Archive for January, 2009

President Barack Obama – The Day the Earth Stood Still

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

At noon today, that’s pretty much what will happen all over the world. I know Linda and I will be stopping what we’re doing to sit and watch this new era begin. I can’t imagine why anyone won’t be doing the same.

I’m beginning to think the number 44 will be my new lucky number. I don’t know what my old lucky number was, but it wasn’t working too well.

I’m not expecting our new President to work miracles, but I do expect him to deliver an attitude change of – Yes We Can! and Yes We Will! That will be a big change from the last decades of – What Now? Those days are over and the past is the past.

This is what America is all about – opportunity, compromise, doing the right thing, looking to the future, being a good neighbor, and leadership – at least the America I believe in.

I’m ready for this new era – bring it on!

South Carolina Arts Commission Update

Monday, January 19th, 2009

An e-mail is floating around that is trying to build support for the SC Arts Commission. Its author – Betty Plumb of the South Carolina Arts Alliance – what a surprise. The Arts Alliance is a non-profit created by the Arts Commission to lobby for them in the SC State Legislature. The Alliance is kind of like the SC Arts Foundation – created by the Arts Commission to shelter funds from State oversight.

What’s the big hub-bub about? Why the call for manufactured outrage and action?

A SC State Representative, Dan Cooper (R-Anderson), and Chair of the SC House Ways and Means Committee (the budget writing committee) made the statement – “We could at some point look at zeroing out agencies”, citing higher education, arts and social programs. Then an editorial in The State included the words, “we can’t afford to operate an agency that hands out grants to arts organizations”. These are fightin’ words to South Carolina’s non-profit arts groups. The only thing is, neither were actually suggesting that the State close up the SC Arts Commission. Too bad.

In my opinion, the State could save money by closing down the Arts Commission and taking the money they do give to these arts organizations and give it directly to the States’ counties to distribute to the arts organizations they see fit to get funding. Let local people decide who gets money locally and cut out the middle man. The counties are already distributing funding to these groups. It would just give them a little more to spread around. The State might even be able to give the arts even more money than the Arts Commission does. After all, they are one of the largest state arts agencies in the US. There is a lot of fat overhead in that agency.

So the Arts Alliance is calling on the faithful to write Representative Cooper to tell him he has it all wrong and to write letters to the editors of newspapers to explain how vital the Arts Commission is to the well-being of the South Carolina art community and its citizens.

Are they asking people to lie? Well, I’m sure from the perspective of people who do receive funding from the Arts Commission – their elimination might be a disaster, but I wonder what they would say if the State said – if we close down the Arts Commission you will get the same level of funding you have been getting and maybe a little more. Then what would their opinions be? It’s all about money – loyalty is about money. I know I’ve heard a lot of unflattering talk about the Arts Commission from these same people – when it’s a private conversation. In public – everything is just fine – as long as the money keeps flowing.

So what’s the opinion from the rest of the folks in the art community who never see any funding from the Arts Commission, no service, or not even a kind word of encouragement? We may never know. These people are the silent majority in this case – well, in all cases. But you can change all that by letting Representative Cooper hear from the other side. The Arts Alliance provided all the Representative’s contacts in their e-mail.

The Honorable Dan Cooper
P. O. Box 11867; Columbia, SC 29211
PH: 803-734-3144
HWM Committee Fax: 803-734-3144
S.C. House Fax: 803-734-2826
Rep. Cooper’s E-mail: (HWM@schouse.org)
Home: 361 Browning Road, Piedmont, SC 29673;
PH: Red: 864-947-1230; Bus: 864-260-4025

Now is a good time to speak up and tell someone what your really think of the Arts Commission. I have. I’m all for public funding of the arts, but not for funding fat State agencies.

Don’t Miss Susan Lenz’s Exhibit at Gallery 80808 in Columbia, SC

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

If you want to be amazed at what one person can do – don’t miss seeing or reading about the CYBER FYBER exhibition being presented, in every nook and cranny of Gallery 80808 at Vista Studios in Columbia, SC. Of course Susan Lenz got the help of hundreds of participating fiber artists from all over this planet, but she pulled everything together.

Lenz is one of the featured bloggers on this blog. She writes the blog Art In Stitches and several other blogs, but this exhibition is one of the results of putting her words and art, out there in cyber space, reaching other fiber artists on the Internet.

The exhibition which is on view from Jan. 8 – 20, 2009, includes works in three primary areas: over 150 Fiber ATCs (Artist Trading Cards); more than 225 fiber postcards; and the work of nineteen international artists, who were invited to participate. It’s up for a short time in Columbia, but I imagine the exhibit will live on – in video and still images on the officialCYBER FYBER blog site.

Keeping up with Lenz’s activities will make you think, we as a country, should hook her up to the power grid – she has so much energy.

If you can, go see this exhibit and while you’re in Columbia, visit some of the city’s other gallery spaces. If you can’t go – at least go visit the exhibit blog site and ask yourself if you could do all this work. I don’t think I could.