DISCOVERING ART SERIES

Fall & Winter 2017 and 2018

 

The Discovering Art series of art appreciation and exploration resumed on October 18, 2017 with the following lineup of fun and educational DVDs, presented and discussed on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month from 7-9PM, at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery, 204 N Cloverdale Boulevard.

Discovering Art Series 2017/2018

For those who have been clamoring for more “modern” art, this series will highlight the 20th and 21st centuries. Here is the schedule followed by class descriptions:

Oct. 18 - Art of James McNeil Whistler

Nov. 1 and 15 - The Vision of Tom Thomson, Canadian landscape artist

Dec. 6 and 20 – Winds of Heaven, the story and vision of Emily Carr, West Coast Canadian artist

Jan. 3 – Pedro Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey

4 part series on Art in the 21st century:

Jan. 17 – 4 Artists from Chicago

Feb. 7 – 4 Artists from Mexico City

Feb. 21 – 4 Artists from Los Angeles

Mar. 7 – 4 Artists from Vancouver
 

2017/2018 Class Descriptions

Oct. 18 - Art of James McNeil Whistler

This DVD showcases the original art star, James McNeill Whistler, of the late 19th century. He was witty, debonair, and famous for his patent leather shoes, monocle and uptown swagger, as well as his art. His demeanor and artistic genius attracted the curiosity of buyers and the attention of critics.  We will see how Whistler struggled to become an artist who broke through the confines of 19th century academic art, moving through an Impressionist phase and on to his own abstraction and interior vision. His painting, “Arrangement in Grey and Black: No. 1. Portrait of the Artist’s Mother”, was a breakthrough work for him.  Today, critics compare Whistler’s art to that of Velasquez and Rembrandt.  This DVD is a fascinating look at an amazing artist and character.

Nov. 1 and 15 - The Vision of Tom Thomson, Canadian landscape artist

Thomson- Northern River

Thomson- Northern River

In these two sessions, we will be venturing into new territory, that of Northern Ontario, Canada, to discover the world of Tom Thomson, one of Canada’s most beloved artists from the early 20th century.  This visually dazzling documentary traces the life and work of this landscape artist, works that have come to define a young nation and serve as iconic symbols of Canada. 

Filmed in Algonquin Park, Georgian Bay, Toronto, and Seattle, the film highlights Thomson’s gorgeous paintings and sketches, as well as scenic photography of the Canadian Shield lakes and flora. For those unfamiliar with the term “Canadian Shield”, it refers to a vast land (all of Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and a lot of the Northwest Territories) formed of Precambrian rock, created by the retreat of Ice Age glaciers over the centuries. It left behind bedrock, thousands of lakes and rivers, tundra and forests of pine, spruce and birch.

The DVD details Thomson’s intriguing life and mysterious death at 40 years old. On July 8, 1917, Thomson died mysteriously on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park, just as his art was maturing into a new vision of Fauvist colors and abstractions. We will watch fascinating interviews with people who knew him and hear letters from fellow artists about his genius. Join us and learn about the beauty of Canada, as seen through the eyes of one of its greatest admirers.

Dec. 6 and 20 – Winds of Heaven: the Story and Vision of Emily Carr, West Coast Canadian Artist

Winds of Heaven. Emily Carr

Winds of Heaven. Emily Carr

These two sessions continue our exploration of Canadian art, this time heading to the Pacific coast of British Columbia and the late Victorian world of Emily Carr (1871-1945). This documentary is another production by White Pine Pictures, the same producers of the Tom Thomson film described above. Like it, this DVD is equally eye-popping and visually sumptuous. It tells the intriguing and inspiring story of an independent female artist who fought against the conventions and expectations of late Victorian Canadian society. She wanted to be her own woman and paint for a living. Emily Carr endeavored to record the disappearing life of the First Nations people of the northwest coast of British Columbia. She painted them and their world in all its beauty and deep brooding mystery. Come and experience that beauty and mystery through her art.

