Blog

Please Take Action NOW!   02.17.11

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has been a great and tireless supporter of the work we do here at SPACES, as well as at hundreds of other organizations nationwide. We must act to preserve all the good the NEA does.

Last week the House Appropriations Committee proposed a cut of $22.5 million to the National Endowment for the Arts' already modest budget. We understand that budgets must be trimmed to assure the fiduciary health of our nation, but the proposed NEA reduction would be the most significant cut to the NEA in almost 20 years.

Wait for it... it is expected that this week, during the House of Representatives debates, a floor vote to eliminate all funding for the NEA will be introduced. The dissolving of the NEA would be crippling to the cultural landscape of our country.

As we strive to remain competitive with the rest of the world, innovation and exploration are our strongest tools—and these tools are supported and fostered by the arts. Thinking and acting creatively is not a luxury, it is an imperative and an innate characteristic of humanity.

Think of how the arts have impacted you—think of the painting or performance you experienced that shifted your perception and enriched your life; consider the film that inspired you; examine the economic impact the arts have on your area. Nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences annually generate $166.2 billion in economic activity, support 5.7 million jobs, and return nearly $30 billion in government tax revenues. (Source: Data and analysis is drawn from the Americans for the Arts Arts Economic Prosperity III study, 2007)

WHAT TO DO:

Call your member of Congress NOW at 202-225-3121 and tell your representative that you oppose any and all amendments to cut NEA funding. This is very easy (it took me 90 seconds) and has a greater impact than email.

Congress is made up of ELECTED officials who represent YOU. Remind them.

To find your representative in Congress, visit http://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml.

Please do not hesitate, the wheels are already in motion.

Image courtesy of NASA
Image courtesy of NASA

Keywords: arts funding, nea
Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

Buffalo Milk Yogurt   02.15.11

This week in and around the gallery, two artists from Machine Project will be performing: Ezra Buchla and Corey Fogel. Last week, Corey poked his head into my office and asked about Jennifer Levonian, an artist whose work we had on view in The Vault. I explained that I saw her work in Philadelphia and then requested that she send us a couple of videos for inclusion in The Vault, but that I had no extensive contact with her.

Corey then explained that Jennifer had once created an entire animation using Corey as her subject. They had met at a residency program. Jennifer used Corey's image and Corey created many of the sounds for the animation. The art world is often a very small and funny place. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you that video, Buffalo Milk Yogurt:



Keywords: animation, corey fogel, jennifer levonian, machine project, video art
Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category:

Machine Project   02.10.11

Tomorrow evening we open two projects: Elizabeth Dunfee and Machine Project. Elizabeth is an Akron-based artist who has expanded her painting practice to include video and sound in a room-sized environment. What is great and exciting about the SPACELab program is to watch local artists step outside of their comfort zones and try something different. SPACES provides a safe place for that experimentation to happen. Check out Elizabeth's interview on Cool Cleveland about her project:
http://www.coolcleveland.com/blog/2011/02/manic-growth-spaces-elizabeth-dunfee-explores-how-were-harming-ourselves/

Our other "exhibition" opening tomorrow is Machine Project. They are a unique and quirky confederation of artists based in Los Angeles. They provide art experiences that delve into experimental music, massage, psychic mediumship, food and poetry. What I love about Machine Project is how they consider people's full experiences at museums and galleries and not just the experience of looking at a thing. You'll likely find musicians squirreled away in odd corners of the gallery space performing for one or two people. You'll find fun and energetic displays of demolition at Destruction Karaoke (http://www.spacesgallery.org/events/destruction-karaoke-machine-project-event). The video below will give you an idea of how they try to make every interaction with their audiences an artful one.



Keywords: elizabeth dunfee, experimental music, installation art, machine project, painting, r&d, spacelab, swap
Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: Exhibitions

Manic Blog   02.10.11

As Elizabeth Dunfee delivers the strong message of self-depreciation through consumption, Manic Growth provides the much needed impetus to stop, reflect and explore how, as human beings, we can be more mindful and caring of our bodies and what we put in them,. Hopefully it gives us inspiration to transform our worlds (even if just 10%) on a micro and macro level.

Dunfee's exhibition will open to the public on February 11 (6pm) and is an exquisitely composed work of art that creates an environment of exploration and inquisition about life, art and the artist's statement.

After reading her interview on Cool Cleveland (http://www.coolcleveland.com/blog/2011/02/manic-growth-spaces-elizabeth-dunfee-explores-how-were-harming-ourselves/) I decided to look at works of art regarding the environment.

Although it is not directly related to the subject of her current exhibition, Dunfee's words about harming our body brought to mind how we also hurt our physical environments. What I found was a profound collection of photos from Yann Arthus Bertrand (http://www.yannarthusbertrand.org/v2/yab_us.htm) entitled Earth From Above, a portrait of Earth in the 21st century. What first began as a survey of the earth became a project about sustainable development; in the words of Bertrand, "man cannot be disassociated from the landscape."

What Dunfee and Bertrand do in their work as artists is instigate and agitate our consciousness. What do I really eat? What does it really do to me, to the environment? What is the state of the environment, inhabited by over 6 billion people in the world? What can I do to make myself and my world better?

It is this that the artists inspire in me from their works of art, and can inspire in so many others, which make art galleries and museums around the world priceless social institutions. On this note, I leave you with this quote from Mohandas Gandhi: "As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves."

Keywords: elizabeth dunfee, environment, installation art, painting, spacelab
Author: Jodene Velazquez, Office Assistant
Category: General

Diversion #1   02.09.11

How true, how true, Jillian Tamaki (http://blog.jilliantamaki.com/2011/02/supermutant-magic-academy-critique/)


Keywords: cartoons, indie comics, jillian tamaki
Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

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