Wanting To Be Georgia O’Keefe

August 18th, 2018
by Ann Kinney

When most of us think about O’Keefe’s work two things come to mind, deserts and vaginas, but when is a flower a flower and why isn’t that good enough? Georgia O’Keefe repeatedly denied that her flowers were anything more than what they were.

Art promoter, photographer and later O’Keefe’s husband, Alfred Steiglitz,  first promoted her work as such and in the Freudian thought of the time, could it be any less? Then in the 1970’s the feminists, with whom I identify, reaffirmed it.

Today we grapple with labels and ideas everyday that are not what they purport to be. Sixty years of denial from the artist and an insistence that she was an artist and not a woman artist or a feminist should make us reevaluate the need for labels. We are not what they tell us we are. We do not need to see images and be told what we are seeing.

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“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not. ” – Georgia O’Keeffe

If your in the NYC area check out:

Georgia O’Keeffe:Visions of Hawai‘i at the New York Botanical GardenSaturday, May 19, 2018 – Sunday, October 28, 2018

https://www.nybg.org/event/georgia-okeeffe-visions-hawaii/

 

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Libraries

August 18th, 2018
by Ann Kinney

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The my photo collages at the Long Beach Island-Surf City Library exhibit came down on July 31st. It went up without fanfare and came down the same way and I am not sure what happened in between. This is not easy work and if I let life intervene, it takes a back seat. Everything I do, however,  moves me forward into new places and I am painting, for better or worse, based on these collages.

 

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Art and Books

March 6th, 2018
by Ann Kinney

Tappan

Last year I was asked if I would be interested in showing in a library. This happened twice, two different libraries, within a month. I had just never thought about it before, but what a perfect venue for me. I love books. I love reading, but having been classified as a “reluctant” reader as a child, I struggled and still do a little. My pictures are my stories. I like to think, the more you look, the more you see.

Yesterday, with the help of the library art person, Susan Cappola, I hung my pictures among the books at the Tappan Free public Library. Books and art, perfect together!

 Tappan Library    DIRECTIONS

This show will be up until April 2, 2018.

Library Hours:

Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

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Titles

December 12th, 2017
by Ann Kinney

 

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Why is it so hard to title my work? I have a piece in this show “Limit/Limitless” at the Edward Williams Gallery at Fairleigh Dickenson University. I really like this photo and when I took it, this time last year, I was on a morning walk on the beach in Georgia. Every morning people get up early and collect the shells the ocean has gifted overnight. This morning the fog was intense and the people were barely visible through it. I called it “The Shell Collectors” originally, but when I submitted it to the show “Limit/Limitless” I called it “The Fog”…. why, why, why? I loved the “The Shell Collectors”, one of the few titles I actually do like. True to form, my latest submission is called Botanical 1, 2, 3 and 4. Really!

Limit

 

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UNSEEN

September 8th, 2017
by Ann Kinney

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I belong to an artist cooperative gallery which gives me the opportunity to be a part of a two or three person show every year, as well as many group shows. This summer I am  showing my work with Don Sichler. The show runs from from August 18th to September 16th . The show is titled “Unseen” based on the notion that images are not always what they appear to be at first glance.

The gallery is only open a few days a week (Thursday and Friday, 4-7 pm and Saturday, 1-5pm). With these limited hours and the Labor Day weekend, where the gallery is closed altogether, along with Hoboken being a town that everyone flees during the dog-days of August, I thought I would share some of the images here.

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LBI Artist’s Studio Tour

July 3rd, 2017
by Ann Kinney

 

This is my second year on the LBI Artists Studio Tour. I do not have a studio here but am happy and lucky to be hosted at the m.t. burton gallery in Surf City. The goal of the tour is for people to come and see artists at work, to promote art and the artist and hopefully make some sales. Many artists are introverts so this can be extremely intense, but well worth it. My most memorable encounter was with a mother and her pre-teen son and his sketchbook.  He was on the tour to see how “real” artists work and it made me feel like a real artist and less like a little kid with a sketchbook, the way I usually feel, if that makes any sense.