Jan. 3 – Pedro Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey 

Pedro Guerrrero

Pedro Guerrrero

This PBS DVD documents the remarkable life and work of Pedro Guerrero (1917-2012), a Mexican American born and raised in segregated Mesa, Arizona, who had an amazing international photographic career. Through Guerrerro’s extraordinary photographic images and interviews, the program reveals his collaborations with three of the most iconic American artists of the 20th century – architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson.  His magnificent photos of modern architecture and sculpture made him the primary photographer of the 1950’s – the era of the “Mad Men” series.  Yet he is barely known outside of select photographic circles.  Join us to learn about this photographic genius, who was able to gain the confidence and respect of even that curmudgeonly Frank Lloyd Wright!

4 part series on Art in the 21st century:

Jan. 17 – 4 Artists from Chicago

Feb. 7 – 4 Artists from Mexico City

Feb. 21 – 4 Artists from Los Angeles

Mar. 7 – 4 Artists from Vancouver

As promised, these last four sessions will focus on art of the 21st century.  This is part 8 of an Art21 documentary series from PBS, which has won a Peabody Award. This award, named for George Foster Peabody, American businessman and philanthropist, recognizes distinguished and meritorious public service by American radio and television stations, networks, online media and producing organizations.  It has been awarded since 1941.

This series takes viewers behind the scenes into artists’ studios, homes and communities for intimate access to their lives and creative processes. The show is hosted by the actor, Claire Danes. Over the four sessions, we will meet 16 artists from three countries: USA, Mexico and Canada.

Jan. 17 – 4 Artists from Chicago

Nick Cave

Nick Cave

Nick Cave is a sculptor who creates wearable costumes as his sculptures to make public statements about racism, lack of economic opportunities, and violence in American culture. His creations are truly remarkable.

Chris Ware is a cartoonist who uses his comic strips and books to make his political and social statements about Chicago and the politics and culture of our times. His art is meticulous, humorous and biting at times.

Barbara Kasten is a photographer and video creator/installer. Using a wide assortment of materials and light, she creates amazing videos and theatrical productions. She creates worlds to get lost in.

Theaster Gates “reshapes the world” through his ceramics and collages. He has also rescued many old buildings scheduled for demolition in his Chicago neighborhood and repurposed them into dance and art studios, as well as housing for artists.

Feb. 7 – 4 Artists from Mexico City

Damian Ortega

Damian Ortega

Damian Ortega is a painter and sculptor who creates his own unique interpretation of life in 21st century Mexico City. He uses everyday objects and found materials to create sculptures that provoke and inspire the viewer to contemplate the economic inequalities of our society, consumerism, the politics and violence of life.

Pedro Reyes is another sculptor who likes to reinvent the rules, using his creativity and research acumen to create works of political and social commentary. One example of his work turns violence, so prevalent in Mexico today, on its head, by creating musical instruments out of disassembled guns!

Minerva Cuevas is a photographer and film maker, deeply rooted in Mexican history and culture, who uses her photography to work toward social justice. She uses everyday objects around her, and relabels and redesigns them into political statements, against capitalism and exploitation of the poor.

Natalia Almada, a Mexican-American, moves easily between the two countries. Her photography and films are geared toward to building peace in both countries, focusing on the ever-prevalent violence that has arisen from the Mexican-American war against the drug cartels.

Feb. 21 – 4 artists from Los Angeles

Liz Larner

Liz Larner

Diana Thater is an installation as artist fascinated by movement and space. She creates miniature boxes filled with photographs and little objects, as well as life-size installations with light and sound that people can walk around and through. These are her commentaries on contemporary society.

Liz Larner is an innovative ceramic sculptor who makes her social and political comments on the world.  She uses free-standing and wall-hanging sculptures filled with cracks and ruptures, symbolically representing the world’s instability on so many levels.

An Iranian American, Tala Madoni, is an intriguing painter and animator, who creates cartoon-like characters, particularly smiley-faces, for her art.  Her work reflects disturbing yet thought-provoking commentaries on the politics of our world, on religion, and human relationships between adults and with children.

Edgar Arceneaux is a performance artist and political commentator. His installation art pieces and live performances reflect his fascination with society’s contradictions – good vs. evil, the class system, economic inequalities, racism. 

