words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Posts tagged “2011

Looking Forward to 2012 – An Artist Shares His Thoughts

Looking forward to a year of art, writing, and contemplative journeys in 2012….

Riding the path to a creative tomorrow

Somewhere in the waking, I will paint with more than one color, write with more than one word, express more than one idea….

This will be my last post of 2011. It is Friday morning, December 30th. I am sitting in front of my computer while listening to Fluid Radio on ITunes. As I begin typing, Fluid Radio is playing a track entitled Shooting Blankets from the band called Two People in a Room. It is a quiet morning. The ambience is meditative. The cats are hanging about; grooming themselves, eating and listening to the sounds. I am preparing lunch; whole grain pasta, and tomato basil sauce with scallops and meatballs. I wanted to go to the gym this morning and do some spinning or weight training, however when the urge to write beckons, expression and creativity governs the day.

I have been thinking for some time now what I wanted to work on and accomplish for the New Year. This past year I feel I have been quite successful. I spoke more in depth about my past achievements in my recent post It Has Been a Year of Blogging – Some Thoughts I Wish to Share. Now it is time to look forward.

The very first thing on my agenda is the opening of my online store n e w d i g i t a l s c a p e s for selling my art. I have completed the design of the site (Imagekind is my site provider) and I am now in the process of uploading, editing and organizing my art galleries. I am very excited. An online store, I believe, is well suited for my digital art, and should provide a high quality venue for the purchasing of my art. Prints in various sizes, high-end photographic paper, canvas, and assortment of frames are all available. Links to the site will be available on my website and on my blog in January.

I am also looking forward to returning to my love of video art. I just got a HD video camera, and will be upgrading to a semi-professional editing system. I hope to investigate a distinct realm of processing which I call “video as chance”. It is a form of video expression that allows for time, space and subject matter to dictate what come into the lens of the camera. In the meantime, I will continue to create 2-dimensional photographic work. As I hope to continue to find new ways to structure my work in a beautiful yet provocative form.

I will continue to blog as often as I can. In the past year, I have come to appreciate blogging as a great tool for finding a consistency that sustains the creative process. The heavy schedule of creating new art, and marketing my online store may mean less posting. But I always let the mood of the moment carry the day, so we will see.

Another important part of my exploratory nature is my connection with the mind and body through challenging physical adventures. Top of the list is finding new mountains to climb on my mountain bike; long road trips on my road bike; rocking climbing and hopefully sky diving. That last one will take a little courage.

I hope to finish out the year with the publishing of an art book that centers on my blogging experience. Art for Posts is the title.

All in all I am looking forward to expressing ideas and concepts, and continuing the communication I have come to appreciate with so many talented writers, photographers, musicians, and artists.

2012 is a year for us. Let’s do it together.

Art rules.

Ideas conquer….


Urban Contemplation: 14 – The Industrial Revolution and its Deconstruction

The city series….

The forming of an industrial moment in time

The cities where the industrial revolution was founded….

I remember the period in our American history, when the industrial revolution was coming to an end. I was in my mid-twenties and working as a Process Engineer at the DuPont Company. If you were a young person in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s trying to believe in the American dream, a job with the DuPont Company was a great place to start.

Or so I thought. Little to my knowledge, things were about to get very difficult. Life was going to become very hard. The way in which our society ran and governed its social, civil, economic and political spheres were about to change.

The social agenda of the New Deal that sustained the dreams of many families and individuals would slowly be deconstructed until it (with the hopes of some) would be gone forever.

In the mid-seventies, early 1980’s and in 1991 we had economic recessions of various lengths. They were short, but a tell-tale sign of things to come. In 2001 we had another recession. These four recessions were not as severe as the present recession; however, the factors that led to these five occurrences over time are similar; deregulation, the creation of a “false paper economy” and an insidious construct to shift the wealth from the middle class to the wealthy.

And unfortunately it is working.

