Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Artist Focus Groups for the Mineta San Jose Airport

for the

Three meeting dates/times/locations to choose from:

Tuesday, August 9, 2005 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
San José Museum of Art, 110 South Market Street, San José

Saturday, August 13, 2005 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom Street, San Francisco

Monday, August 15, 2005 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Works/San José Gallery, 30 North 3rd Street, San José

The Mineta San José International Airport Public Art Master Plan creates a framework for a unified program of Art & Technology that will identify San José as a diverse global center for innovation and change.

Gorbet+Banerjee, a multi-disciplinary artist team was selected as the Arts Activation Team to identify sites and design appropriate infrastructure (platforms) to accommodate the Airport Public Art Program. The initial phase of their design process is to meet with the regional arts community in a series of meetings to inform the design of a number of flexible artwork. Input from a wide array of artists working in both traditional and technologically influenced media is welcome.

For further information, please contact:

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Art Bloggers Conference in Montreal

Thanks to Zeke, an Art Bloggers Conference will be included in Artivistic, an international art conference set for September in Montreal.

From the Artivistic Website:
"Artivistic :an international transdisciplinary event on the interplay between art, information and activism that will take place September 22 to 24, 2005, in Montreal QC (Canada).

Integrating performances, exhibitions, interventions, workshops and panels by diverse practitioners and theorists in a multilingual setting, Artivistic is part of an evolving landscape of inclusive events which celebrate the power of engaged art as a catalyst for positive change.

The event aims to promote open transdisciplinary + intercultural dialogue and research on activist art, to create and facilitate a human network of diverse peoples, and to inspire, proliferate, activate."

Bastille Day

"Rue Mosnier with Flags"
Édouard Manet
25 3/4 x 31 3/4 in. oil on canvas 1878

On a day of national celebration in France, the Getty Museum's collection of French paintings provides a link to Paris.
The AP reports today that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the guest of honor, joined French President Jacques Chirac on the official reviewing stand at the Place de la Concorde to view the Bastille Day Parade. Brazilian President Silva was invited to the observances as part of "the year of Brazil in France," which aims to promote economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

After the parade finished, Chirac and Silva stood at attention outside the presidential Elysee Palace as sirens sounded across Paris to observe two minutes of silence in solidarity with London.

Manet's "Rue Mosnier" was painted two years before July 14th was declared the French national holiday in 1880. The holiday is known as the Fête Nationale in France and commemorates the Fête de la Fédération of 1790, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris by an angry mob on 14 July 1789, sparking the revolution that rid France of its monarchy.

From the Getty's description of Manet's " Rue Mosnier with Flags":
" The French government declared June 30, 1878, a national holiday: Fête de la Paix (Celebration of Peace) which marked France's recovery from the disastrous Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 and the divisive Paris Commune that followed. From his studio's second--floor window, Édouard Manet captured the holiday afternoon with his fluid brushwork in a harmony of the reds, whites, and blues of the French tricolor.

The urban street was a principal subject of Impressionist and Modernist painting; many artists aimed to show not only the transformation and growth of the Industrial Age but how it also affected society. Manet's eyes saw both elegant passengers in hansom cabs and, in the foreground, a worker carrying a ladder. The hunched amputee on crutches, perhaps a war veteran or beggar, passes by fenced-in debris left from the construction of a new train track. Manet's sensitivity to the associated costs and sacrifices tempered his optimistic view of national pride and newfound prosperity."

Modernkicks has more on the birth of Liberté.

Anna's Blogospheric Grid

Anna Conti has captured the world of art blogs
in a tight grid. Links to each. Click away.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Rock el Casbah

“Unity is a universal message.”
Rachid Taha

Backstage at a Clash concert in the early '80's, the young French-Algerian singer Rachid Taha pressed a demo tape of his own mix of punk, rock and middle eastern music into Joe Strummer's hands. Rachid Taha didn't hear back from the Clash. But shortly after their backstage meeting, the Clash's "Rock the Casbah" made it onto vinyl. The song could have been written by Taha. “I like Joe Strummer. We have the same obsession - freedom,” says Rachid. When he heard of Strummer's recent death, Taha recorded his own version of the Clash song: "Rock el Casbah" as a tribute.

