The art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz

New Santa Fean friend Sue Rundstrom invited me to the Art and Remembrance presentation at the Museum of International Folk Art. Bernice Steinhardt movingly presented her mother, Esther Nisenthal Krinitz’s story of escaping the Nazis at the age of 15. Esther at 65, began creating fabric collage and embroidered art pieces, telling her history. Through film and photographs, we were able to connect and understand her resilience and courage.

Steinhardt facilitates a collaborative story cloth workshop. Below are some works by adults in an English education program.

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Forest books mushroom

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Image @ T. Folkerts

Instead of going into landfill, why not take once loved books and make them into walls?
The decaying pages make homes for mushrooms and insects and moss. Who knows, maybe mice and birds may enjoy the material too. Read more about this art installation by clicking here.

Intergenerational accordion art book making

The Senior Coastsiders hosted my 2nd book making class offered in Half Moon Bay. Open to all ages with first class spots reserved for elders, we ended up with a mix of ages. Two women brought their daughters.

I first taught how to make the hard covers and how to integrate that with the accordion folded pages. Then the participants took off running, using collaging materials, pens, pencils, sequins, magazines to embellish their interior pages.

Everyone created something special. One woman created a memory book for a sick friend.

I especially enjoyed watching the mother/daughter interaction. What a wonderful way for them to spend a couple of hours together.

I look forward to offering more book making classes soon.

“Dirty Wow Wow”, and other love stories

I have to say I just LOVE this book. From the title “Dirty Wow Wow” you may wonder what in the heck is this about?

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It’s a lovely collection and stories about love affairs with childhood toys, mostly the cuddly threadbare kind we carried around with us and slept with. The images of these well loved animals are so heart touching that you have to take a look. Not only can you purchase the book, but you can also go to a site to check out the gallery http://www.dirtywowwow.com/index.html

So the question is, what about your own stuffed friend? I had a humpty dumpty that my mother said I carried on whole baby talk conversations with in my crib and Ander had a Winnie the Pooh (but don’t tell him I told you so!)

Clifford and Susan at M Coffee, 2/21/09

Artists Clifford Hunt and Susan Friedman will be conducting a collaborative visual poetry performance. They have also produced book featuring Susan’s photography and images and Clifford’s poetry. Come check it out on Saturday night.

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Impermanence: Embracing Change, Hodges at Moon News Bookstore, 2/28/09

David and Ha-jin Hodge, Impermanence: Embracing Change

imperm1_150x132Saturday, February 28, 7:00 PM

Moon News Bookstore
315 Main Street
Half Moon Bay, California 94019

ph 650-726-8610
fax 650-726-8611
website moonnewsbookstore.com

What does it mean that we are constantly changing? How do people confront ideas like death and change? Asked to contribute to an exhibit celebrating the work of the Dalai Lama, local multimedia artists David and Hi-Jin Hodge interviewed over a hundred people about impermanence and change in their lives. Their subjects ranged from philosophers to gardeners, economists to spiritual leaders, doctors to patients. The result was incredibly moving. The Hodges’ installation consisted of a large, circular arrangement of mounted iPods on which the interviews played simultaneously, each on its own screen. Now this unique record has been made available for a wider audience; it includes both a book and a DVD so that the interviews can be viewed as they were seen in the original exhibit.

The Hodges would like to invite all participants that were interviewed for this project to share with those of us at the event what has changed in their lives since they were filmed in 2006. What was impermanent for you?

David Hodge and Hi-jin Kong Hodge are internationally recognized artists, designers and filmmakers. Their artistic video installations explore a diverse range of topics, typically blending editorial materials and innovative uses of technology to explore complex human and social questions. The Hodges live in Half Moon Bay.

Guerilla Art, Maybe We Need It

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“In 2005 I had been practicing guerilla art techniques on a small scale, while living in a small town. The impetus was threefold. I needed to have a creative outlet that had nothing to do with making a living or attachment to the outcome. I wanted to do something to shake the town up a little bit and give it some much needed life. And lastly, I wanted to take some ownership of the public space that I inhabit”. – Keri Smith

Above is a quote from an interview with Keri Smith, author of “The Guerilla Art Kit” book. I really enjoy her blog too, The Wish Jar. Read the rest of the interview by clicking here to go to Art and Healing Network, where she discusses the aesthetics of this kind of art, guerilla art mail, and much more.

Thinking maybe HMB needs a guerila art crew, hmmm? Are you with me?

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Example of a form of guerilla art, from her book.

disconnected and yet totally connected in a new way

It is so strange – one day you are in the groove, in the stream, and then the next day you are not. Our DSL at the art studio has been down for a couple of weeks now. I have been reading my emails via my phone and going to the library. It is not the same as being in the comfort of one’s own chair at one’s own desk.

I have to say that I am very thankful for internet access at our library. Libraries are definitely cool places. I see a whole new microcosm there. There are those without their own computers borrowing online services. Kids are doing crafts and sing alongs. Travelers are catching up on the news. Seniors are reading the newspaper. Students are working on their papers. Families are picking out kids’ books and CDs. We are so fortunate to have a free place to access online and printed information.

Our library definitely needs more funding. It could be bigger so each age group could thrive in it’s own area without sound carrying into the quiet areas. More space for books too. I think if I had some extra dough I would contribute it to our local library.

animal, vegetable, miracle – a year of food life

I just picked up Barbara Kingslover’s new book – Animal, Vegetable Miracle, a year of food life, HarperCollinsPublishers, 2007.It is very different from her fictional work if you have read her before. This is about a year in the life of her family as they decide to grow and eat only what is available in their southern Appalachia community.

Not only does she write about their experiences, but she also has fact and figures about subjects such as “Oily Food”, which starts off with “Americans put almost as much fossil fuel into our refrigerators as our cars.” She has another essay about “How to Find a Farmer”. Her daughter Camille includes meal plans and recipes.

I’ve only just started the book and I especially like the rule where each of the 4 family members allowed themselves to pick one luxury items on the condition that they would learn how to purchase it in a way most beneficial to the grower and the environment where it is grown. The choices were for the father, coffee, for Camille, dried fruit, the youngest child, Lily picked hot chocolate, and Barbara selected spices.

I think this would be a great reading group book choice. I’m finding it very informative and inspirational as I stumble along my own path of living in a more sustainable, local, and intentional manner.