Last week I attended the third annual Art is Education summer institute in Oakland, California. The Integrated Learning Summer Institute: Inventing Our Future was held at the Chabot Space and Science Museum from August 12-14, 2014. The Alameda County Office of Education’s Alliance for Arts Leadership organized the event.
For links to the galleries and notes, visit my More Than Kids blog where I have started keeping Notes on A Blog.
Chip McNeal opened the first day with a quote from astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson that underscored the theme of the three days.
“(W)e are all connected to each other… It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”
By seeing the world this way, Neil DeGrasse Tyson feels “quite large.” Perhaps art educators would benefit by viewing our work similarly. Are we limiting ourselves when we say that education starts (or ends) with art?… Read the rest
I am an official photographers for the [wb_fb_f name=”bayareaderbygirls” id=””] . I have a camera, a press badge and a really cool derby name. (I am P Giddy.) One of my friends asked me how I lucked into this gig. I really do not know. I showed up one day after attending a bout. I think I will keep showing up until they tell me its time to leave.
The B.ay A.rea D.erby Girl Season Opener! was last weekend. I posted derby photos on my blog and my personal Facebook page, but many of my best photos were not seen. I combined two events into one post and the slideshows were inside the blog post. I am posting the derby photos again today so that more people can see more derby photos.
I posted the photo above of [wb_fb_f name=”Ydot.Otter” id=””] on my Facebook page.… Read the rest
Before an artist can fly, an artist must fight.
A good artist argues with him or herself.
Artists are their own collaborators, their own muse, their own liberators.
An artist’s process is uneasy. Art is the fire, the wood and the shadow. Non-artists usually only see the final product. They miss the messy struggle.
At The Crucible‘s 15th Annual Hot Couture fashion show in Oakland, California, I photographed all three runway shows on Saturday January 11, 2014. The third show was more personal, because I know designer and dancer Alexandra Candia.
Alex teaches my two children how to dance. She also teaches my children how to perform and collaborate. She teaches them how to listen to their inner drummer; she teaches them to dance with a group. My daughter, who turns 10 next month, fought with Alex in the beginning. Both of my kids struggled, until they performed.… Read the rest
“Life is wasted on illusion….”
Bow Wow Wow, from Do You Want To Hold Me
Since last weekend’s Hot Couture fashion show at The Crucible in Oakland, California, I have contemplated the relationship between the music and fashion industry. Popular artists influence hairstyles. New styles of music force designer to create new outfits. A new dance craze provides a new excuse for more shoes… not that anyone needs an excuse for new shoes.
So what does Hot Couture have to do with the lyric from 1980’s band Bow Bow Wow? According to legend (or in this case, Wikipedia), Bow Wow Wow was recruited by Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren to promote Westwood’s new clothing style. Westwood and McLaren used music to change fashion. Westwood’s “Pirate Collection of 1981” made punk stylish although the former school teacher probably used a different word. (I am a current school teacher so I will say “stylish.”)
I watched the old Bow Wow Wow music videos today while writing this post; I was surprised by the band’s sophistication which I probably missed when I was a young teenager.… Read the rest
Self-portraits are a visual diary hidden in plain sight…
or so says me. (Here is my 2013 self-portrait gallery.)
The Oxford Dictionary chose “selfie” as the 2013 word of the year. A selfie is similar to a self-portrait, but a selfie is meant to be shared on social media. According to the Oxford Dictionary, selfies are usually taken with a smart phone or webcam and uploaded to a social media site. I take selfies, self-portraits and pictures of myself. Occasionally, I take a decent “self-picture,” but I rarely share the images. I almost never share my process. I am only doing so, because one of my photographer friends asked.
Most of my self-images can be placed into three categories — Reflections, Themed, and Awkward Self-Portraits (similar to Awkward Family Portraits). I am surprised when a photograph turns out decent, because I am an obstinate subject. Do you know the Pink song, “Don’t Let Me Get Me?” When I photograph myself, I feel as if I am singing that song to myself.… Read the rest
Yesterday was just another day at Melrose Leadership Academy… just another Saturday.
