Arts History Update for early March 2014 by David Cummins
James Meek, Where Will we Live?, London Review of Books, January 9, 2014 http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n01/james-meek/where-will-we-live is an essay about the housing disaster in England or rather the United Kingdom. It drew a number of letters to the editor which assert that the answer is that plotlanders, smallholders and amateur home builders ignore the planning officials and building standards enforcement or lack of enforcement, and produce their own lodgings as shacks, cabins, yurts, tipis, converted caravans [English for recreational vehicles] and abandoned sheds, pigstys and barns.
James Clark letter http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n02/letters#letter1 published January 23 and Chris Walker letter http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n03/letters published February 6, 2014 tell the tale, essentially of dropping out of the capitalist mortgage lending system and scavenging for whatever it takes to put together a lodging off the grid sans debt, expenses of utility companies, and property taxes. Here in America we call these people survivalists. It’s not an easy life, and to a real extent they are freeloaders because they use the paid for infrastructure of the economy from which they have dropped out.
In my view, this activity is a consequence of the employment problem. If these people were employed at an above poverty level compensation job, they wouldn’t be survivalists or off the grid. We shouldn’t demonize them and say “they won’t work” when such a
job for them is unavailable. It also doesn’t wash to excoriate them for not taking a minimum wage job or slightly better compensated job only to find they can’t pay their bills on that compensation or provide a life worth living within the grid, so living off the grid becomes an option.
Objectively, many unemployed people aren’t qualified for the few jobs that are available. President Clinton worked hard to get job retraining programs established but in reality what occurred is that retraining worked well when it was provided by a current employer and the worker was paid by his/her employer a wage while being retrained. The other retraining programs were activities for unemployed people and for those 35 years of age or older, a very low percentage of people were helped. Retraining without an assured job at the end of the retraining, just doesn’t make a dent in the problem.
In economics people are seen as labor, and labor is seen as a supply and demand input in the chain of producing a good or a service. That’s well and good as long as labor is employed, but when it’s not employed, and unemployment persists, it’s obvious that unemployed people are not expendable items even in a supply and demand chain. Such people are a hazard to themselves, to those around them, and to society. They cost the rest of us dearly, but apparently not dear enough to bring them back into fairly compensated employment. Tax credits for employers who employ the chronically unemployed, hasn’t worked for the unemployed who are thereafter laid off, it’s only worked as tax relief [corporate welfare] for the employer. What is the solution?
A seminar on The Occupational Hazards of Being Poor will be presented Friday April 11, 2014 at Texas Tech University International Cultural Center free from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm lunch provided if one rsvps to 742-3667 ext 226 or by
Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (Metropolitan Books 2001) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_and_Dimed Texas Tech Library HD4918.E375 Lubbock Public Library 305.569 EHRE
David K. Shipler, The Working Poor: Invisible in America (Knopf 2004) Lubbock Public Library 305.569 SHIP
For young people we know some new things work. Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy in Chicago partnered with IBM and other blue-chip firms to design a curriculum that so completely equips high school age students with marketable skills, that IBM guarantees them a $40,000 per year or more compensated job upon graduation. It’s a six year course rather than a four year program. There are many P-TECH [pathways in technology] schools in the country, five of them in Chicago, and science technology engineering and mathematics are a focus hence the acronym STEM. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STEM_fields They are mostlybut not exclusively six year programs. There is a STEM Academy at Cypress Creek High School in Houston, at Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio, at Stony Point High School in Round Rock, and at Waxahachie Global High School in Waxahachie. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STEM_Academy_(disambiguation) At six year programs the graduates get an associate degree as well as a high school diploma, and pretty much a guarantee of admission at most colleges if that is the graduate’s track. Rana Foroohar, The School That Will Get You a Job: A New Kind of Education Shows Why Four Years of High School Isn’t Enough, Time Magazine, February 24, 2014 at pages 22-29. http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2165479,00.html
The Texas High School Project has a T-STEM Network. In the West Texas Panhandle region there is one ECHS Early College High School, five T-STEM Academies, two combination STEM/ECHS schools, and one T-STEM Center. http://www.edtx.org/college-ready-school-network
STEM programs at many colleges match up with the high school graduate’s interests http://www.depts.ttu.edu/stem/ such as Texas Tech University.
Announcement. Whither Thou?–Tom Lea’s WPA Era Painting The Nesters, 1937 Oil. Commissioned in 1935, “The Nesters” hung in the entrance vestibule of the Benjamin Franklin Postal Station of Washington, D. C. beginning in 1937. According to Adair Margo of the Tom Lea Institute in El Paso the work was commissioned after Lea was declared the winner of a national search to find an artist to paint the mural. The prestigious job brought the young Tom Lea acclaim and notoriety. However, the painting was removed when the building was undergoing renovation in 1947 and was mislaid and not seen again. Some speculated that it was stored in the Washington Auditorium in the Civil Service building which was eventually demolished. Margo asked First Lady Laura Bush for her help in locating the mural. In spite of these efforts the mural has never been located. Perhaps a modern day sleuth may run across some evidence as to its location. If you find information please forward it to the Tom Lea Institute at email@example.com. To see Lea’s preliminary mural sketches go to http://www.tomlea.net/news/Nesters.html. Also, PBS’s Antique Roadshow lists the mural on its “Most Wanted” List. Go to http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/rmw/RMW-004_201006F02_ss.html#1. FBI File http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/vc_majorthefts/arttheft/NSAF/014434/view
—- submitted by Tai Kreidler
Charles Adams received the first Catalyst for the Arts Award on February 22 at the annual LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts Gala. Adams has long been the operator of an art gallery and frame shop in Lubbock [first opening at 2109 Broadway Street in 1985, then re-opening at Kingsgate Center North 4210 82nd Street Suite 216 near Quaker Avenue in 1997] and in that capacity hosted many events and artists, particularly artists who traveled to Lubbock at his or another person’s invitation. He became an unofficial art ambassador for Lubbock.
