"Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings," an exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., about the 1933 Nazi burnings of "un-German" books, opens today at the Laman Public Library in North Little Rock.
Some fascinating history about the American response to Nazi bookburnings from the exhibit website:
To remind people of the consequences of destroying books and of intolerance, the Writers’ War Board compiled lists of Nazi burned and banned books for wide distribution. The Writers’ War Board also sponsored student essay contests on such subjects as “What It Means To Be an American” in a time of crisis. Winners received war bonds as prizes. Many essays alluded to the enemy’s suppression of free speech, represented by images of the book burnings.
There were thousands of local commemorations of the book burnings. In 1943, the Hampshire Bookshop serving Smith College observed the book burnings’ tenth anniversary. Bookshop co-founder Marion E. Dodd wrote that Hitler, “so fearful is he of our merchandise,” had destroyed thousands of books, unaware that “you can’t burn a book—it will rise again as the Phoenix and smite the hands that set it afire.” The New York Public Library was an important leader of annual wartime observances of the Nazi book burnings. In November 1942, the library created the exhibition Books the Nazis Banned, which highlighted anthropologist Franz Boas’s words: “Banning and burning of books is the symbol of tyranny’s fear of the power of the free mind.” On Flag Day, 1942, a gigantic parade “New York at War” featured scores of floats, including one from the New York Public Library. City librarians marched under the banner “Fascism Burns Books, Democracy Reads Books.” An internal memo instructed male participants to avoid wearing brown suits, because “brown symbolizes fascism.
The press release from Laman quotes the director of the Holocaust museum as saying that while the book-burnings were the focus of American propaganda efforts to give support to involvement in the war, "the systematic murder of Europe’s Jews was not seen as a compelling case for fighting Nazism.”
The library, at 2801 Orange St. in North Little Rock, will hold a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 7 with music by Meredith Maddox Hicks, violinist with the Arkansas symphony. The exhibition runs through Oct. 28.
Thanks this morning to a post by culturegrrl (Lee Rosenbaum) reminding me of Mitt Romney's pledge in March to get rid of the National Endowment of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. See the video of that statement during an interview a Missouri radio stationhere.
He'd get rid of Planned Parenthood, too of course, but we'll leave that battle for the Arkansas Blog.
Dangerous days for the arts.
Wonderful metalsmith Elizabeth Brim, an instructor at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina whose work was exhibited in the excellent "Form Follows Function" exhibition at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2009, can be seen working in this new UALR "Inside Art" video on metalsmithing in the school's Applied Design department.
UALR metalsmith David Clemons, who also instructs at Penland, talks about the department's offerings and Brim's work.
The Thea Foundation, which has provided nearly $1 million in arts supplies over five years to 388 Arkansas schools, has partnered with DonorsChoose.org, which connects donors with educators in need of materials. Teachers in all arts disciplines can apply for matching mini-grants donated by Thea through DonorsChoose.org.
Thea’s Art Closet will also provide visual arts matching grants for visual arts teachers only, based on need. The program will provide art teachers a singular donation to support one year of supplies.
There's more information on the DonorsChoose.org and the Visual Arts Matching Grants on Thea's website, or you may call Nick Leopoulos at 379-9512 with specific questions. To see projects funded by DonorsChoose, go here. To see projects in need of funding, go here.
The Arkansas Arts Council has selected painters John Harlan Norris of Jonesboro, Stephanie Pierce of Fayetteville and Melissa Wilkinson of Bono for its 2013 individual fellowship awards in the visual arts. They'll be recognized at the ArtLinks conference luncheon Oct. 17 at the Hot Springs Convention Center ($35; call 501-324-9766).
The fellowships are worth $4,000 and are awarded annually to allow artists paid time to devote to their art.
This year, the categories for fellowships were painting, music composition (Western classical tradition) and novels. Music winners were Bonnie Montgomery of Little Rock, Katherine Murdock of Greenland and Phillip Schroeder of Arkadelphia. Novelist winners were Emily C. Hoffman of Russellville, Justin Quarry of Jonesboro and Mary Elsie Robertson of Winslow.
Textile artist Louise Halsey will represent Arkansas in the National Museum of Women in the Arts' exhibition, "High Fiber: Women to Watch 2012," opening Nov. 2 in Washington, D.C.
