Selected into the Midwest Center for Photography Small Works Exhibition

Notifications went out today on who made it into the Midwest Center for Photography‘s 10th Annual “TEN X TEN Small Works Exhibition” and I’m thrilled to say I number among the 26 international photographers who have had work selected for the show. “TEN X TEN” focuses on offering affordable works that are ten inches by ten inches in dimension, and sell for $100 each.

There will be a reception on opening night Friday, November 24th from 7-9pm at 1215 Franklin in Wichita, Kansas. Photographs are on exhibition in the gallery through December 31st, and are also featured for sale online. To order online, please visit: http://www.mwcponline.com/tenth-ten-x-ten.html to purchase direct from the gallery who will package and ship straight to your door.

Here’s the complete list of exhibiting artists:
Antonio Castilho, Lisbon, Portugal; Dave Conkling, Grinnell, IA; Jim Davis, Fairfield, IA; Rachel Deutmeyer, Ames, IA; Jon Dunning, Cambridge, England, UK; Zachary Endter, Vienna, Austria; Jane Feely, Highland Park, IL; Kari Grogan, Concordia, KS; Jim Hammer, Wichita, KS; Douglas Hill, Los Angeles, CA; Charles Hively, Brooklyn, NY; Sophia Howard, Fort Worth, TX; Stephen Howard, Wichita, KS; K. C. Hulsman, Hurst, TX; Barbara Kantz, East Setauket, NY; Fran Lattanzio, Terra Haute, IN; Lauren Lopez, Richardson, TX; Jenna Lynch, Mahopac, NY; Holly McCaslin, Wichita, KS; Dan McCormack, Accord, NY; Lisa Mitchell, Lincs, England, UK; Jennifer Murray, Chicago, IL; Eric Rennie, Cromwell, CT; Linda Robinson, Wichita, KS; Natalie Weber, Glenview, IL; and Michelle Yanga, Howell, MI.
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Chris Brandley’s First Snow

A former GCISD art teacher, and fellow member of the Grapevine Art Project Chris Brandley has something a little special to celebrate this holiday season. One of her oil paintings was licensed for use on Christmas snack tins. The tins have some mass distribution as they’re for sale at Big Lots stores around the country! I’ve nabbed some images from the artist’s website so you can see for yourself.

You can read the adventure of not only how the painting came to be, but how her art ended up on these tins by clicking here to visit her blog entry on the subject. So if you go into a Big Lots store and find the tins, I encourage you to send her a selfie with the post to her Facebook page, it’ll make her smile! Of course you can not only take a tin home from a Big Lots, but she has prints for sale of her artwork too.

 

 

 

Owl’right, Owl’right, Owl’right.

I love going to the Hudson River Valley in New York, not only does a very dear friend live there, but the countryside is beautiful and there’s so much natural beauty all around you. Considering the local environs, it’s really no surprise that it’s been an inspiration source for so many artists, and famous even for the Hudson River School, which is credited for being the first coherent American art style, which was very prevalent in the 19th Century and has a legacy that still influences and inspires artists today. The style was known for natural landscapes, and celebrating the environmental wonders and work of the divine found in the world around us as typified by a long list of prominent artists, some of which can be found here.
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The atmosphere of this image gives the impression of snow, but the white flecks in the background were some sort of fungus growing inside this hollowed out tree.While the mood of the image seems to suggest Winter, I took this shot on a recent autumn trip where it was in the mid 70s outside.
 
I’m not sure, but I believe this is a Barred Owl. If anyone knows for sure, could you please let me know?
 
 

2017 IAA Photography Exhibition – Now Open with Reception this Sunday

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The 2017 IAA Photography Expedition has now opened, and will run through December 1st at the Jaycee Parks Center for the Arts in Irving, Texas. The show is free and open to the public. I feel honored that one of my pieces (Turn Back Time) was selected to participate in this photography competition juried by Mark Thompson. The exhibition contains 75 pieces in total from 44 different regional photographers.

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AWARDS CEREMONY & RECEPTION

  • Sunday, November 5th
  • From 2 – 4 pm
  • At the Jaycee Parks Center for the Arts
  • 1975 Puritan Drive in Irving, Texas

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I hope you will join all of us during the Reception and Awards Ceremony for the 2017 Irving Art Association’s Photography Exhibition featuring many talented regional photographers, including not only myself but fellow Grapevine Art Project member Klaus Mayer. The preview gallery for all the selected works can be viewed on the IAA’s official website here.

