Friday, September 26, 2008
Attendees from Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory were moved to tears with two photographs in particular, both taken in 1963. The first features a woman standing on the sidewalk holding the newspaper headlines on November 22nd and is completely striking in its shock and show-stopping tone. The second (above), with heartbreaking honesty, was taken March 24, 1963 in Algiers, Louisiana of William Casby, born in slavery and was not printed as gelatin silver print until nearly three decades later. Several photographs of black leaders underscore their importance, rise to power, and mark on humanity. See the show whether you're a history, music, or arts buff to take a walk down memory lane - it'll make you think about our future.
We are so pleased to announce our loosely defined and still developing relationship with master painter, Rob Vander Zee. Rob is a consummate oil painter who also sits at the head of the Vander Zee Gallery, the Vander Zee School of Painting, and the Vander Zee Foundation. His painting students have formed a close and strong allegiance and show an exceptional group promise for the future.
Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory will serve over the next three months, as a volunteer service provider, a professional art advisor, and an innocent observing by-stander. Make no mistake, Rob has an impressive list of accomplishments and an aggressive list of goals. Jointly, all the entities that contribute are busy from dawn to dusk. Watch this site for future announcements of happenings.
Image Credit: Rob Vander Zee, Yellow Earth 1-Z008, oil on panel, 42" x 36", 2006
We try to regularly attend our local Chamber of Commerce meetings, business after-hours, and other events to meet and greet fine business professionals in our community. Not only is the Chamber an excellent way to get the skinny on upcoming happenings, but it is also a great learning tool, an important networking tool, and a fine relationship building tool. Join Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory at one of the many October Alexandria Chamber of Commerce events scheduled in and around the Old Town district. It is entirely possible that your business line is under-represented and that means you get to shine! Hone your speaking, presenting, and listening skills by visiting an event soon.
Problem is, she wasn't getting paid for the volunteering and her own works weren't selling. She was feeling that her own interests were suffering and she was seeing that others who were more centrally dedicated and focused were achieving the "success" that she aspired to. She battled a "Type A" personality trait to "do it all" and worried that in giving up this activity, she would be falling short of all she could give.
I grew up on the east coast, near the water. One of my first childhood memories is walking the beach in the middle of winter, so cute with my little artificial fur coat on. I've lived on a few islands. I drink water even when I'm not thirsty. When you are a water sign, you live near the water, you long for island life, you might even collect shells and you develop a somewhat watery personality - always looking for the ground to next flow. When you're not near the water, you look at all the travel magazines to see where else in the world people are living happier than you and near the coast. Well - water's in your blood and there's no escaping it.
We who are water people have a saying. And our saying goes that when it comes to personalities, there are two kinds in the world. There are surface swimmers and then you have your divers. All my life I wanted to be a diver. Divers know what they want and they go after it with a single mind. They're the people who knew in second grade that they'd end up a car mechanic. They're the ones who order hamburgers just so, because they know exactly what they like. Or the ones you see walking down the street with a Phillies baseball shirt on, because Phillies are the bomb, and there will never be another team like the Phillies, and when we go to a game, you betcha' the Phillies will be a'playin, and oh yes they can name every Phillies baseball player since the inception of the team. Divers. They know what they want, they know who they are. They know where they've been, where they're at, and where they're going AND how they're going to get there.
A surface swimmer sort of floats around. He or she is a fantastic generalist. They try every little thing and they've been around every little block. They're amazing problem solvers because they have a WIDE range of options to chose. Sometimes, every little wave tosses them to and fro and this gives others the mistaken impression that what is in fact intellect manifests as flaky. Today I'm interested in wind energy and tomorrow I'm writing the President another letter about the homeless. A surface swimmer is reading three books all at once - all of them mid-stream. They stare at a menu for thirty minutes never having read item one. They're the kind that refuse to take one phone call at a time. They'll toggle the flash button on the phone to switch from call waiting conversations all the live-long day.
Being a surface swimmer has its benefits, but one of the greatest detractions is you can never really decide. You won't believe this, but in a period of three months once, I exchanged a new car. I then went on to purchase three separate and completely different makes and models in immediate succession (and I STILL to this day wish I had gotten the convertible model of the car I ended up with.) A surface swimmer is always looking for the next wave. They're trend setters, they're futurists, they're market indicators. They cover an awful lot of ground and they're great at cocktail parties because they can talk to anyone, but let's face it, they're surface swimmers.
For example, I love the tattoo culture. I love the idea of being able to express your experience on living flesh. I love the idea of marking your road map. Saying this is who I am, this is where my life turned, this is what I want to remember, and this is what I want to forget. If you can commit to that, my friend, commit to permanently marking your body, then you're a diver and I envy you. You plunged the depths. You braved the dark and the cold.
