne Dawson who swaps out the quilts every now and then.
Art Gallery Coordinator
Meg Ryan has graciously accepted the task of coordinating artists to exhibit their work in the library's main salon and in the display cabinets that face the entry into the library. With a professional background in art and design, Meg has an exceptional eye for form and color, and has assembled an amazing line up of artists to display their works each month into 2013. Among her volunteer duties are placing the advertising for each art show, offering assistance to the artists when their work goes up or down.
Seeking and selecting the artists for each show is her primary role. We look forward collaborating with her as she keeps the library gallery as one of the premier places for artists to show their work. Meg Ryan is always on the lookout for artists, seasoned or new, that have a connection with Lopez, to show their work. Contact Meg if you have interest in exhibiting your work.
Meg Ryan - 468-4330
We want to thank Carolyn Cameron for her contributions to the library during the last year. She has recently moved off the island.
Spotted at the Lopez Library on Fisherman's Bay Road
This recent addition to the library's permanent collection was donated by our local artist, Marc Foster Grant (thank you, Marc!) This acrylic on handmade rag paper can be seen along with many more of his whimsical creations at www.marcfostergrant.com
History of a Painting
This Triptych Pastel was painted in 1993 in the upstairs studio space at Shirley Wright's Grayling Gallery at the request of the library. A large image was needed to be displayed over the then existing steep staircase behind the circulation desk.
A makeshift scaffolding was erected and a large plank spanning the stairwell was used to balance on while hanging the three framed pieces. I think because of these difficulties, the paintings hung there for quite some time.
When remodeling of the library was imminent, they were taken down and Robert Hermann purchased them shortly after that and displayed them to great advantage in his Hunter Bay house over the fireplace.
Now here it is*, once more in a perfect setting.
~ Christa Malay, Artist
* The library would like to thank the Friends of Lopez Island Library, for purchasing this triptych for permanent display in the new Reading Room (Quiet Room - Shhh!). It is lovely and very much at peace now that it has returned back home.