Social Commentary on Terrorism and War


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.

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Basta

These self-portraits are the photographer’s reactions to War and Terrorism, and what has emerged from the collective unconsciousness.

 

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Your Office Is for Your Employees — Give Them an Experience Worthy of Art


Thinking about renovating or even restructuring your office, or office space? Check out this story about the restructure at Artsy, and check out the visual art suggested by Kirsteinfineart! Here are a few favorites to give you some inspiration for your staff.

Art to stimulate and inspire any work environment from the Kirsteinfineart Blog.

 

 

Writing By Sean Roland, Associate Director of Experience & Operations from Artsy Blog

At Artsy, the Experience team’s mission is to envision, build, and maintain the physical and operational infrastructure as an extension and manifestation of our online brand and product. Some might ask why investing resources into creating a high quality Experience matters. My general answer is that creating impactful environments is always worthwhile as an art form, because it moves people, creates the opportunity for shared experience, and helps galvanize community.

Creating artful, innovative, and positive Experience at Artsy matters because it’s essential to achieving our mission. In order to “make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an internet connection,” Artsy must become a powerful and positive force in the art world, which is no small feat in a highly competitive and critical landscape. The art, design, and hospitality worlds are closely aligned and constantly collaborating, so by demonstrating that we’re thinking and actively contributing to a creative discourse in all aspects of our brand, and not just our online presence, we will build trust and credibility within the world we hope to work and collaborate within.

Artsy team members — at HQ and global offices — gather weekly for catered team lunch. Stay tuned for more on our Food & Beverage program in a future post.

Our company values state that that we value “Quality Worthy of Art,” we believe that “People are Paramount,” and we strive to embody “Openness” and “Positive Energy.” We’re also constantly exploring the nexus of “Art x Science.” I believe that our physical spaces can embody these values, in much the same way our products, organizational structure, and communication style should. Intentional spatial and aesthetic decisions made with a strong point of view can provide the literal, concrete example of what our company strives to achieve in the digital world. In the past, Artsy hasn’t prioritized these elements, which makes sense. As a startup we’ve had to prioritize and allocate resources and time to where they most mattered — into our core products. But as we grow in size and visibility, our actions across diverse parts of the company will increasingly inform our social capital, and therefore our success.

To align the Experience of visiting or working at Artsy with our aesthetically and functionally mature online platform, our team is adopting an art- and hospitality-focused approach to Experience. We’ve partnered with design furniture company Hem to bring modern, fresh, and relevant design to our offices. We’ve begun designing and implementing a wellness-focused Food and Beverage program because we want to be part of a global dialog around healthy, ethical sustenance. And we’ve begun to add depth and variety to our internal events programming, so that we’re able to better create spaces and experiences that speak to the growing diversity of our team.

We decided on the above approach by first reflecting on the state of our affairs of operations and Experience at Artsy. We asked ourselves hard questions; what we were doing well, what could we do better, and where were we failing? We knew that Experience at Artsy wasn’t measuring up to the products we were putting out into the world, but we needed to tease out why. Our brainstorming yielded some big potential opportunities for improvement, so we built and ran a team-wide survey (with an 87% engagement rate), which helped us determine whether teammates agreed with our hypothesis and ultimately guided our priority setting process:

  • Optimization of systems, spaces, vendors, and information
  • Infrastructural improvements and interior design and curation
  • Diversifying our social event planning and execution
  • Building a wellness and ethically-focused Food & Beverage program
We’re lucky to have natural light permeating the entire office space, making meeting rooms brighter, more cheerful places to be.

1. Optimization of systems, spaces, vendors, and information

PICK LOW-HANGING FRUIT

Our survey results showed that first and foremost, we needed to tighten our ship. Our small team (4) was barely staying above water managing the huge array of company-wide support responsibilities — from onboarding logistics, to company-wide procurement of supplies and IT resources, to managing facilities, to food and beverage sourcing and programming. So we divided and conquered the challenges we faced, systematically addressing the failures in communication or process that were costing us time and money and keeping us from more effectively supporting the team at large.

CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSETS

Throwing away unnecessary baggage can really help reboot an Operations team. Our closets were literally full of broken furniture and forgotten projects, because no one felt empowered to ditch them. So we did, and then we bought nice storage shelves and a ton of labeling tape. Now we have room to store supplies, which has allowed us to shift our buying habits to be more efficient and cost-effective. Figuratively, our team was also storing some skeletons of projects and proposals that hadn’t come to fruition, so there was a hint of “can’t do” instead of “let’s try it” in the air. We ditched our hangups, and reset expectations that any good idea is worth exploring and pitching to each other and leadership.