I was laid off from my job at DuPont after having worked there for four years. Still emerging from the perception that all you had to do was start at an entry level position with a good company; move up the ladder and retire 30 years later. Remember how your parents or grandparents followed this rule and uplifted themselves into the middle-class? It appears that in 2011, that route to the middle-class is long since gone and not returning any time soon. It is a global world now. It is now a have and have not world that is shattering the dreams of many. It is 146 million Americans in the United States living in poverty or near the poverty line. It is a health care system that is dysfunctional and over-wrought with cost. It is an education system that is mostly for profit (remember when the California State Schools were free). It is a manufacturing sector that barely exists.  And it is a corrupt body of government that wants to protect the rich, sustained the rich and become rich, at the expense of the poor.

And the attack is calculated and vicious to the core.

But I love America. With all its faults, it still has the potential to be a great nation. But we must learn from our past, and if possible turn back the hand of time just for a moment. And perhaps in that moment we can have a true political and social conversation, wherein we remember what we fought so hard for—a fair and equal society for all.

This post is in support of all those who participate in the Occupy Wall Street protests in America and around the world.


The Setting Sun and the Years of Our Descent (Recovery Remix 2011)

The city series….

From across the park I see the days end and the last day begin

We remember what we shared—the deep dark place and beautiful heaven.

And to never forget is now the bond that liberates and heals.

It is the recovery we now hold dear

and

the rising sun….


The Seamless Memory of Beautiful Places Left Behind

The city series….

Seamless thoughts in various colors

At night we often wonder where the memories have gone….


From Across the Park I See the Brownstones Decaying (Recovery Remix 2011)

The city series….

The cyclical life of urban decay

from across the park

i remember

seeing

the place where all this started

the decaying brownstones

and

embracing the thirst that consumes

seeking awareness

in things we knew not of

finding the descent that limits

and subtracts

life

the city was dying…

and we too for years to come


Everywhere I looked the City Hosted the Old-Timey Bikes

The city series….

A biking city is a beautiful city

a city

a bike

and streets to explore

we’re downtown

and all around

by the river

on the pier

stopping for art

ipod in ears

moving there

nestled here

we love the journey

yours and mine

with personal finds

a city

a bike

as one….


Across the River There’s A Place Not Far From Here

The city series….

The bridge that takes us there

it’s there just beyond my reach

a bridge to cross

yesterday I am here

in a present moment

happiness

tomorrow I am there

in a dream to share

ambiguity

across the river

on either side

it’s just the same

nowhere

now

here….

a place not far from myself


Urban Contemplation: 09 – Music in the Streets – Painting in the Air

The city series….

The sounds of the streets and the color of music

color takes a form

finding it

only takes

a moment

to listen

hearing the blue

seeing the red

feeling the glow

of fair music

painting in the air

….

sounds flow like palettes

of greens and yellows

just sitting

by you

feeling mellow

listening

smiling

and hearing colors…

and knowing

it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood


Urban Contemplation: 08 – Art Work Ahead

The city series….

Art work ahead on the city streets

Finding the way through the narrow streets

searching for the deeper sentiment

of thought

of ideas

drifting block by block

glancing right

turning left

hoping to find

colors that speak

forms that convey

it’s a beautiful day

a wonderful life

finding art everywhere

inside and out

where there is work ahead

on the city streets


“All I Ask Is That I Am Allowed To Participate In The World Of Ideas” – Bill T. Jones

Bill T. Jones

I am a strong admirer of dance and modern dance in particular. And most notably Bill T. Jones, who has always been at the forefront of the discipline.  He is an immensely creative and provocative choreographer, artistic director and dancer. I had the pleasure this evening of watching American Masters on PBS, and the featuring of “A Good Man”– Bill T. Jones and his examination of the life of President Lincoln and his new piece “The Ghost Train”. Listening to Jones’ pondering on creativity; the social, political, and psychological constructs that form his art, I was deeply inspired. It led me to my previous post on the idea of artists giving voice to their vision. This is a night of celebrating ideas, voice and Bill T. Jones.

http://youtu.be/Dg4a5RiAed8Bill T. Jones – As I Was Saying

http://youtu.be/ag5cSZcKp1g – Toronto Dance: Bill T. Jones – Chapel/Chapter

Bill T. Jones (born February 15, 1952) is an American artistic director, choreographer and dancer.

Early life

Jones was born in Bunnell, Florida and his family moved North as part of the Great Migration in the first half of the twentieth century. They settled in Wayland, New York, where Jones attended Wayland High School. He began his dance training at Binghamton University, where he studied classical ballet and modern dance.

