Cunsthaus presents We Want A President

In continuing efforts to provide engaging cultural programs and experiences through a collaborative and feminist curatorial perspective, Cunsthaus is proud to present its first juried exhibition.

January 21st – February 18th
4634 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL

Opening on the first day of a new and controversial presidential term, while marches are being organized around the globe in support of equal rights, this all-media exhibition features works inspired by artist Zoe Leonard’s 1992 manifesto “I want a president” and is intended to incite reflection, discussion and activism that explores our demands and desires for a Head of State. With works selected by guest juror Margaret Miller, Director of University of South Florida’s Institute for Research in Art, exhibiting artists include Monique Blom, Will Douglas, Keiff Jones, Vincent Karl, Daniela Mora, Libbi Ponce, Ivan Riascos, and Julie Wills with The Bridge Collaborative.

We Want a President
The Bridge Collaborative, Wish We Were Here (White House), 2016. Color postcard.

About the Juror:
Margaret Miller is a tenured Professor in the School of Art and Art History and Director of the Institute for Research in Art at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. The Institute for Research in Art is dedicated to organizing and presenting exhibitions and commissioning works by internationally significant emerging and acclaimed artists. Miller holds an MA degree from the University of Hawaii in Asian Art History. From 1978 to 2001 she served as Director of the USF Contemporary Art Museum and in 2001 was appointed to also serve as Director of Graphicstudio, USF’s renowned art production atelier. The Contemporary Art Museum, Graphicstudio and USF’s Public Art Program form the Institute for Research in Art in the College of The Arts. During her tenure at USF she has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and curated numerous exhibitions with accompanying catalogues.

About CUNSTHAUS:
CUNSTHAUS was established in the spring of 2016 by fourteen women in the Tampa Bay-area with practices in education, visual art, music, curation, and writing. Sited next to artist-run gallery space Tempus Projects, established in 2009, CUNSTHAUS is further developing the Seminole Heights neighborhood as an arts destination. Offering unique exhibitions and events spanning a range of media and a varied survey of artists, CUNSTHAUS’ primary mission is to create a space for artistic expression, dialogue and reflection contributing to the arts community within the local neighborhood of Seminole Heights and the Tampa Bay region.


Feminist Art Collective Cunsthaus presents
We Want A President
January 21st – February 18th
4634 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL

www.tempus-projects.com
tempusprojects.art@gmail.com
813.340.9056

Featured Artist: Karen Arango

Karen Arango is an independent photographer, videographer and black and white gelatin silver printer. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Photography and Digital Imaging from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL. She also completed the General Studies photography program from the International Center of Photography in NYC.

Shirley by Karen Arango
Shirley, 9, her mother is from Mexico and her father from the United States. Her parents work hard to give her the opportunities they didn’t have at their age. Photo by Karen Arango

Please tell me where you grew up and a bit about your background.

I was born in Colombia, and I moved to the United States when I was 9 years old. My family, parents and two siblings, was in danger because of the war going on in the country, therefore, we immigrated to the United States. When we arrived to this country my parents separated and my mother ended up raising us three alone.

From Abkhazia by Karen Arango
“From Abkhazia” – The mother of an Abkhazian refugee sits in her house in Tbilisi, Georgia while her daughter tell the story of how they immigrated. Photo by Karen Arango

Can you recall the first time you used a camera?

I can’t recall the first time, but I do remember using the old school cameras that my parents had brought with them from Colombia. They were film cameras and I must have been 10 or 11 years old when I got to use them for the first time. All I know is that around 2010 I used a panoramic camera with 110 film, and I took a photo of my brother and his friends while in ROTC in high school, I still have that photo and the cameras with me.

Abkhazian Play by Karen Arango
The Abkhazian refugee mother spends some time with her daughter in the hallway while the other kids of refugees play. Photo by Karen Arango

When did you know that photography was what you wanted to do?

