Wings Across the West

HawkWatchPostcard14-01

This last Thursday HawkWatch International held their annual event, Wings Across the West. I was hoping to get more photos of the beautiful birds but, because I arrived a little later than I’d planned, and because there were a lot of people around each bird, I was only able to get a few. I did see many more birds around the room though, including a very large Golden Eagle, a Red-tail Hawk, a Swainson Hawk, an American Kestrel, a Screech Owl, and a Great Horned Owl. I love to see birds! I walk up the surrounding canyons for a couple of hours each day and I see all kinds of birds. It always makes my day. But there is something special about standing just a few feet away from these feathered pals.

hawkwatch.org

photo

owl1

Artwork for HawkWatch International

hawkwatch2014

Last year HawkWatch International used some of my artwork to promote their annual event, “Wings Across the West“. I also made a poster for HawkWatch using my artwork. Well, this year they asked me if I could make another piece, and you can see that new piece above. Any opportunity to draw a beautiful bird is a good opportunity, especially if it helps promote raptor preservation.

hawkwatch.org

Lee Bennion & Brian Kershisnik

by Lee Bennion

by Lee Bennion

By Brian Kershisnik

By Brian Kershisnik

I had the pleasure of seeing some very nice painting this week here in downtown SLC. Specifically the beautiful work of Lee Bennion and Brian Kershisnik on display at the Mormon Church History Museum.

I’ll be honest, I don’t really like church-y stuff. I respect other peoples beliefs completely, but I don’t find any kind of organized religion to be a good fit for me personally so I tend to avoid. Yep, even the Salt Lake religious art museum. I know I live in Utah (and I love it here) so I’m going to come across church-y stuff sort-a regularly, and that’s okie dokie. Whatever floats your boat… plus, there is obviously a long history and so much fantastic religious art. But anyway, I know both Bennion and Kershinik to be very fine painters, and because I love to look at beautiful things I found myself in the official Church Museum®.

I’m very glad I stopped in and saw the pieces I’ve posted here, and many more (again, I apologize that my photos don’t do the work justice).

I’d recommend this show to anyone, so check it out!

horseshoemountainpottery.com/lee

kershisnik.com

By Lee Bennion

By Lee Bennion

By Brian Kershisnik

By Brian Kershisnik

By Lee Bennion

By Lee Bennion

By Brian Kershisnik

By Brian Kershisnik

By Lee Bennion

By Lee Bennion

The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Nag Hammadi Library, and Gnostic Gospels.

deadsea

A little over a week ago I went to the Leonardo in downtown Salt Lake to see their exhibit, the Dead Sea Scrolls. I was excited for the show but put it off until January because I wanted to avoid what I thought might be a Holiday rush. I’ve always liked learning about the history of the Scrolls and probably read my first book on them when I was still in high-school. Seems like I’ve also always been a geek about archaeology, anthropology, and art history. My interest in the Scrolls has never really faded, and since those younger days I’ve gone on and read a number of different books about the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi Library, and other Gnostic Gospels. I guess I probably started with reading the work of Elaine Pagels, but then went on to read a lot more, including individual books like the Book of Enoch, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Judas, The Thunder Perfect Mind,  and more. I’ve probably mentioned here on ArtDuh before that I am not religious, but there is something about this history and Gnostic teachings that really interests and speaks to me. As a general rule, these books interest me a whole lot more than scripture that was approved by the Council of Nicaea.

The show itself was put together very well and I am glad I went. I guess it’ll probably sound like a slight criticism, but there was a whole lot more pottery than there were parchments. Still, I know that the pottery itself plays a huge role in the Dead Sea Scroll’s history, because the pottery was filled with these documents and then hidden in caves. And I guess if it weren’t for that pottery the Scrolls would never have been discovered, because it was the sound of a breaking pot that attracted a shepherd’s interest after he threw a rock into one of those caves.

Maybe a little off topic, although somewhat related (at least in my own mind), but if you’re interested in this subject I would strongly recommend learning about the Nag Hammadi find as well. Both the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi were discovered around the same time, but the Nag Hammadi writings were discovered inside a sealed jar in Upper Egypt in 1945. It is just so interesting to see what made it into the “official” Bible, and what what suppressed (often violently) by the Holy Roman Church. It makes me wonder why some of these beautiful apocryphal books were excluded… although I can make a good guess.

Also off topic, but I would definitely recommend that everybody become familiar with the myth of Sophia because it central to a lot of Gnostic thought. It is also one of my favorite myths. Something about the story speaks to me and is so beautiful. There are probably quite a few books written about it, but two of my favorite would be “Not In His Image” by John Lamb Lash, and also the “Corpus Gnostica” by Brent Paris. Corpus Gnostica is a modern and fictional retelling of the story, but I really liked it!

Also, if you have any interest in Gnosticism, you might like the Aeon Byte podcast.

Amen!

www.theleonardo.org

gnosis.org

Under Pressure

Bull1 Bull2
Bull3 Bull4
Bull5 Bull6
Roy Lichtenstein’s Bulls
collage2
collage
Ellen Gallagher

I saw “Under Pressure” up at the UMFA this last week, and you can see it too if you hurry. This show features prints from some pretty damn good artists like Chuck Close, Kiki Smith, and Jasper Johns. My favorites were probably Roy Lichtenstein‘s reproductions of Picasso’s Bull series… but maybe that’s because I love Picasso’s artwork best always, even if it is Lichtenstein re-imagining his work. There were also some other prints where the artist Ellen Gallagher made these cool collages and then put some sort of clay or something and paint on top of the print to add texture. A very cool effect! Oh, and Robert Indiana‘s recreation of Demuth‘s painting “I Saw The Figure 5 In Gold“. I don’t know why, but I’ve always really liked that Figure 5 painting! Something about it…

Unfortunately, I can’t say it was all good, but the good was great to see :) There were a few pieces that I really didn’t like all that much, but all in all, the good outweighed the bad for sure. Even though that is probably a shitty sales pitch, I’d still recommend the show, and you’ve still got time to see it if you head up there now!

umfa.utah.edu

Chuck Kiki
 Chuck Close Kiki Smith
Fig5 Johns
Robert Indiana Jasper Johns

Clap Sing Stomp and Scream Belly Dance Hafla

Please join The Rubber Room School of Dance as we celebrate the close of  the first decade of my marriage to danse du ventre, and say opa to all of the songs that lie ahead as I begin the second decade of life as a tribal girl.

I have so much gratitude for the beautiful women and men who have joined my classes, allowing their hips to swing as the drums beat.

RSVP for the hafla at https://www.facebook.com/events/598134116913327/

ClapSingStompScreamInvite-01