In 2010 he moved both his business and home to 602 Avenue J across the street from LHUCA to the south http://www.charlesadamsgallery.com/ and purchased the property and built Studio Flats at 1010 Mac Davis Lane where four gallery spaces rest atop residential flats. http://www.charlesadamsgallery.com/studioproject.php Then he opened CASP Charles Adams Studio Projects a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization to include those Studio Flats gallery spaces plus a formerly used City Police Garage space now renamed the 5th & J Studios at 1106 5th Street that was renovated to include four spaces, the Helen DeVitt Jones Print Studio, the CH Foundation Metals Studio, the 5th & J Gallery, and the Texas Tech University School of Art Satellite Gallery. The LHUCA campus is now ringed on three sides by Adams entrepreneurship and zeal. Adams, the patron of this arts district, isn’t done quite yet. He has more plans through CASP for more artist spaces in the area.
Ronnie Miller, general manager of National Travel and Sidecar Theatre Company, resigned so the 2014 season of that new community theatre company is now canceled http://sidecartheatre.com/ Season ticket holders are being refunded. We wish him well but hope that the theatre enterprise will be revived.
Donald Judd, Untitled # 96 (1978-1979) aquatint print in black, edition of 175 on paper signed and numbered $5,500 by the master minimalisthttp://www.artnet.com/auctions/artists/donald-judd/untitled-s-96 but I prefer David Tremlett, Drawing # 7 (2012) pastel and graphite on paper in three parts in artist’s frames, signed and dated by artist on verso of frame $11,000. http://www.artspace.com/david_tremlett explanation of verso of frame is http://www.metroframe.com/blog/2013/04/recto-verso-frame-2/
If these minimalist offerings are not quite to your liking how about Richard Tuttle, Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle (2004) lithograph edition of 48 on paper in eight colors $4,000 http://www.ulae.com/richardtuttle/RichardTuttle_2004_HeyDiddleDiddleTheCatAndTheFiddle.aspx
Someone recently asked if she purchased a particular piece on display at First Friday Art Trail for $2,000 could she expect to get that much for it five years later when she unloaded it. For that piece and that artist, there is no current established market for his works and certainly not for similar pieces to this work. What that means is that if she can get $2,000 worth of enjoyment out of the piece during her possession of it, buy it, but then when unloaded any fraction of that amount as a sale price is just a bonus. There will be no disappointment in that closed circle transaction. The pieces listed above are pieces for which there is an established market and probably that market will continue to exist five years hence, so if the piece is properly printed and framed and kept without damage, one can expect to unload it for about the same price, and end up the transaction out no funds whatsoever but only rented a piece for five years that brought thousands of hours of enjoyment. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Collectors often buy for resale at a profit, but to be successful at that one has to enter the auction at a high price. For most of us, we enter at a much lower level and need to think about amortizing our investment by hours of enjoyment so that we have very little or nothing still invested at the time we unload the piece. Indeed, we might even unload it by donation to a favorite charity and take the tax deduction offset of income subject to taxation, as our economic prize.All the art in my home has been enjoyed to its full cost and totally amortized, but keeps on energizing its owner.
Annual Symposium and Texas Art Fair sponsored by CASETA Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art, is at Mabee Auditorium, Ragsdale Center, St Edward’s University, 3001 South Congress Avenue, Austin Texas Friday through Sunday May 2-4, 2014. Registration is now open http://www.caseta.org/registrations.php $175 for non-members of CASETA. Tours of the Texas Capitol Art Collection and two private Austin collections are available. Notice the interesting announcement cover art is a painting by Henry Arthur McArdle, Settlement of Austin’s Colony (1875) a very nice piece of early Texas art that hangs in the hall outside the Texas House of Representatives chambers in the capitol. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmc03
Georges Braque: A Retrospective is an exhibit first at the Grand Palais in Paris France http://www.grandpalais.fr/fr/evenement/georges-braque but now at Museum of Fine Arts Houston in the second floor of the Law Building February 13 – May 11, 2014 http://www.mfah.org/exhibitions/georges-braque-retrospective/ that contains 75 of his works. Generally regarded as the co-founder with Pablo Picasso of Cubism in 1907, the more laconic and less flamboyant Braque developed cubism more intentionally and more expansively than Picasso. Another recent exhibit Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928 – 1945 was on view at The Phillips Collection Washington DC from June 8 – September 1, 2013 http://phillipscollection.org/exhibitions/2013-06-08-exhibition-braque.aspx at which website there is an audio tour, a video tour, and several examinations of the materials he used and their consequences in the end result. He stayed in Paris during World War II and its occupation, not exhibiting his work but continuing to produce it. The catalogue by Karen K. Butler and others (Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum 2013) runs to 239 pages. Texas Tech Library OVERSZ ND553.B86 A4.