 

 

GAP’s Winter Wonderland Art Show

I’ve got 4 different outlets this month where my photography is on exhibit. One of them now open to the public is at the historic Palace Arts Center in Grapevine where my photograph I took of Beacon Falls in the Hudson River Valley in New York entitled Bridge Over Troubled Waters is on display. It is but one work among many of the other talented works by members from the Grapevine Art Project. The show is free and open to the public.

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GAP WINTER WONDERLAND

The show runs from November 1st – December 31st, at the Palace Arts Center located at 301 S. Main Street in Grapevine, Texas and is available to view Monday through Friday from 9am – 5pm, as well as during other special events at the PAC.

 

 

For more information about the historic Palace Arts Center please visit  here.

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Pushing Daisies – Art Show October 28th

There will be a reception on Saturday, October 28th from 7-11pm for the latest themed show–Pushing Daisies–at the Central Arts of Bedford located at 2816 Central Drive in Bedford. I’ll have several pieces hanging in the show, and of course a range of my prints are also available for perusal.

Admission is free, costumes are encouraged, so please come on by to support your local artists!

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The Fort Davis Area of Texas

Fort Davis is a very small town with a population of 1200 (2010 Census), and has the highest elevation in the entire state for any Texas county-seat at 5,050 feet above sea level. It’s really known for

  1. The National Fort Davis Historic Site, which preserves the best remaining examples of old US ARMY Forts from the Southwestern United States. Fort Davis was established in 1854.
  2. McDonald Observatory, while key scientific discoveries and research occurs at the site, this observatory is one of the few in the world that invites the public to special programs like their Sky Parties.
  3. Davis Mountains State Park
  4. Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden

 

While the Dallas / Fort Worth area was skirting with temperatures just shy of 100 degrees Fahrenheit, I escaped in the middle of July to the Davis Mountains in the Southwestern corner of the state of Texas, highs were in the low 80s, and overnights low were briskly cold. The Davis Mountains not only offers some of the most picturesque vistas throughout the entire state of Texas, the cooler temperatures had the land lushly green, which wasn’t something I was expecting to see.

 

The state park has two bird blinds, which are great for bird watchers, photographers, and the curious. This is where I nabbed this great shot of a Pine Siskin. Plus you can get a special pass for access to the park after dark to make use of the scenic overlook to enjoy some Dark Skies for some star gazing without camping over night there. In my case, rain storms came in during the night and rained out my plans for some night photography, but it’s a great resource I plan to use when I next make a try at night photography. The State Park is within line of sight of McDonald Observatory, if you look very carefully at the vista on the top right and bottom right, the tiny white dots on the top of that mountain in the difference is the Observatory.

In less than 15 minutes you leave the Davis Mountains State Park behind and can find yourself on the fringes of the Chihuahuan Desert, and a Nature Center that showcases the flora and fauna of the region’s desert. This is an important corridor for hummingbird migration, and scientists do tag the birds in their attempts to learn more about them.

 

 

 

Marfa, Texas – One “Giant” Movie, & The Arts

As mentioned previously, Marfa’s claim to fame:

  1. the movie Giant was filmed here
  2. it’s a well-known Arts destination

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Giant (1956) was directed by Hollywood artistic juggernaut George Stevens (who won an Academy Award for Best Director for his work on the film), and earned a total of 9 Academy Nominations for work both behind and in front of the screen. Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean in his last role (and only third film) before his untimely death. Even though the film came out in the 1956, there continues to be a dialogue about this cinemas Classic. There’s been at least two different documentaries: Return To Giant (2003), and Children of Giant (2015). Giant has withstood the test of time, because it dared to be about matters of substance. The film was ahead of its time as it spotlighted racial prejudice and segregation against latinos. One only needs to turn the news on to see how these are still relevant issues today as the nation is indulged in conversations about Mexican Immigrants and DACA.

One of the go to tourists destinations is the restored Hotel Paisano. The Hotel was designed by famed architect Henry Trost in the 1920s. In the 1950s Hollywood came to the Hotel, when the movie Giant was in production. Many of the cast and crew stayed at the hotel, or made use of its amenities. Today there’s some film memorabilia up around the hotel, and there’s a number of small shops (including one that sells Giant film related merchandise), and a gallery attached to the hotel too.

 

Despite being a town of around 2000 residents, Marfa boasts well over a dozen art galleries, the most preeminent Art destination being the Chinati Foundation. While Marfa may feature numerous art galleries plus a number of retail shops specializing in artisan wares. Many of them have limited hours primarily focused to Friday – Sunday. I knew this going to the town, but even so I found half the places I tried to visit closed the Saturday I went. Between vacations, and galleries between installations my luck was not with me.