I always loved art, I think almost every child does. I was lucky enough to have an art class at my school in Colombia and my parents had the means to get me art materials. In high school I decided to be an architect, and after doing the AutoCAD program during my junior year of high school I realized that it wasn’t for me. When I decided to study something more unconventional at the time, graphic design some friends and family members would tell me that I would not be able to live out of design or art but I was persistent with it, my mom supported me. I got certified in Digital Design, and after seeing Ringling’s campus and photography program, my boyfriend at the time suggested that I study photography. He would tell me I was very good at it, and I never believed him because he was my boyfriend and I thought he was just saying that. It seems like he knew me well cause since the first day I began studying photography, I fell in love with it.

Xiomara by Karen Arango
Xiomara, 9, her parents are both from Peru. Her mother was deported to Peru when Xiomara was three years old she now only gets to see her mother once or twice a year. Photo by Karen Arango

What are the biggest challenges for you being a photographer?

Self motivation, I think that as an artist I need to keep myself motivated all the time, mostly to do personal work. Then finding a balance between personal and commercial work and keep the spark in my own art. It’s important for me not to let it become an obligation because I’m making money off of it. When your art becomes your means of income it can become dull and you can forget why you started doing it in the first place, but I think that as long as there is a line between commission work and personal work and we stay motivated to do our personal work, then it can be extremely magical.

Helping Brothers by Karen Arango
Brothers help each other get out of the creek in the hills of Dosquebradas, Colombia. Photo by Karen Arango

What inspires you?

Life, experiences, family, friends, strangers, light, colors, compositions, music, traveling, love, nature, helping others, making mistakes, taking risks and the unknown.

Melissa by Karen Arango
Melissa, 6, both of her parents are from Colombia. The father left her mother with three kids to raise when Melissa was still a toddler. Photo by Karen Arango

Can you tell me about some of your projects?

I am currently working on a couple of projects. One is the Miss Behave series, which is about young girls born in the US and daughters of Latin American parents. I’m starting to expand on those series.

Another project I am working on is about women who were illegal immigrants and have been abused in the United States, and as a result they were able to get the Visa U. It’s something I just found out about and I think it is extremely important to talk about this. Many women, who have no immigration status, are being abused today and they are scared to say something because they fear deportation.

Water Transport by Karen Arango
A man transports water through the hills of Santa Rosa Colombia. Photo by Karen Arango

What is your dream situation? Is this a goal you’re working on, and if so, how’s it going?

Well when I was a child I wanted to be an actress. I’ve always loved performing arts, including dancing. I think everyone who knows me well knows how much I love dancing and every opportunity I have to do it, I take it. Deep inside I still would like to be a performance artist, but in some way I feel that I am connected to it, since I am behind the camera capturing the life performances instead of doing them.

Walk around hen by Karen Arango
A hen walks around a grave in the hills of Dosquebradas, Colombia. Photo by Karen Arango

Where can people find you?

People can find me through my website: karenarango.com, I have a contact page where you can write to me. Instagram: @karenarangor, and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arangokarenr. I am currently living between Sarasota and NYC, so if I am not in those two cities then I am capturing a story somewhere!

Sarasota Chalk Festival by Pamela Beck

I stopped by to look at the Interactive 3D pavement art. Over a dozen well known international artists were creating their circus inspired compositions right before the eyes of an awed crowd.

Pamela Beck

Pamela Beck

There are as many ways to think about art as there are to create it. Join Pamela Beck in her column, ARTdart, as she explores and considers the different perspectives that define the art world.


For many of us, childhood memories of drawing with chalk on the sidewalk are not very interesting and often the source of conflict. We used chalk to make arbitrary but enforceable boundaries (Your ball went over the line, so now you’re out!); to play tic tac toe (No, you can’t go first until you finally win one, you crybaby.); and to draw pictures on someone’s driveway until the unimpressed owner invariably came out and yelled “Hey you, Picasso. Go find somewhere else to paint your masterpiece.”

