- Canada doing away with door-to-door mail delivery by 2018
- NSA chief defends phone spying: ‘There is no other way’
- Hawaii Health Department head killed in plane crash
- Colorado school drops sexual harassment label on boy who kissed girl’s hand
- Australia court strikes down 5-day-old, gay-marriage law
- Fake interpreter at Mandela service: ‘Sorry,’ I have schizophrenia
- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Creator of ‘Selfies at Funerals’ blog retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
Exhibitions plumb artistic responses to disaster
Question of the Day
NEW YORK (AP) - Coke Wisdom O’Neal looked at the soggy, stained and discolored photographs strewn about his Brooklyn studio by the salty floodwaters of Superstorm Sandy, sure there was nothing he could do to salvage them. But as he began cleaning up, he became intrigued by the transformation of a series of old family slides into cloud-like watercolors with human figures still discernible.
Now those Kodachromes, reinvented by nature, are part of an exhibition in Manhattan of art inspired by Sandy, a phenomenon that is being included in a larger look at how artists respond creatively to disasters, such as the 2011 tornado in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and California’s devastating 2007 wildfires.
“The storm destroyed tools, books, old artwork, drawings and unfinished work,” said O’Neal, whose studio in Brooklyn’s Red Hook section was swamped by 9 feet of water. “They now feel to me like objects that were holding me back from going forward.”
The “After Affects” exhibition, featuring 36 storm-inspired works by 23 artists, opens Friday at the Chashama gallery in the Chelsea neighborhood. The show is curated by the New York Foundation for the Arts, which is assisting artists whose livelihoods suffered storm losses. Many studios and galleries were in waterfront warehouse areas that suffered some of the worst damage.
Some works have repurposed storm detritus; Scott Van Campen made a black-and-white photograph of a 700-ton tanker ship that washed ashore near his flooded Staten Island studio. He set it in a frame made of steel corroded by sewage.
Deborah Luken, of the Long Island community of Long Beach, is showing an oil painting that she started before the storm and “took on a life of its own.”
Conceived originally as an image of a spiral galaxy, it evolved into a work depicting the storm when she “realized that the patterns were very similar to that of a hurricane _ the eye in the center and the spiral winds around it,” she said.
Craig Nutt, director of programs for the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, a national nonprofit that helps artists in need, said he has long been intrigued by the art community’s response to disaster.
“Artists and arts organizations have the skills and capacity to craft recovery projects that address the less tangible cultural and psychological recovery needs of a community,” Nutt wrote in an email, citing concerts, exhibitions and public art.
In the past year, Nutt’s group has begun collecting stories like those and plans to post them soon on its Studio Protector website in the hopes of inspiring arts organizations to do the same after future disasters.
After a tornado blew down thousands of homes in Tuscaloosa, resident and nonprofit program manager Jean Mills launched “Beauty Amid Destruction,” a public art project featuring banners installed along the debris field. About 50 artists nationwide donated works, something Mills said helped some local artists “jump-start their energy.”
“It gave the notion that there was a gift out there in the landscape,” she said. “It said art has a place in the recovery.”
Devastating wildfires in Southern California in 2007 were the impetus for Art from the Ashes, a group started by artist Joy Feuer. It collects disaster debris and encourages artists to turn twisted metal, wood, glass and ash into sculptures, paintings and ceramics.
For John Gordon Gauld, a Brooklyn artist whose still life depicting the remnants of his flooded studio is featured in “After Affects,” making sense of the loss of materials and works to the storm means embracing it.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
- DIVEST! Oil is the new apartheid on college campuses
- Colorado school drops sexual harassment label on boy who kissed girl's hand
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow