Blog Posts for Civic Engagement

The Wing Luke Asian Museum at the 2009 Americans for the Arts Convention

Posted by Michael del Vecchio, May 27, 2009 2 comments

Photo by John Pai.  Courtesy of Wing Luke Asian Museum.The Wing Luke Asian Museum is recognized within the field as a model of community arts programming and engagement for their long-term commitment to exploring issues related to the culture, art, and history of Asian-Pacific Americans. In this conversation with Cassie Chinn, Deputy Executive Director at The Wing Luke Asian Museum, get a taste of the story that staff from the museum, community members, and artists will share at the session in June. Cassie offers listeners perspective on the museum’s programming in June (definitely stop by and check out their new space if you’re able!), and gives listeners a good idea of the museum’s innovative model for partnership and programming through work with communities. Further, she offers listeners interested in replicating this work on the local level a few pointers on how to begin to think through philosophy and mind-set.

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What wouldn’t you do if you didn’t have to?

Posted by Diane B. Ruggiero, May 26, 2009 0 comments

A recent article in the New York Times spoke about artists who were able to spend their time on creating art that they enjoyed rather than art that sold (Tight Times Loosen Creativity, 5/20/2009). A singer who didn’t have to perform the songs that others wanted to hear at their weddings, a painter who didn’t have to paint what was commissioned, a composer who had more time to be inspired, "It’s not paying the bills the way it did in the past, but there is more joy in it.”

It seems that the artists were suffering from a little bit of “mission creep” (to borrow a phrase from the non-profit sector). Yes, times are tougher - it is always better to earn a living and pay the rent. But, it seems that a few people are taking it as an opportunity to get back to what they enjoyed and what inspired them.

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St Augustine's redux and place-based public art in St Helens

Posted by Michael del Vecchio, Apr 23, 2009 0 comments

I woke up this morning all ready to come in and write about the recent NY Times article "Emancipated from the Shadows" (published April 17, 2009) --- as follow-up to my recent post about St. Augustine's Church, the slave galleries, and City of Memory's model to share story about place through technology. [The article is a short read and offers some great background (and a slide show), plus we find out the church will open the restored galleries for tour at the end of this month]. However, sitting down at my computer and looking through my email, I found a great posting from ArtsJournal on place-based public art in St. Helens (England), which I didn't want to lose!

A group of 14 miners - former workers at the Sutton Manor Colliery in St. Helens - working together with The Art Fund and the Arts Council of England, partnered with artist Jaume Plensa (well-known Spanish artist and sculptor --- his works inlcude Crown Fountain in Millenium Park in Chicago, and Blake in Gateshead atop the Baltic Center for Contemporary Arts in Gateshead, among many others) to create the new work, entitled Dream. Part of Channel 4's Big Art Project Initiative,  Dream is a 20-meter (or metre in this case?) high sculpture made from 90 panels of pre-cast concrete, precisely lowered into place (the last piece was added on April 21).

Gary Conley, a former miner says, "There'll never be another mine here and we didn't want the mine to die as a whole."

Plensa says, " When I first came to the site I immediately thought something coming out of the earth was needed. I decided to do a head of a nine-year-old girl which is representing this idea of the future. It's unique."  Check  out the brief article (and accompanying video) on BBC News UK.

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