Thursday, April 29, 2010

Justine Reyes' Vanitas

Justine Reyes was the Juror's Choice in Center's 2010 Project Competition. Her work is elegant and compelling. Her vision, composition and lighting is extraordinary.

In her words...

"Taking inspiration from Dutch Vanitas paintings, these photographs incorporate personal artifacts within the traditional construct of still life. Pairing objects that belonged to my grandmother with my own possessions speaks to the concept of memory, familial legacy and the passage of time. The incorporation of modern elements such as the Saran wrap, plastic, sugar packages etc, as well as the use of photography itself add an additional layer of nostalgia and irony when viewed within the historical framework of Vanitas painting.

Both the decomposition of the natural (rotting fruit and wilting flowers) and the break down of the man-made objects, reference the physical body, life's impermanence and the inevitability of death.

My work examines identity, mortality and the longing to hold on to things that are ephemeral and transitory in nature."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Evanston Art Center Auction

© Jane Fulton Alt ~ Burn No. 87, 15" x 42" archival pigment print

The Spring Benefit at the Evanston Art Center is in full swing. It is where I got my start in photography. I have a photograph in the auction, Burn No. 87. It is a great place to buy art for a reasonable price while supporting a wonderful organization. Here are the specifics...

The show is up now for pre auction viewing.

Spring Benefit Gala Party & Live Auction Saturday, May 1, 7 - 10 pm

Champagne Reception for EAC Collectors Circle
6:00 pm - Collection Tour by Pamela Ambrose, Director of Cultural Affairs at Loyola University Chicago, Reserved Parking, a listing in the program and $50 Gift Certificate towards an EAC class - tickets $250 per person
Gala Party & Live Auction
7:00 pm - Fine art auction, wine and food - tickets $125 per person
8:30 pm - Live auction

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Just Suppose it was an Act of God

I was trying to figure out what to post for today.

Then I got a call from from my daughter.

She was fast asleep last night as a storm blew through Chicago with high winds. She heard a crash and looked outside her window and found that a big tree had fallen on my car (which she had temporarily borrowed). She rushed outside to find there was only ONE car damaged!

When she called the insurance company she learned that the repairs would be covered under the "Act of God" clause.

I find the whole episode amusing, probably because I am out of town and don't have to arrange for all the repairs.

I am also counting my blessings that no one was in the car when the tree THAT was an Act of God!

all photos courtsey Valerie Alt via iphone hipsamatic application.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

For Earth Day ~ ee cummings

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little lame baloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddyandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old baloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


baloonMan whistles

---ee cummings

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chicago Art Open

The Chicago Art Open, now in its 12th year, is the Midwest region's largest open invitational art exhibit. The preview was last night and the public opening is this Saturday (4/24), 12 –4 pm. I'ts a great place to buy art while supporting the Chicago Artist Coalition, a great organization.

© Jane Fulton Alt, Burn No. 2, 15" x 30" archival pigment print will be for sale.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Unto Us a Child is Born


The birthing experience is the closest I've ever been to true divinity. Holding a new baby is a peak life experience. It can melt even the most hardened. If you haven't seen the movie, Tsotsi, I highly recommend it. It is an adaptation of the novel Tsotsi by the fabulous playwriter Athol Fugard, won the 2006 Oscar for best foreign film and is all about our shared humanity.

2010 Guggenheim Photography Fellows

2010 Guggenheim Fellows in Photography
click on each name to see the accomplished works of these photographers

Shelby Lee Adams
Carolyn Drak
Paul Graham
Monica Haller
Charles Lindsay
Lawrence McFarland
Nic Nicosia
Michael Schultz

Friday, April 16, 2010

Urban Landscapes opens this Sunday!

I am very excited to announce the opening of a group show, Urban Landscapes, which includes the work of Larry Chait, Art Fox, Linda Lowe, Yvette Meltzer and Shawn Sargent.

In their words:

"Each of these five artists has been committed to photography for years. Working largely in isolation and growing out of different life skills, each has developed a personal mind's eye. They came together a few years ago... and have discovered that their creative paths intersect in surprising ways. The present exhibit, URBAN LANDSCAPES, illuminates this journey."

© Larry Chait, Leaf Decay No. 4

© Art Fox, Wooden Door

© Linda Lowe, Modern - No.1, Chicago

© Yvette Meltzer, Revolution Series

© Shawn Sargent, Spiral

Check out their websites:
Larry Chait, Art Fox, Linda Loew, Yvette Meltzer and Shawn Sargent.

Here are the particulars of the show...well worth a visit!