OPTIMIZE SYSTEMS, THEN GO VENDOR SHOPPING

We were constantly running out of office and food supplies. After we solved the storage issue, we built inventory and ordering systems. We trimmed the variety of things we buy, and created pars (standardized consumption data) based on observation of consumption over a period of weeks. Now that we’ve reached a steady state, meaning the basics are covered week after week, we’ve begun shopping for better vendors who will offer us wholesale relationships. This will help us simplify ordering and allow us to provide better amenities at the same cost. We no longer feel beholden to vendors who don’t want to work with us on pricing, because we now have the bandwidth to shop around. For example, we were working with a startup cleaning company with a cool interface that “spoke” our language. But our floors were filthy, so we traded them in for a more traditional company, with good results and great cost savings.

GET COZY WITH FINANCE

We spend the money, and Finance pays the bills, so it seems natural that we would constantly be in communication. But we weren’t, so important bills (like our internet!) weren’t getting paid. A little digging revealed that transitions on both our teams had put us at a distance, and we needed to reestablish clear processes by which to communicate effectively to ensure we were fulfilling our responsibilities. Now that we’ve repaired the broken communication, we’ve naturally begun collaborating on creating reporting tools to help us make smart budgeting and decisions, which is especially important given the volume of transactions that flow through our team.

LISTEN TO YOUR TEAM, AND GET CREATIVE WITH SOLUTIONS

One of the most notable results from our first survey was that team members felt unhappy about the lack of color and art in our office. We brainstormed an exciting long-term project called “Art at Artsy” with our Special Projects team. We’ve begun planning, but in the meantime we wanted to show immediate results. So we went out and bought plants. A ton of plants. A jungle. Overnight we went from a white box to a tropical haven. Everyday my team gets thanked for bringing color to the office. Never underestimate the power of affordable but impactful purchases.

What Next?

We’ve taken our first steps on a long path to transform Experience at Artsy. We hope it will become something extraordinary that parallels the journey you might take in an amazing restaurant, or at an incredible art installation. It’s an approach that is challenging yet actually pretty simple; shift your team away from a reactive, need-filling mentality to an intuiting, experience-creating mindset. Cover the basic needs and automate them whenever possible, so you can spend more time creating impactful experiences that move beyond the everyday and push your team to engage in a collaborative discourse with other parts of the company and the creative disciplines.

How to Hang Your Wall Images


Thinking you might like to spice up your walls with a dash of creative spirit in the form of uplifting art, but finding all the choices for frames, mats, and hanging so baffling? Here are some helpful tips for hanging fine art in your home. Check out these suggestions, and maybe this will help clear the confusion!

 

Just click this photo to see this helpful Houzz article on tips for hanging art.

 

 

 

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To see how to select framing options, choose mats or to purchase click here.

 

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To see how to select framing options,choose mats or to purchase click here.

 

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To see how to select framing options,choose mats or to purchase click here.

 

 

To see more images like these,  click here to look around Fine Art America to see more of my works, by Jan Kirstein, or look over the whole website to see many other artists’ works as well! Enjoy your visit.

Give Yourself Permission to Create


So often, permission to create is denied to us through a variety of societal restraints as well as self imposed restrictions of judgements and insecurities. To create is a right you are born to fulfill. And what better way to begin creating than in an unlined journal. Write your thoughts and add your sketches. You deserve the right to find your voice.

Jan Kirstein

20% discount https://kirsteinfineart.myshopify.com/discount/BFCM17

20% discount https://kirsteinfineart.myshopify.com/discount/BFCM17

20% discount https://kirsteinfineart.myshopify.com/discount/BFCM17

Stream of Consciousness: Creating a New Reality


Creating you own reality is an especially appealing idea to me right now, especially when so many realities around us are a carcophany of screenshots I much prefer to deleate.  So here is a sample of my alternate universe!

Here’s a close up of one of my screenshots with my book “Fantasy Animals.”


What Binge readers my stuffed animals are! And this is what happens if you let them read “Fantasy Animals” without adult supervision. Why don’t you check it out here? www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYJAGLK. These guys, up all night, acting out the parts. 

Jump on in. Find an alternate universe in the world of imagination and parable!
And for another alternate universe try shopping on my new website HERE. You never know what the world of imagination can bring you!

A WAY TO REMEMBER: MEMORIAL DAY


 

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Located in Frankfort, Kentucky, overlooking the state capital, Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial contains the name of 1,103 Kentuckians killed in the Vietnam War. The memorial is in the form of a sundial with the names placed so that the tip of the gnomon’s shadow touches each man’s name on the date of his death, thus giving each fallen warrior his own personal memorial day.

