Thanks so much to Make Muse publication for sharing my art and story. Jan Kirstein
Make Muse is an online (and soon-to-be print) magazine that is dedicated to inspiring change and activism through beauty, art, aesthetics, and the written word by propelling action and voicing experiences.
Sign up for our newsletter for weekly news, content, and features.
These self-portraits are the photographer’s reactions to War and Terrorism, and what has emerged from the collective unconsciousness.
Action painting is my joy for more than 30 years and continues to this day, today, with Sumi-E ink and a haiki brush. I add Japanese rice paper torn scraps, and combine a variety of media including paint, watercolor, graphite, ink, colored pencil, even glitter, all to make a free flowing capture of the creative energy that surrounds me at any given moment.. Right now I am creating a series of art works combining photographed self portraits altered with painting and Photoshop to express my continued belief that War and Terrorism are outrages, no matter who you are, or what Culture you are from. By acquiring the persona of a middle eastern woman, I am exploring the process of placing myself in another’s shoes, therefore creating windows of empathy for those who have undergone the trials and tribulations of War and Terrorism. I will be continuing this process.
Through these windows of empathy, the viewer sees multiple spaces, times, and dimensions. All realities are visible simultaneously, which creates a paradox or sense of perceptive omnipotence within the perceiver. It’s much like being able to see all dimensions of reality within one gaze. These juxtapositions contribute to a sense of continuum and present a paradox of the need to stop War and Terrorism Now, combined with the timeless existence of Terror and War throughout the history of human civilization.
To achieve the atmospheric abstraction seen in my work, I especially make use of transparent layering. The scale of my pieces can range from my use of the Nano image to images of outer space. My canvases and paper works range in size from small ,5″ x 6″, to medium 20″ x 32″ to large 4′ x 8.’ Combinations of painting and photography form an altered image that to me represents a process of digging into buried past experience through the exploration of the subconscious mind, both of my own experience as well as the collective unconscious mind and soul. It is my hope to convey the feelings involved in living with the realities of War and Terrorism, along with the emotional demand to stop the process of annihilation once and for all.
Terrorism and war walk in the cloak of darkness,fear, hatred and pain. Empathy is the compassion of extended understanding and love. It is my hope that through these works of art, the hope and love of empathy will overcome the fear, darkness of war and terror. Overcoming War and Terrorism with Empathy and Love is imperative and necessary for the survival of our humanity for the continuation of and progressive growth of the entire human race.
My background as a painter, writer and photographer includes 30 years of professional exploration in all three of these areas. I have exhibited my art work throughout the world through both solo and group exhibitions in the United States, South America, Asia, and Europe.
Here’s Miguel Velit, in triumph before the sculpture he completed at the beginning of August at Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort, Kentucky where he was a guest artist.
Miguel Velitis a Sculptor from Lima, Peru. His sculptures include a whimsical but powerful exploration of dynamic space. I have known him since our days together at Vermont Studio in Johnson Vermont and his work has always been a testimonial to the relentless pursuit of art and its ability to influence and alter the world.
This Summer, he was in residence at the nearby Josephine Sculpture Park in Frankfort, Kentucky as a guest artist where he was working on a variety of large metal sculptures from scrap metal gathered from local metal scrap metal yards. He has completed his sculpture and I have included photos of the results.
Miguel has built sculptures all over the world for a variety of parks, interior and exterior spaces. Countries where his work is on exhibit include China, Poland, the United States, Argentina, Mexico and of course, his beloved hometown Lima, Peru.
Embracing a vigorous investigation of building materials and spatial explorations, Miguel builds sculptures that are arrestingly confident, playful and memorable.
Kentucky was honored to host Miguel as he continues his lifelong artistic quest.
Primarily a painter, my creative process combines a mixture of media and collage, including acrylic, pastel, colored pencil & Photoshop, Sumi-E Ink and Japanese Rice paper.
“The Great Horse Race” by Janis Kirstein
I love making these collages. Action painting is my joy for more than 30 years and continues to this day, today, with Sumi-E ink and a haiki brush. I add Japanese rice paper torn scraps, and combine a variety of media including paint, watercolor, graphite, ink, colored pencil, even glitter, all to make a free flowing capture of the creative energy that surrounds me at any given moment. All this has somehow landed on a stretched canvas diptych measuring 32″ in width and 20″ in height. Right now I am creating this series of paintings in my basement. Well actually, RIGHT NOW I am telling you about me doing it! Clarification. I will be continuing this process upon completing this epistle and I will keep you updated on my progress!
To achieve the atmospheric abstraction seen in my work, I especially make use of transparent layering. The scale of my pieces can range from my use of the Nano image to images of outer space. My canvases and paper works range in size from small ,5″ x 6″, to medium 20″ x 32″ to large 4′ x 8.’That means all realities are visible simultaneously, which creates a paradox or sense perceptive omnipotence within you, the perceiver. It’s much like being able to see all dimensions of reality within one gaze.
