Theaster Gates on Archinect

Worth a listen for this quote alone:

"Let's imagine that the work that I've been doing was simply an effort to demonstrate that beautiful things live everywhere. That I'm actually interested in beauty, and beauty in places that we don't imagine it ..."

Kevin Beasley on Art21

An installation centered on a cotton gin motor and the artists response to seeing cotton growing. "Why am I so mad at this plant? This plant is not doing anything except growing and being beautiful."

Contemporary Craft: A Conversation, at the Clinton Presidential Center

I am honored to be part of a panel Thursday, February 21 at 6 p.m., at the Clinton Presidential Center. The panel will discuss craft art in Arkansas, how craft art is different than traditional fine art, and the role they think it plays in reflecting culture.

Brian J. Lang (moderator)
Brian Lang is the chief curator and Windgate Foundation curator of contemporary craft at the Arkansas Arts Center. 

Linda Nguyen Lopez (Panelist)
Linda Nguyen Lopez is first-generation American ceramic artist of Vietnamese and Mexican descent. Her abstract works explore the poetic potential of the everyday by imagining and articulating a vast emotional range embedded in the mundane objects that surround us. She is currently an Instructor and Interim Head of Ceramics at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. 

Leon Niehues (Panelist)
From Huntsville, Arkansas, Leon Niehues has been making baskets, sculptural baskets, and bentwood sculpture for 36 years. While using traditional materials and techniques, he adds innovative ideas, methods of construction, and new and unique materials to his pieces. Niehues, and his wife Sharon, were included in The White House Collection of American Crafts.  

James Matthews (Panelist)
James Matthews is a documentary artist with a bias toward the human-made landscape, manual processes, and the physical object. His Eviction Quilts series features works made from clothes and bedding left curbside after an eviction. Matthews lives in Little Rock.


How important are materials and which do you prefer?

Each mask is a sketch, I construct and deconstruct the same masks endlessly exploring the properties of different yarns and pushing the materials. Working intuitively I let the materials lead, no design or drawings in advance. I think with my hands. My studio is full of different yarns, I don’t over think what materials I will use ultimately it is the form that I am striving for, and it is this aspect of the process that excites me. I go by eye when choosing yarns sometimes it works and even when a mask doesn’t work out I have usually learned what not to do next time.

From an interview in RedMilk with the artist behind @Threadstories.


Interview with Brad Downey

When did you start making work in the street? How did that progress over time? Did you ever paint murals or more representational work?

In 1999 when I was kicked out of school in Atlanta, I carried a ladder and rubber hammer from my father’s garage to my local Shell station and smashed the “S” out of the large, lit up sign. That was maybe my first serious public artwork.

A few years ago I was commissioned to make a mural for the "Big City Life" project in the government housing project Tormarancia in Rome. Instead of painting, I knocked on the doors of the families that lived in the building and asked them if they had any problems or uncompleted repairs in their apartments. Eventually, I decided to use my mural budget to solve these problems and make these repairs. The exterior wall was left blank. I titled the work "Fiscal Shifts and Problem Solving as Mural.”

from Juxtapoz, with the publishing of Downey’s new book Slapstick Formalism.



When I saw an email in my inbox earlier this week from Will Shortz, I assumed it was a form letter. When I opened it to see this Sunday’s date and the upcoming puzzle, I thought somehow the email had inadvertently been sent to me.

And then I realized it was one of my puzzles – the first one I’ve ever had used on the NPR Sunday Puzzle.

This week’s challenge: This puzzle also involves rhymes. It comes from listener James Matthews of Little Rock, Ark. Think of a common 7-letter word. Drop its second letter, and you’ll get a 6-letter word that does not rhyme with the first. Alternatively, you can drop the third letter from the 7-letter word to get a 6-letter word that doesn’t rhyme with either of the first two. Further, you can drop both the second and third letters from the 7-letter word to get a 5-letter word that doesn’t rhyme with any of the others. What words are these?