Professor Chipa and his capoeira students performed at Melrose Leadership Academy in Oakland, California for the “Batizado e Troca De Cordas.” Melrose Leadership Academy is the Oakland Unified dual immersion elementary school that my children attend. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art/ extreme dance activity.
My son loves capoeira. He loves the activity, excitement and his teacher. All the children enjoy learning how to improvise with people of different ages. The children develop new skills and more pride.
On Saturday, the children met well-known masters from different parts of the world. Professor Chipa’s master Mestre Sebia from Brazil played with the students. Shortly after I took this photo, he told them that they were the best.
After the younger students performed, they received their new belts and medals. Many of the children returned to watch the older capeoiristas.… Read the rest
Ten days ago I visited Martha Tessmer during my trip to Fresno, California. If you count this recent August trip, I have visited Martha and the support group she created for mothers whose children have died, the last five summers.
In the previous years, I met with many of the members of the Mother of an Angel Friendship Network. This year, I did not have the energy to call on the all the mothers of angels. During the last several months, I have needed to call mothers individually and seek their support.
Usually during September I process photos and publish blog posts. Perhaps it is time to reflect on all the photos and create a larger photo book. In recent years, I have written an article with a photo essay for a magazine. I also published a couple photo books. Each project feels insufficient, though important. Last year I visited with Martha and several of the mothers.… Read the rest
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon
As one of the local committee members who planned the 2013 Spring JEA National Convention, I was busy creating expectations. After the last convention in San Antonio, I even thought that I would influence the story. Wrong. I did not even control my own computer. I barely managed my own emotions. When the convention ended and people said that they had left their heart in San Francisco, I returned three different times searching for some connection to everyone who had left. I have never felt so disoriented after a convention… AND I LIVE HERE!
John Lennon also wrote “Give Peace a Chance.” I was leading a photography workshop down Market Street when this person crossed the street yelling on his megaphone. With his colorful shirt, peace signs, and megaphone, we could make a good photo, but I think he is an example of the first quote more than the second. … Read the rest
“If your photographs are not good enough, you are not close enough.” – Robert Capa (1913-1954)
Getting closer is a useful skill, and as we “get closer” to the 2013 Spring National High School Journalism Convention, I have been contemplating Capa’s quote and the meaning of “getting closer.” On the first day of the convention, I will teach an all-day photography workshop where we will practice getting closer literally, technically and metaphorically.
Sometimes getting closer is simple and we wait for the subject (or convention) to get closer. Other times we must adjust. We can change equipment or change our personal perspective. We can research a subject and become closer to the people we photograph. We can invest ourselves. We can also become more vulnerable and admit to our community that we have a disability. (I have had epilepsy since high school, but I did not talk about it until the last few years.)
One year ago today, Mark Murray and I presented a workshop about photography portfolios at the 2012 Spring JEA/NSPA National Convention. He and I have presented together for several years. How we present changes each time, because each convention space influences the presentation. The rooms are different sizes. Some conventions have more workshops and fewer people. Technology constantly changes, so we try to adapt. We try to keep it simple, while at the same time providing valuable information.
Mark and I practice simple complexity, a term my educator step-father referenced during the discussion thread of my Simple Man post. In our presentation, we simplify many fast moving complex dynamics that we cannot always predict. (Dr. Hannah Fry explains complexity science during a short TEDx video, “Is life really that complex?”)
How is complexity theory relevant? Well, we still teach students the simple lesson that “First Impressions” influence perceptions; however, photographers cannot control which image is viewed first.… Read the rest
feel free to ignore. trying to fix my comment plug ins. many of my imported comments only appear with the following tag
(comments imported from blog) … not content
So, instead of actually importing the comments on Facebook sites, everyone can only see that there were comments. Not very user friendly. I should have fixed it by now.
bf… Read the rest