It is said that we all have a mask or two that we use at times to hide our true feelings. Or maybe we use them to protect ourselves from being hurt, either real or imagined. No matter, masks are intriguing to us. Masks also make up an entire category of art that spans generations and civilizations. Masks tell us much about other people and other times.
"Our fundraising concept is simple but powerful. We produce an exhibition of clay masks that are designed by high profile celebrities. The masks are shown along with paintings and prints from some of the most prominent artists in the world. All the artwork is auctioned off and the proceeds from its sale are given to charitable causes."
"Behind every mask lies the beauty within."
A simple idea with an intriguing hook. Check it out.
There are so many causes to support that sometimes it seems impossible to believe enough support can be found for all of them. The needs are great in so many basic areas from health to housing to education to food. And yet, we also need to remember the arts.
Audeamus.com points us to an incredible idea launched in New York seven years ago to support artists of all types working in all mediums. The program is called Creative Capital and this paragraph from their website says it all:
Creative Capital supports work with the potential for significant artistic and cultural impact. We seek to act as a catalyst for the development of adventurous and imaginative ideas. We are interested in artists who are deeply engaged with their art forms and exhibit a rigorous commitment to their craft, as well as projects that transcend discipline boundaries. In particular, we look for artists who are articulate about their work and who have an understanding of the professional landscape. Creative Capital is committed to diversity in all its forms.
The Creative Capital website is also one of the best and most useful I have seen in a while. One link takes you to the Creative Capital Channel where you can learn about many of the artists who have received grants and the work they have done. It ranges from art exhibits at leading galleries to films that have been award winners at film festivals worldwide. Yet another link gives artists access to professional development programs to help them in all phases of their projects.
Arts education in our schools always suffers most when budgets are cut. If there is no support for arts as our children are growing, where will we get the next generation of artists? We need to find ways to support programs like Creative Capital and figure out how to create more of them as soon as possible.
It's been a long stretch these past couple of weeks so it's time to set the serious issues aside for a moment and see what we can find floating around in cyberspace that's fun....
Let's see, a Picasso went for a near record $95.21 million. That is some serious money for a piece of art. The London Telegraph described this painting of one of his mistresses, Dora Maar:
Picasso painted his strong-willed and temperamental mistress at the height of their always fiery relationship and once described her as having the allure of an exotic cat.
In art history the pairing of cats and women is usually an allusion to feminine wiles and sexual aggression, and this may have been the reason for the animal by her right shoulder. As Dora Maar is known to have disliked cats, Picasso may also have been trying to annoy her.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is in full swing. Rolling Stone gives us a great description of the first weekend where hundreds of local jazz, blues and gospel artists made it clear New Orleans will be back. And there supporting the reemergence of the real heart and soul of New Orleans, its music, were Dylan, Springsteen and Costello. Paul Simon and Fats Domino kick off the second weekend.
This Festival had to happen. And once you understand the force behind this Festival, you know there wasn't a chance it would not take place. George Wein is the music impresario that knew from the day Katrina hit last year, that he and his company would make sure there was a Jazz & Heritage Festival this year. I had a rare opportunity earlier this year to meet George Wein. He is an incredibly intelligent and gracious man who loves music and loves to help people enjoy music.
And finally, George Lucas has relented. The original Star Wars trilogy will finally be released on DVD -- but not until September 12. (For those who want to take note, that is my birthday.)
At the time, there may never have been a bigger movie than the first Star Wars. And I can imagine that this September, some of that magic we all felt in 1977 will return. I know some have been upset it has taken so long, but it will be worth it.