The Retrospective exhibit traces his artistic development beginning with his training and initial paintings and sketches. Then, in 1905, he went to the Salon d’Automne annual exhibition and saw the canvases of Henri Matisse and Andre Derain that shocked the critics and connoisseurs of the day who labeled the artists les fauves [the wild beasts]. Braque was smitten and the rest is art history. Without purporting to tell the whole story, too long and detailed for this setting, Braque left Paris for the south of France to look again at Cezanne’s work with a new eye, the fauvist eye, and imagine how he might depict the landscape of Cezanne. L’Estaque Landscape, Autumn (1906) was the result, a fauvist abstraction. Back in Paris, in 1907, Braque met Picasso who was working on the painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) http://www.moma.org/explore/conservation/demoiselles/images/demoiselles_NewFINAL.jpg , and was invited to Picasso’s studio to see it. Braque appeared in the studio and was stunned by the power of the piece. Each man, independently, had invented cubism and for some time would collaborate before going off on different paths.
Braque rushed to his canvas and produced Trees at L’Estaque (1908) an abstraction of the “faceted forms into more solid volumes and tectonic plates, intersecting planes that represent hillsides and woodlands without exactly depicting them. The painting was no longer a view, a report on the appearance of a scene from a fixed position, but a conceptual work – a postcard from the mind’s eye, which had traversed the motif, then digested and reassembled what it had seen.” Richard Lacayo, Space Invader: Georges Braque’s Radical Vision Finally Finds Perspective, Time Magazine, February 24, 2014 at page 54. Cubism was established.Braque then wanted to paint a woman as Picasso had painted the prostitutes in the brothel at Barcelona, and Braque producedWoman Reading (1911) that was something like a figure in space from multiple perspectives, very difficult for the average viewer to even locate segments of a represented woman or genderless person. He was exploring the uses to which cubism could be placed. Two years later Fruit Dish, Ace of Clubs (1913) is a fully realized multimedia cubist painting that anticipates surrealism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Georges_Braque,_1913,_Nature_morte_%28Fruit_Dish,_Ace_of_Clubs%29,_oil,_gouache_and_charcoal_on_canvas,_81_x_60_cm_%2831.8_x_23.6_in%29,_Mus%C3%A9e_National_d%27Art_Moderne,_Centre_Georges_Pompidou,_Paris.jpg
How do architects preserve historic structures while modernizing them for functional use? http://www.american-architects.com/en/projects/44437_308_Mulberry Here is a home at 308 Mulberry Street, Lewes Delaware where the historic home is preserved from the street while made contemporary from the rear and inside. This was done in 2011 designed by Robert M. Gurney architect.
Youth Orchestra of Lubbock provides a free Spring Concert at 4:00 pm Sunday March 9, 2014 at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center in the Civic Center Theatre http://www.youthorchestrasoflubbock.org/events/concerts/ Pay attention to the clock that day as Daylight Savings Time begins.
http://www.vivaaztlan.org/HOME.html Lubbock Centro Aztlan educates the community on the richness of the Mexican Mestizo culture.
Allusions to Antiquity: The Photography of Emily Verkamp is an exhibit at Buddy Holly Center’s Fine Arts Gallery from February 28 through April 6, 2014. Ms. Verkamp is a Texas Tech senior and this is her senior show.
Eddie Dixon, famed Lubbock sculptor, http://eddie-dixon.com/ will provide a free demonstration of his technique at the Buddy Holly Center 1801 Crickets Avenue [former Avenue G] on Saturday March 8 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Public is invited.
SXSW South by Southwest Film Music and Interactive is March 7-16, 2014 in Austin Texas http://sxsw.com/ with a great deal on offer and scheduled.
Unscheduled stuff will also happen. Enjoy. A host of sessions exist on many topics. Here are the legal topics that would interest me http://schedule.sxsw.com/?all_theme=Legal Thousands of people flock to Austin for this festival/convention event at various locations including the Austin Convention Center.
Michael Riojas of GE Lighting http://www.gelighting.com/LightingWeb/na/about/
will speak on A Lighting Revolution in the College of Human Sciences Cottage east of the main college building on the Texas Tech campus. Free event hosted by the West Texas branch of the North Texas chapter of USGBC United States Green Building Council. Thursday March 6, 2014 from 9:00 – 10:50 am rsvp by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Get your calendar out and make travel plans. The Texas Book Festival at the State Capitol in Austin is October 25-26, 2014 www.texasbookfestival.org and the Austin Teen Book Festival has been renamed Texas Teen Book Festival and is the previous weekend on October 18 at St Edward’s University in Austin www.texasteenbookfestival.org