If only there had been something like the Sarasota Chalk Festival in our town. Then we might have earned some respect as we honed our artistic skills for possible future festival participation! (Maybe even hothead neighbor would have piped down.)

And respect and admiration is just what’s in the air when you walk around “Circus City, USA,” this year’s Chalk Festival, a bow to Sarasota’s circus history. For ten days, this free festival spans 300-600 South Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square and currently runs through November 6th.

I stopped by to look at the Interactive 3D pavement art. Over a dozen well-known international artists were creating their circus inspired compositions right before the eyes of an awed crowd. Standing aloft on a two-story scaffold nearby these artists, was Kurt Wenner himself, the celebrated innovator of this art form. He was directing his own crew of artists from Japan, Germany, Italy and Mexico as they created a complicated, original and beautiful work of visual illusion, premiering a new Wenner technique designed for the festival. This elaborate, massive, intricate piece is a must see for both its extraordinary imagery and eye teasing technique.

Between November 1-6, visitors will be able to step into these artworks and among many options, they can strike a pose with lions, kiss an elephant or perch on a clown’s palm. In this unlikely street setting, experiencing art so directly, surrounded by giggles and cries of disbelief, I can’t imagine that even a killjoy could resist attempting an imaginary balancing act along the high wire painted on the street.

Kurt Wenner’s assistants working on his chalk painting for the 2012 Sarasota Chalk Festival. Photo by Pamela Beck

The 2D pavement artists will chalk between November 2nd-4th. Their finished artwork can be viewed November 5th and 6th. And don’t forget to look up as well– painters, spray can and airbrush artists are going vertical, creating artworks on pre-approved private walls around the city. Over five hundred artists are participating in all of these events.

At different times throughout the festival, there are performances of music, dance, acrobats, and street performers, along with special events. The information for all of these can be found on the festival website under “Events.”

To expand on what you learn from your direct chats with the artists on the streets, Clothesline Gallery and Boutique, at 529 South Pineapple, is presenting “Creative Conversations Chalk Festival Series.” In a six-session format, festival artists discuss their work and inspiration with a moderator and the audience. So far, there’s been one interview with Leon Keer from Holland. I like how he described his work: “I never explain my paintings but can say that I am interested in everyday things. I look through old magazines for ideas. I try to paint people’s forgotten stories and encourage others to remember their own stories and retain their memories.”

“Forgotten stories”- one small, beautiful fragment of information like that, helps me see different things in Keer’s work. Henry Darnell is the next artist in this series. He’s up today, November 1st at 7PM.

This festival starts off with a strong sense of anticipation built-in to it. Watching the art being made, you think that its completion will be the cherry on the cake. But along the way, the personal interaction among the audience, artists and the art itself combined with the closing down of the streets for the art, festival guests and visitors, makes the entire Chalk Festival experience an immensely satisfying end unto itself. (Probably like years ago, when the circus village rolled into town.)

At one point, a Swedish family with two girls about ten and twelve years old, stood next to me on the street. We watched the artists chalk on the pavement below us. Soon the mother and I began to talk.

“We wanted to take a vacation with our girls. We knew about Sarasota’s beaches and cultural activities, but when we heard about the Chalk Festival, we thought the girls would love it; so we booked our trip for this week.”

“How have they liked it?” I asked.

“They love the paintings and can’t believe they’re done so well and in chalk. But what my husband and I didn’t expect is the spirit on these streets. Even though everyone is working on their own thing, and many from different countries, it feels like everyone’s connected. It’s very moving.”

For events, hours, address, directions, info and all schedules:
www.chalkfestival.org


To read more about Pamela, view these links:
http://srxq.blogspot.com/
http://whatdogsreallythink.blogspot.com/

ArtSlam – Realize Bradenton

October 15, 2011
As part of Festival sARTe′e, this second annual event in downtown Bradenton features hundreds of artists, musicians and performers, site-specific art installations, and interactive art experiences.