I invite all of you to join in my creative parade and journey. Get front row seats and join me in this exhilarating endeavor! Thanks for joining me! I love having you come with me by coming to my new website on Patreon.
Here you will have the opportunity to make a small financial donation to help sustain my creative endeavor. You can make a pledge and receive all kinds of various goodies and discounts as a reward for your patronage. I am still compiling my list of rewards and placing them on the website, so check back in a few days to see additional rewards that will be added.
Close up view. Collage by Janis Kirstein
I greatly appreciate and value your contribution to my journey as a creative artist. With your generous support, via my new membership with Patreon. If you wish to follow and participate in my ever expanding creative road of discovery you can make a small donation of support on my Patreon website here. With your help, we can ride this creative journey together! Thanks so much!
The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a joint initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the National Gallery of Art, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute for Museum and Library Services
From the exhibition Many Things Placed Here and There: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery:
Though Herbert Vogel knew Michael Goldberg from the 1950s New York art scene, the Vogels did not begin acquiring Goldberg’s work until the 1970s, at which point the couple bought work directly from the artist’s studio in the Bowery. Goldberg experimented with dynamic gesture, vibrant color, and emotionally charged abstraction, all defining characteristics of Abstract Expressionism, which swept through New York after the Second World War. In Piede Vicentino, broad, bold brushstrokes and strong diagonals infuse the work with pervasive energy. The title of the series from which this work comes is taken from an early sixteenth-century album created by a Florentine architect, and famously copied by Michelangelo, that illustrates details of Roman buildings.
Dreams form one of the main pathways to the workings and special messages from the subconscious mind. Dream journals are one of the many ways to uncover the world that goes beyond our concrete reality and merges with a montage of ethereal symbols and realities to convey new meaning in our daily lives.
Here are some very strange and unique artistic captures of this other world we fall through while in our sleep.
Half our dayes wee passe in the shadowe of the earth, and the brother of death exacteth a third part of our lives.
(Thomas Browne, On Dreams)
…night after night, with calm incuriousness we open the door into that ghostly underworld, and hold insane revels with fantastic spectres, weep burning tears for empty griefs, babble with foolish laughter at witless jests, stain our souls with useless crime, or fly with freezing blood from the grasp of an unnamed dread ; and, with the morning, saunter serenely back from these wild adventures into the warm precincts of the cheerful day, unmoved, unstartled, and forgetting.
(Elizabeth Bisland, Dreams and their Mysteries)
Dreams have long proved a fertile ground for human creativity and expression, and no less so than in the visual arts, giving rise to some of its most arresting images. In addition to the many and varied dreams so important to religion and myth there has emerged, in the last few centuries since the birth of Romanticism, an exploration of the more personal dream-world. Indeed, with its link to the unconscious, the form has perhaps proved the perfect vehicle for those artists looking to surface that which lies submerged – desire, guilt, fear, ambition – to bring to light the truth the waking mind keeps hid.
No doubt, also, artists have been attracted to the challenge of giving form to something so visually intangible as a dream, a challenge taken up in many ways through the centuries. More often than not there appears the sleeping body itself, with the dream element incorporated in a variety of ways. Common is for the dream sequence to appear in a totally separate part of the image, as if projected on the walls of the sleeping mind: often in the midst of that familiar floating cloud, but also as emerging from nearby objects or events of the day (see the Toyokuni image below) . Also common, particularly in the depiction of nightmares, is for the figures of the dream to simply appear as though in the room with the sleeper, often directly upon the body itself (see the Fuseli below). With the advent of photography, and the potential of double exposures, we see also a different way of trying to capture that intangibility of the dream image. With both the Grandville and Redon images featured, and the work of the Surrealists they anticipate, we see a different approach entirely, one which looks past the sleeper to focus solely on the imagery of the dream itself, and in the process perhaps giving a more true impression of the strangeness and otherworldliness which so often characterises the dream experience.
FOR many education advocates, the arts are a panacea: They supposedly increase test scores, generate social responsibility and turn around failing schools. Most of the supporting evidence, though, does little more than establish correlations between exposure to the arts and certain outcomes. Research that demonstrates a causal relationship has been virtually nonexistent.
A few years ago, however, we had a rare opportunity to explore such relationships when the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened in Bentonville, Ark. Through a large-scale, random-assignment study of school tours to the museum, we were able to determine that strong causal relationships do in fact exist between arts education and a range of desirable outcomes.
Students who, by lottery, were selected to visit the museum on a field trip demonstrated stronger critical thinking skills, displayed higher levels of social tolerance, exhibited greater historical empathy and developed a taste for art museums and cultural institutions.
