Sunday, June 5, 2011

A short sabbatical..

Well here I am at my 100th post! I have been spending much of my extra time lately working on planning Guildess' upcoming year. Until we have the ball rolling on that, I will have to take a short sabbatical from my personal blog and direct readers to Guildess' page:

Guildess is a Contemporary Female Artist Guild. Our mission is to increase women’s involvement in the arts through exhibitions, outreach, education and community service. Unlike guilds of the past, Guildess is an association of women who are involved in arts advocacy. Together, we raise awareness for female artists and expand arts programming to underprivileged women and children in our community.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

blogs I'm currently following.

I'm always on the look out for interesting and substantial blogs that focus on showcasing contemporary artists. Here are a few that I am currently following:

A Matter of Aesthetics


Friday, April 29, 2011

Women: Superior, Yet Inferior

Compared to men, women commit fewer crimes, hold more graduate degrees and are better long-term investors. But women earn less than men and more live in poverty. How long will women tolerate an inferior status?

Last week I sat in on the filming of an episode of 4th Street Forum, "Women: Superior, Yet Inferior". The program touched upon a wide variety of topics associated with women's equality both in the public and private spheres. 

4th Street Forum is a nonpartisan program, which promotes public discussion of political and social issues that are of concern to our community. Each week, a panel of experts presents their views on a chosen topic and explores solutions with the audience and the 4th Street Forum moderator.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Identity: Lorna Simpson and Vivian Maier

With the onset of spring, I have found myself incredibly busy with planning for future Guildess projects, starting a new residency with Artists Working in Education, and developing art programs for the Boys & Girls Clubs. However, I have still managed to find time to learn, explore, and create.

On April 2nd, a friend and I took a trip to Chicago to attend a lecture by Lorna Simpson at the Museum of Contemporary Art and view the recently discovered work of Vivian Maier at the Chicago Cultural Center. Of Simpson's entire lecture, I particularly enjoyed her comments on identity within her new series LA-57 NY-09, which draws upon an archive of photographs from the 1950s. In this body of work, Simpson creates self portraits that mimic portraits of an unknown woman from the past. As she dresses up and poses, Simpson begins to blur the notion of historical identity by challenging our views of culture, history, and contemporary times.
My questions are: How can one emulate the identity of someone simply by viewing a photograph of them? What can we learn about someone through a series of self portraits?

This brings up an interesting connection to Vivian Maier. As an avid photographer, Maier left behind 100,000 negatives, 600 undeveloped rolls of color film, and several hundred undeveloped rolls of black and white film from the 1940s and 50s. Unlike the archive of self portraits Simpson emulates, Maier predominately photographed her surroundings on a daily basis. To this I ask, does one get a better sense of someone's identity through a collection of self portraits, or through a collection of photographs that they have taken of the world around them?

In my opinion, the latter of the two scenarios holds more truth. Although we can get a basic sense of the physical identity of an individual through countless photographs of themselves in simple settings, to actually see the world through the "eyes" of someone else is an unmistakable reflection of who they are. After viewing a small collection of Maier's work at the Chicago Cultural Center, I can imagine her being curious, compassionate, secretly humorous, and a bit reserved.

*Lorna Simpson image courtesy of Lorna Simpson Studio.
*Vivian Maier images courtesy of John Maloof at:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Living history" right around the corner...

Last weekend, Guildess hosted a Zine Workshop at Foxglove Gallery in honor of International Women's Day. Participates were encouraged to create a portrait of a woman who has influenced their lives and write a short blurb about why. During the workshop, I was informed of a local project that caught my attention. QZAP, the Queer Zine Archive Project, is headquartered in Riverwest and aims to build an archive of all queer zines.

"The mission of the Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP) is to establish a "living history" archive of past and present queer zines and to encourage current and emerging zine publishers to continue to create. In curating such a unique aspect of culture, we value a collectivist approach that respects the diversity of experiences that fall under the heading "queer."

The primary function of QZAP is to provide a free on-line searchable database of the collection with links allowing users to download electronic copies of zines. By providing access to the historical canon of queer zines we hope to make them more accessible to diverse communities and reach wider audiences."

While waiting for Guildess's zine to make its way to Foxglove Gallery this week, check out QZAP's website and see what they are all about!