June 06, 2011

the-graduate-ernie-barnes“The Graduate” by Ernie Barnes

Ernie Barnes used his canvas to celebrate black American life in elongated, vibrant strokes. “The Graduate” (shown above) is one of the professional football player-turned-artist’s best-known paintings, which is part of a body of work Barnes called “The Beauty of the Ghetto.” Barnes passed away in 2009.

According to his long-time assistant Luz Rodriguez, “The Graduate” is rooted in Ernie Barnes’ experiences growing up in segregated Durham, North Carolina during the 1940’s and 50’s:

March 27, 2011

We received this remarkable video from a brother to his sister. A tribute on art, cancer, and vulnerability that touched us deeply.

March 22, 2011

A Softness Touching the Earth

Japan has been on all our minds and in all our hearts. There doesn’t seem to be enough capacity in the human soul to witness nature unleash its force on man in this way. Helplessness still sits with us even after the contributing of funds to relief efforts.

The magnitude of the disaster and continuing saga has made us all feel vulnerable to the uncertainty of life. We can’t fathom how recovery can possibly follow such devastation.

Then there’s me here in my studio just painting clouds and wondering how what I do could possibly matter. And then today I happened upon this Rilke poem after I finished the painting shown above. And the words could not be more profound and with them my painting feels right again.

Threshold of Spring
Harshness gone. All at once caring spread over
the naked gray of the meadows.
Tiny rivulets sing in different voices.
A softness, as if from everywhere,

March 11, 2011

The Progressive Artists Group was founded in India in 1947, the year the country gained its independence from Britain, to “look at the world from an Indian way, not a British way" according to Sayed Haider Raza, one of the two living original members of this group. The New York Times recently interviewed the artist about the continued legacy of this collective, which was disbanded just a decade after its creation

February 04, 2011

An art exhibition meters terror and co-opts colors with Swami Vivekananda's 1893 speech in Chicago.

December 25, 2010

Waiting for a Train
“Waiting for a Train” in Régua, Portugal (photo: Rosino/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)

I nearly stood up my very first client on the first day of my first job in social work. Graduate school had not prepared me for the intricacies of the scheduling system at the community health center where I was working. By the time I figured things out, I was nearly half an hour late for the appointment.

December 04, 2010

Contrasting Similarities

Sometimes the most striking sequences present themselves in the most unexpected places, non? Two of my favorite Tumblrs — Been Thinking and Destin a Terre — posted these photos within seconds of each other and showed up on our Being Blog dashboard exactly in this order.

The scenes couldn’t be more different in temperature and climate and condition, but the mood and the tone make them long-time companions who stopped by the local pub for an ale. They’re both clean, minimalist without being bleak and sterile. And both scenes are just so beautiful.

November 29, 2010

"Human Tapestry" by Marsha Glaziere

“Human Tapestry” is a three-dimensional painting running on and off the canvas that measures 6 feet high by 16 feet wide by 24 inches deep. The work is visual prospect for international peace and the continuation of life on our shared planet.

Eleven life-sized figures represent various countries and political ideologies. Each is draped in her own flag, her own nationalism, seemingly separate and distinct from that of any other country. While each flag is a symbol of a reciprocal system of language and customs of the people of an individual nation, it also serves to define geographic boundary lines on the earth.

The flag then becomes a symbol of separatism rather than alliance. Instead of recognizing our common human bonds and celebrating our universality, we see ourselves as isolated and often superior to one another.

November 10, 2010

Jane S. Moss and the White Light Festival

This year, Lincoln Center announced that its fall festival for the first time would be produced around a unifying concept: that of “spiritual expression and the illumination of our large, interior universes,” according to Jane S. Moss, Lincoln Center’s Vice President of Programming. The series, dubbed the White Light Festival, began October 28th and includes an array of musical experiences and tastes, ranging from Brahms’ requiem to Meredith Monk, to the Tallis Scholars, and from Antony and the Johnsons to the Latvian National Choir.

October 12, 2010

Ai Weiwei holds hand-painted, porcelain sunflower seeds from his installation at the Tate Modern in London.

August 03, 2010

Simply a wonderful, four-minute film about the value of handwork and experiencing the world.

June 01, 2010

Meditation and contemplation take many forms. Often we think of this act of introspection and focus as being a peaceful, tranquil experience where the noise of machinery recedes to make way for internal silence and harmony.

January 05, 2010

White CrucifixionSaw this over the weekend in the London Times and thought it was worth sharing for those of you who missed it.