Tag Archives: art

The Art of Rebecca Kraatz

Tomorrow, I will be going to Dalhousie University’s Killam Library to see award-winning graphic artist, cartoonist and writer Rebecca Kraatz talk about her life, art, and acclaimed graphic novel Snaps.

In preparation for the event I was putting around Rebecca Kraatz’s website and am happy to say I was inspired enough to mention her work on this blog (thus helping to spread her acclaim to literally two or three random folks !).

I enjoy Kraatz’s art because her work often contains at least one of my three of favourite qualities:
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Ore-Yo

Judith G. Klausner (JGK)

This morning when the tendrils of the internet unfurled to collect me for the day I discovered a pearl in their murky folds. A friend, and textile artist, had posted about Judith G. Klausner’s embroidered toast.

Wow, man! Embroidered toast!?!

Jana Sterbak’s Meat Dress, 1991. (Photo: John Major/Ottawa Citizen).

Well, what else are you supposed to do sitting around in your meat dress? The future is now.

In addition to embroidering toast (and possibly buttering some felt) JGK creates stitch work on Chex cereal, wallpaper patterned with condiments, she sculpts with bee related items, as well as parts of her own body. Be sure to check out her authentic eyeball and kidney Leaning Tower of Pisa recreation….
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Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence

Click banner image to go to the Virtual Resource Center

In preparation for an impending consulting job, I’ve been tasked with finding some pictures of “lively,” “vibrant,” and “happening” libraries. Like a good librarian I found the necessary images (liscnesed to be in the public domain, of course). Like a great librarian I also stumbled across some sweet, almost ontopic (ie. however unusable) images of paintings of libraries that did a lot to inspire me personally (advancing me professionally be damned… at least in this context).

Jacob and his wife Gwendolyn are two African Americans who have made a huge, positive contribution to Black culture in North America. While they are both talnted artists, as can be seen in Gwendolyn’s portarit of an actor it is Jacobs library paintings that I’m focusing on.

Jacob Lawrence is a slightly surrealist, cubist, painter (Similarities to Picasso are present in many of his works). I love the way the lines in his paintings both flow to show the current of life, but can also appear rigid and angled giving recognition of the structures exist to herd us and hinder our existence. Here are two examples, the first a flowing scene of children in the library and the second a busy, scene of action and angles in the adult stacks.

See how the energy in this painting flows from the book shelf, through the librarian, and towards the children! (click to enlarge)

The shelves might seem bare in this busy, chaotic, boxed in world, but it is open to interpretation whether this absence of material is due to a obvious demand for circulation or due to a lack of resources that is afforded some coloured communities across North America.(click to enlarge)

I am particularly interested in the heavy use of primary colours (Red, Blue, Yellow) which seem to reinforce the basic necessity of a library’s presence. I often find that the people who are traditionally/systematically discriminated against are the ones who place the most importance on education. I believe this is a source of inspiration for Jacob and a motivating factor in his decision to paint library scenes…. for some reason I am also reminded of Dr. Benedict Mady Copeland from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter… although Jacob Lawrence looks like he’d be less of a crank (just MHO, it’s not like I know the guy!).

Cheap Holiday Thrills

First of all, I know this isn’t a “YA topic” but at least it’s a library topic, so ease up on the judgements, Scroogmeister! Moving on…

Figure 1. (click to enlarge)

The faculty of architecture and engineering are having their annual Christmas party in the campus lounge this weekend. On my way to work I saw them setting up the usual gaudy X-mas trinketry, in mid-scoff I was silenced by the presence of Santa’s Chimnery Maze (See figure 1). I’m an adult (legally and in apperance) but I definately wanted to give it it a go… I’m a skinny Man so I could have fit, unfortunately I didn’t have the 20$ one of the decorators claimed was the price for adults. I briefly toyed witht he idea of pushing him down and escaping into the maze, but remembered certain legal expectations of being an adult and decided just to take some pics and be on my way.

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The old Artist Widget resurfaces

Previously I had a widget with a rotating Artist of the Month. Unfortunetly it was cluttering things up visually. I’m a liker of art type of guy so when I finally put the effort into retooling this blog’s layout Art got moved to it’s own page. The official possibilites are now: Endless.

Here’s the list that began it all:

Septmeber’s Artist: Sveta Dorosheva (Ukraine). This links to Sveta’s website . I chose Sveta Dorosheva for the spark of life that she infuses her drawings with. I’m a fan of the stark contrast between B&W she uses and am struct with a bittersweet nostalgia for my childhood when, perhaps,my powers of creativity where greater in scope and energy.

August’s Artist:Bev Doolittle (USA).
This links to Bev’s website . I chose Mrs. Doolittle because she has both great technical skill; her paintings are very detailed and look like the stuff they’re supposed to look like! Plus, she has a great mind/eye/Mind’s Eye for the art of illusions. Most (if not ALL) her work contains an illusion or two. Treat yourself, go to her website and check her art out!

July’s Artist:David Blackwood (CAN).
This links to David’s website . I chose Mr. Blackwood because he’s an AMAZING printmaker and printmaking along with oil painting holds a reserved part of my heart… a place where only the finest of artistic crafts are respected 😉

June’s Artist:Kimberely Dodd (CAN).
This links to Kim’s website . I chose Kim because I have finally gotten over the hump of being exclusively “a cat person.” Also it was in June that I first met Kim, so I figured she should get a shout out. Shauna, if you ever read this, get your site up and running and I’ll feature you too!

May’s Artist:Mark Vallen (USA).
This links to Mark’s website . I chose Mark Vallen because the scenes he depicts are the scenes that the Canadian and US governments don’t want you to see. Remember that the comfort in our lives is often created at the expense of anther’s life and comfort.

April’s Artist:Elizabeth Thompson (UK).
This links to Google Images of her work. I chose her specifically because I think it’s very important that we think about how we continue to portray images of war.

March’s Artist: Howard Hollis (USA).
www.thepictureofeverything.com

February’s Artist: H.R. Giger (Swi).
http://www.hrgiger.com/

January’s Artist: Edward Burtynsky (Can).
http://www.edwardburtynsky.com/