Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jaws or Nessie?

Put me in coach...

I may have to start watching baseball again... click on cartoon below for a better view.

Stephen Strasburg by Lenny Campello

"The Nats signed Stephen Strasburg, probably the most heralded young pitcher of the last 50 years. Who knows what portion of his collegiate and Olympic fame will prove justified. But not only did the Nats sign him for a fair price of $15.67 million, despite the howls of his crusading agent Scott Boras, but Strasburg also did what has been unthinkable in baseball until now.

He chose here.

No 21-year-old deserves such responsibility; but Strasburg has put the Nats squarely on baseball's map, on the list of can't-miss attractions in the game that must be seen. Does he really throw 100-102 mph with command? Or is that partly scouts' mythology? Is his slider really his best pitch, so sharp it actually seems to hit something in mid-air and deflect?"
Centerfield - John Fogerty

Well, beat the drum and hold the phone - the sun came out today!
We're born again, there's new grass on the field.
A-roundin' third, and headed for home, it's a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.

Oh, put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.

Well, I spent some time in the Mudville Nine, watchin' it from the bench;
You know I took some lumps when the Mighty Casey struck out.
So Say Hey Willie, tell Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio;
Don't say "it ain't so", you know the time is now.

Oh, put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.

Yeah! I got it, I got it!

Got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes;
You know I think it's time to give this game a ride.
Just to hit the ball and touch 'em all - a moment in the sun;
(pop) It's gone and you can tell that one goodbye!

Oh, put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.

Oh, put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach - I'm ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield.


Colleen Henderson at Multiple Exposures

Colleen Henderson, Chatham Light Beach

Colleen Henderson, Chatham Light Beach

If you're a photography fan in the Greater DC area, then you know that Factory Photoworks Multiple Exposures Gallery on the second floor of the Torpedo Factory is one of the best photography galleries in the Mid Atlantic region and they rightfully boast in their website a very cool recommendation by my good friend Kathleen Ewing:
Multiple Exposures Gallery is a showcase to view quality fine art photography produced in our community. I have always been impressed with the professionalism, variety, and quality of photographic images exhibited at Multiple Exposures.
So I'm never surprised when I wander into MEG and discover yet another strong show.

But this time the photographs by Colleen Henderson... the set on the red wall of the gallery, floored me! It is the mastery and simplicity that she has achieved with the work that faces the viewer as one enters the gallery that merits this glowing adjective.

This is as close as painting with a camera as a photographer will ever get. How Henderson has managed to dilute and trap color, and then use her magical photography skills to re-hue them and present us with works that suddenly become a photographic cousin to the legendary colors of the Washington Color School and even would have drawn a gasp from Mark Rothko... is beyond my understanding of the mysteries of the camera at the hand of a master.

Colleen Henderson

Colleen Henderson, Blue Clearing

And in "Blue Clearing" she traps that scene that all of us have aimed a camera at; that sudden instant when the marine clouds and the beach light and the ocean all become one lazy dreamscape that re-enchants us with our blue planet. We all get crappy pictures that look good to us. Henderson gets a photographic painting that belongs in a Richter exhibition.

Colleen Henderson

Colleen Henderson, Cambridge Dawn

In "Cambridge Dawn" we're brought back to Earth a little, as she offers us more hints of real life, besides dazzling us with color and fantasy, as the dark marine forms in the water anchor an otherwise ethereal scene.

There's an artists' reception on Sept 10th 6:30 - 8:30PM.

Multiple Exposures Gallery
Torpedo Factory Art Center
Studio 312

Tolbert on the Torpedo Factory

I asked for input on the issue facing the Torpedo Factory and I continue to receive good constructive comments and suggestions and opinions.

Norfolk artist Susan Tolbert has the following to contribute:

I have been following the discussion about the Torpedo Factory
and Kevin Mellema’s observations seem right on the money.

Though I have never been to the Torpedo Factory, I did have a studio for several years in Norfolk’s original D’Art Center, which claims to be modeled after the Torpedo Factory, and am familiar with the problems. So here's my two cents.

Professional artists have degrees and resumes and after browsing their website, the work of the Torpedo Factory artists sure looked to me like that of “Professional Amateurs” -- artists interested in producing work that would sell to the tourists.

In fact, the work at the Torpedo Factory was remarkably similar to that of Norfolk’s D’Art Center.

I think it would be safe to say that most of the artists showing in the Target Gallery have degrees and resumes while the Torpedo artists, like those at the D’Art Center, have taken a class here and there but have avoided any real intellectual discipline and rigorous criticism.

Kevin hit the nail on the head when he by described the studios as little commercial stores. And that’s a problem, as stores are not studios. The word studio implies that there is creative work in progress — ideas are being played with, risks are being taken, things are in a constant state of flux.

If the city is subsidizing the Torpedo Factory, it would seem that the best artists should have subsidized studio space rather than the merely mediocre. After my experience with the D’Art Center, I don’t think you can have a small shakeup and achieve any real change. It’s not a matter of getting in a few younger artists—will they just be younger Professional Amateurs — degreeless wonders. The same boring work would be produced by younger versions of the artists that are there now.

Norfolk’s D’Art Center did give studio spaces to younger artists with degrees and most left in about 16 months, though the ones without art degrees did seem to last longer.

Having the artists re-jury for studio space every two years on a point system would change the dynamics of the spaces dramatically. The best studios would go to the artists with the highest number of points, with major points being awarded for BFA and MFAs.

Artists would be required to have their work selected in a state or national juried exhibit at least once every two years.

Will this idea be popular with the artists at the Torpedo Factory? My prediction would be hell no, and I hope I’m far enough away so they can’t find me for even suggesting this. But then change is never easy.


Susan Tolbert
Norfolk VA
What do you readers and TF artists think?