Halsey's woven wool works "Supersize My House (2011)," "Dream Facade (2005)," "Crackhouse (2006)" and "House/Moon (2005)" were selected for the museum's biennial "Women to Watch" exhibit. The show runs through Jan. 6, 2013.
Five Arkansas women were nominated for the show: Halsey, of Little Rock; Barbara Cade of Hot Springs, Jennifer Libby Fay of Rogers, Jane Hartfield of Fort Smith and Deborah Kuster of Conway. An exhibition featuring work by the five artists will tour the state in 2013.
The Walton Family Foundation will give the Arkansas Arts Center $1 million over 10 years, executive director Todd Herman announced at the Arts Center's annual meeting today.
Alice Walton said in a letter to Herman that the gift reflected the foundation's appreciation of "the tough decisions that the board of the Arkansas Arts Center has made to sustain this institution during tough economic times." Those tough decisions include firing two full-time employees and cutting senior staff pay by 10 percent.
The Arts Center also announced it will send 26 modern American drawings from its collection to Walton's museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, to be exhibited next year.
While some may sniff that the gift is infinitesimally smaller than the $1.2 billion (that we know of) that the foundation has given Crystal Bridges, the announcement brought much applause from those at the meeting. The Arts Center does not look cross-eyed at gifts of $100,000; the sum is greatly welcome at an institution that had an operating deficit of $500,000 in fiscal year 2011-12. Thanks to the Arts Center Foundation's gift of $2.2 million to cover the Arts Center's debt (from money borrowed to keep the Arts Center afloat during the "World of the Pharaohs" exhibition) and a gift from the Henry Luce Foundation to pay for two new curators, the Arts Center ended cash in the bank, but it would have been in hot water without those dollars.
With the Luce money and a gift from an anonymous donor, the Arts Center has hired two curators: Brian Lang, who comes from Herman's former employer the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, S.C., and who will be curator of contemporary craft, and Ann Wagner, formerly of the prints and drawings department of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., is curator of drawings.
The public nature of the Arts Center is tough for the board, which pre-Pharaohs formerly operated without much scrutiny, because it opens its business to public inspection. However, the event emphasized the city's connection to the Arts Center: Mayor Mark Stodola handed out plaques of appreciation to retiring members of the board of directors and board president Chucki Bradbury made a point of noting that the building — which is expensive to maintain, especially this year, when the Arts Center had to buy new boilers — is owned by the city. The building needs a back-up generator, Bradbury said, and the board is now trying to raise money to buy one.
Because of the sales tax increase approved in Little Rock last year, the city was able to increase its giving to the Arts Center to $250,000 from $100,000. (It ought to be giving even more, as it did in the past, because of the Arts Center's position as the largest arts and arts education institution in Central Arkansas, which makes Little Rock a more attractive place to live and do business.)
Weiwei is an installation artist whose work with another artist commemorating the deaths of thousands of students in the massive Chinese earthquake of 2008 and other public protests against Chinese authoritarianism got him jailed and beaten; his studio was destroyed last year and China will not allow him to leave the country.
One of Weiwei's best known nonpolitical pieces is "Sunflower Seeds," an installation of 8 million sunflower seeds that was purchased by the Tate Gallery in London.
No showing time for the documentary has been announced yet.
A 40-year retrospective of paintings and prints by Carole Katchen on exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Hot Springs ranges from "early woodblock prints of dancers and musicians to Nigerian etchings, mid-career bar scenes and recent chefs," Katchen says in a press release.
Katchen is one of the most well-known artists in Arkansas though she's lived here only since 1995. Her work is included in the collections of the Heifer International Foundation, the Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Baptist Health Center and the personal collection of Bill and Hillary Clinton. She has published 14 art instruction books and was a contributing editor to The Artist’s Magazine for 14 years. She has won the Golden Mentor Award from the International Association of Pastel Societies, an Outstanding Working Woman award from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Master Pastelist award of the Pastel Society of America.
“The main focus of my art has always been people. I love to watch them and try to capture how they interact with each other. Being an artist has allowed me to paint people all over the world, from South America to Africa. It has been fascinating to see their differences and their similarities.”
MOCA is in the former Ozark Bathhouse at 425 Central Ave. Hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 3 on Sunday. Admission is $5. An opening reception is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 13.
