Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Musea Remembers: Art Revolution Festivals

April 23, 2017


Q. The biggest weakness in the Dallas art community is that people stay in their own artistic ghetto. – Tim Wood.

The first issue of Musea, a legal sized page of paper printed front and back, spelled out the state of the arts, and they were not good. They were in the doldrums. Musea’s byline read, Art News and Reviews for Those Who Oppose the Status Quos.
We accept absolutely, positively, no advertising. We will not ask for or accept government grants. We will not accept corporate sponsors.
That first issue did two things, it spelled out what was wrong in the arts, and what we thought could be done to fix it. But there was a third issue between the words. That was that we should think of all the arts together, not keep them apart. Musea was not a music zine, or painting zine, or writing zine, or film zine, it was all the above and more.

Within the first year, I heard from others that felt the same way. Among those were Tim Wood, editor of The Word, and a local arts activist, (see columnists,) and Greg Shanks, Bloom Music. Together the three of us cooked up the idea to set up an all day art festival that featured all the arts. There would be no limits to the type of art performed or displayed. We called it the Art Revolution Festival.

Together we found a place, Chumley’s Bar and the Stout McCourt Art Gallery next door. Then we booked the talent, gathered the art and zines for displays, and set it up for Sunday afternoon, November 6,1993. We decided to make it free. We set up a fish bowl at the front table for donations. That actually worked very well and got us much more than had we charged $5 or so.

We displayed photographs, paintings, sculptures, and an exhibit of zines and underground publications – and I am still shaking my fist at whoever stole my zines, Meat Scientist and Shockbox! They were a display not a giveaway! Besides the gallery, we had a stage for movies, videos, theater, poets, dancers, and musicians. Each group had about 15 minutes. Overall 26 artists performed or displayed their works. They ranged from Cathy Gould reading her poetry, to the rock band The End. Our largest audience came to see Polly Whiplash and All Her Cave Woman dressed in furry loincloths. They did a roast of Rush Limbaugh to a packed room.

Setting up the festival was an amazing amount of work. Tim and Greg wanted to do another. I loved the idea but bowed out. To their credit they did Art Revolution Festival II, III, and IV. Note the fourth one finally got belated Dallas media coverage. Along the way Tim and Greg, got other festival organizers to help, Cathy Gould, Michael McMurray, and Steve Baker. When Chumley’s closed, they moved the festival to Poor David’s Pub.

Musea #22 talked about my visit to the Arts Revolution Festival II, April 17, 1994.
Musea #24 talked about the lineup for Arts Revolution Festival III, August, 1994. Musea #29 talked about Arts Revolution Festival IV, January 29, 1995

My dream is to take this gem of an idea and turn it into an all arts center open to all, all the time.

NEA, National Endowments for the Arts , Musea’s Opnion

April 5, 2017

NEA funding? Here is a piece from Musea that involves the then NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman.

The NEA Chairman at the time 1/25/10, Rocco Landesman, was on the Diane Rehm Show. I emailed a question and it went on the air. Here is my question, the response, and a follow up response by me in the article I wrote for Musea, later. ========================

Q and A with NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman
Rocco Landesman, the Chairman of the NEA, National Endowments for the arts, was a guest on the Diane Rehm Show 1/25/10. The guest host was Susan Paige. I emailed a comment, Paige read it, and Landesman answered it. Here’s the exchange:

Susan Paige: Here is a question you may like less well. It’s from Tom… It’s an email from Tom Hendricks who identifies himself as the editor of the web magazine Musea and he says,

“The NEA should get out of the art decision business, and help set up regional art centers open to all local and traveling artists and all arts – not just a NEA chosen few. Let the community decide region by region. (He writes)
The NEA has not had a good track record for choosing and funding great art.”

Well what do you think about Tom’s idea that you set up regional art centers that would just be open to all comers?”

Rocco Landesman: I think to a great extent that already exists. 40% of all the NEA funding goes to the state agencies, which then filters out through the various local arts agencies and there’s quite a bit of local input and control in that way and I think there’s quite a bit of decentralization of arts funding because of that as it is.

Susan Page: What about Tom’s point also that the NEA does not have a good track record for choosing and funding great art. What kind of record do you think… This would be of course from before your tenure there, but what kind of record do you think the NEA has on that front?

Rocco Landesman: I think very strong. We fund on the basis of peer reviews. We get the best people in the disciplines to look at the submissions and proposals and my own sense is at least to the extent i’ve been out in the field and talking to people that we do a very good job of supporting and funding excellence. Now there may be people who haven’t gotten a grant or been rejected that object. I think we make mistakes but by and large I think we do a very good job.
My extra comments. Note all the bureaucracy in the NEA process that my idea would eliminate. For my regional art centers, you sign up and show your art. On big nights, traveling shows show or display their art. In the NEA there is endless layers of filters and peer group reviews. BTW what peer group do you know that supports what’s new to them?

Landesman is also FOR funding individual artists, though that is mostly not allowed at this time. Yet that sets up funding for NEA darlings. And why should the government be in the art review business? Are they who we look to, for art knowledge and art picks?

He also says about the politicalization of art, that he is opposed to ‘message’ art. “I have a visceral aversion to what is sometimes called message art. I can’t stand it and I hope the NEA isn’t going to fund it.”

Sadly, though he is trying to keep politics out of his funding decisions. That says to me that any art with any content that isn’t deemed safe will not be funded. But who decides what is safe and who decides what is message art?

I do agree with him that there are basic standards to great art, but my opinion is that the state is not the one to decide what those standards are. Art centers would allow all Americans to decide.

You Were There (poem on all arts)

March 30, 2017

You were there
to call Impressionists daubers.
You were there
to call rock n roll, the devil’s music.
You’re there now
and think your different.

Stand Up (art that escaped the wall)

March 14, 2017

3 Drawings

February 23, 2017

Cartoon Man Sees His First Realism Art.

Last Moment of Modern Art.
(how conceptual art is used to end Modern art and start Post-ism art; no longer another ism, but instead a synthesis of all that has gone before.

Cuckoo Clock Man

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