 

 

         LBI Map

             

 

 

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Art and Government Funding

May 5th, 2017
by Ann Kinney

Art Can and Should be Funded by the People

The Great Hall at the Detroit Institute of Art

The Great Hall at Detroit Institute of Art

Needless to say, I am not happy about the government cutting  funding to the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts).  I am still waiting to hear if it is just another dumb idea that will be discarded as it proves to be unpopular or just run through the budget meetings, be eliminated and never be heard of again.

How exactly do we pay for the arts? According to the NEA, art is supported by direct public funding and by more than just the NEA. Public funding includes state and local agencies, public funding from other federal agencies and the private sector (individual, corporate and foundation) contributions. When NEA breaks it down it looks like this: earned income 40.7%, interest and endowment income 14.4%, individuals 20.3 %, corporations 8.4%, foundations 9.5%, local 3.3%, state 2.2%, federal 1.2%.

Although the NEA is the largest single funder, the arts actually have a network of allied but independent funding sources. The NEA has a very stringent process for grants and requires the recipient organization to match the amount awarded with an equal or greater amount of other, non-federal contributions. Many of the larger local arts agencies are now funded through a dedicated revenue stream, such as hotel/motel tax revenues. More recently crowd-funding has been used by many to fund art projects.

Learning from Detroit

I spent three years in Detroit, Michigan, finishing my BFA at Wayne State University. At the time, I thought of it as “doing time,” but now realize that I learned more about life and survival and hope in those days than I was able to understand at that age. The Detroit Institute of Art was within walking distance from my apartment in the Cass Corridor and I was amazed that anything that wonderful (along with the Masonic Temple) could still exist in this post riots devastated city atmosphere. (I am from NYC, so I’ve have seen great museums.)

Detroit’s fortunes have not improved over the years and it went into bankruptcy. The Detroit Institute of Art is owned by the city and its collection appraised at $4.6 billion with the likes of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Matisse, Bruegel the Elder’s Wedding Dance and a wonderful mural by Diego Rivera depicting industry and the working class. The city decided the museum would need to contribute $500 million to the city. An easy connection can be made here and the idea was hatched to sell off some of the paintings at auction possibly taking them out of the public view and relegating them to private collections forever. Rather than have this happen the museum went on a fundraising drive. They managed to raise more than $800 million ($330 million from 9 different philanthropic organizations) and buy their way out of city control. The Detroit Institute of Art is now owned by independent non-profit charitable trust forever keeping its collection out of the hands of the city.

Diego Rivera's mural Detroit Industry

Detroit Industry by Diego Rivera

I believe that anything can be achieved if there is a will. Sometimes the need, in crisis form, needs to present itself before the will can form. I feel this way about the impending cut to the NEA, PBS, EPA, ACA and other government agencies and programs that my make my country great, but ultimately it is the people who make this country what it is and I have faith in them.

 

NYTimes:  http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/19/us/christies-detroit-art.html?action=click&contentCollection=U.S.&module=RelatedCoverage&pgtype=article&region=EndOfArticle&_r=0
Addendum: The NEA’s funding bump to a budget of $149.85 million is included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, the agreement between House Republicans and Democrats that will fund the federal government through the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year.

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Should You Be Talking About Your Art

March 18th, 2017
by Ann Kinney

A question was asked, “Why aren’t you talking about your art?” It was not a personal question, although the way it is framed here makes it seem so. It was a general question thrown out on Facebook by a blogger and artist acquaintance, Gwenn Seemel. Needless to say, I did not have an answer. But wait, there’s more, I did answer! I said I was self conscious, but what I really meant was that I was a afraid I would stop making art if I promoted it and received too much feed back, so I keep it within a small circle of people. What I realized, upon giving it some more though, was that any kind of feedback, negative or positive would have the same affect. Negative feedback would put me into a tailspin that I might not recover from. It would make me wonder why I am doing this at all. Too much positive feedback would leave me with the idea that this is the best I can do and I will never do anything this good again, so I might as well stop. Making art, the actual process, is way too important to me. Is this the artists’  dilemma?