Jones choreographed and performed worldwide as a soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane before forming the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982.

Career

Creating more than 100 works for his own company, Jones has also choreographed for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, AXIS Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet and Diversions Dance Company, among others. In 1995, Jones directed and performed in a collaborative work with Toni Morrison and Max Roach, Degga, at Alice Tully Hall, commissioned by Lincoln Center’s “Serious Fun” Festival. His collaboration with Jessye Norman, How! Do! We! Do!, premiered at New York’s City Center in 1999.

In 1990, Jones choreographed Sir Michael Tippett’s New Year under the direction of Sir Peter Hall for the Houston Grand Opera and the Glyndebourne Opera Festival. He conceived, co-directed and choreographed Mother of Three Sons, which was performed at the Munich Biennale, New York City Opera, and the Houston Grand Opera. He also directed Lost in the Stars for the Boston Lyric Opera. Jones’ theater involvement includes co-directing Perfect Courage with Rhodessa Jones for Festival 2000, in 1990. In 1994, he directed Derek Walcott’s Dream on Monkey Mountain for The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN.

Jones also collaborated with artist Keith Haring in 1982 to create a series of both performance and visual arts together.

Television credits include PBS’s “Great Performances” Series (Fever Swamp and Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land) and “Alive from Off Center” (Untitled). Still/Here was co-directed for television by Bill T. Jones and Gretchen Bender. A PBS documentary on the making of Still/Here, by Bill Moyers and David Grubin, “Bill T. Jones: Still/Here with Bill Moyers”, premiered in 1997. The 1999 Blackside documentary I’ll Make Me a World: A Century of African-American Arts, profiled Jones’ work. D-Man in the Waters is included in “Free to Dance”, a 2001 Emmy winning documentary that chronicles modern dance’s African-American roots. Narrated by Jones himself, the BBC/VIEW also produced a documentary film, entitled Bill T. Jones: Dancing to the Promised Land, that documents the creation of Jones’s Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land and guides us through the life, work, and creative process of Jones and the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company.

Jones is the co-creator, director and choreographer of the musical Fela!, which ran Off-Broadway in 2008 and opened on Broadway in previews in October 2009. Jones won the Lucille Lortel Award as Outstanding Choreographer for his work as well as the Tony Award for Best Choreography.

Awards

In 1994, Jones received a MacArthur “Genius” Award. In 1979, Jones was granted the Creative Artists Public Service Award in Choreography, and in 1980, 1981 and 1982, he was the recipient of Choreographic Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Bill T. Jones has been awarded several New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie Awards”); 1986 Joyce Theater Season (along with Arnie Zane), D-Man in the Waters (1989 and 2001), The Table Project (2001) and The Breathing Show (2001). Mr. Jones, along with his collaborators, sister Rhodessa Jones and Idris Ackamoor, received an “Izzie Award” in Choreography for Perfect Courage in 1992. In 2001, Jones received another “Izzie” for his work, Fantasy in C-Major, with AXIS Dance Company. Jones was honored with the Dorothy B. Chandler Performing Arts Award for his innovative contributions to performing arts in 1991. In 1993, Jones was presented with the Dance Magazine Award. In 2000, The Dance Heritage Coalition named Jones “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure.” Jones has received honorary doctorates from the Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College, Columbia College, the Juilliard School, Swarthmore College, and Yale University. He is also a recipient of the SUNY Binghamton Distinguished Alumni Award.

In 2003 Jones was awarded The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the richest prizes in the arts, given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” In 2005 he received the Wexner Prize at the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University.

In 2007, he won the Tony award for Best Choreography for Spring Awakening.

Jones was named a 2007 USA Eileen Harris Norton Fellow and awarded a $50,000 grant by United States Artists, a public charity that supports and promotes the work of American artists.

Jones was inducted into the National Museum of Dance C.V. Whitney Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 2010, Jones won the Tony Award for Best Choreography for his work in Fela!.

He was one of five recipients for the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors.

Bill T Jones was the recipient of the 2011 YoungArts Arison Award which is given annually to an individual who has had a significant influence on the development of young American artists.

Bill T. Jones