A Way To Remember

The Kentucky Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation, non-profit organization, was created by the Kentucky General Assembly on March 23, 1984 “to design and raise the necessary funds for a monument to those Kentuckians who fought and died in Vietnam.
Funds for construction were provided through private donations from business, corporate and individual sources. The site overlooking the state capitol was donated by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1987. Upon completion, ownership of the memorial will be transferred to the state, with perpetual maintenance by the Memorial Fund.
The design for the memorial was selected by an anonymous competition which required that each entrant submit a scale model of the design. The criteria for design stated “The monument should be distinctive yet dignified. It should not seek to imitate other monuments yet it should evoke an emotional remembrance while being aesthetically authentic as a work of art. The monument should display the names of all Kentuckians who died in the Vietnam Conflict…or who are still unaccounted for.”
The design unanimously selected was that of Helm Roberts, a Kentucky architect and Naval aviator during the period between Korea and Vietnam. The groundbreaking ceremony and gnomon dedication, by Governor Martha Layne Collins, was held November 7, 1987. The remaining work for the memorial was done during the summer of 1988. The memorial was dedicated on November 12, 1988 by Governor Wallace Wilkinson.

Design Concept

Tip of Shadow on Name

 

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The memorial was conceived to be a place of quiet meditation to contemplate the nature of the Vietnam War and also to be a place of ceremony to honor those lost in this conflict. The hours of the sundial represent the years of the war, thus each sector between the walkways includes one year of Kentucky losses. The length of the shadow of the gnomon varies with the date of the year, with the longest shadows at the Winter Solstice on December 21 and the shortest on June 21, the Summer Solstice. Each name on the plaza is placed on the sunline for the date of death between these extremes, The exact time of this anniversary is unique for each name, but does not vary from year to year.
The arrangement of names was intended to show the pattern of Kentucky casualties for the Vietnam War. The first two deaths occurred in 1962 and the last person was killed in 1975. The year of heaviest losses was 1968, which falls between Noon and 1:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time. The names of those missing in action or prisoners of war are located in front of the gnomon, where the shadow never falls.
Veterans Day ceremonies are commemorated by an inscription located on the Plaza where the shadow falls on November 11 at 11:11 AM, the date and time which marked the Armistice in 1918 which ended the first World War.
The Meditation Area looking down on the plaza provides a distant view of the state capitol, framed by the gnomon and the flags of America and Kentucky.
The circle of stones around the base of the gnomon are inscribed with the verse from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:
For everything there is a season;
and a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal,
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Memorial Data

Plaza Plan and Name Pattern

 

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The curved lines on the plaza mark the location of the Summer and Winter Solstice and show the path of the shortest and longest shadows of the year. The straight East/West line locates the path of the Spring and Fall Equinox. The times inscribed on the stone outer circle represent natural or “Sun” time. The walkways are located at the mean position of Eastern Standard Time. The inner circle is marked with words from Ecclesiastes which reflect upon the nature of time and the seasons.
The gnomon, or pointer stands 14.62′ above the surface of the plaza and is 24.27′ long, measured along its spine. The angle of the gnomon is equal to the latitude, or 38o 10’25” from horizontal and points to the true North Pole and Polaris, the North Star. The gnomon was cut from 3/16″ thick stainless steel and fabricated in Springfield, Oregon by metal sculptor and welding engineer Arthur Ross Cady.
The Plaza is 89′-4″ long by 71′-1½” wide, including the benches. The plaza floor contains 327 pieces of 4″+ thick granite with pieces ranging from 2421 to 66 pounds in weight. The average weight of each plaza slab is 1,144 pounds. The largest pieces are 12′ long. The benchwork has 120 pieces weighing over 20 tons. The weight of all granite in the memorial is 215 tons.
All granite for the memorial was cut from the “Pyramid Blue” quarry located in Elberton, Georgia.[4] The face of each piece was honed to remove saw marks and finished with a sand-blasted surface to provide the lightest possible color to contrast with the gnomon shadow. All granite fabrication was done in Elberton from computer generated drawings, which included full sized templates for exact location and spelling of each name.
Lettering and linework was incised into the granite using rubber stencils and sandblasting. All engraving was done in the factory with the exception of the summer and winter solstice and bench lines, which were done in place. The lettering of all names, months and the Ecclesiastes verse is the same lettering used for official government stone grave markers throughout the nation, including Arlington National Cemetery.
The Flagpoles are 35′ high and are located 10′ to each side of the True North line. The area north of the Winter Solstice line is designed for ceremonies on national holidays, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

 

 

To see more of the photograph at the top of this page or the items below of The Kentucky Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial by Janis Kirstein, click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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