October 15, 2011 (3pm-11pm)

(Bradenton, FL) Organizers at Realize Bradenton announce the second annual ArtSlam, a celebration of the arts featuring hundreds of artists, musicians, performers, installation art, and interactive art experiences, Saturday, October 15, 3-11 p.m., along downtown Bradenton’s Old Main Street. For a complete schedule of events and locations, visit www.RealizeBradenton.com or contact Johnette Isham, at 941-350-8563.

According to Realize Bradenton’s executive director, Johnette Isham, this family-friendly festival features “out-of-the-box” performance art, theater, dance, music, video art, and even an “art fashion show.” Isham says the festival is largely interactive with plenty of opportunities for audiences to become part of the art and performances. “People will be able to work on a potter’s wheel, help paint a community mural, create art from recyclables, and dance to the music of a number of bands.” Other activities include body-painting, marionette shows, a custom skateboard park and the nighttime release of a thousand paper airplanes. There will be a food court and downtown Bradenton restaurants and pubs will also participate.

Isham explains that ArtSlam installations will be created “live” along Old Main Street during the eight-hour festival. “Because there is no set theme, collaborative teams will creatively use existing streetscape sites while engaging the general public in a brief contemporary art experience,” she says.

Art Slam 2011 is organized by Realize Bradenton, a non-profit organization that builds community and promotes economic development through collaborative events, partnerships, and interactive strategies. For more information about Realize Bradenton, visit www.realizebradenton.com.

The following line-up includes some of the participating artists and performers:

Body Art Slam (Barbara Tapley-Kenney, Brandon Sommers of Classic Ink and Southeast High School’s Visual & Performing Arts Academy.) Classic Ink and Southeast High School collaborate to create family-friendly body-painting and a body-painting installation with live models, which will culminate in a body “sculpture” window display inside the Classic Ink storefront. This is an audience interactive art project.

Community Totem Poles from Clay (Gretchen Leclezio and Palmetto Art Center) During the day, with six throwing wheels, Gretchen Leclezio and instructors will assist the ArtSlam audience to create a number of clay vessels and pieces during two, 30-minute sessions. The creations will be assembled into sculptural totem poles. The sculptures will be painted and embellished, during the last several hours of ArtSlam to create an organic, communal sculptural piece.

1,111 Windows to the Soul (Mike Bowen of Bowen Imagery) Visionary artist Michael Bowen illustrates that we really are all connected. Using light, rather than pigment, and occasional rhythmic percussion, rather than melody; he takes the viewer to explore the connections between races, ages, and genders. This project includes a video presentation in the 4th Ave. performance area after dusk. Check schedules at ArtSlam info tent, mainstage, or 4th Ave. performance area for time of video presentation.

Building Community (Leymis Bolanis Wilmott, Alyson Dolan, and Fuzion Dance) Fuzión Dance Artists, along with visual artists, musicians, and professional and student performers, will work together to create a live installation. This multi-media and multi-sensory installation will be constantly changing as dancers sculpt their bodies in and around the streetscape as it is manipulated by fellow artists. The team will also present several of their previous performances.

Little Chalkers (Denise Kowal, producer of the Sarasota Chalk Festival)
The young and young at heart are invited to participate in this interactive event to create their own mini-masterpieces, using chalk as their medium and the street surface as their canvas. Their mini-masterpieces will be a part of a day-long puzzle that will respect individuality through a project that creates unity.

Re-Cycle of Seasons (Lyndsay Martinez-Gordon and the Starlette Sisters) The public will be given a new outlook on what can be done with common things they would usually throw away or put into recycle bins. Event attendees will be invited to make their choice of several recycled art designs, then personalize them to hang in trees for nighttime illumination; or they can take their creations home with them.