And I? Well I was the one floating up on top, soaking in the sun rays, calling out to the lifeguard to throw me a rope when I went in past my chin. I'm the one you'll see at all the conventions, in all the upcoming articles, in all the shops interviewing people and getting their stories, oh yes. I'm the one, the water girl, the blank canvas, the surface swimmer who won't quite be able to look you in the eye. We both know the truth. What an existence. (I am getting better!)
But you, if you're a working artist who has self-sacrificed for others for more than three or five or ten years, it is time to dive. And for this client, mid-life and trying to balance multiple tasks at once, it was time to (temporarily?) say good-bye to this fine institution. Choreographer Twyla Tharp wrote that the experience of single-mindedness is somewhat akin to being monastic. To giving yourself the gift of one-focus. Giving yourself the gift of the dive, the gift of seeing where dedicated studio work propels you as a person, the gift of stopping the giving to everyone else. Financial guru Suze Orman said she was always amazed when she was involved in the financial markets and would be attending seminars and when the topic of volunteer work came up, the men in the room sat still. Men generally have a different culture. They don't give away what brings home the bacon. Why should the women?
Yes, there's something to be said about community service, philanthropic idealism, nuturing and the magic generated back when you give to others. But if we're talking about a life's work, if we're talking about self-actualization, if we're talking about FINALLY doing something you always wanted to do, then it's time. You've prepared. You're ready. You've got your spare oxygen tank over in the corner. NOW DIVE.
Image above: Brooke Fitts (featured photographer available through Weber Fine Art), Capturing the Fair.
Is there a resource, a trick, a tool, or a contact the successful artist uses that we don't know about? So it was in that spirit that we went with the best of intentions and expectations to work under the tutelage of a highly accomplished water colorist, Susan Abbott. Ms. Abbott has at least two decades of exhibitions, consignments, gallery horror stories, and independent vision under her belt and with a seminar of about 25 mid-life attendees, she gave us everything she had on paperwork, taxes, books, psychological inspiration, and all that her experience has shown it takes to be both a working artist and a business.
I took a small exhibition catalogue of Ms. Abbott's large thematic watercolor collections and separated individual works from the booklet. I then spent a block of time (hours) really looking at the pieces to understand the medium, message, and method. I continued by meticulously cutting one inch squares from the completed reproduced images and semi-randomly mixed the squares according to overall color, style, and content. I had been seeing exhibition notices on quilting and textiles pop up in the news and the idea of quilts, stitching, and assemblage was still floating around.
The square tiles were then painstakingly re-assembled by hand into a larger quilt square with a small windowing margin separating the tiles. The beauty of this re-interpretation of Ms. Abbott's work is not only that we've taken watercolor and re-presented it as collage, but also that one really sees the independent detail Abbott accomplishes in her overall theme. And focally, whether the eye zooms in or out, the result is quite stunning, original, and communicative. If that's not "becoming professional" then I guess more workshops might be in store!
We're very excited about the new friends we've made and if art ever dies, there's always graphic design, printing, and publishing to think about!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Vasconcellos has been creating art since she was a child (her mother was an art teacher). Regan studied Graphic Arts for two years at the US Department of Agriculture. It was such a long time ago, but she can still remember those photography classes which she enjoyed immensely. She decided to take her photography skills to the next level and received a degree in communications with a concentration in film and media criticism from George Mason University.
After college, Vasconcellos decided to do some traveling. She presently lives in South Korea and has been there for two years. Even though she has taken a break from university, she has not taken a break from her art. Now she takes as many photos as she possibly can. In fact, she hardly goes anywhere without a camera of sorts. Vasconcellos now takes the photos and makes copies of them with a paint brush, implementing a marriage of painting and photography.
She enjoys painting greatly. It is a hobby, and one that she would like to turn into a successful career. She's been very successful in South Korea as an artist and has had three exhibitions to date. She has also written three books, two for children. Vasconcellos (email@example.com) plans to return to the DC area this month to publish her books. Although she has nothing set at the moment for an exhibition in DC, she is looking at The DC Center for the Arts and is planning on doing an exhibit with her ethnic groups ink drawings. View Vasconcellos' other work at artitup.googlepages.com.
McBarnette said, “I am so pleased that gallery owners have taken the initiative to help this historic campaign. It truly reflects the leadership role that the artistic community is taking toward improving the country.”
Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory, based in Alexandria, Virginia, and serving the metropolitan Washington DC region since 2006, is now helping artists, gallerists, museum curators, arts non-profits, and arts advocates capitalize on new surges in commercial growth caused by the increasing development of the National Harbor complex.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Washington City Paper's Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair is scheduled for Sunday, September 28, 2008 from 10 - 5 at the Marie Reed Learning Center on 18th Street in Adams Morgan. This fair is a great venue for unique, original, and crafty art - some of which may just surprise you!
Posted by shauna lee lange at Thursday, September 04, 2008