Opening reception : Sunday, April 18, 2-4pm
Sunday, April 18, 2010 - Sunday, June 13, 2010
Webster's Wine Bar
1480 W. Webster Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Contact Phone Number: 773-868-0608

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

detroit and the heidelberg project

"Never doubt that a small group of dedicated citizens can CHANGE THE WORLD. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
---Margaret Mead

Driving into the Heidelberg Project in Detroit was a "crossing over" experience. I have never seen an art installation quite like this one. Tyree Guyton, its creator, using everyday, discarded objects to create a two block area full of color, symbolism, and intrigue. It is now in it's 24th year!

Tyree Guyton asked if I would like to contribute to the project. I happily agreed, not knowing what he had in mind. He asked me to add a dot to the house. After I finished, he asked what I was feeling as I painted the dot. I told him I felt whole, complete, connected, hopeful (with the color of green) and just a sense of well being. I guess that was the "point" of the "Dotty Wotty" house as it symbolizes the unity of all people.

Tim Burke's House and Gallery

The Heidelberg Project from Laura Kuster on Vimeo.

Monday, April 12, 2010

ANSELM KIEFER at the Art Gallery of Ontario

© ANSELM KIEFER ; Palmsonntag, 2007

"I don't consider myself a Platonist but I think that the spirit is contained in the material and it is the artist's mission to extract it."
--Anselm Kiefer

The huge installation Palmsonntag (Palm Sunday), refers to the Christian holy day and suggests the balance between death and resurrection, decay and recreation so characteristic of Kiefer’s work. He brings the outside in with his materials of mud, sunflowers, roses and other organic materials. One has the sense of a Jackson Pollock painting with the energy that is conveyed in its creation.

From the Art Gallery of Ontario:

"Anselm Kiefer ranks among the most important artists to emerge from post-war Europe. Palmsonntag (Palm Sunday) is a monumental installation consisting of a 30-foot-long palm tree cast in fiberglass and resin, its roots clotted with mud, surrounded by a cycle of 44 large paintings encased in glass and framed in lead. Overwhelming in scale and sweeping in content, Palmsonntag conveys the operatic scope of Kiefer’s creative enterprise that crosses through spiritual, religious and mythical cultural territory."

"I would never say I'm a pessimist or optimist, I think I would say I am desperate because I don't know why I'm here,we don't know, we can't know. The more you know, the less you know....each discovery brings more questions." -- Ansem Kiefer

It is no wonder that I love his work so much....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Betty Goodwin

Thanks to my friend Patricia, I learned about Canadian printmaker, sculptor, painter, and installation artist Betty Goodwin, who passed away in 2008 at the age of 85. I have looked her work up online and find that I really resonate with much of it. You can read more about her here. It seems that her work dealt with universal issues of humanity.

The Weight of Memory X, 1998, by Betty Goodwin

Betty Goodwin The Blue Heart 2004–05 Courtesy Galerie René Blouin

Pieces of Time III, by Betty Goodwin

Betty Goodwin, Beyond Chaos, No. 7, 1998. Collection Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay. Courtesy Galerie René Blouin.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Intentionality and the Heart

I encountered many odd things while in Toronto. This image was one of them. I was walking by a store window early in the morning and could not believe what I was seeing. There was a napkin "stuck" on a store window that cast a heart on the mannequin in the store window. I marveled at the serendipity of it all...the sun catching the paper at just the exact time when we walked by the window. Pretty sweet....

And then came the confusing, perplexing part...
I passed the store window later in the day and guess what...
The paper napkin had fallen...there were clouds in the sky and there was no longer any heart shadow.

Only questions persist. Was the napkin that cast the heart on the mannequin intentional? Was it a chance happening? Will I ever know?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I LOVE BUTTERFLIES and Kristi Mallakoff

I LOVE butterflies and happened to pass a store called Love of Mine in Toronto and saw a wall of butterflies. That is how I learned about Krisit Malakoff, a Canadian visual artist. She ROCKS!

Swarm; 2005/7,6000 color copies of butterflies on transparency material


Monday, April 05, 2010

On Toronto

Toronto is such a cool, refreshing, hip city. The arts are thriving and the food is delicious. A great place to visit, especially on the first nice, spring day when everyone is out and about!

Our hostess at The Drake Hotel restaurant...she could go head to head with the wait staff at Kuma's Kitchen in Chicago!

Viewing Mutu exhibit at the Arts Gallery of Ontario

The restaurant scene is alive and well. Had some really memorable meals there.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Road Trip ~ Part 1

Just back from a wonderful 3 day road trip to Toronto where I had an opening at gallery DK. The three days were very full with so many inspiring experiences (future blog posts to follow). My travel companion, Valerie, was armed with an iphone and the new hipstamatic application. I LOVED it! Here are some shots...I may have to break down and get the iphone just for this application!

Stay posted for more from this most amazing trip!