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Showing posts from January, 2014

Illustrated Ode to Frog and Toad: Q + A with Lauren Gregg

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When you have an exhibition on a beloved children's book characters like Frog and Toad, an online search reveals plenty of nostalgic tributes. But this image caught our eye and led us to Lauren Gregg, an illustrator based in Athens, Georgia. We asked her what inspired this adorable update to the classic duo.

Why did you choose to commemorate Frog and Toad with this illustration?

This illustration was actually a painting for my friend and fellow illustrator Meg Hunt! She curated an art show for her wedding (best idea ever), and had over 50 illustrators make tiny paintings about love for her and her husband. At the time I was revisiting books from my childhood, and when I got to this part in Frog and Toad Are Friends, I started crying like a little baby:

“I am happy. I am very happy. This morning when I woke up I felt good because the sun was shining. I felt good because I was a frog. And I felt good because I have you for a friend. I wanted to be alone. I wanted to think about how fi…

Fiddler on the Roof at 50

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Fiddler on the Roof turns 50 this year. When it appeared on Broadway in 1964, it was an immediate hit, with memorable songs, themes of Jewish post-war concern, and the more universal topics of assimilation and how to balance innovation with ritual.

As a contemporary response to this storied musical, we partnered with JCCSF's 3200 stories to put out a call for videos of those willing to belt out one of the most beloved melodies, Tradition, but with a modern twist. The result is Break/Tradition, watch it below:

Two Museums Consider the Future

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The Encyclopedic Palace, the main exhibition of the 2013 Venice Biennale, borrowed its name from a utopian structure designed by self-taught artist Marino Auriti in the 1950s and intended to house all worldly knowledge. Visions of an idealistic future have inspired artists for centuries, but the utopian impulse has seemed especially timely of late. Returning to the original Greek etymology of the word, “no place,” contemporary artists are less likely to focus on a physical depiction of an ideal world, instead looking to more conceptual approaches to social amelioration.
Marxist philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopia exists in the act of daydreaming, and artists’ renditions of utopia can sometimes mean no more (or no less) than that quietly radical definition. Work in Progress: Considering Utopia, which closes at The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) on January 20, and Dissident Futures, which closes at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) on February 2, both feature artists wh…

Creative Community: Headlands Center for the Arts

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Two currentexhibitions address the culture of the kibbutz—Israeli communal agrarian societies in which life, labor, and pretty much everything else is often shared. This series of interviews explores local collectives of contemporary artists and asks the question, is it better to make art together?

In addition to nature, I’ve always said that the other thing I hold sacred in my life is art. When I discovered Headlands Center for the Arts a few years after moving here, I was struck by the transformation of WWII Army barracks into a community that connects to an international art world and places value on providing artists the space, the opportunities to exchange ideas with their colleagues, and a connection to landscape. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to drive out one evening after work and spend a few hours with two artists whose work is driven by the natural world and who have experienced their exchange with other artists here in different ways.
Christina Seely is an establis…