Mar. 7 – 4 Artists from Vancouver

Brian Jungen

Brian Jungen

Our last series takes us to Canada for artists who express their creativity as a mirror for Canadian values and politics. 

Liz Magor is a sculptor who uses everyday objects to create new interpretations. She produces display walls of intricate small boxes, holding such everyday objects as birds, gloves, little other found objects.  Mesmerizing!

Stan Douglas is a cinematographer who uses film to record his love of history and make social commentary. He creates films of lost neighborhoods, torn down for “progress”, historical events such as the riots of the 1960’s in Vancouver and police retaliation, as well as commentaries on homelessness and drug addiction. Like many big cities, Vancouver has a large homeless population and people with drug/alcohol addictions. He wants to draw people’s attention to human suffering.

Brian Jungen, a First Nations native Canadian, is a sculptor whose work reflects his interest in the First Nations people of British Columbia. He creates sculptures out of ordinary objects and turns them into iconic symbols of native art. Two examples are large whales recreated from pieces of white plastic chairs, and native masks made of cut-up and reassembled athletic shoes.

Jeff Wall is a painter and photographer who photographs nature and people in the city. He takes everyday objects and scenes and turns them into memorable pictures. His intent is to present the picture and “have the viewers make up their own narrative to complete the picture”.

About Discovering Art

Discovering Arts has been a part of the Cloverdale Arts Alliance programs since 2006. The class meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 7-9 p.m., usually October through March.  We gather at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance Art Gallery and view enlightening, educational DVDs surrounded by our own local art, with stimulating discussions afterward.  You can know a lot about art or very little to enjoy these classes.  Everyone’s opinions, ideas and questions are welcome at our classes.

 Over the past 12 years, we have enjoyed a wide variety of series classes, such as:

·         The History of Impressionism

·         How to Look At and Understand Art

·         History and Collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Louvre and the National Gallery in London

·         Masterpieces of American Art

·         The Greatest Paintings of Europe and America

·         Women and Art

·         Paris 1905-1930

·         History of European Art from the 9th century to the mid- 20th century

·         Life of Frida Kahlo

·         Life and Times of Francisco Goya

·         Picasso and Braque – Cubism and the Early Cinema

·         A photo tour of Cuban art, people and culture

·         The Harlem Renaissance or the 1920s and 1930s

·         The Mystery of a Masterpeice

·         A personal look at photographer Annie Liebovitz

·         The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

What People Say About the Discovering Art Series

“Discovering Art is fun and informative.  It is most enjoyable to get together, to look at great art and discuss our impressions.”

“The lectures and illustrations are interesting and informative, a very enjoyable way to appreciate and learn more about the world of art.  Our facilitated discussions afterward bring additional insight to our gatherings.”

“Discovering Art is an education on how visual arts shape and reflect history.  Through the programs, we learn about familiar and unfamiliar art works, their creators and origins.  All this is served with a glass of wine, a tasty snack and thoughtful conversation.”

“I got more of a sense of how art parallels “regular” history.   I also appreciated how the attitudes and norms of general society drove the imagery of the art, and also reflected the difficulties and struggles of some of the artists.”

Please join us when we begin our new series on October 18, 2017.  The crowd is friendly, and the illustrated lectures are superb. The discussions held afterward are always stimulating.  A glass of wine and sweet treats always enhance the experience. We look forward to seeing you at The Gallery.

Attend all classes, or choose the ones that interest you the most. DISCOVERING ART is meant for a wide audience, from those who are discovering art for the first time to those who have experienced art their entire lives and realize that it is a journey of constant discovery.

In order to reimburse the Cloverdale Arts Alliance (CAA) for the expenses of administration and refreshments, a nominal donation ($5 per evening for CAA affiliates, $7 for non-members) will be requested. Seating is limited to the first 40 participants.

Visit www.cloverdaleartsalliance.org. or call 894-4410 for further information and a full schedule regarding this or the many other fine Cloverdale Art Alliance programs. 

The Cloverdale Arts Alliance is located at 204 N. Cloverdale Blvd. in downtown Cloverdale. Visit www.cloverdaleartsalliance.org for the full schedule and further information regarding this or the many other fine Cloverdale Art Alliance programs.