Sunday, February 06, 2005

one love

Bob Marley would have turned sixty today. Marley's life was brief but his legacy has been long and widespread. His music brought the hopes and dreams of the African diaspora into homes and clubs worldwide and was influential in dispelling the notion that important music was created only in the economic powers of Western Europe and the United States. Marley's gift was to cast the music of rebellion into infectious rhythms that lifted the spirit without abandoning the reality of political struggle in an unjust world.

bob marley

"In this great future, you can't forget your past."
-Bob Marley, "No Woman, No Cry"

In Kingston, Jamaica and for the first time in The Rastafarian holy land of Ethiopia crowds gathered to hear Bob Marley's songs of freedom and his hope for a united Africa. The Associated Press reported that in Ethiopia's capital- Addis Ababa -tens of thousands attended a memorial concert entitled "Africa Unite'' after one of Marley's songs. African stars paid tribute by performing at the concert, including Youssou N'dour and Baaba Maal of Senegal and Angelique Kidjo of Benin. Marley's five sons, his widow Rita and other former members of Marley's band the Wailers also performed.

In a letter published in Sunday's "Jamaica Gleaner" American reggae historian Robert Roskind wrote,"this concert is much more than entertainment and an honouring of Jamaica's best-known artiste and healer. This evening will be a call to every Jamaican individually, and to the nation as a whole, to claim their God-given destiny to teach love, forgiveness and compassion in their lives. We as individuals need to answer this call. Jamaica as a country needs to answer this call. And the world needs this example of healing through one love.''

Saturday, February 05, 2005

faces of the fallen

Chester Arnold, the visionary Bay Area painter who exhibits at the Catherine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, has inspired his students at the College of Marin to create a moving exhibition of memorial portraits of American troops killed in action in Iraq. According to the
San Francisco Chronicle
Chester Arnold encouraged his students to take on the project after the United States military death toll in Iraq reached one thousand killed in action, "Perhaps ‘Faces’ can change the political debate,” said Chester Arnold. “Instead of ‘red states vs. blue states,’ I hope that we can find common ground as we did after September 11th.”

In the College of Marin’s “To Never Forget: Faces of the Fallen” exhibit art students and faculty have painted portraits of American troops killed in Iraq – more than 1200.

From the
  • College of Marin's website:
    “Faces” has tapped into a river of emotion in towns and communities across America, many of which have brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, neighbors and friends in Iraq. More than 100 news outlets have profiled the exhibit, including ABC-TV national news and The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and New York Newsday. Now, every day the college receives heart-felt responses from family, friends and others around the country needing a chance to remember and reflect on our losses. Some request portraits of their fallen relatives. Others ask that the exhibit tour the country, or be posted online. Visitors have come from as far away as Tennessee to see the faces of their loved ones.

    January 18 through February 22, 2005
    Monday - Friday
     9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday, Sunday
    10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
    Art Gallery, Fine Arts Building
    College of Marin
    835 College Avenue
    Kentfield, CA 94904

    For more information about this exhibit, call 415-485-9494.
    I had the pleasure to create monotypes for the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art's Monotype Marathon alongside Chester Arnold last June and now applaud his courage in tackling this war in his classes and his art.
    Also see:
  • Arlington
  • Veteran's Day
  • Update: Now at Syracuse University, New York
  • Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    David Best's Chapel of the Laborer

    Update: Chapel to be torn down today- Thursday, February 3rd

  • Throughout the day yesterday, people came to see, photograph and touch the towering structure. Some left notes tucked in the building's walls complimenting the work.

    "What a wonderful temple!!! I love everything about it. Please let it stay!!!" read a note signed "Sharon."

    Some were in Spanish, such as one signed by Carlos Diaz that described the chapel as "bonito," or pretty.

  • by Gregg Chadwick

    david best- chapel of the laborer
    David Best - Chapel of the Laborer, San Rafael
    photo by Alan Dep

    David Best set out to build a temporary chapel for day laborers in San Rafael, California, "I wanted to break into a poor community, to build a central location where the laborers could reflect," said Best to Leslie Fulbright of the San Francisco Chronicle. "But the city has made us all illegal -- the Virgin Mary, the day laborers and me."

    David Best
    Temple of Honor - Burning Man 2003
    photo by Gregg Chadwick

    David Best is known for his massive yet elegant wood and paper structures created as temples of memory in the Nevada desert each year for the Burning Man Arts Festival. Best's creations become convergence points for reflection and prayer without the heavy handed overlay of dogma and guilt found in many organized religious spaces.

    "This is where people come to buy groceries and make phone calls. It's a hub, and a place where someone can go and sit and cry about not being with family," Best said of the San Rafael space chosen for his chapel.

    On Tuesday Councilman Cyr Miller stopped by in an attempt to persuade David that the city supported Best's art. Moments later, Best invited a Guatemalan immigrant to sit down inside the shrine and was promptly reprimanded - "That is not allowed," Miller said then threw up his hands and sighed saying he had no choice but to demand the removal of the chapel.

    The chapel was to be part of Art Works Downtown's new exhibit- "Offerings and Sanctuaries".

    From the Chronicle:"Phyllis Thelen, president of the nonprofit art association, said this is its first venture beyond the gallery walls. She said that although the city was very helpful with finding locations and getting permits, officials had no choice but to condemn Best's project after the owner complained.

    "We've been back and forth all morning," Thelen said Tuesday. The owner "said her insurance company threatened to cancel her policy. It's unfortunate, especially because the manager thought she had the authority to approve it."

    Call or fax the city of San Rafael and express your disapproval. David Best is a major artist and the City of San Rafael was fortunate to have him take part-
    Contact information below

    City of San Rafael
    1400 Fifth Avenue
    San Rafael, CA 94901

    Main Fax # (415) 459-2242



    First elected to Council in 11/87;
    elected Mayor in 11/91;
    re-elected in 11/95, 11/99 and 11/03.
    (Term expires: 11/2007)
    (415) 485-3074


    First appointed to Council in 2/95;
    he was then elected to same position in 11/95;
    re-elected in 11/99 and 11/03.
    (Term expires: 11/2007)
    (415) 485-3074


    First elected to Council in 11/91;
    re-elected in 11/95, 11/99 and 11/03.
    (Term expires: 11/2007)
    (415) 485-3074
    (415) 455-9550 (phone & fax)


    First elected to Council in 11/93;
    re-elected in 11/97 and 11/01.
    (Term expires: 11/2005)
    (415) 485-3074
    (415) 457-9820 (phone & fax)


    First appointed to Council in 6/96;
    he was then elected to same position in 11/97 and 11/01.
    (Term expires: 11/2005)
    (415) 485-3074
    (415) 258-9519

    GARY T. RAGGHIANTI, Part-time City Attorney

    First appointed City Attorney in 11/84;
    he was then elected to same position in 11/87.
    Has been re-elected every four years.
    (Term expires: 11/2007)
    (415) 485-3080

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