Watching video clips during the first Iraq War, Taha heard the Clash song blared by US troops during the short engagement with Iraqi forces. – “I wanted to show that this is not a war song, but much more a peaceful song.”

Rachid Taha’s "Rock El Casbah", sung in Arabic, is a sly cover of the Clash classic and provides a nice entree into the power, intelligence and humor of his own music. Rachid Taha's stance against racism, hypocrisy and nostalgic ghetto complacency, have earned him a fearsome reputation in France, North Africa and the Arabic world.

A cultural figure with powerful views on racism and injustices in French society, his music reflects these tensions and has, in Brian Eno’s words, an energy and confidence arising out of his belief that music can still change the world.

Says Rachid: “I’m a proletarian, I’m of the people… so I’m protesting. For me the music’s a protest. So all my songs are like this because I wanted to stop making metaphors. I said it’s time to speak out now.”

Medina Memories
Gregg Chadwick
"Medina Memories"
38"x38" oil on linen 1992-2005

Rachid Taha quoted by BBC's 'The World':

"When I hear George Bush, and when I hear Osama bin Laden, I hear two bedouin nomads. The only difference he says, is that one of them is from the desert of Texas and drives an SUV, and the other is from the desert of Saudi Arabia and rides a dromedary." Taha says Bush and bin Laden come from similar well-heeled backgrounds. And both, he says, use a similar fundamentalist rhetoric.

Taha's "Rock el Casbah" is on "Tekitoi" (Who Are You?), Rachid's first album after the September 11 attacks.The title track is sung as a dialogue between a young Frenchman and a young Algerian. They ask each other “Who are you?” This question, Taha says, “is part of the healing process. If you start to recognize that we are the same, then you don’t want to do something bad to someone else.”

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Rimi Yang: Solo Exhibit at Artamo Gallery, Santa Barbara

JULY 6 — 31, 2005

*Photos from Opening Reception: Rimi Yang at Artamo Gallery

rimi yang
Rimi Yang
"sublimely unemphatic"
72"x48" oil and encaustic on canvas 2005

From the Artamo Gallery:

"Rimi Yang’s first solo exhibition presents her newest work, which shows the artist’s progression from classic drawing and figurative painting to total abstraction and reflects the transition in her life from a culture driven by tradition into a new world of non-compromised expression.

Rimi Yang’s compositions are borne from a method of automatic painting in which she allows her feelings to take hold of her in the course of execution. In avoiding conscious renderings of a preconceived idea, Rimi responds to the emotions of the given moment,
reaching within her soul for guided inspiration as she gives form to her thoughts with the use of tangible materials."

11 W. Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, California 93101



Anna Conti: "Another Way to Look at the City"

As part of the City Streets exhibition at the STUDIO Gallery, painter and art blogger Anna Conti will present an artist talk:
"Another Way to Look at the City"

Sunday, July 10th, 3 - 4 pm

From the STUDIO Gallery:

"Anna is one of the gallery's most popular painters, and we're delighted to have a number of her pieces in the City Streets show. Whether she's painting realistic cityscapes, her popular Doggie Diner series, or her collaborative "bean paintings" of toys from the Musee Mechanique, Anna's work always captures the mood of the City. We hope you'll join us for Anna's talk, see the show and of course have some refreshments."

STUDIO Gallery
1718A Polk Street
San Francisco

Thursday, July 07, 2005


"Stainless Light"
38"x38" oil on linen 2005

London's "Guardian" reports on today's bombings:

"It was about three minutes after we left King's Cross, when there was a massive bang and there was smoke and glass everywhere. I was standing near a window, and I've still got some in my hair."

"The lights went out, and, with the smoke, we couldn't breathe, and we sort of cushioned each other during the impact because the compartment was so full."