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Still I managed to make it to Book Marfa, which features a specially curated book store, artisan made goods, as well as a mini art gallery with works for sale. I love their regional book section. Anyone with an interest in ancient art especially of ancient man the book the White Shaman Mural is a must read.

The White Shaman Mural: An Enduring Creation Narrative in the Rock Art of the Lower Pecos by Carolyn E. Boyd, Kim Cox

Winner, Society for American Archarology Book Award, 2017

The prehistoric hunter-gatherers of the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of Texas and Coahuila, Mexico, created some of the most spectacularly complex, colorful, extensive, and enduring rock art of the ancient world. Perhaps the greatest of these masterpieces is the White Shaman mural, an intricate painting that spans some twenty-six feet in length and thirteen feet in height on the wall of a shallow cave overlooking the Pecos River. In The White Shaman Mural, Carolyn E. Boyd takes us on a journey of discovery as she builds a convincing case that the mural tells a story of the birth of the sun and the beginning of time—making it possibly the oldest pictorial creation narrative in North America.

Unlike previous scholars who have viewed Pecos rock art as random and indecipherable, Boyd demonstrates that the White Shaman mural was intentionally composed as a visual narrative, using a graphic vocabulary of images to communicate multiple levels of meaning and function. Drawing on twenty-five years of archaeological research and analysis, as well as insights from ethnohistory and art history, Boyd identifies patterns in the imagery that equate, in stunning detail, to the mythologies of Uto-Aztecan-speaking peoples, including the ancient Aztec and the present-day Huichol. This paradigm-shifting identification of core Mesoamerican beliefs in the Pecos rock art reveals that a shared ideological universe was already firmly established among foragers living in the Lower Pecos region as long as four thousand years ago.

I swung by the famous Ballroom Marfa for their installation at the time, and was rather taken by this artists use of electrical current through tobacco to the cooper sheet metal. I think in this case, it brings back fond memories of me working with copper during my metal & jewelry days. There was also an interesting exhibit that tackled political issues of identity as found in language and how various countries were using accents to authentic paperwork and grant or deny admittance to their country for foreigners. I also tried to visit the artisan retail fronts of both Freda,and the Wrong Store but they were also closed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call me a Monarchist! I just adore this butterfly.

As a long time resident of the Dallas / Fort Worth area I’ve long been aware of a pair of fluttering orange and black wings that are seen during two key times throughout the year: Spring and Fall. The Monarch Butterfly winters in Mexico, but when temperatures rise in the Spring they begin their northern journey into the United States and the Southern most portions of Canada.

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Source: http://www.monarchwatch.org

In Autumn, the butterflies migrate south so they can spend the winter in Mexico.

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Source: http://www.monarchwatch.org

Their Winter nest is so laden with butterflies, it’s as if the trees in lieu of leaves have butterflies instead. Truly it’s a marvel. Scientists estimate that 6 out of every 10 butterflies die from starvation en route due to the loss of native habitat and native wildflowers that produce sustaining nectar. Here’s a short video on how you can help to preserve this annual wonder, plus some amazing photos of the Mexican winter home. Watch it on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuMASSrli9A

There’s even a research site trying to tag and track them to more thoroughly map their migration patterns and routes over at MonarchWatch.org. Thanks to them you can get an idea of their Spring and Fall migration maps as seen above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marfa, Texas – The Chinati Foundation

Marfa may be a city with only a local population of around 2,000 (according to the 2010 Federal Census), but with dozens of art galleries and a film festival the small town certainly packs quite a punch in the Arts world. But Marfa’s iconoclast status as an art destination is due to Donald Judd’s works, and the fosterage of New York’s Dia Art Foundation to help establish the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas on the remains of an old military base. Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

The Chinati Foundation/La Fundación Chinati is a contemporary art museum based upon the ideas of its founder, Donald Judd. The specific intention of Chinati is to preserve and present to the public permanent large-scale installations by a limited number of artists. The emphasis is on works in which art and the surrounding landscape are inextricably linked. As Judd wrote in the foundation’s catalogue:

It takes a great deal of time and thought to install work carefully. This should not always be thrown away. Most art is fragile and some should be placed and never moved again. Somewhere a portion of contemporary art has to exist as an example of what the art and its context were meant to be. Somewhere, just as the platinum-iridium meter guarantees the tape measure, a strict measure must exist for the art of this time and place.

 

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The Chinati Foundation

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