Old Main Puppet Improv (Jo-Ellen Gorris of the Village of the Arts and team) An assortment of unique, self-designed and constructed puppets will entertain and interact with the audience on two specially-designed stages. Talented puppets will also paint portraits and tell fortunes. The puppets will be free to wander the streetscape and interact with the public.

Writings on the Wall (Erica Lindegren and the New College of Florida Dance Collective) This piece explores the intersections between discursive language and interpersonal connections, illuminating how it can be embodied, or inked, physically and emotionally, onto our bodies. Movement becomes spoken word, becomes text, and influenced by other group members, returns to the original sentence phrasing.

Manatee County Memories (Sarah Taylor and team) Various memories and history from residents of Manatee County will be collected and recorded prior to the day of ArtSlam. These, combined with memories and histories of ArtSlam attendees, will be represented with imagery painted onto hand-carved wooden pieces. Assembled, the pieces will form a large 3-D puzzle of a manatee.

Community Murals (Debra Gallery and a team of instructors and young students from ArtCenter Manatee) The audience is invited to assist in the creation of three large mural pieces that will be hung in an art studio at the ArtCenter Manatee facility after ArtSlam. One will represent collage, another an underwater theme, and the third expressionist work.

Elision (Paul Ramshaw, Frank Enright, Jeff Hazelton and team) This conceptual piece brings together musicians, dancers, and video artists in a collaboration that references local and national issues, and elaborates on them to create an expressive media performance. The performance includes Courtney Smith and members of the Moving Ethos Dance Company. This project includes a video presentation in the 4th Ave. performance area after dusk.

Time to Fish (Kathy Fitzgerald and Georgette D’Amelio of Bayshore High School) A sculpture created by using assorted gadgets and found objects to print with paint on precut, primed, metal fish shapes. The fish will be embellished with watch parts, and assembled into a large sculptural piece. A children’s printmaking activity will be ongoing while the aluminum sculpture is being constructed.

Art in the Air (Claudia Deschu, John Kokajko, and team) Audience participants (with assistance from volunteers) will fold 10 different types of planes, blimps and helicopters from colorful paper to prepare for a choreographed evening launch from the balcony, which will be accompanied by music and recorded by photographer John Kokajko. During the day, Kokajko will capture images of participants and immediately print out postcards to mail directly from ArtSlam.

ArtDeckO (Geza Darrah, crew and team) ArtDeckO is a one-day community “pop up” skateboard park and art project. It is its own world; built of the positivity, creativity, and energy of skateboarding as both an art form and a culture—from a local perspective. Half pipe, quarter pipes, ramps, painters, videographers, live bands, and a team competition video open to the public. Bring your video camera and enter.

A-maze-in’ Art (Steve McAllister and a collective of artists) Based on the wisdom of the ages that runs through our various traditions, the passage through the Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path will take voyagers through the path of higher consciousness to the heart of who we are as a people. Various artists have been selected to express particular stages of the journey. The end result is a community-based, interactive piece of installation art that is beautiful, creative, and consciousness-raising.

Out of the Box performances, a new addition to ArtSlam, feature local musicians, dancers, theatrical and poetic artists taking the stage to present their unique and individual talents. These performances are 3-11 p.m., and will rotate between two performance areas: The mainstage on Old Main Street near Manatee Avenue, and the 4th Avenue performance area, near the intersection of Old Main Street and 4th Avenue. The schedule features performances by The Open Door Band, Atlantico Tropical, Passerine, Blue Star, the RJ Howson Band, Bayside Community Church Band, student dancers and performers from New College, and Tapped-In, a dance troupe from Tampa, as well as additional performers and acts.

For a complete line-up of teams and locations, visit the project section of www.RealizeBradenton.com.

About Realize Bradenton
Realize Bradenton is a non-profit organization that builds community and promotes economic development through collaborative events, partnerships, and interactive strategies. We help make downtown Bradenton one of the best riverfront communities in the country. For more information, visit: www.RealizeBradenton.com.