Crystal Bridges, which opened in November 2011, was founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. It is impressive, with 50,000 square feet of gallery space and an endowment of more than $800 million.
Thanks to a generous private gift, the museum has a program that allows school groups to visit at no cost to students or schools. museum visits
Before the opening, we were contacted by the museum’s education department. They recognized that the opening of a major museum in an area that had never had one before was an unusual event that ought to be studied. But they also had a problem. Because the school tours were being offered free, in an area where most children had very little prior exposure to cultural institutions, demand for visits far exceeded available slots. In the first year alone, the museum received applications from 525 school groups requesting tours for more than 38,000 students.
As social scientists, we knew exactly how to solve this problem. We partnered with the museum and conducted a lottery to fill the available slots. By randomly assigning school tours, we were able to allocate spots fairly. Doing so also created a natural experiment to study the effects of museum visits on students, the results of which we published in the journals Education Next and Educational Researcher.
Over the course of the following year, nearly 11,000 students and almost 500 teachers participated in our study, roughly half of whom had been selected by lottery to visit the museum. Applicant groups who won the lottery constituted our treatment group, while those who did not win an immediate tour served as our control group.
Several weeks after the students in the treatment group visited the museum, we administered surveys to all of the students. The surveys included multiple items that assessed knowledge about art, as well as measures of tolerance, historical empathy and sustained interest in visiting art museums and other cultural institutions. We also asked them to write an essay in response to a work of art that was unfamiliar to them.
These essays were then coded using a critical-thinking-skills assessment program developed by researchers working with the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Further, we directly measured whether students are more likely to return to Crystal Bridges as a result of going on a school tour. Students who participated in the study were given a coupon that gave them and their families free entry to a special exhibit at the museum. The coupons were coded so that we could determine the group to which students belonged. Students in the treatment group were 18 percent more likely to attend the exhibit than students in the control group.
Moreover, most of the benefits we observed are significantly larger for minority students, low-income students and students from rural schools — typically two to three times larger than for white, middle-class, suburban students — owing perhaps to the fact that the tour was the first time they had visited an art museum.
Further research is needed to determine what exactly about the museum-going experience determines the strength of the outcomes. How important is the structure of the tour? The size of the group? The type of art presented?
Clearly, however, we can conclude that visiting an art museum exposes students to a diversity of ideas that challenge them with different perspectives on the human condition. Expanding access to art, whether through programs in schools or through visits to area museums and galleries, should be a central part of any school’s curriculum.
Much of the world’s great artwork is tightly controlled, but the Getty Museum just announced a significant initiative to open things up — its new Open Content Program has made some 4,600 pieces of art from the museum’s collection free to use. Users can visit the Getty Search Gateway to browse through the entire collection of high-resolution images, and they can all be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes so long as they’re properly attributed to the museum. When downloading an image, the site also asks for you to share why you’re using it — so the museum can see why people are downloading its content.
Amongst the many freely available pieces of art released by Getty are a number of quite famous images, including work by Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Leonardo da Vinci. The 4,600 pieces of artwork available are just the beginning, as well. Getty says that it’s actively exploring the possibility of releasing much more art into the public domain, both from the museum’s collection as well as materials from the Getty Research Institute’s special collections. While Getty isn’t the first museum to push forward with an open artwork initiative (the museum cited a number of institutions like the Walters Art Museum as inspirations for the movement), it’s the latest example of how the internet is making classic, famous works more accessible.
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 – 1890)
Irises, 1889, Oil on canvas
Unframed: 71.1 x 93 cm (28 x 36 5/8 in.)
Framed: 95.3 x 115.6 x 7.9 cm (37 1/2 x 45 1/2 x 3 1/8 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
OTHER FAMOUS WORKS OF INTEREST
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452 – 1519), Caricature of a Man with Bushy Hair, Italian, about 1495, Pen and brown ink, 6.6 x 5.4 cm (2 5/8 x 2 1/8 in.)
Jean-François Millet (French, 1814 – 1875), Man with a Hoe, French, 1860 – 1862, Oil on canvas, 81.9 × 100.3 cm (32 1/4 × 39 1/2 in.)
Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 – 1906), Young Italian Woman at a Table, French, about 1895 – 1900, Oil on canvas, 92.1 × 73.5 cm (36 1/4 × 28 15/16 in.)
Théodore Géricault (French, 1791 – 1824), The Race of the Riderless Horses, French, 1817, Oil and pen and ink on paper laid on canvas, 19.8 × 29.1 cm (7 13/16 × 11 7/16 in.),
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 – 1890), Portrait of Joseph Roulin, Dutch, 1888, Reed and quill pen and brown ink, over black chalk, 32.1 × 24.4 cm (12 5/8 × 9 5/8 in.)