Monthly Archives: July 2012

Blog #8 Non Western, Part 2

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The above paintings were done using an Asian art technique known as Chinese Brush Painting.  Artist Liu Cunhui is the artist for all five of these paintings.  Born in 1955, he is now a well known painter, teaching his techniques and even developing an instructional video series.  He is also a professor at Beijing Education College.

Chinese Brush Painting is an ancient technique, dating from 4000 B.C., making it over 6,000 years old.  It involves a sharply tapered brush, and ink in cake form, which is diluted to various consistencies using water and a stone slab. The media is then applied to paper or silk.  Typically subject matter involves landscapes and nature, the components of which, such as water and rocks, hold significance.

I chose Chinese Brush Painting because it became of personal interest to me.  A few years ago, I volunteered to teach a middle school art class.  I was given no curriculum, and researched various art styles and techniques.  Chinese Brush Painting quickly interested me, and I have appreciated this ancient and beautiful style ever since. Cunhui’s paintings are beautiful– the first two shown above were the reason I chose Cunhui– the dark birds against the brambly splashes of color remind me of birds in a winter bush or in a Forsythia in Spring.


Liu Cunhui,

Chinese Brush Painting


Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


Blog #7 Non Western, Part 1

These pieces of pottery are part of William Itter’s Nigerian Artist Potters collection.  They are part of a collection put together over the past decade and comprised of dozens of pieces, varying from ceremonial pots to functional-looking vessels. Itter also has several other collections from all across Africa (see here).  William Itter is a professor at Indiana University and an avid collector and artist.  The last picture is an IU collection, which contains pieces donated from William Itter’s personal collections.

I chose Nigerian pottery because I enjoy decor that has a warm, unique, artistic, and rugged feel. Pottery is an art form that the artist spends so much time touching, holding, shaping, and perfecting.  To me, that makes it feel personal.  Also, art that isn’t on the wall is 3-D and so approachable– the viewer is in the same world, unlike viewing a painted scene in which you are looking at it through the eyes of another.  Pottery has no barrier between artist and viewer.


William Itter, African collection

IU collection

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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


Blog #6 AMT: Celebrating and Honoring our People

Maya Lin: Paying Tribute to our Women, our Rights, and our Fallen. 

Women’s Table, Maya Lin at Yale University, 1993

This piece of art (above) was designed by Maya Lin as the first piece on the campus to acknowledge women.  Lin had noticed during her years at Yale University that all the public art portrayed or celebrated men.  The Women’s Table design features spiral engravings of digits representing the number of women to graduate from Yale.

Reference: (Yale Herald)

Civil Rights Memorial, Maya Lin, Montgomery, Alabama 1989

Lin created this memorial (above) as a tribute to those who influenced, or died in pursuit of, our civil rights.  The memorial itself is inscribed with names of significance; the wall behind is engraved with a portion of Martin Luther King, Junior’s scriptural quote, “We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Reference: (South Poverty Law Center)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Maya Lin, Washington D.C. 1982

Lin designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as part of a contest, when she was just 21 years old and attending Yale University.  She won the design contest, and has continued designing influential pieces ever since.  Her intent for this memorial was to take the names of those who died overseas, and give them a voice here on American soil.

Reference: ( PBS artists)

Maya Lin was born in Athens, Ohio to Chinese immigrants.  Though her parents both led professional lives at Ohio University, she attended Yale University. Yale is where she received her degrees, won the design contest that thrust her into the art and architecture world, and where she would later display one of her creations.

Reference: (PBS artists)


Judy Chicago: Celebrating Dozens of Influential Women

The Dinner Party, Brooklyn Museum, NYC, NY 1979

The Dinner Party is comprised on dozens of place settings, floor panels, and banners.  Each of the place settings represents a woman who influenced American culture or rights in some way.  The table is triangular, with each wing being 48 feet long.  In total, 1,038 women are acknowledged– 39 place settings, with an additional 999 names inscribed on the floor.

Reference: (Brooklyn Museum)


Picture of Entry Banners

The Entrance Banners

Mary Shelley and Sojourner Truth place settings

Place settings

signature image

Place setting for Georgia O’Keeffe, whose beautiful art was considered controversial due to its interpreted sexual or feminist qualities.

Picture of heritage floor

The floor inscriptions


Judy Chicago was born in 1939 in Chicago, IL. She is an artist , author, teacher, and feminist that is recognized around the world. She is a symbol of freedom of expression for women everywhere.

Reference: (Judy Chicago)

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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


Blog #5 Early Modern

The Entertainer by Scott Joplin, 1902

Scott Joplin, an African American composer and musician composed The Entertainer in 1902 as a two-step dance rag-time piano solo during his time in St. Louis, MO. The piece has been a favorite ever since, showing up in movies, such as The Sting and earning its rank at #10 on Recording Industry Association of America’s “Songs of the Century” list (Wikipedia, The Entertainer).

Considered an iconic member of the advance of the African Americans in the arts in the early 20th century, Joplin spread his talent through Texas, St. Louis, Mo, and NYC, NY. Rag-time has even been dubbed “African-American polka.” Unfortunately Joplin succumbed to syphilis and died in an institution at the early age of 49 (Wikipedia, Scott Joplin) and was placed in an unmarked pauper’s grave.  Regardless, Joplin’s talent and influence is alive and well today and has been recognized by the popularity of his music, his influence on the African-American arts, and his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

This composition never ceases to bring a smile to my face– its lively pace and beats instantly make you tap along, begging your body to move.  As a child, I would ask my brother to play it on the piano over and over again.  That memory stands out in my mind each time I hear it.


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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Uncategorized