P.S. Thanks to Jay King for noting my Freudian slip in previous headline (MOMA for MOCA!).
When things calm down around here, I am heading to this exhibition at UALR. Curator Brad Cushman's video fills you in on what you'll see in "Poetic Transformations."
I love Rex Deloney's work, and so imagine how happy I am to see that he has contributed a home plate painting to the "Home Plate Heroes" auction sponsored by the Jim Elder Good Sport Fund to benefit kids' non-profits in Arkansas. Online bidding starts Sept. 17 at jmelder.org; they'll be displayed at the Thea Foundation, 401 Main St., NLR, through Sept. 28.
Deloney is chair of Central High School's art department. Lucky students.
The painting is a tribute to Josh Gibson, catcher for the Homestead Grays in the Negro Leagues.
Update: Susan Elder, Jim Elder's daughter and the woman behind "Home Plate Heroes," sent this better image of Deloney's work.
Paul Caldwell's photographs go on exhibit tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 24) at Cantrell Gallery in a show called "A Photographic Celebration: The 40th Anniversary of the Buffalo National River."
Caldwell has been hiking along the Buffalo since the 1970s, before the Buffalo made history with its designation as the first national river in the U.S. In his artist's statement, he says, "With these photographs I hope to share my vision of the different areas within the Buffalo National River.”
You may be familiar with Caldwell's mural photographs, both at the Witt Stephens Nature Center on the river and at Arkansas Children's Hospital.
The gallery is hosting a reception tomorrow night from 6-8 p.m. The show runs through Oct. 20.
The Arkansas Arts Center has issued a call for entries to its 55th annual Delta Exhibition, to be held Jan. 18-March 10 next year. Deadline to enter is Oct. 30.
The Delta is open to artists who live or were born in Arkansas and its contiguous states. Juror for the show is Monica Bowman, owner of The Butcher's Daughter Contemporary Art Gallery in Detroit and a teacher of business practices for artists at Detroit's College for Creative Studies. She has a blog, Prime Cuts.
Entry fee is $20 for the first entry and $10 for additional entries (up to three allowed).
Guidelines and online entry form are here.
"So Tiny: An Exhibition of Small Works in 3-D," an exhibit of works smaller than a shoebox by 20 artists from around the country, opens in the Baum Gallery on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas today for a 9-week run.
Juror and small-sculpture-maker Virginia Samsel chose work by Bruce A. Alves III of Missouri, David Bligh of Massachusetts, Carl W. Brickhouse of Tennessee, Gratia Brown of Pennsylvania, Kurt Dyrhaug of Texas, Eleanor Elkin of Massachusetts, Annie Evans of Georgia, Stephanie Gamboni of Minnesota, Jessica Goldfinch of Louisiana, Jamey Grimes of Alabama, Sally Hagy-Boyer of New York, Mary Alison Lucas of California, Hollie Lyko of Iowa, Liz Richter of Missouri, Joel D. Schroeder of Wyoming, Ian M. Shelly of Indiana, Natalie E. Shelly of Indiana, Mary Ruth Smith of Texas, Karen Wise of Illinois, and Nicholas W. Wood of Texas.
The exhibit features ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, glass and fiber works.
The Baum Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
It's not all women artists tonight — Todd Crites is showing work at 422 Maple St. (City Grove Townhomes) as a pre-party for a future fundraiser to benefit ReSTORE — but work by women is definitely the unofficial theme of Argenta ArtWalk, 5-8 p.m. tonight in downtown North Little Rock.
Greg Thompson Fine Art continues "Southern Women Artists," an exhibition of works by Robyn Horn, Linda Burgess, Claudia de Monte, Valerie Jaudon, Ida Kohlmeyer, Dolores Justus, Sheila Cantrell, Sheila Cotton, Doris WmSon Mapes, Laura Raborn, Denise Rose and Rebecca Thompson. >Metal artists Carolyn Hendrix and Amanda Wyman are at the Thea Foundation (5:30-8 p.m.) and (I believe) Nancy Bounds is the Laman Library Argenta Branch artist, this month at Starving Artist Cafe to escape the heat.
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Yes, I think she has a lot of surprises in store for us!
Leslie, when we saw on the evening news several days ago that Rockwell's "Saying Grace"…
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