I am doing new work now and it’s a little scary wandering in uncharted territory. Very much like taking your new born to the park, where even the kindest, well meaning people spread germs. So for now, all I can do is let someone peak under the covers. I can’t answer the hard questions like “tell me about it” or “what does it mean?” I have an vague idea of what I think it will grow up to be but even that keeps changing.

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Another Artistic Rejection Blog

February 13th, 2017
by Ann Kinney

No Going Back

Sharing your art is always risky and opens you up for rejection and you, of course, wonder it is a personal assault or bad art….and what is the difference anyway. Let’s take a look at that one!

I can, at this point, say I have received as many acceptances as rejections, but I only save the rejections. They remind me more that I’ve been out there, took the chance and felt like giving it all up. Don’t get me wrong, they are kind letters and supportive and tell me I did not fit in with their vision for the show and I get that. However, what I read is more akin to why are you doing this, do you really think you’re an artist and maybe you should have just weeded the garden or walked the dog instead.

I am doing some new work in a style that, although I am excited about, I am not yet comfortable with. The first time I showed it to a group it was greeted well with supportive suggestions and comments. Then I submitted two pieces to a gallery that usually shows my work and my work was not accepted (sadly, there was not even the courtesy of a rejection letter for my collection). My first thought was, after being snappish to someone who had no idea of what was going on in my head and becoming impatient with the dog, that the first group was really just being nice and “faking it”.

So, yes, this is just another blog on artistic rejection, there are hundreds (?). I feel better already!

Rest in Pieces

I want to share this article I found by Daniel Grant, A Problem All Artists Face: Dealing with Rejection in the Huffington Post. It lightened my load and made me feel not so alone.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-grant/a-problem-all-artists-fac_b_792539.html

 

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Craft Fairs and the Like

November 6th, 2016
by Ann Kinney
"That's really nice. Too bad the picture doesn't come out so I can put my grandson's picture in." That's craft!

“That’s really nice…too bad the picture doesn’t come out so I can put my grandson’s picture in.” That’s craft!

My first “craft fair” was a big one. It was actually not my very first, there was one held on a card table in a hallway that no one frequented in the winter, but I am not going to count that one.

No, my first one was the Hoboken Art and Music Fair in Hoboken, NJ. There were over 300 vendors and, in a town with a population of over 50,000 (2010 US Census Bureau) in one square mile, a lot of residents, not to mention visitors. Think Mumbai or maybe just about any town in Hudson County, NJ.

Anyway since I have justified “big” let me get down to the experience, what happened and what I learned.

Having spent much of the winter producing “product”, I was ready to go. I had the tent, I had the tables and the chairs, one for myself and one for anyone else who cared to spend the day, racks to hang photos and bins for customers to sort through. I had the iPad and Square for credit cards and about $300.00 in singles for change, maybe a little overkill there. I even had the car, or so I thought, having had to give up my Jeep Wrangler for the ubiquitous Ford Escort, the “art car” as someone so kindly called it (a minor miscalculation, bad math, I should have gone with the Edge, the racks did not fit).

Then came the anticipation. The event was to be on Sunday, May 1st. I got increasingly anxious. I could not manage the tent by myself, I would not make the sign in time, I would forget something and on and on. It pored on Saturday, I packed up half the car on Saturday night, unpacking, rearranging, repacking, no way those racks were going to fit. Wet and exhausted I called it a night, never checking my email. The rain was so heavy, the event was canceled, but there would be a rain date, June 12th.

I was much more calm when the new day rolled around, after all I had almost done it once. Things went well and I sold enough to cover the cost of the tent and part of the entry fee. Since then I have done two more. I am able to take the tent down by myself, given up on the racks and covered the cost of my investment. I have also learned the difference between art and craft. Art, it seems, is about me and people at craft fairs don’t buy me. Craft is about the buyer. It is about them and fits in with their life style  and decor.

It’s back to the studio.

 

 

 

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