"It felt like a dream, it was surreal."
- Fiona Trueman, 26, who was on a train a few minutes south of King's Cross when it exploded.

London Tube Attack
-photo by Adam Stacey

Continual updates on the "Guardian's" blog: guardian blog
Photo coverage on flickr: London pool

Monday, July 04, 2005

A Topaz Pilgrimage

On this Independence Day, I think of the Americans who were forced from their homes and businesses on the west coast to internment camps spread across the US interior by President Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942.

During the 1940's, the town of Topaz was one of the largest cities in Utah. Like most towns, there were houses, gardens and elementary schools. Unlike most towns, there were barbed-wire fences and guard towers marking the city line.

George Matsusaburo Hibi
George Matsusaburo Hibi
Guard Tower - Topaz Camp
22" x 18" oil on canvas 1944

On June 11th 2005, in the Utah desert , a group of ageing Japanese Americans boarded buses for a dusty trip back to the Topaz Internment Camp to remember the 60th anniversary of their release from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066.

Hibi, Hisako
Hisako Hibi
"Western Sky"
oil on canvas July 1, 1945

Topaz internment camp opened on September 11, 1942. Situated 140 miles south of Salt Lake City, the high desert winds stirred up frequent dust storms which cut through the wood and tarpaper shacks built to house the internees.

The internees at Topaz were primarily from California and almost completely urban in origin.

One of the internees was the painter Hisako Hibi(1907-1991). At Topaz, Hisako Hibi and her husband, George Matsusaburo Hibi, taught art in the camp schools.

The work of Hisako Hibi was featured in a recent exhibition in the De Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University in California.
The exhibition also marked the publication of Hisako Hibi's: "Peaceful Painter: Memoirs of an Issei Woman Artist"

Hisako Hibi
"Homage to Mary Cassatt"
24" x 20" oil on canvas 1943

Topaz was closed on October 31, 1945. It was not until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1988 that the US Government officially apologized for the unjust incarceration. Upon release, the Hibi family moved to Hells Kitchen in Manhattan. Hibi worked as a dressmaker to support her family and continued to paint.

Her husband,George Hibi, died within two years but Hisako stayed on, raised her children, and studied at the Museum of Modern Art. Hisako Hibi continued painting for the next forty years and, after she returned to San Francisco in 1954, exhibited her work in numerous group and solo exhibitions.

     George Matsusaburo Hibi: Men Painting, Sunset, Topaz
George Matsusaburo Hibi
"Men Painting, Sunset, Topaz"
20" x 24" oil on canvas 1944

Hisako Hibi's posthumous memoir has generated rich reviews:

"This is a beautiful and inspiring book. The words and paintings of Hisako Hibi add an important chapter to the still-unfolding story of what Japanese Americans experienced during the World War II internment. They also tell the story of a remarkable life, one that illustrates the indomitable spirit of the Issei, the pioneering first generation."
—James D. Houston and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, authors of Farewell to Manzanar

"With her luminous art and the grace and poignancy of her words, Hisako Hibi tells her remarkable journey as an immigrant woman, wife, mother, and artist. Her story of survival and accomplishment is made all the more extraordinary by the gentle wisdom of her voice."
—Kimi Kodani Hill, author of Topaz Moon

"Through her words and art, the remarkable Hisako Hibi conveys the harsh challenge of life within the Tanforan Assembly Center and the Topaz internment camp, as well as the generous, resilient spirit that enabled her to endure and prevail. Her compassion and creative drive infuse this engaging memoir."
—Valerie Matsumoto, Professor of History/Asian American Studies, UCLA

As an American, I celebrate the achievements of our country. And as an American, I remember the mistakes and injustices of our past. Hisako Hibi and more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent were unjustly imprisoned behind barbed wire. In the midst of another war, I remember where the fear of an unknown enemy can lead our country. I stand with the ageing veterans of Topaz and declare,"Never Again."

Hisako Hibi Archive at UCLA