Jul 9 2007

Dana Gioia “The role of culture must go beyond economics”

I can’t keep track of how many conversations I’ve had these past few years about how people don’t support the arts or come out to events. Lots of frustration on the part of artists, organizers, and institutions.

Here in Mobile, galleries come and go, and those galleries that are still open, are hanging on by their teeth. Museums have their own issues and “perhaps” stay alive longer since they get some governmental support. Artists are being forced to adapt more than ever before to make a living. This is not just a local phenomenon, although at times it feels that way, especially when we see other communities here on the coast and elsewhere (entire communities), show a genuine interest in art and their culture, and rally to make those kinds of events a success.

With the older generation of collectors and patrons dying out, it seems the new generation coming up are more interested in buying the big showy house and big showy vehicle, and then going to Pier One, Rooms to Go, Target, Walmart, Art Wholesale Warehouse, etc., for everything else. Is this a statement about our culture and the direction its going, or what?

I know that there are a lot of people who probably think that art is a waste of time and money, but it really is a chronicle of our culture, who we are/were, and where we are going as human beings. Goodness knows there is more to celebrate about a city’s heritage than its buildings. Thinking art and culture has no value, is incredibly short sighted.

Dana Gioia, the chairman of the National Endowments for the Arts, couldn’t have said it any better when he addressed Stanford graduates at their commencement ceremonies this year:
http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2007/june20/gradtrans-062007.html .


Oct 31 2006

Art & Pottery: Art Shows & Sales in Gulf Coast Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, this weekend

The first weekend of November is always a popular weekend for art shows andsales here on this part of the Gulf. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, here are but a few of these events to check out:

  • This Friday night, Nov 3rd, between 5 and 10 pm, Main Street Mobile will be closing down Conti Street again and opening it up for the evening to the arts. ArtsAlive! on Conti Street is a bi-annual event, usually held in May and November and is a celebration of “visual, performing, and written arts” as well as local artists. Please refer to their calendar for more info.
  • Fri Nov 3rd through Sun Nov 5 – The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival , Pensacola, Florida
  • Sat Nov 4 & Sunday Nov 5 – The Peter Anderson Festival, Ocean Springs, MS

Oct 10 2006

2007 Alabama’s Year of the Arts

Alabama’s Governor Riley announced at the beginning of this month that 2007 would be officially Alabama’s Year of the Arts.

The campaign is designed to be a year–long celebration of the arts in Alabama that encourages both visitors and Alabamians to spend time experiencing every form of art that Alabama has to offer.”
according to the Alabama’s Bureau of Tourism & Travel web site

In addition to a brochure they are putting out, they are compiling a database of artists, arts organizations (including galleries), events, and attractions online that they will be drawing from for future promotional information, publications, and happenings. In the next couple of weeks they will apparently also be revamping the existing web page, making it a lot more extensive, and hopefully a resource that will benefit everyone in the arts community. You can learn more about their plans and keep up with the latest news on their web site.

Sometimes working as an independent artist tucked away in your studio can be a tad isolating. If you haven’t heard anything about this, don’t feel you’ve missed out. Its still not too late to get your name/event/gallery into their database.
Artists have been asked to submit information directly on their website
at: http://www.800alabama.com/yoa/signup/artists/index.cfm?action=new,
art organizations (including galleries) at: http://www.800alabama.com/yoa/signup/organizations/index.cfm?action=new,
and if you have an arts event, list it in their calendar at: http://www.800alabama.com/things-to-do/events/submit.cfm.


Oct 2 2006

Webb Pottery site, Coastal Artisans, Christmas Show and Sale

My apologies to those of you who may have tried to access our web site for the last week only to get a “page not found” message. I can assure you, we have not fallen off the planet and, I’m happy to say, we are still most definitely very much here.

As I had mentioned in a previous post, we, along with 11 other artists, have formed a group called the Coastal Artisans, a self-representing collective of noteable and established artists from the Mobile, Baldwin County, and Surrounding areas. Our mission is to present a broad range and eclectic mix of quality artwork to the public, and increase art awareness in the community.

Our artists include: Charles Smith, pottery; Chris Hartsfield, Watercolors; Kurt Thomas, Serigraphs, Screenprinting; Phillip & Jaclyn Benedict, Fine Jewelry & Handcut Gemstones, Rick Tino, Acrylic, Watercolor, & Gouache; “Spike” Cloninger, Fine Lathe-Turned Vessels; Lowell Webb, Pottery; David Atwood, Stained & Fused Glass; Anne Webb, Pottery; William Colburn, Metal Sculpture; Scott Blackwell (Mombo Designs), Cajun Art & Design; Lillie Mack & Marilyn Gordon (Blackbelt Designs), Fiber, Fashion Design; and Jimmy Stroud, Nature Photography.

On December 2nd, we are happy to announce that we will be holding our First Annual Christmas Show and Sale at The Mobile Botanical Gardens from 9 am to 5 pm. Its a one day only event and is being held in conjunction with the Master Gardeners’ and Annual Poinsettia Sale events at the Botanical Gardens.

To find out more info about our group, our artists, and our Christmas Sale, please check out The Coastal Artisans’ blog/website (http://thecoastalartisans.blogspot.com) . We will be adding more info in the months leading up to the show.